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    Thread: Jim Ellis Volkswagen - Deaf ears?

    1. Member jackr's Avatar
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      06-09-2004 09:34 AM #1
      Thought I'd share the latest chapter in my saga with Jim Ellis VW of Marietta.
      Bought my R32 there the 20th of April and in the seven weeks since it's been in for service six times.

      Last weekend I noticed coolant all over the back of the engine and gooped as far forward as the shift linkage on the transmission; looked like a hose or fitting on the back of the engine was letting loose. Jim Ellis was the only dealership that could see me for at least a week and also the only shop that would be able to provide a loaner, and they have a history with the car - took it back there. This was Saturday.

      I called them on Monday and was told I had two failed coolant hoses and that they were on order and would arrive Tuesday. My service advisor, Mary, didn't know what had been wrong with the hoses, only that the tech had ordered two new ones, so I asked if I could see the old hoses and take a look for myself. She told me that I could not. When asked why, she told me that she'd relay the tech's diagnosis to me and that would have to be enough as they needed to send them to VW in order to be compensated for the warranty repair. I asked if she thought it was unusual that two hoses would fail at the same time on a six week old car - she assured me there was nothing to worry about and that I shouldn't have this problem with the other hoses, despite being unable to tell me what was wrong with the originals. All this wasn't sitting very well with me - I insisted on being able to see the hoses, it is after all my right and protected by law in Georgia. She got rather upset, told me there was "no reason I should have to see them" but eventually under duress (and my mention of the state law she would be violating if she did not) agreed to "see what she could do."

      When I arrived Tuesday to pick the car up, they had it pulled around and set out paperwork for me to sign - before signing anything, I went to look the car over. No outside damage, but the engine bay was still coated in goo .. could easily tell which hoses were replaced, they were the only two not covered in congealed antifreeze. Went back inside and asked to see the hoses - Mary left and walked straight into the shop manager's office (his name is Alan). Five minutes later she beckoned me into his office and left, leaving the door open and me with him as he finished a telephone call.

      He tried to explain to me how despite being probabilistically miniscule, there was a chance two hoses could fail at the same time on a brand new car and shouldn't I not be so much trouble about it. Then, and here's the part that gets me, he says - "On your last survey of us you gave us all Zeros, what're you doing coming back here?"

      That stopped me for a second.

      He had obviously been made aware of the (anonymous) telephone survey - time to see if he was paying attention. I asked him if he remembered why I had scored them as I did, he didn't. I explained to him that the last time the car had been in, I complained to them of an oil leak - 1qt in about 1500 miles, which I thought was unusual. They had looked over the car and determined there to be no leak and the consumption due to "break in." Which would've been fine, except that the next week I went to change my oil and found the oil pan COVERED in oil and the drain pan bolt finger tight. Video-taped the whole thing too. Thought it rather unprofessional that they obviously hadn't even looked at the car, and further that they had given me the "void your warranty" speech about changing the oil early (at 3000 miles) instead of running it to 5000 and bringing it to them, as they recommended.

      He didn't say much, called in the tech that had worked on my car and Mary - with the pair of hoses.

      Pulled them out of their packaging and took a quick look - there wasn't a single thing wrong with them. Perfectly normal hoses. No weak walls, no kinks, no rub marks, no visible pinholes or evidence of where one might be based on stain/spray.

      The tech explained to me that the hoses weren't exactly leaking but were both attached to the same metal rail by squeezy clamps and were both leaking from where they attached to that rail. I asked him if he had replaced the clamps while he was in there - he hadn't. He explained that he had pressure tested the system and it all looked fine, so despite not having an explanation for the failure, he was satisfied it had been fixed by replacing the hoses. Naturally, I wasn't; the actual source of the problem hadn't been found. That conversation didn't really go anywhere.

      Alan sent the tech and Mary out, she closed the door.

      I asked him if there was anything else he needed from me, there wasn't.
      So I told him there was one more thing I needed from him - the engine bay was a disaster and I had expected that as part of the repair, it would be cleaned. It was all over the tin, transmission, airbox, shift linkage and several wiring clips. He told me he didn't believe in steam cleaning engines. I told him that I did, and that I wanted it done - he hadn't fixed the problem or even cleaned the mess up, how could we tell if it was still happening! I had an appointment I was, by then, late for, he told me to bring the car back in some other day and he'd have it taken care of. I asked for it in writing, he deflected and told me he would get it done.

      I left.

