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> P*ss poor customer service, Ridgeway Paint and Body Center - VW / BMW - Up at Greenham
motormad
post Aug 29 2013, 10:14 AM
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I'm very disappointed with the level of service I recieved at Ridgeway VW Bodyshop over the last few weeks.

It's a bit of a long story so please bear with me. I have registered my unhappiness with VW UK already, I'm just sharing my story.

I bought a Mk5 Golf GTI and as per usual with Mk5s it suffered from rust bubbling through on both front wheel arches.

I took it along to the VW Bodyshop in line with the warranty process and they submitted the car under warranty work.
Eventually I heard back to say that I would be getting a 50% contribution to the total cost and that I would have to pay £370 to complete the work.

Having had the same issue with my old car, which I didn't have to pay anything on, which was 2 years older and had done 40k more miles at the time (not that it mattered), I entered into a long and drawn out process. I said that if it would help sweeten the deal I would get some other work done at the same time, if the price was right. I know what it costs to get body panels sprayed so wouldn't pay over the odds.

I later received a call to say that the bodyshop would complete the work at no cost to me. That's all that was said to me on the phone call.
The car gets booked in on Tuesday the 30th July. The date at the time was around the 12th or 13th.

I ask about getting a quote for the cost to respray my bumper and bonnet. I chased 3 times and still did not receive the quote - Very disappointing.
With the car booked in for the Tuesday, the Friday before hand (26th) I finally get the quote at about 4:45pm.

At this point in time I decide that I don't want to pay £470 to have a bonnet and bumper sprayed (plus at the time I was thinking of selling the car) so come Tuesday morning, I drop the car off and they tell me that in order to have the wings replaced, under the 12 year corrosion warranty, I have to pay for the bonnet and bumper to be sprayed. I said that I didn't want to go ahead with the work so the guy said "well then you're not getting the wings" and buggered off inside.

I felt like I was being blackmailed - Ultimately the car has to be in tip top position so I was put into the position of either have a tatty car or pay the money. So I reluctantly pulled out my wallet and unhappily paid £475 or there abouts.

You can read about it here on my build thread for my car here.

http://uk-mkivs.net/forums/t/520487/3629026.aspx#

The next morning I received a call, with some manager guy complaining that I had written negative comments on our owners forum (of which there are tens of thousands of members and it's viewed by hundreds of thousands of people). So I, the customer, was being moaned at for complaining.

Moving on from that, when I pick the car up and, as I do paintwork correction and detailing, it looked pretty good.
I give it a quick look over as I have other things to do.

I recently spent the weekend doing a full correction detail on my car and was the first chance I had to have a proper look around the vehicle.

I spotted that there was a paint run on the lower drivers door, right at the edge near to where it meets the wing. And standing back and looking at the front end, obviously the panel gap was wrong on the bonnet -> wing, and the bottom of the wing does not sit square with the panel.

I go back to Ridgeway yesterday lunch time, and can tell they are not happy to see me - At the end of the day I am a paying customer and I expect to be spoken to with a modicum of respect.

I speak with this estimator guy, Shaun or whatever - and I'm nice about everything - I say the rest of the work was great but there were just these little things.. and asked for him to put them right.

He seemed like he could not give a crap!! He tells me, and I'm not joking - "it's not a rolls royce it's a mass produced car!" and that I'm "being picky".

I explain that the car is a show car (I regularly take it to VW shows across the country) and it's the small details that make the difference between any old car and a true show winning vehicle.

The bodywork is not mint but I am sorting that over the winter when there are no shows to attend - Instead of accepting this Shaun says "well what about this rust here [on the sill, another common Mk5 issue], that's not like a show car is it?"

He goes on to say " i have a keen eye i could spot everything, you've had paint on every panel" -

Urrr, no I haven't. I went around it with their own PD8 (it's a paint depth gauge and measures how much paint is on a panel) when it went in for the warranty assessment.

I found him so arrogant, constantly going on about his "good eye" and how he could "point out loads of faults on my car"

I said just because it's not a rolls royce I don't care, I expect the paint work done to be mint and for it to look spot on.

