Experience Matters? Audi Spain should read this!

I have been a huge Audi fan basically all my life. For the record I am 48 years old an my first car was an Audi 100. It was the former company car from my dad and I love my car. I was blessed by experiencing Audi in Germany since it there is a real difference between the experience you as customer can have with a global brand unfortunately. In Germany Audi does apply a concept called Kulanz. To describe it they offer to carry a part of the cost of a defect even outside of warranty if it is considered to be a fault of the car. I believe we could call this fair or improving the customers experience.

In order to give this story a full picture I need to ad a blast from the past to this. In 1999 I have purchased an Audi A4 2.5TDI Quattro Avant with all the options in it. It was quite an expensive car at that time and probably for my age living in Spain. I had it via Volkswagen Financial Services so it had all the service in Audi Garages and of course on time. After 3 years, the lease was over, all of a sudden I noticed that it started to consume more and also created a lot of “smoke”. Took it to the shop:

  1. It was 2 Injectors of the 6 which had a problem. All 6 needed to be exchanged = 1500€ approx. I was told I should take the car to Bosch Service since the Injection Pump was making some strange Noise
  2. At Bosch they looked at the pump and yes indeed something was wrong and = 2000€ for the injection pump However the car still did not drive well so again to Audi
  3. Now it was a Valve which has gone 1200€ approx

At least where I come from cars of quality with mainly long distance travel (in speed limit country) and 85.000km do not need 6000€ repair on the engine in one month. I have asked Audi Spain what they will take care of. They basically laughed at me and said of course nothing, the car is out of warranty. A very different experience I have had from Germany. So I decided to call Audi Ingolstadt, their HQ. They told me in short that they cannot do anything and it is up to the local distributor… The disappointment was huge and I swore to myself to never drive an Audi again. Audi Spain of course could not care less.

For 15 years I have been a happy customer of Volvo until I got a company car and there was no other choice but Volkswagen Group. I thought… let’s give it a try and see if they have improved. The short of it they have not.

I have taken the car now 3 times to the main store / Garage in Las Rozas Madrid.

  1. Paint and get the tires changed. All done
  2. 2 weeks later I had a light that the breaks needed to be changed. Question… would you not consider that when they take the wheels off they can see that the breaks are down?? They must have been very much to the limit since I drive usually 200km per week….
  3. Service for 60.000. I mentioned that the car has consumed coolant and also is consuming more fuel. “No worry Sir it should be ready in the afternoon”. On Friday I call the garage to see if I get my car back.. supposedly not due the fact that Volkswagen Financial Services did not authorise them on something in time —> weekend without a car! So what about Monday ? Tuesday ? Wednesday????? No it was Thursday.

This is the worst brand experience one could get. If I would have felt for a single moment that anybody cares… Not at all. Go ahead put a complaint, I am too busy to return phone calls… My conclusion is that AudiRetailMadrid is doing too well. If they cannot return the calls fo their customers who have bought high end cars from a supposed high end brand.

Experience Matters! For me the worst of all is that Audi is a Global Brand, a brand which I very much liked. I like driving Audi but the experience they offer in Spain is clearly below Substandard!

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And the Music has, … died!

Today, already 27 years ago, Freddy Mercury has found his piece and left us alone with his Music. I was probably not a real Queen fan at that time but I always loved a good number of their songs. There is innumerable memories I have to singing on the top of my lungs songs like “We will Rock You”. This is a real Anthem! It can hardly be played without “We are the Champions”. What would be possibly do without these two songs in any celebration???

The 24th of November 1991 I was doing my civil service in my hometown Bremen. I was with my colleagues doing a night shift in our “emergency central for elderly”. This was rather boring job since we were waiting for the unlikely event that somebody has requested our help. If it were not for the gift of cable TV, at that time that was the only way to watch MTV.
That 24th of November MTV played nothing else but videos of Queen and I remember how we were totally numbed by the fact that this music has now died and we tried the best to homage Freddy the way we new. Singing his songs on the top of our lungs dancing with the flexo lamp as if it were the microphone he used to dance with.

We were not even aware of we we have lost at that time, I guess that is quite normal. We were too young and had of course no idea what the future would bring.
If you were asked right now which song you most remember of the last 10 years, probably the answer will be “I do not know”. We have entered a world of pure where every evaporates in just a few seconds.

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On this picture you can see the band play tribute to their fans and their fans playing tribute to the band. Both are fully connected. For sure the once-in-a-lifetime charisma of somebody like Freddy Mercury adds to it. Thing of what that picture would look like today. It would be impossible to see faces, the only thing you would be able to see is Cellphones. Everybody must make a video, which is probably never being looked at. But what happened the reason of really going to a concert???  Sharing a moment? A feeling? All this has been pushed aside to be able to show on EgoGram (Instagram) or FaceLook (Facebook) that one is there and the others aren’t the rest is hardly important.

Same happened with the Music. There is no message, no feeling, no shared moment any more it is just a moment which passed and that is it.

I am glad that I have lived a time in which the important thing was being with friends, family and enjoying things together and make use of this wonderful instrument we have which is our voice. Some of course have a more privileged one than others. It seems that some have forgotten how wonderful it is to talk, sing and transmit emotions the way we are build (that is why we have a voice) and not only type things and put emoticon behind this.

The day Freddy Mercury has found his piece he has left us much more orphaned than we would have thought.

Thank you for “Rocking” us and continuing to do it!

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