      Had already started the buyback process on the car on Monday, due to the oil leaks, coolant leaks, electrical problems, driveline shudders and persistent rattles - this just capped the situation.

      Anyhow, thought I'd share.

      And a picture, for the views ..


    2. Geriatric Member Obin Robinson's Avatar
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      06-09-2004 09:39 AM #2

      sorry to hear about that

      obin

      "We're society's crowbar. They hate us, they never want to acknowledge the dirty jobs they give us to do, but when the job is done they never throw us away - they just slip us back in the toolbox until they need us the next time. And there will always be a next time."-Jim Hooper. Beneath the Visiting Moon: Images of Combat in Southern Africa

    3. Member FastGTi's Avatar
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      06-09-2004 09:39 AM #3
      that really stinks...

    4. 06-09-2004 09:44 AM #4
      Bad cars, bad service - and yet, VWoA keeps scratching its head over lost sales

    5. Member vw86gti's Avatar
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      06-09-2004 09:46 AM #5
      Ouch. I know how it feels to be so damn excited about a purchase and not have it work out. Sounds like the people that work for Jim Ellis VW are a bunch of douchbags. Good luck with the buyback and finding something else.
      This space intentionally left blank

    6. 06-09-2004 09:51 AM #6
      Jim Ellis is NOTORIOUS for horrible service. There was a HUGE thread on here a few years back that gave the dealership a HORRIBLE REPUTATION, ended up in the dealership threatening to sue whoever posted the story

      good luck to you bro

      here's the post, over 1000 replies
      http://forums.vwvortex.com/zerothread?id=52126


    7. 06-09-2004 10:02 AM #7
      so long as the other 1999 ones they sold are ok.....

    8. Member yo vanilla's Avatar
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      06-09-2004 10:04 AM #8
      Quote, originally posted by bergenvr6 »
      Jim Ellis is NOTORIOUS for horrible service. There was a HUGE thread on here a few years back that gave the dealership a HORRIBLE REPUTATION, ended up in the dealership threatening to sue whoever posted the story

      good luck to you bro

      here's the post, over 1000 replies
      http://forums.vwvortex.com/zerothread?id=52126

      LOL! i just thought about that the other day. i forget what it was about though, was it the tropicana gti with the body work? or a different one?

      original poster, sorry to hear about the woes! hopefully someone else can service you better next time

      ninja edit: wow, that was 3 years ago already?


      Modified by yo vanilla at 9:07 AM 6-9-2004

      No more Shake N Bake. From now on, it's El Diablo and The Magic Man

    9. 06-09-2004 10:06 AM #9
      Just to step in for one second to protect some veedub friends.

      In Georgia there are indeed TWO Jim Ellis VW's. Which one did you visit? I know there is one good one, and one bad one - I just dont want bad rap hurting the good store.

      One is in Marietta, and one in....shat, can't remember. Which one did you go to? I think Marietta is the bad one?


    10. Member yo vanilla's Avatar
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      06-09-2004 10:08 AM #10
      marietta = the infamous bad one
      No more Shake N Bake. From now on, it's El Diablo and The Magic Man

    11. Member DonL's Avatar
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      06-09-2004 10:09 AM #11
      Quote, originally posted by Helicon Twist »
      Bad cars, bad service - and yet, VWoA keeps scratching its head over lost sales

      Amen.

      Gotta say, though, that a car with a problem can have alot of goodwill extended its way by a good service department who really cares about their customers.

      It's not always just the problem itself, but how it's handled.

      Fortunately, we've seen that Ellis is upholding its sterling reputation for crap service and crap attitude. I'm glad I don't live anywhere near them that I'd ever be forced to take my car there.

      It seems the government is currently saying, "While we're conducting this unspecified, unwarranted surveillance, we're totally thinking about how to not violate the 4th Amendment that we're currently violating. Because terrorism."

    12. Member Skidmark's Avatar
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      06-09-2004 11:20 AM #12
      I bought a car from Jim Ellis on Peachtree Industrial in 2001. My experience with their service dept. was terrible. I was very happy when I sold my GTI just because I wouldn't have to return there.

      The old thread where they threatened to sue a customer is a classic. It really shows how unprofessional they can be. I think Gosset is another dealer in ATL? From what I hear they're much better.

      There's no I in barbeque team.

    13. 06-09-2004 11:27 AM #13
      i honestly think that VW trains their service managers to bully customers.

