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My journey with Tesla's referral program...spoiler, it's terrible.

brycedb74

Member
Oct 16, 2019
17
26
Arizona
Back in April of last year, I placed an order for my first Model 3. My wife and I went to the sales center in Scottsdale, spoke with a nice gentleman who helped up place the order. It's the same process as if I did it at home (he literally just entered it in through the website while we were there), but we had a few questions first that we wanted answered by a human being, so we went in person. After we had completed our order (the AFTER part is crucial here) we were asked if we had a referral code we wanted to use. I hadn't thought of it before this, but someone did come to mind. I said yes, but I would have to ask them what it is. The salesperson said that's fine, just get it to him as soon as you can. Just email it. Here's the actual line from his followup email. (I'll be adding copy of actual correspondence throughout this post as we go).

Dated April 27th, 2019.
"Congratulations on your order! I'm very excited to help you join the Tesla family. I entered your registration info, driver's license, and insurance. All that you will need to do is enter trade in info and payment method. Also, will you possibly be able to send me over a referral code? If you don't have the code itself, you can send over the name and number of whoever's code you would like to use and that will help me find the code that way. Let me know if you have any questions!"

A couple days later, I emailed it to him. A few days after that, I got my delivery date. I had not yet heard back from my sales advisor, so I reached out again to confirm he had gotten my code because I was taking delivery soon. Still nothing. On May 8th I took delivery of my car. I was told that referral credits usually take a couple weeks to go through, so I didn't think much more of it at that point.

Six weeks later, still no miles. BTW, this was during the special 5,000 miles of Supercharging promotion that ended at the beginning of May, hence why I placed my order on April 28th. I emailed sales AGAIN. No response. I called the store and they said my sales guy had been on paternity leave the whole time and was coming back in a few days. This is why I never got a reply. Ok? Why was no one else picking up his customers while he was away? Whatever, I just wanted to know the status on my credit. They said that the way the referral system works had gone through several iterations in the past few months and there was a lot of confusion on how to do things, but I was entered into a "list" of people who were owed supercharging miles and I should check back in a couple weeks. I did. Still nothing. I emailed the Referral Program directly about this whole thing and they outright told me I wasn't getting my miles because I didn't order through the referral link and there was no way to add them in after the fact. Basically, "you didn't do it right, so you don't get anything." Here's exactly what they said:

Good Morning,
Thank you for contacting us regarding the Tesla Referral Program. We are showing the request to have the referral code added to your reservation, but has been denied. All new vehicles must be ordered directly through the referral link in order to qualify for supercharging miles. Since you did not order directly through the link you would not be eligible for this benefit. Please refer to the details of our new Referral Program below and see how you can earn supercharging miles by sharing your referral link.

Please enjoy your new Tesla and thank you for helping to accelerate the world’s transition to sustainable energy.


If this is the policy, why did your sales advisor tell me to email him my code if he couldn't do anything with it? Either someone is lying, or your employees aren't trained in proper procedure. Regardless, this is clearly Tesla's mess up and they should remedy it... you would think. Nope.

After several months of trying to get ahold of my advisor to give me any answers with no response, out of the blue I get an email from him congratulating me on my newest Model 3 purchase. You see, in September I was rear ended at a light and my 4 month old car was totaled. Here's the video of the accident if you're interested:
So, I ordered a replacement in October when insurance paid out. Delivery would take another 7 weeks.

So I replied to him and asked why I hadn't heard from him after numerous emails. He told me about his paternity leave and apologized. All good, but where do we stand with the referral code situation? He said he'd look into it. Here's his response.

"I forwarded this over to my manager. I took a look into it and I tracked down what specifically happened that caused the referral to not go through. It looks like my colleague entered a case in to add the referral code the day after you took delivery back in May. The policy was that the initial order had to be placed through a referral link, or that the code had to be added in before delivery of the vehicle. Once a vehicle is delivered, a referral code cannot be added. That is why the supercharging miles did not sync to your account. I'm not sure if my colleague who entered your referral in after you took delivery was aware of this at the time, but I do know there was some confusion surrounding that. However I did send this over to my manager to see what can be done at this point."

So there we have it. Someone at Tesla waited too long to add my code in. Again, clearly stating that they CAN be added in after ordering, but not after delivery. This is Tesla admitting it was their fault this got dropped. So I forwarded this on to the referral program people to see if they can wrap this up as they are admitting fault. Here's their response from this morning.

