Tesla has sent an email to employees confirming changes to the popular referral program, but they are not the changes we were expecting.
Earlier this month it was reported that Tesla was getting rid of the referral program in its current form. Owner’s referral links were going to be removed, and an updated mobile app would allow current owners and potential owners to link their accounts.
If that potential owner ends up buying a car, the current owner earns their reward.
A few days after that report, the referral section vanished from owner’s online accounts. Some thought it was simply a glitch (there have been many lately), while others speculated it meant the changes were coming soon.
In the email sent yesterday afternoon, a copy of which was obtained by Drive Tesla, the automaker now confirms it was not a glitch and the removal is permanent. The email suggests the Tesla mobile app is now the best way to share referral links.
The email also explains another change – only customers with a Tesla product in hand (i.e., delivered) are eligible to earn rewards. Until now, customers who placed a pre-order received a referral link and were able to earn rewards.
It looks like this change hasn’t been implemented just yet. In talking with several people who have a referral link but do not yet own any Tesla products, their links are still active. Their existing referrals are also still intact and have not been removed.
While these changes weren’t the ones we were expecting, this could just be the first phase with others to follow. It is believed the major change will only come with the redesigned app, which is expected to be released soon.