Even if you have free supercharging, Tesla now require you to have a credit card lodged on your account so they can bill you for your supercharging and overstay fees. We have however become aware of a quirk in the system which can result in the supercharger refusing to charge even after you have updated the card details after a credit card has expired. We talk you through what seems to have happened, and the relatively easy fix.
All credit and payments cars expire and it's therefore going to happen that the one logged in your Tesla account will expire at some point. Remembering all the places where you have logged the credit card, such as Amazon and other retailers, etc is near impossible and most transactions where you use a credit card will prompt or warn you if the card has expired. When supercharging, this is is not always the case and we find Tesla's email communication to be poor in many regards.
What seems to happen is after you have supercharged Tesla will try to take payment. If the credit card has expired then this naturally fails. Tesla may email you asking to update the details and you may do this, however it seems Tesla do not automatically go back and try to take payment again straight away.
The problem scenario occurs when you turn up at a supercharger and the charger refuses with a "update payment method" message because the payment card is out of date. The first problem is that checking and updating your payment card details typically requires you to log in on the desktop webpage version of the Tesla site and not the app. If you manage to get access while at a supercharger and update your details, there are times when the supercharger still won't allow you to charger. You double check the credit card and all is well.
This can also occur if you update your credit card details while at or shortly before visiting the supercharger.
The supercharger is refusing because you still have an outstanding payment, failed because of an expired credit card, and they have not tried to take payment with the new credit card details. This is of course frustrating when you're at a supercharger trying to get a charge and you think you've done what you needed to do. But there's one more step to fix the problem.
To clear the block, you not only need to update your credit or payment card details, but you also need to view your supercharging history and press the "Pay" button to use the updated payment details for any previous unpaid supercharging sessions. Once done, supercharging should be enabled.
Therefore when you update your payment details at home, it is worth checking your charging history and clearing any unpaid charging sessions before trying to supercharge again.