Assessment of businesses I dealt with during the APR Stage III upgrade
The following are the businesses that I dealt with and my assessment
of how well they addressed my concerns. Theses businesses are listed
according to the amount of time I spent dealing with them, starting
with the shortest amount of time going to the longest amount of time.
Stratmosphere - I was pleased with their willingness to discuss
my concerns about what I felt were shortcomings in the equipment I
was using. I was suspicious that they were not as knowledgeable on
the subjects we spoke about as they sounded, and that they were apparently
saying things to me in order to try and sell me the equipment they
AWE Tuning - They responded very quickly to my questions about
the exhaust and downpipes I was using with the Stage III kit. I also
felt that they gave an honest response about the relative merits of
their exhaust system as compared to the system I was using. After
all issues were resolved I had my car dyno'd at AWE and they were
very responsive when I requested a composite dyno graph be made of
my runs, as well as offering some insight into the results from the
Streetwerke - I was disappointed with this businesses lack
of support after I had purchased the APR kit from them. I asked them
on several occasions for them to look at the dyno results I had collected
but they failed to do so, or at least never made any comments to me
about the data I had provided. I also asked to get a copy of the Stage
III software file for my car several times and never did.
Induktion Motorsports - I was very pleased with the service
provided by this business. They performed the installation of the
APR Stage III kit as well as RS4 clutch and AWE Intercoolers. They
also notified me of other parts that had worn to the point that replacement
was recommended. They were prompt at contacting me when delays arose,
and were always available to provide me with updates on their progress.
They also ensured the car was running properly before returning it
Audi Performance and Racing (APR) - I spent the bulk of my
time dealing with this business. I was pleased with the end results,
but disappointed with the way I was dealt with while working to get
the results. Over the course of the five months I was corresponding
with this company I had over 30 unreturned phone calls, a dozen unreturned
email messages, and numerous instances where someone at APR said they
would do something, and then they failed to do so. I routinely would
call to find out what was being done, only to be told by the person
I was speaking with that they did not know, but would find out, and
then I never would hear back from them.
I was told the work to be done on my car was top priority, that they
were clearing their schedule for it, and that two weeks should be
sufficient time to do what was necessary. After delivering my car
to them it wasn't until 13 workdays had passed that work began in
earnest. This required me to reschedule all of my transportation plans.
I offered them an additional three weeks with the car, which I was
assured was adequate. This assurance was reiterated over the next
weeks, until four days before I was to fly out and retrieve my car.
On a Monday morning I called to check progress and was informed everything
was on track to return my car to me that Friday. Four hours later
I received a second call asking if it was possible for them to keep
my car another week because there was still work to be done. Both
changes resulted in added costs that APR agreed to refund, though
that reimbursement process was another debacle.
On a positive note, the customer service people I spoke with at APR
were knowledgeable and sincere in their desire to help. I must have
spoken to their receptionist at least 100 times, and she was always
pleasant when dealing with me. Chris George was instrumental in getting
things rolling on APR's end. He was open to the idea of testing M
code on my H coded car, getting me the software I needed to test properly,
and was the biggest supporter for updating their Stage 3 software.
Ben Kaminsky was great about communicating to me the status of the
tuning process once he had the car to work on. He also spent a long
time showing me the tuning results, detailing how he went about tuning
the software, providing a tour of their entire facility, answering
all of my questions, and making sure my car was running well before
I took it home.