Nog ‘n hartseer storie wat ‘n TDi turbo moes deurgaan. Ek plaas graag my tjom Christo se snotstorie in Ingils. Vir die bra’s daar buite wat ‘n goeie moevie wil maak, hier is solank vir jou ‘n script:
To: The Editor / Managing Director / Chief Executive Officer / Whom it may concern
Dear Sir / Madam,
Please allow me this opportunity to share a story of dishonesty, cover-ups, suspense, action and the ability of an entity to stand firm in its belief that it has not done any wrong or that it does not have a problem on hand. No, this is not a story about Zimbabwe or some TV soap where the villain resurfaces every now and then – this is a true story of a real villain and real people (although it does reflect the situation in Zimbabwe quite a lot).
For the sake of the story I will not use actual names to protect the individuals and companies involved. The story will also cover only one character’s ongoing battle and long walk to freedom – freedom from financial burden ; freedom from being suppressed by tyrannical giants in the industry.
Our story starts with our main character, Christo* (*not his actual name – as he is actually know as Christo Schoeman) way back in 2006. Now Christo is your average hard working individual who enjoys most things that average hard working individuals enjoy, for instance good food, good company and of course a good quality motor vehicle. Christo is also the kind of guy, as most South Africans are, that appreciates the fact that when you pay for quality, you expect to get what you pay for. Christo is a family man and tries hard to be a good role model for his wife and children by providing them with the best he can afford, despite pressing times in the economy.
It was a cool day in June and Christo decided that it was time to buy a new family vehicle that would be high quality, economical and decent value for money. After a lot of investigation and consideration Christo decided that he would opt for a Volkswagen Jetta 5 1.9 TDI* (*not actual name of vehicle or company – this is to protect the company whom I know as @!#$!@ !@#!@#! !@#!@# Volkswagen South Africa). Now for Christo, this day was a good day. He was getting a brand new car and he was buying quality – one of the things you should actually still be able to buy.
Christo was very happy with his new car and became a true VW evangelist. The car gave him excellent fuel consumption, great performance and a truly pleasurable driving experience. Unfortunately his happiness only lasted two months. Christo started suspecting foul play with this whole situation. Surely this was too good to be true. It turned out that Christo was not that far off the beaten track, but it was not foul play – it was worse! It was a foul smell! Christo realized that his car was either becoming very fond of rotten fish or that VW did not tell him all there is to know about his new car… For a month Christo tried to block any such thoughts out of his head, but it came back to haunt him – like a bad stench. Finally, after friends and family started to notice the smell, Christo decided that it was time to do something about it.
Our main character decided to contact the dealer he bought the car from to enquire about the smell. The dealer confirmed that it was a known issue with a batch of cars from VWSA (maybe it was just a sign of what was to come… an indicator of how bad the customer service will stink) and that Christo could just go to his nearest dealer and they will order new seats. Seeing that this is quite a long story, I will try to hurry it up a bit by leaving out all of the detail* (*for full details, you can contact Christo Schoeman or wait for the movie to be released). Christo went to a dealer to order the seats and after six weeks of no joy decided to take the matter up with VWSA. VWSA wasted another three weeks of Christo’s time and eventually said that they will not help him as the car is not in the batch of bad, smelly seat cars.
Of course Christo could not accept this and decided to drive down to the birthplace of all VW cars in SA – Uitenhage on the night of 5 December 2006. Now for Christo, being a local Johannesburg boy, this was quite a long trip and took him all night. Eventually, after driving all night and being completely exhausted, he arrived at the factory and demanded to have someone smell the car. A representative of Mugabe… sorry VWSA came out and after sitting in the vehicle for 5 seconds, confirmed that the seats do smell bad. Of course VWSA would then suggest that Christo drive back to Joburg and then have the seats replaced there. Christo did not settle for that and demanded to have leather seats fitted, flown back home and given a rental car until his car is fixed and returned. VWSA immediately agreed. Yes, they did. Really.
Christo got his car back before Christmas and he was semi-pleased with his new seats. VWSA neglected to fit the leather seats with seat heating – which is standard on all leather seats. Christo decided to fight for this as well, but after dealing with a lot of inferior subordinates for about three months Christo decided to call it quits and enjoy his quality car. During this period Christo was contacted by another person from VWSA to enquire about the turbo replacement being done on his car. Carrying no knowledge of such a replacement Christo advised the person that he must be confused or that they might have coded the seat replacement wrongfully. Of course the person would investigate and get back to our hero – which he never did.
We will now skip to a year later in the story. Christo thoroughly enjoyed his car and the good, quality mileage it was giving him. In the back of his mind he heard his father’s voice (who was also a big VW fan): “This is keeper, son!” And Christo was planning on keeping this car for ever and ever and ever! That was until that fateful day in February 2008 – the day it ALL changed. The day the trust was broken. The day all faith was lost. The day…ok you get the picture.
