Follow Slashdot blog updates by subscribing to our blog RSS feed

 



Forgot your password?
typodupeerror
Get HideMyAss! VPN, PC Mag's Top 10 VPNs of 2016 for 55% off for a Limited Time ×
Businesses The Almighty Buck Transportation

Elon Musk Cancels Stewart Alsop's Tesla Order Over Complaints About Launch Event 339

New submitter umafuckit writes: Blogger Stewart Alsop wrote an open letter to Elon Musk following a supposedly badly run launch event for the Model X. Alsop complained that the event started almost 2 hours late and was unable to test drive the car (for which has put down a deposit). In response, Musk cancelled Alsop's pre-order saying "Must be a slow news day if denying service to a super rude customer gets this much attention." Alsop, who is known not just for his prolific blogging but for his role as a founding partner at VC firm Alsop Louie Partners, compares his treatment by Tesla to that of BMW, about which he's also said some unflattering things as a customer.
This discussion has been archived. No new comments can be posted.

Elon Musk Cancels Stewart Alsop's Tesla Order Over Complaints About Launch Event

Comments Filter:
  • by Anonymous Coward

    Poetic justice.

    • by azav ( 469988 ) on Wednesday February 03, 2016 @02:06PM (#51432405) Homepage Journal

      Not really. It looks like a dick move on Elon's part. I like Elon, but it looks like Stewart was in the right here and Elon's looking kind of petty, making an overly harsh personal response instead of addressing the issue with the man like a decent human.

      • by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday February 03, 2016 @02:10PM (#51432449)

        Stewart lead with an "overly harsh personal response" and was met with a prompt ending of a business relationship. He equated this with BMW not asking for the car back, but then, he was already their customer. Elon headed him off at the pass and cut this "potential" nightmare customer off from the beginning. Selling him the car would only have opened the floodgates of whining.

        • by Racemaniac ( 1099281 ) on Wednesday February 03, 2016 @02:32PM (#51432679)

          I read his post, and i don't see how it's overly harsh... if i went to some hyped up introduction of a new car, and it starts nearly 2 hours late, and i'm number 1300+ in line for mere 5 cars to have a "testdrive" in it... that's ridiculous >_.

          • by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday February 03, 2016 @03:42PM (#51433399)

            Ever been to Disneyland on a holiday? If so, did you "rage quit" the place when you weren't first in line to ride your favorite ride the one time that day, and didn't want to wait 2+ hrs to get on it, and then demand to get your ticket price refunded back to you?

          • by Aighearach ( 97333 ) on Wednesday February 03, 2016 @04:04PM (#51433573) Homepage

            The most ridiculous part is to be one of 1300+ people in line for a carnival ride that seats 5 and also thinking you should be one of the people that gets to ride... combined with needy complaints about sticking to a schedule. If he likes schedules, he should instantly see that nobody on a schedule should even approach the ride line or expect to get a test drive.

            Why is he more deserving of a test drive? It seems to me that those who were willing to wait patiently for something they might not get to do are the ones who deserve doing it, if they get the lucky number or wait long enough.

            • Re: (Score:3, Funny)

              The most deserving ones are obviously those who showed up two weeks early and pitched a tent to be first in line. Also they're wearing their Elon Musk fan club tee-shirt and cosplay as a Tesla Model X at every event that will allow them in. And that includes the strip mall near their home in Dubuque, Iowa.

          • by PopeRatzo ( 965947 ) on Wednesday February 03, 2016 @05:44PM (#51434541) Journal

            Elon Musk basically said, "No soup for you!" which is his right.

        • Legal requirement? (Score:4, Interesting)

          by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday February 03, 2016 @02:34PM (#51432697)

          One of the things about harassment is that you as an employer are liable for 3rd parties harassing your employees because you have a duty towards your employees.

          So if Musk has any reason to believe based on this guy's behavior that this guy will be harassing his employees, he actually has a legal obligation to kick this guy to the curb.

          • by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday February 03, 2016 @02:42PM (#51432771)

            What a refreshing change from companies who are willing to destroy their employees to save a sale

          • by Hylandr ( 813770 )

            This needs to be modded up. Props for the boss that stood up to shit customers. PROPS.

