Imagine saving up for your dream car, only to be charged twice when you come to pay for it.
That’s bad enough, but then imagine not knowing where or who to turn to, to get your money back.
This is an affliction facing a host of new Tesla owners at the moment, according to a report by CBNC published earlier this week.
One buyer told CNBC that they paid $37,000 extra, while another reportedly had $71,000 removed from their bank account on top of what they already paid for their car.
Those affected have said the funds were taken without warning, and have had a more than difficult time trying to find out how to get their money back.
Things @Tesla has done for me in the past 2 days: 1) stolen 5 figures directly from my bank account, and that of at least 400 other buyers 2) not delivered the car that was promised yesterday and paid for (TWICE, as it turns out) 3) provided zero contact. Thanks, @elonmusk !
— Tom Slattery (@retranslattery) March 27, 2021
It seems that Tesla’s double charging problems stem from its use of an automated clearing house (ACH) system for online payments.
Unlike conventional car sellers where you walk into a dealership and talk finance until the cows come home, Tesla prefers to do most of its selling online for cash.
ACH systems do have features which can enable multiple payments, it seems that this occurred when it shouldn’t have.
In Tom Slattery’s case, from the tweet above, he pushed Tesla for five days and is still awaiting any kind of refund or reassurance from the EV maker that his money will be returned.
Some affected have reported being told to ask their bank to reverse the charge, which is extra hassle for the consumer and will take longer than a direct refund from the Silver T.
This is yet another incident to put on the list of bad things that have happened to customers because Tesla is super keen on pushing the boundaries of rational convention.
Customers have previously spent thousands by accidentally “butt dialing” the EV maker and upgrading their vehicle, even though they didn’t intend to.
In those cases, the unfortunate Tesla owners also struggled to get their money back until author and intellectual Nassim Nicholas Taleb escalated things on Twitter, where he has over 700k followers.
Hopefully those double charged by Tesla won’t have to wait much longer before getting their money back. They certainly don’t have anything to worry about from a legal point of view.
It just sucks, and isn’t something anyone should have to deal with. You’d think a company that has sent a Roadster into space could figure out how to do online payments properly. It’s not like its CEO ever had anything to do with that before.
Come on Tesla, do better.
Update April 8, 2021, 0917CEST: Tesla has done better. As Engadget reported yesterday, Tesla has refunded the customers that it double charged. Refunds
The EV makers has given them $200 to spend at its online store. While that’s better than nothing, if it were me, I’d still be feeling pretty salty.
It’s still unclear what exactly went wrong here, but let’s hope the Silver T has learned from what happened: refund customers swiftly, and don’t send them round the houses looking for an answer.
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