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Old 22nd September 2017, 18:19   #91
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Default Re: The miserable after-sales of the Volkswagen Auto Group in India

Thought I'd post this here so it might help others prior to purchasing a VW.

I have a 2010 MKV Jetta. It's a great car and really an enjoyable drive.

Sadly I feel VW cars are not as reliable as they appear. My car may be 7 years old, but it has hardly run 45,000kms. Service has been done only at authorized dealerships.

I have visited the service center numerous times during ownership. Mechanical and electrical issues - ABS sensor failure (more than I can remember), fuel pump failure.
The interior roof lining came off once - fixed, door panel leather has started peeling off too - haven't bothered.

A very expensive affair throughout, I assure you. But issues can happen - and I held on the car.

However, recently I had an experience that has demolished my faith in the brand.

On the road I had just climbed to the apex of a bridge and was on the descent slope when I wanted to change the gear from third to fourth. It slotted out of third and then the lever just went limp. The shifting mechanism had disconnected from the gearbox and there I was stuck in neutral. Luckily I was not in the midst of an overtaking maneuver.
I coasted the car to a safe spot without incident.

At the service station, when I asked why this occurred, I told it was "wear and tear" and such things can happen. They also told me they don't check these components and they can fail at any time. I was livid. I know issues can crop up but this was a critical component of the car whose failure could have been fatal. Brakes, engines, transmission or steering failures should be unacceptable. Why bother servicing at an authorized outlet then?

Frankly I could have died with this incident.Curiously enough after getting it fixed they would not certify the car is safe. Read what you sign when you take delivery after servicing. It usually states that YOU are satisfied and nowhere does it give any assurance.

For a company that brags "German engineering" and do not hesitate to charge a premium for this - it is shameful.

So for potential buyers, take it from someone who has spent 7 years dealing with VW. Don't bother. VW reliability ratings are not as great as they'd like you to believe. Even if their cars are engineered well, they are not engineered with our country in mind. Their parts are expensive and take time to arrive.

And while less "premium" brands might try to appease you with prompt service - VW does not bother. (but this might be a dealer specific issue)

I've decided to sell the car for what it's worth. Just wanted my story out there.
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Old 19th January 2018, 22:12   #92
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Default Re: The miserable after-sales of the Volkswagen Auto Group in India

Vw has almost become a hallmark for lack lustre after sales service all their complaints calls get forwarded to the dealers anyway whom the complaints are against in the first place and no concrete solution is every obtained from them. Here is my experience with them thus far

Experience 1
Around June last year I wanted shock absorbers for my Polo a 2011 model Polo 1.6 but vw couldnít procure the ones that were fitted on the car but instead were offering me ones that are fitted to later model cars. Many many 1.6 owners and older Polo and vento owners have complained about these shock absorbers making their ride more floaty making the handling worse inspite of explaining this to them and telling them that I didnít mind waiting even for a few weeks they blankly said it was not possible to source these parts. This is a car that is only 6 years old and newer models of the same car are still very much produced by them I can only imagine what it would be like owning & sourcing parts for this car for the next six years with this kind of shabby service.

Scenario 2
This was with our other vw product A 2014 vw vento some time in end of 2016. The car had just gone out of warranty. I had booked an appointment for what I recall was the 3rd service for 11am and reached there maybe around 11:15 upon reaching there I just sat there for about an hour until an SA came and attended me he took the car in and for almost another hour it just sat with no work done to it. This made me furious as this was our only car at the time and my mother who primarily uses this car is a doctor and canít do without the car for long. I had made them aware of this fact yet they were taking their own time. I made the SA aware of this and he told me it was now lunch time and there was nothing he could do so for 3 hours my car just sat there doing nothing with no work even started. This would still be understandable if I had just walked in but I had taken an appointment almost a week ago. He also came back with various faults such as clutch wear steering rack failure suspension failure and an estimate of around 85,000 rupees. I quickly denied all these problems to which they gave me standard reply stating that any of these parts could go anytime. The battery lasted me 1.5 years more my car has since done 30k kms more and my clutch only just staring to go and my steering rack is absolutely fine. I never went back to that particular dealer again.

Scenario 3
The latest one that happened today 19th January 2018. My polos head light switch had broken and I needed to get it fixed. I had called Vw mangalore (Bharath cars) on 10/01/2018 and they had told me the switch was available and it was for 6500rs I obviously found that steep but where Iím situated now in Udupi/manipal region thereís absolutely no one that I know off who can manage repairing Vw cars + the broken switch was stuck and refused to come out it took me a few days to gather the money and I called them yesterday asking to book an appointment for 2pm. Again for almost half an hour after reaching I was just sitting in the lounge until an SA came to get me. They again took 2 hours to fix what was a straightforward job and this time I stood right beside of the car the whole time inspite of constant nagging by SAs saying customers are not allowed to stand in the service bay-area ( come on Vw where the transparency if you donít allow customers to watch their own cars get serviced). This workshop though the biggest Vw workshop Iíve ever been to didnít have a customer lounge facing the service bay either like the other ones. The SA after the job was done around 4o clock quoted me a whopping 8458rs which included 260rs as labour TO REMOVE A SWITCH! Now I know itís a difference of 2000rs but think of it from my perspective Iím a student studying in a completely different state & city from my Home they had quoted me 6500rs just a week back (10/1/2018) so I had gone to them with merely 500rs more which I had kept to get lunch later. I instantly told them quite frankly that this absolutely unacceptable and that 8500 rupees for a simple switch was absolutely bizarre and that I would like to see the service manager pronto. The SA came back to me with a story on how the prices were changed on the 10th of jan ( the very day I had asked about the switch for the headlight). I refused to accept this and the SA gave me the service managers no and stated he was traveling as expected the service manager didnít answer the phone nor has he bothered to call back since. The other solution the SA gave me was to remove the part and give me the car (this actually felt like a black mail). After almost 45 minutes of waiting during which I typed 90% of this post someone from the customer relation department stepped in and tried his best at sweet talking and agreed to drop the labour charges citing that nothing can be done now as the bill had been made etc etc he even refused to show me when the prices were changed and refused to give me in writing that something like this had even happened he infact Ďgave me adviceí that I shouldíve double checked the Ďtoday priceí to which I told him that the SA shouldíve told me the cost before taking the car in. My mother had to leave all her work and run to the bank and put some money in my debit card while all this was going on. In the end after another hour at around 6pm I was tired of their un-ending rubbish logic and just gave up I told them quite blankly that I would not sign the customer satisfaction form nor would I ever come to them again for even the smallest work. They were beaming when I told them that sadly I didnít have The call on record when I was quoted 6500rs (Has Vw really been reduced to this level where we have to record each and every conservation of theirs ?). All they did in the end was send me an apology email and drop the Ďlabour chargesí (270₹)
They even gave me an excuse stating that the representative I had spoken to has now left the organisation which I again found strange as I had called the same phone no to book my visit the previous day which was registered.
Iím not annoyed at the fact that the switch cost so much I wouldíve still bought it anyway in this situation but they shouldíve told me what it costs at the very beginning so that I could go prepared or just admitted their fault instead of playing such blame games and making such petty excuses.

