An open letter to readers who may be interested in Volkswagen products

By for Volkswagen Vento 2010-2013 2013-08-12 22:56:01.0
58 people found it helpful. 5547 ViewsWrite Review
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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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  • Sachin |13 Aug,2013 09:21:44 AM

    Sorry to hear your story. You seem to have been served a lemon. Indeed, it's the attitude shown which matters the most and here VW have been found more than wanting. Though i do agree that nobody knows beforehand if it's a defective car but the attitude of dealer/company in handling and resolving a case shows their long term perspective. VW/Skoda group companies seems to have earned these dubious distinction quite early in India and it's a pitty that they are not doing anything concrete to address the same.

    Satrajit |13 Aug,2013 09:52:47 PM

    Thanks for the note. It indeed was a lemon and a very bad one too!! The attitude & the graciousness to accept it and rectify is all that matters in today's world.

  • Ramdas Menon |15 Aug,2013 04:28:38 PM

    Very sorry to hear your story, Satrajit. I was in touch with a Chennai dealer for VW, now I think I will give it a miss

  • sujay |18 Aug,2013 10:40:23 AM

    Oh, Terrible.... i think i will give vento a miss to...

  • Deeps |26 Aug,2013 12:12:42 PM

    Sorry to hear about your experience... :-(( was thinking seriously in booking one... Now I don't know.

  • Manisha |26 Aug,2013 03:03:55 PM

    I am highly disappointed in VW. Was about to book the Trendline Diesel Vento for 10.23 Lakhs within a day or two from Andheri, Mumbai but now i think i will have to think again. After reserching a lot i zeroed down on Vento as compared to any other car, but now.. I dont know, I am confused

    Satrajit |26 Aug,2013 03:11:24 PM

    Hi Manisha and all It has been a nightmarish experience for me. I'm in the corporate world in the Customer Service team. What has appalled me is not the fact that there was a fault in the car - but the complete irresponsibility of dealer & VV as well. The dealers are the face of the organisation and if VV chooses not to give a patient and sound hearing to customer complaints - that is what is disheartening. I'm sure VV is a fantastic company abroad - hence lot of us make the choice. But, VV in India is questionable.

  • Aneesh Menon |02 Oct,2013 04:52:25 PM

    Dear Satrajit, Thanks for posting this review it has revealed the true face of German car manufacturers in India in my eyes. My father is keen to buy a new car for the family and I was insistent on buying a German brand preferably a VW or a Skoda. And based on our budget I narrowed it down to 2 options, the Vento & Skoda Rapid. But now after reading this I doubt I will go for either vehicles. Thanks :)

  • surbhi |07 Oct,2013 03:26:09 PM

    Volkswagen thane ....poor after sales service, pathetic response, cheating customers..................Nil work-efficiency, sick people with no knowledge and charging exhorbitant prices..............what a bad decision to buy a polo car................

  • Shailesh Jaria |11 Mar,2014 03:48:51 PM

    I faced a similar problem with Skoda Fabia. Nobody listens. Every visit to the service centre becomes a harrowing experience and can't get the work done without arm twisting. I thought there was a difference in Skoda and VW service support but seems both are cut from the same cloth. I, however, was making up my mind for Vento, but now... Thanks Satrajit for sharing your experience.

  • ROHIT SARAN |07 Apr,2014 11:54:35 AM

    Dear Satrajit, Thanks a lot for sharing your experience. I have put a cross towards proceeding further with vento purchase.

  • Shantanu |09 Jun,2015 05:54:00 PM

    I bought Vento highline Petrol version in 2011 and within 4 years, the A/C system showed some problems. I took my vehicle to B U BHANDARI service station (Pune) and was surprised with the solution they have provided. Per my initial understanding, coolent was dried out. The servicing team asked me to change FAN assembly, Thermostat and other peripherals. Being a brand name and German technology, with 3 years old car (28K running) I was not expecting this. No one in the service center was able to convince me why they want to change all these parts. They simply do not have any answer. Secondly, within 3 years battery issue started. So I am bit disappointed with the technology and brand name. A frustrating experience at B U BHANDARI - PUNE - WAKAD service center.

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