Tesla Critic Has Model X Reservation Canceled By Company

In yet another example of the way that Tesla seems content to forge its own unique path, rather than follow the precedents set by those before it, the company has made the rather interesting choice to cancel the Model X reservation of somewhat outspoken Tesla/Elon Musk critic.

Stewart Alsop II in 2008
The critic in question is Stewart Alsop. His blog post titled “Dear @ElonMusk: You should be ashamed of yourself” did the rounds late last September, following an unsatisfactory experience at the Model X unveiling. The crux of that article’s critique was primarily the seemingly unprofessional approach of CEO Elon Musk — the event began roughly an hour and a half late, as many will recall.

Speaking for myself, while some of the points made were sensible ones, the overall tone of the article did seem rather petty — like someone fishing for a response, or trying to push someone’s buttons.

It seems that Musk himself had a similar take — and took the article as a “personal attack,” according to a new article from Alsop (“Banned By Tesla!”). Here are some excerpts from that:

Dear @ElonMusk: Thank you for reaching out to me. I heard from our phone conversation that you feel that my post, “Dear @ElonMusk: You should be ashamed of yourself”, was a personal attack on you. I also hear that you are not comfortable having me own a Tesla car and have cancelled my order for a Tesla Model X.

…Anyway, the end result is that you have decided that I can’t own one of your cars, and I am terribly disappointed. I had outlined in the original post how excited I was at the prospect of owning a Tesla, especially the Model X and especially the configuration I ultimately ordered — the P90D in red with black leather seats and the Ludicrous Speed option.

I must also admit that I am a little taken aback to be banned by Tesla. When I wrote a blog post about my BMW X1 called “My Car Makes Me Feel Stoopid”, the CEO of BMW didn’t take the car back. And in the many articles and posts I have written criticizing products, companies and people, I have never been banned from doing business with any of the companies!

There’s more to the article of course, but you probably get the gist of it now.

I admit to feeling like I’m not getting the full story here — but you never do in these situations, do you? What do you think? Bad choice? Doesn’t matter? Why bother with customers who will give you bad press? Musk’s dictatorial tendencies are a good thing, and the key to the company’s success?

As a side note, according to “Johan” on the Tesla Motors Club forum, there’s currently a Norwegian who’s blacklisted as well. The situation in that case apparently is a bit more straightforward, though:

There’s also a Norwegian blacklisted. Apparently because Tesla thinks he has bought and sold too many Model S’s too quickly, pointing to the clause saying they won’t sell to people who they have good reason to believe is buying not to be the end user, but only to pass the car(s) on for profit.
I should add: This is one of the advantages of being production constrained. 🙂
That said it is a fine line to deny buyers.

(Tip of the hat here to “Auzie” on the Tesla Motors Club forum for sharing the story.)

8 thoughts on “Tesla Critic Has Model X Reservation Canceled By Company

  1. So let me get this straight. This guy Stewart writes a blog attacking Tesla and insults the CEO personally. And now he’s upset that Tesla now doesn’t want to sell him a car that he already criticized to the world?

  2. Is this for real? If so, what’s to stop other companies from selling to persons that they don’t like, such as based on race, religion, ethnicity? That would be contrary to US laws, but they can say the reason is “personal”, not race, etc. For example, the pizza shop that refused to sell due to some bogus reason could say “I didn’t sell them not because of gay, but because I don’t like them personally”.

    This sets bad precedence. If the guy is willing to fork over the money, Tesla should let him give it.

  3. I’m pretty sure there’s more than two. There was another US customer who had his X reservation cancelled for other reasons: his P85D was one of many early examples delivered with the old-gen seats (which would later be refitted with next-gen) due to supply delays; he was inviting other owners to start a class action lawsuit against Tesla over this.

    Histrionic overreaction seems to be a thing with some of these wealthy guys. Tesla’s response was understandable in that case, since legal action was threatened.

    Granted that Stewart Alsop was also being unreasonably petty – a VIP event not meeting the standards to which he was accustomed was not a good reason to “shame” Elon Musk in an open letter – but I do feel that Tesla’s humourless response is disproportionate and somewhat chilling this time.

    That the CEO might petty you right back and blackball you if you offend
    him isn’t going to increase anyone’s good will or confidence in Tesla. Really, what’s
    the advantage in doing this?

    Customers complain all the time, and some of them are rude and petty. Most companies rise above this, because snubbing can backfire if it’s seen to be an attempt to suppress criticism.

    I do hope this isn’t a sign that Tesla’s becoming more willing to use this tactic. They won’t be supply constrained forever, and a douchebag’s money is as good as anyone else’s.

    1. Stewart Alsop is some nobody writing some blog. So what that he wrote a ‘open letter’ BFD! He didn’t threaten lawsuit. But even if he had, Tesla should’ve sold him anyway; Tesla could countersue for him buying the car knowing the issues.

      Now imagine if this was some southern-hick-racist-jim-crow-advocate grocery store owner refusing to sell to blacks. He could say the reason is not because of black, but because he doesn’t like them personally when they talk or that they wear hoodies or whatever stupid reason he wants to make up.

      This leaves bad taste in my mouth for Tesla.

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