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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Around ten days ago, I ordered a GT TDI from my local dealer. I managed to get a decent discount and included a load of optional extras in the specification. Waiting time was quoted as 12-15 weeks (it's a DSG with sat-nav et al).

Once I'd got home, I realised that I'd missed off the dual-zone climate control. No problem, I thought, I'll call up the dealer and get the order changed (the non-dual zone looks pants in my view). Having changed the order for my current car (Mini) a week into the five week wait time, I imagined it wouldn't be problem for Volkswagen. I spoke to the dealer on Monday afternoon, having not had the chance to get in touch before then. The salesman I originally spoke to was off, so I spoke (eventually) to someone else who wrote everything down. He gave no indication there would be a problem.

On getting home last night (Tuesday) there was a message from the dealer - I couldn't have climate control, as the car had already been ordered. Eh? There's between 11 and 14 weeks remaining, surely it's not a problem?

I called the dealer again. After about three minutes, someone deigned to answer the phone and put me through to the person who I'd spoken to the previous day. He told me that as the car had been ordered, the specification was set in stone and couldn't be changed. Bummer.

"So there's no way I can change it?" I asked.
"No."
"Unless I cancel the car and take my business elsewhere."
"Sorry?"
"I could cancel the car and take my business elsewhere and get it that way."
"Hold on a minute please."

*Two* minutes later, the manager of the dealership picked up the phone and explained ad nauseam that the specification couldn't be changed. I pointed out that I'd managed to change it successfully on my Mini but no dice. He told me that they'd love for me to have the exact specification I was after (i.e. with dual-zone) but it just wasn't possible. O...K...

I wasn't a happy bunny. He made it worse by asking me, in a tone that implied that he couldn't believe what I was requesting, why I wanted to adjust the order (also employed when I originally placed the order, where he seemingly could not imagine that I'd want to turn down tyre insurance and all those optional extras). I told him quite simply that I forgot to add it originally (not such a crime, surely?). I told him that I thought it was very inflexible and that surely it's reasonable to expect that from time to time a customer might want to change their specification? Evidently, that is not a reasonable supposition to make in VW-land.

Time to test the nuclear option. I asked whether cancelling the car would lose me the ?250 I originally put down as a deposit. Why, of course it would. I asked him if it was possible to cancel if I really wanted to. He said that it wasn't (contradicting slightly his previous answer and the terms and conditions on the back of the invoice, which mention cancellation in clause two). I said "Ha!" loudly (of course I can cancel) and he said he'd have to check with the sales manager.

He said that if I were to cancel, they'd be left with a ?21K car that no-one wanted. "Use it as target practice", I snapped. "That's not a very helpful thing to say", he said. Well, duh. It wasn't supposed to be. I was being flippant. I was rapidly forming the view that this manager type is far from intelligent. Sure, I wasn't exactly being the model customer, but he was either a bit dim or playing games.

I told him to forget it and I'd take delivery as originally arranged. I also asked him about build dates. "Week 10", he said. "What does that mean? Calendar weeks?" He attempted to explain but managed only to tell me that the waiting time was 12 to 15 weeks, which I knew already. Helpful.

So, my question: is the dealer correct? Is my order now unchangeable? Aside from cancelling and re-ordering (at a different dealer), presumably there are no other options?
 

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Worth ?250 to enjoy shafting the dealer...

... you may also find they can then miraculously change the order....

Plenty of GT TDi's around at good discounts, I reckon?
 

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I had no trouble changing the colour and adding a couple of options to mine. Given the total time to delivery was 8-10 weeks I fail to see why you can't change yours.

Once the car gets to a stage called "confirmed" or something then you can't make changes but that cannot be more than 8-10 weeks!

I would call VW Customer Care, they might have some details about your order.
 

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I had the same problem adding to my specification, i tried VW UK but
once the orders confirmed in Germany there nothing they can do.
If you have a build week then its probably too late. BTW if you
have build week 10 then you definatly shouldn't be waiting 12 weeks, as
mine was ordered at the end of Jan and is build week 12 which VW UK say
should be here by end of first week in April. Therefore yours
should be here by the end of March i would imagine

Good Luck
 

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there are different stages of ordering,

initial order will be loaded and then attract a build date, - you can still change the order at this stage, but this may delay if that option has a longer leadtime. Once it goes production confirmed ( about 3-4 weeks before build week) then it's not changeable.

So from the conflicting info you have been given

- i'd expect build week is week 10, and we're in week 7 now, so they may have ammended a stock order just before it went confirmed to be your car. Our by chance the stock car matches what you ordered.

- of course if it's not going into build for 10 weeks you should be able to change it.

As you ordered DSG I am surprised you are getting so quickly as delays there seem to be much longer, whihc suggest they had the car on order already.