      There is light at the end of the tunnel. Call the BBB and tell them that you want an arbitration with VWOA to buy back the car. Then call VWoA and do the same.

      I just got my buy back for 5,200 bucks on monday. The reason i got so much was because my first problem occured at 500 miles.

      Good luck and keep on demanding service because you paid for it.


    14. Member Vedubauman's Avatar
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      06-09-2004 11:34 AM #14
      Quote, originally posted by Elbows »
      Just to step in for one second to protect some veedub friends.

      In Georgia there are indeed TWO Jim Ellis VW's. Which one did you visit? I know there is one good one, and one bad one - I just dont want bad rap hurting the good store.

      One is in Marietta, and one in....shat, can't remember. Which one did you go to? I think Marietta is the bad one?

      Marietta is the bad one.

      Let's just say that before Jim Ellis bought it (Cumberland VW before) everything was fine. Having had to deal with the (dis)service department over there (timing belt failure/warranty nightmare...which I won) I would never wish it upon anybody to ever have any car serviced there. F you Jim Ellis Marietta.

      I hope you can get your car lemoned and drop these guys like a bad habit.

      <edit> Time for me to reprint this thread and the other million page thread and hand it out to the fine folks sitting in the waiting room.


      Modified by Vedubauman at 11:38 AM 6-9-2004


    15. Member pipes's Avatar
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      06-09-2004 11:43 AM #15
      I am sorry for your problems. My first 5K mile maint was a big disaster. I provided my own synth oil, back 4+ yrs ago. I heard many stories on dealer oil overfills, so I checked before I left. I knew the service advisor and service manager very well, been a repeat customer.

      I checked oil level and it was way over. I only provided 4 qts

      They took it back and removed extra oil. I was fine with the level after that. I am 15 min from home and I get a "STOP" msg in my MFD, low coolant. I pop open hood, no freakin coolant. Damn clip in the hose for the coolant resevoir was the culprit, not to mention that was the way the tech removed the excees oil, by moving the resevoir.

      I was pissed, damn near 6 pm. I call dealer asap, and state, I am coming back on a flat bed and expect a loaner. different service advisor said no loaners available, as they close @ 6pm. I called tow service, then call VWoA and got to the service bay, which of course was closed

      I had back up transportation, and dealer called me at work the next day as they got my car ready.

      I picked it up and noticed that night that I had no dash lights.

      VWoA call again and that time service manager stepped in and got me a loaner via Enterprise and they had the car 1 wk.

      All of this due to the damn coolant clamps and probably inexperienced tech!!!! Who knows, I would have done the same thing.

      Where is the metal clamps with screw for tightening!

      I replaced some of those cheap azz clamps with the metal ones as I redid my vacuum lines @ 30K miles..


    16. Member Belfi's Avatar
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      06-09-2004 01:12 PM #16
      Wow, Jim Ellis again?

      About the zeros on the survey - there was a thread a while back on that, too. Don't ever do it if you plan on going back to the same dealer. Tons of stories popped up about people giving low survey remarks and managing only to dig themselves into a deeper hole.

      I gave a dealer a 4 once, took my car in for the coilpack recall, and they didn't change any of them. They did manage to scratch the hell out of my engine cover though. The woman's tone on the phone when I said "four" said it all.

      Since then, it's been all 5's for me, no matter the outcome. The survey can only hurt you. They're meaningless.


    17. 06-09-2004 01:15 PM #17
      ouch

    18. 06-09-2004 01:26 PM #18
      Quote, originally posted by Skidmark »
      I think Gosset is another dealer in ATL? From what I hear they're much better.

      There is a Gosset in Memphis. Not sure if that's what you mean.

      At least as of early 1999, they were the only source of VW, Audi, Saab, and Porsche for about 200 miles in all directions, (Little Rock and Nashville were tne next closest ones) and they knew it. Their salespeople were clueless, and deals were not to be had because they were the only game in town for their makes.

      But their service department was actually pretty fair, come to think of it. A British guy I always dealt with (service writer) was personable and the service adequate or better.


    19. Member DonL's Avatar
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      06-09-2004 01:45 PM #19
      Quote, originally posted by Belfi »
      ... Since then, it's been all 5's for me, no matter the outcome. The survey can only hurt you. They're meaningless.

      If they're meaningless, then why does the dealer even care? All that's accomplished is condoning piss-poor customer and automotive service.

      If they suck, people shouldn't be afraid to say so.

