Here 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: