According to Buddism there are Four Noble Truths:
1. Suffering exists
2. Suffering arises from attachment to desires
3. Suffering ceases when attachment to desire ceases
4. Freedom from suffering is possible by practicing the Eightfold Path
Well. Let me tell you something. Suffering exists because Baron’s Claremont exists.
The short version? They are the recommended service providers for Volkswagen in SA. I have a Golf Chico, for my sins. In a misguided attempt to keep its perfect service record, I’ve dutifully popped off to Barons for every service. Except, they’re a bunch of rip off artists.
I’ve had a dodgy noise emanating from my dashboard for months. At the last service, I asked them about it. Naturally (and sod you, Murphy) said noise was absent when they checked, so cue a shrug and a “sorry lady, we can’t help you”.
Noise gets worse. I take a camera phone video.
I phone for an emergency appointment. They say they can only fit me in sometime in the next millennium. So I go into their office to complain and see if I can get an earlier appointment. Because, you see, I’m worried.
Service manager first tries to tell me that they don’t offer “emergency appointments” because dodgey cars aren’t life threatening. (Do you LIVE in South Africa, moron?) He sees me begin to boil, so he cleverly shuts up, attempts to help me, diagnoses the problem, quotes me R3 800, which is a LOT of money and tells me to come back on the 19th.
I go back. Leave car. Get phone call saying “we don’t have the right part.” So, like every self respecting consumer, I lose it completely and write a strongly worded letter of complaint to Barons, the principle dealer, VW SA and a consumer watch editor at a local paper.
The principle dealer gets back to me. Very apologetic. Very efficient voice. Promises the car will be dealt with on the 22nd. I move more meetings. Arrange to take the car in AGAIN. They fix car. Manage, somehow, to discount the cost by almost 40% for “the inconvenience” (how much ARE they ripping me off under usual circumstances?) and send me on my way.
This morning, I get in car and attempt to turn on the radio. Broken.
I’m STILL waiting to hear back from VW complaints. I’ve now got to take my car BACK to Barons at lunch time for them to look at the sound system. And I’ve run out of patience.
Barons, not only have you lost a customer, you’ve now got one who will now actively go out of her way to tell everyone she ever comes across that you suck.
VW, when I upgrade, which will be in the next two years, I will be buying another brand.
Here endeth the rant.