Here’s What Happens When You Cancel A Tesla Model 3 Reservation


Tesla Model 3

Tesla Model 3 (wallpaper 2,560x)

Let’s says you’ve got a Tesla Model 3 reservation, but following the reveal (or perhaps even long ago) you decided to cancel. What happens next?

According to Tesla’s website, you’re free to cancel your reservation at will, but it specifically says that “refunds can take up to three weeks depending on your country of delivery.”

Well, apparently some individuals who’ve cancelled their Model 3 reservations have been waiting much longer than 3 weeks for refunds. As Teslarati explains:

“A recent piece by Wired did a deep dive into the topic, and found that some people have been waiting longer than those 3 weeks to receive their refund.”

“Shashank Chitti, a former Model 3 reservation holder, told the outlet that he was done waiting and frustrated by Tesla’s lack of transparency. He canceled his reservation more than two months ago, but still hasn’t received his refund.”

Tesla Model 3

Tesla Model 3

Chitti says he’s reached out to Tesla multiple times and that each time he’s been kinda pushed aside. Chitti stated:

“Every time I reach out I get the same explanation: They have a lot of cancellations to process, they’ll prioritize my request, and that my refund should go out in the next batch.”

It’s not just Chitti though. Similar complaints have surfaced on Reddit too.

Reddit user UnDosTresPescao posted:

“It has been three months. I have called/emailed them several times over the last month and a half asking about status. Every time they ask for my address and say that a check will be promptly on its way. The check never comes.”

Meanwhile, others report having received their refunds immediately through an all-online process.

Wired’s deep dive revealed that out of the 23 individuals seeking refund that were interviewed, the breakdown went something like this:

  • 6 received within three weeks
  • 2 were reimbursed within 21 business days
  • 7 received refunds after 6 weeks or more
  • The remaining claim to have not received a refund still after waiting 2-plus months

Clearly this is something Tesla needs to correct as soon as possible. Refunds should be immediate, as delays (for whatever reason) only serve to hurt the company’s image.. There’s no reason why a credit card refund should take more than a few seconds, let alone weeks or even months.

Source: Teslarati, Wired

Categories: Tesla


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104 Comments on "Here’s What Happens When You Cancel A Tesla Model 3 Reservation"

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It’s just total administrative disorganization, which is unfortunately par for the course with Tesla.

You know, it can be “on purpose” disorganization too. Like thousands of reservations held over the end of a quarter so that the refund isn’t on the books until “next quarter”. People can be “disorganized on purpose”.

Don’t cancel!!! Problem solved.

Yes, no refunds on the refundable deposit. Quite a great solution.

Or don’t waste others time reserving something you have no intention of buying.

If you did intend to buy it and changed your mind because of price inflation or disappointment with the features, feel free to ignore the previous comment.

“The check’s in the mail”- second oldest lie in the world! Except ‘cheques’ [correct English spelling] are outmoded in much of the world now- too easy to use fraudulently.


My Natural Gas company (National FUEL – who recently greatly raised their rates), keeps SLAMMING (or CRAMMING – I forget the precise terminology) (in other words – switches me off my alternate lower cost provider) by saying they are doing me a favor by making sure I don’t overpay for an alternative supplier.

Very convenient their great “CONCERN” for me over paying, since I am now greatly overpaying and they won’t switch me back even when I repeatedly complain to them..

I have two Model S cars and have made reservations for two model3 cars ( we are a family of four ).

Would never think of a cancellation. And would this still happen I would concider donating the money to Tesla the best company in the world from my point.

Decided I simply won’t do business with a company that delays refunds this way.

Just cancelled my reservation. Congrats to those who moved up in line. Enjoy.

(⌐■_■) Trollnonymous

I ran into a similar issue cancelling Onstar as well as other stuff.
Par for the course in big business. Crap like this should be in minutes not days.

There should be a rule/law where a refund should take no longer than the length of time the original transaction took.

Now, if Tesla were smart, they’d allow someone to sell their spot keeping the deposit in place.

