A venture capital investor has been banned from buying a Tesla Model X by company CEO Elon Musk. Stewart Alsop, who has a history with Musk, wrote a post on Medium entitled “Dear @ElonMusk: You should be ashamed of yourself,” in which he detailed how he and others had been invited to an event to showcase the Model X electric car, which was slated to begin at 7pm.
Every member of the crowd had paid a $5,000 deposit on a pre-order for the Model X, and was expecting to be given a test drive of the electric vehicle. After being made to wait close to two hours for Musk to show up – sans apology – Stewart was given a token to determine his place in the queue for his test drive: no. 1344. After calculating that he would have to wait until about 2am for his go in Model X, Stewart chose to go home, instead writing his critical blog post.
“You should have apologized right then, but you didn’t,” Stewart wrote. “You have our email addresses, since we’re all the people who put a $5,000 deposit on your new Model X. When I was invited to the launch event, I was excited to hear that I could drive to the factory and see and touch a new Model X, even if I’ll have to wait another 3–4 months to actually get mine.”
Instead of apologising, though, Musk threw his toys out of the pram and banned Stewart from ever purchasing a Tesla Model X. In a follow-up Medium post, entitled “Banned by Tesla!“, Stewart revealed: “Dear @ElonMusk: Thank you for reaching out to me. I heard from our phone conversation that you feel that my post, “Dear @ElonMusk: You should be ashamed of yourself”, was a personal attack on you. I also hear that you are not comfortable having me own a Tesla car and have cancelled my order for a Tesla Model X.”
“It’s funny because I wasn’t acting in my old role as a press pundit critiquing companies and their executives. I have done that a lot over the last 30+ years and am used to having CEOs of companies get upset with me,” Stewart continued. “In this case, I was actually just a customer who felt he had been ignored at an event designed for customers and ripped off the odd post about that event.”
It seems that Stewart and Musk aren’t entirely strangers, though; the pair were involved in discussions over PayPal funding back in 1999, according to Techly, a deal Stewart chose to walk away from.
Musk appeared pretty apathetic over the whole affair, tweeting:
Must be a slow news day if denying service to a super rude customer gets this much attention
— Elon Musk (@elonmusk) February 3, 2016