Last we left off in the Golf Sportwagen Ultimate Decision story, the appointment was set for corrections on the headliner and panel issues I’d pointed out as a result of the headliner service. A late June morning, already a hot and muggy day. Your author is seen waiting by the door.
The 28th (last Monday), I was fully prepared to hand off the keys for the 10:00 AM appointment time. I’d planned to head out by 10:15 as I had a couple of places to be. The minutes ticked to 10:00, then past it, then past a bit more. Off to a good start on my appointment.
At 10:30 I tried calling the service manager directly to see what was up with the appointment, but couldn’t get through. As soon as I hung up and dialed the main service line, I got a text from some local number. There was no name or intro in the text so I’m not sure from whom it originated. They were sorry (whoever it was), but had been busy that morning and the time got away from them. There would be someone coming out to bring me the loaner, leaving in “a few minutes.”
I guess I was under the impression that service departments ran on appointments and that most days were busy, but perhaps that was a faulty assumption on my part. I replied to the text and asked about an ETA, as I had things to do this morning and it was messing with my schedule. No reply.
After waiting a few more minutes (about 18) I got a phone call from someone at the dealer, confirming my address to pick up the car. “Didn’t they call you to let you know what’s up?” No, no they didn’t. This new associate reassured me he was on his way in a couple of minutes. And finally, at 11:10 they showed up for the 10:00 appointment, with a white 2021 Tiguan SE. That one wasn’t worth reviewing because I covered the S trim already. In short, the SE added nicer seats and trim and a big glass roof but did nothing to improve the uneasy relationship between engine and transmission.
Overall, the morning was a frustrating experience on what should’ve been a very simple key exchange. Those feelings of frustration stuck with me the next few days. Neither of the overarching headliner issues were caused by the dealer’s service department – one was down to poor quality control and the other to bad design. But what was down to the service department were the missed appointments, forgotten calls, and inattention to detail regarding headliner cleanliness, installation, trim panels, and all the rest. Was it really worth dealing with this for years? I’d started to think it wasn’t. In Part III we’ll wrap up this saga once and for all.
[Images: Corey Lewis / The Truth About Cars]