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Why I Almost Bought a Tesla (And What Torpedoed the Deal)

Jan 12, 2018



You might not guess it to look at me, I’m kind of a hippie at heart.

I love cats, avoid eating meat, zealously advocate for higher industry standards, and I also love love. (But who doesn’t?)
I also care about the environment – and I don’t mean armchair caring, where I just say it. I mean, we buy energy efficient everything, use reverse osmosis to purify “drinkable” city water, and I drive a hybrid car to conserve fuel.

I say “kind of” a hippie, because I’m also a car enthusiast and a technology aficionado.

Mix those all together though, and you get a guy who is very, very excited about Tesla and the hype of the Model 3 Electric Premium Sedan sure lit my flame. 

Just to give you the teensiest idea of how cool this car is,

* tens of thousands of people CAMPED outside the car dealership just for the privilege of giving them a deposit for the CHANCE to MAYBE get a car in the next YEAR OR TWO!

* Doug DeMuro of AutoTrader calls it “the coolest car of 2017”, and he doesn’t say it lightly

*Medical-grade HEPA filters remove even bacteria and viruses from the car’s interior air. For a guy like me, who has allergies and a dislike for breathing in viruses and bacteria, that’s a feature.

*Oh – and did I mention it has a SELF DRIVING feature? Oh yes, it really does. Check out the video of a guy NOT driving his Tesla across the city here

*Plus, of course, it’s completely electric. Bye-bye stinky gasoline, hello quiet, enviro-friendly transportation.


So when I was crusing through Calgary last year in my hybrid SUV, set on buying a new, fully electric one, I had my heart set on the Tesla X SUV, the newest in their line-up. I pulled up to the big shiny dealership and strode into the building.

A young lady offered to assist me, and she invited me to sit in the SUV model. It was sweet. I slid a hand on the state of the art technology filled dashboard and admired the all-glass roof that stretched all the way from the windshield to my bald spot. It was a pretty amazing experience.

I decided I was going to do it. I’d buy it. Not that day, but I was sold on it for sure.

But first I wanted to see what customizations they had. So I headed to a big LED screen in the showroom where I could spend some time browsing and selecting various customizations for the model I’d like to order.

It was weird. I felt like I was standing at a McDonald’s kiosk, ordering extra pickles on a burger. I scanned the menu items, looking for an option to supersize my battery. Living in Winterpeg, I knew I’d need the biggest battery possible.

While I was working with the menu, the young lady stayed nearby.

“By the way,” I asked her, “when will there be super-charging stations?” I’d heard charging stations were expected to come to Winnipeg, but so far none existed.

She didn’t know. Soon, she hoped. Hmm.

Then I wondered about the fact that this car dealership had no technicians on staff to do warranty work of any kind. “When will you have a service station here?”

“I’m not sure,” she said. “Right now, if a vehicle needs work we fly a technician out to do it.” After a bit of back and forth, it became clear that while his work was covered by warranty, the cost of flying the technician out from who knows where was billed to the car owner.  Lodging and meals too, perhaps.

I finished scrolling the Tesla McOptions and told her I was planning on buying one in a couple of months.

That was at the end of June.

By the end of August, I had my new SUV. 

But it wasn’t a Tesla.

The young lady never bothered to get back to me. So, I ordered my brand new one from elsewhere.

Somewhere in fall or winter of that year, I guess the young lady’s peers were sifting through her mistakes, because I got a call. She was no longer with them, and they wondered if there was any way they could help me with my purchase.

“Catch me in a few years,” I said, “I just bought a car.”

It made me think though.

She lost a solid sale, just because of failure to followup. How often do I do that? How often do real estate agents in general lose a sale because of a failure to follow up with someone?

It’s easy to underestimate people, I suppose, and think they’re just browsing when they’re really serious.

It’s better – for us and others – if we assume people ARE serious, ARE telling the truth, ARE real, than to dismiss what they say or who they are. Even if someone is ‘just’ a ‘tire kicker’, they’re worth our time and effort.

I might have had a Tesla,

But opted to buy from someone with quality service instead. 



***For quality  service in the real estate realm, give me a test drive.
You'll be impressed. (Others are ;) )  ***


Category: Customer Service

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