Tesla Customers Report Being Charged Double on New Cars

Tesla Walnut Creek Retail store.
©Alexis Georgeson

Several Tesla buyers say the company double-charged them for their new electric cars, according to a report from CNBC.

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“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!” one of these Tesla buyers, Tom Slateery, posted on Twitter.

Slattery told CNBC that on March 24, he received a text from Tesla saying the car he had ordered in January could be delivered to his home in one to three days via the company’s “contactless” delivery service.

The following day, Slattery found his bank account “depleted by nearly $53,000 more than he expected — the sum he agreed to pay for a long-range, all-wheel-drive, 2021 Tesla Model Y. It would be a second Tesla for his family,” according to CNBC.

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According to CNBC, the affected buyers’ amounts taken from their accounts range from $37,000, the price of a base version 2021 Tesla Model 3 sedan, to around $71,000, the price of a 2021 Tesla Model Y crossover SUV with premium options.

For consumers who are double-charged, “the best thing is to go back to the merchant and let them know an error occurred. Ask them to reverse or refund the money. That should be the easiest way,” Dave Excell, founder of Featurespace, a financial crime prevention technology company, told CNBC.

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Contacting a bank to ask them to try to reverse the transaction could also work, but it might take longer and would require the bank to coordinate with merchants, he added.

Engadget reports that as of yesterday, the customers mentioned in the CNBC report have yet to receive their refunds, and all have refused to take delivery until the problem is resolved. “This was not some operator error,” Clark Peterson, another Tesla customer who bought a $71,000 Model Y, told Engadget. “And for a company that has so much technology skill, to have this happening to multiple people really raises questions.”

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        About the Author

        Yaël Bizouati-Kennedy is a full-time financial journalist and has written for several publications, including Dow Jones, The Financial Times Group, Bloomberg and Business Insider. She also worked as a vice president/senior content writer for major NYC-based financial companies, including New York Life and MSCI. Yaël is now freelancing and most recently, she co-authored  the book “Blockchain for Medical Research: Accelerating Trust in Healthcare,” with Dr. Sean Manion. (CRC Press, April 2020) She holds two master’s degrees, including one in Journalism from New York University and one in Russian Studies from Université Toulouse-Jean Jaurès, France.
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