My two favorite ways to get around, Tesla and Onewheel, actually have a lot of similarities. Here are some that I have seen during my short time of ownership of each.
- Both Tesla and Future Motion make amazing innovative electric devices used to move people. And when I say move people, I mean both physically move someone from point A to point B but I also mean to emotionally move people with their beautifully crafted products that are such unique experiences, completely different from anything anyone has ever experienced.
- Both Tesla and Future Motion make luxury and premium products that are expensive. People pay a lot of money to get their hands on these devices and likewise people expect a lot from both companies having thrown down so much hard earned cash to be able to call themselves a Tesla or Onewheel owner.
- Both Tesla and Future Motion have a passionate community that supports them. There are online communities and discussion groups that focus on all things Tesla or all things Onewheel where you can find support and answers to your questions.
- Both companies have gone through very similar growing pains. At first they both struggled mightily with production and delivery of their products which resulted in long wait times. Now we are seeing quality issues with both Tesla and Future Motion. The Tesla Model 3 is notorious for having minor body cosmetic issues with panel gaps and paint imperfections. There are many reports in the Onewheel community of new Onewheels “bricking.” These quality issues are resulting in huge strains on the customer support and service of both companies.
- Both companies want tight control of the service work to their products. With the Onewheel, if you need something repaired or serviced, you have to send it back to Future Motion. There are no other authorized sites that I know of. If you want or need work done on your Tesla, you have to go through Tesla and use one their authorized Tesla body shops.
It is this last point that I would like to focus on. I received my first Onewheel and my first Tesla around the same time. Here are some of my experiences with the customer support from both companies:
Onewheel Customer support experience:
In my experience the customer support at Future Motion has been nothing but supportive and understanding… when you can get a hold of them that is. They are (or that were at the time) severely short staffed and it would take weeks to get a response to my issues. My issues with my Onewheel were relatively minor and you can watch a video about it here. In the end, since my Onewheel was still under warranty, they were able to resolve it at no cost to me, but it did take a long time for what should have been a very simple and quick fix. Then Future Motion sent me a little care package with some fun goodies and this postcard which was just a small gesture but went a long way to show me that they care about their customers.
Tesla Customer support:
In my experience the Tesla customer support has been a headache. They are disorganized and overwhelmed with all the work that is coming in from all the newly sold Teslas for which they are not prepared for. This is resulting in extremely long wait times.
When I took delivery of my Tesla there were some cosmetic body issues with paint imperfections and body panel gaps which the delivery specialist acknowledged and documented. The delivery specialist said I would be able to have them fixed in a few weeks so I should just take delivery and Tesla will get the problem fixed right away. A few weeks turned into a few months and I am now just getting the issues addressed.
Because Tesla service is overwhelmed, phone hold times are crazy long and misinformation and confusion is commonplace. Elon Musk said that Tesla went from “production hell” to “delivery hell.” Well now Tesla and Tesla owners are entering “service hell.”
I guess it’s the growing pains of new companies. Both Tesla and Future Motion make amazing electric devices that move us and because their products are so amazing they have a devout following that will overlook many of the shortcomings of the companies. Well, after my experience with Tesla, my patience has grown thin.
You can watch this video of my entire Tesla Service station experience:
I hope and expect that both Future Motion and Tesla will sort through these service issues and that call hold times and service wait times will be reduced. I also expect that Tesla employees will get on the same page so there will be less confusion and misinformation given to the customers.