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VW's TERRIBLE customer service - charging $55-70 to give code for radio (anti-theft code)

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posted on Mar, 6 2019 @ 05:06 PM
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I have a bunch of old VW radios from junked cars, they are 15-25 years old. I have codes for none of them but I have the car title for the one I need the code for and they say I MUST bring the car in to "put the car on the scanner" - a 1/2 hour service appt where they will pull all the data off my car I'm sure.

I also have a bunch of radios I'd like to use for shop radio or portable 12v radio. Some are Audi's others VW's. All bought, serviced & repair/body work all at same dealership - lots of business over 45 years from the family.

I told them the car doesn't run and I'm getting everything fixed up. They admitted I can bring the radio in so they can "scan" the bar code - which is the same data in the SN and other number on it, just in bar form. They's charge $55-70 (plus tax) for this service. I used to be able to call this dealership while working at a Circuit City (RIP) and get codes in 2-4 mins, free, for customers putting the factory system back into the car. Now I need a scheduled 1/2 hour service appt!

The radio is from a car that is under my name in their system, they have the VIN and they can even get the code from that b/c it's in the record b/c it was bought there and pulled up 15 years ago into their system! It should be even in past service record's that should be free to access, but they won't look.

These companies that nickle and dime their customers to allow customers to gain access to hardware that they own are despicable. There is no way to disable the "code" issue if you don't care if it is stolen (or if your battery dies often - you always need the code). There is no way to enter your own pin either (which would make things easier too).

That ends the radio issue rant, if you want to hear even worse from this dealership, read what they did to me with my first car at 16yrs old!

This same dealership is where I bought my first car which I had worked VERY hard from 9 years old saving up money shoveling driveways, mowing lawns, painting houses, cutting trees, splitting wood and other hard labor (washing dishes when I turned 16). I got a car that was 5 months old, it had been returned b/c the elderly couple was getting divorced, so it was basically new with ~ 7,000 miles on it (I wonder about this now...).

At 15,000 miles I had my scheduled checkup at the dealership and they told me I needed new brake pads and rotors on all 4 wheels and since I was buying new wheels (alloys) at the same time, "it would be a lot cheaper to do it now". They said it HAD to be done, it was a safety hazard, so I said OK. Well it was $600-650 for the brake job and another $800 for the wheels/rims (I knew that part) - but this was back in 1996 so the $650 was an entire month's pay (after taxes) of full time work washing dishes! I was also told that if they didn't keep the original steel wheels, there would be a "core charge" of $200 on top of everything, which I was never told of when ordering or scheduling.

This dealership had been around for over 30 years (now 55 years) and had 3 other locations in surrounding cities would be trustworthy (and with family buying cars there previously) and wouldn't be ripping off a 16yr old working kid. (the reason I had to buy a newer car was b/c of dual airbags - many cars before then didn't have passenger bags, and that was a stipulation for me to buy a car - limit liability if I crashed with a passenger - and the dealership knew this was the reason I didn't buy an older used car).

The worst part is VW warranty requires service/maintenance be done at dealerships for the warranty to be valid and possibly buy an extended warranty later on (well we were told that at least, IDK if that is true). The only other VW dealership not owned by this company was 45 miles away.

After paying the bill, I was upset about the price of the brakes, totally unexpected and cleaned out my savings. I got out of there quick and when I got to a gas station 1/2 mile away, when i got out I noticed my top of my rocker panel (outer metal part the door closes over) was scratched all up, REALLY bad, looked like someone took a screwdriver or awl and went at it for 10 mins - deep scratches into the metal let alone the paint. I went back and was in the service office about 2 mins after I left.

They told me there was nothing I could do since I left the lot and they completely accused me of doing it in front of many customers, called me a liar (this was the VW service manager). I asked why would I do this, for what purpose? I made him call out the tech's who checked it in (not the person who worked on it, the guy who took the keys and did the check-in list). He said it wasn't there, but the manager said he can't be sure and it had to have been missed.

I then noticed that the floor behind the drivers seat was pushed up 8"-12" so it was touching the bottom of the seat. The entire area where your feet would go was gone. The metal had been pushed up, I'm guessing when put on the lift, they placed the "feet" under that spot for some reason. Of course they denied that. I was yelled at, called a liar and accused of doing this myself - even though I just wanted this fixed, not $$ back or anything else. Why would I do this, I was confused and actually hurt/distressed.

After some heated phone calls to the business owner, we finally got the damage fixed, but never a word from the manager. He was a J@CKA$$ the next 8 years I was stuck going there (next car was VW family as well). This manager is probably the only person I still hold a grudge against and I've had some HORRIBLE people in my life. It was just every aspect of him made me want to pee in his lemonade every lunch.


What is odd is that the body shop (had lots of work there over the years, uughh - much due to being hit by others) was completely different and they were always awesome. They cut me deals, got things done faster, did a better job, gave me better parts when available (upgrades from original models to aftermarket stuff that was more expensive, lighter and just all around better), and when I had to pay out of pocket (accident my fault - not turned into insurance) they gave me great deals, like 1/3-1/2 the normal quote/insurance price for the labor or they got body panels from "salvaged" cars for like 10% the price of new parts from the dealership. I can't see how the two parts could be so different.




posted on Mar, 6 2019 @ 06:08 PM
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tl;dr I need a code or an old radio and VW wants to charge me Boo Hoo.



posted on Mar, 6 2019 @ 06:11 PM
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a reply to: DigginFoTroof

Codes are available now a days, and you can even now get a new key fob at autostores. Seen those (car key fob) for as little as $20.



posted on Mar, 6 2019 @ 06:53 PM
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posted on Mar, 6 2019 @ 08:56 PM
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Honda will give you radio unlock code if you provide VIN & radio code online for free. Perhaps this is VW's way of dissuading theft? Why would they give you a code for free if you didn't have a matching VIN for the radio? It sort of defeats the purpose of anti-theft.

It looks like you can get the codes from 3rd party for $13 and you just need to enter serial # online: HERE


edit on 362019 by seattlerat because: (no reason given)



posted on Mar, 6 2019 @ 09:39 PM
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Dude, looks like you can hard reset/crack it.
1:05 in



edit on 3 by Mandroid7 because: Added2



posted on Mar, 6 2019 @ 09:41 PM
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a reply to: DigginFoTroof

Here's a video about a free online VW Radio Code Generator. It should help a bunch.
(Mods, I hope I've linked this correctly. 1st post, new Member)



edit on 6-3-2019 by ColonelCorn because: Video wasn't playing...I think I fixed it.



posted on Mar, 7 2019 @ 06:13 AM
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a reply to: DigginFoTroof

You sure complain a lot. Having said that, you claim to be in the tech industry, yet pretty basic googling skills seem to elude you.

I don't know about you.

Look online for all the codes and reverse engineering docs you need.



posted on Mar, 7 2019 @ 10:36 AM
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My son bought a used VW Beetle, it needed some work so I helped him fix it up but when I saw on the owners manual the instruction on how to replace a Headlight bulb..."Take car to dealer" that's when I told him to get rid of that piece of crap!



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