Why This Forum Exists

Rating: 4 votes, 5.00 average.
For fourteen years, Ross-Tech has been helping people use the VAG-COM Diagnostic System to diagnose and repair problems, tweak various settings, and retrofit parts that VW-Audi never envisioned being installed in their particular cars. We've done this over the phone, via e-mail, and in various other forums, but a couple of years ago things got to the point where, despite having three full-time people to answer customers' questions, our phones were literally ringing all the time. So we did two things: We hired a fourth full-time Tech Support Specialist, and we changed our support policies to try to reduce the number of phone calls and to encourage people to e-mail us instead. Well, the number of phone calls has never declined, but the number of requests coming in via e-mail kept increasing. Now they're now coming in faster than we can answer them, so we're now looking for a fifth full-time Tech Support Specialist, but hiring another person alone isn't going to solve the problem, because..

Somehow our customers have gotten the idea that we know everything there is to know about their cars; that we have a fix for every fault code that VCDS can report, that we know (or should know) what every bit of information that VCDS can read from these cars means, that we know (or should know) what every bit of every byte that VCDS can change in their cars does, and that we know (or should know) how to make all sorts of stuff that their cars didn't come with from the factory work in their cars. While we do know a great deal, we absolutely don't know it all! In many cases, we can find answers if we do sufficient research, but that takes time, and there are only so many hours in a day. In the meanwhile, the phones are ringing again and there are new e-mails, some of which are easy to answer, which means the ones that require research may end up sitting around for many days before someone has time to dig into them, even when other people (who don't have access to our e-mail system) might know the answer right off the top of their heads.

Yes, there are people who know more about specific VW-Audi related things that we do. Although three of our four Technical Support Specialists were dealer technicians at one time, none of us fix cars for a living anymore. I myself never did; working on my own cars was always just a hobby; prior to starting Ross-Tech, I made my living doing electronics and software. Moreover, while we have a good-sized fleet of cars around to try things on (some as old as 1999, some as new as 2013), they're not representative of every model that the VW-Audi Group has ever produced, and they certainly don't have every system and every control module variant possible.

Thus it might actually be beneficial (in terms of getting answers more quickly) for customers to post their questions in a semi-public place, where there there's a whole community of knowledgeable users in addition to Ross-Tech's support staff, than it would be to e-mail those questions directly to us. In addition, posting questions and answers in semi-public forum also makes them searchable by others in the future, something that e-mails obviously aren't conducive to. That will hopefully reduce the number of times different people will ask us the same kinds of questions and give us more time to research the difficult ones.

To be honest, we should have done this 10 years ago, but I was reluctant because I felt that a forum of our own might be a pain to administer. Besides, we've had the Yahoo Group since day 1, and there were other forums that had "VAG-COM" sections, some of which we even sponsored. The problem with the Yahoo Group is that it's primarily an e-mail list, and trying to use it as a forum is clumsy at best. It also doesn't allow for any flexibility in compartmentalization or vetting of users. Other forums, particularly those that we sponsored, were a bit better but they still didn't give us the flexibility we needed to do this right as the volume of questions increased, and frankly, it's rather inefficient to try to do support in a dozen or more different forums. Think: "I recall reading a post where someone had this very problem, but I don't recall which forum it was on." So now, with the introduction of the HEX-NET and VCDS-Mobile as a Beta product, we decided it was time to have a forum of our own, and do it as well as possible, in a manner that would allow us to keep it well-organized. Hopefully this will end up creating a really good resource for our community of users.


Updated 03-05-2014 at 11:00 AM by Uwe

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  1. VR6 Bug's Avatar
    I use your software at a VW dealership everyday and I love it. I worked on VW/Audi at an independent shop for years and decided to make the move to a dealer. VAS-PC and ODIS are very slow and frustrating to use. VCDS is very user friendly, easy to use. One other tech in my shop has it but doesn't use it, but I think hes coming around after seeing how fast I can take something out of transport mode and print a log file for dealer records. Time is everything when your flat rate! Keep up the good work!
  2. delboy's Avatar
    Internet forums have been the source of a wealth of knowledge for me in the past few years from learning digital photography, renovating the house & looking after the car and more.

    A well run forum grows with its users input and I am impressed by the response and content provided here and that's why I'll stick around and help where I can.

    I'm sure you guys know your doing a good job but thanks for doing it, it's appreciated
  3. Trade Member's Avatar
    After reading your blog Uwe I wonder how you find the energy to be on the forum helping members, I know all too well at work each day about the phone that is constantly ringing and sometimes this does drive a person nuts! I wonder (not checked it on forum) if a sticky thread just relating to questions and answers you have received via email and phone support should be carried over to the forum and have a search facility for members/public (whoever) to search for guided answers, which just might re leave some stress with answering emails and phone calls, where a phone email response message would point members/public to the forum sticky so that they might click a button or something to say thank you I found my answer I was looking for, I don't know just some foot for thought maybe?
  4. Turningrock's Avatar
    I guess like yourself I like to play with cars but do not do much of the work myself. I purchase several cars a yea on the insurance auctions and have my buds fix them up. I especially love the Audi's and mostly have had the TT models both newer and older. I have a newer Q5 TDI and have had some issues and that is what led me to your product. I am considering buying it and have been told by a few folks that it is very good for recoding and diagnostic troubleshooting.

    I called in on Friday and talked to one of your sales guys and can tell you he was awesome. I am in healthcare consulting and have always been the lead salesperson for years with the highest sales. I love people and could tell your man that I talked too loved his work and was very real. So far I think you guys seem to be really onto something hear and have some cool folks on board. Thanks!

  5. mcgregor32000's Avatar
    anyone have a fix for the Bluetooth in a 2012 A6 it cuts in and out ?
  6. aTOMic's Avatar
    Quote Originally Posted by mcgregor32000
    anyone have a fix for the Bluetooth in a 2012 A6 it cuts in and out ?
    ^^Would it be rude to say "Another Luddite heard from"?^^

    VCDS has saved me (and a few friends) TENS of thousands of dollars and many hours of diagnostic time (I have two A8Ls and a B5 Passat). I could not imagine working on either without it. In fact there things one could never find & fix without this (or a dealer) tool.

    The forum is a stroke of genius as far as I am concerned. Pooling knowledge this way is the greatest example of the internet's use. And the wit/sarcasm/banter style - and acceptance of it all - is the greatest example of human intelligence.

    Thanks to all at Ross-Tech.

  7. leon_buff's Avatar
    Why not develop the direction of the Porsche?
    This is a very problematic brand these days
  8. sam1754's Avatar
    For me, the existence of your service is an essential requirement to buy a volkswagen serenely. MERCI BEAUCOUP!!!