TLDR: Tesla charged my account $50K for a model 3 that was never delivered. I have been trying to get my money back for 12 days, but Tesla has done nothing! I currently have no vin or delivery date. I feel betrayed by a company I used to love and mistakenly trusted. Please avoid my mistake: only pay by certified check after you receive and examine the car!
My experience with my Model 3 (attempted) purchase:
May 1, 2018: I was notified of a delivery date of May 7th at 4PM, in Manhasset NY.
May 4: I provided bank information for electronic funds transfer 72 hrs before delivery, as required for this mode of payment. I could have paid by certified check, but I thought that electronic payment would save me a trip to the bank - big mistake!
May 5: Received a phone call from local Tesla Manhasset office that my Model 3 had not arrived when expected, therefore could not be delivered on May 7. I was told it would probably arrive on May 7th and be ready for delivery May 8 or 9.
May 7: I received a phone call from Tesla, stating that the car had arrived, but it had paint damage in two areas, and had to be sent to a paint shop for repairs.
May 8: The payment for the Model 3 was debited from my bank account.
May 9th: I received a phone call from Tesla, stating that while assessing the paint damage, they had found further damage that had occurred in transit (and may have been related to the delay in transit). Therefore, they could not sell this car, and I would receive a different Model 3, at a date to be determined.
May 9th: I emailed and phoned the Tesla Manhasset office, demanding that my payment be refunded, since the car had not been delivered and there was no indication when a replacement car would be provided.
May 10 - 20th. I phoned the Manhasset office of Tesla every day or two, to ask about the status of the refund and the new Model 3 shipment. Each time, I was told that they were working on refunding the payment, but I was given no specific information about when it would occur. The Manhasset office has refused give me the contact information of their superiors. It is now 12 days since my account was debited. And as of May 20th there is no delivery date or vin for my future car.
Lesson: Pay by certified check only when you receive the car. If you give Tesla your bank account information they will charge your bank account before you receive your car and hold onto your money whether or not you receive a car. Apparently Tesla values money more than doing right by their customers.