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Major Issues Purchasing Used Golf from Joe Duffy [HELP]

  • 09-09-2021 8:28pm
    Registered Users Posts: 76 ✭✭

    Hi folks,

    I am sharing my horror story here, it is not over yet, and I am looking for advice.

    3 weeks ago, I had our 141 Golf towed to Joe Duffy VW Airside; I was promised a diagnosis the same day, but we had to wait for after the w-e and chase the workshop to receive news the next Monday.

    The car needed a 900 EUR airbag & safety belt module; we decided to take the opportunity and buy a new car; I went to the dealer and agreed on a 192 e-Golf.

    I also purchased an extra warranty, body protection and a 1.400 EUR tow bar (I have a trailer); a 500 EUR deposit was paid and promised that the car was going to be delivered with all scratches removed, my dashcam installed and fully valeted; furthermore, I would have received a replacement car if needed.

    Issues started the day after: the dealer said he could not provide a replacement car (saying that he never promised one). On top of that, the aftermarket department showed no interest in my request to purchase accessories.

    The car is paid in full in cash the day after to ensure prompt delivery.

    The morning of the delivery, the dealer rang me to tell me that there were delays and I would be assigned a replacement car; I told him about the poor aftermarket service, and he said that everything was going to be taken care of.

    A few days later, the car was ready. When I went to pick it up, I found my dashcam missing, the infotainment system not working, scratches and bird droppings on the bodywork, OBD errors, and the interior still filthy.

    I refused the delivery, drove home, and emailed the dealer sharing the whole story; I copied the director of Joe Duffy responsible for customer satisfaction surveys, too.

    The same day I received a call and SMS from someone higher up in Joe Duffy, deeply apologising, offering to take care of the car properly, and paying for some of the aftermarket parts and the first maintenance service.

    A week went by, yesterday (Sept. 8th), the car was supposed to be ready, but when I went to pick it up, I noticed:

    -missing electric plug in the tow hitch

    -dashcam detaching from the windshield due to poor installation

    -infotainment system not working

    -expired tax disc hidden in the glove box (my old car had a new one)

    The same manager was there; he acknowledged my frustration, deeply apologised, and said that everything was going to be perfect next time.

    Once home, I list the issues in another email, asking for another goodwill gesture to compensate for the issues.

    I received the reply a few hours ago stating that:

    1) The issues were addressed, the car was ready, and Joe Duffy did enough in terms of goodwill

    2) Upon further check, the car cannot legally mount a tow hitch, so the installed one will be removed.

    I opened an official complaint with the VW whistleblower website ( and wrote back to the manager that the deal was off and either they were going to provide another hybrid car with a good discount & tow hitch or refund me all the money.

    This story has been an absolute pain and turned the joy of getting a new car into a nightmare.

    What else can I do? Should I contact my solicitor? Should I share this with the entire management of Jod Duffy (


  • Registered Users Posts: 3,930 ✭✭✭spaceHopper

    Just get your money back, without the tow hitch the car is no good to you.

  • Registered Users Posts: 32 Bensimp

    As Spacehopper said, the car is no good to you without a tow hitch.

    Check VW website and enter your reg and see if a tow bar option is available for your car. I tried my own VW reg, I have an older petrol golf ,and a tow bar is available.

    I entered a reg of an e-golf I got of carzone of a 192 and only a bike rack was available.

  • Registered Users Posts: 76 ✭✭theluke79

    Thank you!

    That e-Golf is forgotten now, I am more focused on the options I have to get out of this nightmare without losing too much money.

    1) negotiate hard with Joe Duffy for the purchase of another used car, threatening them, to escalate the problem further and share my story with the social media

    2) just get my money back and ask them to tow my old car to another dealer and their expense.

    3) ask a solicitor to step in

  • Registered Users Posts: 3,930 ✭✭✭spaceHopper

    you are going to lose money on this accept that, get your car towed and repaired elsewhere at your cost, get your money back and leave the solicitor out of it unless they refuse to refund you. A stinker of a review on Google would be as far as I would take it.

  • Registered Users Posts: 10,169 ✭✭✭✭Jim_Hodge

    You're way overdoing this. Get your car back from them and a refund.

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  • Registered Users Posts: 76 ✭✭theluke79

    I got it folks, thank you.

    It's been a very bitter experience, but it is better to walk out of it.

    They accepted to refund the money if it comes to that, but before getting to that point, they are offering a deal on another used car, that is compatible with the towbar.

    I will keep you posted.

    For sure I will leave a stinker of a review on Google, as well as making some noise with the VW customer service in Germany.

  • Registered Users Posts: 3,817 ✭✭✭Darc19

    do you REALLY think they will care?

    Frankly I think you have been over the top and they could not give a sh1t about what you think.

    VW will not do anything and give you a pre-written "Thanks and PFO" reply. Joe Duffy group are HUGE customers of the VW group. You really are the tiniest little minnow in their business and whilst they'll placate you to a certain extent, you very quickly become an annoyance and you will not get anywhere.

    As for a "bad review" - if its written the way you have posted it will be seen exactly for what it is.

  • Registered Users Posts: 18,775 ✭✭✭✭Del2005

    Your 1st mistake was paying in cash in full before you got the car, as far as Joe Duffy are concerned your deal is done and any issues can be long fingered as they already have the money.

    Don't make the same mistake again. You've seen how badly they've treated you so far, 2 f'd up orders on 2nd hand cars!!!, and you want to give them a 3rd try. Get your money back and pay a deposit on a car with another dealer, don't hand over the rest till the car matches your requirements.

