Accidentally butt-dialing someone is annoying. Finding out that you just butt-dialed your way to a $4,280 in-app purchase is a whole lot worse.
That’s exactly what happened to Dr. Ali Vaziri, a physician who was recently surprised to find that he had upgraded to a pricey Enhanced Autopilot mode on his Tesla — by hitting an option on the iPhone app when he didn’t even realize the app was open.
“My phone was in my jeans,” Vaziri told CNBC. “I took it out, put it on this charger that comes with your Tesla and that’s it. A minute later? I got the text. I’ve never purchased anything through the Tesla app before.”
Vaziri reportedly owned his Tesla for only a few months at the time of the accidental purchase. He linked the Tesla app with his credit card for a monthly “premium connectivity” service, costing $9.99 per month. (Some 0.23% of the Enhanced Autopilot cost.)
He complained to Tesla, but called the company’s customer service “horrendous.” He says he has yet to receive a refund.
Tesla CEO Elon Musk has seemingly been made aware of the ease of the butt dial problem before. Another Tesla owner, Stefan Peterson, tweeted in September that he accidentally purchased an Acceleration bolt-on costing around $2,000. Musk tweeted back, “Trust ur butt haha.”
Trust ur butt haha
— Elon Musk (@elonmusk) September 2, 2020
People accidentally purchasing items through in-app purchases is not unique to Tesla, of course. But the fact that this is so easy to do through the Tesla app (and seemingly difficult to undo) sounds like a bit of a user interface problem. And, in the case of Dr. Ali Vaziri, a major headache.