      It seems the government is currently saying, "While we're conducting this unspecified, unwarranted surveillance, we're totally thinking about how to not violate the 4th Amendment that we're currently violating. Because terrorism."

    20. Banned DCS's Avatar
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      06-09-2004 01:47 PM #20
      Quote, originally posted by DonL »

      If they're meaningless, then why does the dealer even care? All that's accomplished is condoning piss-poor customer and automotive service.

      If they suck, people shouldn't be afraid to say so.

      meaningless from a consumer perspective.


    21. 06-09-2004 01:52 PM #21
      Quote, originally posted by bergenvr6 »
      Jim Ellis is NOTORIOUS for horrible service. There was a HUGE thread on here a few years back that gave the dealership a HORRIBLE REPUTATION, ended up in the dealership threatening to sue whoever posted the story

      good luck to you bro

      here's the post, over 1000 replies
      http://forums.vwvortex.com/zerothread?id=52126

      LMAO!

      I DARE you to walk into the dealership with this thread printed out and hand it to the service manager. I'm willing to bet ANYTHING that they shut their traps and do whatever it takes to make you happy!

      DO IT!!!!!!


    22. Member MEIN_VW's Avatar
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      06-09-2004 01:54 PM #22
      Quote, originally posted by jackr »
      he says - "On your last survey of us you gave us all Zeros, what're you doing coming back here?"

      That stopped me for a second.

      He had obviously been made aware of the (anonymous) telephone survey -

      I would report this to VWoA because the dealership has thrown the anonymity aspect of the survey out the window and is using it against you. That's a violation of your privacy.

      On the other hand, complaining to VWoA is like complaining to a concrete wall so that's probably a waste of time.


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      06-09-2004 02:00 PM #23
      How many of you have been asked to fill out the survey BEFORE you get your car back, and put all 5's??!!!

      How can I complete a survey about the quality of service, when you haven't gotten the car back to grade them??!!


      Of course they all ask you to just put down 5's, so then how important is this really to you/them to be subjective of the customer's opinion??!!

      As far as "anonomous", I have always known this not to be true, as I gave 1 dealer very low marks, and was contacted by the serivce manager about my survey responses being low, so obviously they know....


    24. Member MatchStick's Avatar
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      06-09-2004 02:28 PM #24
      people's business ethics (or lack thereof) boggle my mind sometimes... =\

    25. Member Spindle's Avatar
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      06-09-2004 02:34 PM #25
      Quote, originally posted by Belfi »
      Wow, Jim Ellis again?

      Ha! That's what I thought when I saw this thread. Hasn't the Vortex taught us anything. I think the big thread when I registered was a Jim Ellis nightmare story....and that was 4 years ago.


      Quote, originally posted by Belfi »

      About the zeros on the survey - there was a thread a while back on that, too. Don't ever do it if you plan on going back to the same dealer. Tons of stories popped up about people giving low survey remarks and managing only to dig themselves into a deeper hole.

      I gave a dealer a 4 once, took my car in for the coilpack recall, and they didn't change any of them. They did manage to scratch the hell out of my engine cover though. The woman's tone on the phone when I said "four" said it all.

      Since then, it's been all 5's for me, no matter the outcome. The survey can only hurt you. They're meaningless.

      Wise words ^^^


    26. 06-09-2004 03:03 PM #26
      Quote, originally posted by DonL »

      If they're meaningless, then why does the dealer even care? All that's accomplished is condoning piss-poor customer and automotive service.

      If they suck, people shouldn't be afraid to say so.

      0-4 = the dealer fails so there is no diff between giving the dealer a 0 or a 4. either way it impacts them negatively.

      vw just doesnt understand customer service.


    27. Member GREGSGTI 1.8T's Avatar
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      06-09-2004 03:33 PM #27
      Quote, originally posted by Bolsen »

      LMAO!

      I DARE you to walk into the dealership with this thread printed out and hand it to the service manager. I'm willing to bet ANYTHING that they shut their traps and do whatever it takes to make you happy!

      DO IT!!!!!!

      Just mentioning you read something about them on the internet should get their attention , I would imagine.


      It would be interesting non~ the~ less


    28. 06-09-2004 03:38 PM #28
      but why did you give them all 0's LOL.. pathetic

    29. 06-09-2004 03:43 PM #29
      Quote, originally posted by TurboGTI2003 »
      but why did you give them all 0's LOL.. pathetic

      and then go back!

      if i gave a dealership all zeros, i would go back if a wolverine was stuck in my pants and they were the only ones who could get it out. after all zeros the would probably poke it with a stick or something to get it more angry.

      seriously, what did they do to get ALL zeros?


