2440 Santa Monica Blvd., Santa Monica, CA 90404
There’s a lot of detail to this review, but I’m going to try to keep it short.
When I bought my “Certified Pre-Owned Volkswagen” from Santa Monica Volkswagen, they screwed up MULTIPLE times, where I had to go back *THREE* times *AFTER* I had bought the car. Yes – the first time I was there, I sold them my trade-in, and drove away with the ‘new’ car. Then *3* more times I had to go back because:
Trip #1. they lost some paperwork and needed me to come back and re-sign it;
Trip #2. then they needed me to bring in some other paperwork they didn’t get the first time and have it signed with the notary – but guess what, even though we scheduled the time, their notary had left for the day;
Trip #3. back again to sign with the notary.
Things happen in business. Things have happened to me. I’m a patient person the first time. And usually even the second time. But trust me, driving to Santa Monica Volkswagen isn’t easy. The traffic to get there is awful. They have very little parking at the dealership, and then there’s the time and fuel wasted because of THEIR mistakes.
So, on that last visit, I talked told the finance manager how frustrating this whole thing was and how much of MY time had been wasted. Just as I finished my mini-rant, the General Manager came walking by his office. The finance manager (who had been there for, something like, 13 years), called to the GM (a tall, skinny man) and briefly explained my frustration. The GM asked how they could make it better. I asked HIM to come up with something. He offered a car wash. I countered with two tanks of gas, and they both agreed that was fair. I asked how they would record this ‘customer service expense’, and the GM actually said “Oh, we’ll remember.” HA! I said no way – and pulled two business cards off of the finance manager’s desk, and on each one I wrote “1 free tank of gas”, then had the finance manager sign both cards. I put them in my wallet and was happy.
Ahhh… now the REST of the story. What do you think happened when I went back for maintenance, and tried to use one of the ‘free tank of gas’ cards? Exactly – they wouldn’t accept it.
When I tried giving the card to the maintenance person, they said they couldn’t honor it, as the finance manager was no longer there. So, I asked to speak to the GM, since he was standing there during the customer service offer. I was told I’d have to wait, so I did.
Finally, a ‘robust’, older man with gray hair came over to talk to me. I asked about speaking with the GM, and was told that he was too busy. So, I explained the story to him, and showed him the card. His answer? “We can give gas to everyone who comes in for maintenance!” CLEARLY, he didn’t listen to a word of my story. I tried to explain again, in simpler terms, but he just said, I’ll have to look into this and get back to you another day.
Guess what? Volkswagen Santa Monica SUCKS! He never got back to me. They didn’t care about me one bit as soon as that check cleared.
To make an already terrible customer service experience worse, this last visit was all predicated on the 30k mile maintenance work. I called ahead to schedule the work a few weeks in advance, and I TOLD THEM that the windshield wiper motor needed to be replaced while it was there, and they said they’d look at it. And they did look at it, and they agreed that the motor would have to be replaced. BUT, they didn’t have it in stock and it would take a few days to get it. And to top it off, I would have to pay the $50 deductible for the motor replacement. The deductible is a normal charge for CPO covered work – and this repair was covered under the CPO – but, since it SHOULD have been part of the 30k mile maintenance (which cost plenty, and already included a $50 deductible for something else.)
It was at this time that I said SCREW YOU Volkswagen of Santa Monica, and I took my business to Pacific Volkswagen. When I called them about having the motor in stock, they said they’d order it and have it there if they needed it. (And they did need it, and they fixed it quickly!) KUDOS to Pacific Volkswagen! If I hadn’t have moved back to Orange County, they would still have my business, even though Volkswagon Santa Monica is closer.