BLOWING THE TESLA: THE STORY AND THE REASON

Customer or fans is why any sports team, brand, idea, principles, and more survive. Without customer support, any business can die and vanish altogether. For instance, the transition from the archaic photo film to the digital camera had been the cause of demise for some of the reputed photo filmmakers like Kodak, Fujifilm, and more. The digitalization of photo capturing has led to the swift situation of uploading images online, whether on social media or for business purposes. The change in trend can also lead to new kinds of activities and scenarios.

The omnipresent social media upload and the Youtube monetization had created a new type of occupation called YouTubers. Many Youtubers had amassed a mass fan following and earned quite a lot. A Youtuber can be someone who reviews video games, automotive, how to be rich, technical issues, electronic rigging items, and more. In these articles, I will share about a Youtuber, the current vehicle technologies and the consequence of the bad or unexpected dissatisfaction from the customer.

The Youtube video is about a Tesla owner blowing up his Tesla using dynamites, and the reason is fascinating. The owners had decided to blow up his Tesla over a $22,000 battery replacement issue. The amount will be around MYR96844, which is an amount that can make the car lovers in Malaysia purchase a brand new Vios, Toyota City and Proton X50. The dissatisfaction of the car owners had led him to take this extreme decision, unheard of in the contemporary era. The owners also said blowing the Tesla is more enjoyable than riding it.

Although the customer’s dissatisfaction with the model and uploading the Youtube is parallel with the current trend, the issue is an archaic issue that has existed since the day of the customer and service provider. They are an aphorism of the customer always right. With these aphorisms, many customers will try to go to extreme lengths to get what they want or feel entitled to. The service provider will also go to full length to provide the customer with an alternative if possible, deny the customer’s request in the best possible way, or highlight to the customer that they are not entitled to what they expected t. This type of situation is similar to the cat and mouse game between the police and thief, and the issues of disagreement between the customer and service provider are identical.

Going back to the above scenario, the owner of Tesla, which had been blown up, Tuomas Kaitanen had bought the Tesla Model S in 2013. Upon driving for the estimated 1,500 km, the mishap started. As usual, he had driven the car to the Tesla service centre, advising him to replace the batteries, which cost the amount mentioned earlier. Tesla had advertised that its batteries could last up to 8 years or 150,000 miles (241401 km). This situation led to the owner’s dismay, making him take these drastic actions.

This type of issue can be experienced by anyone who owns a car. We as a customer will feel we are entitled to some discount or warranties, especially if we bought a new car, despite that the authorized service centre can abruptly put a dent on our entitlement or warranties claim. It can cause a furore on the part of the customer. Some customers, although not going to this length, make the dissatisfaction viral on social media like Facebook. They can post on the official Facebook page of the service provider or in the car model Facebook group, which can negatively affect the service provider’s reputation.

Again these type of issue are when the customer feels aggravated, cheated, and feel he has been denied his entitlement vehemently by the service providers. The situation can be resolved or mitigated if the customer and the service provider have explicit instructions on the do and don’t, what they are entitled to and what not, what is covered under warranties, and much more. These will eliminate any issue that can arise from the customer’s discontent.

One issue that can induce these scenarios is the Volkswagen DSG issue, which happened in 2012 when some irate customers made a peaceful congregation near the Volkswagen building in Bangsar. Volkswagen had listened and given a 10-year warranty to the DSG. On the DSG issue for the outgoing model, they had fixed the wet clutch DSG, which was seen to eliminate the previous problem experienced by the customer. In the current digital where social media, Youtube, and Whatsapp have replaced what can be considered the archaic printed media, any disagreement or discontent from the customer can be uploaded instantly. The customer can feel dissatisfied with the service provider and upload his displeasure on social media within a few minutes or seconds.

Although not many customers will go the length of Tuomas Kaitanen, they are some customers who can put dynamite in social media for the service provider in the form of regular posts, which highlights their dissatisfaction. These can act like hearsay for potential customers to move away from the product as every customer wants the best experience when dealing with the service providers. The service providers also can have their own set of limitations and rules; however, in the end, the customer is the one who decides on the brand’s success or failure. Circumstances such as denying what the customer is entitled to, late warranties claim, does not provide a courtesy car when the customer car is parked in the service centre for warranties claim, mechanical failure in the short term of usage, charging exorbitantly and scenarios that can aggravate the customer if a detailed explanation is not given and the customer provider rebuke the customer in a manner which the customer feel is not correct.

Although the blowing of Tesla and uploading the Youtube can be considered the current trend, the issue that led to the Tuomas Kaitanen is old-fashioned, which had existed in the customer service industries. A clear explanation of written rules and video presentation can eliminate these issues and hinder any detrimental effect on a brand’s customers. Failure of any service provider to adhere to these will see the customer highlight their dissatisfaction with the social media in their unique ways.

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