When Tesla slashes prices, as it did this week, shoppers looking for electric vehicles generally benefit. But for anyone who buys a Tesla right before such price cuts, the frustration can be acute. Waiting just a little longer to buy, after all, could have saved them a significant amount of money—but they had no way of knowing.
A risk for Elon Musk’s carmaker, which has repeatedly cut prices on its high-end models this year, is that existing customers will feel resentment—not to mention see their vehicle lose value—while some shoppers hesitate to buy because another price cut might be right around the corner.
After the carmaker made its latest price cuts on Thursday, new Tesla owners vented their frustration on social media, often addressing Musk in posts on X (formerly Twitter), the social network he owns.
One tweet posted on Friday reads: “Tesla screws with people so much when they drop price by $20k+. I just picked up my Model S Plaid one day ago, drove less than 100 miles on it and I’m shafted by over $20k. TESLA NEVER AGAIN.”
That followed Tesla dramatically dropping the price—by about $18,500—of the Plaid versions of its Model X SUV and Model S sedan. The carmaker also made significant price cuts across the rest of its X and S range. Shoppers can now get a Model S for a base price of $74,990 and a Model X for $79,990—that’s $3,500 and $8,500 less, respectively, than earlier in the week. What’s more, the carmaker decided to no longer charge extra for certain paint colors.
So a customer who on Monday bought a Plaid version of either model with a paint color costing extra was in all likelihood fuming by Friday—or will be soon when they learn of the reductions.
Tesla will “lose some loyalty”
“These big unexpected price cuts definitely not fair with one’s who recently bought Tesla vehicles,” reads one tweet posted Friday.
A reply to that on Friday reads: “I just bought the S (today) but I agree, pretty crappy, they are going to lose some loyalty.”
Also frustrated are those who bought either model at the beginning of the year. Then, a Model S started at $104,990 and an X at $120,990. Such customers are now seeing the same cars sell for $30,000 and $41,000 less, respectively.
Anyone looking to sell a used Tesla is likely feeling agitated by the price cuts, too, of course.
Some customers have called upon Musk to give them something of value to make up for the frustration. One tweet posted Friday and addressed to the billionaire CEO reads: “Thanks to the price cuts, my Model S with less than 2k miles is worth $25k less than I paid for it earlier this year, and the Plaid is only $6k more. At least release the track/power upgrade so I don’t feel like this was all a complete rip-off!”
Another customer asked Musk, referring to Enhance Autopilot, “Can Model S&X owners who pick up within a week of the price cut get a free EAP upgrade? Would really love to be able to change lanes without disengaging AP.” That customer claimed to have purchased a Model S earlier this week and wrote: “How could you do this to your loyal customers.”
Another post also addressed to Musk reads: “I should get free supercharging for life after paying the full 2022 price for model X Plaid and now you drop the price 30%?!?!?”
Tesla buyers feeling “duped”—again
Another customer wrote: “I feel completely duped. I just purchased a model S LR for $90,000 60 days ago, now the plaid is cheaper than what I paid for. I could of got FSD and the long range for cheaper. Value of my asset dropped 20k.”
Yet this is hardly the first time Tesla owners have felt “duped” by falling prices. In January, customers made similar complaints after dramatic price cuts then. One self-described “Tesla fan girl” told Bloomberg after price cuts to the Model Y, which she had just bought: “I feel like I got duped. I feel like a got taken advantage of as a consumer. Right off the bat, I’m out $13,306. It’s such a large reduction that it’s going to affect a lot of people who just bought a vehicle.”
Tesla also cut the price of its Full Self-Driving (FSD) software from $15,000 to $12,000 this week. In 2019, Musk suggested that customers buying a Tesla with FSD were “buying an appreciating asset” thanks to the feature. He tweeted, “If we make all cars with FSD package self-driving, as planned, any such Tesla should be worth $100k to $200k, as utility increases from ~12 hours/week to ~60 hours/week.”
Tesla owners who bought their Model X or S earlier this week couldn’t be blamed for doubting that.
Fortune reached out to Tesla but received no immediate reply.
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