Tesla has responded to Australian calls for an extension of its free-for-life Premium Connectivity to customers who bought certain all-electric cars before July, 2019, drawing praise and thanks from those affected,
A number of Tesla customers who bought an electric vehicle from Tesla with a premium interior believed at the time of purchase the vehicle included free-for-life premium connectivity, which gives drivers access to a range of added features on top of basic navigation.
At the time of purchase, the ordering page for the Tesla Model 3 – the company’s most affordable electric vehicle – said that its premium interior option included a number of features including “satellite-view maps with live traffic visualisation and navigation” and “in-car internet streaming music & media”.
In July 2019, the wording of the page was changed to read “Premium Connectivity (1 year included)“.
These features are now part of Tesla’s Premium Connectivity subscription package, the price for which Tesla has now also dropped after CEO and co-founder Elon Musk responded on Twitter to Australian customers who complained the $A16.99/mth pricing was too high, saying “You’re right, will fix“.
This was a great win for early adopter customers who already pay a premium for most of Tesla’s electric car variants due to a variety of factors including the low Australian dollar, import costs and the luxury car tax.
But some of those who bought before July 2019 said the fact that Tesla was only offering free for life Premium Connectivity for customers who bought before July 2018 was not fair, as the ordering page did not clarify they would only receive the first twelve months for free.
Not so now: On Friday, Tesla changed its policy regarding free for life Premium Connectivity to include customers who bought before July 2019.
The change – which has been also been made to the New Zealand website – has brought forth jubilant responses from Tesla customers who had highlighted the issue on Twitter, expressing their thanks to Musk.
“Thank you @elonmusk for looking after us early adopters!” said Tesla owner “Tesla Tom”.
BREAKING: Ask and you shall receive. All @Tesla vehicles in Australia ordered on/before June 30 2019 receive Premium Connectivity for the lifetime of the car.
– This includes Model 3 with premium interior!
— Tesla Tom #BajaCybertruck🔋 (@_TeslaTom) April 25, 2020
“Thankyou @Tesla for listening to the Australian early purchasers of Model 3 and honouring the wording on your website at the time of ordering by giving us early owners premium connectivity for life. This is why we preach about our Culture Special Circumstances agent @elonmusk,” said one Tesla owner known as Dr Sally L.
Thankyou @Tesla for listening to the Australian early purchasers of Model 3 and honouring the wording on your website at the time of ordering by giving us early owners premium connectivity for life. This is why we preach about our Culture Special Circumstances agent @elonmusk. pic.twitter.com/3P5S7plvoQ
— DrSally (@DrSallyL) April 25, 2020
Another Tesla owner, known as “TeslaStraya” – who has also benefited from a few other changes Tesla has made including a refund for his white exterior (which Tesla later made the default free option), and had the Homelink auto garage opener installed after it was discontinued – said “Wow Tesla wow!”.
So let me get something straight here:
1) Refunded the money I paid for pearl white paint when it was changed to standard colour.
2) Gave me homelink retrospectively after it was no longer being fitted.
3) Is now providing lifetime premium connectivity on my car.
Wow @Tesla wow!
— TeslaStraya (@TeslaStraya) April 25, 2020
Meanwhile, an informal poll also conducted by “Tesla Tom” that saw nearly 120 people answer the question of whether the price drop for the Premium Connectivity subscription is good value, showed an overwhelming 60% of respondents agree, suggesting that Tesla’s response in this matter as well as the issue has at the very least proven to be a good customers relation exercise.
— Tesla Tom #BajaCybertruck🔋 (@_TeslaTom) April 27, 2020
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Bridie Schmidt is lead reporter for The Driven, sister site of Renew Economy. She specialises in writing about new technology and has been writing about electric vehicles for two years. She has a keen interest in the role that zero emissions transport has to play in sustainability and is co-organiser of the Northern Rivers Electric Vehicle Forum.