Anyone else?

Anyone else?

I have emailed the following to a Tesla customer care rep upon her suggestion.. wondering how many other people have the same story?


Let the following stand as a formal complaint against Tesla, Inc. for dishonest sales tactics and false price claims.

We approached Tesla about getting Solar panels in late 2017. We were assigned Tesla salesman Bodi Ebikefe. Our initial meeting went well.
The price was higher than we expected, but we were assured that the 30% tax credit would keep our monthly payments at an affordable level for our family.

Our salesman described the process as a "tax refund" that would be on our 2019 tax return. We were assured it would be a simple matter of getting the refund money and applying it to our solar loan.
I specifically asked if the solar tax credit was a non-refundable deduction or a refundable credit. I was again assured that it was a refundable credit ("same as cash"), and that all of our concerns about price were taken care of by this "30% discount".

We went through the process and got the loan (with the 30% down payment deferred for 17 months). The panels were then installed.

I am now learning that this credit is in fact a NON-REFUNDABLE credit. It is NOT the same as a 30% discount. I was COMPLETELY mislead by Tesla on this CRITICAL issue. If not for the promise of a 30% tax credit, I would NEVER have purchased panels.

I am a school teacher with 3 children. Because of my tax status non-refundable credits are meaningless to me. I will not see ANY of the 30% credit that was PROMISED by Tesla. Because of that I am not able to pay ANYTHING to Sunlight Financial as a down payment. My monthly payments will significantly increase

I understand that it is not Tesla's responsibility to teach me the tax codes. However, it is ENTIRELY their responsibility to operate an ethical business that doesn't mislead consumers. Tesla misrepresented the truth. Because of that I will soon be stuck with loan payments that I cannot afford.

The onerous is completely on Tesla. Their salesman misrepresented the truth about this credit in order to get my business.

I, Nathan Bryant demand that Tesla, Inc. pay Sunlight Financial the 30% that I will not be receiving from the IRS. This is the only way to make it right.

If I do not receive a prompt reply with a satisfactory resolution I will submit this complaint to every possible Bureau, Commission, and Network.

ripatriot | January 31, 2019

FYI you're not going to get a response from tesla on this forum.

the 30% tax credit IS fully refundable but it depends entirely on your tax liability for that year. this is an irs thing. it has nothing to do with tesla and you will get that 30% but it will be spread out over a period of time, again depending on your yearly tax liability.

you made a mistake by deferring the 30% down payment on the loan. did tesla specifically tell you to do that?

the salesperson should have reiterated to "please consult your tax advisor". which is what it says on tesla's incentives page: "Your eligibility for income tax credits depends on your personal tax situation. We recommend speaking with a tax professional for guidance."

deferring a downpayment on a loan is entirely different than the deceit you are describing. if anything sunlight financial is the one you should contact to see if you can renegotiate. surely they knew your financial situation more so that tesla.

Tesla-David | January 31, 2019

It was always represented to me as a 30% Federal Tax Credit, and that it would only be refunded after doing taxes, and you will get it back as @ripatriot summarizes. I do not blame Tesla for this. The OP should have known better. The 30% Federal Tax Credit has been great on our Solar System and PW2 batteries.

cb_dunn | February 1, 2019

Sorry to hear. Yes, there are differences between refundable tax credits and the kind of tax credit you can take for solar. In my experience, the solar side at Tesla is not well trained, has overly aggressive sales practices, and as a result you need to know your stuff rather than trusting them to tell you what's what with anything resembling accuracy. I'm currently taking other bids after dancing the dance with Tesla for a while for solar and realizing they've got a high level of incompetence. Love the Model 3, but their solar side has to be in terrible trouble--hard to believe how bad they are.

naythinbrynt | February 1, 2019

I never have tax liability. My chosen profession (education) makes it unlikely that I will have any tax liability within the next 5 years.
My Tesla salesman told me that he knew his way around the solar tax credit. I was informed that this was all standard protocol. I was told by Tesla sales that this is how solar loans are always done.
1. Deferred a 30% down payment with Sunlight. (this is how it's done, I was told)
2. Wait until tax refund comes. It will have your 30% credit on it.
3. Give the 30% to Sunlight Financial.
4. Your monthly payments remain the same.

I am also taking up a portion of this with Sunlight Financial. Their favorite thing is to claim that they are "only the lender in this situation"

I didn't think I needed a tax professional with me when I had a "trusted Tesla solar professional" walking me through the "standard process"
I should have known better? I know better now!
Does that excuse deceptive sales tactics?

