Most of us have been accidentally double-charged for something. While getting a few dollars refunded is a bit inconvenient, the process takes on a lot more urgency when it’s $71,000. That’s the situation facing some Tesla customers who have been charged twice for their new electric vehicles.
Southern California residents Tom Slattery, Christopher T. Lee, and Clark Peterson told CNBC that they experienced duplicate debit charges from Tesla, with amounts ranging from $37,000 to $71,000.
In the case of Lee, aka “Everyday Chris” on YouTube, two sums of $56,579 were transferred from his account after he purchased a Model Y. Tesla said there was no record of this and told him to call his bank.
Lee struggled to find someone at Tesla who would deal with the error and was forced to go to a nearby service center for an email address of someone in the finance department at the Freemont offices. He’s still waiting for a refund.
Slattery was charged $53,000 twice. According to his tweet, at least 400 other buyers have been double-charged. He couldn’t get any answers by calling the company, forcing him to drive to the Tesla Burbank, California, store and speak to staff.
“They told me to call my bank and have my bank reverse the charge. That was not acceptable. When you debit more than $50,000 and tell a customer to solve it on their own? I kept pushing,” he said.
Slattery is still waiting for a refund. He says until it arrives, he will refuse to accept the 2021 Model Y, which didn’t show up during the estimated delivery period.
Peterson experienced a similar problem after he bought the same model. Again, he was advised by the company to call his bank. “I said the money has left my account. I’m pretty familiar with the way wire transfers work. When the money’s gone the money’s gone! He was insistent I should call my bank. So I did. They confirmed like no, the money is in Tesla’s account now. We cannot do anything about that until we hear from them.”
“For a company that has so much technology skill, to have this happening to multiple people really raises questions,” Peterson added.
Two other customers told CNBC they also experienced duplicate charges after buying a Tesla. One of them must now pay overdraft fees and finance charges on credit card bills at the end of the month.