I also do business. We get reservations and a down payment. If the buyer backs out the deal we get to keep the deposit. That is not unusual.

Tesla is way to generous.

Do you also tell your buyers that the deposit will be “fully-refundable” before they give it to you?

“The check’s in the mail” I’ve heard that before ! Just Cancel your cancellation…… lmao

I also do business. We get reservations and a down payment. If the buyer backs out the deal we get to keep the deposit. That is not unusual.

Tesla is way to generous.

Tesla is not way too generous . One of the stipulation was , that you are allowed to cancel & get your money back in full any time. Btw, You should not be keeping people’s money., UNLESS…it is stipulated in your contract and you incurred a loss as a result of them reneging.

It took about 3 months for me to receive my refund.

Hope you were in front of me in line.

Tesla is only able to refund to credit cards within 1 year of the original transaction date. Since most people looking to cancel Model 3 reservations now likely made them around the date of the initial reveal, it’s been more than a year and they have to wait for a check to be cut.

Good point.

They make free money every day extra they keep your money. They do it based on where you live, and thus how they can be held accountable.

I also do business. We get reservations and a down payment. If the buyer backs out the deal we get to keep the deposit. That is not unusual.

Tesla is way to generous.

Tesla would not have got anywhere near as many early reservations if the deposit was non-refundable. The massive amount of reservations is good advertising in itself.

How many times do you paste that comment and submit before even you get tired of it?

IF you do business and take a deposit that you advertise is refundable and then don’t refund it when someone cancels, you are doing dishonest business.

Dang.. reminds me of trying to cancel AOL service back in the 1990s… nearly impossible.

“I want to quit the gym.”

I cancelled mine 2 months ago. They keep tell me they are in the process of mailing me a cheque. Not very transparent.

Sounds like you too are having a chitti experience.

LOL…that name sounds fake LOL it’s fake news

I heard he tried to rob a bank too! It was Chitti City Bank Bang.

Citi, not City.

I realized after posting (no edit feature and it was more fitting as well)

Looks like an Indian last time. So the name is legit and not fake.

Let’s not make fun of people’s names.

Hope you were in front of me in line.

File suit. Light a fire under their ass.

We are doing Everything in our power to hold onto your money as long as possible and not reveal how many cancellations we have been asked to process as you revolt over learning that your $35,000, car will cost you $60,000.

We are sorry that your delay can not be longer.

If you thought you would’ve getting the high end performance version for 35,000 – then you are a moron. No real surprises in the price points- except may be the longer ranger version costing 8,000 rather than say 5,000

But clearly the price points are genius- because not only have they not cannibalized the model S- but Model S demand might now be increasing.

At the end of the day quite brilliant. When ever Musk needs to increase demand he can easily extend range, speed up recharging and provide massive increase in warranty. But with Zero apparent competition, zero fear of lack of demand why give up too much right now- wait for the competition to emerge- then blow them to smithereens

No, what’s moronic is to defend Tesla’s ridiculous pricing/timing strategy for the 3.

Even if you’re #1 on the reservation list, ou *cannot* get a $35k Model 3, till some point very late in 2017 (or possibly 2018).

And even then, the $35k is only available for black with the weird wheels. Otherwise it’s $37.5k.

Bottom line, unless I am much mistaken, there *will* be a backlash for this, followed by some backtracking from Tesla.


Sure looks like another black eye for Tesla’s reputation. You’d think they would try harder to avoid SNAFUs like this. Or at least *I* would think so. For a company that depends mostly on free press and social media for advertising, they don’t seem to do that well at responding to complaints before they get a lot of negative attention.


PP clearly is a shill for big oil.

Don’t listen to PP.

Everything is fine with Tesla. Go Elon!

Sooner maybe later Testla will feel the electricity from other available EV manufacturers. . . China, GM, VW, Kia? Only a few to mention. I sincerely want testla to succeed- but they’re not going to be alone for very long.

Base Model 3 is 210 miles. Base Bolt is 240 miles plus, and I can get one now. I think Tesla will be fine but GM is ahead of all right now.

Aren’t these types of SNAFU commonly referred to as Class Action?

