Why are VW dealers so dreadful? - Halmer
I thought that FIAT dealers were bad but VW dealers in the Staffordshire area have reduced me to tears in recent years.

I wrote a letter of complaint to VW head office in Milton Keynes and their response was absolutely pathetic. I sent a detailed three page letter listing a catalogue of incompetence only to receive a standard letter back along the lines of 'we are always looking to improve etc etc.

Absolute tosh!
Why are VW dealers so dreadful? - bartycrouch
I never got near enough to buying to find out.

I looked at buying a second-hand ww from a main dealer, but when I came to look at the car it had around £2000 less options than on the VW web page. All the salesman could say was "yeah there are lot of mistakes on the site" as if it made it all right! He couldn't produce the V5 and when I queried it the number of owners increased by one, as the car was had been sold and brought back.

The service history said the cam-belt had been changed @ 15,000 miles and when I asked why they said the service history was wrong. Not bad for no more than fifteen minutes.

It taught me an important lesson though; don't forget the importance of the dealer when buying a car.
Why are VW dealers so dreadful? - mlj
It's the reason I stopped buying VW. Worse than incompetent...
I did find a decent dealer here in the SW that I would recommend, it is in the extreme west of the most westerly county! In the end a 160 mile round trip for an oil change struck me as a little unnecessary. Now I have a Toyota and have no worries.
Why are VW dealers so dreadful? - David Lacey
Where was that good dealer, mlj?
Why are VW dealers so dreadful? - Ian D
Irvines of Bridgwater in Somerset have been good for me and several others, several of us drive past 2 other dealers to use Irvines as they seem very fair, is that the dealer MLJ used?

PS I have nothing to do with Irvines, just think they are good.

Ian
Why are VW dealers so dreadful? - David Lacey
Yes, they are good, found on Bristol Road aren't they? - their BMW outlet t'other side of town is renowned for good service too. They always have some rather tasty cars in their showroom to gawp at as you navigate the roundabout at high speed!
Why are VW dealers so dreadful? - mlj
Helston. Family business, big on service.
Why are VW dealers so dreadful? - David Lacey
Come on, put me out of my misery, what's their trading name? I'm sure I know it!
Why are VW dealers so dreadful? - Dude - {P}
I know this company only too well, and as far as I`m concerned they are total carp. My daughter bought a Mk 3 GTi Golf from them with only 12k miles on the clock, that had a faulty ECU, which caused the engine to die without notice. They refused to do anything about it, so she sold the car after 4 months at a considerable loss. Needless to say our family will never touch VAG products ever again, - at one stage I was considering an Audi A4, but so glad I opted for a BeeM 320d.
Why are VW dealers so dreadful? - mark
Having been messed around for 8 yrs by a succession of Vauxhall dealers I made the mistake of believing VW should be better, quality brand, reliable motors etc.

I then committed the heresy of importing my own at the time when it was worth doing so and saved over 2 grand in the process. This was after being told at the local dealers there was a 4 - 6 month wait on the new model TDI estate Passat in 2001.

After much too-ing and fro-ing I thought I had the motor registered with VW UK at Milton Keynes.

On my first service visit I was treated politely and told the car was not on the system therefore the cigar lighter that had packed up could not be treated under warranty.

The second visit was comical in as much as the service receptionist followed me around the showroom and hissed in a pantomine wisper to anyone I asked about the warranty or spares "its an import". At this service the car was still not on the system more calls to Milton Keynes.

3rd visit was more of the same and I bought an extended warranty using my Amex card. When presenting this to pay for the service I was told that would'nt do nicely as they did'nt accept them I produced the CC printred slip showing they did only to now be confronted by two receptionists telling me they did'nt take Amex. Car still not on system. Told car had been washed the only clean items were the wheel trims.

A week letter a letter arrived telling me the warranty had gone up and could I call in to pay extra, turned out I had paid the minimum not the RRP (the guy who sold me the warranty was so short sighted I had to read the prices off the list to him so he could prepare the invoice) This had not gone down well with his boss apparently.

Out of the blue with a week to go VW Milton Keynes rang to say it was now on their system.

A week later the warranty arrived made out for a Beetle.

