Better Business Bureau given Tesla a failing grade for its poor handling of customer complaints.
To say that Tesla has been facing a lot of bad publicity lately is an understatement. The Model 3’s ongoing production issues have been well-documented, while a recent report claimed the automaker has been deliberately under-reporting work-related staff injuries. So what is Tesla coming under fire for now, you may ask? Well, the company is being criticized for its poor handling of complaints after scoring an "F" grade by Better Business Bureau.
According to a report by Mercury News, BBB received 65 official complaints about Tesla, but only 23 were resolved satisfactorily. Tesla only responded to 10 of the remaining complaints but didn’t offer any good-faith solutions. In 17 cases, the company addressed the issue but the customer either didn’t accept the response or notify BBB it had been resolved. For the remaining 15 complaints, Tesla didn’t respond at all according to the bureau. Among the complaints the firm failed to respond to include a warranty issue where a Model S owner was told the car had a suspension issue that wouldn’t be covered by warranty because the car had suffered an impact.
“The vehicle has never suffered an impact, and I have only driven the same routes to work for a decade with no issues with previous cars,” the complaint said. Another customer also complained about defective floor mats that bunched up near the accelerator pedal but didn’t receive a response. “This has caused the accelerator to stick and made the car accelerate uncontrollably, almost causing me to wreck,” the complaint said. One official complaint had nothing to do with Tesla, however: a promised email receipt for two Tesla t-shirts was never sent, so the items couldn’t be returned.
Tesla has dismissed BBB’s rating, however. "Tesla has the highest customer satisfaction ratings in the entire auto industry, and it's not even close," a Tesla spokesperson said in a statement. "While we can always do even better, the BBB customers are based on a tiny number of customer issues dating back several years, most of which were resolved a long time ago. Everything we've achieved is due in large part to the goodwill of our customers, so this is something we care deeply about." Such a small number of complaints is unlikely to further damage Tesla's reputation, but it does suggest the Model 3's production backlog is affecting working conditions and customer service.