Some Tesla customers report that their bank accounts have been double-charged by Tesla when their vehicles were delivered. When they attempted to contact Tesla about the issue, they say the company attempted to direct them back to their banks to have the charge reversed.
One affected customer, who identified himself as Tom Slattery, says that he tried to work directly with Tesla after the company charged him a total of $106,000 when he had only authorized a charge of $53,000. He reports that Tesla’s customer service gave him the runaround and ended up telling him only to contact his bank about the issue. Slattery says that he is still waiting on a refund.
Another customer who has a YouTube channel titled “Everyday Chris” got an entire video of Tesla giving him the runaround about the same issue.
Such double-charges are a rare but not unheard-of problem in the financial industry. They can happen without much warning or attempt at authorization for the extra charge. For a major purchase like an electric vehicle, such charges can lead to serious issues for consumers, who suddenly find themselves tens of thousands of dollars short.
The double charge can usually be reversed by contacting the bank, but often require a waiting period of several business days while the bank investigates the matter and usually works with the company to get the money back. Tesla seems to be giving the banks a runaround, as well.
How Can This Issue Be Avoided?
Two words: Use Bitcoin. Tesla recently began accepting Bitcoin for Tesla purchases. Although this has sparked some speculation on the part of users of other cryptocurrencies like Dogecoin, there is no word on whether it plans to add more. However, Bitcoin is a good start.
On the one hand, Bitcoin transactions are irreversible unless the recipient chooses to send you a refund. On the other, it is impossible for Tesla, or anyone else, to double-charge you. The money you send them through Bitcoin is what they get. The below videos and steps to take should help you get started.
Step One: Save up for your car.
This can be done through periodic purchases of Bitcoin using an exchange that operates in your area. If you live in the United States, Gemini is one of the best. Or you can save up in your local fiat currency and buy the Bitcoin all at once when you’re ready.
(Be cautious either way, though. The price of Bitcoin is still highly volatile and recently hit all-time highs of over $50,000. I’ve heard of people losing their houses because they invested too much during Bitcoin’s last ATH in 2017, and then the market crashed.)
Step Two: Get the Bitcoin on your own device, and watch out for the fees.
The next step is to get your Bitcoin on your own device using a Bitcoin wallet like Mycelium or Coinomi. Be sure you have the Bitcoin address in your wallet handy when you’re ready to make the transfer. This video should help you get started if you haven’t already set up your wallet. (And don’t forget to write down your seed phrase in case the app or device go belly-up!)
The fees to use Bitcoin have been a serious complaint among cryptocurrency users over the past few years, and has also been a major reason that many OG Bitcoin supporters jumped over to the similar cryptocurrency called Bitcoin Cash. Fees to buy Bitcoin, transfer it to your device, and then use it to buy your car. So be sure to plan for the fees when obtaining enough Bitcoin to pay for your car.
This is probably the major reason that cryptocurrency insiders are hopeful that Tesla will add more cryptocurrency options. The Top 20 cryptocurrencies (besides Bitcoin and Ethereum) are likely to have better fees. It should be noted, though, that cryptocurrencies with names similar to Bitcoin (which goes by the ticker symbol of BTC) are not compatible with Bitcoin. If you send Bitcoin Cash or Bitcoin SV to a Bitcoin address, you will lose your funds.
Step Three: Buy your car.
Having your Bitcoin on your phone and scanning a QR code when you’re ready to buy your Tesla and reach that prompt is definitely the way to go here, especially if you’re new to cryptocurrency.
It’s certainly possible that using Bitcoin to buy your Tesla can open up its own can of worms, especially possible concerns about taxes. However, it might be worth it to avoid Tesla’s current double-spend problem.
The especially important thing here is to not let Tesla, or anybody else, double-charge you for your purchase. If in doubt, you might wait to buy your vehicle until Tesla has had a chance to sort out this issue, if it ever does. Even then, use Bitcoin.