He said I was being "very awkward" and a "difficult customer", I was called "arrogant about the situation" and that I "kicked up a stink before.." -

I couldn't believe it!! That is absolutely not how you speak to a customer. Regarding the panel alignment I said to him that he should compare the bad side with the good side and tell me if that's right - I explained it absolutely was not like that before.. he immediately and without thinking said "you can't prove that"

He offered to fix the work under the warranty (and he was offering this because he had to, not because he wanted to or could even appreciate my position). However I am not in such a position where I feel the relationship between myself and the bodyshop is not conducive to any future business. So I'm left either giving a bodyshop I don't have a good relationship with my car, of which I don't have faith in treating the car with the respect I would expect, or fixing the problems myself.

I have photographed the issues.


You can see a gunky looking substance everywhere. This is called "waxoyl" and is a corrosion inhbitor. It's supposed to be applied in a neat manner but it's been splattered on everywhere and is very, very difficult to remove.



Drivers side wing fitment (OK and no issues with clearing the tyre at low heights/aired out - note the straight fitment between the wing and the sill



Passenger side wing which fouls the tyre when aired out and notice the angle between the wing and the sill.



Panel gap drivers side between bonnet and wing (fine)



Panel gap between passengers side bonnet and wing - NOT FINE!!!



I would suggest anyone who DOES use the bodyshop does so with EXTREME caution.
I cannot recommend this bodyshop to anyone any more, not so much because of the work but because of the terrible attitude of certain members of staff.



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massifheed
post Aug 29 2013, 10:37 AM
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QUOTE (motormad @ Aug 29 2013, 11:14 AM) *
I cannot recommend this bodyshop to anyone any more, not so much because of the work but because of the terrible attitude of certain members of staff.



I don't think it's just the bodyshop. I spoke to a salesman in the showroom there about a new car at the beginning of the year and he was just as arrogant. He only seemed interested in getting me what they had in stock. They didn't have a vehicle that matched what I wanted, only models that were over-specced and a colour I really didn't want. I said I would consider spending more so long as we could meet somewhere on price, but he said he couldn't come down on price at all. He also said that there was no point in going elsewhere either as no-one would negotiate on price. What a way to win customers!

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Strafin
post Aug 29 2013, 12:10 PM
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Whilst there is no excuse for poor workmanship, or ripping off people, or being rude, you do have a habit of winding people up. Did you tell them that they were all old and didn't know what they were talking about? Is this one of those times when maybe you can see how other people feel sometimes, when you throw in one of your fippant "get over it" comments when other people have a problem on here? Good luck to you getting sorted though, I know you like your cars and £475 is a lot to kick out and not be happy.
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motormad
post Aug 29 2013, 01:30 PM
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QUOTE (Strafin @ Aug 29 2013, 01:10 PM) *
Whilst there is no excuse for poor workmanship, or ripping off people, or being rude, you do have a habit of winding people up. Did you tell them that they were all old and didn't know what they were talking about? Is this one of those times when maybe you can see how other people feel sometimes, when you throw in one of your fippant "get over it" comments when other people have a problem on here? Good luck to you getting sorted though, I know you like your cars and £475 is a lot to kick out and not be happy.


No and no. I don't think this is one of those times at all. To be told I'm arrogant when saying that the work is not up to standards is completely unjustified. I was perfectly pleasant with them.

Massifheed - I had similar experiences when having some recall work being done at the main dealer. Trying to flog me other work that wasn't necessary, trying to paint a dangerous picture, etc.


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Exhausted
post Aug 29 2013, 06:35 PM
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They painted your bonnet and the paint finish for a metallic looks quite good but if the panel fit is slightly out, that should be a simple enough job but for a Golf, looks pretty good to me. I assume that the bonnet was removed to paint and that you were having it painted because of chips rather than bonnet damage so they didn't have to bend or reshape it. So, why do you think that one of the gaps has got bigger/wider.
If you managed a 50% contribution on paint bubbling on your wheel arches, that meant the job would have been around £740 in total. Did they fit new wings for that price, From memory, I can't remember if they are bolt on wings.

If you knew that the garage were not up to standard, and as a detailer, I assume you have some trade experience, you might have used someone who would paint to the high standard you feel is suitable for a show car.

I know that they do 'upsell' and a lot of their customer's do cough up as 'the garage is a main dealer and knows best.

As far as warranty work goes, you have to bear in mind that they do not manufacture cars and that any warranty work they do has to be approved by VAG in order that they can be paid for manufacturing defects. So, perhaps that is all that they were allowed, The mark up on dealer prices will allow some goodwill but there has to be a line between goodwill and profitability. Did you buy the car from Ridgeway by the way.
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x2lls
post Aug 29 2013, 07:31 PM
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Sorry MM, I just can't resist this.


