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My $250 deposit [why can I not get my deposit back?]

jjrandorin

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But just for my personal understanding, what's the use of asking for 500$ if they give it back to you no questions asked? Apart from the fact you're lending them 500$ for a little while, they gain nothing at all. And it doesn't prevent most people from reserving something they don't really want just in case they change their mind since they know they can get the money back. I just don't see the value in it so I'm hoping someone can enlighten me.

Its to get someone invested in it, and gauge actual interest. When there is no money exchanged, unfortunately "humans being humans" there will be a lot of people who would order with no intention of ever picking up said order.

Same reason why dealers will ask for credit applications for a test drive on certain vehicles when the latest "fast n furious" movie comes out or if they want to verify someone is able to actually buy the car they are looking at.

Not common on a hyundai, but if someone goes to test drive a fully specced out BMW M8 something, and the dealer looks at them and doesnt either already have a relationship with them or have evidence that "they are in that weight class" so to speak, they will start throwing up roadblocks like "we dont allow test drives on that vehicle" or "we only do test drives with a credit application.

Same deal here. A few people ruin stuff for everyone else (why we dont have a return policy on tesla vehicles right now, in my opinion, or why they have this "order fee" policy, which still hasnt stopped people from trying to flip reservations, when tesla raises prices and does the right thing and doesnt raise prices on pre existing orders. People still try to take advantage and flip reservations etc with bogus excuses.)
 

zhu-

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Oct 24, 2018
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But just for my personal understanding, what's the use of asking for 500$ if they give it back to you no questions asked? Apart from the fact you're lending them 500$ for a little while, they gain nothing at all. And it doesn't prevent most people from reserving something they don't really want just in case they change their mind since they know they can get the money back. I just don't see the value in it so I'm hoping someone can enlighten me.
Because it's an interest free loan for Tesla. There were 500k reservations of the Model 3 at launch - I don't remember the reservation price but at $500 that's $250M which was a significant difference maker for them at the time. Now with well over $2B in free cash they don't need loans so just pocketing a smaller deposit to cover whatever support/sales expense there might be.

Regarding OP's situation, there is a difference between having the car be ready for pickup and you declining vs it being indefinitely delayed. While there's no obligation to refund, doing so out of good faith seems like the better move - especially for a customer who's also invested in their solar products. Even traditional dealerships often waive initial deposits on orders for repeat customers.
 
Because it's an interest free loan for Tesla. There were 500k reservations of the Model 3 at launch - I don't remember the reservation price but at $500 that's $250M which was a significant difference maker for them at the time. Now with well over $2B in free cash they don't need loans so just pocketing a smaller deposit to cover whatever support/sales expense there might be.

Regarding OP's situation, there is a difference between having the car be ready for pickup and you declining vs it being indefinitely delayed. While there's no obligation to refund, doing so out of good faith seems like the better move - especially for a customer who's also invested in their solar products. Even traditional dealerships often waive initial deposits on orders for repeat customers.
But there is no evidence of it being 'indefinitely delayed' or even actually delayed at all. Yes the estimated date was pushed back to May and it's even likely from what i've read on other threads that it would probably be pushed back, but the original estimated date was March and they canceled the order in the first half of March.

If this was like 3+ months late with still no smaller timeframe for delivery, i'd understand looking to Tesla to refund the order fee, but this was canceled without knowing whether or not they would get it on time or late.
 
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I understand the OP's disappointment and it's unfortunate the timing didn't align. And like what somebody earlier said, most leasing companies allow for lease extensions for this very reason. I was going to do that with my mom's lease in 2020 waiting for the proper configuration of her next car.

I'm probably pivoting and going completely off-topic now, but I'm curious what the configuration was for a California order in December to go from March to May delivery. My guess is SR since the LR AWD's appeared to have been having deliveries close to their order estimates (I ordered in late Nov and delivered in early Feb and was lurking around the Waiting Room thread for a bit longer after the fact).
 
Thanks for all the responses. As expected I did not get my $250 back. From my perspective when I ordered the car in Dec, Tesla quoted me a Mar delivery.

That is why I placed the order, and that date held until Feb when the order slipped to May.

The order was placed on their delivery date commitment of March, 2022 to me.

Anyway, one posts commented that $250 is not so much. I can live with that, no issue.

