I’m still grumpy

What a morning. My 7am appointment in Greenwich was at New Country Audi for a 45k scheduled maintenance for my Q5.

Alas, I didn’t know that Service has temporarily moved across the street to the fancy new sales building so I had my left blinker on to turn when I noticed the building was torn apart. That was only the beginning of my nasty morning.

The old Service Department, across the street, where I thought I was going.

I had to make a u-turn in order to get to the new Service entrance only to be third in line. This was before 7am. Ugh.

Bonus: I got a Service Advisor who was in a foul mood. He was surly from the get-go. I said Good Morning and his response was My computer isn’t even on yet lady. Give me a minute.

Thennnnnnnnnnnnn, when I said I was there for a 45k tune-up, he said You’ve already done that.

Huh? Long story short, he told me that when my car was in last for a recall, I agreed to doing a 45k maintenance, even tho my car then only had 34k miles on it. I did? Well, come to find out it was a son who took the car in that time because he was working in Port Chester. The advisor and I had some words – he used an accusatory tone toward my son for signing something without telling me and I said, look, he’s not 18, he’s 35.

The advisor went on to tell me that what I wanted done today would set me back $399 plus tax….I balked further.

It required an intervention from a senior advisor to find a compromise. They’d do all I needed for $150 plus tax, throwing in new wiper blades all around. Ok. At this point I was seriously coffee deprived and I didn’t want to argue in front of everyone else there so I agreed. By this time it was already 7:30 – an entire half hour wasted negotiating.

I went upstairs to the showroom to wait my turn. Morning Joe was on the TV – wow, people actually really watch that? I made myself coffee from their machine, poured in one of the creamer things, and it curdled….more than cottage cheese. Gross.

Halfway through my wait, the advisor came up to tell me, (never good news when that happens) I need both front brake pads replaced.Β  $883 and another two hour wait. I passed. I have a good mechanic in Bedford – he’ll do it for half that. I do want to get it done though, before we drive to North Carolina, just not at New Country Audi!

So I strolled around the showroom to see what was for sale.

This Q7 for a cool $87,000+. Pass. A Q5 for $51 and change. A Q3 for $41. No.

And an R-10, in an ugly color (faded because the sun was up by this time and glaring into the showroom through the large windows).

With a pricey price tag to boot. Pass.

I got home by 11:30 – there was another recall they had to deal with as well as the tune-up etc and no sooner was I home than my cell phone rang and it was………

………A new car salesman from New Country!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! I guess he gets stats from the service department of who might be ready for a cold call. He wanted to alert me that my service agreement for my new car has expired and would I want to buy an extended warranty….or a new car?!

I told him I just walked in the door and that I wasn’t ready to make that decision yet. Plus, I wanted to do some research. I Googled Extended Warranty for my 2013 Q5 an came up with a few old threads of people saying it costs a non-negotiable $3700 to add an extended warranty. I’ve never owned a car long enough to think this out.

So, what should I do? Seems a waste to buy an extended warranty. At this point, I imagine I’ll stop going to Audi anymore for service and just get it all done by my local guy, unless there’s another Audi recall.

Your voice here would be helpful. Me? I’ve made a pot of coffee and am regrouping. Long long morning.

28 thoughts on “I’m still grumpy

  1. If you have a local guy you know and trust then that’s the way to go, especially since it’s a bit of a hike from where you live to New Country. Why drive all that way and pay more if you don’t have to?

  2. What an ordeal. I used to drive an A4, and always felt new country Audi was overly expensive. I never know who to trust to change my oil. I would love to find someone I could depend upon.

    1. I was happy to have New Country do the service all this time. It was free as part of the car deal when I bought the car. I’m ahead of the game with all the new wiper blades I’ve gotten free alone.

      Finding a trustworthy mechanic is one of life’s hardest tasks. In the late 1980s we owned a vintage Grand Wagoneer that always needed service. Especially the rear window getting stuck and tons of other electric stuff. It was back then we found two guys in Mount Kisco. We’ve owned new cars pretty much since then but have used the guys for repairing the vintage Mercedes and one of the kids old Range Rover. They’ve become friends and I know they will keep my car in apple pie order.

