Hi guys, well im not going to explain it as I think the letter covers it all. Please try and ignore the spelling/grammatical errors, ive noticed them all and feel a right heel. Thats what happens when you type a letter in the middle of your working day. Let me know your thoughts on the details contained within. I'll post the response when it arrives.
I am writing this email in the faint hope that yourself or someone at Audi who still cares about customer service will read it and be able to help / advise.
In march i picked up my brand new Audi S3. It had been a long wait (3 months) and i'd counted down every day in anticipation. When the big day arrived i was over the moon and was full of great expectation about this car.
Quite soon into ownership (1000miles) the car had developed a few niggling problems. The steering didnt feel right so i took it in and left it at Audi Sytner Harrogate. They came back and stated that it needed a new steering rack. I was quite worried at this as the car was so new, but the dealership put me at ease, saying it was only a minor job.
It was during this initial visit that I also made a complaint about the finish to the leather to the drivers side bucket seat. I told the service department that the leather was of a poor grade in one affected area, that it was heavily creased in comparison to the rest of the leather, and that the sponge beneath felt perished. To my mind it looked like it had been stored flat somewhere for a long time. I pointed out to the service dept that whilst I understood how leather can wear with use, they surely couldnt defend it's state by saying the leather had suffered natural wear and tear after a mere 1000 miles on the clock. I also pointed out that i had noted it when i originally picked the car up, but being so excited on the day, chose not to make an issue of it. They came out to the car and had a look, to which they agreed it was in a poor state. I chose to take a light approach to the situation at that point, stating that I merely wanted it recording that i've pointed out an issue with the leather to them at 1000miles, and that I would monitor it over the next months. The garage seemed very compliant at this stage, and said that it would definatley be covered under warranty.
So a few days later having left the car for some work to the steering rack I went back to collect it.. Driving out of the garage I was amazed to find that the technician had fitted the steering wheel without levelling it properly. So whilst driving in a straight line the flat bottom was actually at 30 or so degrees. I was completely dumbfounded at the lack of attention to detail. I phoned the garage straight away and out of sheer embarrasment they told me to turn round and they would correct it right away.
A few days after having the new steering rack fitted; to my amazment the problems reappeared. Again I phoned the garage, and returned for it to be looked at, I demonstrated the grinding noise to a technician who witnessed it and agreed that the problem had indeed reaccurred. Again, the car was booked in for another new steering rack. I was told that there had been a revised rack just released that week, so the problem would hopefully now be rectified. I was hoping this to be the case...
I set off home along the A59 after collecting it with the third steering rack. I started to hear a horrendous banging noise from under the engine at around 60mph. My heart started racing as i slowed right down. I wondered what could possibly be causing such a loud noise. I phoned the garage striaght away stating what i was witnessing, they told me to bring the car straight back. I drove very nervously back to the garage, cringing at the thought of the possible damage i was doing whilst hearing the loud banging from beneath....
Upon my return the garage took the car to bits, only to find that the technician had not fitted some of the parts correctly and a panel was banging against the engine...
At this stage I had lost all confidence in the service to be recieved from this dealership which unfortunatley is the nearest Audi garage to myself.
That incident was a good few months ago and thankfully the steering rack issues have not resurfaced. However I am very dispondent about the situation with the leather bucket seats...
The reason for this is because I returned the car to Audi after some 6500 miles had been covered. I returned to again raise the issue with the service department regarding the leather seats. I explained that I travel to and from work everyday with my partner. That i had also covered 2500 miles in a long driving weekend to the south of France with a friend who shared the driving with me. I explained that despite the heavy usage over a period of 6500 miles, the leather seemed fine in all areas apart from the same affected area to the bolster on the drivers side and also the seat suffering sinking where the driver sits. This time I insisted that i would like it changing.
It was at this point I hit a total brick wall.
A gentleman called Andrew Perschke (service accounts manager) came out to look at the seat and took some photos. He said that he would forward a technical report to "Audi technical". I asked what this meant and when would I be able to bring it in to have to seat replaced. To my dismay he told me that the seat wasnt covered under warranty, and that we would have to await the outcome of the response from audi technical, that they "may" choose to replace it out of goodwill. I was totally saddened to think that this situation was going to turn into a long and drawn out matter. Andrew assured me he would ring me when he got a reply. 2 days later i phoned him to see what the result was, he told me he still hadnt heard anything. I reinforced my dissapointement; that having paid out a lot of money for the special seats (circa Ł2000) they were not covered by warranty.
Approximatley one week later i went to the garage to see Andrew and asked why nothing appeared to be happening regarding the seat. He told me that these things take time, that there was a lot of other people with similar issues all waiting on an outcome from Audi technical, that some had been waiting over 2 months. I told him that surely this wasnt the way to deal with customer complaints to which he replied "I'd love to change your seats but we need to recover our costs from Audi so need to go through this procedure which can take months" I left the garage feeling very dispondant about the whole thing, and resigned myslef to the fact that it may just be easier to try and forget about it.
This brings me to present day. Without checking im guessing its been well over 2months and havnt heard anything, I havnet even recieved a courtesy call to assure me the matter is still in hand. Meanwhile everytime I get in the car i feel dissapointed that i paid so much money for something and cannot fully enjoy the car as intended.
The reason i am writing this to you is that I was advised by another Audi owner that you Jeremy Hicks take customer services very seriously, and that this is not a reflection of Audi as a whole. He also pointed out that maybe Audi Harrogate is just a poor service garage, and that i'd be better off talking to you directly.
I really hope this is the case and look forward to your response to the concerns raised.
Yours in anticipation