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:
- 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
- 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
- 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.
- Paint and get the tires changed. All done
- 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….
- 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!