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When brands boycott customers

Who said the customer is always right? For years customer service workers have had to deal with rude customers, receiving abuse with smiles on their faces, because of that silly old saying which has been beaten into them by their superiors. But Tesla has just proved that for its brand, the saying is irrelevant, and if the customer is going to throw a paddy, then it ain’t going to get the goods.

The man involved, Stewart Alsop, (self-described venture capital investor, foodie and fly fisher) critiqued Tesla CEO Elon Musk in a lengthy blog post for starting the launch event for its new car, Model X, two hours late and not providing food.

“So, at 9:00pm, two hours after arriving mostly just to see a Model X up close, I left. I was angry. (Not to mention I was hungry, since you didn’t even provide real food during dinner time!) I feel like I was mislead and mistreated.”

He ended the piece with, “It would still be nice if you showed some class and apologized to the people who believe in this product.”

It also had a couple of great comments:

Apparently, Tesla didn’t take kindly to Aslop’s complaints and instead removed him from the waiting list for the exclusive car.

Aslop wrote in a follow up post that Musk called him and told him he was not comfortable with having Aslop own a Tesla car.

“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. And in the many articles and posts I have written criticizing products, companies and people, I have never been banned from doing business with any of the companies!”

What’s the lesson here? Even the rich and famous can be barred from buying a product if they’re too rude. 

  • This story first appeared on our sister publication The Register.

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