-
 

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I can only comment on my experiences, but my GTI is set for week 11. I can still change the spec, but it would put the build date back. I know this as I was going to add recaros and the dealer was happy to amend my order as of yesterday. I opted not to change the order as the cost would then nudge ?26k and they wanted an additional ?500 deposit (on top of the ?500 I've already paid) and more importantly, it would send the delivery date well into May/June, as opposed to the expected date of April 1st that I have now. My take on it, from what I've just described is that you can change the spec, as long as it's not gone into build. If your dealer is playing silly buggers - tell them to shove it and go elsewhere! You can get the deposit back if it's not gone into build - I've done it with BMW. It took a few nasty letters and a threat of legal action, but I got the deposit back. That was ?2,000 paid on an order for an M3 that I cancelled and then ordered an Audi TT instead.
 

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If you got anything less than a 9.5% discount, tell them to shove it and place the order with drivethedeal. You will then be financially better off  and have the spec you want and it will be from a VW main dealer anyway. That car really needs climate in the high spec you have ordered otherwise its going to be a bit of a hybrid. Climate should be standard at this level anyway (it used to be).
 

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there are different stages of ordering,

initial order will be loaded and then attract a build date, - you can still change the order at this stage, but this may delay if that option has a longer leadtime. Once it goes production confirmed ( about 3-4 weeks before build week) then it's not changeable.

So from the conflicting info you have been given

- i'd expect build week is week 10, and we're in week 7 now, so they may have ammended a stock order just before it went confirmed to be your car. Our by chance the stock car matches what you ordered.

- of course if it's not going into build for 10 weeks you should be able to change it.

As you ordered DSG I am surprised you are getting so quickly as delays there seem to be much longer, whihc suggest they had the car on order already.

-
That's odd - Our GT TDI is scheduled for build week 9 (commencing 27 Feb) and we've been told delivery will be by the end of the first week of April. Is the stealer wrong? We have a car that we need to sell before the new one arrives, needs to be timed quite well as we can't do without a motor!

Cheers
 

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I dont get it.. The dealership clearly has not made any errors here. They ordered a car like the customer wanted. Why should they have to suffer for customers mistake?

BTW When I ordered my GTI couple of weeks ago, I was informed that delivery time is 8 weeks and I have 1 week to change the specification if I wanted.
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
It's called customer service. I'm spending ?21600 on this car, so it would be nice to think that the dealer would go above and beyond the call of duty. They did not tell me that I only had a limited time to change the specification. It seemed to me to be reasonable to expect that I would have a couple of weeks or a month to change the specification. But, alas no.

I spoke to Volkswagen this afternoon. Eventually. They told me that they wouldn't discuss my order unless I had something called the "commission number". I had no idea what that was, so rang my dealer and after a number of failed attempts, found out what the commission number was.

Back to Volkswagen, sat through the queue to speak to someone. I explained the situation and was told that the dealer should have told me that, after a certain point, the specification cannot be changed (usually one week, sometimes two in rare circumstances). The reason for not allowing specifications to be changed was - so I was told - so that they could order the bits for the car (as if adding a dual zone climate control is going to stuff up their logistics).

Cancelling the car would be an option, but, depending on the dealer, they might be forced to take delivery of the car anyway and end up with a car that, due to its high specification, no-one would want.

Finally, I tried to get an explanation as to build date. He confirmed week 10, being the week commencing 3rd March. If all goes well and there are no problems, it is usual for the customer to have the car sitting on their drive around four weeks after this point (known as "checkpoint A"). Assuming this is the case and the car is delivered around that time, I am unsure as to where the dealer plucked the figure "12 to 15 weeks" from. If it does come after eight or nine weeks as seems possible, it will mess things up with finances somewhat, which isn't helpful.

The person at Volkswagen was very helpful (despite telling me what I didn't want to hear with respect to changing my order) - a marked contrast from the confusing information I got from my dealer.

As for those saying "stuff the dealer", I'm getting around ?1600 off the list price - around 7.2% discount. Configuring the car on Drive The Deal comes to around ?21400 (Broadspeed is around ?400 more) - around ?2500 off. Assuming the dealer who DTD uses for supplying the car gives me the same price for my current car, I'd only lose ?50.

I wonder what I should do. Suggestions, anyone?
 

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Without a moments hesitation I would tell the dealer to stuff it; even if it was to cost me ?250. You're paying alot of money and not getting the spec you want. Considering the requested change is hardly anything major I find it very hard to believe that they can't change the order so soon into the build programme. I am absolutely staggered at the dealer's attitude; they're selling a Golf at the end of the day not some custom spec. Lamborghini. Out of interest who is the dealer?
 

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Hear, hear. Tell the stealer to poke it. I had horrible experiences at a couple of dealerships - treated like a child. VW customer service does seem to be atrocious and I am still weeks from my first VW! I am only in it for the residuals. Went with drivethedeal in the end - good operation who merely put me in touch with a VW dealer, and are supplying the car I want at a price I am happy with. ?1600 is too small a discount with the spec you are after, in any case. I got the guts of ?2k off mine and had far fewer options than you!

All the best.
 

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Vincent,

Out of interest, did you pay your deposit on credit card? Never done it myself but I have heard of people getting their deposits refunded by credit card companies. Just a thought!