          • by Dogtanian ( 588974 ) on Wednesday February 03, 2016 @04:00PM (#51433537) Homepage

            So if Musk has any reason to believe based on this guy's behavior that this guy will be harassing his employees, he actually has a legal obligation to kick this guy to the curb.

            Yeah... no. I don't honestly see anything so far to indicate it was coming anywhere near that, let alone approaching the point where it would become a legal issue.

            Can't predict what the guy would be like in the future, but a bit of slightly (at most) and not entirely unwarranted entitled-rich-guy criticism doesn't suggest that so far.

            Let's be honest; Musk responded that way because he could get away with it [slashdot.org], but it doesn't mean he was doing it for legal (or noble) reasons, just that he was in a position where he could afford to do that in response to something that obviously got under his skin.

        • Apparently bio-defense mode can't protect you from "affluenza"... so good on Elon for shutting him down.

        • by Dogtanian ( 588974 ) on Wednesday February 03, 2016 @03:51PM (#51433481) Homepage

          Stewart lead with an "overly harsh personal response" and was met with a prompt ending of a business relationship.

          I'd be inclined to agree with Racemaniac that it didn't come across as overly harsh. Nor did I consider it overly personal.

          Was this the whining of an entitled rich guy? Perhaps a little- I won't entirely dismiss the possibility, but I'm not entirely convinced; it was undeniably critical, but he still obviously had enthusiasm for the product.

          But regardless- and correct me if I've misunderstood your intent here- your response comes over as a variant of the "people exercising their rights in a free market == no right to criticism".

          Musk is- of course- entitled to cancel this guy's order (i.e. end the business "relationship") for pretty much any reason not prohibited by law, but that doesn't excuse him from being criticised for doing so, especially if it appears petty to some.

          In all honesty, Musk comes across as no better than, (and just as entitled as), the guy making the complaint. He knows he can afford to be dismissive of a few of his rich customers for somewhat petty reasons if they say something that stings him personally, even if it's somewhat justified. He's got a product with a lot of buzz surrounding it, for which there's likely to be more demand than availability in the foreseeable future.

          The fact that Musk can get away with being dismissive and petty doesn't change the fact he's being dismissive and petty, though!

          He doesn't strike me as "one of us but with more power" telling a spoilt rich customer where to go (to the cheering of the crowds enjoying their vicarious revenge.) Rather, he comes across as someone stung by (not entirely warranted) criticism, prickly enough to take it even more personally than it was and in a position where he didn't have to take that sort of crap from some uppity customer, then dismiss it with mild contempt not-really-masquerading as feigned disinterest.

          (Disclaimer; if anyone is going to take this as a defence of entitled rich tossers, you don't know me very well. I'm just not buying that the customer was quite as bad as he's made out nor that Musk is any better.)

        • by hey! ( 33014 )

          Well, I do believe in protecting my employees from actual abuse. If a customer actually abused someone who worked for me and there were no extenuating circumstances, I'd terminate the relationship if it were at all feasible. But criticism isn't the same is abuse. Expressing your unhappiness with service isn't abuse. Even though those things might make some people feel bad -- feel as if they were receiving abuse -- that doesn't makeit abuse.

          Abuse is by definition unreasonable and inexcusable.

          For many year

        • Exactly (Score:3, Insightful)

          by SB5407 ( 4372273 )
          His Tesla post was clearly a personal attack on Elon. Run the numbers and it's obvious. His BMW post used about fifty I statements (as in "I noticed..., "I feel...", etc.). It used about only eight BMW statements (as in "BMW insisted...", "BMW tried...", etc.)

          His Tesla post used about twenty five Elon statements (as in "Dear Elon, you should be ashamed...", "You should have...", etc.). But it used about only twenty two I statements ("I was excited...", "I was angry...", etc.)

          In other words, his Tesla
      • by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday February 03, 2016 @02:24PM (#51432601)

        It may or may not be a dick move, but this guy Alsop is a pretentious, whiny douche, so let's just call it karma.

      • by mjwx ( 966435 ) on Wednesday February 03, 2016 @08:53PM (#51435813)

        Not really. It looks like a dick move on Elon's part. I like Elon, but it looks like Stewart was in the right here and Elon's looking kind of petty, making an overly harsh personal response instead of addressing the issue with the man like a decent human.

