Rivian R1S Arrival Day
I want to make it known. I’m a huge fan of Rivian. Have been for years. I even made my way into an invite-only Rivian event back in 2019 and got to shake hands with RJ and set my eyes on the R1S and R1T for the first time (see picture above with RJ).
Our experience picking up the R1S was less than ideal, but not everything can be perfect. The point of my article was to provide some feedback that hopefully caught the attention of the Rivian team and prevented someone else from going through a similar experience.
My family member had been waiting nearly 2 years for his vehicle and while he was super excited, I was probably more excited. Several Rivian team members have reached out to my family member since the article. It sounds like we just caught them on an off day. Rivian also sent over some gear, which is way more than we expected.
We greatly appreciate the outreach and the kind gesture. It shows me that Rivian truly cares. Oh, and the R1S is awesome too. Keep up the good work Rivian. We look forward to the future and more adventures.
Original Article 10/2/2023:
One of my family members placed a pre-order for a Rivian R1S back in 2021. After eagerly anticipating it for almost two years, the day finally arrived for us to pick it up at the Denver Service Center this past Saturday. I had built up some Hollywood-style expectations for this special moment. I’ve never purchased a brand-new vehicle, so this was going to be a new experience for me, my family member, and my pumped toddler.
Our pick-up slot was 11am and we showed up around 10:45 with minimal instructions. I had visited the Service Center a few times before, just to catch a glimpse of what was happening, but this time there was the most amount of Rivian’s I had ever seen there. There were even a few Amazon delivery vehicles. The excitement was palpable.
Since my family member had chosen a Glacier White R1S, every white vehicle we saw triggered a playful remark of, "That must be it!" We parked and walked up to the Service Center and this is where things got stale. The Service Center was locked, but we rang the doorbell, and a person, who I assumed was another Rivian customer, opened the door. We proceeded to the Service Center lounge area, where we found several other people waiting, likely in a similar situation. There was a cart with cold coffee, a few tables, additional seating, some books, and Rivian merchandise. A few individuals were milling about, presumably Rivian employees, but it was challenging to discern who was who, and we lacked clear instructions.
We ended up standing around for 15 minutes, gazing about with uncertainty. No one greeted us, and there were no instructions to be found. The only noteworthy event was my toddler accidentally poking himself in the eye while coloring. Finally, a Rivian representative emerged from a door marked "Staff Only" and approached us. They explained that someone would assist us shortly, as they were concluding with another customer. Although it was a little past 11am at this point, we remained patient.
When we finally received our designated representative, we were already bewildered after waiting for 15-20 minutes. Given the nearly two-year wait and the significant financial investment (over $80k) in the vehicle, we had expected a more elaborate experience. Nonetheless, we pressed on, hopeful that things would improve.
My family member breezed through the paperwork in about 10 minutes, which was not a significant issue. Now, it was time for the exciting part – getting the R1S. My expectations may have been overly optimistic, but I had envisioned the vehicle standing front and center, awaiting our arrival. After all this anticipation, I thought we'd walk out to see the R1S right before us, adorned with a "sold" sign hanging from the rearview mirror, knowing this was the one.
However, reality didn't align with my expectations. We stepped outside and approached a white R1S, only to discover it wasn't ours. We walked along the side of the building, checking out one white R1S after another, none of which was ours. It was disheartening that even the staff seemed uncertain about which one was meant for us. Eventually, we arrived at the last vehicle along the side of the building, and there it was – our Glacier White R1S. It looked breathtaking, even better in person. We spent about 15-20 minutes inspecting the vehicle with our Rivian representative, while my toddler explored and, at one point, got a gentle scolding. Nevertheless, the Rivian R1S was finally here, ready to be taken home.
Perhaps my expectations were set too high, but perhaps not. Rivian is renowned for producing exceptional vehicles and building an impressive lifestyle brand. After waiting nearly two years, the pick-up experience left me feeling somewhat let down. I had hoped for a grand celebration, something more than what we encountered – fireworks, confetti, a pick-up day song, anything to make it truly memorable.
For real though, maybe having each person plant a tree in their name, give out some Rivian merch, have some healthy snacks in the lounge, have a TV/Monitor with people's names on it (people like to be acknowledged), have the vehicles out front and center for pick-up, have one of those pull away covers over the vehicles, a big red bow on the hood, etc…
I have immense admiration for what Rivian is accomplishing. Ask any Rivian owner, and you'll likely find they have a deep love for their vehicle and the brand. I simply yearned for that Hollywood movie-worthy, pick-up experience.
End of Rant. I can’t wait to see how the R1S handles the mountain terrain...