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Old 6th July 2016, 12:21   #1
nidhinsarath's Avatar
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Default Phoenix Volkswagen, Calicut - Terrible experience and unresponsive customer service

This is to share about my worst experience ever with a car service centre and customer service which happens to be PHOENIX Volkswagen Calicut. I am sharing the whole series of unfortunate events happened with me during past 3 weeks.

I own a 2015 September manufactured Volkswagen Polo 1.5 TDI Highline. The vehicle has covered 47625 km as on 13/6/2016. The last periodic service was done at VW ASC Phoenix Calicut in the first week of May . While I was driving on 13/6/2016, the engine pre-glow warning lamp started blinking and within a km the turbo stopped kicking in. I parked the vehicle at my work place and after 4 hours when i started it again, there was a missing from the engine when the vehicle was idling and white smoke started coming out. Immediately i switched off the vehicle and called up Phoenix VW and they advised to bring the vehicle to centre by driving. I was scared to do that and I informed the RSA and they came after 2 hours to take the vehicle and told me that they will call back once it reaches the service centre which they never did. At 7PM I called one of my friends in Phoenix VW sales and he confirmed that the vehicle has reached there.

A youtube video link showing the blinking diesel pre glow warning lamp:

14/6/2016 – I got a call between 11:30-12:30PM by a service advisor named Abdul Jami. He told the vehicle has been received and said will look into the matter. I went to the SC at 4PM and met him. He said they are checking the vehicle but later he told me that vehicle has been shifted to the floor only now and it will take some time to do the diagnostics. At 6PM he said it will take some more time and since he wanted to go somewhere he told to contact floor person by name Mr.Praveen ( I don’t remember his name correctly). Even at 6:30 the vehicle was in the same position as it was at 4PM. Then I told him give me a call once it’s done. At 7:30 I called him again and he said he will revert back. After 10 minutes he called and said there was some issue with fuel adaptation which was rectified and vehicle doesn’t show any warning lamps. But the vehicle needs to be driven for about 100kms to check whether the problem develops again or not. Since they were busy with their work, he told me to take the vehicle back and drive for some days to check whether the problem happens again. Their response was so casual and careless which irked me, so I immediately called up their Customer Relation Manager and told about the same . Initially he started with a SORRY for the irresponsible behaviour from floor manager Mr.Praveen and assured me that he will personally look into the matter.

15/6/2016 – 19/6/2016 – On 16th CRM informed that the warning lamp showed up again on test drive and needed further support. Since then, the only reply I got from him was that they were on VW technical support, but here was no response or any lead from them regarding the cause. On 20/6/2016 I called them and they confirmed that the ECM is faulty and had to be replaced. My vehicle has 2+2 year warranty, so the replacement would be covered under that. Mr.Nikesh said he will place an emergency order and said it will take maximum 3-4- days. In the mean time I asked for a courtesy vehicle but they denied it.

24/6/2016 – I called CRM again and he said that the invoice has not been done till then.

25/6/2016 – I called the VW Phoenix Service Manager Mr.Rejee for the first time and raised my concern. He politely responded that it will be rectified within 2-4 days. He said he will give the update in the evening which he never did.

26/6/2016 – I called CRM Mr.Nikesh again and he said that the ECM had reached and will be replaced in a day or two, also there is some coding to be done for the car. From 26/6/2016-29/6/2016 there was again no response from the SC. On 29/6/2016 I called Mr Rejee (SM) again he promised that the vehicle will be surely delivered by next day (30/6/2016).

30/6/2016 – Again there was no response from SC till 4PM. But I decided to go there along with my friend who is also a 2012 VW Vento 1.6 TDI owner which has covered close to 90k kms. We reached SC at 4PM and met Mr.Nikesh. He checked the car status and said it was ready and needed a water service before getting delivered and told us to wait. After a long wait of 2 hours, at 6:10PM he told the vehicle is ready and asked to take a test drive. He made me to sign in a job card which I did.

This is where i started losing my trust in VW service. There was a problem while releasing the clutch. The vehicle started moving only when the clutch was released more than75-80%. While driving, there was a noticeable jerk during gear shifts which i had never felt before giving my vehicle for service. Even my friend felt the same problem when he drove the car that clutch was releasing only almost at the end. I raised this issue to CRM and he said it needed technical assistance. Then two guys came by name Mr.Arunjith( I’m seeing him for the first time, He is a floor staff or something) and Mr.Arun ( A very nice guy and I knew him before itself).

Mr.Arunjith drove the vehicle and said the clutch was releasing at 80-85% and is perfectly normal. But during gear shifts, jerks were there. When I asked about it he gave lame excuses which were provokingly silly. I drove the vehicle again with him sitting next to me and I felt the previous issue with gear shifts was still the same. He was not at all ready to agree with that and said that the jerking issue is common to all VW vehicles. He also argued that since the vehicle has covered 47k kms, all clutches had worn out which is seen in all VW vehicles and has to be replaced. He also said that VW recommends clutch replacement after 60k kms. I could not agree with that because all my cars have got a clutch life of more than 1 lakh km except that of i20 (90000km).Then he started behaving very rudely . He challenged me saying that he had removed and replaced the real clutch of my Polo and asked me to prove any sort of manipulation done inside the service centre. He even started threatening me while driving back saying that I would not be able to do anything against him on this. He was verbally fighting with me and kept on shouting the service manage’rs name, telling me to complain to him too. The other guy, Mr.Arun who was also there inside the car told him to shut his mouth but he didn’t even listen to him.