They have the apple problem, or rather the apple benefit, where the people who buy their stuff are more cult followers than customers. Thus they don’t need to care all that much about the people who they screw over. So long as the majority of cult followers are kept happy, they will shout down and troll down the opposition.

You see it all the time on every forum/comments section about Tesla. They automatically assume it’s your fault you had a bad experience with Tesla.

I think I would love to own one of their cars, but I wouldn’t ever buy from Tesla for how shady they are. It’s all about the money. Elon is dedicated to hitting certain company goals so he can make his billions and then he’s out. He’s publicly stated as much.

Once he’s accomplished everything in his benefits package, he said he would probably leave. Yes Tesla fans, Elon’s in it for the money.

Good analogy to apple. I can see more problems with trying to get the Model 3 serviced. What is that zoo going to be like. “Sorry we got Model S’s to work on, you should have not been cheap and bought one of those”

It does sort of suck, but Tesla pretty much can do what they want with charging for options.

I also do business. We get reservations and a down payment. If the buyer backs out the deal we get to keep the deposit. That is not unusual.

Tesla is way to generous.

Do you start taking deposits for your products while 98% of the features of the product are still unknown like Tesla?

Do you also advertise that the deposit is fully refundable? And then drag your feet issuing the refund? Think that’s good for business?


Very disappointing that Tesla doesn’t promptly refund.

I would like to hear from people who have decided to cancel, what their reasons are. No driver display? I can live with that but my pet peeve is the electric button for opening the doors from the inside. What happens when the vehicle is on fire and the computer/electrical system fails? Can you get out?

Teslas don’t crash or catch fire citizen.

There is a lever that opens it manually if needed. You can see it in close up pictures of the door.

Thanks, that makes me feel much better. I think that is something they should make more public, like when they show the electric button, they should also point out the lever.

i got my in 4-5 weeks which was just in time to put towards a Model X… 🙂

“a check will be promptly on its way.”

A check??? Do checks even exist anymore?
I think it’s more than 20 years ago I last saw a check.
I just looked it up and here in Denmark you are able to use checks in any banks since January 1 this year. I actually thought they had stopped supporting checks decades ago, as I’ve never seen or hear anyone using a check for ages.

For a futuristic company like Tesla you would think they would use a more modern way to do refunds than something as outdated as a check send with outdated snail mail – maybe they will even send the checks with Pony Express?
At least here in Denmark they have to come up with another way to do refunds as no checks are even vaild here anymore.

I don’t like dealing with checks, but they’re still very common in the US. Cash is also very common and I do sometimes appreciate its anonymity.

I still have to write checks to pay my taxes and a few other bills from organizations that refuse to pay credit card transaction fees.

Most older people here still use checks for all of their bill payments.


Actually, if Tesla can’t refund a credit card after 1 year, then a check would be the only option to send money to a private person in the US.

In the U.S., I still use checks occasionally. I still have a book of them for things that don’t accept electronic transfer (like my maid and some of my kids’ school fees). I still use one or two a month.

Ok, right, so the Paypal-founder-founded company simply cannot find a better way to pay someone their reservation fee back than doing it by… a cheque… sent in the mail… on dead trees… in 2017.

It’s bloody weird. Sure, they may extract several cents more per instance of this process dragging on for months, but they’ll more than make up for that “gain” just in the added interaction/communication it’ll generate. And worst of all, small stuff like this make them look less than honest, less than trustworthy, anything but professional!

The devil’s in the detail. But this stuff should be *ridiculously* easy!

Big (and even small) businesses in the United States still operate on checks. If you run a business here, you will issue and receive quite a few checks every month. Part of the issue is credit card fees in the United States. They are incredibly high, keeping people who move large amounts of money from using them. In a worse case scenario, it could cost Tesla up to $3 million dollars to settle cancelled reservations as credit card charge-backs: “Some providers return the refunded interchange to the merchant and only charge a small fee to route the refund. Some providers keep the interchange and charge a transaction fee. And some not only keep the interchange but also charge the merchant an additional processing fee and transaction fee on the refund. The difference in these three ways of handling refunds can have a large impact on your cost. Say you had $10,000 in credit card refunds and each refund was for $100. The first refund method shouldn’t cost you more than $20. The second method would cost you around $250. The third method would cost you around $500. This cost is even more significant when you consider that you made… Read more »

That’s weird. How can $250 be charged? That’s %25. It’s not a loan?
So for example if that were the case, and I were Tesla I would refuse to pay those usurious fees.