Driving back from work one night, the car all of a sudden started spewing out oil and smoke. Christo knew that the car must be very sick and immediately stopped. He tried to apply pressure to the wounds, but it was no use. He eventually called in a specialist and the car was rushed off to a nearby dealer for an emergency operation. Christo was very concerned and after not hearing anything from the dealer for two days, he decided to go there and find out what the problem was. The dealer’s service consultant was not very helpful and rude – no sympathy for the situation – but Christo eventually managed to get the main surgeon (service manager) to assist. It was explained that the car had suffered a turbo arrest and that a replacement will have to be done as soon as possible and as soon as donor is available. Our hero could not take the pain anymore and requested that the main surgeon contact VWSA to make sure that they donate the organ. This was done and preparations were made for the operation.
Christo felt more at ease and was about to leave when the main surgeon made him aware of the car’s medical history. Of course our hero was in denial. After all, they’ve spent the last 20 month together – surely his car can’t be hiding anything from him. He was so wrong! Christo started sinking deeper and deeper into his chair as the main surgeon went onto the system and started sharing secrets of replacement engines and previous turbo replacements. Christo could not believe what he was hearing – he though there were no secrets between him and his car. Then it struck him: VWSA! Those bastards! They must have seduced the car while it was there.
Christo decided that he will investigate first before making any rash decisions. He phoned VWSA and enquired about the extra letter on the engine number. VWSA confirmed that it is a replac
ement engine and Christo could not keep his emotion any longer. He confronted VWSA and wanted to know how it was possible that a car that he bought new could have an engine replaced. VWSA, after learning that our hero bought his car new, quickly changed their story by stating that that’s how it came out the factory. Of course Christo was not happy with this and further confronted them about a previous turbo replacement. At first they also denied it, but after Christo phoned the dealer where the operation was done and obtained an invoice where VWSA approved the operation, they admitted to approving it. Our hero was very disappointed in VWSA and even more so in his once reliable car. VWSA tried to comfort Christo by saying that they were only acting in his interest and the best interest of the car. Unfortunately the damage was already done and Christo knew that he has been betrayed and that the relationship between him, his car and VWSA will never be the same again.
Our hero decided that divorce should be the final option unless the third party (VWSA) were willing to back up their child by providing further insurance (extended warranty and maintenance). Christo fought hard for three months and tried to get VWSA to comply with his conditions and demands. At some point, Christo even demanded to marry another child of VWSA – at no extra cost of course to our hero (as he was the one being misled here). As most mothers-in-law are, VWSA just refused to negotiate on any type of compromise and downright refused to do anything from their side. As I met their daughter though a dealer, I was to take it up with the dealer or any other dealer for that case. How impersonal can you get! After numerous attempts to have the dealer take the car back, Christo came to the conclusion that the dealers (just like drug dealers in the movies) are just out to make a killing and the car or the customer doesn’t matter to them. It seems like the dealers get their ethics training from the mother – VWSA.
Now comes the adventure part of the story. You can choose how it should end. Depending on who you are reading this story, please choose one of the following endings. I will spoil it though by saying all endings end in divorce:
Vernon Koekemoer moers VWSA. VWSA gives our hero a new 2.0TDI Jetta at no extra cost(full vehicle swap). This is a nice gushy story of reconciliation where our hero’s trust and faith in VWSA is restored and they go fishing.
Vernon Koekemoer moers VWSA. VWSA decides to admit their faults. They go public with the fact that there are problems with all 1.9TDI engines / turbos and they accept responsibility for their past mistakes. The new SABC TV show broadcast them in tears telling all their car owners how sorry they are about everything. They get aid from the government. Our hero gets his vehicle settled at the bank by VWSA – the vehicle moves back in with VWSA. Our hero and Vernon Koekemoer go fishing.
Vernon Koekemoer moers VWSA. Another manufacturer decides to pull a publicity stint by buying the car from our hero and then blowing it up in front of the press. Our hero buys a vehicle from the other manufacturer. Our hero and the other manufacturer go fishing.
Vernon Koekemoer moers VWSA. VWSA decides to put back faith in their product and extends the warranty and maintenance plan on our hero’s car up to 200,000kms at no extra cost. Our hero accepts and gets all the accompanying paperwork. He then sells the car (with all its new benefits) in any case. Vernon Koekemoer goes fishing on his own. Our hero meets up later with Vernon and they drink beer.
Kindly make your choice for the ending before 12:00 on Friday 9 May, 2008. If no choice has been made by then, the car will be taken back to VWSA and VWSA will remain liable for the remainder of the amount financed at ABSA. Our hero cancels any debit orders in this regard and ABSA understands his situation. They demand settlement from VWSA as they (VWSA) are in possession of the vehicle.