"After reviewing your initial order, I am not seeing an attached referral link to your order. Please understand that we do not add links to existing orders, nor will any requests to manually add referral links be approved.

In reviewing your second order - RN109639290 - we do show the link was used properly and the miles have been added to your account. You can view the balance of your free miles on the mobile app in the lootbox.

The information provided to you by (sales advisor) - below - is accurate. To be eligible for referral awards, orders for a Tesla car or solar panels will need to be placed by accessing the Design Studio through a unique referral link.
Note that referrals can’t be credited after an order is placed or at time of delivery and is not a code that is entered at time of purchase.

(again, not what I was repeatedly told by my sales advisor)


Each owner's personalized referral link is found in the Loot Box section of an owner's Tesla App or in the home section of the MyTesla account. Each owner can share their link with friends and family, after a vehicle is ordered through your personalized referral link, both you and your referred owner will be eligible to earn Supercharging miles based on the current award benefit and limits of the program.

The Tesla Referral Program strives to provide a fair and equitable process for all owners, for this reason, we do not add any referral links retroactively.


...and this is the part that infuriates me.


Please note future replies to this email thread will be read but will not receive a response. As we will be upholding the aforementioned policy,
no further action will be taken in this particular situation and the corresponding case will be closed. Thank you very much for your patience and understanding.

Please refer to the details of the Referral Program, here: www.tesla.com/support/referral-program

Thank you for being part of the Tesla family and thank you for helping to accelerate the world’s transition to sustainable energy."

Tesla, if anyone at your company reads this, you need some serious training on what good customer service looks like. Almost a year has passed and I'm STILL getting yanked around because of your mistake. Boooo....
 

viennacoup

Member
Feb 11, 2020
23
11
Bainbridge Island
I can't tell from your post whether you ever sent them the referral code. If so, do you have a copy of that email? My situation was exactly the same as yours. The sales advisor asked for the name etc and said he would look up my Tesla owner and add the referral code. When I called to confirm, he said that he could not find any record of that name owning a Tesla. Thereafter I ran into my Tesla owner who texted me his referral code which I emailed to the sales advisor. The sales advisor confirmed that the code had been added. I didn't know for certain until I picked up the car and the 1000 supercharger miles appeared in my loot box.
 

brycedb74

Member
Oct 16, 2019
17
26
Arizona
I can't tell from your post whether you ever sent them the referral code. If so, do you have a copy of that email? My situation was exactly the same as yours. The sales advisor asked for the name etc and said he would look up my Tesla owner and add the referral code. When I called to confirm, he said that he could not find any record of that name owning a Tesla. Thereafter I ran into my Tesla owner who texted me his referral code which I emailed to the sales advisor. The sales advisor confirmed that the code had been added. I didn't know for certain until I picked up the car and the 1000 supercharger miles appeared in my loot box.
Yes, I did email the code on May 3rd, 5 days before delivery. I do have the email and a later one from the sales advisor saying they received it, but didn't enter it in until after delivery.

So it sounds to me like once you emailed your friend's code to your advisor, you DID get your free miles? After ordering the car?
 

vickh

Active Member
Dec 16, 2018
3,106
485
az
the same run-around for a manual retro add, but I finally got my 1K for my own purchase (took months of back and forth with referral dept emails) It helped that my referrer got a credit showing on his end and I sent them a screenshot.

Was your SA in Kierland? Mine was on paternity leave for months too, then left the company. Seems like they need to watch their benefits package closer than referral program.
 

tilt

Member
Feb 27, 2020
78
71
KC Metro Area
I ordered without a referral code but had the SA enter it when I picked up the car. It took a week or so, but the miles showed up in my Loot Box. I guess the key factor is even though I ordered without the code, it was entered at the store while we were doing the paperwork and before I drove off with the car.
 

mafpolo

Member
Nov 21, 2015
62
37
Birmingham, AL
The person who helped me made it work....got the code in after I bought the car, but before I took delivery. I get the sense that Tesla gives their people very little leeway to do anything. That's bad for the customer and the Tesla employee. All of the people I have dealt with have been nothing but extremely pleasant and helpful. However, I get the sense that they have very little authority.
 

vickh

Active Member
Dec 16, 2018
3,106
485
az
The person who helped me made it work....got the code in after I bought the car, but before I took delivery. I get the sense that Tesla gives their people very little leeway to do anything. That's bad for the customer and the Tesla employee. All of the people I have dealt with have been nothing but extremely pleasant and helpful. However, I get the sense that they have very little authority.

+1 Very bureaucratic and siloed org, esp for a tech company.
 