  3. I feel your pain. I hate that dealership. Fifteen years ago, they fed me a line about a multi-thousand dollar repair that needed to be done on our A4. I walked out because I knew they were trying to snow me because I was a girl. I swore I’d never go back and found an honest and reliable mechanic in Briarcliff Manor — Briarcliff Classic and Imported. I’m in Greenwich now but I still take my car back to Bob in Briarcliff.

    Interestingly, I was having a problem with the radio in our TT a couple of months back. I stopped in at New Country to ask at the service desk if they’d ever encountered the situation. With that same condescending attitude, I was told to bring the car in for a diagnostic and the soonest appointment was a week away. Once again, mad as hell, I drove the car home and, this time, searched on the internet for a solution. Within an hour, the radio was working fine and I’d saved whatever their hourly service rate is.

    Our experience with warranties is they expire and the car has a meltdown a month later. With a good mechanic in our pocket, we’ve decided it’s not worth it.

    1. Oh my goodness. You have more pain than I with that tale of woe. Condescending is the right word and today I got a dose of rudeness. I can honestly say tho that the other service reps I’ve had are personable at least but the turnover is huge – there’s never the same one there twice, that it must be a tough job to deal with the public. Especially demanding entitled public in Greenwich.

      When I raised my voice a bit this morning, he got totally pissy – like as if to say “woman, calm down”. So yes, they do NOT like women customers who ask questions or who challenge them.

      Lucky you to have a good mechanic too. The one thing I would like to find out from Audi is what, from this point forward, are the proper intervals for service. Finding anything from the Audi website – impossible. Not even what it costs for an extended warranty – that I had to find out Googling it and finding message boards.

      Let me get back from North Carolina before my now expired warrantied car has a major meltdown, please.

  4. We stopped buying Audi’s just because of new country. Beautiful automobiles but impossibly expensive to maintain. Moved downscale to Lexus and Toyota. There is, imo, a good local alternative to overpriced dealer repairs….demott auto in Stamford – about two blocks south of Stamford train station on pacific street. Check his reviews online.

    1. New Country sure owns a slew of dealerships tho so they must be doing something right or they are just celver enough to be located in towns where people are less concerned about prices. Did you own Audi’s when the dealerships were Pray? Was it better then?

      1. I bought an A6 from Pray Audi and still remember sitting there one morning for service, when Malcolm Pray walked in like the general he was. He said ‘good morning men’ and got the requisite response ‘good morning sir’ from the staff. Like I have said I liked the A6 but it was crazy expensive to maintain and it spent more time in the shop than it should. After that is when we went the Acura/Honda route. Never have to take those cars in for repair. Give them an oil change on schedule and they are good to go.

        Also, as a former used car dealer, NEVER EVER take the extended warranty on a car or anything else for that matter.

        BTW I bought an air conditioning company in Sarasota and am in the process of trying to build it out.

        1. I don’t want to jinx my car, but I haven’t had any problems at all. None. Zero. Knock on wood. Spit. Spit. I’d like to keep it for the near term then hand it off to one of the kids if they want it. I take really good care of the car and the interior looks brand new.

          Thanks for another reaffirmation to Never never get an extended warranty. I knew never to do that with anything else but wasn’t sure if it made sense with a car that’s got a long life ahead.

          A used car dealer eh?? Good for you. And now owning an AC company. Congratulations. I have to imagine everyone wants AC in Florida so it’s like owning a funeral business- you’re always assured customers!! Best of luck. Did your wife say honey, you need to get out of the house? I know so many wives whose husbands retire and are all of a sudden home ALL THE TIME. πŸ˜€πŸ˜€πŸ˜€πŸ˜€πŸ˜€

        2. When my husband retired I went crazy. He wanted to know when lunch would be ready and what was I doing today. I gently told him to get a hobby, quickly.

