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Probably as you say and had standard springs fitted at some point by some couldn't give a sh1t repair shop. I've never owned a B5 that hasn't snapped an OE rear spring at some point. I had a bit of hassle trying to source a pair of OE springs and when I did I found it wasn't much more for a full set of the Eibach's. No brainer really mate
There is an issue with aircon or NON aircon springs on the TQS but I dont know if that applies to the 2.8 or not.
2000 1.8t quattro Sport totally standard (ish)