I was really excited when my brand new Audi A3 was delivered almost two years ago.
The first sign that things were a bit awry was when delivery man said to me: “Ooh, the kerb’s a bit high, you’ll have to be careful when you park here in case you damage the alloy wheels.”
“Hmm”, I thought, “Bet he’d never say that to a male driver. He obviously thinks a woman should not be allowed to drive an Audi. He doesn’t know I was the proud owner of an adorable little MGF convertible before I had to get a ‘sensible’ car. Or how many years of safe parking I’ve managed to achieve, without any damage to my alloys, thank you very much. I’m clearly dealing with a man with intelligence lower than pond-life. Must remember to only use simple words when talking to him.”
Moments later, I was sitting in the driver’s seat, pushing all the buttons and fiddling with all the knobs, as he sat in the passenger seat, explaining to me where everything was and how everything worked. (Including the totally unnecessary pop-up cup-holder in the dashboard. As if I’d ever let anybody take a drink into my new car!).
I flipped down the sun visor on the driver’s side, and expressed surprise that it had a mirror (with a dinky light that came on when you slid open the cover). Why would there need to be a mirror on the driver’s side?
“Oh yes,” he said, “It’s a continental car so they put mirrors on both sun visors to suit left and right hand drive.”
“Hmm,” I thought. “They manage to switch everything around for left and right hand drive but they can’t afford two different types of sun visor? I don’t think so.”
He went on: “Oh, but you can’t use it to put on your make-up at 70 miles per hour in the fast lane!”
He wasn’t joking.
I wasn’t wearing any make-up. Why in the world would he think that I might ever look in the mirror when I was driving? Idiot.
Things got worse.
He was showing me the spare wheel and tools in the boot when he said: “Oh, but you won’t need to know about those will you, because you’ll just call out the AA or RAC.”
He meant it. Poor, ignorant sod.
I spluttered: “I do know how to change a tyre, you know!”
Trying to redeem himself, he responded: “Ah, perhaps a smaller woman might need help to change a tyre!!!”
By this point, I wanted him to lie down in the road so I could test my forward and reverse gears over him.
It took all the joy out of the delivery of my new car. If he’d been the salesman, I never would have bought it. How dare he be so insulting to someone that had just spent so many thousands of pounds?
It’s two years on. But whenever anyone asks how I like my A3, I still tell them about this appalling customer service experience.
P.S. A copy of this post is going to the big boss at Audi.