Elon Musk bans rant for writing angry customer



  • The story, as far as I can tell:

    1. Tesla Motors announces a "Model X Launch Event". Open only to people who preordered a Model X car (paying $5,000), stated to start at 7:30 pm, where people will be able to see and even drive a Model X.
    2. Blogger guy arrives at event at 7pm. He is handed a badge to test drive the model, with badge number 1,344. He's then kept waiting (without actually seeing the car) until 8:50pm, when Elon Musk appears on stage and starts a boring presentation about safety features and stuff. Obviously annoyed at the tardiness, blogger guy decides to leave rather than wait for the presentation to finish and for 1,343 other people to drive the car before him.
    3. He later writes an article titled Dear @ElonMusk: You should be ashamed of yourself, where he criticizes the event and states that Musk should have at least apologized for the delay. He ends the article saying that he "still really wants one" (Model X).
    4. Elon Musk phones the blogger. Tells him that he considers the post a personal attack, that the event was not that badly organized, and that his order for a Model X has been cancelled.
    5. Blogger writes that in article: Banned By Tesla!
    6. Story spreads to the media.
    7. Musk writes super condescending tweet
    1. Idiots on Twitter blindly worship him (seriously, read those replies: "I fucking LOVE you, good job standing up to him" "Keep fighting the good fight!", wtf?)

    And the funny part is, of course, if he hadn't done that, no one would have known or cared about some random guy's post about a Tesla event starting late.


  • SockDev

    That was a dick move by Musk, no doubt about it



  • You've gotta think from Musk's perspective. Was it handled tactfully? No. But it's not surprising. He's a perfectionist, so it's hard for him to take criticism on something he's worked (presumably very) hard on and is very proud of. He's also always in the public eye, and is leading a lot of major projects (SpaceX, Tesla, SolarCity) which I assume is incredibly stressful - not to mention the fact SpaceX and SolarCity have faced many challenges recently.

    So was it a bit of a dick move? Yes, but cut the guy some slack. It isn't like he has a reputation for doing this often, and he's not perfect either. I know I'd probably crack in a similar situation at least once, and I don't believe anyone that says they wouldn't slip up at least once, either.


  • SockDev

    @anonymous234 said:

    And the funny part is, of course, if he hadn't done that, no one would have known or cared about some random guy's post about a Tesla event starting late.

    clearly, Musk comes from the Jeff Atwood school of interpersonal relations.



  • @rc4 said:

    He's a perfectionistnarcissist, so it's hard for him to take criticism on something he's worked (presumably very) hard on and is very proud of.

    FTFY. Criticism is part of life. Either improve your shit or simply get over it. Whining that someone violated your safe space shouldn't be the default course of action, unless your name is Jeff.


  • I survived the hour long Uno hand

    @Dogsworth said:

    Criticism is part of life. Either improve your shit or simply get over it.

    For sure. I'm a perfectionist; for me, hard to take criticism means "I feel really terrible that my product wasn't good enough, and will obsessively strive to make it better" rather than "Fuck you". If my presentation ran an hour late, I'd be mortified.



  • @anonymous234 said:

    if he hadn't done that, no one would have known or cared

    So, Streisand effect, then?



  • I still don't think it's because he's a narcissist. I think Elon sees his products as an extension of himself and takes great pride in what he's worked on. Obviously if you insult his products and things he's worked on, his ego is going to be bruised. I still don't think it's an acceptable response, but I do think that we can cut him some slack for it. Everyone handles things differently. Given his reaction to Neil Armstrong's criticism (which was twisted by the media) I don't think he's very self-absorbed but he is obviously wholly invested in his work and views it as his ultimate purpose, which should come as little surprise.



  • @rc4 said:

    Obviously if you insult his products and things he's worked on, his ego is going to be bruised.

    Yeah, but that's not what this guy did (not that I RTFA, but based on the OP here).

    @rc4 said:

    I still don't think it's an acceptable response, but I do think that we can cut him some slack for it.

    I don't see why I should. Not that I really care about it, but it was a retarded thing to do. End of story.



  • I read that first blog post, and honestly it's really not that bad at all. I wonder who even brought it to Elon Musk's attention, or maybe he just constantly Googles his own name? It's certainly not a personal attack.

