14 Mar 2012 - China's quality watchdog, The General Administration of Quality Supervision, Inspection and Quarantine (AQSIQ) is contacted Volkswagen (China) after receiving complaints about defects in their renowed, many awards winning DSG (Direct Shift Gearbox).

The watchdog, published in a statement on its website stating they have received complaints of unusual noises, vibrations and transmission problems in the Volkswagen vehicles equiped with the DSG gearbox.

In a replied to the watchdog, dated 1st March 2012, Volkswagen had submitted their technology specifications and said it plans to solve the hitches through upgrades. Volkswagen also said they will not recall vehicles as the reported problems does not compromised on the vehicles' safety.

Experts from the watchdog is not fully satisfied with the replied and have ordered Volkswagen to conduct further investigations and to take effective measures in resolving the issues. The watchdog further said they will continue their probe with consultation with some professional institutes and would press Volkswagen to a recall as stipulated in China's regulation if found their designed to have flaws.

Volkswagen has seen steady growth in the Chinese market. Passenger cars sold under the brand totaled 818,800 in China (including Hong Kong) in the first two months, up 8 percent year-on-year.

12 April 2012 - China's quality watchdog has called upon owners of Volkswagen cars with defective DSG to submit information about the problem they faced. Users can send emails to dsg@dpac.gov.cn or submit their problems with DSG at www.dpac.gov.cn

It was also reported that Volkswagen refused to make a recall in China whereas, it has made recalled outside China where their gearbox is reported as having similars related issues. On 29 March 2012, the watchdog has contacted the German maker urging it to provide effective solutions.

16 March 2013 - The General Administration of Quality Supervision, Inspection and Quarantine (AQSIQ) urged the German car maker to voluntarily recall vehicles sold in China with DSG problems.

They reiterated their research has basically confirmed that Volkswagen's Direct Shift Gearbox (DSG) has defects which may cause engine power failures. Spokesman from the watchdog said if Volkswagen refused to fulfill its legal obligations, the AQSIQ will force it to recall the defective cars.

China Central Television (CCTV) has in their consumer quality program aired the issues of Volkswagen's problematic DSG, citing malfunctions of DSG is some models could cause pose great safety hazards.

20 March 2013, 13:41 - Volkswagen has agreed to recall 384, 181 vehicles with defective gearboxes in China, said the country's watchdog, AQSIQ. It announced on its website, Volkswagen has filed its recall plan after repeated highlights by media and pressing from consumers.

Spokesman from AQSIQ said, they had probed the case since March 2012 and made thorough research to ascertain the malfunctions in DSG. Earlier on, Volkswage has refused to a recall but instead extended its DSG guarantee period in China to 10 years.

Industry analysts estimated the recall may cost the auto giant some 3 billion yuan (USD478.35 millions) in fixing the problems.

Products involved include imported vehicles from Germany and cars produced by two joint-owned enterprises in China.

In breakdown, the following vehicles are included on the list:

Imported vehicles produced between December 2008 and September 2011, totalling 7,139 units:
Scirocco 1.4TSI, Golf Variant and Cross Golf.

Another recall lists totalling 245,999 units made up of:
New Bora 1.4T
Golf A6 1.4T
Golf A6 1.6T
Sagitar 1.4T
Magotan 1.4T
CC 1.8T
New Sagitar 1.4T
New Magotan 1.4T
New Magotan 1.8T produced by Faw-Volkswagen between the period
May 2009 and January 2012
December 2012 and February 2013
Imported Audi A3 1.8T produced between February 2010 and June 201, totalling 245, 999 units.

The last recall lists published totalling another 131,043 units are:
Five-seat Touran 1.4T
Seven-seater Touran 1.4T
Octavia 1.8T
Octavia 1.4T
Lavida 1.4T
Superb 1.4T
New Passat 1.4T and New Passat 1.8T produced by Shanghai Volkswagen between October, 2009 and May 2012 and between December, 2012 and March, 2013.

News source: Edited and compilation from http://english.cctv.cn

Everyone loves a good genuine discount especially when the goods is a branded product. Ever since the success of Groupon in the US, the trend is spreading to Malaysia like wild fire. Competitors are quick to follow suit and in a short period of time, you can easily find a few competiting online portal that offer discounts on products and services.

Getting a bargain is great and it feels wonderful. But be careful though, as more and more buyers are voicing their complaint on Dealmate Malaysia.

Back in September 2012, Dealmate made an announcement on their Facebook fan page saying their business is overwhelming and some customers have difficulty contacting them and they are upgrading their facilities to cope with the business grow.

Then in Oct 2012, they made another announcement on their Facebook fan page saying they are moving to a new office on 15 Oct 2012. They promised a faster and more efficient services to their customers at their new premises.

A quick drop by their Facebook fan page, I can easily find numerous complaints and the administrator that manage the face page seems to be giving a standard repetitive replies to all the people.

Products purchased since Nov 2012 but buyer have not received anything yet. Buyer were asked to contact their hotline.

It seems like the standard routine replied from the fan page administrator is "Hi yourname, we are sorry to hear about your experience, if you need further assistance, kindly call our hotline 03-2282 8100 or email to someone@dealmates.com. Our Customer Service representative will be happy to assist you. Thank you".

What can you do if:

1.  You have already made a payment and found out about this?

If you are using a credit card to make payment, perhaps you want to call your credit card issuing bank to file in a dispute. You can't ask the bank to stop or cancel a payment if you authorised it, in the first place.

Yes, even when payment was made, you can still file in a dispute when you did not received the goods. If you dispute it, you have a 50% chance of getting your money back but if you don't, the chance is always a 100% no refund.

2. If you have already make the purchase some months back, perhaps you can lodge a complaint with the Consumer tribunal to get your money back.

Let's hope the hickup is only temporary and would be resolve soon. Until then, those of you thinking of any purchase from the same portal, but have not made any payment yet, should think again whether you want to proceed.

3. Update at 19 Mar 2013, thing at Dealmates isn't getting any better. In this case what else can victims do?

You can also make report via this link:

     National consumer complaints center (Pusat Khidmat aduan pengguna nasional)

Force local authorities to step in.  You might not get your money or goods back after making a police report but the least you can do is to make the complain reports count.

Do the society a favour.

The next time, when you are on Facebook, don't easily click like on any products or click like on news from your friend's news feed.  Eventhough those news feed may seem to have a liked from your friend.  This likes can be easily manipulate by companies thus tricking other into trusting them.

I believe social media is here to stay. And seems like it, social media is a good media for unethical company or con man to take advantage at the moment. Be a learnt and ethical netizen, value your like on social media.

Last but not least, spread the word on your facebook profile, don't let more unsuspecting people fall victim.