Tesla Owner's Butt-Dial Proves to Be Costly

Driver trying to get a refund for accidental $4K upgrade, and he's not the first
By John Johnson,  Newser Staff
Posted Oct 8, 2020 1:17 PM CDT
Updated Oct 11, 2020 6:13 AM CDT
Weird Pitfall for Tesla Owners: Pricey Butt-Dials
The Tesla logo.   (AP Photo/David Zalubowski, File)

Tesla makes it pretty easy for owners to get upgrades with snazzy new features for their cars. It's all done via app. But as one driver tells CNBC, the process might be a little too easy. Ali Vaziri says he essentially butt-dialed a $4,280 software upgrade, and now he says he's getting the runaround about a refund. "My phone was in my jeans,” he tells the outlet. "I took it out, put it on this charger that comes with your Tesla and that’s it." A minute later he received a text confirming his errant purchase. The incident happened on Sept. 24, and Vaziri has struck out in multiple attempts to get his money back. CNBC reports this is not the first time a Tesla owner has made such an expensive mistake, and, indeed, the Next Web wrote about a similar incident earlier this year.

In that one, a professor and author by the name of Nassim Nicholas Taleb complained publicly about his own $4,333 error. Eventually, Elon Musk himself tweeted about the incident, declaring that "Tesla refunds in general should be easy to get electronically & certainly through customer service." He said the problem would be addressed, and Taleb got his refund. Both stories recount other examples. The post at TNW notes that part of the problem is that Tesla's customer service department is mostly digital—meaning it's hard to talk to an actual human to explain unusual circumstances. It added that the controversy may force Tesla and other companies to make refund policies easier to navigate in apps, though Vaziri's trouble suggests that hasn't happened. (Read more Tesla stories.)

We use cookies. By Clicking "OK" or any content on this site, you agree to allow cookies to be placed. Read more in our privacy policy.
Get the news faster.
Tap to install our app.
Install the Newser News app
in two easy steps:
1. Tap in your navigation bar.
2. Tap to Add to Home Screen.