Wednesday, January 17, 2007

auto industry

Right. So some good news. Amongst some very bad news.

The automotive industry comprises a bunch of crooky sheisters. Surprise, surprise.

It took long enough: I now have fully-whirring electric windows. This has not only saved my life and made me less schvitzy on a whole, but also the embarrassment of pulling into places like the Westcliff Hotel and not having to open my door like a retard to retrieve parking tickets/ask directions/that sort of stuff.

The investigative journey was long, and I fully blame Volkswagen South Africa.

Timeline estimating three months:

Phone VW for quote. They say R12 000 for two windows plus labour.
Find out that the New Beetle windows are specifically designed to break after a couple of years. Flawed engineering, which means they can extort money from their clients when they quote that the ENTIRE door needs replacing.
“Why do I need an entire door when all I need are two cables?” Because ‘that’s how we do it’, they say.
Volkswagen then admits I can get these cables (after much threatening and resentment) for only R450 each.
But won’t find me these cables.
I order the parts from eBay for R2 000.
One cable is missing.
Go back to Volkswagen.
They say they’d do “me a favour” by offering R1 600/door to fix, not R5 000 per door as they usually quote their clients.
Realise that they are thieving extortionists who specially design shitty windows to make money.
Heard nothing for a while.
Lose patience, on waiting for the cables.
Find a dealer in Johannesburg who fixes Volkswagen cars, and he says (quote): “I do New Beetles all the time. In fact, I drive one myself. The windows are designed to break. People can’t afford to buy whole new doors, VW is ripping everybody off. So I’ll make you up a cable, I do it all the time.”
He fixes my windows using his cables and my genuine parts, for R850 a door.

Moral of story: Car manufacturers, specifically Volkswagen, are just out to make flipping great wodges of cash, they do not care about their customers. They flaw their car designs so that it is possible to leave their customers moneyless and windowless.

I notice my account is being debited double by my insurance company, First For Bitches Women.
I’ve had dire problems with this company before, concerning ungenuine parts. And now I’ve just about had it.

My monthly premium has gone up almost 90% year-on-year.
No letter of warning.
Just debited.
I have written to them to ask why. If nothing comes of it, I'll be changing my insurance company.

My car is a year older. I am a year older. People don’t ordinarily hijack New Beetles, so it’s low risk anyway.
And yet suddenly I’m paying almost A GRAND for insurance?
Surely inflation hasn’t soared that much?

I’ve had it with these people.

Moral: Do not buy a Volkswagen. Do not invest in First For Women.
The proof is in the pudding.


Antoine said...

I have driven VW for a good few years (Brief Flirtation with BMW) and constantly fight with them over their insistance that they replace entire units instead of repair them. Has something to do with the 12 month "warranty" on services I understand.

So yup - they sell a vehicle safe with the knowledge that they will make a HUGE profit from service and spares. HelloPeter is a good place for this Peas (but I do think you get more traffic than they do ;)

As for insurance..... Get a Broker: This garbage about direct insurance is a monumental rip off. Brokers do care for their clients. Wendy (my broker) has fought for me many a time and still gets me a better deal than ANY of the direct insurance idjits.

Wot nothing sexual in this post? Oh wait - you DID get screwed! The Karma is balanced!


Peas on Toast said...

Brilliant comment Antoine - yip and I got more screwed than I ever would've imagined. A broker, I like that. My mum makes an excellent broker actually - she helped me write a brilliant letter to First For Screw U Overs. She's cool like that.

But yes, I live and learn. And I've had it with stupid car people I tell you.

ChewTheCud said...

dammit - i was so gonna try first for women.... ;P

Elle said...

Poor peas. this is story has now made me very scared of going out into the big bad world and buying things with my own money and finding an insurance company.. oh dear oh dear.. what am I going to do.

Kevin Cadman said...

Peas... I too have had my share of VW nightmares.

Why do we stand for this? It's utter bullshit that we have to fork out these exorbitant amounts for such arbitrary parts.

I think we need to start, post our stories there and wait for action. It's just not on!

With regards to insurance, may I recommend Mutual and Federal. I'm 23, I've had a write-off accident, I drive a Golf 5 TDI, have car-hire, excess waiver (that's right, R0 excess) and household cover against fire. I pay R1005 per month. Give them a call!