        Actually Elon is looking good for doing this. A little bit of schadenfreude. The blogger looks like a complete idiot for:
        1. Thinking he's the king because he put down a 100% cancellable deposit.
        2. Thinking he's the king and writing to Elon Musk.
        3. Thinking anyone agrees with his silly little blog.

        Elon Musk (who I'm actually a bit critical of) did the right thing here and it is his prerogative as a business owner. I can sympathise here because when I ran a business, often it was smarter to throw out the whiny, complaining, arrogant customers because they would monopolise my time with their irrational complaints. You think this is no big deal, but in a small store with only one or two staff (including myself, the owner) one person taking up my time for no good reason means that customers, paying customers walk out the door for a very good reason (getting no service). So early on in my business career I learned that is was smarter to cut a toxic customer than to keep them. Sure they'd leave shouting "You've just lost a customer, you'll be out of business in a week" however in reality, I'd be making money by serving other customers and they'll be back in the very next week buying something else. Only 3 people received a permaban from my store, I'm a harsh businessman, but also a fair one.

        Elon is in the same boat. The number of people who want a Tesla far exceeds the number of people who pay attention to this guys blog. The guy was hoping to take advantage of the Streisand effect, but instead the Streisand effect turned on him and just got more positive press for Musk and Tesla. I take it you're the kind of person who's never run a business and believes that "the customer is always right". I can tell you've never run a business because you think that most customers are:
        a) right.
        b) decent human beings
        c) rational.
        You couldn't be more wrong on all counts. Customers are, by and large, irrational, arrogant, insufferable beings who are almost never right and if you disagree with this statement then chances are that you are one of those customers.

    • by Aighearach ( 97333 ) on Wednesday February 03, 2016 @03:58PM (#51433527) Homepage

      If Justice, it would be direct normal justice.

      Poetic justice is where the persons own actions come back to harm them in an unexpected way, that would not have been Just if it had happened intentionally, but was totally their own fault. It also generally requires the lack of direct justice.

      In this case there is none of that. At all. There is cause, and direct effect.

      Assholes of the world need to be prepared for when they encounter another asshole. If you said mean shit about him, or complained about his product, he might refuse to sell it to you. Your money just might not spend the same. If you want to be an asshole to somebody, buy you covet their product, make sure that you're an important customer and that the other guy is more greedy than asshole. If you're just a regular customer, with a larger platform to be an ass, and he's also an ass, he's going to take that battle and win it. On your chosen terms. No more name-brand cheesypoofs for you, sucker.

      As a consumer my thinking is, if you don't like it, don't covet it. And if your time was important, you wouldn't be hanging out at a product launch event and complaining that you had to schmooze for 2 hours before the event started; you'd have had something better to do even if it had started on time. People who are into that stuff sleep outdoors in single file waiting to get in, if it is an interesting enough product. I'd understand being upset about a 2 hour delay if the event was "lunch, today." But a product launch?! Newsflash, that is not a serious event with a strict time schedule. Most of the people there are at work, and most of them are doing that event for their whole workday. So unless it ran late, nobody should care. I think this guy was in the same boat, but he likes to cheat and leave early because he typed out n words already. So he was mad his all-day assignment took the same amount of "all day" that it took for everybody else.

      And no test drive? Dude, there is a waiting list for this product, and you were on the waiting list. Stop pretending you're special. You're not. Now you know. I'll bet all the "regular Joe" rich guys on the waiting list are really happy to see that; needy journalists don't need to be in front of them in line. Bad PR to the 99%, perhaps, but what percent of them are on the Tesla waiting list? Good PR to rich guys who are quietly letting their money sit in line for them.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday February 03, 2016 @02:02PM (#51432361)

    Surprise, surprise. Being rude to a company results in bad service from that company. Hardly news except that it was Tesla that was the victim. Maybe the blogger has learned his lesson, but probably not.

    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by Anonymous Coward
      Corporations are not people and should not ever be offended. Being rude to a company should not affect the way the company does business or whom it does business with. It is just Musk being a douche, because he's becoming arrogant.
      • by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday February 03, 2016 @02:25PM (#51432615)

        Bullshit. A company is people. If you're rude to people you should expect the same in response.

        Don't be an ass hat.

      • by Applehu Akbar ( 2968043 ) on Wednesday February 03, 2016 @02:27PM (#51432627)

        When a company is rude to its customers, they drift off to the competition, unless it's a locked up market, like cable, airlines or medicine. So why shouldn't it work the other way around?

