Need to get a critical tune-up, but don't trust the factory techs not to Ferris Bueller
your ride? If you live in the UK and drive an Audi
, you'll have technology on your side. Following a successful pilot program, the German manufacturer's outfitting each Audi Centre in Britain with helmet cameras
and two-way radios to let customers monitor the entire job. While this sounds fantastic from a consumer standpoint, you'll see mechanics and IT professionals in the audience sadly shaking their heads -- if you've ever had to explain a technical product to an Average Joe who thinks they know better than yourself, you'll understand there are certain disadvantages to this idea. PR after the break.
New 'Direct Reception' System Gives Insight into the Mechanics of Audi
Jul 1, 2010
Pioneering new interactive audio visual system enables Audi customers to watch and communicate with Audi technicians as they work.
- Audi Direct Reception system allowing customers to be more closely involved in work undertaken on their cars is currently being rolled out across Audi Centre network
- Technician wears 'Audi Cam' which links to monitor in service reception, and communicates via two-way audio link
- Aim is to maximise 'transparency' and instil even greater confidence by providing conclusive proof of problems in 'real time'
- Fixed price servicing option now in place for A1 models
- Fixed price for five key maintenance jobs for A3, A4, A6 and TT models in excess of 36 months old and up to 2.0-litres in capacity
Candid cameras will soon be focused on all Audi Centre service areas as part of a new Direct Reception initiative being rolled out across the network that will enable Audi customers to view in 'real time', and communicate with, technicians as they carry out diagnosis and repair work.
From the comfort of the Audi Centre reception area customers will have direct audio visual access to their cars as they are worked on by technicians equipped with 'Audi Cams' and two-way audio links. They will be free to talk to the technicians directly, and service advisors will be on hand to answer any questions that arise. The aim is to provide full exposure to the investigative and corrective work undertaken, maximising 'transparency' and instilling even greater confidence not only in the legitimacy of each diagnosis but also the quality of workmanship demonstrated by Audi trained technicians.
Customer feedback from Direct Reception pilot schemes has been overwhelmingly positive, with all participants polled so far confirming that they would recommend the service to others.
Commenting on the new initiative, Director of Audi UK Jeremy Hicks said: "Service departments throughout the industry are often accused of baffling customers with science - by offering ours full exposure to the work undertaken on their cars, and the ability to talk through that work with the technician involved, our aim is to demystify the process as fully as possible. We want to ensure that everyone who entrusts their Audi to us for servicing and repairs knows exactly where they stand and exactly what to expect."
As well as offering a straightforward, substantiated prognosis on the condition of every car, Audi Centres can also provide the added reassurance of fixed price maintenance to owners of A3, A4, A6 and TT models that are over 36 months old and powered by engines of up to (and including) 2.0-litres in capacity. Seven of the tasks carried out most frequently to these cars are covered by a fixed, all-inclusive and highly competitive price that applies nationally.
The tasks include major and minor services (£249 and £99 respectively), clutch replacement (front-wheel-drive £599, quattro £799), front and rear brake pad replacement (£99 front, £99 rear), front and rear pad and disc replacement (£229), front wiper blade replacement (£39), brake fluid change (£49) and cambelt replacement (£349).
Fixed price service plan for A1 customers
Buyers of the new Audi A1 premium compact hatchback can also specify an optional fixed price service plan which, for a one-off payment of just £250 (when the car is programmed to adhere to the long life service regime), will leave them safe in the knowledge that their servicing needs are covered financially for the first five years or 50,000 miles (whichever comes first).
All scheduled servicing, including brake fluid changes, is taken care of over this period, and any labour and parts (excluding items subject to wear and tear) involved are covered by a two-year Audi warranty.
Online service booking
Servicing for all Audi models can now be booked online by visiting www.audi.co.uk and clicking on 'owners area'.