  • Registered Users Posts: 76 ✭✭theluke79

    Quick update fellas, the dealer offered a good price on a used Golf GTE plug-in hybrid.

    We are discussing the offer, all in all, I did not want to stay without a car and I put so much work into this, that getting a new car was the way to loose less money on this whole deal.

    I will let you know how the story ends.

    The practices of the dealer are shady at best (no written contracts unless you ask them), so I am keeping my guard even higher on this one.

  • Registered Users Posts: 76 ✭✭theluke79

    The story is not over yet, the other case I was going to purchase is having issues with VRT, it is a UK import (direct from VW) but they are encountering delays in the registration, so we don't know when it will be available🤣

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  • Registered Users Posts: 10,169 ✭✭✭✭Jim_Hodge

    I honestly don't know why you stayed with them instead of taking your car and money and going somewhere else.

  • Registered Users Posts: 76 ✭✭theluke79

    I understand Jim_Hodge, when the story is over I will explain a tad more

  • Registered Users Posts: 2,338 ✭✭✭seagull

    I hope they are at least providing you a courtesy car while all this delay is going on.

  • Registered Users Posts: 10,169 ✭✭✭✭Jim_Hodge

    No offence but it's pointless discussing a consumer issue if all the facts aren't clear.

  • Registered Users Posts: 3,930 ✭✭✭spaceHopper

    I think you are cracked, this is not going to end well

  • Registered Users Posts: 221 ✭✭Comment_below

    Christ ! Who'd want to have customers!

  • Registered Users Posts: 10,169 ✭✭✭✭Jim_Hodge

  • Registered Users Posts: 221 ✭✭Comment_below

    I just think some customers think businesses however big or small must get on their knees and lick the customers shoes and beg for forgiveness if a customer is unhappy about the what direction the wind is blowing!

  • Registered Users Posts: 10,169 ✭✭✭✭Jim_Hodge

    I don't get the link to the OP's case but lets not drag this away from the topic.

  • Registered Users Posts: 80,496 ✭✭✭✭Atlantic Dawn

    I think it's more about a general expectation of a level of standard to expect from a main dealer as opposed to someone selling from the back of the local Tesco carpark.

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  • Registered Users Posts: 10,169 ✭✭✭✭Jim_Hodge

    So you think how this main dealer behaved is acceptable? If you do, I hope you're not in business.

  • Registered Users Posts: 10,884 ✭✭✭✭Spook_ie

    I didn't think any hybrid cars were suitable as tow vehicles?

  • Registered Users Posts: 3,817 ✭✭✭Darc19

    The OP has gone way OTT on their initial complaining and I would have handed the money back and told the op to go elsewhere. Yes the op had some fairly small issues, but instead of calmly negotiating, they went with two feet in escalating it to directors, threatening to write poor reviews and writing a compliant to VW head office.

    You'd swear the OP was buying a fleet of 1000 cars

    I am in business and I would get rid of the op and refuse to deal with him/her to protect my staff from a barrage of BS. The customer is NOT always right and in many cases it is far better to refuse further dealings with a customer than to suffer their exaggerated level of entitlement which is what this seems to be.

  • Registered Users Posts: 10,169 ✭✭✭✭Jim_Hodge

    That's better. I couldn't make sense of your initial comment.

  • Registered Users Posts: 2,171 ✭✭✭ForestFire

    A fleet of 1000 cars... seriously would not like to be dealing with you either with that kind of attitude...

    We are talking about an individual car purchase, which is the second most expensive outlay for any normal individual, with only a house purchase topping it.

    It's also a very personal thing buying a car and the joy of receiving something special for a lot of people.

    Exactly how many customers in Ireland are buy 1000 of cars anyway!

  • Registered Users Posts: 76 ✭✭theluke79

    Hey folks,

    Amazing to read all the comments and how far the discussion went, my bad for not checking this thread earlier:

    1) I was buying just one used car for the family, not 1000 .

    2) I do not agree with who commented this below. The dealer behaved very poorly, those were major issues.

    3) I did not go elsewhere since I would have had to repair my old car anyway, the repair involves the Airbag and could only be done by an authorised dealer, Frank Keane was not available for 3 weeks. Also I liked the alternative car, and I spent already a ton of time doing research, so I stayed and decided to share my story.

    4) To make the story even worse, once I took delivery of the car, I drove it for 3 days and I received a warning: the engine oil was overfilled... So I had to bring the car back again, I showed clearly my disappointment I they did another small goodwill gesture.

    5) Yes I was given a replacement car.

    6) Finally: the "calmly negotiating" approach is always the first approach, I have been very kind throughout the process. The escalation happened when I realized that being nice was leading nowhere at all, since the very young dealer I was working with was scared of his own shadow and did not have any authority whatsoever in that dealership. SInce the matter was handed to the business manager, things moved at least a tad better...

  • Registered Users Posts: 3,817 ✭✭✭Darc19

    You say you were kind in your approach - I suggest you read your first post again where you said you moaned to VW, went to director level and threatened to go on social media.

    If that's a clam approach I really really don't ever want you as a customer of mine - I would never want my staff exposed to such a diatribe especially if you call that a "calm" approach.

  • Registered Users Posts: 3,666 ✭✭✭mondeo

    Main dealers are so much easier to deal with then lads with a yard full of cars with 3 month warranty's. Lucky you did not deal with one of those types as I did before. I know a few people who bought from Joe Duffy and they are pretty reasonable to deal with. With such a vast number of customers I would say that their satisfaction rating is high. I've walked around their showrooms before and their second hand cars usually all look mint.