Wednesday, November 10, 2010

there's more here than just a rant, I swear

On Monday my lovely new car started having an issue, the tire pressure warning light came on for one minute after start up and then went off. According to the manual this meant a defect was happening and I needed to take it in for service. Jparks decided to drop the car off with Volkswagen on his way to work and take their shuttle into the office. When I made the appointment they told me it would be a less than a day repair and I would have my car back that afternoon, no problem at all. If I were a professor lecturing you before a midterm I would repeat that line multiple time and maybe even have it on a slide for extra impact. Less than a day. Car back that evening.

All day I pinged jparks asking if VW had called. And of course they hadn't. Finally at 4:15 jparks asked me to call VW and see what the deal was. Long story short, the error message was something than had never seen before and they had no idea how to handle it. For me to get this information it took a couple of phones calls to the service department while my "service handler" ran around on his cell trying to convince me that he actually knows how to do his job.

In the end my car was ready the same day but not until well after 5pm. The catch was the shuttle stopped running at 5pm and they called to give me a new finished estimate at 4:50. When I asked, at 4:50, if the shuttle could pick jparks up from work, my handler said no. Maybe I'm spoiled by luxury car dealerships, but this was unacceptable. They obviously knew he had no car as they were working on the car and they had to shuttle his ass to the office. I ended having to drive to North Austin to pick jparks up from work and just getting to him took 52 minutes (yes I timed it with my phone because I was crazy pissed). Then it took us another 30 minutes of traffic to get home. All with a screaming child in the car who was pissed because I had no snacks since I didn't know I was about to fight traffic. Thanks a fucking lot Volkswagen!

Normally I'm more than willing to cut people slack but last night I was mad. Like couldn't stop raging against VW all evening, ranting that I was ready to go pick my car up in the morning and burn my bridges with them because I had already found another VW service department in Austin and would happily be taking my business there from now on. I had vowed to go into the service department in the morning and give the manager an idea of how mad I was.

You can probably guess what really happened.

By this morning my raging anger had diffuse to a simmer and I just could not work up the energy to release my fury. I calmly walked into the service department and asked for my keys. Even when they admitted that they couldn't find them and they sent me on a wild goose chase to find them, I couldn't get angry. Finally the keys were located and my car was pulled around to the front. I calmly got Tru settled in, adjusted my seat and radio settings, and went on my way.

The situation is now totally behind me and I still have the intention of taking my car to another dealership for repairs from now on but I'm also still annoyed with myself for not voicing my dissatisfaction. Was it the right thing to do to blow the whole situation off? Should I have complained even though my anger was mostly gone? Was I just being a pushover? Should I write a letter to the manager now or has the moment passed? Am I expecting too much from the VW service department?

Dammit VW, I'm feeling like playing the punch buggy game, can I use your service department manager as the target?


  1. Hmmm, I think the fact you won't be going back there is enough. They've lost your business and that's more to them than a strongly worded letter.

  2. We have a VW and the service department jacked stuff up twice. (I'll try to keep this short, but it still pisses me off.) The second time, we brought the car in for an oil change, which took way longer than necessary (approx 3 hours), but then they didn't tighten the screws on the under engine protector thingy. We didn't know until about a mile down the road when it started scraping and we pulled off into a parking lot thinking we had a flat. Only to have the dealership tell us to drive it back. When we said yeah right (and risk seriously messing something up, then having it be our fault!) we had to call the roadside assistance ourselves, wait an hour in the hot Texas sun, and then when we got back to the dealership the service manager we'd been dealing with was "sorry this happened, but he was on his way out to lunch, but someone else would take care of it". They really sucked and thought they could take care of it by simply offering us our first paid oil change (after our free ones are up) for free.

    I too wanted to get all mad, but in the end just kept cool.

    They sent us a survey via email afterward, and even though the manager begged us to give them all excellent ratings, we simply couldn't do that since we didn't have a good experience. We even got a call back from VW of America. I don't know if it really made any difference in the end, but we're definitely not bringing our car back to that dealership. Not even for a free oil change.

    I'd probably send a letter to the manager (and maybe VW America if you don't get a survey to fill out.

  3. PS Sorry for hijacking your comments during my first comment here at your blog. I think I found you through Kristabella's blog, and I really enjoy reading your blog. :-)