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Tesla has refunded customers who were double-charged for new electric cars in mid-March, and has offered them $200 in credit at its online store, six people told CNBC on Wednesday.
Tesla refunded the extra money about a week after the customers told CNBC that Tesla had charged them twice without authorization and left them with bills of up to $142,000.
The customers said they received the money back on their double charges on or before April 1, but that they also had to pay for overdraft fees from their large bills.
Elon Musk’s car company sent the overcharged customers an email, which they shared with CNBC, that apologized and gave them $200 in credit. Tesla said the credit must be used in a single transaction, would expire on January 30, 2022, and couldn’t be spent on Tesla Tequila.
Tesla didn’t immediately respond to Insider’s request for comment.
Three California-based Tesla customers first shared their stories with CNBC in March. CNBC’s journalists reviewed their purchase agreements, correspondence with Tesla, and bank statements.
Clark Peterson, Tom Slattery, and Christopher T. Lee initially told CNBC they had purchased Teslas ranging from $37,000, the price of a Model 3 sedan, to $71,000, the cost of a Model Y crossover SUV with premium features.
A former banking executive from North Carolina, who wanted to remain anonymous for privacy reasons, also told CNBC he was charged twice for a new Model Y costing about $54,000.
These buyers all authorized the payment of their brand-new electric vehicles through ACH direct debit, but the next day found that the money had been taken from their account twice, meaning in total they had spent between $74,000 and $142,000 on the cars.
Now they’ve been refunded, they said Tesla customer service needs to improve.
Peterson told CNBC: “While happy to have the whole situation sorted, I still feel that the response time was inadequate. 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.”
Another Tesla customer, Terry Oelschlaeger, told Insider he was also double-charged for a Tesla Model Y costing $53,993.70 on March 25. He shared his bank statement with Insider, showing a duplicate charge for a new car.
Oelschlaeger said he phoned the company three times to complain and drove to a Tesla service center in California, where an employee told him the error had impacted “many” buyers.
The company told him the refund would arrive in his bank account in one to three business days. He eventually received a payment in full from Tesla on March 31.
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