Abuse Of Tesla Referral Program Will Be Shut Down, Says Musk



Tesla CEO Elon Musk

Tesla CEO Elon Musk is known for listening to and finding solutions to customer problems via Twitter interactions.

Though many are using the Tesla Referral Program in such a way that may violate the automaker’s “Good Faith” clause, and it has become commonplace and overlooked, Elon Musk Tweeted that he will shut down such use.

The Tesla Referral Program has been highly successful, and those in the EV community are well aware that you can earn some pretty amazing prizes by way of the program. Essentially, refer a friend and get invites to special events, free Supercharging, or a Powerwall. Programs vary from time to time.

New Tesla owners (via the current referral program) can get free, unlimited charging through the end of 2017.

It comes as no surprise that Tesla supporters are eager to offer their referral code to a whole slew of “friends” via their website, social media, forums, YouTube videos, etc. This has become almost like the “thing to do.” You read a Tesla article on many websites and the referral code is offered at the bottom of almost every post. Up until now – because it wasn’t immediately brought to Musk’s attention in a public setting – this has been allowed.

Well, now someone has complained on Twitter, and Elon has plans to “shut that down.” Whatever that means exactly.

We are well aware that their will be a mix of opinions regarding this. Are people simply promoting Tesla sales, and the company wouldn’t be where it is today without having had this barrage of referral code sharing? Or, has it gone overboard?  People have definitely commercialized the system, which is against Tesla’s “Good Faith” clause. But, are people going so far as to sell codes? There’s a whole lot to consider here when we start looking at websites, paysites, viral social media post comments, viral videos … you get the idea.

Should referral codes be specific to actual friends? Or, are peoples’ thousands of internet “friends” acceptable? Is exerting corporate control over the usage of the referral code actually possible?  And at the end of the day, a sale is being made for Tesla, so do they really want to stop such “abuse”?  All tricky questions for sure … what do you think?

Source: Teslarati

Categories: Tesla

Tags: ,

Leave a Reply

25 Comments on "Abuse Of Tesla Referral Program Will Be Shut Down, Says Musk"

newest oldest most voted

Youtube vloggers are the biggest advocates for the brand. These people did this in the beginning for no compensation whatsoever.

Tesla stores in Norway had pictures and vids of Bjorn Nyland for crying out loud.

Aside from Musk himself using social media, this has picked up the slack the most from a lack of paid advertising.

“Shutting this down” is just plain stupid.

I, for one, learned of tesla from these yt channels. A friend sent a link that said “hey check out this electric car smoke a corvette!” I’m sure I would have seen one eventually, but this opened my eyes.

“I was shocked, shocked I say, to learn about this practice from Twitter!” Elon Musk


Some YouTube film-maker should re-dub that classic scene from “Casablanca”:

CAPTAIN RENAULT/ELON MUSK: I’m shocked, shocked to find that people are using the Tesla Referral Program to sell more cars than I intended!

CROUPIER/TESLA CFO: Here’s the latest report showing growing Referral Program profits, sir.

CAPTAIN RENAULT/ELON MUSK: Oh, thank you very much.

Musk has also shut down the discounting program, that he didn’t know about. LOL..
He fixed the worker safety issues before anyone got hurt. He is always so proactive 🙂 He fired the HR director for worker safety issues. LOL.

Wow, somebody needs a lot of attention, and I don’t mean Elon.

It will be easier for them to shut stuff like this down if they start an affiliate program for the people who were “abusing” this.

If referrals are limited to 5 per owner, what is the big deal if these owners “spam” their referral link on Youtube videos or social media?

Just more Elon micro-managing.


(⌐■_■) Trollnonymous


Agreed. As long as they aren’t selling the referrals, it’s not worth Musk’s concern.


The YTers only get to use 5 referrals, but they take them away from the individuals who are actually convincing neighbors and friends.

But then these are Twitter responses. Not going to get more than superficial statements. Not going to get clarifications. Limitations of the medium.

I wouldn’t parse the statements, just look elsewhere for details

Not only is this pointless to “shutdown” but most likely it’s going to make referrals far more difficult to redeem…

How will he “shut it down”? Run a background check to figure out if they really are friends? And people without any “real friends” driving Tesla will not get the bonus offer, lame.

“Hey, I watched your Youtube video and saw your referral link. Can I be your ‘friend’?”
“Thanks friend!”


Is the referral link now gonna require submission of proof of how long you have been friends with the referrer??

I’m a little surprised he never saw this before. And it is pretty easy to foresee too. When you decide to pay people to become your advertisers the goal is pretty much to get this stuff out there.

I can understand wanting to end it. I mean, the company is doing a good job selling cars so you need it less than before. But doing so and saying it what it became wasn’t what you expected is the strange part.

That is despicable. Who would do such a thing?!?

Save $1,000 on your Tesla, get free supercharging on your Model X or S, click my link!


(⌐■_■) Trollnonymous


Funny guy.

ELON focus on model 3 rollout and spacex.


This issue is really about complying with the “anti bird dog” statutes in many states.

NADA has lobbied to make it illegal to get paid for referrals.

I’ve given over 1,200 guest drives my Model S. Dozens of people have purchased Teslas as a result. Have never given anyone my code.

It’s not about the money or swag.

Perhaps that’s it. Unless someone is doing something really blatant like using e-bay to get bids on the right to use their referral code, then it’s hard for me to understand why Elon would want to tamp down on people using social media to help advertise Tesla cars. So long as it doesn’t give Tesla a bad reputation, why not? Even someone demanding a kickback from those using their codes shouldn’t be a problem for Tesla, as long as it’s a private deal, not a public one. After all, the Referral Program originally gave $1000 to both the new buyer and the existing Tesla car owner. The only reason it was changed to buyer-only was because Tesla was running up against State “anti-bird-dog” laws. So it’s not like Tesla has any real objection to people profiting by referring Tesla sales. I admit that I was shocked the first time I saw someone put their referral code in as the “sig line” on a forum post, since the stated intent of the Referral Program was to promote in-person selling, not to use social media for Tesla advertising. But from Tesla’s point of view, if it helps sell Tesla cars, then why… Read more »

Blsht!!! There is no problem with it. If somebody hate social media and YT simply dont go there. Is somebody forcing you to watch it? Simply switch off you phones and computers and go somewhere else you bored whimpers. Bjorn is the best and superpositive advocate of Tesla and electric vehicles. He is responsible for almost everything what I know about EVs without need to own them or sit in them.

Do you own one, which one? If you don’t own one, are you looking to get one?
If you don’t intend to purchase an EV then our work hasn’t worked, because what we want if for people to realise an EV can be just as good, even better, than an ICE and convince people to change.
Bjorn shows this, another blogger called Ian Sampson also does it really well (his blog convinced me it could be possible, so I got a Leaf). If you watch Bjorn’s blog and it helps you make the decision then I think he would be super happy with that.