PS The dealer supplying my vehicle via DTD has been top quality so far - just a pity that they're 200 miles away!
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
The dealer is Inchcape of Telford. Large, unfriendly and very corporate.

If I were to cancel - and I am thinking about calling them up today and doing so and going to Drive The Deal - would there be any further consequences? The invoice I've got says that the act of cancelling would cause me to forfeit my deposit but losing my deposit does not prejudice the dealer's rights to pursue me for damages for any loss they have incurred. If they take delivery of the car originally intended for me, do they have to pay Volkswagen for it?

This is the only thing that's preventing me from cancelling right now. Perhaps it's a groundless fear, but it's at the back of my mind.

woolwich_gunner: who is your dealer? Do DTD always use the same one? I don't particularly want to use DTD and find out they use Inchcape!

 

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Hi matey,

I don't think a stealer would sue you - if you lose your deposit they will be ?250 up and they'll probably sell the car you had ordered to some poor fool who knows no better than to pay full list price.

Can't remember which dealer we are using but I know they are in the Midlands. Will let you know this evening when I get home. TBH I don't know if DTD always use the same dealer, but I would imagine so; after all, they broker the discounts on the basis that they will introduce 100's of customers. I would imagine that the larger stealer networks like Inchcape would have nothing to do with a company like DTD. In any case, our car has been ordered and will be delivered without us ever having to visit the stealer!

John
 

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My car was ordered through DTD and came from Lookers in Blackburn. Not the most friendly or helpful dealership in the world, but judging by what I've read on these forums they're pretty much the VW norm.
 

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Discussion Starter · #17 ·
Update time:

Called the dealer at 1pm this afternoon and asked to speak to "my" salesman. "He's on a call", said the receptionist. "I'll get him to call you back as soon as possible."

Cue 4.15pm. No communication from the dealer. Impressive. Whilst one of the servers at work was being rebooted, I called again and managed to speak to the salesman. I explained that I'd been trying to add dual-zone climate control after having forgotten to include it when originally specifying the car. He re-iterated the well-worn position: the specification has been frozen and that's that. "Are there no alternatives?" I asked.

Alternative I: cancel the car and re-order it with the revised specification. "You'll need to wait another week for the car", said the salesman, in a moment of utmost perception. Didn't know that, myself. Then he proceeded to tell me that if I were to do this, the dealer would incur a charge from Volkswagen (he didn't say how much). This cost would be passed on to me. So I'd end up paying ?700 for the extra item I wanted, as well as this other charge. He did not say that they'd be forced to take delivery anyway, so it's probably safe to say that the manager was telling porkies when he said they'd be obliged to take delivery of an unwanted car.

Alternative II: "What if I just cancel?" I asked. "You'll lose your deposit", he said. I inquired as to whether there would be any further consequences. He said he didn't think so but he would have to check. He said he'll call me back (which means he won't, and I'll have to call him tomorrow morning) either this afternoon or tomorrow and tell me what's what. (Why is it that they can never tell you on the spot what a situation is? Why do they always have to check with the sales manager/dealer principal/postman/service manager/passing motorists?).

Hopefully [sic] I just lose the ?250 deposit and that's the end of that, as the salesman suggested. Once that's sorted out, I'll order the car from Drive The Deal and everything will be right in the world again (well, at least for me).

Sigh.
 

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Why don't you phone another dealer in the country and ask them if you were to order through them, how long after placing the order you can change the spec?  My dealer told me that I did have a window to change things if I wanted even though I didn't ask about this as my order was set in stone as far as I was concerned.  ?250 is not a great deal I guess, but it's still ?250 in their pocket not yours.
 

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I think that DriveTheDeal either use a s election of garages at any one time or the "preferred" dealer has changed over the years; my brother(lives in Lincolnshire) bought a Polo from them in January 2004 and the car came from Specialist cars in Aberdeen; a mate from Lincoln bought a Golf in June 2002 and it came from Cooks in Peterborough. 
 

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The dealer is Inchcape of Telford. Large, unfriendly and very corporate.

If I were to cancel - and I am thinking about calling them up today and doing so and going to Drive The Deal - would there be any further consequences? The invoice I've got says that the act of cancelling would cause me to forfeit my deposit but losing my deposit does not prejudice the dealer's rights to pursue me for damages for any loss they have incurred. If they take delivery of the car originally intended for me, do they have to pay Volkswagen for it?

This is the only thing that's preventing me from cancelling right now. Perhaps it's a groundless fear, but it's at the back of my mind.

woolwich_gunner: who is your dealer? Do DTD always use the same one? I don't particularly want to use DTD and find out they use Inchcape!
Oh, for God's sake, cancel the order and lose ?250. What is this in comparison with the cost you would be paying for your car.

The longer you prevaricate the worse it will be for everyone concerned and you'll end up with a car without, perhaps, the most useful of accessories - I ask you, ?250!! Why did they accept such a low deposit from you, for a car costing so much, in the first place???
 
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