      • by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday February 03, 2016 @02:27PM (#51432631)

        Corporations are not people, and cannot be offended, that is true (although the courts in the US would disagree)

        However, corporations are run BY people, who can be offended, and control the actions of the corporation. If I was the CEO of a corp, and a potential customer was rude to me (or my staff) I have the option to refuse their business. I see this as no different than that of a 7-11 clerk throwing someone out because they are being rude.

        Just because you happen to be the CEO of a large corp that builds cars does NOT mean you have to blindly accept every order and take abuse from everyone and everyone.

        It's perfectly within Musk's right to refuse this guy's business. And it's within our rights to decide which side of this dispute we'd prefer to side with and then act appropriately. No one is (or can) force anyone else to do business with each other. Musk isn't forcing you to buy his cars, nor can you force him to sell you one.

      • by Grishnakh ( 216268 ) on Wednesday February 03, 2016 @02:29PM (#51432651)

        Oh please, this is stupid. Corporations are not people, but they're run by people, and some corporations have more control by their founder than others. Tesla is a good example of this: it's really Elon's baby, so of course he's going to take things personally.

        Also, an outspoken blogger can be bad for publicity if he's already proven himself to be a giant whiner, and it's likely he's going to bitch and complain about your product after he gets it in his hands. Better to just not sell him the product and avoid the bad press.

        Personally, there's no way I'd sell a product of mine to someone that I know is going to go online and trash it. Contrary to the old saying "there's no such thing as bad press", there really is. Bad reviews are not good for sales.

      • by Locke2005 ( 849178 ) on Wednesday February 03, 2016 @02:33PM (#51432687)
        If you drive down the share price of a company, the company's first responsibility is to prevent you from continuing to do that. Elon chose a short-term PR hit rather than giving Alsop an excuse for long-term bad publicity. Plus, anything Alsop says from now on about Tesla will be perceived as Alsop just being pissy about having his car canceled. And then there is the fact that Tesla can't deliver all the Model X cars already ordered while still maintaining quality, so most customers are going to have much longer than expected waits anyway -- better to give the cars to the people that won't bitch about them.
      • by amRadioHed ( 463061 ) on Wednesday February 03, 2016 @02:51PM (#51432885)

        You've probably seen signs in stores that say "We reserve the right to refuse service to any one". Guys like Alsop are why those signs exist. Companies can choose not to do business with you every bit as much as you can choose not to do business with them.

      • Corporations are not people and should not ever be offended

        Corporations are staffed by people who routinely are (and often should be) offended by rude and self important customers. There is no such thing as being rude to a corporation because corporations as you rightly point out are not people and you can only be rude to people. If you interact with a corporation you are interacting with the people who work there and it is quite possible to offend those people with your behavior. If you think it is acceptable to be rude to someone merely because they are a repr

      • Alsop didn't attack and offend the company, he attacked Musk. Besides, as it's been pointed out, Steve Jobs acted in similar fashion and that sort of personality was what pushed Apple to being the #1 company in the world. This is a lesson for Alsop. Talk shit, get hit (with a cancellation).

      • Corporations are not people and should not ever be offended. Being rude to a company should not affect the way the company does business or whom it does business with. It is just Musk being a douche, because he's becoming arrogant.

        When you are rude to a company, you are rude to the employees. Good managers and owners cut off shitty customers from the start to avoid that kind of shit from happening (which can have terrible consequences down the road - I have witnessed this. The customer is not always right.).

        I am not saying this is exactly what happened in the story. I'm simply giving you a counter-argument to the above statement of yours.

      • Tesla the company (an abstract concept) literally can't be offended. Elon is the head of Tesla and used his position right a wrong from his point of view. Was it vindictive? Probably, but there is also an element of "Why should this ungrateful prick get one of my cars, when someone else more appreciative would love to have it."

        He no doubt estimated the cost in negative publicity (it might even be positive publicity), and decided that cancelling this guy's order was worth it.

        It's not like Elon slashed Ste

    • by BitZtream ( 692029 ) on Wednesday February 03, 2016 @02:47PM (#51432841)

      Why do you assume he was actually rude to the company and that the company wasn't rude to him?

      He had a shitty experience and complained about it in one of the few ways that gets attention. Then Musk basically rage quit on him because he didn't like that someone was complaining.