    I agree that "super rude customer" is grossly unfair. On the other hand, it's his company and his prerogative to cancel a pre-order, so. Suck it up, blogger.

    Look at it a different way: there's undoubtedly at least a few hundred people who would pay $5000 just to get a phone call from Elon Musk personally. This guy got one for free.



  • @Yamikuronue said:

    If my presentation ran an hour late, I'd be mortified.

    You probably don't spent 12 hours of your day surrounded by sycophants and yes-men.

    Same reason the 90s Star Wars movies sucked ass, George Lucas surrounded himself by people who didn't have the guts to tell genius director George Lucas that the script sucked. (Until the third movie, when he actually got Spielberg to serve that role, and the result was significantly improved.)


  • Dupa

    @blakeyrat said:

    You probably don't spent 12 hours of your day surrounded by sycophants and yes-men.

    OK, that's definitely racist. Shame on you!



  • To be fair, I know lots of sales people who will silently click "junk mail" button for email orders from customers who appears rude... :stuck_out_tongue:

    The difference is just whether the action is verbose or not.


  • Grade A Premium Asshole

    I heard about this earlier but this is the first time I actually opened the guy's blog. On one hand, Musk acted like a whiny child. On the other hand, the guy's blog describes him as a "foodie", so I'd like him to die in a fire.

    Obviously the best possible solution here would be for Musk to shut up, give him his Model X with a napalm canister under the driver's seat which would blow up a few minutes after handing the car over. Then, Musk would be found out, tried, declared criminally insane and eventually locked up in an asylum, which is a lot like a daycare for adults anyway - a perfect fit for a whiny manchild.

    Well, maybe next time.

    Ha ha, posting about someone dying in a fire and someone else being locked up in an asylum forever earned me the Member badge.



  • Bearing that I cannot confirm the veracity of these accounts,

    @Yamikuronue said:

    For sure. I'm a perfectionist; for me, hard to take criticism means "I feel really terrible that my product wasn't good enough, and will obsessively strive to make it better" rather than "Fuck you". If my presentation ran an hour late, I'd be mortified.

    :hand: Same here. Trying to keep it healthy perfectionism .

    @blakeyrat said:

    You probably don't spent 12 hours of your day surrounded by sycophants and yes-men.

    Same reason the 90s Star Wars movies sucked ass, George Lucas surrounded himself by people who didn't have the guts to tell genius director George Lucas that the script sucked. (Until the third movie, when he actually got Spielberg to serve that role, and the result was significantly improved.)


    That's his problem and no excuse.



  • @RaceProUK said:

    That was a dick move by Musk, no doubt about it

    Very cheap buzz for Model X though.

    Filed under: Model X Model X Model X Model X Model X Model X Model X



  • I don't know; I think that Musk's reaction is inappropriate. It's in the same class as companies that sue you for giving them a mediocre review.

    It strikes me as pretty damned petty when you screw 1,350 customers over...and then retaliate when one of them has the unbelievable damned audacity to call you out on it.


  • Discourse touched me in a no-no place

    @rc4 said:

    Elon sees his products as an extension of himself

    :giggity:


  • Dupa

    @blek said:

    Ha ha, posting about someone dying in a fire and someone else being locked up in an asylum forever earned me the Member badge.

    You're misquoting. The correct :disco:notification text is "earned member". So now that touve earned your new member, what are you gonna do with it? Gonna slap someone's face? Take it out in an inappropriate moment? Let us know!


  • Grade A Premium Asshole

    Well I just checked and while I'm slightly hungover, I'm almost 100% sure I still only have one. Does the second member arrive by mail? That could take a while, I'm in Europe.


  • Dupa

    @blek said:

    Does the second member arrive by mail?

    When you receive it make sure to send it back to this guy:

    Jeff Atwood
    187 Civilized Discourse Drive
    CDCK-Wood, SC 29648

    You can throw a purple dildo to the package while you're at it.


  • Discourse touched me in a no-no place

    @kt_ said:

    SC 29648

    I actually lived not far from there for a few years. (I mean the actual town with that actual zip code.)



  • You didn't live on Civilized Discourse Drive? Disappointing.

    ...and the next disappointment is undoubtedly finding out Civilized Discourse Drive isn't even a real place at all...