4th Service visit to a different main dealer in Scotland nice cheap service but was billed for non PD oil when questioned this was explained as their mistake but the suspicion lingered. Also asked about the cambelt as the handbook said 40k offered opinions of between 60 and 80k depending on who I spoke to at the dealers.

5th visit (yesterday) basically a £98 oil and filter job asked about the belt to be told 60k and between £600-£700 plus the service. Car was not on the system at all due to a "computer change". Glad to see the fat poltroon with the comedy wisper was not to be seen. Car has been washed for your sir, this time clean wheel trims on one side and not on the other.

Unfortunately I do not think this was all co-incidential I made the mistake of importing my own and VW UK and all their little demons are out to make me pay. Unless it is just plain carp customer service.

as ever

Mark
Why are VW dealers so dreadful? - flatfour
I had horrendous experiences with a major chain of VW dealers they even managed to set fire to the car interior then returned the car to me, eventually when they returned the car to new spec, i found a really good VW garage in Gloucester, Blade Motors, the only problem was that the the Passat didn't meet up to the expectations, build quality, gear box failiers, bending rear suspension arms, and it only ever had me in the car!, very very dissapointed probably the poorest quality car I have ever had. Several other people I know who ran Passats feel the same.
Come on VW if you'r reading this, get the quality right, bring back the 3 year unlimited mileage warranty and i'll have another, the driving position suited me like my old slippers.
Why are VW dealers so dreadful? - JohnM{P}
I can recommend MotorServices of Bath - no connection, except satified customer over 6 years...
Why are VW dealers so dreadful? - Ben {P}
At a guess VW are used to selling cars without much hassel. They get complacent. I think VW are trading a lot on a reputation they established in the 80's. Reliability problems highlighted by people on this web-site suggest some of this is true, though i think VW trashing in favour of Seat is a slight fashion these days. I'd still buy a Seat though!

Further to this they do seem to have a problem monitoring their dealerships from head office.

But there must be some good VW dealerships out there- anyone here use one?

I know of a number of people who have chosen to buy a completely different brand of car because of the reputaiton of local dealers. This kind of response must cost VW money (IMHO).
Why are VW dealers so dreadful? - Dr Rubber
My local dealer is useless, so I take it to another 40 miles away.

South Hereford Garages at Whitchurch. Helpfull, do what they say they will do when they said they will do it etc. Also, they only (!)charge 45+VAT and hour not 67+VAT. I'm not where it will go when its out of warrenty though.

Joe
Why are VW dealers so dreadful? - sean
Halmer,

I think you'll find that all the German marques are the same.

People really WANT their cars.

The salesmen don't have to do any selling.

The service dept is just doing routine stuff for the reps.

Contrast that with somewhere whose cars aren't popular and you've got, well, a contrast.
Why are VW dealers so dreadful? - Marcos{P}
My local M.B. dealer is excellent and in the 6 yrs I've been dealing with them they have only annoyed me once.
When the car goes in for a service it comes out feeling so much better that you just know its had a good service and not some monkey tapping the wheels and signing off his service sheet.
I think they have to be quite good because if your going to spend £50k on a car and the service dept is a waste of time then your not going to spend another £50k in a few years time on a new one.
Why are VW dealers so dreadful? - bugged {P}
I knew i shouldnt have read this thread, in big danger of getting me ranting but i will try not to!

My LOCAL dealer is awful, its where i got both beetles from,
I rejected the first one and i must admit they were very good in dealing with that but for servicing and general stuff they are dreadful!

Anyway I found another very good dealer, not nearby mind you, its a 60miles round trip for serviving these days, however id rather go further and get a good job done, unlike teh old dealer that used to take at least a month to be able to book in for a courtesy car the new dealer only has a week or so wait.

In general I have had no complaints, the only thing i cant think of that they have done to bug me last during the last service when someone had put a lovely big scratch deep into one of the alloys, straight away i told the service mananger who ordered the new wheel and it was fitted within two weeks, didnt think that was too bad.

Think VW in general have to try a lot LOT harder though, they will never never ever get my custom again i can assure you, once bitten twice shy and all that. Ive had far too much trouble to go back for more, unfortunatly my mum who has a polo (that has had no trouble) has seen teh trouble ive had and response from local dealer (she works accross the road from them and wont use the new dealer 60m away) and she will never buy another VW again either!!!
Why are VW dealers so dreadful? - Steve S
There are LOADS of rubbish dealers out there with appalling service. Mainly among the brands that feel they are doing you a favour by letting you buy their car!!

