While most Mini drivers have a good relations with their Mini dealer, I know some have had problems. I thought I'd level out the playing field a bit. Here is an actual letter by a friend of mine with his *last* experience with Volkswagen.
In his conversation with Volkswagen USA the next day, he told them not to have the dealer call him. He said if the dealer called, he would promptly sell his car. BTW, I see a future MCS owner in him.
Today I took my car to S***h Volkswagen, W*******n D*******e, for a simple (at least I thought so) 20,000 mile check up. Please keep in mind I have had poor experiences the previous two times I took it to their service department but I decided to give it one last shot. I will try to recap my day as best as possible.
• I booked a service appointment online received my auto generated reply but never heard back about my appointment or even confirmation my request was received.
• I called in to make the appointment at which point it was too late to get the date I wanted and they had no record of me requesting it over the internet. (This is the second time this has happened! What’s the point of online booking if it doesn’t work?)
• They gave me a 7:30am appointment. Which I knew from my last two experiences the appointment time means squat. Why don’t you just come out and say it is first come first serve? I thought I’d beat the system by doing the early bird drop off that way my car would be there before 7:30am. I was wrong. Webster defines an appointment as “An arrangement to do something or meet someone at a particular time and place.” Apparently S***h VW has not seen or heard this definition because although I had a 7:30am appointment as of 11am my car had not even been looked at.
• I called around 11:30am for a status. After sitting on hold for several minutes a tech picked up and said “We’ll get to it early this afternoon, you don’t have to call we’ll call you when it is complete.” I never got a call.
• I should preface and say I know a thing or two about cars. Although I am no Volkswagen certified mechanic I’ve done tire rotations and oil changes in less then 30min. Maybe you should think about making me an honorary VW mechanic because it took your techs over 9 hours to complete that work.
• The Time is now 4:00pm, my ride for the day is leaving, and I still have no status on my car. I call Smith, sit on hold 10min, when I am asked for my phone number and Al (Service manager?) will call me back. Al never called.
• 5:30pm I arrive at Smith Volkswagen (Please note still no call and the shop closes in 30min). They said my car is done and the paper work will be completed in 2 min.
• 10 min pass.
• My name is called, hooray this nightmare is over or so I thought. I am handed my paper work and told to take it to the cashier. I get to the cashier, hand her my paper work, and my 10% off coupon I was given by mail. She tells me that she can’t give me the discount and I need to wait in line to again to speak with Al.
• I wait in line. Another 10min pass.
• I speak with someone (not sure if it was Al) who promptly lectures me on how I should have presented the coupon when I dropped off the car. He neglected to realize I did the “early bird” drop off so no one was there for me to present my coupon to. Now if I was able to get a hold of someone during the day, and my requested oral estimate (check the drop off sheet) was given I would have gladly informed them I had a 10% off coupon sent out by you with their name all over it.
That was my nightmare today. I don’t plan on ever recommending S***h Volkswagen to anyone I know. And at this point I am not sure I will ever purchase another Volkswagen. I hope you can address this issue so you don’t lose more customers like me. Thank-you.
Wow! Talk about bad service. VW's are really good cars, it's sad that their dealerships are that low. Even BMW won't ignore a person like they did. Hope VW does something about it. But then again, I'll always welcome a VW->MINI transfer!
After owning my cooper S for only 3 or 4 months i became very mentally unstable with all the problems i was having with her and so in a mad fit of depression decided to pop down to my local VW dealers to see what the R32 golf and Bettles where all about , well i must've sat in the waiting area for 10 to 15minutes - then to releave the boredom began to jump in and out of the cars in the show room whilst waiting for a sales person to say "high sir, can i help you, can i sell you a £30,000 car?" but no, they just sat around chatting amongst themselves - well needless to say i wasn't enamoured by this and after another 10 to 15minutes of that finally got so p****d off over the situation that i promptly walked out - you'd have thought they'd at least make the effort to sell the cars, let alone provide shoddy service to it's customers when having their cars booked in for work...
bad rep for VW me thinks here - although the R32 is pretty special....
If a top-spec VW Sharan 1.9 TDI suffers a total gearbox failure after only 75,000 km and 2 1/2 years of dealer-serviced careful driving, you might have thought that VW would entertain a goodwill contribution towards the €4,400 (£3,000) bill - NOT! The dealer says the local importer should, the local importer says no, and VW AG says it's up to the local importer! Talk about a run-around!