I just felt that since they gave me the date of March, and they slipped the date, they should have returned my deposit.

To me what Tesla did was not ethical.

Anyway decided to buy the BMW and wait for other options when this car market disaster fixes itself.

I will not buy a Tesla.
 

jjrandorin

Moderator, Model 3, Tesla Energy Forums
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The order was placed on their delivery date commitment of March, 2022 to me.

There was no "committment" of a delivery date to you. Tesla is pretty clear about that actually. How you feel is personal, and I am not disputing that, however, lets not twist this to be something its not. You ordered, the date changed, you bought something else, and wanted your money back from ordering even though tesla is clear that there is no "committed" date, and that the money is not refundable.

You can feel about that however you want, and the right thing to do is take your business elsewhere if it bothers you, but dont twist it to be something it wasnt.

Here are screenshots directly from teslas order (the order agreement document) that would have been the same when you purchased. I am getting this directly from the order of my wifes model Y which was early january of this year, which would be the same agreement you agreed to:

===========================================================


Screen Shot 2022-03-31 at 8.59.12 AM.png


Screen Shot 2022-03-31 at 8.58.22 AM.png
 

dmurphy

Active Member
Supporting Member
The order was placed on their delivery date commitment of March, 2022 to me.

Unless the version of Tesla.com you are viewing is different than mine, I believe you are conflating the words "Commitment" and "Estimate." In no context do I see where Tesla has committed a delivery date.

For example, currently at Model 3 | Tesla, I see the following:

Screen Shot 2022-03-31 at 1.07.31 PM.png


Just for clarity's sake:

com·mit·ment | \ kə-ˈmit-mənt \
an agreement or pledge to do something in the future; especially: an engagement to assume a financial obligation at a future date


es·ti·mate | \ ˈe-stə-mət \
a rough or approximate calculation
 
It was stated to be non-refundable, so you shouldn't expect to get it back. It was an order fee and not a deposit. You bought the order. Even if others managed to talk their way into get it back, doesn't mean you are owed it. Also they do not build to order, that is where there are so few trim, options, and colors. They build configurations in batches and then match with existing orders.
 
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Most deposits are refundable (in many cases the law stipulates they have to be). I realize we are talking semantics here, but thats why Tesla is very careful to NOT call this a deposit. They call it an order fee, and specifically spell out that they feel they have earned that fee by managing the logistics around an order, regardless of whether a person actually takes delivery of said order or not.

Again, before someone points it out, I do realize we are talking semantics / wordplay here, but in this case, someone could rightly dispute "they wont give me back my deposit", possibly legally, but an order fee they spell out they feel they have earned (in the contract one e-signs by placing an order) would likely be a lot harder (and cost more than $250 to dispute even if that was possible).

I am not a lawyer, nor did I stay in a holiday inn express any time in the recent past, but am fairly sure thats why tesla is careful not to call this a deposit, and we likely should not call it one either, lest we confuse people who start researching "why is my deposit not refundable" and then get confused.
Not semantics at all because the $250 order fee does not go towards the price of the car. It is an additional line item to the MSRP, options, taxes, etc. Making it non-refundable is to weed out the serious buyers from the browsers. The OP should have kept the reservation until the other new car was in hand.
 
The first thing is that the $250 is not a reservation, it is an order fee. They charged you $250 to place an order .

If Tesla can not fuffil that order or they change something in the car like taking out radar or some other item which requires you you approve the change then you can just not approve of the change and they will need to refund that order fee.

When you placed your order you also received an EDD, if that origional EDD has past and you have given them a resaonable buffer (1-2 months of the origional EDD) then you could also reasonable equate this to Tesla not fufilling your order . You should be able to get your $250 back.

If you iniate the cancelation of your order then your $250 is gone.
 

jjrandorin

Moderator, Model 3, Tesla Energy Forums
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Nov 28, 2018
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The first thing is that the $250 is not a reservation, it is an order fee. They charged you $250 to place an order .

If Tesla can not fuffil that order or they change something in the car like taking out radar or some other item which requires you you approve the change then you can just not approve of the change and they will need to refund that order fee.

When you placed your order you also received an EDD, if that origional EDD has past and you have given them a resaonable buffer (1-2 months of the origional EDD) then you could also reasonable equate this to Tesla not fufilling your order . You should be able to get your $250 back.

