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Should the ordering process be hands-on or hands-off

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I’m an early adopter of most things, and am awaiting delivery of my R1T after ordering in May 2019. So I’m a fan.

However…
I’ve owned multiple Tesla’s and just recently purchased a Model Y for our family. To do so, I clicked a few buttons on their website, then was switched to the app and uploaded a few docs. 3 weeks later the Y was delivered and it only took about 20 mins to pick it up. All in, the process might have taken 1 hour of time.

Contrast that with Rivian:
I’ve spent at least an hour on chat over the past few months trying to figure out when I might get a guide assigned - so that i could make plans to sell my existing car and arrange financing/insurance, etc. As well all know, those chats were useless.

Once I had a guide, it took me about 25 text messages and few emails to coordinate my introductory call. The call s supposed to be 45 minutes… for what? The call actually took about 20 mins and was really just to confirm my order details and then the guide started trying to convince me that electric cars are the future. He even told me a story about how he was skeptical at first but has been converted. Why was the story telling necessary, why is the call necessary at all?

From there I waited a few days for a fairly janky delivery of the Preliminary Buyers Agreement via email links that felt a bit like DocuSign with Rivian branding. The docs then get emailed to me in a zip file which I can download. This seems like 2015 tech.

Now, I’m waiting again. No estimate of when the next step occurs…

The point I’m getting at here is that if Rivian is to deliver 25,000 trucks this year they need to to seriously streamline this process. I realize they are just getting going and have had delays, but the reasons given were product related - not customer interaction processes. The delays in product timing should have been used to find a way to deliver the product as quickly as possible once it was ready. This process is flawed In my opinion.

1. How many Guides does it take to spend hours with each of the 75,000 pre-order holders?
2. How much capital does that take?
3. Why is this process mandatory? I would think most early adopters have all the info they need to sign a buying document - through the app, in a integrated process - without hand holding. The real goal of direct to consumer should be to streamline the sales process, not make it the same but different.
4. Why is it so hard to simply provide a delivery time line include of the necessary steps? i.e. Sign this, and then 2 weeks later this, happens, and then this.

Again, I’m a fan. the truck is amazing, and I can’t wait to get mine! But RIVN is going to be in 30’s for a looooong time if they don’t speed up and improve the enitre delivery process.
I agree the process as described is a bit complicated and I suspect it will smooth out and speed up as time goes on.

Rivian plans on producing approximately 15,000 R1s and is committed to Amazon to deliver 10,000 EDVs. Also, the last reporting had the pre orders at 83,000.

Parts supply has clearly been publicly communicated by Rivian to be the limiter for production with battery supply warning. My point is that with trickle production for the foreseeable future Rivian has enough guides. There are also a bag full of possible reasons for the slow delivery.

I too am a big Rivian fan that thinks they are doing the best they can controlling what they can control.
 

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Sounds like we are on the same page. I suspect the reason for the extra in person discussions is related to the PR problem they encountered with the price hike business. They may also just be learning what we are all worried about to try getting a handle on being efficient at the same time as not pissing anybody off (assuming this is possible). In the end this is small stuff compared to dealing with the circular supply chain shenannigans RJ is describing, withholding orders because of a lack of a track record.
No parts, no R1. Everything else is noise.
 
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