The total in the example is $10,000 so $250 is the typical 2.5% transaction fee.

I need more cancellations so that I can move up on the reservation line

If I cancel my cancellation, can I switch my lousy place, in the preorder line, and get moved on over, to be among the first in line for The Tesla Model Y? And, then of course, cancel my Model Y cancellation, to get first in line for The Tesla Truck!

Checks are common here in the US. Not everyone has a paypal account, nor one of those handy gadgets that plug into your smartphone to process a credit card.

I still have to use personal checks to pay the petsitter, for example, or to pay a friend or a family member for something.

I never had a credit card. They suck.
It’s like hanging a sign around your neck and saying “Steal My Money.”
Does not work for everyone. I do pay a friend to buy stuff online for me sometimes though.

I have never lost money to CC use, be it a merchant not supplying the agreed upon produce/service or someone fraudulently using my CC number. I have, however, lost money to cash theft and merchants not holding up their end of the bargain. If I could have paid them with a CC I would have been able to get the CC company to charge the merchant back. FWIW, I’ve been using credit cards for over 30 years.

Then you have been getting ripped off for 30 years.

How ignorant of you to say that!
Anything you buy in stores (some gas stations will charge less for cash) have the merchant credit card fee in the price of the product so why not get some of your money back with points you can earn on your CC? All you have to do is apply for one without an annual fee and pay back the entire balance at statement date. This way you can get 1 to 1.5% back on what you buy or on the bills you pay.

Or, fly just about anywhere in the civilized World, for practically Free!

I thought someone would say “Paypal” sooner. I’m sure its founders understood the meaning of “float”.

I want the new sports car!

Overnight you have moved to the top of the reservations list.
Please bring $60,000 in cash to your nearest dealer.
Your car will be detailed and delivered to you just as soon as humanly possible.

Shock, horror,a company dragging it’s feet processing cancellations! Unheard of!

So you had two choices: #1 put down a $1k deposit; #2 don’t put down a $1k deposit.

I’m always suspicious of “you can get your money back, no questions asked”, so I didn’t put down a deposit, plus I doubt I would have US$35k+ when the car was ready, so no point wasting everyone’s time.

Now to address those “It’s not the car I expected for $35k” simpletons, there was no way you were going to get AWD, Auto Pilot, long range battery, yadda yadda yadda, for $35k. What you can get for $35k is a black car with some pretty impressive tech, that competes quite nicely with other $35k cars. You get the built in ability to upgrade to Auto Pilot any time after purchase. And you get to be part of the future, even if your ego isn’t massaged quite as much as you thought it should be.

Compare it to Bolt, compare it to Leaf, compare it to any other EV and I think it compares favorably even for the base $35k version.

And even that one will actually cost you $36000 (destination fee)

I cancelled well over a month ago and haven’t seen anything yet. It is supposed to show on my credit card statement. Nope.

I own stock and believe in the company, but am definitely not impressed. They need to treat people right and they are clearly falling short.

“[We] have a lot of cancellations to process”

Really? We’re getting two quite different stories now

Lots of cancellations, because they all came in at the same. It’s a bit of a tempest in a teapot.

You just made that up.

I believe in Tesla and their mission, but this is very bad publicity. There is no way to put a positive spin on this. They have to correct this behavior now. If people get back their deposit within a few days they will put down another deposit in the future. If it takes a few months for them to get back their deposit they will say, “Thank You Jesus” and they may never put down another deposit on a Tesla again.

Here is what really happens: your friends are like: wtf why didn’t you tell me and have me get the spot, back of the line is more than a year sold out !