If you iniate the cancelation of your order then your $250 is gone.

Except that tesla states, in their order document, that the order fee is not refundable (see the actual verbiage in the order document in post 27). Neither one of those things you state are reasons tesla needs to give this fee back.

You are stating why you believe they should give it back, which is an absolutely different discussion. There is no obligation here on Tesla's end to return the $250, as clearly pointed out by their verbiage in the order document. There is no "reasonable buffer" there is no " i get it back if tesla is not fulfilling the order".

For why, I will direct you back to the exact verbiage in the order document that everyone agrees to when they place the order. My post in Post 27 of this thread is an exact screenshot of the relevant part of the order document that everyone ordering online agrees to. They agree that the EDD is an estimate, and they agree that Tesla has "earned the order fee".
 
Except that tesla states, in their order document, that the order fee is not refundable (see the actual verbiage in the order document in post 27). Neither one of those things you state are reasons tesla needs to give this fee back.

You are stating why you believe they should give it back, which is an absolutely different discussion. There is no obligation here on Tesla's end to return the $250, as clearly pointed out by their verbiage in the order document. There is no "reasonable buffer" there is no " i get it back if tesla is not fulfilling the order".

For why, I will direct you back to the exact verbiage in the order document that everyone agrees to when they place the order. My post in Post 27 of this thread is an exact screenshot of the relevant part of the order document that everyone ordering online agrees to. They agree that the EDD is an estimate, and they agree that Tesla has "earned the order fee".
Its still a legal contract and they still have to deliver the goods in the contract in a reasonable timeframe from the estimate. They do not have an open ended contract which allows them to delay indefinitley. There is enough evidence to show that tesla could have delivered their vehicles by the edd but chose to prioritize other cars to maximize profit . I added a buffer which is 33% longer then the origional estimate which is more then a reasonable amout of time beyond their estimate for Tesla to deliver. If someone really wanted to persue their $250 rather then wait they could use the arbitration built in to the contract and expect to get their $250 back
 
I remember Tesla adamantly refusing to refund me ~$25 supercharge cost when I used the supercharger on the date it said my free charging ended. They told me it ended at 12:00 AM at the start of the day. I argued that's very unclear and kind of petty of them to argue over several hours when clearly it's still the same day. They never budged. So I can imagine they will never budge on returning a $250 order fee. lol
 
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Thanks for all the responses. As expected I did not get my $250 back. From my perspective when I ordered the car in Dec, Tesla quoted me a Mar delivery.

That is why I placed the order, and that date held until Feb when the order slipped to May.

The order was placed on their delivery date commitment of March, 2022 to me.

Anyway, one posts commented that $250 is not so much. I can live with that, no issue.

I just felt that since they gave me the date of March, and they slipped the date, they should have returned my deposit.

To me what Tesla did was not ethical.

Anyway decided to buy the BMW and wait for other options when this car market disaster fixes itself.

I will not buy a Tesla.
pretty much everyone here sided with Tesla because it's a very obvious non refundable fee, also an obvious estimate.

I still don't know why you think that because Tesla wasn't 100% accurate with their ESTIMATE, that they should give you back the non refundable fee.

Actually let me use your own arguement. You decided to cancel your order in march, prior to the end of march, because the ESTIMATE was now after March. Not only did you not allow them the estimated time to try to complete delivery since tons of people have reported having estimated pick up dates pushed back right before getting a vin and a delivery date, but you also canceled an order for a car you 'commited' to buying.

Now i'm glad you aren't getting a Tesla because honestly we have enough idiots making Tesla owners look bad. But I don't see why Tesla is in the wrong for not having your car to you in March (which was still possible before you canceled) or giving you a refund, but you aren't in the wrong for committing to buy a car, agreeing to the terms, agreeing to the contract that specifically states that the delivery date is an estimate, and then canceling the order even prior to the original estimated date. You seem like a pretty bad customer.
 
Hi folks. I ordered a demo model but was just informed this morning that it can’t be shipped to me, despite the order page stating otherwise based on my zip when I inputted the information. I said no problem and asked to be refunded by $250 order fee, since I’m not the one cancelling the order. I was told that it’s non refundable.

That doesn’t sit right to me, after every step of the ordering process stated the car was eligible to be delivered to my location. Is there anything I can do or anyone else to contact? The SA over text is no help.
 
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