Join Date: Aug 2015
Location: New Delhi
| | Volkswagen East Delhi Review
During mid-August, I took delivery of a Carbon Steel Grey (CSG) VW Polo Petrol Highline from VW East Delhi. Iím still not sure as to how should I categorize my experience with them. What I initially thought to be a fairly good deal now looks like a clever move to take advantage of a first time car buyer.
Iíll share my experience with VW East Delhi in the various stages of my buying process.
Preliminary Research / Visits
Of all the VW dealers I visited, VW East Delhi seemed the least interested in selling the car. Donít get me wrong, they were courteous and everything, however, didnít offer a test drive, unlike others. Also, they never bothered to follow up until after I had visited their showroom a couple of times. Everyone else kept calling, offering me a test drive, at a time and place of my choice. However, in the end, I still chose to go with them since they had the best offer on table.
Finalizing the Deal
After a month of negotiation and dealer visit, in the last week of July, the final deal that I got from VW East Delhi was a discount of 45k with mat and mud flap thrown in as freebies. This was the best of the lot and I decided to book the car at the earliest. However, unfortunately, something urgent came up on the personal front and I had to postpone the plan for the time being.
Come August, I thought of checking up on the offer for the month, just for the heck of it. I was pleasantly surprised to know that the discount on HL had gone up to 20k. However, it didnít matter, since the earlier discount offered to me was reduced by a good 10k, due to an impending price hike of 10-15k.
I was in no mood to pay additional 15k for this car, and which is when I decided to try for the previous offer. VW East Delhi agreed to give the same discount on the condition that I take delivery before 15 August. I was also assured that the price hike will not be applicable if and only if I fulfill the delivery condition.
And so, I finally booked the car on Aug 9th, with assured delivery within a day from full payment.
My request for a PDI was accepted readily at a time of my choice. I did a thorough PDI of the car and except for a 90km on the odometer, nothing seemed amiss. On kms, the SA clarified that cars are brought from stockyard, which is quite far off and hence the high number. I had read somewhere that as long as it is less than three digits, it shouldnít be too much of a bother. Hence, I accepted SAís version and left it at that.
I completed the payment formalities and gave a go-ahead for the registration.
I could not take delivery on 14 Aug and had to move it to 18th due to busy schedule at work. Now, the norm for cars is that the price on D-day is what the customer has to pay. In my case, suddenly, it was no more a problem; I was still exempted from the price increase. And which is when I realized that these blokes are not entirely a god-send helpful bunch of VW guys. My suspicions were well founded when I came to know from an online forum that a new version of Polo is set to be released by the month-end. I remember asking the SA, when he broke news of price hike to me, about a possible launch of new version. He had then replied with a vehement no. Alas, now nothing could be done, since the car was already registered.
On D-day, the entire experience was fine. The staff was courteous and arranged for the usual niceties at the time of delivery. However, during final inspection, I did find a couple of places where the cleaning work was not up to the mark. When pointed out, it was taken care of promptly. We left the dealership happy and satisfied with the purchase and the experience so far.
I was quite relieved and happy with the buying process having gone smoothly, barring a few hiccups and a minor heartbreak (new version). I was looking forward to experiencing the VW drive quality that I had heard so much about. But, and I guess ĎBUTí is a norm with these guys, something that you should factor in when buying a VW.
The following morning my wife pointed out that the main car key seemed a little used with scratches on the plastic portion. The metal part looked yellowish, especially the grooves, without the new car key shine. I didnít think too much of it, however, after on my wifeís insistence, agreed to show it to the dealer.
I showed the keys to the dealer and the folks there found it amusing. Funny, eh? I also had a look at other keys and they seemed a tad shiny and scratch free. On this, the dealer offered to clean up the keys, which we eventually accepted given that changing was not an option.
And which is when, I started having doubts if the car that was delivered to me was used as an occasional test drive car. I happened to witness that myself on my visit to this dealership. Everything seemed to add up, the 90 on odometer, missing plastic seat covers, sign of wear and tear on key and flexible payment terms. The other day while connecting my phone with Bluetooth, I happened to come across names of two other phones that were previously connected and stored in the ICE system. Although, besides that, there is no other issue that I can point out in the car.
Not sure, I raised this in a couple of forums and also with the VW customer care. The latter, as usual, directed me back to the dealership. The guys at dealership donít find this to be an issue and are just going through the motions, especially when there is nothing to prove. Maybe Iím being paranoid, but as a customer, after having spent close to 7 lacs for a new car, it feels quite disheartening to have doubts if the car is brand new or not.
I read somewhere that other dealers are upfront offering discount on older version of polo. And which is why the whole experience now seems more like an act on the part of VW East Delhi to coerce me into buying the older version of the car.
Despite the negative feedback on VW service, I chose to go with the brand hoping that such feedback would be an exception than a norm. However, getting a taste of it at the very first step seems as a rude reminder of what I chose to ignore.
To sum it up, VW East Delhi would be the last on my recommended dealers list, given the sheer lack of transparency in the way they operated.
PS: Meanwhile, I've been approached by the dealer for a meeting to resolve the complaint. I also received a call from the Mumbai office and they have offered to look into the matter.
Now, at the moment, I'm not sure what should be an acceptable outcome of this escalation. My intent all along was to send across a strong message to the dealer through the company's feedback mechanism (I didn't know then that I would be directed back to the dealer). And from that perspective, settling or asking for anything less than a replacement would be giving the dealer a chance to save themselves from further escalation.
I'd appreciate if other forum members can share their views on what are the options available with the customer in this case.