Thursday, July 10, 2008

A Little Help Please

Okay, as you all know, I've had car drama lately! I'm incredibly dissatisfied with the service that I have received and I have prepared this letter to send to the company and/or anyone else that will listen. Of course I'm going to wait until after I get my car back to send it, but I wanted to post it on here to see if you all could think of anything that I should add and/or remove.

I'm not sure what the point of doing this is and I hardly ever complain, but this service is despicable and I think that the company needs to know about it. Let me know what you think...

To Whom it May Concern,

On Wednesday July 2, 2008 my 2003 Volkswagen Jetta (37,000 Miles) broke down on the road while driving. As a result, I had the car towed to XXX in XXX, Maryland. I have been using this service station for routine oil changes and miscellaneous service since purchasing my car in 2006.

Upon arriving at XXX, I was told that I would not be granted a rental car, due to the fact that I bought my car at a VW dealer in Boston Massachusetts (where I was residing at the time), rather than this particular shop. As a result, I decide to hold off on renting a car until I received further information about my car.

When I arrived at XXX, I was informed that XXX would be my service provider. He was running out the door when I arrived, and asked a coworker to check me in and to gather my information. He informed me that he would call me tomorrow to let me know the status of my car and/or any repairs that were necessary.

The following day (7/3/2008), I did not hear from XXX at all. I finally called him to ask for more information regarding the car. He informed me that they had yet to look at the car, but that he would call me when they had a chance. He finally called me a few hours later to inform me that they were able to turn on the car and confirm the problems that I reported when I had it towed to the shop. He thought that it may be a simple fluid problem and/or a transmission problem and informed me that they had to let the car cool for the entire day and would not be able to check it until Monday (7/7/2008) due to the temperature of the fluids. When I asked him how much a new transmission would be, he told me that he could not give me a quote, because they had not done one in a long time. I found that quite perturbing, considering the fact that this is a VW service center, and I would assume that they would know how much a transmission repair could be. At this point, I informed him that I may need a rental car, and asked him how long he would be there that day. He replied, "I will be here until 4:30 today. Actually, no, I want to start drinking early tonight so I will be here until 4:00." I found that to be very unprofessional behavior. If I had informed one of my clients that I had to go home early to start drinking, I would have been reprimanded and/or fired on the spot.

The following Monday (7/7/2008) I waited hours for XXX to call with an update on my car as promised. Once again, he failed to inform me about the status, and I was forced to call him for more information. The first time that I called was around noon. He told me that the car had yet to be looked at. I called again at 4 for more information (seeing as though I had not had access to my car for 5 days now) and he informed me that the "transmission specialist" did not have any information yet. I was growing increasingly upset and asked him when he would have any information about the status of my car. He said that they would look at it that day, and that he would call me back. He called back at around 5 p.m. on Monday to inform me that they still hadn't look at my car, but that he promised that the transmission specialist would look at it first thing in the morning and that he would have all of the information for me by 10:00 a.m. on Tuesday (7/8/2008).

At this point, I could no longer hold off on a rental car, so I informed him that I would be in within one hour to pick up a car. He agreed and told me to come right in (and that I would have to pay for it all myself). When I arrived at XXX on Monday evening, I went to XXX and informed him that I was here for the rental car, as we had discussed. When he went to collect me a car, he was told that there was only one rental car left at XXX and that I could not have it. As a result, he told me that I had to drive down the Mazda dealer to pick up a car. He was not apologetic about this, despite the fact that I had previously arranged this pick-up with him only an hour before. Before I left, I asked him about the status of my car once again. He said that he had talked to the "transmission guy" and that he was "pretty sure" that my car was covered under the warranty (he couldn't be sure and/or check, but he was pretty sure).

Upon arriving at the Mazda dealer, we were informed that they did not have any rental cars for us either. Luckily, the service manager there was accommodating and was able to find a me a car to use for two days. This entire process took about two hours.

On Tuesday (7/8/2008), 10:00 a.m. quickly passed without a call from XXX at XXX. At about noon, I finally received a call from him. He informed me that I did not have a warranty that would work anymore, and that the total bill would be 6,900 dollars for a new transmission (labor and parts). I found this to be an astonishing amount, especially considering the fact that I called several local garages for a second opinion, and they all provided pricing below 3,000 for a new VW transmission (parts, service and tow). Regardless, I could not afford $3,000 dollars, let alone $6,900. I told XXX that I would call him back after I discussed this with my family.

Minutes later, I called VW USA to talk to a customer care advocate. The woman that I called was named XXX, and she was incredibly helpful. She was empathic, understanding, and fully listened to me. She told me that she would investigate the case and call me back later in the day. Within one hour, XXX returned my call and had some very good news! I did in fact have a warranty on my car until July 2009. She told me that she had already called XXX at XXX to inform him of this, and had the entire thing taken care of. She gave me her name and her extension and told me to call her with any problems.

About 2 hours later, I called XXX to confirm that he had heard this news (seeing as though he did not take it upon himself to confirm this with me). Upon answering my call, he told me that he had checked two times before and that I did not have the warranty, but informed me that XXX had told him that I did and that he would talk to his service manager about it to authorize the service. He also told me that "this is 100% not his fault." I didn't care who's fault it was, I just wanted my car fixed! He told me that he would call me tomorrow after he talked to his manager and his transmission specialist.

The next day, (7/9/2008) he once again did not call as promised. As a result, at 3 pm we called XXX and asked to speak to the service manager for an update on my car. The service manager was completely unhelpful and quickly transferred the call to XXX. We asked when we would finally get my car back seeing as though a week had passed with no progress. He said, "Well, we need to order a part, and maybe we'll get it tomorrow. She'll probably be back in her car by the weekend." Still not a straight answer in sight! It's not like I dropped my car off at Joe Schmo service center. I brought my car to a VW service center where one would assume they would know how long it would take to get a VW part. He seemed very annoyed by the fact that we were "bothering" him so much about the car.

It is now Thursday (7/10/2008) and we have yet to hear anything, yet again. I would call to ask how long it would be, but I'm afraid that if I bother him again, I may never get my car back. Instead, I'm paying 30 dollars per day for a rental that I'll be borrowing until who knows when. I'm incredibly dissatisfied with the fact that I was promised a phone call regarding my car five times, and was only called once. I'm also very upset that they found it so difficult to tell me when I would be getting my car back, and to this day, no one can give me a straight answer. One single phone call to your customer care advocate XXX, fixed the entire situation, yet it has taken XXX over one week to even order a simple part for the car that they sell there.

Although I am incredibly pleased with the service that I have received from VW USA, I am incredibly dissatisfied with the service provided by XXX. From now on, I will be taking my car to XXX VW, where they actually respond, listen and provide information to their customers.


Jennifer said...

Fabulous...I normally don't complain about things either...but you definitely need to send that letter. I cannot believe how horrible this guy has been to you and how unprofessional...that is unexceptable and ridiculous. Good luck...I hope you get your car back one day...and SOON!

Wifer said...

Very professional, unemotional and to the point. I would send it.

Ashley said...

Should I be, Bitchier?

A.D. said...

I think it is perfect. You don't want to sound to bitchy because then they won't take the letter seriously. I'm all about writing letters when service is that bad. If you don't complain, then they are just going to keep doing this kind of thing to all of their customers.

Lauren @ Adventures of a Southern Newlywed said...

Send it on! If nothing else, they need to be informed that this service center handles their customers this way. What a nightmare!