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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I've previously commented favourably about my local Audi dealer (a.k.a. Gromit's Retreat Audi) as their sales dept. has been excellent to date. Sadly, their Service* Dept. is entirely a different matter.

My Q3 has a problem - a nice, simple problem, easy to diagnose and fix, one would have thought. The nearside rear window glass comes out of the regulator whenever it is lowered and the window won't shut until I've manually realigned it and shoved it back in. All they've got to do is refit the friggin' thing back in the regulator channel and I'm on my merry way rejoicing.

In an idle moment today I thought "I'll give them a quick ring and ask if I can drop in for them to have a quick look and give me a time estimate so that I could get it fixed - or maybe even fix the thing while I waited (I know, I know - I live in a world of my own at times) as they're only down the road from me.

The phone rang for an age before anyone answered, then held for another age for the Service* Dept. before being told "There's no-one there."

WOT??

The receptionist took my number and promised a call back. An hour and a half later no-one had returned the call so I phoned again, asked for Service* Dept. and after an interminable hold waiting for (wait for it...) the After-Sales Customer Care Department (!) I found myself speaking to a person to whom any technical aspect of the motor car trade was a complete closed book. After three attempts she finally got the hang of "The window won't shut" but it took two further attempts to get "nearside rear" translated into "the one in the back door on the left" and she never did get the meaning of "window regulator".

There was no way I was ever going to get the remotest indication of how long the job would take, i.e. is it a while-you-wait, in for a day, 2 days, a month, etc. and when I finally asked for it to be booked in she said "Any day in November suit you? We're booked up until the end of October."

WOT?? (2)

I told them to forget it and phoned the next nearest dealer - Audi Maidstone (part of the same Inchcape group) and got a totally different response. A very helpful and knowledgeable guy answered the phone promptly, understood the nature of the defect, sympathised with my problem and booked the car in for October 21st with a loan car booked for me and a promise to speculative-order the parts thought to be needed. The day following is also reserved with the loan car in case the job needs unforeseen parts. That is exactly what I would expect a top-quality dealer service* dept.'s response to be and I'm grateful for it. OK, I've got a 50-mile round trip to get the car there and another one to collect it, but the job is being done.

I told him why I was travelling all that way instead of just nipping down the road to Gromit's Retreat Audi and asked him if there was a problem with my local dealer. He said (tactfully) that they had "serious staff problems".

No sh*t, Sherlock.


* I refuse to call it an After-Sales Customer Care Department. This is a bullsh*t-free zone - It's the Service Department. Deal with it.
 

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Maidstone Audi - pretty good all round in my experiences with them thus far........
 

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I had a similar experience when my Q3 was a few weeks old. My wife was coming home and heard a banging under the car. She had looked underneath and saw that the bottom engine cover was loose. I was away at the time, so I told her to ring the Audi dealer and arrange to call in as we were doing on holiday in it a couple of days later.

Phone call made by wife- "Sorry but we are fully booked up and can't fit it in for another 3 weeks."

Result- I went down with it 2 days later and politely pointed out that prior to buying the car I had not had very good service and had been re-assured that things had changed. I then asked what common sense there was in allowing me to drive it like that for 3 weeks? They could not get it in the workshop fast enough and now I have my own personal service advisor to contact.

I think all garages should have people there to deal with the customer who understand their problems and needs- not a semi-automated person booking you into the next available slot.

Rant over.............
 

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I would be sending a jolly stern email to their managing director which you'll be able to locate easily through the magic of google. That's what i did and this lead to an instant resolution. He even sent me a letter with his direct number on it and an apology, we are customers after all and without us they're screwed.

 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
UPDATE: The car went in today and - needless to say - they couldn't replicate the problem (probably because it was pissing down today and the water was acting as a lubricant on the window channels) but apparently there's a technical bulletin that recommends lubricating the window channels I believe with a different lubricant so it appears to be a known issue.

All four channels were done and I'm a happy bunny again. Thanks again to Maidstone Audi in general, Ashley, Steve and Rob in particular, for prompt and efficient service. I'm impressed by the whole outfit - more than I can say for their East Kent branch...
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Oh dear Gods, they've struck again.

I've just received (despite asking on multiple occasions for our email addresses to be removed from their marketing databases) a marketing email from Inchcape Audi group, the text of which follows (suitably anonymised, of course)...



Dear Mrs G,

Our records indicate that we've not seen you for
quite a while.

Was it something we did or didn't do, or was it something
to do with the price?

If your Audi experience wasn't up to scratch, then
please let us know. After all,
our customers always have been and always will
be our number one priority.

If it was something to do with price, then we
can certainly put that right
here and now!

You see, I'm writing to you
today with some terrific news. News, that will surely
put a smile on your
face.</font>
</font><h1>“We guarantee that we won't be beaten
on price for Audi Servicing”.</font></h1>
</font>

No quick-fit auto centre or back street garage within 15 miles of Bolton*
Audi

will beat our service prices - guaranteed!</font>
</font>

Why not put us to the test and call us today?</font>
</font>

We look forward to seeing you soon.</font>
I forwarded it to my sales contact at Gromit's Retreat Audi with the following prefix...