Get over it, it's only a car, and an old one at that wink.gif


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gel
post Aug 29 2013, 07:42 PM
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QUOTE (massifheed @ Aug 29 2013, 11:37 AM) *
I don't think it's just the bodyshop. I spoke to a salesman in the showroom there about a new car at the beginning of the year and he was just as arrogant. He only seemed interested in getting me what they had in stock. They didn't have a vehicle that matched what I wanted, only models that were over-specced and a colour I really didn't want. I said I would consider spending more so long as we could meet somewhere on price, but he said he couldn't come down on price at all. He also said that there was no point in going elsewhere either as no-one would negotiate on price. What a way to win customers!

Sounds like a monopolistic situation, if he can be confident he won't be undercut.
A cartel in operation.
I've seen similar with Stihl Garden equipment (also German); they & sister brand Viking have stopped competition between dealers that was taking place on the www. Now dealers with
on line presence have to say, that they cannot ship to you, as they insist you must visit dealer for "safety demo". Difficult, not cost effective if miles away.

On Cars you can always check here for pricing deals
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Simon Kirby
post Aug 29 2013, 07:50 PM
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MM, it's something that you're passionate about and I'm really sorry you've had this bad experience.


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Turin Machine
post Aug 29 2013, 11:55 PM
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I simply won't use these jokers anymore, they want to charge £15 per day for a courtesy car even when a car goes in for warrenty or recall work. Thats no courtesy. Arrogant and ignorant. The Audi side are just as bad, went in to talk about a new A6 and they simply didn't want to know. Ended up going to Basingstoke, I know of 3 other people with the same experience who also went to Basingstoke because of Ridgeways attitude? I don't know how they stay in business at all. The VW side of things idn't used to be so bad but it's deteriorated badly. Ridgeway Wantage are just as bad.

Shocking, the lot of them.


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Andy Capp
post Aug 30 2013, 12:15 AM
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QUOTE (Turin Machine @ Aug 30 2013, 12:55 AM) *
I simply won't use these jokers anymore, they want to charge £15 per day for a courtesy car even when a car goes in for warrenty or recall work. Thats no courtesy. Arrogant and ignorant. The Audi side are just as bad, went in to talk about a new A6 and they simply didn't want to know. Ended up going to Basingstoke, I know of 3 other people with the same experience who also went to Basingstoke because of Ridgeways attitude? I don't know how they stay in business at all. The VW side of things idn't used to be so bad but it's deteriorated badly. Ridgeway Wantage are just as bad.

Shocking, the lot of them.

I have heard the same about Audi up there too.
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pbonnay
post Aug 30 2013, 07:18 AM
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Many years ago I took my car to a VW main agent up the other end of Berkshire. In my naivety, I thought that in using a main agent, I would be less likely to suffer sharp practice.

In a nutshell, after collecting the vehicle, I discovered that the garage had lied to me. They had not done work that I had paid for.

I eventually got them to put it right and then complained to the Director, who responded with an arrogant and dismissive reply. So I complained to VAG UK, whose response was that dealers are franchises and they could not comment. So I copied my complaint to SMMT, and they informed me that the dealer was no longer a member, so they could not assist. A while later, the company trading as the dealership was put into liquidation - perhaps they were being sued by somebody. A phoenix business then arose.

A main dealer is only as good, and as honest, as the people who manage it and work there.
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massifheed
post Aug 30 2013, 08:01 AM
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QUOTE (Turin Machine @ Aug 30 2013, 12:55 AM) *
Ended up going to Basingstoke...


Yup, me too.

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JeffG
post Aug 30 2013, 08:46 AM
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QUOTE (massifheed @ Aug 30 2013, 09:01 AM) *
Yup, me too.

Or you could just go next door and get a Nissan. Always had excellent service from Rowstock. I used to have Citroëns until the main dealer in Newbury closed down and the nearest one was Basingstoke.
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ebalch
post Aug 30 2013, 08:49 AM
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TLDR
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massifheed
post Aug 30 2013, 10:01 AM
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QUOTE (ebalch @ Aug 30 2013, 09:49 AM) *
TLDR


rolleyes.gif

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Blake
post Aug 30 2013, 10:28 AM
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What I HATE about the motor trade is that it is a license to print money: OUR money which it then extorts from us.

