Tesla fails customer complaints test, but gets Kanye’s seal of approval
It’s a bit of a mixed bag for Tesla at the moment. The firm – brainchild of suitably eccentric billionaire Elon Musk – recently received the dismaying news it had scored an “F” on the Better Business Bureau’s (BBB) test for customer complaints.
Tesla, innovative as it may be, did not perform satisfactorily when it came to handling complaints from disgruntled customers, the BBB found. In some cases, the company didn’t bother responding to complaints at all. The Mercury News reported that the BBB had received 65 official complaints, with only 23 dealt with on a permissible level. Of those left, ten were responded to without an adequate solution, and 15 were ignored outright. The remaining seven were responded to by the company, reports the BBB, but customers either rejected the response or failed to update the bureau on proceedings.
Reported complaints varied from dodgy floor mats to issues with car warranties, although we don’t expect Tesla’s share prices to plummet as a result. Not least of all because of a slew of tweets from golden boy of rap Kanye West, who took to the platform to proclaim his love for the company.
“I really love my Tesla. I’m in the future. Thank you Elon,” came the first in a slew of rapid-fire tweets from West. He went on to praise Tesla’s environmentally friendly business model, followed by a more cryptic “I’m super chaaaaaarged. Bout to take this whole thing to mars.” The icing on the cake came when he proclaimed that his Tesla was “the funnest car I’ve ever driven”. With a reported net worth of $160 million (£115 million), we imagine Kanye’s had his fun with a wealth of cars in the past, making this judgement a pretty weighty one. Meanwhile, Tesla has remained smugly silent. This is the kind of endorsement money just won’t buy.
The praise comes hot on the heels of some slightly more tangible good news for the company. Tesla’s batteries appear to be overperforming, with a recent survey finding that they retained over 90% of their charging power after 160,000 miles. There were 350 participants in the survey, with the results proving gratifying. The electric vehicles drop 5% of their capacity after 50,000 miles, but then lose it at a much slower pace – leaving an 80% capacity at an enormous 500,000 miles.
From the sounds of it, the company’s getting a little bit big for its boots. Whilst its EVs are undeniably environmentally friendly, innovative, and popular to boot, nobody is above basic social decency. Just look at the fallout when Uber cashed in after Trump’s executive order on immigration. The company risks alienating its customers and creating a full-blown PR crisis if it continues on its current trajectory. No matter how many hip hop moguls attest to its brilliance.
Images: Maurizio Pesce and Super 45, used under Creative Commons
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