Four years ago I bought my car from the Barons Woodmead VW dealership and two weeks ago I decided to use them to get my second major service done.
The reception at the dealership was good and I was assured that the points that I brought to the attention of the Service staff, namely Sean Govender, would be fully checked out and he would give me a call during the day to give me an update as to the progress of my car through its service, as is custom with these kinds of dealings.
I collected my car at 5:15pm on the 28th Feb 2008, Thursday, thinking everything with car was sorted and that the +/-R1,300 I handed over would more than compensate the dealership for the service they carried out. But No!
I got home to find that the inside of my boot was damp which I shrugged off because at leas i had a clean car to drive home in even though my laptop bag got dampened by whatever liquid that wet the boot in the first place.
On Monday, 3 March 2008, I noticed an oil stain in my garage at home and thought that it could have been excess oil that had leaked out after the service and did not pay it much attention until Thursday, 6 March 2008. The small oil spot had grown considerably bigger in the garage as well as there were similar stains now in the parking lot at work where I had parked my car.
I got someone to just have a look at my oil levels and that’s when I realized that my car was leaking the new oil that had been filled into it as is standard during a major service, however, the sump plug of my car was mistakenly not tightened well enough, causing the the car to leak oil.
When I took the car back to the dealership on Friday, 7 March 2008, I waited over ten minutes in the Waiting room without a greeting or word of acknowledgment from a single person of the Service Reception team. Sean Govender, the person in charge of booking my car in didn’t even bother to tell me how long the problem was going to take to be looked at or anything like that.
After 15 minutes, my car was brought to the front of the dealership and Sean only then brought me my keys and apologizing for what he deemed an "oversight during the service".
I fail to understand how such an important part of a "service" like making sure you have tightened up every last bolt you touch during a car service can be an "oversight" during a major inspection of a car?
Surely dealerships do a quality assessment of the service before the car leaves the servicing garage?
It is unacceptable that even at this stage in the customer service chain that dealerships can get away with blue murder! I have sent this post to the VW headquarters, Sean Govender; himself and put it up on HelloPeter because clearly Carte Blanche covering these kinds of "oversights" at car garages and dealerships a fews years ago wasn’t enough to get a proper quality standards assessment done on these types of services in south Africa.
I’m appalled that this is still going on and that it’s almost akin to the analogy of a doctor forgetting a swab in a patient during surgery thereby fatally increasing the chance of infection let alone further complications, and for the patient to only get told, "Sorry, it was an oversight"? There is something very wrong with this picture and the fact that these situations impact negatively on people’s lives does not seem to concern the service staff, the same staff that are supposed to be in the customer service chain of command.
I guess Barons Woodmead would have taken me a whole lot more seriously if my car had packed up after me driving it around without any knowledge of the oil leak, but then perhaps they would have blamed the incident on my ‘negligent driving’ as opposed to owning up to their stuff up during the service they carried out on my car.
This is not the first complaint that has been raised with this particular car dealership. Merv has had a horrible ordeal with them too, but I’ll leave him to explain more for himself because his experience can be summed up as ultimately shocking and disgraceful customer service.