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Final straw - NEVER returning to an Audi main dealer after today. Disgrace.

heeman10 Dec 3, 2012

  1. heeman10

    heeman10 Audi driver since Dec 08

    After my experience at Taunton Audi today, I will no longer be using Audi main dealers; for servicing, MOT's or car sales.

    Took the car in for its MOT (£49.99, with up to £750 worth of work "covered" by MOT protection), and had a call to say it had failed. The reason? Incorrect bolt fitted to offside front wishbone - apparently it was too short.

    Brief bit of history: I bought the car (2005 A3) from Audi in 2008. It was serviced by Taunton Audi until last year, when they changed my cam belt. I decided to pop the bonnet for a cursory glance before driving away, only to discover a latex glove filled with oil dangling from one of my air conditioning pipes, right by the alternator. Of course, they couldn't explain how it got there. They tried to keep me happy with a measly discount on my next service, which my local independent Audi specialist garage beat by £100, using genuine parts (AVS Wellington, Somerset - I highly recommend them!). This is the first service not carried out by Audi (plus AVS fitted my S3 front discs and calipers around the same time).

    In short, it's an Audi car through and through, yet they were point blank unwilling to accept any responsibility for this obscure choice of bolt. Yeovil Audi replaced the outer CV boots in 2009 (£330!!), but that's the nearest anyone's been to the wishbones since I bought the car from Audi. Yeovil Audi also damaged both front wheels when replacing the tyres a few years ago.

    The pleasant MOT technician carefully pointed out the bolt to me, and with a quick measure up, we ascertained that whilst the bolt should've screwed all the way into a 32mm tapped boss, and then protruded 5mm out the other side, my "special" bolt was still lost inside the boss. Instead of having the full 32mm of thread engagement, I only have 18mm. It would take a serious cowboy to do that, but that's why I've been paying £100+ per hour to have Audi maintain my car...or so I thought.

    Only a couple of hours earlier, I had been discussing replacing my A3 with a TT when the time comes. Without directly attaking the pleasant Service employee who was dealing with me, I said that there seemed to be little point in me being loyal, and spending so much with Audi to give me some sort of protection in moments like this, if this catalogue of disasters is what I get rewarded with. He went to speak to the Service Manager, who offered a £6 discount on the £60 labour!

    If I were the Service Manager, I'd be considering the future business (servicing/MOT's/car sales), and would waive the 5 minutes of labour, just to keep the customer happy. Audi's stance on such a matter couldn't have been clearer: We bend you over at every available opportunity, make mistakes along the way, and then tell you where to go when you want the loyalty to be returned.

    My car has been fantastic over the 90,000 miles I've covered in it. Audi as a service provider is the only let-down in the ownership experience. Once I've had the bolt replaced by AVS and had my free re-test, my car will not be going anywhere near an Audi dealer, and nor will I (except when I want a test drive, perhaps). A complaint will be sent in to Audi UK.
  2. Turkster

    Turkster Bro.Paul 2.5TDI Quattro Sport

    I would have just changed the bolt myself and handed it back to them for a re-mot,
  3. Ste_Nova

    Ste_Nova Active Member

    how did it pass last year?
  4. heeman10

    heeman10 Audi driver since Dec 08

    Turkster - I hadn't wanted to fit a bolt to a bush without the car sitting at its natural ride height (i.e. with the wheels off the ground on axle stands). Turns out the whole subframe needed supporting as well, because the "incorrect" wishbone bolt was actually a bolt which should've been securing the subframe to the chassis. Someone had fitted them the wrong way around. I wouldn't really have been able to do that job on the floor.

    Ste-Nova - I was advised by AVS that the bolt wasn't an MOT failure anyway. I'm glad the Audi MOT technician noticed the bolt and drew my attention to it, but it wasn't as though it only had two or three threads engaged. This whole saga has also highlighted the fact that I might as well take the car ANYwhere, if Audi can really be so bold and blunt as to reply "Someone else must have done it" at every single step. The same went for the scratched wheels. Fortunately I hadn't even left the dealership car park on the day I found the oil-filled glove hanging in my engine bay. They would no doubt have accused me of planting it if I'd found it after driving home.
  5. sidibear

    sidibear Looking for Zombies !! Staff Member Moderator Audi A4

    Contact Audi about it. They have always been helpful when I have had a problem with a dealer.
  6. matts1

    matts1 Member

    It's a shame main dealers can be so unhelpful when issue arise. I owned an A3 last year and put it in for a major service and cambelt change along with a rear parking sensor and cv boot.

    Thhe bill was far from small, over £700 iirc, and at the same time I had booked in and paid for a mates A4 to have a major service and belt and water pump done the same day.

    A month or so later I checked the oil and on opening the bonnet was amazed to see that the engine cover had been broken/snapped in one corner, badly, I know this was fine before going in, and nobody had been under the bonnet since.

    I called the dealer who was very snotty over the phone, after explaining the situation he replied 'AND?' so I told him I wanted it replacing and told me I would have to bring it down. On arrival he seemed a little bemused to see me as if he hadn't expected me to turn up.

    He was very stand offish until he sat down and reviewed what I had had done and what i had spent, he suddenly was nice as pie, told me to pop back the next day and he would have the part fitted foc and did I know there was a recoil due on the coil pack and he would get it done at the same time.

    I cant help thinking that had I not spend a chunk with them, the attitude would have remained 'not our problem'.

    I personally prefer to have my local guy to all my servicing who i have known for 15 years, but sadly, when you want to keep up main dealer service history you have to go main dealer and pay ££££.
  7. heeman10

    heeman10 Audi driver since Dec 08

    sidibear - I will be contacting Audi UK, but I have had enough of poor treatment and poor service from Audi, not to mention the (expectedly) extortionate prices I've paid for such terrible experiences. I don't want money, and their promises of better treatment have amounted to nothing, so I will learn my lesson and steer clear of Audi dealerships from now on.

    matts1 - This is precisely the kind of incident I'm talking about. Yes, there is the possibility that the customer (or another workshop) has caused the damage, but customer loyalty (and hundreds/thousands of their pounds) should buy a bit of benefit of the doubt, in my eyes. They seem to undervalue repeat business, and the fact that their customers talk to other owners/potential customers.

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