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Tesla Customer Care 'Horrendous,' Model 3 Owner Says After Butt-Dialing Autopilot Upgrade

Shivdeep Dhaliwal
·2 min read

An owner of a Model 3 vehicle made by Tesla Inc (NASDAQ: TSLA) said that he accidentally purchased a $4,280 software upgrade for the sedan due to butt dialing and couldn't get the automaker to issue a refund.

What Happened: The Model 3 owner Ali Vaziri noticed he had accidentally purchased the self-driving feature after being notified by his bank on Sept. 24, CNBC reported Wednesday.

Vaziri had a credit card link to the Tesla app to pay monthly fees for "premium connectivity," but he otherwise never made — or, intended to make — a purchase in the app. He only noticed the autopilot upgrade after he took the phone of his jeans to put it on charging.  

Vaziri contacted his local Tesla store and service center moments after he received the payment notification but has had trouble getting refunded.

“The car has been great since I’ve had it. But this has been a nightmare,” Vaziri told CNBC. "The customer service is horrendous."

The Model 3 owner alleged that he has not been provided a refund or a confirmation number or e-mail to acknowledge his calls seeking one. 

Why It Matters: Multiple Tesla customers have come forward with complaints of “butt dial” purchases this year.

In January, author Nassim Nicholas Taleb spoke out on Twitter regarding his own troubles with Tesla’s customer support and an accidental purchase.

In response, Musk said on Twitter, “Tesla refunds in general should be easy to get electronically [and] certainly through customer service.” and promised that the issue would be “addressed.”

Taleb told CNBC he had received a full refund but only after he “raised hell on Twitter.”

Another Tesla customer Stefan Peterson also tweeted on an accidental $2,000 purchase he made due to the “butt dial” issue. Musk simply replied, “Trust [your] butt haha.”

Apple Inc (NASDAQ: AAPL) told CNBC that in-app purchases should be completed only after getting specific confirmation from the user in the form of a password or through biometric input. 

Tesla has reportedly carried out some improvements to its app interface, including, making users tick a box on the upgrades menu.

The company has also changed its policy to allow for refunds for upgrades within two days of purchase. 

Price Action: Tesla shares closed almost 2.7% higher at $425.30 on Wednesday and gained nearly 0.5% in the after-hours session.

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