I have had pretty crap service from independent garages too and jobs that they refuse to do. DK Car Sales, The Vauxhall "specialist" next to Thatcham station is also pretty dodgy. Refused to skim my cylinder head after a failed gasket and yet you were happy enough to sell the car in the first place! This place also fitted and charged me for new wiper blades when the old set were six months old and perfectly okay. That was the last time I took my car there and will be the last.

Equally, Halfway Garage in Thatcham. My handbrake cable needed adjustment. They then adjusted one on ANOTHER VW! When I took it back, they did it wrong which meant I then later had to have the cable replaced. What staggering ineptitude.
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Simon Kirby
post Aug 30 2013, 11:48 AM
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QUOTE (ebalch @ Aug 30 2013, 09:49 AM) *
TLDR

Sorry, what? I got as far as 'T' and gave up.


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Nothing Much
post Aug 30 2013, 12:10 PM
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Literally, "Too long; didn't read" Said whenever a nerd makes a post that is too long to bother reading.

Foxed me too. So as I have a very helpful wiki friend, I now know. Actually I thought it was a make of car mellow.gif
ce
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Exhausted
post Sep 1 2013, 12:54 PM
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Perhaps this is why you were offered a 50% warranty.

http://uk-mkivs.net/forums/t/520487.aspx?PageIndex=10

Halfway down the page....

A ripped wing arch edge due to contact between the wheel and the wing. Nice pictures for Ridgeway to see.
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motormad
post Sep 1 2013, 04:27 PM
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QUOTE (Exhausted @ Aug 29 2013, 07:35 PM) *
They painted your bonnet and the paint finish for a metallic looks quite good but if the panel fit is slightly out, that should be a simple enough job but for a Golf, looks pretty good to me. I assume that the bonnet was removed to paint and that you were having it painted because of chips rather than bonnet damage so they didn't have to bend or reshape it. So, why do you think that one of the gaps has got bigger/wider.
If you managed a 50% contribution on paint bubbling on your wheel arches, that meant the job would have been around £740 in total. Did they fit new wings for that price, From memory, I can't remember if they are bolt on wings.


"for a golf"

Sorry what is that supposed to mean? That if this were on an Aston Martin it would not be acceptable but on a VW it is? The bonnet was painted on the car I would guess as it was not damaged. The wings were replaced. As the wings are bolt on and have movement by adjusting the wing position before tightening them, they clearly just slapped them on and didn't really check.

The panel gap is twice as large on one side as it is another. VW would NOT allow a car to leave their factory looking like that so why is it OK to give it back to me in such condition?

QUOTE
If you knew that the garage were not up to standard, and as a detailer, I assume you have some trade experience, you might have used someone who would paint to the high standard you feel is suitable for a show car.


Yes as I would take my car to a bodyshop of unknown quality.
I had my boot resprayed by them on my old Golf and the quality of the work was good. I primarily used them because of the corrosion warrant and not because I "wanted to".

QUOTE
I know that they do 'upsell' and a lot of their customer's do cough up as 'the garage is a main dealer and knows best.


Unfortunately none of which work on me as I do my own servicing and don't fall into the trap of "VW dealers know best!!" - No they just charge the most money.

QUOTE
As far as warranty work goes, you have to bear in mind that they do not manufacture cars and that any warranty work they do has to be approved by VAG in order that they can be paid for manufacturing defects. So, perhaps that is all that they were allowed, The mark up on dealer prices will allow some goodwill but there has to be a line between goodwill and profitability. Did you buy the car from Ridgeway by the way.


This is an irrelevant point really because it was corrosion on a wheelarch which fell inline with the corrosion warranty. However to avoid paying VW claim it through as "good will". If you do some research you will find this is a very common problem with 100 people getting 100 different outcomes.
Ultimately it's not the paying the money - or any of that junk - that annoys me, it's the crap attitude from some of their staff and in particular Shauns attitude towards me and my car.


QUOTE (Exhausted @ Sep 1 2013, 01:54 PM) *
Perhaps this is why you were offered a 50% warranty.

http://uk-mkivs.net/forums/t/520487.aspx?PageIndex=10

Halfway down the page....

A ripped wing arch edge due to contact between the wheel and the wing. Nice pictures for Ridgeway to see.


Oh my god!! When did that happen?

Nice try however this incident happened AFTER I was booked in for replacement wings (which you should have noticed if you were reading my thread - Hope you enjoyed it though) and as I was having replacement wings it made absolutely no difference.


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