      Complaining != rude customer
      But
      Shitty service == Shitty service

      I think you guys might just be a little to up Elon Musks ass to have clear judgement on this one. From everything I can see, Musk is being a much larger douche than Alsop. Musk is just a man, Tesla isn't special, untwist your panties and settle the fuck down

      Tesla did not meet expectations, pretty big ones I might add, for the event. This isn't some random blogger just ranting, this IS A PAYING customer, or was a paying customer until Musk's little rage quit at him.

      This is pretty typical Musk, he acts like a 2 year old when he doesn't get his way ... actually, thats incorrect, my two year old at least takes himself to the corner when he has a rage quit moment.

      • by TWX ( 665546 ) on Wednesday February 03, 2016 @03:04PM (#51433045)
        When I complain about a company publicly, I do so with the expectation of never doing business with them again, or with any future relationships being affected by that public complaint.

        If I want to make a complaint that does not permanently destroy or severely harm a relationship with a company, I make that complaint to the company directly. If it's a large company and the division or department or section that I'm having problems with isn't addressing the issues, I see if that company has a public or customer relations group, and I address it through them. The way it works is that those people notify department heads, or directors, or sometimes even corporate officers of the nature of the complaints, and then those individuals deal with the subordinates that have been complained-about. From my perspective I don't care how the company fixes it, I only care that the company fixes it.

        I also have something of a minimum threshold before it's worth complaining in this fashion. The last time I made such a complaint, the franchise failed to disclose extra costs, failed to keep me informed of the progress of the work, and failed to create documentation of the work, essentially providing zero proof of exactly what they did and what the original conditions were that they were hired to address. As such, the franchise owner refunded my money, and given how the work done has proven ineffective it's for the best that he did so.

        If this guy had a problem with the Tesla event he should have taken it up privately with them first. Given that he already has a history with auto brands I am not surprised in the slightest that they chose to terminate business with him while the issue is very small, as the profit from him as a customer is well offset by the damage that he's proven he will attempt to do if things don't satisfy his expectations, nor will he even attempt to use private means to address problems before he starts a public campaign.
      • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

        by Anonymous Coward

        As the meme goes, "If you run into an asshole, you ran into an asshole. If you run into assholes all day, you're the asshole." This guy keeps running into car companies that don't want to do business with him. After reading his actual words, I'm not at all surprised.

    • by quantaman ( 517394 ) on Wednesday February 03, 2016 @03:29PM (#51433287)

      Surprise, surprise. Being rude to a company results in bad service from that company. Hardly news except that it was Tesla that was the victim. Maybe the blogger has learned his lesson, but probably not.

      So if I complain about FB are they justified in cancelling my account? What if I complain about my ISP who's also the local backbone, do I get kicked off the Internet?

      Corporations can have a lot of power over their customers, you shouldn't have to worry about censoring yourself because the CEO is a dick who might pursue a personal vendetta.

  • Good for Tesla! (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Vorl ( 2536742 ) on Wednesday February 03, 2016 @02:03PM (#51432371)
    I think it's good that he got his order canceled. If you are going to complain in an "open letter", you are pretty much just attention seeking. If you wanted to help the company out or support it in a positive light, you would have kept your issues between you and the company. I also agree that it must be a slow news day.
    • If you wanted to help the company out or support it in a positive light, you would have kept your issues between you and the company.

      A-yup. If you actually read his open letter, he comes on like a hard-on right away, telling Musk what he should do and how he should do it, and he ends by telling Musk that he should show some class. I'd tell him to go fuck himself and that I didn't need him as a customer, too.

      âoeDear @ElonMusk [bizjournals.com],â Alsop wrote in Mondayâ(TM)s post. âoeThank you for reaching out to me. I heard from our phone conversation that you feel that my post, âDear @ElonMusk: You should be ashamed of yourself,

  • by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday February 03, 2016 @02:04PM (#51432383)

    If he can't get satisfaction at Tesla or BMW, I suspect this is an impossible person to deal with. Musk saw the writing on the wall, and cut this guy loose before he bought the car and made claims against the company for all kinds of ridiculous and petty shit.

  • Ha ha (Score:5, Funny)

    by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday February 03, 2016 @02:05PM (#51432395)

    No coup for you.

