If you’re awaiting to receive a Tesla car, you may want to hold back any public complaints, or at least until you receive it.
Stewart Alsop, a Silicon Valley investor and self-proclaimed Tesla (TSLA) enthusiast, wrote in a blog post on Monday that the company had canceled his car order for a Model X. The reason? He criticized Tesla and CEO Elon Musk a few months ago for what he describes as a quite disorganized customer event.
At the time, Alsop wrote that the event, whose goal was to let customers test drive the upcoming Model X, started incredibly late, without any apology from Musk, and was so disorganized that Alsop left without ever getting into the car.
According to Alsop, the two subsequently spoke, and Musk expressed that he’s not comfortable with him owning a Tesla car. And now, he’s canceled Alsop’s order. It’s not clear whether it’s a lifetime ban, though Alsop seems to have accepted he’ll never own one.
We reached out to Alsop and have yet to hear back. A Tesla spokesperson declined to comment, but on Wednesday, Musk tweeted the following:
The incident highlights a tension between Silicon Valley companies and entrepreneurs who lash out at any criticism (often calling into question the source’s ethics, motives, and competence), and the Internet’s ability to act as a megaphone for virtually anything.
Software developer and writer Dave Winer says in his reaction to Alsop’s situation, a company’s “job is to please people like Stewart, not ban them.” But The Verge notes Alsop has history of publicly posting his criticism of companies, which is likely warranted in many cases, but also opens him to whatever reaction the company chooses.