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Tesla’s New Referral Program Confuses Everyone!

Only a month after ending their customer referral program, Tesla is bringing it back again with a slightly different twist. 

Previously their system gave rewards based on the number of referrals an owner accumulated, which often ended up unfairly skewing the system in favor of those with a large social media presence rather than the average Tesla customer.  Now Tesla is offering rewards to both the owner giving the referral and the new buyer receiving the referral while putting guidelines in place to keep the fulfillment costs from running out of control.

New Rewards for the Tesla Referral Program

“Now, each time a friend purchases a new Tesla using your referral code, you’ll both get 1,000 miles of free Supercharging. Each referral also gives you a chance to win a Founder’s Series Model Y monthly and a Founder’s series Roadster supercar quarterly, both signed by Elon Musk and Franz von Holzhausen. Tesla owners who already have unlimited Supercharging get two chances to win with each referral,” Tesla said in their latest blog post on the subject. 

Initially this announcement caused a little confusion.  When asked by a Twitter user if each referral counted as a ‘raffle ticket’ or if whomever snagged Tesla the most referrals each month would win a prize, Elon Musk responded with “No, it’s cumulative, but once you win one of the prizes, referral count resets to zero & you can’t win that prize again. Intent over time is to enable those without a massive social media presence to win.”

Breaking Down the Tesla Referral Program

Here’s what’s important to know about the new Tesla customer Referral Program:

  • Each referral gives both the owner giving the referral and the new buyer receiving the referral 1,000 miles of free Supercharging. 
  • The owner giving the referral also gets one chance to win a Founder’s Series Model Y per month and a Founder’s series Roadster per quarter, per referral.  If, however, they already receive free Supercharging, then they would get two chances to win per referral. 
  • At the end of the month/quarter, if an individual does not win, the number of chances they’d accumulated during that period rolls over to the next prize period and does not reset. 
  • If an individual does win, the number of chances they accumulated resets to zero.
  • Once an individual wins a prize, they cannot win that same prize again.  This includes prizes won during the earlier Tesla Referral Program. 

Issues with the Prior Tesla Referral Program

Tesla ended its incredibly popular Tesla Referral Program back in February due to rising concerns with the cost. 

This program had changed a lot over the years, but the problems truly started when Tesla began offering discounts on their upcoming $250,000 Roaster.  After 5 referrals, one would unlock a special program where they could receive an extra 2 percent off of the purchase of their Roadster per new referral.  At first it just seemed like a few people would simply get a pretty good discount on their new EV, but Tesla kept the program running long enough that some accumulated 50 referrals, enough to earn a free Roadster.  Some ambitious soul even earned two. 

In the end, Tesla had to give away over 80 new Roadsters for free plus countless discounts on others, which ended up costing the automaker much more than it had originally expected. 

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