An open letter to readers who may be interested in Volkswagen pro...
Look and Style: Good Comfort: Good Pickup: Average Mileage: Average Best Features: None Needs to improve: All November 29th, 2011. We are a proud owner of a Volkswagen Vento elated to have chosen nothing but the best, post detailed homework & careful assessment among other leading manufacturers. However, it was not to be. This commentary is to put on record our miserable experience, so that those intending to purchase any car of this make in the country, may be forewarned as Volkswagen seems to have a different ethos for their Indian buyers. From the third day of its arrival, the car began to malfunction. The problem ? on turning on the ignition the car would just not fire up. The problem recurred and each time, the car was taken for repairs, causing untold harassment to us. At the end of every such visit, the dealer, M/s OSL Exclusive Private Limited, Kolkata, assured us, that the fault had been addressed and there would be no such recurrence. However not only did the battery issue keep re-surfacing, the air-conditioner of the car also failed, all within a week of acquiring the vehicle. We knew by now that the car was faulty and the technical defect was acknowledged by the dealer, in writing to us. However the dealer paid no heed to our requests for change of the vehicle. Left with no resort, we wrote to the Managing Director, Volkswagen, both in Germany and India drawing their attention to our plight. However, we were extremely disheartened at the lack of any actionable response from either. Having failed all avenues of redressal, we were constrained to seek justice before the Consumer Court in May 2012, for replacement of the defective product. It has been more than a year and all we have experienced in our journey that had begun with Volkswagen?s promise of best in class German Engineering has been harrowing rounds of the court, extreme harassment and countless delays. Currently, the matter is subjudice and shall perhaps remain so, given the efforts put in by the dealer and management of Volkswagen India, to delay an outcome. Incidentally, against an order of the consumer court, Automobile Association of Eastern India (AAEI) was directed to examine the car and give their opinion who certified that the electrical and the air-conditioning system of the car were indeed defective. My tryst with the brand that boasts of trust of their customers and investors as a fundamental requirement on their website has been nothing short of hellish humiliation and a colossal waste of money. My intention of sharing this experience is to let believing customers like myself be aware of the poor performance, quality standards and attitude of Volkswagen in India. Could Volkswagen resort to such nonchalant attitude in a European market? Customer Loyalty cannot be bought or sold with advertisement, or grand statements in public media. Loyalty comes from word-of-mouth of customers who have sampled the product and recommended to friends and family. In my limited capacity as a citizen of India ? I want to spread this word to the wider audience, beyond just our friends and family. The way the issue has been handled by the dealer OSL Exclusive, Kolkata, and the way the Volkswagen management both Germany and India has chosen to distance themselves ? has left a lot to be desired from a world-class customer centric and global brand like Volkswagen. It indeed is a rude shock for us ? and every intending car customer should be aware and forewarned about this face of Volkswagen. Overall Experience: Pathetic
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