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Old 4th December 2015, 14:07   #1
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Default VW dealership (Apple Auto, Bangalore) over-invoices. Refunds difference in cash


So I gave my car for repairs at VW Whitefield (Apple Auto) on ORR / Mahadevapura, Bangalore.

Much ado later, the final estimate came to 56k.

But when I went to pick up the car, they charged my card 59k.

When I asked them to justify the difference, they refused initially to check the bill line by line. When I insisted, they took the bill away, came back 10 mins later saying there was an error and that an item had been double billed. Just a human error. - Upto which point, no alarms bells went off cause its entirely reasonable to make mistakes I suppose.

But what happened next convinced me that this was deliberate:

First I was told the credit will take 3 days.

When I insisted that the difference be refunded immediately, the SA went upstairs to speak with his bodyshop manager. He then says "Dont worry sir, we ll sort it out", insists I walk to the car for a "test drive to check the repairs are satisfactory" and once I'm seated in the car, hands me the differential amount as cash. When I asked him why all this hush hush, he says "please sir, my job will be at risk".

If it was just a mistake, why couldnt the job card be reopened, the refund be issued against my credit card, and the revised bill given to me? When I posed this qus to him, he had no answer. All I know is that he or his manager had given me their money from their own pocket.

Subsequently, I write to the MD of Apple Auto. The GM then calls me and says they cross checked, that it was a 'data entry error' and that the the SA had given me cash on the instruction of the bodyshop manager. When I write back asking for proof that this is a one off instance (show me the job card where the engineer has done a double entry in requisitioning for the same item twice + explain why the whole thing was handled like a bad B grade bollywood movie), he says "we're a very reputable company, the Dealer management system is foolproof and we don't appreciate your intimidating mail"

WHAT THE?!!!! After that, not a peep out of them.

Just thought I should share this experience with fellow BHP'ians. I was the first to write a glowing review about Apple Auto 2 years ago but my goodness, how the times have changed.

Based on their customer service and attitude, they'd be the last dealership on earth I'd go to. Suffice to say if they were on fire and I had a bucket of water by my side, I'd happily drink the water and watch them burn.
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Old 5th December 2015, 10:11   #2
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Default re: VW dealership (Apple Auto, Bangalore) over-invoices. Refunds difference in cash

Sometimes double-billing does happen, but the way they wanted to refund the money is cause for concern. Also as a precaution one must always check the final work & parts cost and only then pay. Credit cards are subject to misuse like none other. Its good that you checked and saw that they had overcharged, it would leave a bitter taste in the mouth specially when they go to such roundabout lengths to refund you the cash (like a drug dealer gives drugs).

Illegal business practices are everywhere and their only excuse is to say "We are prestigious! We are in this business for decades! We have xyz clients!" So what? The bigger they are the more I'd not trust them. Just forget this incident and never deal with them again. No company likes to be snooped into, because all of them do financial tampering and its clear from their replies that they are part of it.
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Old 5th December 2015, 11:35   #3
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Default re: VW dealership (Apple Auto, Bangalore) over-invoices. Refunds difference in cash

Dealerships and even most businesses go through all sorts of malpractices to wrench out that extra buck. How many of us check the looong bill while coming out from the super market? Even if we notice it on reaching home, how many of us will spend more money on fuel and time worth to go back and fight out the extra bucks charged?

Businesses take advantage of this. When it gets noticed, refund is prompt.

I've similar experiences in most businesses. Even car dealerships way of presenting the bill is very smart. Look closely and you can reduce the labor, tax, consumables and what not.

The best and probably only thing to do is to:
  • Double check thoroughly to ensure you've paid for only what you wanted, before you leave.
  • Try not to go back to them. Though, with only one car dealership for a town, it might not be entirely practical.
  • Warn your friends and family.
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Old 5th December 2015, 13:58   #4
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Default Re: VW dealership (Apple Auto, Bangalore) over-invoices. Refunds difference in cash

I fail to see what the problem is?

They did initially tell you that a credit back to your card will take 3 days. That sounds legitimate to me. You insisted on immediate action, hence it was given in cash. The GM also acknowledged the mistake of his team.

I don't know why they didn't give a revised bill, but it could be because the invoice was already generated & the card charged (hence 'settled' in their accounting system). There can be software limitations of complex accounting systems.

Originally Posted by joey645 View Post
Suffice to say if they were on fire and I had a bucket of water by my side, I'd happily drink the water and watch them burn.

Don't go looking for the perfect dealership because it doesn't exist. As long as the work done on your car is satisfactory, stick to them.

We always complain about difficult dealerships. But we shouldn't be difficult or unreasonable ourselves.
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Old 6th December 2015, 10:03   #5
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Default Re: VW dealership (Apple Auto, Bangalore) over-invoices. Refunds difference in cash

And, what is the problem exactly?

A bad experience would count as being billed extra and them justifying the charge (fooling around) , or them billing it and doing a shabby work.

Work done and you got your money back. You should be happy man! You'd go crazy if you were to deal with my Honda bike dealership.
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Old 29th December 2015, 13:17   #6
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Default Re: VW dealership (Apple Auto, Bangalore) over-invoices. Refunds difference in cash

I think it's a genuine ethics problem that joey645 is raising concerns about. I see that as a valid problem. In this day and age when businesses are resorting to all kinds of tricks to pull a fast one on unsuspecting customers, we must do our best to discourage malpractices, no matter how trivial they may seem.

Today it was an extra 3k, tomorrow it could be charging you 10k for a part they haven't even replaced! Extra vigilance helps and will keep such dealerships on their toes somewhat, especially with the risk of being outed publicly on forums like our's.
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