  • Good! (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday February 03, 2016 @02:06PM (#51432409)

    You know what; as long as this "critic" was refunded his deposit, then I am all in favour of this.

    Ray Crock's principle of "The Customer is always right" is great until the customer comes to believe that this should be the case every time. As soon as that's the case it is an unrealistically high car to set on a customer service experience, because instead of "errors are always in the customers favour" the customer views it as, "if a mistake was made, I am due a large payout or extra swag" leading us to a society of complainers form the start.

    If someone has a customer service problem, take it through the right channels, then, if it is unresolved, by all means, take to the twitter with your complaints. Unfortunately, I think a great deal of people skip over the middle step.

    These people are the worlds assholes, and unless they are fired as customers, their behavior is only emboldened.

    • Re:Good! (Score:5, Interesting)

      by torkus ( 1133985 ) on Wednesday February 03, 2016 @02:37PM (#51432733)

      He's mad that out of 3000 (or was it 5000) people he was #1344 in line to test drive.

      Boo hoo. That means you're still ahead of at least half of the people. Sure, 1000+ people aren't going to get to test drive a car in one night...we get that. Why exactly does he feel that entitled and special that, of all the other thousands of people who put down a deposit, he should be a priority?

      I'd bet he is (well, was) the 1344th person to put a deposit on the X.

      Folks like to use privilege and entitlement as dirty words these days...well THIS is a PERFECT example. Some peoples business is not worth taking, case and point.

    • Ray Crock's principle of "The Customer is always right" is great until the customer comes to believe that this should be the case every time. As soon as that's the case it is an unrealistically high car to set on a customer service experience, because instead of "errors are always in the customers favour" the customer views it as, "if a mistake was made, I am due a large payout or extra swag" leading us to a society of complainers form the start.

      It gets especially bad once the customers start yelling and being rude to the employees. At that point, sometimes you need to push them out the door.
      In some cases companies encourage it though, by giving attention to the loudest yeller, and ignoring people who are polite.

    • > Ray Crock's principle of "The Customer is always right" is great until the customer comes to believe that this should be the case every time.

      That's precisely the problem -- when a customer has "unreasonable" expectations, or entitled, then there is no way the company can satisfy the customer.

      There has to be a middle ground between the relationship of the Company and Customer.

      * The company needs to listen to constructive criticism, AND follow up on it. Ignoring your customers means you don't respect th

    • Re:Good! (Score:4, Interesting)

      by Jack Griffin ( 3459907 ) on Thursday February 04, 2016 @12:23AM (#51436711)

      Ray Crock's principle of "The Customer is always right" is great until the customer comes to believe that this should be the case every time.

      I'm sure we've all experienced them before. I remember this stupid bitch at a touristy location begging for the operator of a Segway hire place to let her young children have a go (rules were you had to be over 12). So after being bullied, the operator gives in (these kids looked about 6 or 7), but only to be barraged again because they can't find a helmet to fit her kid's tiny heads. The operator puts on the smallest helmets which just hang over the kids faces obstructing their vision, so the women is now complaining loudly that they shouldn't have to wear helmets because they don't fit.
      Never underestimate the stupidity of some people. Elon gave this guy what he deserves.

  • by slashmydots ( 2189826 ) on Wednesday February 03, 2016 @02:07PM (#51432425)
    Why am I not surprised that he's also a BMW driver/customer? He might as well get "stuck up, rich douchebag" tattooed on his forehead.
    • Is the test you have to take to prove you're a major-league douchebag still mandatory before they'll let you buy a new BMW? I haven't check lately... (and I keep flunking the test!)
      • > I keep flunking the test!

        There's your problem - you're supposed to refuse the test altogether as being something for "little people". The only way to win is not to play.

    • And here's a related reference: Higher social class predicts increased unethical behavior [pnas.org]

    • by mjwx ( 966435 )

      Why am I not surprised that he's also a BMW driver/customer? He might as well get "stuck up, rich douchebag" tattooed on his forehead.

      Whilst I dont disagree with the tattoo idea, you dont need to be rich or a douchebag to get a BMW these days. You can get a 228i for US$32,000 and a 235i for US$42,000. These aren't even close to being the base model which is the 220i (or 116i in Europe), that being said the 228i would be the cheapest bimmer I'd buy because the x20i's and diesels are crap to drive.