But rather than worry too much about that, HJ's site does contain dealerships of all sorts that people here have recommended.

Which remainds me, I need to update a recommendation because the guy has moved to a different branch - can Mark or Dave tell me who I should be e-mailing to update it?

It's all to do with the people running the branch, get to meet them and you soon get a feel for how bothered they are about you. Too often they are obsessed with sales targets and screwing as much out of you as possible. Completely missing the point that if you enjoy the meeting - you're likely to come back.
Why are VW dealers so dreadful? - Mark (RLBS)
Can you mail it to HJ at...... mailto:letters@honestjohn.co.uk please, However, he\'s on the road at the moment, so apologies that the update won\'t happen immediately.

Thanks a lot,

Mark.
Why are VW dealers so dreadful? - eMBe {P}
on the good garages page, it says the following:


(Satisfied customers: if you'd like to recommend a favourite garage, tell us why in an email to goodgarages@honestjohn.co.uk with the garage's name, address and telephone number.)

Why are VW dealers so dreadful? - bertj
Having owned VW's since 1967 my wife and I have certainly seen a massive deterioration, particularly in the service area. The latest incident happened after my wife bought a new Polo in April this year. The gearbox failed and the tipping mechanism on a front seat broke. The car was off the road for 3 weeks. The repair of the car turned into a massive saga of incompetence. We lost count of how many phone calls and faxes were made/sent to VW customer services. Compensation for all the problems has still not been finally resolved. Needless to say, after all these years we won't be buying VW's again.
All we want, in common with most people, is a safe, reliable and comfortable vehicle. Image is not important so the most important thing becomes the quality of after sales service. I feel that most modern car makes are quite similar so it then comes down to quality and peace of mind motoring. It seems that many 'minor' manufactures such as Mazda, Daihatsu, Suzuki, Hundai, Kia, etc. are trying very hard to keep their customers happy. This is in contrast to VW! No doubt people will disagree but it's perhaps time to dump brand loyalty.
Why are VW dealers so dreadful? - Altea Ego
Lets be honest here, its a little unfair to single out VW. Most mainstream maunfacturers dealers do not match up to standards of service, honest and integrity we deserve as consumers. Reasons being

1/ Three year warranty dependent on servicing at franchise. They have a captive market here, three years revenue stream, so why bother to work for your custom? (to be fair - I can see why the manufacturers insist on this - you dont want spurious warrant claims)

2/ Complexity of cars. Modern cars have changed dramatically in recent years with the advent of electronics. Dealers and staff cant cope with this. Blame manufacturers for failing to provide sufficient effort in keeping dealerships up to date.

3/ Profit margins on new tin. They are wafer thin. Profits have to come from somewhere else. - The servicing department is a good earner, so they try to milk this cash cow.


When I was looking for my new car I checked out the Primera. Dealer manager said he wouldnt sell to me (via the leasing co) as he would make no money on the car. But he gave me his time and test drive, because he said "if you buy one you might want it serviced here, and we would value your custom." As the manager seems to have the right attitude I bet that is one very well run, efficient, pleasant service department.
Why are VW dealers so dreadful? - Phidman
When I bought my Golf PD 150 recently I asked the question. The answer provided was that VW sales have increased so dramatically over the last few years that their dealer infrastructure has been unable to keep up. It does make some sense. So far the dealer concerned (Breeze in Poole) has been fine - although I haven't used them a great deal. A previous experience with Orbital in Ashford (Kent), at the time, was not so good.
Why are VW dealers so dreadful? - eMBe {P}
>> 1/ Three year warranty dependent on servicing at franchise. They have a captive market here, three years revenue stream, so why bother to work for your custom? (to be fair - I can see why the manufacturers insist on this - you dont want

spurious warrant claims)>>

Holmes RF: the OFT is on to this scam. For full story, see
www.oft.gov.uk/News/Press+releases/2003/PN+89-03.h...m
30 June 2003

The OFT today launched a study into warranties for new cars. The study will focus on how competition in car servicing is affected by restrictions on where cars may be serviced during the warranty term.

