Why did it take so long?
No automaker is perfect, though some so-called Tesla fanboys will wholeheartedly disagree. Mistakes happen and it's up to that company to rectify them in a timely manner. Unfortunately, it's taken Tesla far too long to settle the little matter of double charging several customers.
The fiasco began earlier this year when CNBC uncovered far too many instances where buyers, many of whom purchased a new Tesla Model Y, were charged twice for their purchases without notice or authorization. Tesla's customer service representatives were less than helpful. Some promised refunds that never materialized while others instructed affected buyers to ask their banks to block the double payment.
Banks can't do that once the money leaves the account and Tesla authorizes the refund, which it wasn't doing. These customers could not pay their bills, apply for mortgages, and, in some cases, couldn't get access to cash until Tesla fixed things. It's finally done that.
Some of these customers had to wait a week to receive their refunds after their first complaint. Refunds were also issued for overdraft fees. It took a bit longer for others but all are still upset at the company for making the process so hard, frustrating, and incredibly stressful. The $200 credit Tesla gave them for its online store and an apology email feel like a slap in the face.
"While happy to have the whole situation sorted, I still feel that the response time was inadequate," one owner said. "It took days before Tesla had any kind of response, and they were holding our significant funds the whole time. And it took them five minutes to take those funds from our account."
The refunds should have happened immediately once customers notified Tesla of the situation, but the double billing never should have occurred in the first place. The combination of poor customer service, no PR department, and the slow refund time has forced these customers to rethink whether getting a Tesla was really worth it.
"Anything reasonable done quickly would have been completely fine," another angry customer said. "But I've learned that Tesla's culture is that they care about the stock price and not customers."