Customers here are being double charged and Tesla isn't providing refunds.
Tesla has never liked to play by the so-called "rules" set by mainstream automakers. It has and will continue to forge its own path. Achieving the status of the world's most valuable automaker is proof it's doing (most) things right. Typically, customer satisfaction is very high but now there's a growing problem that has yet to be fixed. CNBC has uncovered several cases of customers in Southern California that were double charged and have yet to receive refunds.
It appears the problem can be pinpointed to bank wire transfers, automated clearing house (ACH) transfers, and the newly launched Bitcoin payment method. Those who opted for the ACH transfer were billed the same amount they agreed to pay for their vehicle twice. This was done automatically without notice or authorization.
Making matter worse is that Tesla's refund policy is causing them major headaches. Tesla customer service representatives are instructing affected buyers to speak to their banks about blocking the double payment. The banks, however, explain that once the money has left an account there's nothing they can do until Tesla authorizes a refund. Once it does, refunding the full amount could take up to a month. Tesla promised some customers refunds over the phone and nothing has happened. Getting that promise in writing has also proved impossible.
So imagine this scenario: you just spilled out over $50,000 for a new Tesla Model Y and opted to pay the full amount up front. Then you get double billed.
The lack of money in your account is causing overdraft fees, inability to access cash and credit to buy essentials like, you know, food, and to pay your bills. One customer who's also in the process of buying a new home cannot bid on a house or secure a mortgage at a desirable rate until they're issued a refund. The list of financial problems is endless and Tesla has done nothing to resolve what's clearly a bug in the system.
We'd reach out to Tesla for comment but it shut down its PR department months ago. In the meantime, potential new Tesla buyers in the Los Angeles and San Diego areas should perhaps hold off until the automaker refunds customers' money and permanently fixes the problem.