Hope that OFT will act.

Watson eMBe
Why are VW dealers so dreadful? - Altea Ego
Thank you Watson, I see my powers of deduction are being passed on.
Holmes

Why are VW dealers so dreadful? - midlifecrisis
IU bought my (now long gone) Passat on the strength of VWs reputation. I was gutted to find it rattled and creaked like no car I'd had before. It also suffered numerous electrical failures connected to the instruments and DIP.
I kept the car for a year and got rid when it was 18months old. Mechanically it was fine, I was just disappointed to find they do not have the much vaunted 'rock-solid' build quality.
And my local dealer acted like he sold Bentleys! That's another story...
Why are VW dealers so dreadful? - apm
I wonder... If one bought a vw, could you arguably get it serviced at a Seat/Skoda dealer, as they are part of the same group, and the cars are substantially similar??

My experience is that my local Seat dealer is great, whereas every VW dealer I've encountered has been dreadful. Just a thought...
Dr Alex Mears
Seat ibiza Cupra
Mazda MX-5 1.8iS
Yamaha RD350YPVS
Why are VW dealers so dreadful? - mare
The very same thought ran through my mind when my Octavia came up for a service (oil change). Then thought better of it and getting an oil change for £30 in Radstock rather than £100 ish plus VAT at local Skoda dealer.
warranty & servicing - eMBe {P}
mlc, RF, apm, and mare :
How about taking positive action and helping the cause of motorists? - why not contact the OFT with your views on warranties and servicing? The OFT link above says:

>>>>...... In addition to the manufacturer's warranty (usually one or two years), new cars are often sold with a dealer extended warranty that increases the warranty to three years.

Dealer extended warranties are normally valid only if the car is serviced by garages within the manufacturer's network. While manufacturers' warranties do not usually specify where a car must be serviced, in practice the extended warranty will normally be invalidated if the car is not serviced, from new, by an authorised repairer.

The aim of this study is to examine:

the extent to which garages outside the manufacturers' networks are prevented from servicing new cars
whether competition from independent extended warranty providers is being eliminated
the impact on customers of restrictions on where vehicles should be serviced.
The study will examine questions about new car warranties such as:

which car manufacturers and dealers offer them
what are their terms and conditions
to what extent are they taken up
who finances them and how
how they influence the choice of garage for servicing
the arguments for offering them with service restrictions
what are the alternative options for consumers. ....... >>>>>>
warranty & servicing - guss
having owned 3 vws over the last 6years i have to agree with the comments above.from expensive services,inaccurate information, mis diagnosis the list continues.(2 scottish dealers and 2 northern ireland) i bought an import gt tdi 2 years ago and as the car is now out of warranty i have it serviced at an independant specialist who is excellent,knows what hes doing and reasonable.i will never have my car serviced by a vw dealer again
warranty & servicing - Phoenicks
I was having my car dealt with by Breeze VW in poole. Very average. not great. not bad, but always a 2 week wait to get the car looked at for problems was annoying. And at £70+Vat per hour for labour rate i thought it was far too expensive.

I now use an independent specialist called Advanced Auto Repair in Christchurch. £35 + Vat labour rate and all VW trained. so far so good with the experience i've had. turned up for my car to have some bits looked at and the car park was full of VW's and Audi. good sign.

Anyway, a cambelt change that VW Stealership was charging £180 + VAT for was done for £85 + VAT at Advanced Auto Repair (AAR) and the upcoming 9000 miles minor service they quoted £160+ VAT at VW, is £85+ VAT at AAR. Cant complain with those rates.

