I’d have to disagree with mleich here (and your quickie change place) on the coolant thing. There’s really no reason to replace the VW coolant at 20, 40 or even 50K if there are no leaks, and the color hasn’t changed (other makes may be different). It should be a nice pink. If you want to be prudent, and change it anyway, I’d do it somewhere at the 100K mark, but even then, if it’s still looking OK, it should be just fine. Just make sure the level is OK, but if you have to add it, then there’s a leak somewhere, which will require maintenance, and then you’ll be putting some new fluid in it at least, anyway. I think I’ve added about 1 cup to my '01 VW, and it’s still on the original fluid after over 120K miles. I live in South Texas, so it puts up with a lot of heat, too.
As for oil, he’s right. Many do require synthetic (according to the book). Can they run just fine on dino oil? Most can, sure. If your motor has a turbo, then synthetic is really the only way to go due to the heat produced in the turbo itself, which will boil when you shut the motor down, eventually blocking the oil-ways.
There has been debate after debate on here about the whole synthetic versus dino oil thing, and wildly differing opinions, none of which are wrong.
They can only do what you authorize. If you tell them just to change the oil, with what you want, and they don’t do it, then you can call them out. Their recommendations are just that…recommendations.
Now, having said all that, I wouldn’t use one of those places unless I absolutely had to. I’d rather pay a dealer, but preferably, I’d go with my trusted local mechanic for all those repairs. I do all mine myself, but if I couldn’t due to health, being on a trip, or whatever, I’d do what I just outlined. If I was forced to, I’d watch them closely, too.