Thursday, March 15, 2012
You are in a lot of excitement when you buy a new car. Sometimes, things can go horribly wrong due to the cunningness of the salespeople or the company selling you the car. A similar experience happened with me during the purchase of my new car. Here’s what has happened till now and the way the customer service works for Volkswagen in India.
I bought a Volkswagen Vento in January 2012, from Bhasin Motors / Volkswagen Delhi South, South Extn., New Delhi. At the time of selling the car, I was promised a December 2011 car. The invoice I got at delivery stated the car was manufactured in October 2011. I was quite unhappy about it but the dealership told me that it got to them in Nov and the plant does not manufacture cars in December. Trusting them in good faith, I reluctantly accepted the explanation and kept the car. Then there was a long wait for getting the registration receipt from them - it took them 18 days after delivery to get the car registered. When they gave me the registration and road tax receipt, the manufacturing date shown on it depicted April 2011. I asked the dealership guys for an explanation and they started coming up with baseless excuses.
Next, I met with the AVP of Bhasin Motors, who was rude and said he did not have the time to talk to me as the issue I was taking up was not even a valid issue. I went to him with a letter with all my grievances regarding the purchase of the car, which he refused to accept, telling me that he does not has the time to read it. Only on insisting hard to accept the application, he accepted it. There were many instances during the conversation in which he spurted out things in a very insulting manner. This was the level of “professionalism” I got from the AVP of the dealership.
The dealership clearly cheated me by misstating information in the invoice at the time of delivery. Then, I decided to complain about the dealership to Volkswagen itself, which was a pain too. Even after 4 phone calls, 3 emails and more than a week of wait, I did not hear anything from anyone at Volkswagen. All the person on the other side of the phone could tell me was that your complaint has been forwarded to the appropriate department and you’ll receive a response within 48 hours; the request was escalated on each subsequent call and no response was ever received. They had no more information whatsoever - no status update on the complaint, no contact details of the concerned department and also, no supervisor to speak to. Probably, after 7 or 8 days of the complaint, I received an email response from Bhasin Motors regarding the complaint. I was surprised that the complaint against the dealership went to the dealer itself, with no official response from Volkswagen.
By this time, I started searching LinkedIn for contacts at VW. Thanks to my huge network, I was able to locate a few connections. I got email addresses of top executives at VW through some of my connections and emailing them again resulted in no response. Then, I found a couple of really responsive people in VW, who pointed me towards the right people to contact. I was finally able to get in touch with the Regional Sales Manager for the area, who “listened” to the concerns.
So, I had to make my own efforts to get in touch with the people at VW as the customer service is completely useless. The stance of Volkswagen has been to side with the dealer and not to efficiently or quickly respond to the concerns. It has been more than 1 month since the first complaint with VW was made and I’m still to get a satisfactory response from them.
I wanted to share this experience with everyone, so that people are aware the kind of service they should except when buying a Volkswagen. The experience with the dealership, “Bhasin Motors” has been a horrible one and the one with VW has been bad too. This is the kind of reputation Volkswagen is building for its brand in India with unprofessional and unethical dealers like Bhasin Motors. Also, their customer service seems to be a complete joke.
P.S.: The above is a very concise description of the complete problem. If anyone is interested, I can forward you a three page letter I first wrote to the dealership, stating this and other issues faced at the time of delivery.