So our first ever VW is without doubt our last ever VW, and that includes anything else from the VW stable. (Yes, I know the Sharan is probably just a Ford Galaxy in disguise, but when you pay the premium to get the VW, you might reasonably expect better reliability, or at least better customer service.......sadly, we feel that VW has fallen far short of expectations on all counts this time)
Anyway, that's my gripe over! My MINI remains everything I expected it to be, and the Luxembourg dealers are GREAT!
The first VW I ever owned was also the last - ever.
It is no exaggeration to say that the Saturday shopping was invariably centred around a trip to the local dealership service department. The car developed faults as soon as the ignition was turned on - anything from dodgy switches to a non-closing sunroof, fluid leaks to failed exhaust system. I still have a printout a quarter of an inch thick - one fault per page. And all this within just an 18 month period.
VW will invariably go the same way as Marks and Spencer unless they begin to comprehend that quality and service do in fact matter.
VW should hang their head in shame.
Do not waste your time visiting a VW showroom - aspire to something special.
I think it's slightly unfair to tarnish all Volkswagen/Audi dealers and cars with the same brush. My brother's got a 94 Golf 1.9D CL with 135,000 miles on the clock and I can only hope my MINI will look half as good and be as relaible as it a similar age.
I'm a current VW owner that will never buy a VW again, though for different reasons than most people.
The company (at least in the USA) treats their classic owners (I have a 71 Super Beetle) like dirt. They have sued people for such silly things as putting a VW gif on their personal website. They sue manufacturers of aftermarket replacement parts, that they don't produce anymore. Pick up a classic VW magazine sometime, and you will see silly VW logos on things like floor mats that are missing on of the lines on the "w" just to make sure that they won't get sued. This is just a small list of the dispicable behavior that classic owners have had to endure at the hands of VWoA.
I understand protecting your image, but the feeling amongst classic enthusiasts is that VW would be more than happy to see every old bug crushed at the junkyard. They seem to be trying to distance themselves from their past, instead of embracing it in the way that say Ford does with the Mustang. Even if the New Beetle was a good car (it's not), and even if VW took care of it's new car owners (which I have heard time and time again that they do not) I would still not buy a new VW.
IMHO Volkswagen seems to be a car company without direction. Trying to distance themselves from a small car, cheap car, People's Car sort of company and is trying, unsuccessfully, to make a new higher end name for themselves. I mean really, when most people think high end luxury SUV, are they really thinking VW ??? Yet look at the Tourag, then look at it's price...... then remember that when you look at VW's stock prices and how they have tanked over the last few years.
We're actually selling our '95 Golf Sport to my brother when (if) the MINI ever shows. It's been a heck of a car. Very reliable, handles well, super comfy. I only hope the MINI does as well. Of course, our car didn't have power windows (VW giant recall #1) or the 1.8t motor (VW giant recall #2), so great reliability hasn't been a surprise. Oddly, the fact that this car has been so good has kept us from another VW. They haven't changed much, and why should I pay $20k to get the same car (with the same engine, even).
We also have a '73 Beetle. Also very reliable. Add up all the costs involved in running it, and it's been ridiculously cheap. Handles horribly, but the tires are just at the point where they slip before the car rolls over. Will need a new engine soon, though, I think, as it's overheating for some untracable reason and making expensive valve noises. This one we're keeping as it was my Grandmother's
The dealers here have been pretty bad, ignoring me in the showroom, giving me grief in the parts department, suing my coworkers when they complained online, etc. I'm not a certified VW mechanic, but I've had to be when I get things from the dealer saying, "if you need service, please call three weeks ahead." If I knew my car was going to break three weeks before it did so, I could probably prevent the failure - duh. The Beetle they completely ignore, to the point of telling me, "we didn't make them before 1998" (actual comment from VW parts dept. peon). The dealer experience itself is enough to make me go elsewhere.
As for manufacture, both of my VWs are Mexican (built in the Pueblo plant), and aside from a Spanish owners manual and metric speedo on the Beetle, that's never been anything other than good.
The AutoGuide.com network consists of the largest network of enthusiast-owned enthusiast-operated automotive communities.
AutoGuide.com provides the latest car reviews, auto show coverage, new car prices, and automotive news. The AutoGuide network operates more than 100 automotive forums where our users consult peers for shopping information and advice, and share opinions as a community.