Tesla cancels customer's order for "being rude"
It has been claimed that larger-than-life Tesla CEO Elon Musk personally cancelled a customer's order for a new Model X car worth upwards of $130,000 after the customer made a rude complaint criticising a Tesla launch event.
Venture capitalist Stewart Alsop, who had put down a $5,000 deposit for one of the company's new electric-powered crossover SUVs, initially wrote an open letter to Musk that he posted online, titled Dear @ElonMusk: You should be ashamed of yourself.
The letter began by criticising the late start to the event, which was intended to provide an official unveiling of the new car.
Alsop wrote: It's bad enough that your event producers couldn't actually produce an event - the so-called Model X Launch Event. Starting a 7:00pm event at 8:50pm is simply unacceptable, particularly when the invited guests are actually your customers! But for you to stand up at 8:52pm and not even acknowledge that you have wasted your own customers' time was insensitive and poor judgement.
You should have apologized right then, but you didn't. You have our email addresses, since we're all the people who put a $5,000 deposit on your new Model X, it continued.
Alsop also criticised the presentation focusing on the safety of the Model X before ending: I never did see the Model X. I still really want one. Its doors open like this! [Here he included a picture of the car and its upward-opening falcon' doors.] It's a computer, disguised as a beautiful car, just like I want. It probably won't matter that you screwed up this event completely. It would still be nice if you showed some class and apologised to the people who believe in this product.
Instead of apologising, it seems that Elon Musk instead took it upon himself to cancel Alsop's pre-order. Alsop related his side of a subsequent telephone conversation in a follow-up post titled Banned by Tesla!
Alsop wrote: Dear @ElonMusk: Thank you for reaching out to me. I heard from our phone conversation that you feel that my post, Dear @ElonMusk: You should be ashamed of yourself', was a personal attack on you. I also hear that you are not comfortable having me own a Tesla car and have cancelled my order for a Tesla Model X.
Elon Musk's public response was limited to a single Tweet, in which he said: Must be a slow news day if denying service to a super rude customer gets this much attention.
Tesla Motors is generally seen as being at the forefront of alternative-fuel technology, having risen to prominence when it produced the Tesla Roadster, the first highway-capable all-electric vehicle that was both commercially available and serially produced in the US. Fewer than 3,000 of the Roadster sports cars were sold worldwide between 2008 and 2012. The prototype for the new Model X was first unveiled in 2012, and the first deliveries of the car started in the last quarter of 2015.