I have to say that the value of a Full Dealer Service History as opposed to a FSH (normal) isnt worth the extra £300-£500 over 3 years.
Why are VW dealers so dreadful? - akr
I have to laugh. Having had one or other VW (mine) and one or other Vauxhall (the wife's)for many years now, without question the Vauxhalls are FAR better, running without problems and being serviced efficiently and cheaply. The VWs, by contrast, have suffered a litany of faults ranging from a new air con unit at 3 months old to failed windscreen wipers in the pouring rain on a busy M62 at 11 months old - I'm lucky to be alive writing this! The "best" one was a Mk.4 Golf GT TDi 110 which had 17 faults in the 2 dreadful years I owned it, most of which the dealer didn't have a clue how to fix supposing he had the inclination of course to do so.
Why, therefore, have I continued to buy them you might ask? For the simple reason that there are still many gullible people out there who still believe that "nothing in life is as reliable as a Volkswagen" and so pay top whack for resale on what is an expensive private purchase. Next time, however, German is off the agenda because the arrogance in VW, BMW and Mercedes dealers is unbearable. I'd rather lose money than give them the satisfaction of giving them my money.
Incidentally, the wife is soon to be the proud owner of an Astra Cabriolet which she bought in preference to a BMW Compact. You should have seen the salesman's face when we told him the BMW was an ordinary car and that his part exchange offer was an insult. I really enjoyed walking out of there.

Why are VW dealers so dreadful? - pdc {P}
I have only ever had VW cars, 4 of them, since learning to drive 10 years ago.

First one was a late 70\'s polo, and that was fine. In 96 I got my very first brand new car, a 1.4 Polo. I was extremely happy with it, and the only day that I had a mechanical breakdown was when I was on the way to trade it in for a new 1.6 Golf in 1998. The Golf ran fine, until the 135,000 mark, when things started to go wrong. I traded that in for a 2.0 Passat Sport last November, and it is def the best car that I have ever had.

In the 7 years since having cars from new I have always used the dealers workshops. For 6 years that was Rycliff in Stoke and I received fantastic service from them. Covering about 35,000 miles each year, I would be in there at least 3 times each year. I never had any complaint about the quality of their work.

The staff were extremely helpful, and would often look at small complaints, and not charge me. An example would be the changing of headlight bulbs. Was a pink fluffy dice to do, and they never ever charged me, and I could pop in at anytime and get it done. On the day my mum died my car developed a fault. They pulled out all the stops and loaned me the use of a demonstrator (they had no courtesy cars available) at no cost.

When I moved to Manchester and needed a bulb changing I was told by Advent that I would have to book in in 2 weeks, and that I would be charged. They also refused to sell me oil, as they didn\'t trust me to tell them what grade was already in the engine. These two incidents and a couple of others meant that I still took my car to Stoke for servicing.

Then sadly Rycliff closed their VW operations to concentrate on Audi. I believe a new VW dealership, Lakeland, sprung up nearby, but I have no experience. Advent closed at the start of this year, which is no great loss. Even a guy from the AA told me that he had heard complaint after complaint about them.

I have been using the dealer in Bolton since last November. That is where I got the Passat from, and although I know a few other BRMs do not rate them, I have been happy with their service, both in sales, and servicing.

Obviously I have never experienced any other manufacturers dealers or vehicles, but for now I am still loyal to the VW brand, although I think my next upgrade has to be the Audi A4 Cabrio.
Why are VW dealers so dreadful? - Halmer
Just got back online since posting the original thread and I'm gobsmacked how many people have posted a comment.

Thanks to everyone for taking time. I'll read the posts now!
Why are VW dealers so dreadful? - Halmer
For anyone interested I have extracted the text from the original letter that I sent to VW in November 2000.


I own a 1998 S registered latest shape VW Golf. I have also owned two other Golfs in recent years one of which I still possess (a 1986 1.3 version). Apart from a number of niggling problems my view is that the latest model is a fine vehicle and I would not hesitate in contemplating the purchase of another new Golf when I come to replace the car next year.

There is one factor, however, that will make me consider an alternative manufacturer; the woeful level of good VW technical service support in my area. I have to say that as a private purchaser I am very disappointed with the level of competence that I have witnessed over the last two and a half years. If I was minded I could catalogue a list of misdiagnoses (regarding clutch mechanism, door locks etc.) poor standard of repairs (electric windows not repaired properly, plastic trim not replaced and secured properly etc.) and even damage inflicted to the vehicle (seat belt trapped in door damaging paintwork, damaged quarterlight trim whilst repairing rear window electrics and scratched bumper trim). Whilst I am not obsessive about the appearance of my car I do look after the vehicle in the manner that you would expect of a private owner. It also took at least five visits to the VW body shop before the vehicle was repaired to an acceptable standard when a third party damaged the car about twelve months ago. During this time a dent on the bonnet mysteriously appeared although it is nigh on impossible to be certain as to how this happened. What I do know, almost without doubt, is that it wasn’t there when the vehicle was taken to the dealer.

