Facebook spurs Audi action after totalling customer’s car
Audi South Africa has come under fire after a customer’s car was totalled under a dealership’s care.
Ilka Dunne, a Johannesburg resident who sent her family car in to Audi Northcliff for a repeat problem with the roof, posted a complaint on Audi South Africa’s Facebook page on Sunday explaining her story.
Dunn said that she had taken their car – an A4 Cabriolet – to the dealership three weeks before with a problem with the roof.
“While booked in to the Northcliff Audi branch it was involved in an accident that has led to it being written off,” she wrote on the page.
Over the last three weeks we have been very patient while Northcliff Audi investigated the matter, chatted to their risk assessors and insurance company.”
She said that throughout this period they had been treated as if the fact that their vehicle was totalled on Audi’s watch was a “non-issue”.
Dunne said she was unwilling to claim from our insurance as it wasn’t their issue and didn’t see why they should suffer the consequences of an increase to her insurance premiums.
Audi’s service manager Ben Jonge Poerink and dealer principal Shaun Michael, promised to get back to them but then waited three to four days with no update or feedback.
“Finally days later having left message after message, [Michael] came back to us to say that Audi’s insurance would not pay the claim and we should claim from our insurance.”
We refused to accept this and requested that he escalate the issue internally to someone who could resolve it.
“He said he would get back to us as soon as possible. Since then we have had little or no feedback from Audi, except to say they would pay for it but with no further details.”
Since then, Dunne had not received any feedback until she called the national head office, after which Michael sent her an email saying he would let her know when he hears something.
“I for one am not holding my breath however as there seems a total unwillingness from Audi to resolve this issue,” said Dunne.
“No one in this process has had the decency to treat us with even a level of respect to pick up the phone and return our calls even if there is nothing new to report, to send us emails… and perhaps even to start with an apology,” she said.
Audi South Africa responded on Monday morning saying: “We’re really sorry to hear about your experience and can understand your disappointment and frustration.
“Thank you for notifying our Customer Interaction Centre on Friday – we would like to assure you that the matter is receiving our urgent attention. We will be in touch with you again later today.”
The following posts said discussions are underway and they would contact Dunne by the end of business Monday.
In light of the complaint, there have been many people showing support for Dunne and anger at the situation, to which Audi South Africa’s response was: “Audi South Africa takes very seriously the initial post from Ilka Dunne and discussions are underway with her to resolve this situation.
“We also take seriously all the posts which have followed. This is one of the main reasons why we have this social media forum, to ensure we are aware of any issues surrounding our vehicles or our dealerships.”
It said the process will take some time.
Other posts were met with a similar response, saying the company is aware of the situation and is speaking to our customer directly.
“The matter was brought to our attention on Friday and we are in touch with Ilka and the dealership. We trust that the situation will be resolved amicably very soon.”
When contacted by Times LIVE, Jonge Poerink said that he did not deal with Dunne, and dealt with her husband through email, and he was not aware the complaint was on Facebook.
Michael declined to comment, saying the Facebook post is biased on the side of the customer and he would not entertain media or “sensationalism around the issue”.
He said they are dealing with the client and there should be some feedback by the close of business today.
He declined to comment on neither why the car was taken out by the dealership, nor what led to the accident and subsequent damage.