My mostly hate/some love affair with Audi

If you know me personally, you know I'm a huge geek. You know I typically share my insights of whatever I own/use as often as I can.  

This post is about Audi, more so about Audi Canada. I wont really touch upon the 2013 A6 I own, but more on the actual after sales service itself. Now that is something I've never had a reason to touch upon for my Acura RDX which I've had for nearly 6 years now.



So, my parents decided to purchase a new car this year, and were looking at several dealers. Namely BMW, Mercedes-Benz, Range Rover and Audi. After a few weeks of shopping around and test driving we zeroed in on the Audi. What should've gone as a red flag was our purchase experience itself.

Time to recap that bit. We visited Audi of Mississauga in Heartland to check out the A6. We didn't know we needed an appointment to see a car (in what can be classified as the tiniest showroom out of ALL manufacturers in the world), so we booked one. Came by, went for a test drive and fell in love with the car and the sheer amount of geekery in it. We were interested in the 2013 A6, but the salesperson we dealt with was not interested in selling us the 2013 model. He kept pushing for the 2012 one. What ticked us off was - we are planning on spending $90K on your car, why wont you let US pick? Decided it wasn't going to go anywhere so spoke to a few car buddies of mine and dropped that dealership altogether. We then visited to Audi of Oakville (and booked an appointment to test drive prior) and were introduced to another salesperson, who was genuinely interested in selling us the 2013 one. Told us he could have it ready for us in two weeks time. After visiting all other dealerships, test driving all the cars out there we knew we wanted the A6, and Audi of Oakville told us they'd make it happen. I'm not going to touch on dealing with the finance manager because in the grand scheme of things, his arrogance didn't mean much. We wanted the car, and he just postponed it by 2 days because of his sloppiness. We let Audi know of that too - but never heard back from them. We didn't know this was going to become a trend.

Fast forward to November. Car has been running perfectly fine except the navigation stops functioning. Three months in, and the GPS is frozen. We book an appointment and drop off the car. They give us a loaner and tell us to come back the following day to pick up the Audi. We dropped it on a Friday, signed the loaner agreement (without reading) and reach on Saturday to pick it up. Once we get there, we hand over the loaner keys. They asked us to come by on Saturday noon and drop off the loaner. While handing over the keys, the service rep at Audi of Oakville hands them back saying "Oh we have the navigation part, you can take the loaner back". We had a pretty big WTF moment there. We arrived at the time Audi asked us to arrive, were not notified that the part had arrived and that our car would have to stay for another day in the shop. Keep in mind this car is a 2013 model, and is just 3 months old.

We left angrily with the loaner, and came back on Monday, after calling them twice to confirm the car was ready for pickup. Once the call came thru the operator said "Your car is ready for pickup". The service department seemed to lack complete empathy. For fucks sake it's a SERVICE department. In the 6 years of scheduled and unscheduled Acura visits, the service department has always gone above and beyond on more than one occasion, and they in fact lack complete Apathy and are truly the most courteous folks I've dealt with in the auto industry.

We finally pick up our car, and my parents leave for their planned US trip (which is why getting the navigation up and running was crucial). Once we get back, we receive a letter from their service department with a bill for the gas usage. In all the years of visiting a dealership for service, distance between the dealership to the house has always been covered for me, and from conversations for everyone else that I know. Audi decided to bill us for the gas consumed. Which would make sense if we had requested a loaner for that period. We didn't. Audi's service department screwed up and gave us the loaner back due to lack of planning on their part.

We received a call a few days later from their service department asking us "How did Audi do?" And my mom explained everything with regards to their experience at the dealership. The service manager said he would double check everything and follow up with us. That was over a week ago. We still haven't heard from Audi.

To be completely honest, if the A6 didn't drive so beautifully well we would've sold it off by now.

Not only does Audi lack empathy, customer service skills or dealership space - they lack complete emotion. They lack accountability.

It's 2012, and it's safe to say - it's still too soon to purchase an Audi. While the car literally crushes its competition - their after sales service completely pales in comparison to my experience with Acura, and after telling my friends and family about this - the experience pales in comparison to BMW, Mercedes-Benz, Honda, Subrau and Mitsubishi as well.

If I were you - and you owned your own dealership/body shop then only would I consider purchasing an Audi. The experience for me however - has not been pleasant, and the worst feeling you can have after spending $90,000 is remorse.

We have 4 more years of 'Audi Care' and 2 more years of extended 'warranty'. Expect updates to this post with regards to my experience as time progresses.