I canceled mine and got my credit card credited within two days. YMMV

So, if I don’t want the Model 3 anymore, can I just switch that deposit to Model Y instead rather than canceling it?

Would that be processed faster?

Blah, blah blah.

1. You gave Tesla your deposit. If you reneg on a deposit, say an for an apartment, they are within their rights to keep it. You committed to buy, you are reneging. They could have kept all or part. Obviously Tesla does not want the bad press, but that does not mean they have to get it to you immediately.

2. Like any other business, they probably process these requests in blocks. This easily explains the variance in time to process. You either wait a short time or a long time depending on if your request came at the start or end of a block.

I’m sure this won’t be the last non-story to be printed before real news happens (delivery).

Mass delivery of the $35k base version would be real news indeed.

I still think they will pull a “Model S 40” on that version (because there simply are no margins left for Tesla at $35k):

Ummm… it was presented as a REFUNDABLE deposit. They can’t now just keep it. Nor would they be in any way within their rights.

If you put down a deposit to hold an apartment it is a non-refundable deposit. Totally different situation. It’s made clear up front that if you back out, you’re not getting it back.

In retrospect it might have been better for serious buyers if Tesla had made it a non-refundable deposit, then only the truly hardcore would have put it down (I wouldn’t have). That being said, it would have been counter to their actual goal which was to get a bunch of free money upfront. Tesla has very well benefited from this setup so they have no reason to be bitter about refunding a few cancellations.

“blah blah” right back at you. How about reading Tesla’s reservation agreement, as it applied at the time? It very clearly explains it’s not a sale or sales order, and the fee isn’t a down payment — not surprising since when they opened up for reservations, there was no actual product yet, or specs for it (incl. price); it doesn’t commit Tesla to anything, and says that eventually, they may have a product to offer, and if so, a separate Sales Agreement would have to be made.

If you absolutely have to have a Model 3 ASAP, just wait ’till a week before Christmas and go on Ebay and buy one for a $20K markup.

Nothing like Christmas, to ring in pure EBay Capitalism, in its most stellar Holiday form!

Why would anyone just cancel and not sell their position in the queue?

Because, if Elon actually catches somebody doing the unthinkable, by selling out of their Model 3 preorder reservation, he books them on the first seat, on a One Way SpaceX mission to Mars.

Hope all of those were in front of me in line.

I have two Model S cars and have made reservations for two model3 cars ( we are a family of four ).

Would never think of a cancellation. And would this still happen I would concider donating the money to Tesla the best company in the world from my point.

Still wondering what will happen when the federal tax credit phases out. My guess is mass market priced EV sales will drop a lot for each manufacturer as they are phased out unless they can manage to cut their prices by a similar amount.

It’s possible there will be a political solution, like a law change to a universal phase out date or just a cancellation of the program once Tesla and GM (US companies) are done. Otherwise there will be a lot of BMWs, VW/Aidi’s, Mercedes, Hondas, Toyotas, Fords, Volvos etc etc. getting sold with tax credits while while Tesla, GM and Nissan have to compete without.

It will be interesting to see what happens.

“Still wondering what will happen when the federal tax credit phases out.”

I wouldn’t be surprised if the prices magically dropped to compensate for most or all of the phased out tax credits. For early Model 3s, just the $9000 battery upgrade probably includes more than enough profit margin to cover that.

I wonder if there are people that reserved a M3 just to cancel their reservation and make the M3 look bad. As we know, many ICE car companies have resorted to much dirtier tricks in the recent past.

I think you need to loosen that tin foil hat, buddy.

Receipt of the application, approval, enter a payment, create an accounting document, check…
Est. 1 minute procedure. If you hire 1 person only for cancellations, it is ~500/day, 10k/month. And number of cancellactions is >60k.

I canceled my reservation as I decided to go for the full Tesla experience and bought a Model X. My refund was in the mail within 3 weeks. I canceled on line. Sometimes disputing your charge with your cc company may have faster results!

When you cancel a Model 3 reservation somewhere in the world a flooding due to climate change occurs.