Allow me to educate you a little bit... VCDS versions are tied to years. So "VAG 12.12"... whatever TF that is... would be software we did in 2012. To that end, how would we know what would be needed 3 years down the road?
Our current version of VCDS is 20.4.2, and as the name suggest, this is software that was released in the dumpster fire year of 2020. Now our policy is "registered customers get free software updates for 1 year from date of purchase". Having said that, our current version of VCDS support hardware we sold back in 2003 and we have an unwritten policy of allowing our customers to update the software at no cost. So we have customers from 17 years ago getting free updates all these years. Our beloved customers can find the current version of VCDS here:
Our current generation of HEX series interfaces, HEX-V2 and HEX-NET, work with 1995 to current year model VW/Audi vehicles. With entry level price of $199 and top end price of $1299. For a large chunk of our enthusiast customer base, the $199 option is all they need. The best sales pitch I can offer up is to ask our customers.... is purchasing a kit from Ross-Tech worth the investment?
I have zero affiliation with Ross-Tech, and have paid full retail for the two cables I've purchased from them over the years. If you're planning on keeping a VW in your stable for any length of time, buy the real-deal VCDS cable.
Just do it. One diagnostic trip to the dealer is gonna be at least $120; if they do anything beyond maybe clear a code (and maybe not even that), double that. Boom - you just paid for it. I was a little apprehensive when I ponied up for "unlimited" HexNet version a few years ago (will I really ever use it on more than 3 or 10 cars, which is what I think the options were?)....but so very glad I did now, having helped out at least 25 people with their VW since that time (and buying another five - sold some in-between - myself).