  • @tar said:

    ...and the next disappointment is undoubtedly finding out Civilized Discourse Drive isn't even a real place at all...

    UNF has this guy writing their student newspaper.




  • Dupa

    So things are happening in ye @LaoC-country. You should start a thread!



  • I think cancelling the pre-order was stupid. There's plenty of ways to handle a rude customer (all arguments of if the guy was actually rude or not aside)-- but in this case, this is the wurst of the wurst way to handle it.

    Why?

    Okay, think back to Gaggle Plus Won for a moment. Let's just say, in theory, it was a product that maybe MAYBE you were thinking of using. Maybe. Or maybe it was the best fucking thing in the world, and you couldn't wait to get your beta invitation to it, because you love Google. You love your GMail, so surely the GFacebook thing is going to rock the socks off these cocks.

    Oh wait, what's that you say, news story? For absolutely no reason, based on some arbitrary rules that may or may not even be published-- people are having their Google UnPlus accounts locked-- and since it's tied up with their GMail, they're also losing their gmail.

    Noooooooooooooo :darth_vadar_is_a_pussy: A lot of people dropped out of GargleOne because of that-- or never signed up in the first place, because why risk it?

    People don't like having their toys taken away. People REALLY don't like being promised a toy, one that has a lot of hype and desire built around it, and having it taken away. People don't like the idea that they may lose their toy for arbitrary reasons.

    There are going to be people who will look at that story and go "Um, so let me get this straight? I want want WANT this car, but if I sign up to buy it and do some arbitrary thing that may annoy someone, someone will take away my toy when I was THIS CLOSE to having it? Yeah, not worth the risk"

    Early adopters are all about emotion and status and getting things early. Fuck around with those emotions, hint that they may not be special special and get their toy before everyone else-- that's disastrous PR. When your product is still in pre-release, that could be a death-knell.

    This isn't the CEO of WalMart telling some fat lardass to stop farting on the greeters and harassing the returns desk-- which is okay, because it's obviously bad behavior from someone that the rest of the customer base (of millions of people) vilify anyways.



  • These people are paying extra-big-bucks to own one just for the mere fact that other people can't. Elon Musk could probably fire half the lot of them, and the remaining customers would be that much more excited at the prospect of owning such a limited-edition automobile.



  • @anotherusername said:

    These people are paying extra-big-bucks to own one just for the mere fact that other people can't.

    Yes, but it's still a risk that it could spiral into a huge PR disaster and destroy confidence in the product. If Tesla didn't have these rabbid fans (:rabbit: :toilet:), then their business is sunk. They don't become a household name, don't have people willing to pay $150k for a car, etc.

    Now it MIGHT make the product seem more exclusive and make people want it even more-- but given how tight of a line this new car company is walking-- and how much of it is banking on good PR, it was a very, very stupid thing to do.

    You could imagine what would happen if this blog post spiraled, a bunch of people went "Fucking Tesla will just cancel my pre-order because of feelz?"... and at the exact same time, The Big Three swooped in with "Hey, we're going to launch our electric cars too. How about we give you a free-pre-order with a $5k bonus. Want to do a public testdrive that you can post on your blog"

    Suddenly people will be going for their Lexus Elexsus e-car penis preorders. Tesla stops becoming "the company that's doing it different and better" and becomes "the overpriced electric car that doesn't exist yet and has a psycho CEO and shit customer service".

    If that scenario isn't on Musk's SWOT, then he's insane.



  • On the other hand, Musk should probably expect such customers to be "super rude."

    The only thing more self-entitled than buying a $5,000 seat at a special pre-sale expo just to buy a new car you've also preordered is, well... showing up 90 minutes late to said expo when you're the presenter, expecting no complaints, and then when you get one you take your ball home and cry about it on social media.

    Fuck both of these assholes.



  • @Lorne_Kates said:

    Yes, but it's still a risk that it could spiral into a huge PR disaster and destroy confidence in the product.

    Elon Musk has got this far - I suspect he knows the people buying his cars well enough to know he'll get away with this.

    @Lorne_Kates said:

    You could imagine what would happen if this blog post spiraled, a bunch of people went "Fucking Tesla will just cancel my pre-order because of feelz?"