Performance

Member
Mar 19, 2020
63
10
USA!
I forgot to go through my referral link when I ordered.
I emailed Tesla about it and guy asked for link and put it through no problem. This was in October 2019.
Miles showed up on my account about a week after delivery.

Hopefully you get it sorted.
 

goletaspring

Member
Nov 3, 2019
78
46
Santa barbara
The 1000 supercharger miles is barely worth anything, it seems the amount of stress and frustration trying to get something of little value isn't worth it. The referral program is clear that you need to order using the link..that's what I did and it was seamless.
 
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TydalForce

Member
Nov 24, 2019
230
160
West Chester, PA, USA
Basically the same thing happened to me. I went for a test drive, came home, thought about it, and placed my order. Realizing I'd forgotten my friend's referral, I e-mailed the SA that took me for the test drive and he said he could add it - no problem.
This was within a couple hours of placing my order.

Two+ months later when I finally got the car, no supercharger miles. I e-mailed the referral program people and got the same crappy response. I tried looping in the SA again but got some sort of nonsensical answer.

That's about when I gave up; too much drama. I've had the car just shy of 4 months and I'm out less than $2 on supercharging so, I'm really not missing anything. But it bugs me on principle. Especially since my friend missed out on his referral miles.
 
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Kevy Baby

Dis-Member
Aug 11, 2019
1,940
1,927
Brea, CA
Those of you high-and-mighty after remembering to use the referral link: this isn’t about needing to use the link, and it isn’t even about not getting the miles — it’s about someone from Tesla saying we could and would get the referral added after the fact and then Tesla saying “sorry, no, that was a lie” and brushing us off.
This is far from the first thread where someone has bitched about Tesla being difficult about not bending to those who can't follow instructions.

Also, it seems like the who are in this situation write REALLLLLLYYYY long posts about it. Reeks of entitlement.

Sorry: not much sympathy from me.
 

john5520

Member
Mar 3, 2020
847
571
Florida
When placing the order, my SA asked if I had a referral code and I said hold on. Went to Youtube, got one, and that was that. It did take at least a week to show up though. I was beginning to have doubts.

I guess it's the luck of the draw. My SA was really on top of things. Excellent communication as well. It was night and day from what I see others go through on this forum.
 

TimothyHW3

Active Member
Jun 2, 2019
1,020
565
Germany
The SAs can for sure add them afterward as mine did for me but I think its either a pain in the ass or they forget a lot because there are lots of stories like this one.
You probably had your vehicle delivered somewhere before Mid 2019.

They changed the policy around that time. April/May/June. I guess they didn't update the SAs, the SAs didn't care to educate themselves or the SA are simply malicious.
I guess it was too troublesome for them to add the miles afterwards.

It is what it is.
 

XLR82XS

D M C
Jul 26, 2019
3,126
1,762
SWFL | Vegas
When placing the order, my SA asked if I had a referral code and I said hold on. Went to Youtube, got one, and that was that. It did take at least a week to show up though. I was beginning to have doubts.

I guess it's the luck of the draw. My SA was really on top of things. Excellent communication as well. It was night and day from what I see others go through on this forum.
Good to hear. What FL location did you purchase from?
 

brycedb74

Member
Oct 16, 2019
17
26
Arizona
The 1000 supercharger miles is barely worth anything, it seems the amount of stress and frustration trying to get something of little value isn't worth it. The referral program is clear that you need to order using the link..that's what I did and it was seamless.
When I got the second car I did use the link (lesson learned) and it did go through just fine. For 1k miles, yeah, not a big deal. But this was done when it was 5k miles. That's a free trip across the country and back.
 
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brycedb74

Member
Oct 16, 2019
17
26
Arizona
Basically the same thing happened to me. I went for a test drive, came home, thought about it, and placed my order. Realizing I'd forgotten my friend's referral, I e-mailed the SA that took me for the test drive and he said he could add it - no problem.
This was within a couple hours of placing my order.

Two+ months later when I finally got the car, no supercharger miles. I e-mailed the referral program people and got the same crappy response. I tried looping in the SA again but got some sort of nonsensical answer.

That's about when I gave up; too much drama. I've had the car just shy of 4 months and I'm out less than $2 on supercharging so, I'm really not missing anything. But it bugs me on principle. Especially since my friend missed out on his referral miles.
Yup, same. It's the customer experience I've had, not the reward I'm missing. If this had been sorted in the first couple weeks, it'd be a different story.
 
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