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Audi Cam introduced - real time viewing of service work on your Audi

 Audi Cam introduced - real time viewing of service work on your Audi
Audi Direct Reception system 02.07.2010

Audi goes voyeuristic

To appease their voyeuristic clientèle, Audi is launching the new Direct Reception initiative in the UK.

Designed to get owners more involved in the repair process, the initiative forces dealership employees to wear a two-way radio and an 'Audi Cam'. When owners take their car in for service, they sit in the waiting room and watch a live feed from the Audi Cam. If a problem arises, the customer can talk to the technician / service advisor over the two-way radio.

According to Audi's UK Director Jeremy Hicks, "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."

Hopefully, technicians are being paid more for the inconvenience.

Source: Audi

NEW ‘DIRECT RECEPTION' SYSTEM GIVES INSIGHT INTO THE MECHANICS OF AUDI

Pioneering new interactive audio visual system enables Audi customers to watch and communicate with Audi technicians as they work

  • AudiDirect 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'.

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Comments (9)

Prancing Horse
Having had a i-pod stolen out of my M3 and finding a rolled up joint underneath my seat after service this should be mandatory in all service departments.By the way the dealer took no responsibility because apparently you sign away your rights when you sign the service agreement.
Jul 4, 2010 12:42 am
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o3n1k
it sucks how dealership does not take responsibility of the honesty of the employees. but i guess its hard to deal with when it comes to a lying customer claimin something was stolen. I guess the best way is to take all valuables with us or lock it into the glove compartment. but i understand your situation cos a similar thing happened to me as well.
Jul 4, 2010 5:09 pm
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MadAboutCars
That's how it should be done, especially for expensive cars and their overly mindful, meticulous owners
Jul 3, 2010 2:46 pm
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LifeLongCarGuy
I'm conflicted on this plan. The part of me that dislikes the status-quo of talking to a service writer and never really getting to establish a relationship with the guy (or gal) who actually works on your vehicle, thinks this is great. Also, if a technician has to explain everything they are doing it makes them a better technician over time; ensuring that they are saying the right thing, when if they never had to do that, they wouldn't think twice about their procedures (for the most part). The part of me that puts myself in the shoes of the technician thinks that, no matter where I work I would not like to be watched while I work. I also imagine that second guessing and the time to explain a procedure would only make the service longer and less efficient. It isn't stated in the article, but I also hope (either way) that this is a one way communication from the technician to the customer. At any rate, I think this is a step in the right direction, but I'd much rather leave the service writer out of the equation and establish a relationship with my technician. When you have trust you don't need cameras.
Jul 3, 2010 1:30 pm
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Sanhor
this should be fun... "boss i broke this (expensive) part because i had the customer yelling on my ears to hurry up since he needed the car asap"
Jul 2, 2010 6:57 pm
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August Horch
I wish we could get this in the US. Also, I find it interesting that in the US, service departments are most often accused of ripping people off, not of baffling customers with science.
Jul 2, 2010 5:56 pm
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2010S5
US service is terrible period.
Jul 3, 2010 12:00 am
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6spdaudi
Would you want a camera displaying you working all day?
Jul 5, 2010 1:03 pm
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THEBENCHMARK
This Audi cam is actually a logical step in the right direction. Being that if you own one you will be in the shop a majority of the time, you will need something to do while you wait for your car. As for my vehicles, one has seen the shop one time, and the other none. And that one time I was there was less than 45 minutes which gave me just enough time to grab some lunch and be gone. "Hopefully, technicians are being paid more for the inconvenience." I guarantee the tech is not getting paid extra for this. Working for a German manufacturer myself I know for a fact they wont pay for anything they can get away with. Most of the times it's outright robbery!
Jul 5, 2010 1:56 pm
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