    30. Banned DCS's Avatar
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      06-09-2004 04:18 PM #30
      Quote, originally posted by rockit »

      and then go back!

      if i gave a dealership all zeros, i would go back if a wolverine was stuck in my pants and they were the only ones who could get it out. after all zeros the would probably poke it with a stick or something to get it more angry.

      seriously, what did they do to get ALL zeros?


      funny visual


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      06-09-2004 04:31 PM #31
      It is pretty well know that Jim Ellis is a realy son of a bitch but I don't feel that your car is a lemon unless stated otherwise by your state's law...but I do hope that you get your car bought back because of the **** they put you through.

    32. Member mr_e1974's Avatar
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      06-09-2004 05:56 PM #32
      That really sucks.........I've only found one dealership that I will deal with and I have to drive 300 miles from Chicago back to Ann Arbor, Michigan for that. WHEN is VWOA gonna catch on? if they keep selling a garbage/ break down proned/ POS to the customers and their Stealerships keep pissing off these customers the word WILL get out and people will stop buying them.

      So......we have yet another POS brand NEW VW that is plagued with problems...........is VW EVER gonna catch on? Americans aren't stupid...we'll shop elsewhere. My next car isn't gonna be a VW........no matter how much I may like the MK V.

      "An AUDI is nothing more than a Volkswagen in a pretty prom dress."
      Stance will make her dance...well, try that "line" at da strip club
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      06-09-2004 06:04 PM #33
      I'm sure VWOA does scan this forum....but some of the remarks here (not specifically this thread) blemish the quality of what we are trying to say.

      For the 1st 2 years I owned my GTI, the ONLY dealer in Las Vegas was XXX VW, for whom I had issues with, and they did treat people poorly; since they had no other place to take their cars for warranty work.

      I can't tell you how many phone calls and how much time I spent on the issues to resolve with this dealer with VWOA.

      Finally in 2002 (late) we got our 2nd VW dealer within 250 miles. Geeze, not only are the one of the biggest volume selling dealers in the nation, but they consistantly treat customers nice, and provide real customer service. They even sell chips and other mods AT THE DEALERSHIP PARTS AND SERVICE DEPAERTMENTS.....nice!

      Even though I have to travel an hour out of my way I take my car there. Now I now someone at the old dealer, and they have had to change their ways, just to stay in business as the new dealer was taking all of their business; seems I'm not the only one who likes to be treated like a person/human.

      Bottom line, folks, take this post to heart, and stop patronizing the offending dealers, and their slump in sales and service $$$ will catch the owners eyes, as it will affect thier pockets.

      Hit them where it count!! Not just whining here!


      Modified by lsinlv at 3:53 PM 6-9-2004


    34. Member mattdesmond's Avatar
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      06-09-2004 06:12 PM #34
      That really sucks. I feel your pain. After a non-vw mechanic forgot to put my coolant reservoir cap back on, my car almost overheated and lost all of it's coolant. I took the car into VW to have them flush the system and after I got it back, there was coolant leaking. Took 2 more visits to the dealership to fix it. There's still coolant caked all ofer my engine bay in the places I can't reach to clean it.

      This kind of crap is exactly why I bought an older car and do as many of the repairs as I can. I don't trust mechanics in the South.


      Modified by mattdesmond at 3:13 PM 6-9-2004


    35. Member jackr's Avatar
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      06-09-2004 06:48 PM #35
      I must say, I didn't expect this volume of responses!

      I got a call today from Mr. Farmer, the GM of Jim Ellis, about four hours after I first created this thread. He found, or had brought to his attention, this thread on VWVortex. It seems they're keeping an eye out.

      He communicated to me that he wanted to sit down to talk "person to person" about my concerns "with the product and with the service." Also, he wanted to speak with me "about the other post" (referring to the 2001 posting here) and discuss "some things about it I may not know."

      His tone was not hostile; he came across as very diplomatic and helpful. Regardless I'm made a little nervous, given what happened in g-man_ae's situation, to say too much more. As such, while I'll continue to follow the thread I'll refrain from posting to it until I sit down with Mr. Farmer early next week.

      Thanks for all your support!

      [edit: I can't spell]


      Modified by jackr at 8:59 PM 6-9-2004


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