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VW Luxury Cars and Ridgeway Reading - a rant


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OK, prepare yourselves for a rant.....

My car has now been at Ridgeway Reading for over two weeks. Initially it went in to have two Alloys refurbished (which were damaged by the DEALER! on a previous workshop visit for a dead battery) - and then I asked them to look at a load of other minor problems I've had on my Treg, such as:

* Sticking door handles

* Rattles from gear selector / transmission tunnel

* Rattles from dash top

* Door-looking disappearing from Comfort menu

* Cracked wood in passenger door insert

While the garage had the car, they also found out that my car's rear handbrake shoes had 'disintegrated' and needed replacing (see separate post). But of course, the parts are on back-order from Germany...

The Saga goes something like this:

* Monday 19th Jan - Car collected by Ridgeway, no loan car needed (we could surive the week with just my wife's car)

* Friday 23rd Jan - Alloys delivered back to Ridgeway, I informed Ridgeway that with bad weather coming, would need car back asap

* Monday 26th Jan - No news from Ridgeway, so I chased; car not ready. I stated 'really need' car Tuesday

* Tuesday 27th Jan - No news from Ridgeway - I chased and reminded that needed car before snow hit (expected Tuesday)

* Wednesday 28th Jan - No news from Ridgeway (they had called home no., but no use when at work), I chased at 4pm - message left and not returned. I called again at 6pm to be told car not ready. I asked to speak to my sales rep or General Mgr - was told neither available. I sent txt to rep's mobile. Snow hit Weds PM; wife and I had to drive 30 miles home in snow in rear-wheel-drive Porsche

* Thursday 29th Jan - Rep called MF to apologise for delay and arrange loan car. After then speaking to VW luxury cars, I secured Touareg loan car. Told VW Luxury cars I was not at all happy with service and wanted to escalate my complaint - was told someone would be in touch

* Friday 30th Jan - No news from Ridgeway, no follow-up from VW luxury cars

* Monday 2nd Feb - 11.15, no news from Ridgeway. 2.45 my wife called to chase and asked to speak to General Manager. 6.15pm manager yet to return call. No news from VW luxury cars.

Basically, I'm f***ing furious. I want Ridgeway to keep the car and just give me my money back. This is not how I expect to be treated after spending £38k.

If anyone else has had a similarly bad experiece, I'd like to hear about it.

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Blimey - what a saga! frown.gif

Obviously when VW decided to go down the luxury car route, someone forgot to include training on how to look after a customer who's spent a shed-load of cash.

Might be worth a call to the Citizens Advice Beureau (sp?) to see what can be done about it.

You should also write to the MD of Ridgeway with a list of your issues.

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An update on Weds 04/02/04

Still no car. Did get a call from a technician at Ridgeway yesterday (after chasing Luxury Cars customer care yet again...) to say that they are still waiting parts.

Apparently, they are waiting on two springs, wich may or may not be in the central stores in Germany. The parts are, apparently, expected at the dealer on Friday.

So, although we did manage to get a loaner Touareg out of VW, we're still stuffed as the petrol for my main car is paid for by company (fuel card), whereas I need to fill the loaner's tank out of my own pocket...

Meantime, the MD has still not had the decency to return my wife's call....

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Ridgeway are just a waste. They sold me my first R32 & it's replacement.

You could write to:

Mr Simon McLaughlin

Ridgeway Volkswagen

Rose Kiln Lane




as I did, but it took him over a month to respond (having requested a response within 14 days). I took my complaint to VW's MD:

Mr Paul Willis

Volkswagen Cars UK Ltd

Yeomans Drive


Milton Keynes


MK14 5AN

(again in writing) who got VW Customer Services involved, but not to my satisfaction. I eventually wrote to everyone press wise (having threatened this to VW), Auto Express, Top Gear, What Car, Watchdog etc etc, theory being, throw enough [censored], some will stick.

James Baggot @ Auto Express (his details are published every week) jumped on the bandwagon & I got it resolved, but it still took nearly 3 months after to be totally sorted.

Fingers crossed you'll get a result. If you need any advice following my 6 month ordeal PM me!


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Thanks for the support and advice chaps,

In answer to Nazca, the Touareg is a wonderful vehcile - when it works. I choose it over a new Audi S4, so hopefully that will give you some indication of how much I liked it.

However, I do get the impression that VW rushed into making a luxury vehicle that it wasn't really set-up to produce. Silly little things like a rattly cabin, cracked wood trim and sticking door handles just simply shouldn't happen on a car that cost nearly £40k. And on top of that, there doesn't seem to be a ready supply of spare parts for the model.

However, I would say that my car is an 'early' example (Sept 03) and that I've heard reports that later cars are getting better.

So I don't regret my decision to by 'the car', but I do regret choosing to deal with a dealer and manufacturer who don't seem to give a sh*t about the customer.

VW and Ridgeway have both been appalling in my eyes - not once have they offered to try to make any recompense for the way I've been treated over the last few weeks.

In my job, if a client isn't happy, it's my duty to do anything necessary to make them happy - but this same ethos just doesn't seem to apply to people in the motor trade.

Oh, and still no returned call from Ridgeway's MD.....

Enjoy the car; and I hope for your sake your dealer is more professional than Ridgeway Reading.

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The problem you highlight though is (IMO) VAG issue all over - their customer service is dreadfull, if they had to rely on their aftersales support and customer service to stay in business then they would have a big problem, luckily for them many people dont complain and those that do often lose interest after 6 months of deliberate time wasting.

I would love to be a process consultant for some of the car companies internal processes - as I dont believe then have any other than:

Pillar <----...------> Post

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