Cancelling Your Model 3 Refund? Expect Delays Due To "System Failures," "IT Issues" Or "Database Errors"

Tyler Durden's picture

Back in March 2016, Elon Musk triggered every snowflake in America into action with the announcement of his 'affordable' Model 3 that would deliver at least 215 miles of driving, starting at just $35,000.  Within a matter of weeks, pretty much everyone in the country who could afford to scrape together $1,000 managed to put down a deposit on a car they wouldn't be able to drive for a couple of years as if they were simply buying the latest version of the iPhone.

But while Tesla was all too eager to take in those $1,000 deposits, if you count yourself among the growing number of people who suddenly want their money back you shouldn't expect the return process to be quite as seamless. 

As Wired points out today, while customers have been promised that their Model 3 deposits are refundable in 3 weeks and right up until their car goes into production, many are finding out that it's not quite that easy in reality.  In fact, one customer interviewed by Wired, Shashank Chitti, has been waiting for his deposit for 2.5 months now and still has no idea when his claim will be rectified.

Fortunately, Tesla makes it easy to ask for your money back; the company’s website says deposit holders can cancel at any time. Per the company's Model 3 Reservation FAQ, “Refunds can take up to three weeks depending on your country of delivery.”


At least that's how it's supposed to work.


Shashank Chitti, who still has not received his refund, disagrees. "Tesla seems disorganized," he says. "Based on this experience and
others that I've read about, it sounds like when things go well, owning a Tesla would be awesome — but they would be a nightmare to deal with otherwise."


Chitti cancelled his reservation on May 17, 2017. He says he was tired of waiting and frustrated by Tesla's lack of transparency. Yet more than two months later, he hasn't received his refund. "Every time I reach out I get the same explanation: They have a lot of cancellations to process, they'll prioritize my request, and that my refund should go out in the next batch," he says.



Meanwhile, Chitti's experience has hardly been unique as many customers have recently taken to Twitter to complain about similar problems with getting their refunds returned on a timely basis.

In a poll posted to the popular Tesla Motors Forum, a majority of respondents reported waiting more than a month to receive their reimbursement. On other message boards, claims of 5-, 6-, and 7-week waits are common, and many say they’ve held out even longer. “It has been three months,” wrote /r/teslamotors user UnDosTresPescao on Reddit on July 3. “I have called/emailed them several times over the last month and a half asking about status. Every time they ask for my address and say that a check will be promptly on its way. The check never comes.”


This seems as good a place as any to disclose that I, too, was once a Model 3 reservation holder. I cancelled my deposit in April, when an honest evaluation of my transportation needs forced me to concede that the last thing I need in life is a new car. Tesla took just shy of three months to refund my deposit, which I received soon after the company caught wind of me reporting this piece.


So, what's the issue?  Apparently it's just a series of very unfortunate "system failures," "IT issues" and/or "database errors."

In email correspondence between Tesla and deposit-holders that WIRED reviewed, customer service representatives supplied a variety of explanations for late refunds. Two blamed a third-party error. Others said Tesla had received more reimbursement requests than it could see to in a timely fashion. Several stated that a "system failure," "IT issue," or "database error" within Tesla had interfered with the company's ability to process payments.

Of course, we're quite certain that the issue has nothing to do with the fact that the perpetually cash hemorrhaging company essentially managed to fund their business plan with a free $400 million dollar loan from customers and are now unwilling to part with their 0% financing.

Comment viewing options

Select your preferred way to display the comments and click "Save settings" to activate your changes.
Rick Cerone's picture

Musk could be the first to sell his cars for Bitcoin.

remain calm's picture

Elon now taking Lithium as payment.

silverer's picture

You knew we'd get a charge out of that.

Arnold's picture

Amazon does not have capacity for Tesla delivery via drone yet.
Seriously, taking away free charging, purchase subsidy
and nebulous delivery dates is a buzz kill, on a marginal product that Chevy meets and matches, Volvo will beat, and the Krauts will bury, in the niche.

Like the Edsel, it is over priced and obsolete before it comes onto the market

stacking12321's picture

Don't need drone, they are self-driving, have the car deliver itself.

Jim Sampson's picture

They can't get their money back because Musk already spent it.  You don't do something like this unless you don't have A. enough inventory or B. enough cash

Stanley Kubrick's picture

Get yer money back?


Sorry, Suckers.

Stanley Kubrick's picture

Get yer money back?


Sorry, Suckers.

not dead yet's picture

Or C. The amount of "orders" for the 3 has been a fantastic PR boost for Tesla. Almost every article about Tesla mentions those "orders" and how fantastic the future of Tesla is because of them. To admit there are huge numbers of cancellations would be a PR blow and cash flow disaster and would crater the stock price.

Arnold's picture

I believe that if I was paid to take one, I would take it apart, put it in the cellar and use it a supplemental power supply.

It would run the sump pump and mini beer cooler for several hours during power outages.

Oh, and a comfortable entertainment center, as from what I am told , the decapitated guy was watching a Harry Potter movie when his self driving feature ran under a semi trailer.

I already have Netflix so 9/10 there..

TahoeBilly2012's picture

Cheap oil has clearly been a challenge, but that could change.

