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 offered.
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 dyno session.
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 to me.
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.