The salesman never directed me to a tax adviser. Instead he referred to his own professional experience in the industry and claimed to have all of the knowledge about Solar loans and tax credits. Without his assurances of the 30% credit I would have backed out of the deal.
Salesmen are snakes.
Will Telsa Solar take responsibility for deceptive sales?

I don't expect Tesla to respond on this forum. I was told by Tesla Customer Support to write a formal complaint letter that would go through expedited escalation. I shared my complaint on this forum wondering if it has happened to anyone else.

ripatriot | February 4, 2019

so then you knew you were in a unique tax situation and didn't think to ask someone about it?

i still don't find it deceptive. you are probably in the 1%, given your tax status, where what the tesla salesperson told you wasn't true.

i doesn't sound like any tax professional who understands this unique situation was involved. that is the problem here. like it or not, the burden falls on you.

ripatriot | February 4, 2019

*it doesn't sound like....

sschaem | February 4, 2019

Tesla does not monitor their own forum, so like me you wont get Tesla to review their practices from posting here.
(But its still a way to vent and get it on record for others)

For me the lie where more around time of operation. I took a loan to pay Tesla, that I'm now paying interest on, but the system is non operational so I also still paying my electric bill. (the process to get the system installed was also a huge pain in itself)

I think most of it is due to incompetence on the part of Tesla, and really bad business practices.

Even so I highly recommend friends to go solar, I tell them to avoid Tesla if possible.

A sad state of affair when I'm a stock holder.

steve0 | February 6, 2019

Check our your Purchase Disclosure agreement and refer to the section about Agreement to Arbitrate. To quote: "If you have a concern or dispute, please send a written notice describing it and your desired resolution to"

If it is any consideration I didn't have any of the issues you mentioned with my sales rep. Then again, I did plenty of research before hand so I knew exactly the size of system I wanted so I could take full advantage of the federal (and local) tax incentives.

Best of luck to you and I hope everything works out.

naythinbrynt | February 11, 2019

My tax situation is far from 'unique'. Most Americans don't pay taxes. The earned income tax credit offsets anything that was taken from paychecks during the year. Then the child tax credit adds even more.
My salesman presented himself as a professional in all matter solar (including the tax credit)

I suppose honesty is something that doesn't exist in sales. Perhaps if I walked into the transaction with the assumption that Tesla is a shady company with deceptive sales staff, then I would have a lawyer and a CPA present at every sales meeting.

Tesla 'customer care' has notified me that the buck stops with them and there is nothing that can be done.. other than same half-baked apology. Their favorite phrase: "unfortunate situation"

Expected $6,000 to put towards panels... Getting nothing. To my family is more than "unfortunate". It's DEVASTATING.

I was told by customer care that my ticket was being escalated and I would receive a call early last week. That was a total lie told to placate me. Nothing was escalated. They just hoped I wouldn't call back. I did.

I was told that my complaint was noted and nothing can be done.

I understand the concept of 'consumer beware'. I chose to do business with a large company like Tesla because they could help guide me through the solar process. I was confident in them because of their supposed expertise and knowledge of the industry.

Turns out this salesman was only interested in closing the deal... just like any other salesman.

I have to find some other way to resolve this...

patrick40363 | February 12, 2019

I am not sure why you didn't research it first. It was right there for you.

Pkalhan | February 14, 2019

+1 Patrick40363

whartnell6 | February 28, 2019

Ask someone about this if you are in this situation. It’s not often that someone gets into this situation, so it’s best to consult someone.

rlandrigan | August 22, 2019

I have had a 9.88 kw Tesla solar system in place since August 2015, Order Number EN7104764, 22 Deacon Lane, Sudbury, MA. My solar system stopped producing electricity at the beginning of April 2019. As of late August 2019 it still is not functioning. The peak sun months of 2019 have been missed. Tesla has made several technician visits during the five months including installing a new inverter, having a few guys up on the roof checking the system. The system still doesn't work. Blame it on lack of sustained interest or incompetence, or both. Per the system lease contract, paragraph 4(c), I am not to be "...charged for Estimated Production when the System is not producing electricity due to Solar City's (Tesla) fault". I cut Tesla off from automatic debit billing from my bank account and refuse to pay their "Estimated Production" bills on the basis that it amounts to consumer fraud. They just billed me $237.42 for the month of July when no electricity was produced. In my estimation as an attorney their "Estimated Production" billing while a system is down due to Tesla's fault is fraudulent and is clearly subject to challenge, perhaps as a class action.

gregbrew | August 24, 2019

Sounds like someone didn't do their due-diligence, and is now trying to pin the blame on someone else. Take personal responsibility for your actions, and move on with your life, after having learned a very expensive lesson.

The truth often sounds "harsh".