GUS100CORRINA's picture

Cancelling Your Model 3 Refund? Expect Delays Due To "System Failures," "IT Issues" Or "Database Errors"

My respoonse: This "EV" thing reminds me of the TULIP mania. 

Does the word PONZI apply here?

Cancelling Your Model 3 Refund? Expect Delays Due To 'WE DON'T HAVE YOUR MONEY ANYMORE, IT IS SPENT!!!"

PrezTrump's picture

Now that is stupid.  EVs of other OEMs are dead flat line in sales.  TSLA is like AAPL in terms of cult following / product quality.  It remains to be seen if they will crash and burn with subsidies being pulled.  Doubt it though.  Junk bonds.

remain calm's picture

Thanks for explaining my joke captain obvious. FYI, Li+ is a mood stabilizer as oppossed to an antidepressants.

Zarbo's picture

"Elon now taking Lithium as payment."

The announcement that he is bipolar probably makes your statement a slick joke.   

Raffie's picture

His car keeps doing the blue screen of death. LOL...

DOS 5 was stable so why not use that.

Jubal Early's picture

That might work for cryptos too.  Keep your wallet on DOS 5.

PlayMoney's picture

Charles Ponzi would be proud.

Dr. Engali's picture

AAAAAAnnnnnnd...., it's gone.

Doom Porn Star's picture

...Right into Elon Musk's private off-shore tax sheltered accounts.

Arnold's picture

Yes, South Africa seems to be a safe haven.

Jim Shoesesta's picture

Cut this clowns tax credits and breaks, now, today, this instant. 

silverer's picture

Well, Elon did admit he's bipolar.

rp2016's picture

is the bottom falling apart?

chrsn's picture

Tesla itself may be bipolar as well

Arnold's picture

Positive and negative.
The question remains unsolved; which way do the holes flow?

Bunga Bunga's picture

Will the Model 3 come with similar "system failures" too?

silverer's picture

It depends on how fast their IT guy can sell his real estate and get out of the country.

shizzledizzle's picture

Shashank Chitti?! 

RafterManFMJ's picture

His dads favorite film was Shawshank Redemption, while his Mother's was Chitty Chitty Bang Bang.

TheAnswerIs42's picture

Chitti Cab?

Oh, the irony...


HRH Feant2's picture

Glad someone else said it! Fuck I couldn't focus on the article because of that name! Who the fuck names their kid that? Oh, I know. Niggers.

True Contrarian's picture

That is one ugly car.

wisefool's picture

Don't worry. Elon is going to "go through the byte code" just like he did after a few of the falconX crashes.

Its a scam folks. As is everything associated with this highly functioning 80 I.Q. Werner Van Braun Doppleganger. (who was also a spoiled trust fund kid that TPTB used like the fanciest toliet brush they ever invented.)

  1. If you are in on the scam, you can read the signals.
  2. If you are not in on it, they are rubbing it in your face.
  3. One nice thing about the teachings of the prophets of the good religions is that if you don't have anything for them to swindle or take by force, you can let it all pass you by.
Sokhmate's picture

++. Item#3 is Words of wisdom sir. and all one needs.

XBroker1's picture

Model 3 rhymes w/ Model T. Just a 'coincidence' I'm certain. lolz

It also has the hoax code baked in, just got to fkp the M sideways to get the '33'.

farmboy's picture

The Tesla 3 looks like a damp slipper but if you add 25.000 $ to the basic model of 35.000 $ you get the unique tesla features.

No wonder.

gdpetti's picture

Pyramid schemes always end like this.... the inability to pay out anyone that gets cold feet.... maybe Bernie Madoff can help out?

Righttoarmbears's picture

i have little to no sympathy for anyone who gave this particular snake oil salesman any money.

a fool and his money :)

not dead yet's picture

For a huge segment of the "buyers" they were hoping to get in line early and then hope some dope would come along and give him a premium to get his spot. Though Elon got their cash the "buyers" were hoping to cash in on their bets. Thus those that now realize no sucker is coming along to enrich them they want their cash back. I love how the media was so stupid to promote the idea that a grand down and refundable was a solid order.

Righttoarmbears's picture

First rule of betting/investing/speculating. never invest money your not willing to lose as it will go wrong at some point,

still don't have any sympathy for them :)

Automatic Choke's picture

Elon will refund as soon as he can lay his hands on the cash.   I'm pretty sure I saw him yesterday down on the corner of #### and %%%%%, holding a cardboard sign and collecting quarters from friendly drivers.

DonFromWyoming's picture

Maybe he can ask Bernie Madoff for some advice on how to dodge jail for a few more years.

medium giraffe's picture

"It's in the post"

Bwaaaa hahahahahahaha!  Classic!

RafterManFMJ's picture

I pre-orderd a Tesla 3 and Star Citizen; how fucked am I?

medium giraffe's picture

The curse of early adoption.

As a youngster I did all manner of stupid things.  One of my more stupid undertakings was to scale high cliffs with my friends and then jump into the sea.  There were a lot of large rock formations just below the waves.  I developed a strategy of never jumping first.  When the other idiot came up unscathed, I would aim for exactly the same spot as he took.  Thus, I recieved early preperation for a career in IT management.

bluskyes's picture

This is just the bucket of icy cold water that these sleep-walking depositors need.