I must admit that I was not filled with confidence in the early days of ownership when the Service Manager advised me (seriously) that “It’s a new feature on the latest Golf. You have to pull the rear door handle twice to open the door if the child lock is on”. This was in response to my request that the vehicle be examined, when the rear door mechanism kept failing.

You may ask why I have put up with this without complaining or considered taking the car elsewhere. To that I would answer: -
1. It’s not in my nature to complain without real cause
2. I have complained on occasions to the dealer but the sheer inconvenience of: -
i. having to take the car for inspection and diagnosis.
ii. waiting whilst parts are ordered and received (sometimes taking around three months).
iii. taking the car in for parts replacement.
iv. starting at i. above again when the vehicle is not repaired properly (on a number of occasions).
gets beyond a joke for even the most patient of people.
3. The terms of the warranty do not allow me to have the car serviced by a non VW franchised garage.

I recently took the vehicle to another VW dealer where I hoped that I would get better standard of service. Whilst the relevant problem was fixed it would have been nice if the technician could have been bothered to properly attach the plastic boot-lid interior trim as I had to stop about a mile from the garage before it fell off.

To a lay man such as myself one of the causes of the problem seems obvious. The volume of work that they get through heavily influences the remuneration of VW technicians. No doubt this is common practice across the industry. However, without proper control, quality only becomes an issue when a customer is minded to make a complaint such as this one. If only one in twenty customers complain the risk taken in producing shoddy work becomes worthwhile.

My views that I have outlined above are supported by a number of conversations that I have had with other local VW owners recently and my exasperation is shared. I have also discussed the issue with a representative of a large local company who have recently reviewed their VW servicing needs following continual poor levels of service from the dealer that I use. I appreciate that it may have been more courteous to make formal representation to the dealer before contacting you, but to be honest, I would simply prefer to take my business elsewhere if it were possible.

I apologise if I appear a little dispirited from the tone of my correspondence but my car represents a considerable outlay for a private purchaser and I expect considerably higher standards of technical support and car care from franchised VW dealerships. I appreciate the comfort of spectacular showrooms, courteous staff, free coffee and my car being washed off following each visit that I make. However, what I really want is that the car be serviced or repaired promptly and properly and that it be treated with respect whilst it is being attended to.
Why are VW dealers so dreadful? - Halmer
As I said earlier the response from VW was: -

Thank you for your letter. We are continually looking to improve standards.

Pathetic.
Why are VW dealers so dreadful? - Flat in Fifth
Perhaps a corporate thing I wonder.

VW dealers rated pretty well bottom in Sweden last 2 years.
Why are VW dealers so dreadful? - Andrew-T
Presumably the dealers argue thus -

private owners like Halmer either put up with it, or get fed up and take custom somewhere else, in which case that problem goes away.

there are enough other private owners to keep the trade going because they are 'persuaded' that their cars must be serviced there throughout a 3-year warranty.

labour rates and cost of 'genuine' parts are enough to offset the losses of such as Halmer.
Why are VW dealers so dreadful? - tunacat
While we're having a pop at VW, I took a look at the chart for that 2003 U.S. JD Power Vehicle Dependability Survey that came out last week -

VW are 5th from bottom (37 makes)

Not too brill, is it.
Why are VW dealers so dreadful? - Phoenicks
I had a Peugeot 306 XSI before my MK3 Golf GTI. I have to say that the Golf is more expensive to service by a main dealer. Far less helpful. and the car gets as many niggly faults as the Pug.

Perhaps a lot of people mistake a car having less rattles than an equivalent car as being more reliable....
Why are VW dealers so dreadful? - Halmer
I remember Jeremy Clarkson having a real pop at the new Toyota Corolla a few years ago saying it was pathetic and boring.

Toyota soon made him eat humble pie with the retort that there is nothing as boring as sitting waiting for the breakdown truck, which doesn't happen to Toyota owners.

