So I'm a very happy Model S (and Tesla stock) owner who has already convinced one friend to join the Tesla movement (she's now the proud owner of a red P85). I had another friend convinced as well, but she needs to wait for the X since she has 4 kids. This week, she went to the University Towne Center gallery in San Diego, check in hand, to put down a deposit for an X, knowing that it wouldn't be delivered until next year.
She let me know afterward that she didn't put down a deposit because the Tesla employee who "helped" her at the gallery told her that even if she gave them a check that day, she would not receive her MX for at least 2 years, and that the deposit is completely non-refundable ("If you put the money down, you're buying the car"). My friend is an educated profession, and is not the type of woman that would misunderstand. Deciding that she couldn't commit to the car given the non-refundable deposit, without knowing how much the car would be or when she would receive it, she walked away, frustrated.
I looked online, and it appears to me that the policy has not changed, that the deposit remains refundable.
What a bummer. I am a huge fan of Tesla, and am bummed that a very easy going woman would walk away with such a negative impression of the company (apparently the employee wasn't very pleasant, either). I copied the policy as listed on the Tesla website and texted it to her, so hopefully she'll reconsider.