          I wish you had let me come scoop you up. We could have walked to DD for their good coffee.

        3. Thanks Jane. I wasn’t sure how long service would take so I felt I should stick it out. Plus, as a blogger, what fun would a happy post be?

        4. I knew Malcolm and he had real respect for his employees and his customers. Have you been in the Malcolm Pray Achievement Center in Banksville? It houses some of his car collection as well as a community center for kids. It’s by appointment only.

        5. I’ve not been in it but one of the kids has. I just looked at their website and the last entry in the blog tab was 2016 so are they still open?

  5. Did you get an owner’s manual when you bought the car? If you did, there should be a booklet that outlines what you should have done at different mileage intervals. I got one when I bought both my MR2 and Corolla…..

    1. Doink. The owner’s manual. Sure. I have one. It didn’t occur to me to look there. Of course of course of course. I’m going to get it now out of the glove box. Thanks.

      RETRIEVED OWNER’S MANUAL – last pages are all service intervals up to 205k miles. Thanks again for doing my thinking for me.

  6. I own a CPO Audi. It came with a 5-year, 100,000 mile warranty, as well as a prepaid maintenance package that the prior owner purchased up to 50,000 miles. Since the car had only 10,000 miles to begin with, I will be covered for maintenance for at least three years and under warranty for the life of the car. This has been a great compromise for me because while I HATE paying dealership rates, I just feel more comfortable having the dealer do repairs and maintenance — the feeling that no corners are cut. Oh and I saved about 30% by going CPO (on an 11-month-old, 10k mile car). Tires and other no brainer items, I go to a local guy.

    I know many who would never buy used, even lightly used (including my mom!), but for those reasons I recommend it highly.

    1. You can thank me for the maintenance plan you got on your CPO Audi. When I traded in my 2010 for the 2013, I had to PAY a whopping sum of money to New Country to make my car qualify as a CPO on their lot. I was shocked. It never occurred to me that I’d be on the hook for NC making my car certified. I wish I could remember what the cost was- I only remember falling off my chair.
      Am I remembering wrong?

      Agree CPO is a great way to go. Good for you to get such a vehicle.

  7. What a morning! I just went out to give my ’98 Honda a pat on the hood! Today would be the day when you sit down with a second cup of coffee and enter the world of one of those books you have asked about.

    1. Your 98 Honda deserves lots of love.

      I finished Last Days of Night (excellent) and about to move on to Nothing to Envy, which I think you recommended?

      I just ordered a book on Mr. EOS’s wish list -The Taking of K-129. He said as a kid he remembered reading about the Glomar Explorer in Popular Science or similar magazine. Of course, at that time he believed the story therein about the ship searching for manganese nodules on ocean floor.

      1. Thank you EOS for introducing me to The Taking of K-129! I have just spent a fascinating hour reading about this operation to recover the Soviet Nuclear Submarine. See where your sometimes annoying experiences can take us?!

  8. For the past 30 plus years, I’ve had our cars, all European (BMW, Volvo, Mercedes), serviced at European Autoworks, Inc. in Greenwich. Owner Jakov Saric is incredibly knowledgeable, fair, and reasonably priced. Nice guy, too. Except out of curiosity, I’ve never needed to ask for an estimate from Jakov for any necessary repairs as I know he will charge honest, fair fees. Before Jakov’s ownership, the garage was run for many years by his relatives, the Sucic Brothers, who also had a stellar reputation. I recommend Jakov highly!

    1. I should add that nearly all our cars purchased over the past 35 years were acquired just after manufacturers’ warrantees have expired. Being a creature of habit forged by experience, I’ve bought our last few cars from John Caviola of Greenwich Motor Sales who deals in high end, mostly European cars that have just come off lease at area dealerships. Like Jakov at European Motor Works, John is honest and fair. I’ve never had a problem of any kind with any of the vehicles I’ve purchased from him.

    2. What a stellar recommendation for many reasons but mostly because you are a car guy who knows and loves his cars.

      Thanks for adding this comment.

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