Tuesday, March 04, 2008

Buying A Car, a Tragedy in Several Acts

I've been trying to buy a new car for the past couple of years. Without much luck. Due, in no small measure to the witlessness of the salespeople. Remember my disaster at Toyota. Now I'd like to introduce you to Volkswagen. I thought I should compare the VW Beetle with the Mini Cooper, which makes sense since Consumer Reports compares them as well. Being a saavy computer person and all, I like to make my initial forays on line. Here's the response I got from the local VW dealership:

Hello Jane
As the General Manager of Elk Grove Volkswagen, I just wanted to thank you for your recent Internet Inquiry for information on a 2008 Volkswagen New Beetle.

If there is any problem or difficulty that you feel needs my attention please feel free to contact me personally.
It has always been my aim to provide honest and genuine value in all aspects of our dealership. Currently it is my understanding that we have not been able to contact you. Please let me know if you are still interested in the information you originally requested, regardless of your timeframe. We will contact you with specials from Volkswagen.

If I or my team can be of any service please don't hesitate to contact us by simply replying to this email or call me at the numbers listed below.

Gina Parr
General Sales Manager

Nice, right? Here's what I wrote back:

Hi Gina, Thanks for replying to my query. My current VW has 77,000 miles on it. The air conditioner is busted to the tune of $1500. The driver's side window stopped functioning: $500+ to repair. It used to be that VW was the workhorse of automobiles. Clearly that is no longer the case, and I won't be buying another. Jane
If this blog offers me nothing else, at least I get to vent in public! The problem I feel needs Gina's attention is the cost of repairs to VWs. Last year's airconditioning problem was bad O rings. Okay, that sounds like something that might go after 70,000 miles, and I paid up without complaint. Now less than a year later, it's the compressor that's gone. And then there's the window, the driver's side window, which has a broken plastic something or other that will cost $500+ to repair because the only people who make that plasticsomethingor other are VW. I have to have it fixed because the alternative--well, let's just say I'm not one of those people who is willing to drive around with plastic sheeting taped to her car door. Call me a snob, whatever. So VW once again has me by the short and curlies...damn them to hell.

By the way, FYI, and heads up: Consumer Reports picks the Mini over the Beetle

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