In 2009, I traded in my very ailing old car under the scrappage scheme the UK Government was running at the time and bought a brand new VW Golf. They wanted as many old cars off the road as possible due to the emissions they create. It was a great deal because I effectively got £2000 for my 13 year old car (it was not good car, a Rover 100 which rusted through!) It was no longer running by the time my new car was delivered, it died about a week before my new car arrived. At that point, I was told that a diesel car would be far better for the environment, have great fuel efficiency and so that was what I chose.
Here we are just a few short years down the line and the reality is that the opposite is true. VW tried to cover up the true emissions of their vehicles in order to sell more in the American market. But all their vehicles were affected, all over the world. Mine was one of the affected. I’ve been waiting for the past 2 years for a ‘fix’ to the software in my car, not that this will change anything for me in reality! I dutifully booked my car in to have the update and upon collecting it, I was handed this VW branded box. I naively took it, thinking it might be important and then I realised I’d been the unwitting victim of what I am going to term ‘Corporate Consumerist Crap’!
My husband and I have since had a good laugh about this VW branded shoe box. Inside it contained a very nice VW keyring, a quality pen and a VW branded umbrella. Actually in the grand scheme of things, these are all things I can actually see myself using (and because I’ll have to). Then there was what looked like a small packet of cigarettes! No, it’s actually a VW branded packet of mints, wrapped in cellophane and then 2 different business cards for the service department. Ugh.
What irks me is that VW thinks this is enough of an apology. What irks me more is that I took the box, unthinkingly – believing it to be something of essential importance to my car!!! However since I have no plans to change this car until it dies, in hopefully around 15-20 years time, this is the situation I’m stuck with. Furthermore, I doubt there will be much of a re-sale market for these diesel machines since everyone knows the truth about them now! So I really am going to have to stick with this one until it’s no longer viable.
The moral of this tale is to ask what’s in it when someone hands you a box or a bag. I hope this story can prepare anyone else who might be affected by the emissions scandal. Perhaps you can be better prepared than I was and prepare a witty line for VW about compensation!
Have there been occasions when you’ve been handed ‘Corporate Consumerist Crap’? How did you deal with it?