Can't say that I like Japanese cars myself but I'm closing than ever to buying one.
Why are VW dealers so dreadful? - hootie
Touch wood!!!
"there is nothing as boring as sitting waiting for the breakdown truck"


In the last 10 years I haven't had to do that - but then, I've been driving Japanese (and yes, it did go against the grain at first)

"Appearances can be Deceptive"
How to complain: - eMBe {P}
Halmer,
I hope you take this as a constructive helpful comment, as I have some inside knowledge on how these things are handled.
Having seen your letter of complaint (as posted here at 11.50 today), unfortunately I have to say that it was bound to get a one line reply. The reason is that many large Companies judge how to respond to you depending on your drafting of the complaint letter. There are many sources of help on the web on writing these letters.
( try the bbc.co.uk watchdog pages, or search google.co.uk, or
www.oft.gov.uk/Consumer/Where+to+Go+for+Help/defau...m
www.tradingstandards.gov.uk/ )

The key to succesful complaints is to be polite, firm, assertive, and keep the following points in mind:
Make sure you write to the correct company address.
Include copies - not originals - of any supporting receipts, invoices, advertisements, letters, etc.
Quote any relevant account, customer, or invoice numbers.
Mention dates and times, incidents, names of ppeople, and all the relevant circumstances but be precise and concise. Do not ramble on. Use headings, and subheadings.
Be Clear about what YOU want the supplier to do to put things right. This is very important.
Set a deadline by which you want the matter to be sorted out, and stick to it.
Get evidence to support your claim, for example independent technical reports. (Take photographs or video evidence at the time the problem occurred.) Enclose a copy with your letter.
Be persistent, and always write to a named person at the top of the Company.
How to complain: - eMBe {P}
Here are 8 tips on making succesful complaints, as listed on a site I found through google:

Eight tips for effective complaining
1.Complain in person if possible, and followi it up in writing, rather than just phone.
2.Always be polite - rudeness will get you nowhere.
3.Complain quickly, or you may lose most of your legal rights.
4.Know your rights - don't be fobbed off with excuses.
5.Keep the evidence. Don't throw away receipts. Send letters by recorded delivery, or ask for a certificate of posting from the post office.
6.Keep cheerful. A polite but assertive letter is more likely to be taken seriously than a nasty one.
7.Take your complaint to the top if necessary - if you're getting nowhere with an assistant, ask to see the manager or top person.
8.Don't get involved in personal rows. Letters are better because you can plan what to say and you've got a record of it.
How to complain: - Halmer
Thanks for the constructive help eMBe.

I suppose that the main bit that I fell down on was not telling them what I wanted as recompense. The only problem here is that all I really want is contained in the last para of my letter which seems to be beyond them.
How to complain: - Phoenicks
Having worked for numerous corporate bodies and car garages i have to add that you should skip the front desk person and ask straight away for the most senior person in charge on that day. Whether its the MD or company secretary. Most middle or lower managers have limited powers of redress. When you write, address is for the Director, or Chief Exec. Again if you wrote a letter to a customer services dept your letter will probably get opened by a clerk on £10k a year who couldnt give a rats pink fluffy dice about your complaint. Go for the top. what have you got to lose.
How to complain: - Flat in Fifth
eMBe

if I may add a slight amendment to your number 5. all the rest is spot on btw.

Proof of posting is a waste of time in my view.

Recorded delivery is not much better. Recorded delivery is OK only if the delivery system works but is no extra security over the normal post, except at the point of delivery.

Learnt this the hard way involving paperwork connected with an irrevocable letter of credit. Eventually after much arguing Bank in China paid up but it was a worrying few days with a fair amount of US $ hanging in the balance.

In the case cited a recorded delivery letter got lost in Wolverhampton sorting office. How many items of mail go astray each day?

If you do have something which you need to be sure I think it always worth the small extra amount for Special Delivery. It also makes the point that you are serious.

Just my opinion of course.

---------------

Without sin there is no fun: Rasputin
Special Delivery ? - borasport20
FiF - two stories in the news today -

1 - the number of items lost in the mail has fallen by 50% to a mere 280,000 per WEEK

www.thescotsman.co.uk/uk.cfm?id=774722003

2 - the Royal Mail are currently trying to find the owners of a set of traffic lights someone has posted with no address ...

www.ananova.com/business/story/sm_800500.html


I have to grow old - but I don't have to grow up
Special Delivery ? - sean
Borasport,

Are these traffic lights worth much?

If so, they may be mine.

I can describe them.

