Wednesday, 11 January 2012

My Golf's in good hands

Is it just used car dealers that are slimy and dodgy, or is it supposed to apply to new car dealers as well? The reason I mention this is because, if the latter, I've had quite the opposite experience during the course of buying and now owning my new car. In fact, I've been so impressed with Barloworld Volkswagen that I'm giving them a plug.

(Except for the first time I went there and I got a total dud sales guy. But I've almost completely forgotten about him.)

My experience over the past couple of weeks proves that customer service still counts. Instead of walking away from the dealership with the keys to the car, never to return, I've been made to feel as though I've joined a club.

Tonight I've been to a new owners' evening, where they took us on a tour of the premises (so we know what goes on behind the scenes) and then had some of their service team talk us through several aspects of our cars. The shiny newness of the workshop, the expanse of the facility, the extent of their hospitality combined to make me feel like I'm in very good hands.

In the workshop -- which is so new and bright and clean, I could imagine quite happily working there myself -- they divided us into three groups and took us through:
1) Basic aspects of the engine (what's what under the hood, what's safe to touch, what's not)
2) Unique features of the deadlocking and electronics diagnostics system
3) Changing a tyre and the realities of the space saver spare wheel

Yes, so that's all rather basic, but still helpful to have pointed out. It also gave us the opportunity to ask questions, and it turns out I'm not the only one with the mysterious 'check deadlock! owners manual!' message flashing at me each time I switch off the ignition. They're looking into this for me...

I know that Barloworld go the extra mile because they want to retain my business, not only for servicing and panel beating (if required), but also for subsequent purchases. All I can say is their approach is working. I already feel immensely reassured to know that if I have any issue at all with this car (especially during the 3-year warranty period) that Barloworld are only a phone call away. They will take it under their wing and make it all better. They will check the oil and top it up anytime I'm driving past (although they did say not to put any oil in until after 10,000km, on account of the special factory additives for running in the engine).

They even prepared a pamphlet that displays all the dashboard warning lights, and what they mean, to save us thumbing through the complete manual.

OK, I'd better stop this before I make someone sick. But I think it's very comforting to have a goto point for all things Golf. The Barloworld team is friendly, and approachable and dependable. Between them and VW roadside assist I'm all sorted and I don't have to worry. Peace of mind is worth a lot.

And they provide coffee.


  1. We've had a similar experience with our Mazda dealer here in Rotterdam. It is a pleasant surprise indeed.

  2. That certainly sounds like good service from Barloworld VW! Car dealerships should be respectful and hospitable when it comes to people, whether customers or just those who are looking around for a car. You certainly got yourself a great dealership. They seem to be attentive and sensitive to what you need, which is great in making the customer feel he/she is important.

  3. “The Barloworld team is friendly, and approachable and dependable.”---And with that, I’m sure that you really had a great dealership experience! Car dealers should always have this kind of attitude and performance so that their customers will surely receive the best quality of service they truly deserve!