Tesla and SpaceX founder Elon Musk has canceled a venture capitalist’s Tesla Motors Model X order after he wrote a blog post criticizing a Tesla event. In the original post on Medium titled “Dear @ElonMusk: You should be ashamed of yourself,” venture capitalist Stewart Alsop wrote of his frustration over a Model X launch event he attended.
Alsop’s gripe was that he drove two and a half hours to the Model X launch event and arrived on time, but then was made to wait 30 minutes outside and then had to wait another hour inside, along with around 3,000 other guests, before being moved to another room where everyone had to wait another 20 minutes for Elon Musk to appear.
“Starting a[t] 7:00pm event at 8:50pm is simply unacceptable, particularly when the invited guests are actually your customers!” Alsop wrote. “But for you to stand up at 8:52pm and not even acknowledge that you have wasted your own customers’ time was insensitive and poor judgement.”
Alsup says when Musk did take the stage, Musk opened with talking about the safety of the Model X. “Yup, you lead with safety, like that’s why we’re all spending $130,000 or more on this car!” Alsop wrote. “So, at 9:00pm, two hours after arriving mostly just to see a Model X up close, I left.”
Alsop goes on to say he feels like he was mistreated. “I had been handed a badge that would let me test drive the model, but my badge number was 1,344. If you started the event one hour and 22 minutes late, I could only imagine that having 1,343 people in front of me to test drive a Model X would have kept me there until, I don’t know, 2:00 AM. I made a tactical decision to give up early without ever actually seeing a Model X.”
He ended his post by saying that while he still wants a Model X, he now wonders if the mismanagement of the Model X launch event signals “other problems in managing Tesla as a company.”
Alsop’s post apparently hit its target—being read by Musk—because soon after Alsop wrote another blog post saying Musk had called him and personally canceled his Model X order after reading the post.
Alsop says Musk told him that he felt the blog post was a personal attack on himself and that as a result he was “not comfortable” having Alsop own a Tesla car. Addressing Musk in the second blog post, Alsop says he is “taken aback” to be banned by Tesla, but mostly, he says, he is sorry not to be able to take part in the “automobile revolution” Tesla started.
“You have created a car company when everybody decided decades ago that it was not possible,” Alsop wrote. “You have challenged the hateful and intimidating distribution system that forces people to be subjected to the hard sell even if they just want to buy a car they know they want. You have innovated on user experience, battery technology, autonomous operation, and virtually every other aspect of the automobile experience today. And you designed and produced a really beautiful and amazing car along the way!”
As for Musk (who I swear has to be the inspiration for Peter Facinelli’s Maxwell Lord on Supergirl), he simply responded on Twitter by writing “Must be a slow news day if denying service to a super rude customer gets this much attention.”
This isn’t the first time that Musk has canceled a customer’s order. In January a Tesla customer says he didn’t get a refurbished Model S he ordered because Musk was using it to test a new version of the company’s Autopilot software.
Tesla then issued a statement saying “Unfortunately, due to human error, a car from our test fleet was offered for sale. We apologize that this led to a frustrating experience. We are working to ensure that it never happens again.”