  • by DrXym ( 126579 ) on Wednesday February 03, 2016 @02:09PM (#51432435)
    I watched the video of it and Musk may well have held it in a monkey enclosure. I've never seen an audience react like that, hooting and howling over every word he said. The car is nice I guess but the audience reaction was ridiculous.
    • Even if it did suck, it's no reason to be an absolutely asshole about it. I mean, this is worse than the kind of stuff my wife bitches about - "Boo hoo, somebody was late starting the party," "I usually don't eat dinner until 7:30 and they didn't bother to serve me food so I'm all hangry", "I didn't get to see the cake because I was so mad that I left 8 minutes after it started"

      I mean, damn - has this stuck up rich kid never been to an event with the proels before? Shit doesn't always start at your convenie

      • by DrXym ( 126579 )
        Maybe the guy's an asshole, maybe not. Either way the event still sucked. I bet it sucked more in person being stuck there waiting nearly 2 hours for it to happen.
    • by wjcofkc ( 964165 ) on Wednesday February 03, 2016 @02:52PM (#51432911)
      After reading reading, "hooting and howling over every word he said", I went and watched it myself expecting to be able to come back and call bullshit over an exaggeration.

      Nope, your description was accurate. It was actually kind of strange.
  • No Tesla for you! (Score:5, Interesting)

    by pla ( 258480 ) on Wednesday February 03, 2016 @02:13PM (#51432481) Journal
    Gee, not one, but two companies with waiting lists to buy their luxury cars declined to go out of their way to pamper your spoiled ass?

    Notice a pattern here, Stewart?
    • Obviously you've never heard the adage "If you keep having the same problem with different people, then maybe you are the problem^H^H^H^H^H victim of a vast conspiracy to undermine your privilege as God's chosen dipshit."

  • by thechemic ( 1329333 ) on Wednesday February 03, 2016 @02:14PM (#51432487)

    Negative feedback is important to understand the areas of opportunity where your business might be improved. I think setting the precedent that you'll be stung by Tesla if you complain isn't sending the right message.

    From a marketing perspective, free advertising!

    • And in this case, negative feedback is perhaps providing an important feedback to the customer: If you're being difficult and attention-seeking, perhaps it won't work out how you had planned.

      Of course since the response seems to be more attention-seeking, I suppose the lesson was NOT learned.

    • by stooo ( 2202012 )

      Yes, negative feedback is absolutely a major factor in system stability.

      But if the phase margin is too small, there will be a large overshoot at one frequency. That's what happened here between these two guys, there was an over-response induced by the feedback loop because the feedback guy was not considering he puts too much negative feedback to a guy with a big gain....

      Solution : reduce the negative feedback in the future.

  • Sounds good. (Score:5, Informative)

    by MMC Monster ( 602931 ) on Wednesday February 03, 2016 @02:23PM (#51432585)

    Companies generally reserve the right to refuse to serve customers who are causing a disturbance.

    This individual caused a disturbance prior to receiving his product. Refund his deposit and have him go elsewhere.

  • Might be illegal (Score:4, Interesting)

    by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday February 03, 2016 @02:23PM (#51432587)

    If you think about it, preordering a product is a financial transaction. You're exchanging money (the $5000 deposit) for a place in line. While the amount the deposit costs doesn't usually change over time, the earlier you preorder, the bigger the risk you are taking because the promised product may never arrive. So in return for this transaction, you get an earlier place in line. Tesla gains money and a large number of preorders has a "signaling" effect to other buyers, increasing interest in the product.

    In actual monetary value, Stewart's preorder slot is now worth more than $5000. If he could auction the slot off, people would be willing to pay a premium so they can have their Model X sooner.

    Anyways, by canceling the order, Tesla has deprived Stewart of his property, and he might be forced to turn to the courts to be made whole. I'm not a lawyer, I know the property loss is true in real economic terms but no doubt the actual interpretation of the law is a different story.

    • If he decides to sue, I'm sure it will be Slashdot's next big "technology" headline.
    • I'm pretty sure ANY company would have had lawyer's preview any preorder contract to make sure the company could cancel the order and refund the money at any time with no reason without incurring any liability. Musk in particular isn't stupid.
    • by DrXym ( 126579 ) on Wednesday February 03, 2016 @02:49PM (#51432865)
      A person in the UK recently won a court case for something similar. He preordered a Porsche car [flatsixes.com], paid a deposit and then the dealer bumped him from the queue and sold the car to someone else. He sued for breach of contract, the judge agreed and awarded him the difference between what the car cost at the time and what it would be worth now.

      I guess if someone could argue that the deposit was a contract (and better yet that losing the preorder meant a financial loss) then they could probably sue successfully.

      • In the US we have specific rules for pre-orders. They're not generic contracts. They're the same as custom made-to-order products. It isn't a sale until delivery, and it isn't a contract separately from the sale unless the customer is paying more for the right of pre-order. If they get bumped from a discount list, then they haven't paid extra for anything, and they never became a customer by buying the product.

        In your link, he didn't have a pre-order. He had a deposit for sale of an existing product that th

  • by JustNiz ( 692889 )

    Thats an insane price for that car. Its all just a marketing fad.
    Personally I think musk did him a favour and he's better off without it.

    • What part of the Economics 101 principle of Supply and Demand do you not understand? Also, I suspect these cars contain about $30,000 worth of batteries, so good luck making a cheaper one.
      • You can do a high quality DIY conversion with similar range for under 15K, using all new parts. No, they don't have $30k in batteries. But yes, the batteries cost more than a brand new Kia.

  • by QuietLagoon ( 813062 ) on Wednesday February 03, 2016 @02:41PM (#51432767)
    I blog, therefore I demand. When I don't get, I blog even more.
  • Honestly all he has ever been is a spoiled brat that has temper tantrums. He tries to stir up crap like this to try desperately to keep his name relevant.

  • by King_TJ ( 85913 ) on Wednesday February 03, 2016 @02:49PM (#51432859) Journal

    This is just getting blown up into a bigger deal than it should be because one crowd is eager to defend Tesla Motors against any negative press, while the other is eager to make Musk look like an arrogant jerk (a la the late Steve Jobs).

    The way I see it though, Stewart Alsop didn't really bring up any complaints that weren't valid. He's right... Who starts a product launch event over an hour late and doesn't even acknowledge they ran behind? And really, it's poor planning at best to promise participants a test drive when you clearly have too many people signed up for one than you can accommodate. (He said he had number 1,344? Come on! You might not get through that many people in an entire day at an auto show -- much less an event at night that already started an hour late!)

    If Tesla wants to cancel his pre-order, fine. Maybe that helps send a message that they won't be pushed around by people making a lot of demands, and that will help them eliminate some problem customers. But I think it also shows some of us that their leader isn't very good at taking criticism. That's unfortunate because the ability to do so helps make a better product and improve customer service.

  • Wasn't this guy the editor of Infoworld during the heyday of Bob Cringley? I remember reading his columns, and he seemed to be a reasonable person then. I wonder what happened?

  • That.
  • old article? (Score:5, Informative)

    by jlv ( 5619 ) on Wednesday February 03, 2016 @03:08PM (#51433071)
    Alsop's "open letter" is from Sep 30, 2015. The order cancellation happened now?
  • He sounds like the typical asshole customer that loves to invoke the threat of lawyers on the smallest of whims every time something does not go their way.

    People like that and the lawyers that take their money deserve exactly what's coming to them. Don't like the service that you're getting: do it your own damn self.

    If your outlook and ability to run a company is so much better build your own damn car, fix your own electronics, do your own work.

    No amount of money is worth a shitty customer.

  • by cshotton ( 46965 ) on Wednesday February 03, 2016 @04:18PM (#51433721) Homepage

    It'd be interesting to know how many people here who are flaming Tesla actually know Stewart Alsop from his heyday in the '90s. Likely not many. The guy was used to throwing his (considerable) weight around the tech industry for a long time, expecting his every whim and complaint to be kowtowed to by the industry because he controlled a powerful industry trade rag. Now, as a print media has-been, he is frustrated because he can't snap is fingers and have a company leap into action. So, he pitches a petulant rant online and expects Elon (who was surely on the short end of Alsop's rants in his PayPal days) to leap up and do his bidding. Screw that! I applaud Musk heartily for shutting down the troll. As a happy Tesla owner, I sure wouldn't want to see an unending stream of attitude spewing forth into the Tesla forms from this guy.

Kiss your keyboard goodbye!

Working...