Red light at the top, amber underneath and green at the bottom.

Who do I write to to claim them, and will my letter get there?
Special Delivery ? - Flat in Fifth
No Sean these are not yours.

These are green at the top, amber underneath and red at the bottom.

The "this way up" sticker looks to be upside down though.
---------------

Without sin there is no fun: Rasputin
Special Delivery ? - Halmer
I'll keep this thread going because it's about the best I can do to get some kind of satisfaction out of complaining to VWUK!
Special Delivery ? - KB.
No-one has yet suggested that all the bods contributing to this thread, who are so plainly unhappy, should all simultaneously write or email to Head Office @ M. Keynes telling them of their experiences and each communication should remind VAG of the communal dissatisfaction of the assembled members here. I don't have one personally (Toyota) but would happily join in by writing saying that after reading this lot (plus numerous other similar postings) I would not contemplate future purchase until I could be assured of better service.

If we're going to email, does anyone know the address? And is anyone going to do it? - if so, say so - otherwise I'll shut up.
KB.
Special Delivery ? - Garethj
Our 1992 Passat has been serviced by our local VW dealer and we've found them to be polite, not too expensive (compared to the previous Peugeot 406 company car) and they do what they say.

Considering it's a 10 year old car with 130,000 miles it would normaly not be worth troubling an official dealer, but as they keep doing a good job we'll keep taking it there.

Whatever the car, a dealer who does things well is worth a lot - I'd rather have that than save a second on the 0-60 time!

As I said, my wife's previous car was a new 406, run as a company car from her French employer. When she sent back the bills for the servicing it apparently cost more to run than the MD's Porsche which was serviced in France. Another example of rip-off Britain?

Gareth
Special Delivery ? - Halmer
The new VW Lakeside dealership have fitted a new aerial to my car under warranty today. Very plush showroom the costs of which are no doubt part charged to me!

Chap named Ian gave excellent, polite, patient service.

Hopefully they are as good as they seem to be based on my early dealings with them. just have to wait and see I suupose.
Special Delivery ? - sean
Shortly you will see relaxation of the "block exemption" where makers restrict their products to dealerships of their choice.

(Supersites go abroad to buy some of their stock for just this reason)

This will mean a lot more power going to the dealership, who can then sell new Astras alongside golfs and Focuses.

This will really show the good dealers from the wolves.

End of Sept this year.
Special Delivery ? - teabelly
Trouble is bad dealers can still keep on going by just finding enough mugs. It has worked for a certain mobile phone airtime reseller who treated their customers like dirt. Always another mug was their motto. After probably a decade of this they are only now having to start thinking about customer service and not behaving in a heavy handed and possibly illegal manner in order to expand further rather than just staying the size they are.

Hopefully the end of block exemption will see ordinary uk dealers being able to compete with the supermarkets more effectively as it always seemed unfair that a supersite can buy cars from abroad for knock down prices but uk dealers couldn't get uk cars for the same money as the manufacturers prevented it deliberately.

If the OFT puts an end to tied in servicing by main dealers to keep the last part of the warranty then it will be fantastic as all the over priced incompetant dealers will go bust. The restrictive warranty is what puts me off from ever buying a car less than 3 years old as I don't want to take my car to a main dealer and pay £50 an hour or more when I have found a great specialist that charges £30 an hour and isn't a monkey.
teabelly
Special Delivery ? - KB.
Despite the 50 something postings complaining about bad VAG service, not a single person bothered to respond to my earlier suggestion. So I'll tell you what.......I'll keep my Toyota and you keep your VW's and we'll all be happy.
KB.
Special Delivery ? - Dan J
Very British mentality isn't it KB? I damn well let Vauxhall know my thoughts on various matters. Maybe nothing will change but at least I can say I tried...
Special Delivery ? - Halmer
Sorry KB.

I had logged off for me tea!

VW at Milton Keynes are a joke. You are wasting your time writing to them as I found out.

Best just not buying the product. I even thought of writing to VW in Germany by getting my German speaking mate to translate mt letter for me.

I rang Milton Keynes once for technical advice. To cut along story short they don't want to know.Couldn't even be bothered to come to the phone to speak to me. I ended up with a young receptionist trying to give me advice regarding the ECU on my Golf.
 

Value my car