<div dir="ltr" align="left">Further to
our exchange of emails late last year when I asked to be removed from Inchcape
Audi's annoying email marketing system, you kindly obliged and forwarded my
request to (presumeably) the right quarter(s).</font>
</font><div dir="ltr" align="left"></font>
</font><div dir="ltr" align="left">You - or
somebody - appears to have missed one... :)</font>
</font><div dir="ltr" align="left"></font>
</font><div dir="ltr" align="left">This email is SO wrong on so many levels. Whilst I'm really (no, really) relieved
to know that your service pricing cannot be beaten by anybody within a 15 mile
radius of Bolton* Audi (!) I'm kind of concerned that someone thinks the few
weeks since our A3 was in for servicing amounts to "quite a
while".</font>
</font><div dir="ltr" align="left"></font>
</font><div dir="ltr" align="left">Someone
somewhere has really cocked up your marketing database methinks. Would you
please be kind enough to pass this on to the offending idiot and once again get
our email details removed from whichever database is responsible for this latest
piece of incompetence before I blacklist Inchcape's email
addresses.</font>
</font><div dir="ltr" align="left"></font>
</font><div dir="ltr" align="left">We in our
turn will guarantee that we will not even consider having either of our Audis
serviced by anyone within a 15 mile radius of Bolton*.
Honest.</font>
</font><div dir="ltr" align="left"></font>
</font><div dir="ltr" align="left">Now if
you'll excuse me, I really need a drink - a large one.</font>
<div dir="ltr" align="left">
<div align="left">

Regards,</font>
</font>Gromit.</font>

*Just to labour the point, Gromit's Retreat is in deepest Kent - you've only got to drive about 12 miles before falling into the English Channel. Bolton is exactly 277 miles from here.

</font>
 

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Love it, Gromit
Do you sell your services (just those for replying to idiot emails !!) if I should need them ?
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
I'm sure something could be arranged...
 

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Gromit said:
I'm sure something could be arranged...

Oh thank you


Seriously, I haven't had a single email from my dealer apart from copies of sales paperwork etc so not standard for Audi dealers
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
I suspect this is confined to the Inchcape group who have a policy of "pervasive data collection and marketing" I believe it's called. In plain English it seems to mean that a single contact with any Inchcape dealership is regarded as a licence to pester the crap out of them with marketing and surveys.

My first visit to them was memorable. We had no sooner sat down with a salesman and expressed a possible interest in buying a new A3 when a 4-page questionnaire was shoved under my nose - asking some extremely intrusive personal questions I might add - and I was asked to complete it and hand it back before we could proceed any further.

I tore it up and left.
 

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So you didnt want them to know about your trips to that dark quiet lane and the need for xenon lights? ?.. LOL
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
Shhh...... you PROMISED not to tell anyone about that.
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
OK, now this is getting silly...

East Kent Audi have come up with a new system to ensure their tranquil existence is not disturbed by intrusive phone calls from current - or indeed potential - customers. They have deleted all reference to their existing phone numbers online and replaced them with a totally new set of numbers which are all answered by an appallingly loud robotic voice followed by a long wait (while one's phone bill ticks up), until finally another robotic voice announces that there is no-one there to take your call and switches you to voicemail.

Luckily I had an old business card from them and on a whim tried their old (now unlisted) phone number. This was promptly answered by a bright-sounding lady who was totally unaware of the situation.

Honestly, you couldn't make this up, could you?
 

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The East Kent Audi service department note made me smile. Back in 2007 I bought an ex demo 3.0 TDI A4 Cabrio from the dealer. The Cab was absolutely fully loaded with every option you could get with the exception of a TV...even had heated back seats (completely useless).

I had a personal registration plate back then and had some plates made in preparation for - the service department wouldn't fit them because they hadn't supplied the items, well that was excuse on the day anyway.
 

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Discussion Starter · #16 ·
Oh good grief...


I have just had my trusty beast MoT'd by these guys. Their service guy has just phoned me with the good news that it has passed, but with two advisories. You're gonna just lurve this...

1) There is a sticker in the Zone B area of the windscreen which may constitute a safety hazard.

It's my Q3OC sticker and it sits in the area previously occupied by the TAX DISC, FFS!! Do I take it that all cars on the road prior to a couple of years ago had this government sanctioned potentially dangerous blind spot?

It gets worse....

2) I have had winter tyres fitted and haven't yet swapped back to summer tyres.

As you all know, last Autumn I changed to Goodyear Vector ALL-SEASONS tyres (the clue's in the name, folks) which even have the A0 sidewall mark signifying Audi original equipment specification alongside the words ALL SEASONS. Had they looked at the sidewalls? Had they F...!


I only went back there because of their MoT guarantee and the fact that, whilst the car is nearly four years old, it has only covered 37,000 miles. Any possibility of an out-of-warranty major problem being subject to some form of assistance from Audi carries a prerequisite that all servicing has been done by them, quite reasonably and naturally.

...but I seriously doubt their corporate ability to locate their own rear orifices using both hands, a torch and an HDD-based SAT/NAV.

I need a drink...
 

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Well if they used the Audi SD card Nav it would tell them too late anyway.........they would end up inside out.........most likely a better solution!
 

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I thought that the well-renowned and globally recognised Q3OC sticker warded off such evils??
 

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Discussion Starter · #19 ·
It would have done, had they been able to read it - if they couldn't read a tyre sidewall marking they sure as sh*t wouldn't be able to read a sticker.
 

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Go and have a lie down Gromit with a bottle of something special?
 
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