Tesla, always looking to be different from other manufacturers, has opted for a method of making appointments that differs from that of all the others. Leave aside the idea of calling your service center: it is through their mobile application that you will have to solve the problems encountered with your vehicle.
Although the periodic maintenance of an electric car, especially the Tesla, is reduced to a minimum, it is not non-existent. Moreover, when a problem arises, it becomes necessary to anticipate an intervention to solve it. In the land of computers on wheels, which are the Tesla Model 3 or Model Y, maintenance requests are not carried out like everywhere else.
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We are going to explore how to request an interview or an appointment within a service center of the firm of Elon Musk, which currently has 17 in France. The key to success lies at the heart of the Tesla app, which is constantly enriched with new features. Let’s take a look at how it works.
Calling for information is not an option.
If you think you can just phone a Tesla service center, talk to someone about your problem, get some advice, and possibly schedule an appointment, you’ll need to revise your expectations. Indeed, Tesla has delivered so many vehicles in Europe over the past four years that it is not possible to manage this with only 17 centers in France.
The teams would be overloaded. That’s why everything happens almost automatically via the Tesla app, directly on your smartphone. By the way, we have a guide specifically for you if you want to know more about the possibilities of the Tesla mobile application.
Once the request is submitted through the app, Tesla can dig into the vehicle’s logs, which continually store a substantial amount of information. So if you’re worried about, for example, severe battery degradation, Tesla rules out a phone conversation, explanations from an operator, and potentially an appointment, in the simplest way: you submit the request, Tesla Automatically checks battery logs, confirming or denying battery health. The trouble ticket is thus potentially resolved before anyone working at Tesla has seen it.
All this is made possible thanks to the car’s permanent Internet connection, and by associating the vehicle with your Tesla account, the manufacturer can identify it with certainty. This makes it possible, for example, to compare the data with the entire fleet of vehicles having the same configuration, in order to confirm or deny the existence of a problem.
Unfortunately, this almost automatic way of proceeding can complicate communication with the manufacturer, especially for atypical situations.
Communication that is not always easy
The advantage of having automation in the processing of maintenance requests is much more marked for Tesla than for the end customer. Indeed, according to a source working in a Tesla service center, an algorithm takes care of processing the requests, and sometimes closing them, without any intervention from the personnel working for Tesla.
In practice, this means that you can make a maintenance request, describe your problem, and find that your request has been closed a few days later, without ever having had a contact to explain your request in more detail.
When a Tesla technician takes your request into consideration, a space dedicated to exchanges appears, where you can communicate with the service center. Additional information may be requested, and a quote will be generated based on the statements you may have made.
Unfortunately, it often happens that Tesla writes a quote for a problem that is priced in warranty, which contributes to the confusion. In this case, the applicant must necessarily approve the estimate (which can be several hundred euros), before we can confirm with Tesla that everything will be taken care of free of charge.
Without having a contact on the phone to confirm everything, it goes without saying that it is not a very reassuring experience for neophytes. We will then guide you step by step to make the maintenance request directly from your Tesla application.
How do I request an interview with the app?
To submit a service request in the Tesla app, follow these steps:
- Select “Service” from the list of items in the application home, located at the very bottom.
- Select “Request maintenance”
- Select “Add a problem”
- Then choose from the list what best suits your request.
In our example, we choose to simulate a windshield replacement request. We therefore select “Collision and windows”. More detailed information is requested, in particular to determine which window it is, and the customer has the possibility of adding explanations, photos, or a video of 30 seconds maximum to precisely show the problem.
Once all this information is validated, you must enter an address. Tesla will then offer you several choices for the intervention. If applicable, a mobile technician can come to the site to perform the maintenance. In our example of the windshield to be changed, this option is not offered.
Once you validate all the information, you can select the appointment date, which is subject to change. In effect, by default, the first available date for the location you select is displayed, but that does not mean that Tesla will be ready to carry out the work at that time.
The overall process is quite confusing, and the date part is definitely the worst. Imagine instead: you plan an appointment for your interview in a week, and make your availability accordingly. A few days before, Tesla tells you that parts are not available, and that the date of the appointment must be changed. Unfortunately, this is a fairly standard thing, which many new owners discover in spite of themselves.
The interview process
For service at a Tesla Service Center, we can highlight the useful information and the transparency shown by the manufacturer. Its mobile application is used wisely, since real-time information is fed back during the interview.
The Tesla after-sales service is still a model of efficiency and transparency. pic.twitter.com/NIyogpZGUR
— Bob Jouy (@bobjouy) January 26, 2023
Everything is visible in the application, both the expected duration of operations, but also the part relating to invoicing and the progress of repairs. Once the maintenance is complete, you will even receive a notification inviting you to collect your vehicle, which may have been loaded during the work. You can even exchange messages with the mechanic during the service from the application.
An after-sales service that is improving and becoming more responsive
While some things remain imperfect in the maintenance request, it is important to emphasize that the management of the appointment, in particular with a section dedicated to exchanges between the customer and the technicians, has greatly improved for some time. This is also one of the advantages of Tesla: they are moving in the right direction quite quickly.
Tesla’s after-sales service has been criticized, rightly, for its delays or its hazardous communication. However, it is clear that interview management has improved considerably over time.
The application process can still be improved, especially in the choice of the meeting date. It would be easy, for example, not to offer a date too soon if the service center does not have the necessary parts in stock, for example, rather than making the customer believe that the repair will take place very soon. Let’s bet that the firm of Elon Musk will continue to improve its after-sales service in the future.