TooManyAudis at aol.com TooManyAudis at aol.com
Thu Dec 16 02:37:42 EST 2004

I stopped by the local Audi Dealer today to have my 200q20v checked out for  
its Bose Amplifier recall.  Turns out that I have to wait to have it  serviced 
until a specialty tool came in.  That tool is a hook.  Let me  repeat that:  
a hook.  You know, the kind that come in the dollar bin  at the local auto 
The dealership has only been open for a month, so I will let them slide on  
this one.
While I was in there, I was approached by a salesperson.  I made  it clear 
that I was a secondary-market kind of guy, but that I was an important  link in 
the chain -- without guys like me, there would be fewer people willing  to buy 
the new cars.
"I like them old," I said.  "My Audis have 5 cylinders.   This one's got a 
20-valve turbo."  
"What do you drive," he said, "a 9000?"
"A who?" I said.
"I mean a 1000"
"A what?" said I.
"A 100?" says he.
"Close enough," I said.
Following this little exchange, I got into it with the service  writer.  
"How much for an alignment," says me.
This prompted her to take a trip to the service bay.  She came back  with:  
"It's a two hour job, So it will be $220."
"That's ridiculous." I said,  "I just replaced every point of  adjustment 
within the last 3 weeks.  I did a complete front suspension  rebuild.  Everything 
is good to go.  IF you don't want to work on my  car, just tell me."
I'm pretty sure her next words were some sort of explanation as to why an  
alignment could possibly cost $220, but I was done listening."
After that, I headed over to the parts counter to, you know, introduce  
myself as their newest frequent customer.  
I needed a few clips to keep my chrome molding attached above the  
headlights.  What I got was a picture of a V8 grill to look at.  
"That's not my car," I said.
"That's what your VIN brings up," he said.
"My VIN brought up the right car at the service desk," I said.
"This is what it brings up here," was his reply.
Fifteen minutes later, I was looking at an EKTA diagram of my front grill  -- 
or, actually, my car's front grill.  We narrowed down the needed clips  to 
two or three top choices.
"I can order anything you want," he said, "But we need you to pay the  entire 
amount up front, and we don't take returns on parts we order."
"What if it's the wrong part," I asked.
"We need to make sure it is the right part."
"How do we know that clip is the right part?" I said.
"We don't.  Do you want me to order them for you?"
Now, it's been 14 years since this town has had an Audi  dealer.  With all 
the Midwesterners and New Englanders coming  into Charleston, there are a lot of 
Audis in need of dealership  services.  So, the service area has been 
swamped.  I'd be interested  to see what happens in another 6 or 8 weeks when this 
backlog of work slacks  off.  I don't think an alignment will be any $220.
-- Tom
Charleston, SC
91 200q20v
88 80q
92 VW Cabriolet

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