On reaching back SC I told all that happened to CRM on which he gave his usual apology by saying a ‘SORRY’. Then Mr.Arun drove the car and before covering 100 meters itself he confirmed that there was issue with clutch and it needed bleeding. We kept the vehicle there and asked them to deliver at home the next day. I called the SM that night and told whatever happened in the SC and he promised that necessary actions would be taken. Since he was in Pune, he said he would revert me back after personally inspecting the vehicle.

02/06/2016 – I called SM at 2PM after waiting for their call from morning. He confirmed that there is an issue with the clutch. He said it was due to wear and tear of clutch! According to him, if ECM was faulty it would show some initial warnings. He added that the issue would have been there long back and due to this the power delivery might have changed which affected the clutch and the driver would not be able to understand that. Also, when the ECM was replaced, power and torque regained as before and this started showing up in the already affected clutch. I didn’t believe in this theory. He said since it was auto clutch and not the cable one, nothing can be done to change the position. He said that the release initiated at 50-60% and that was all that could be done. This was corrected after bleeding the clutch and adding oil. But he never asked my permission to swap the oil and bleed the clutch and was done on his own wish.

I was not able to digest this by any manner. How can an ECM swap affect the clutch of a vehicle? If there is any issue with the ECM and affects power, the person who drives it routinely can surely make out. But i didn’t feel any sort of change. I felt only on that particular day when the pre glow lamp started blinking. As soon as the turbo stopped kicking in I had stopped driving the vehicle. As far as i know, if the ECM has affected the power delivery, it will never affect the clutch in this extreme way. Even before affecting the engine, the warning lamp will pop up but it never happened to me. I don’t know whether it is correct or not.

Next day at 6PM, two technicians brought the car. The clutch was better than before but it was not at all like how I gave them 3 weeks back. Even the car was given back in an extremely poor condition. Both the front seats were full of stains and dirty to the core.Even it had scratches over the right ORVM and rear quarter panel over the left side. I used to maintain all my cars in immaculate condition whether it is exterior or interior. I used to do detailing and interior cleaning once in 6 months from Pete’s Smart wax and the last service was done in less than 3 weeks. I informed about this after the test drive and told him to take back the car. Initially service manager said clutch can't be manipulated manually to a different position. He said all Volkswagen cars have clutch in varying position when it gets older and that is why the service people couldn't diagnose the clutch problem. Earlier he said there is more wear to clutch but later he changed his opinion that my clutch has wear and tear only to an extent. He was not ready to accept the vehicle for this problem again. He said he will give polo for the test drive to feel the difference. But I am sure that there was some foul play happened when my car was in the service centre for 3 weeks. They had driven the car for almost 180kms during these days and I suspect that they had done something to my clutch.

I need a genuine and sensible reply to this query – How did the ECM issue affected my clutch in a span of 3 weeks from Phoenix VW Calicut ?

This is not the first bad experience with Phoenix VW Calicut service, but definitely the worst till date. Earlier in the first week of May, periodic service (45000km) was done for this car, again in the second week of May, car was stalled in the highway and it was later confirmed as battery issue. It was replaced from the same SC. Then in the first week of june, due to steering shuddering brake pads were replaced and within a week the current problem occurred.

I am really fed up with Phoenix VW for the whole sequence of events happened with me. I am extremely humiliated with their behaviour except for one or two people. I hereby attach few snaps which were taken after the car was delivered at home as proof of poor service.
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Old 6th July 2016, 13:29   #2
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Default re: Phoenix Volkswagen, Calicut - Terrible experience and unresponsive customer service

Very well documented and in a chronological manner. If you have not done it already, send a copy of this to VW customer care. I had a grouse with this dealership once and my forwarding of the complaint had the desired effect.
I came to know that all such complaints are taken very seriously by VW and the burden of resolution of the complaint within 48 hours lies with the dealership. I came to know of this from Phoenix cars service personnel and they were after me to get an amicable settlement, which was to my advantage. Failure to get the complaint resolved in 2 days is a black mark on the dealership. Please forward this complaint and let us all know what happens.
The photos you have attached clearly shows the pathetic situation of the interior and clearly somebody was abusing your vehicle rather than using it. Felt very sorry seeing that. Like you, I too keep my car in sparkling condition doing periodic detailing of exterior and interior. Whenever I give the car for service, I insist that they should not wash the car. I wash it myself afterwards, otherwise the car will be covered with swirls due to the rag they use to wipe it down. It is unfortunate that poor service like this from dealership takes away the joy of owning some of the best cars from VW.
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Old 6th July 2016, 21:32   #3
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Default re: Phoenix Volkswagen, Calicut - Terrible experience and unresponsive customer service

Sorry to hear of your ordeal with this unscrupulous dealer. Please send a copy of this thread to VW Customer Care. My dealer tells me that VW is tightening its grip on its dealers, so let's see what they do in such a clear case.

As for this chap Arunjith, it does sound like you don't have either the time or the crayons to explain things to him so let it go
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