These are just 3 of the countless bad experiences weíve had with Vw and itís counterpart skoda.

Verdict
I have never ever in my almost 5 years of VW ownership walked out of a dealership happy or not feeling cheated and ripped off. Their cars though finicky are absolutely brilliant to drive especially long distance. But Iím sad to report that our next car will not be a Volkswagen or even a Volkswagen product weíve been loyal customers for 10 years now but itís high time for a change. Nor would I recommend anyone I know to ever make the mistake of buying a VW product Audi Skoda VW are all feathers of the same bird.

As for the fate of our current VW products my Polo is my first car and while I donít have the heart to sell it I wonít deny that the thought has crossed my mind a few times. As for our vento itís fait is sealed.
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Old 19th January 2018, 23:42   #93
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Default Re: The miserable after-sales of the Volkswagen Auto Group in India

Most dealers who are selling cars for companies that have low volumes are losing money due to wrong business model. They end up trying to rip off customers in after sales services to make up for these losses.

Unfortunately owning real estate on a prime road still seems to be primary criteria in allocating dealerships. When these dealers end up selling only 20-30 cars a month after investing 5-10 crores in a dealership (a lot of which is borrowed on high interest rates), they are not going to make money and they resort to such unethical practices. As long as this business model continues to exist, such dealers will continue to exist.

The OEMs have a role in bringing the investment needed in opening a dealership down and selecting the right kind of dealers.
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Old 20th January 2018, 00:00   #94
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Default Re: The miserable after-sales of the Volkswagen Auto Group in India

The level of deceit being practised by VW in India is frightening. Many years back, an MBA student once told me that VW was an aspirational brand, while Maruti or Tata were not. So VW products would continue to sell, irrespective of service quality. I hope he was wrong. In any other country, the media would have buried the company. Here, almost no auto magazine reports issues of the sort described here. Sad to see people still falling for them.
I somehow think that this perception affects the resale value. You can get a WagonR and a Polo of a similar vintage for almost the same price. A Vento costs less than a Dzire. This is really sad, because the products are competent but the people selling them are not.

Last edited by Nissan1180 : 20th January 2018 at 00:03. Reason: Spelling
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Old 21st January 2018, 13:58   #95
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Default Re: The miserable after-sales of the Volkswagen Auto Group in India

I forgot to mention that While I was there the customer representative just decided to assume on his own that I had inquired about the switch in dec 2017 which is not possible at all since the car and I both were in Bombay at that time and it was driven through the night to manipal on the 9th of January which would be impossible without a headlight switch they constantly kept trying to put words in my mouth and had a prompt excuse for every problem.

UPDATE

I tried to lodge a complaint yesterday I also did send an angry tweet to the vw India page the moment this happens on Friday and they promised a call back after I gave them my details itís been 3 days now and nothing has come out it yet the helpline guys are saying that the department that handles their complaints against service is closed since itís a Saturday. This is honestly sad as even all VW dealerships and anything relating to a buying a new vw is open 7 days a week which clearly shows vw is not really bothered once youíve bought the car. All theyíve done is give me a complaint no and promised a call back which hasnít come yet. The service manager from the dealership continues to not answer his phone and neither call back i canít help but feel helpless and cheated In a situation like this. The customer relation manager sent a sorry email but refused to give me anything in writing stating when the part cost was changed he even gave me lane reason stating that he canít use a vw letterhead as that serves as proof in court. If the part cost was actually changed in the time between when I went there and when I had called why canít they give it to me in writing or show me any proof? Infact they even gave me 2 different dates at various point of time regarding when the price change happened the SA told me on it was on the very day that I called that is on 10/01/2018 and the CR head told me it was the 1st of January 2018 and kept trying to tell me that I might have called in 2017 (which is absolutely not possible as the car was in Mumbai in 2017 I have till bills with the reg No to prove this)

The email received from the customer head at vw Mangalore and the mail received from vw India including the complaint no are attached below.
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The miserable after-sales of the Volkswagen Auto Group in India-da729ee26ccb4c419cdf8d19b144ed17.png  

The miserable after-sales of the Volkswagen Auto Group in India-76bfc297f1024e3dad7f5a3fe5132a12.png  

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