No Car For You: Tesla’s Musk Punishes Customer For Critical Posting By Canceling His Car Order

Elon_Musk_2015Screen Shot 2016-02-03 at 5.56.33 PMHere goes any chance I have in getting a Tesla. Tesla CEO Elon Musk is at the heart of an interesting controversy after he punished a customer for a critical posting about the badly planned launch event for the new model. Musk appears to have a rather authoritarian view of critics like an automotive version of the Soup Nazi from Seinfeld.


Musk introduced the new Model X electric SUV with falcon wing doors in a rollout that was ridiculed for poor planning. One of those many critics was Californian venture capitalist Stewart Alsop who noted that the event started late and was so packed that even people like Alsop (who put down a $5000 deposit) could not test drive the vehicle. Alsop wrote “it would still be nice if you showed some class and apologised to the people who believe in this product”.

Most business people would apologize and thank Alsop for his loyalty. Musk had folks look up Alsop’s order and cancel it.

Alsop later posted his cancellation and noted “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.”

Musk however saw nothing wrong with punishing people who criticize his company. He responded online with “Must be a slow news day if denying service to a super rude customer gets this much attention.” Well, it is not a particularly slow news day but this is something that strikes many people was truly bizarre and petty.

However, if Musk ever leaves the automotive field, there is a future in soup:

Source: Guardian

19 thoughts on “No Car For You: Tesla’s Musk Punishes Customer For Critical Posting By Canceling His Car Order

  1. I had a new Nissan Maxima awhile ago. The exhaust manifold kept loosening up and generating a tinny sound. A new car that went in three times and then had a good friend who actually fixed it. Wrote Nissan about the experience. A couple of years later, wife needed a 4 wheel drive sedan. Went to a Subaru dealer. Started the paperwork, turns out the owner was the Nissan guy.

    Next thing I knew, the sales mgr came out and said I could not buy any car on the lot.

    Got one in another unaffiliated dealership…actually saved money.

    So yes, Elon is not alone and not the first.

  2. No excuses for Musk’s reaction, but, out of curiosity and wondering what I would find, I happened to run a quick search of his name. It’s always interesting to see if something, in particular, stands out and serves to explain the rather odd Soup-Nazi-like behavior. Low and behold, Wikipedia mentions that throughput his childhood, Musk was the victim of severe bullying–bullying so severe that it included an incident which resulted in him being thrown down a flight of stairs. The injuries from that attack were serious enough to require his hospitalization. Why do I mention this? Well, of all things to include about Musk’s life and background, Wikipedia found it significant enough to add these details of his past to the limited space devoted to his background, which I interpret as meaning that this bullying played a significant role in his development. It may serve to explain, at least to some extent, why Musk, who is considered to be one of the wealthiest men in the world, would not take kindly to rude or derogatory remarks about his product and/or company, which he may view as a current form of bullying. He may not have been capable of fighting fight back and defending himself as a kid, but he now has the power and the means to exact a version of punishment on those he considers his abusers.

    Just my take on it.

  3. Obviously Mr. Musk can do whatever he wants with his company and his products.

    But it is no longer his company – Tesla is a public company. There are Tesla shareholders and by taking their money, Mr. Musk took on a fiduciary responsibility.

    Turning away a paying customer and generating this kind of negative publicity is not serving his shareholders well.

    In the real world, there will be few consequences to Mr. Musk – except for the fact that the world now knows that Elon Musk does not always honor his obligations to investors who trusted him with their money.

  4. Musk didn’t turn away a paying customer. He substituted one for another with more customers than product. Without these harmless quirks, life would be boring, one millionaire cr*ping on another. It is as it should be. The fight needs to be taken to where the millionaires cr*p on the ‘everyman’.

  5. bam bam, so childhood trauma made him petty and vindictive? Yeah, that happens. Those who are powerless as children seem powder over others.

  6. bam, Great comment and analysis. I surmise many of the tech geeks who have become tycoons to varying degrees have the same background of this a-hole. Does anyone doubt Zuckerberg has a similar background? I have empathy for the pain the victims of bullying carry w/ them. But, there are many victims who do not turn into a-holes like this guy. They need to invest some of their billions in a good shrink.

  7. And we wonder why the corporatists who run this country think that whistle blowers are more deserving of jail time than war criminals!

  8. Google is, in theory, rolling out their high speed fiber in austin tx.
    It was ~promised 3 yrs ago, not a single step or communication goes by that is not a 100% bald faced lie.

  9. The Tesla will never appeal to a wide public – and why should it?

    Musk may have deserved the bullying – and failed to understand that one must bully a bully.

  10. Tesla is just following the lead of the U.S. Government and all the other mad people in authority or otherwise who are demanding the crushing of free speech/the 1st amendment. If only it would work to bully people into submission… Just think of how great that would be.🙂

  11. Surely this man will sue Musk or the company for violating his right to their product, ala the gay’s baker case. The precedent has been set.

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