    Yeah but it won't.



  • @Lorne_Kates said:

    This isn't the CEO of WalMart telling some fat lardass to stop farting on the greeters and harassing the returns desk-- which is okay, because it's obviously bad behavior from someone that the rest of the customer base (of millions of people) vilify anyways.

    Don't be so sure.



  • @loopback0 said:

    Elon Musk has got this far - I suspect he knows the people buying his cars well enough to know he'll get away with this.

    Elon Musk has get this far PastPerformanceIsNotAnIndicatorOfFutureSuccessYourResultsMayVary



  • @kt_ said:

    So things are happening in ye @LaoC-country. You should start a thread!

    Nah, all the exciting stuff happens in China.


  • Dupa

    @LaoC said:

    Nah, all the exciting stuff happens in China.

    And what about the ever-exciting country of sickle and hammerRJ-45 cable? Do you get any connectivity at all with all those slashed RJ-45's?



  • @kt_ said:

    And what about the ever-exciting country of sickle and hammerRJ-45 cable? Do you get any connectivity at all with all those slashed RJ-45's?

    Mobile it's surprisingly good, here in the capital it's LTE all over the place and even in the countryside it's usually at least UMTS. At least the flatter parts, I'd be surprised if it continued to be that good in the northern mountain ranges.
    DSL is slow (mine is 2 Mbps) but fairly reliable. Considering I'd been working over a 256k satellite link (geostationary, no Iridium or the like. Only vim make the ping kind of bearable) for over four years it still feels speedy :)



  • Reminds me a bit of the Oracle Security VP who got pissed that people were auditing the products' security.


  • Dupa

    @LaoC said:

    DSL is slow (mine is 2 Mbps) but fairly reliable. Considering I'd been working over a 256k satellite link (geostationary, no Iridium or the like.

    Man, this sounds really bad. I hope you're holding up somehow.

    Honestly, 2Mbps is outrageous. Are you being held by the police? Or in a dungeon somewhere by an evil slavemaster? Friends shouldn't let friends live with 2Mbps DSL. :confused:

    The last time I was on 256kbps was 102 years ago.


  • SockDev

    @kt_ said:

    Honestly, 2Mbps is outrageous.

    I can remember when that was the height of luxury.

    Man, I'm getting old…


  • Discourse touched me in a no-no place

    @RaceProUK said:

    I can remember when that was the height of luxury.

    I can remember upgrading to 14.4kb, which was fast enough that I could (with tremendous patience) use X11 over it. Except for framemaker as that insisted on screwing around with bitmap blitting…

    Unfortunately, at this point I already knew what a 10Mb link felt like from my undergraduate days. :confounded:



  • @kt_ said:

    Man, this sounds really bad. I hope you're holding up somehow.

    Honestly, 2Mbps is outrageous. Are you being held by the police? Or in a dungeon somewhere by an evil slavemaster? Friends shouldn't let friends live with 2Mbps DSL. :confused:

    That's regular DSL here. I mean, I could get FTTH with up to 100 Mbps but prices are outrageous (IIRC, some $350/mon).
    What really pisses me off is that it's slower than necessary roundtrip-wise just because of the fucking censorship infrastructure. Not the Laotians', they would apparently like something like that but still don't have any, but the Thais' who sell most of the bandwidth to Laos and have a huge firewall for blocking sites that may have said unflattering things about their beloved king.

    The last time I was on 256kbps was 102 years ago.
    When I got my first DSL line some 18 years ago, it was 768 kbps from the start. Then I started living in weird places and had to practice my patience.

    @dkf said:

    I can remember upgrading to 14.4kb, which was fast enough that I could (with tremendous patience) use X11 over it. Except for framemaker as that insisted on screwing around with bitmap blitting…

    Unfortunately, at this point I already knew what a 10Mb link felt like from my undergraduate days. :confounded:


    When I started at the polytechnic, the whole fucking college was on a 64 kbps link and we envied the university that hat 2 Mbps to share between some 30,000 students.
    :oldfart:



  • @LaoC said:

    a huge firewall for blocking sites that may have said unflattering things about their beloved king

    To be fair, if my name was spelt Bummyballs I'd probably be a little sensitive about it too.


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