Insane Insomniac said...

I've never owned a VW and after your little incident, i doubt i ever would. I much prefer a toyota anyway. Drove a tazz and corolla since i got my license and can't say i've had much trouble with them - albeit after ten years, the corolla's alternator is starting to have issues.

I also have a broker and despite the fact that i'm one of the worst clients to have, he has been absolutely fantastic!

Lollipop won't be posting for a while - her office internet is down and Hellkom says they'll get it fixed within the next two months, i mean, weeks.

other-duke said...

I'm actually quite thankful that FFW insurance doesn't want my business ;)

kyknoord said...

I always knew you were a person with morals.

heisoos said...

your story is not original and its not specific to VW. Don't get me started on how banks, car companies, drug companies, lawyers, developers and the rest of the world rips people off on a daily basis. I have to this day never understood why I get charged a 'deposit fee' to put cash into the bank? As Chris Rock once said why do you think they havent invented a cure for Aids - cause there aint no money in the cure! same for VW, there aint no money in building cars that last forever!!

zuzula said...

the whole business of owning a car is criminal. You pay through the nose for everything and then when inevitably things start to go wrong the insurance company turns a blind eye. I spend an absolute fortune on my car (especially now the local thugs think it's so hilarious to keep stealing the hubcaps). It probably costs me £50 a mile to drive!

MsMozi said...

I also reckon that car dealerships, and specifically tyre dealers are behind the boom in construction around joburg. I've just punctured my second tyre in six months on account of construction debris (specifically bricks) in the middle of the road.

Peas on Toast said...

Hey chaps
Thanks for your stories and empathies - at least we're not all alone in this endless nightmare of cars and insurance.
Although this doesn't make it right.

Kyk - are you being sarcastic schlemiel?


Urk said...

the insurance prob got wind of your blog, and after reading about your boozy escapades and then driving home decided you were more of a high risk than ever before ;)
who knows - some plonker at VW could be reading this and decide to void your warranty on your car cos of backyard mechanics. the good times!

Peas on Toast said...

Urk - I have never admitted to driving drunk here, as in "I drove home plastered." Ever.So that would be speculation, and as assumption goes, heresay.

As for mechanic bits, all my parts are genuine, because I CHOOSE to make them genuine: my warranty ended a few months back.

I'm hoping out of this, they lose valuable customers.

Revolving Credit said...

I know why they almost doubled the insurance.
Youspent so much money fixing Ludwig they thought you had bought a second vehicle and insured you accordingly.

Do 2 windows going up and down really add R12k value to your vehicle??

Peas on Toast said...

Rev - makes sense hey? I've overcapitalised. And not even on cool stuff like drop suspension, a mofo amp, tinted windows, cone filters or a turbo.

Sure, I can put my windows up and down and pump my choons like I'm a lanie leaving Lenz, (and trust me, with this luxury, I'm doing just that), but I'm wholly dissatisfied at the end of the day.

Pete said...

Cone Filters??!!?!?!? Clearly that engineery BF is influencing you..:)

Peas on Toast said...

Howdy ho Pete! You're back big guy!

You'll be pleased to know that I knew what cone filters were before he arrived on the scene. :)

Revolving Credit said...

"..but I'm wholly dissatisfied at the end of the day"

Thats cuz when you pimped your ride, you didn't install the waterbed or even the vibrating drivers seat and matching gear have to install windows.

Nikki said...

Insurance.... I need I say more...

Urk said...

vibrating drivers seat??? i thought the bushwhacker was on the wine rack or something...

Jam said...

I wonder if they're called First For Women because they've decided that women are easier to rip off or something. Fools. Change insurance companies, it's very very easy to do.

Anonymous said...

Hey - just a note on fighting with insurance companies.

If you haven't claimed on your car for the last year, then you are considered lower risk than the year before and as such benefit from a lower premium (supposedly). This should offset any inflation costs and at worst, your premium should stay the same.

If you try this arguement and you still get no response from them or some dumb ass reason - i suggest changing to either a broker or outsurance (have used this argument 3 years in a row and am still paying the same premium.)

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