This picture was uploaded to Facebook on Sunday by Ilka Dunne. She recently booked her car in for a service at Northcliff Audi in Johannesburg. While in the care of the dealership, the car was involved in an accident. It has since been written off. How exactly this happened is a story we’d still love to hear!
But instead of taking responsibility, Audi told Dunne that they would not pay the insurance claim – advising her to claim from her insurance instead.
They have since also ceased to reply to any of Dunne’s requests for further explanations.
Out of frustration, she took to social media over the weekend. The below description of her unsuccessful battle with Audi, along with the photo, has since gone viral. To date it has managed to clock up 4110 “likes”, 1772 “shares”, and 1872 comments on Facebook.
3 weeks ago my Audi A4 cabriolet went in for repairs to fix a repeat problem with the roof that has been niggling for over a year. While booked in to the Northcliff Audi branch it was involved in an accident that has led to it being written off. Over the last three weeks we have been very patient while Northcliff Audi investigated the matter, chatted to their risk assessors and insurance company.
Throughout this period we have been treated as if the fact that our vehicle was totaled on their watch was somehow a non-issue.
We began the process dealing with Ben Jonge Poerink, the service manager and Shaun Michael, the dealer principal. Upfront we told them we would not be willing to claim from our insurance as it wasn’t our issue and we didn’t see why we should suffer the consequences of an increase to our insurance premiums. They promised to get back to us with next steps. We then waited 3-4 days with no update or feedback. Finally days later having left message after message, Shaun came back to us to say that Audi’s insurance would not pay the claim and we should claim from our insurance (yes it did feel like déjà vu).
We refused to accept this and requested that he escalate the issue internally to someone who could resolve it. He said he would get back to us as soon as possible. Since then we have had little or no feedback from Audi, except to say they would pay for it but with no further details. Then despite leaving numerous messages and sending a number of further e-mails we finally called the national call centre, who promised they would escalate it immediately to head office, Shaun responded with a one line e-mail to say he’d let us know something when he himself heard. I for one am not holding my breath however as there seems a total unwillingness from Audi to resolve this issue.
No one in this process has had the decency to treat us with even a level of respect, to pick up the phone and return our calls even if there is nothing new to report, to send us e-mails that take more than 2 seconds to write on a blackberry and perhaps even to start with an apology for their tardiness at getting back to us or returning our calls (every engagement with them in this process has had a 3-4 day turn around time with dead silence in between). And finally to actually resolve the fact that we are sitting with an Audi A4 Cabriolet sized hole in our life.
Your website makes the following promise:
National After Sales is committed to becoming the benchmark in After Sales Service across all manufacturers in South Africa. In order to achieve this, the focus is on the three most important areas of the business: Service Customer Satisfaction, Service Quality and reduction of repeat repairs, and Dealer After Sales Growth and Profitability.
So far I have yet to experience customer service satisfaction, service quality and a reduction in repeat repairs (particularly since my vehicle was in for the third time to solve the same problem). I would suggest therefore that until Audi can actually deliver on these promises that they don’t put them up on their website at all.
I am puzzled that in today’s day and age where customers really are the heart of your business that we are seen as an irritation rather than a consumer of your products. This is a pity since despite the fact that I have always loved my Audi I will not be buying another one due to the lack of after sales service from Audi South Africa.
So, Ryan Searle, CEO and Chris Khumalo, head of Audi National After Sales, I would recommend that you spend a bit more time finding out what is actually happening with your customers because your business exists by virtue of us.
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