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Old 25th March 2012, 17:52   #1
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Default Incredibly shoddy work & damage by MASS (Chowgule Industries)

Horror story with Chowgule Industries Pvt. Ltd., probably the biggest Maruti Suzuki Dealer Workshop in Pune:

Esteem was in need of significant body shop work.

29 Feburary, 2012 – Handed over the car to their driver who had come home for picking up the car. Tipped him in the hope that he will take the car to their Body Shop safely.

Please note that Chowgule have a seperate set up for their Workshop and their Body Shop is in a compound some 100 meters away. The Workshop is relatively better looking overall, while the Body Shop is a huge mess as mentioned below.

Their Service Advisor called in after couple of days with the estimate. I asked for break up, and the break up included cost of a new front bumper. He told me its damaged beyond repair. There was absolutely no damage to the bumper when the car was handed over. I had to go all the way to take a look. Indeed the front bumper had a big crack on the right side. Number plate was damaged too.

Without going into details what followed was complete denial that it happened at their place, accusations and counter accusations, etc. But after all that haggling, showing them the Job Sheet (where existing damages are supposed to be marked/mentioned by their driver) they finally owned up. I was told that the driver admitted that he had an accident on the way (later I was told it happened within their premises). So its anybody's guess on what the truth is. They agreed to replace the upper (cracked) part of the front bumper. . . Lower part will be painted where damaged. Number plate will have to be replaced.

After an interminable delay, the smaller part of it attributed to sourcing parts from MUL, the work started. Despite the long delays, I had emphasized that I expect the kind of work that is expected from an expensive Authorized Workshop. Even then, I had to pay 2 – 3 visits and had to point out several things that were not done properly. Ordinary things like panels not fitted properly, rear view glass not fitted properly, etc., etc. Clearly, shabby work in progress here…

Now the incredible really starts – on one of the above visits, I noticed that they had damaged the front most panel on the right side. Damage was around the top of the front wheel. Again, after the same cycle of complete denials, much wastage of time, allegations, phone calls, etc., they agreed to mend the damage.

By now, utterly bewildered at the 2nd instance of damage, I repeatedly emphasized, even to their Body Shop Manager, that there is something seriously wrong with the way they function or they way they handle things. I also made it clear that I will check every single panel for damage before taking delivery.

On 23rd March, 2012, after repeated reminders and requests to finish the work and deliver the car as it has been with them for almost 1 month, I was again told that they wont be able to deliver it on that day as their drivers were not available. Exasperated, I had to leave work and went all the way to pick it up myself. Unfortunately, after spending considerable time in billing, etc., the it had become dark and the parking area was dimly lit. Despite that, what I saw horrified me further – the headlights had some rough sticky substance smeared all over. Several panels, including two that were just painted by them had what I might call small pitting and scrape marks. Indicator lense had big body paint spots all over it. I pointed it all out to their Workshop Service Advisor, and couple other people who rubbished everything. According to them the marks were exterior marks that would vanish after a wipe/wash. But their theories were amusing to say the least. Some which are really a laugh riot :

1) Car is old, so its bound to happen.
2) Its caused by washing and will vanish soon. They can’t use “mineral water” so its bound to happen (Its obvious that he ment distilled water. They don’t even know the difference between mineral and distilled water?)
3) All cars develop such marks and they can show me. I said show and they went silent on this point and shifted to the next.
4) Its caused due to some substance sprayed while painting and it will vanish in 2-3 days on its own.

Its more than clear that they seem to have sprayed something… maybe like clear coat, by mistake on the lens and the same seems to have reacted with the plastic making it patchy and opaque. Utterly exasperated with their nonsense, and since it was getting really late and I had come all the way in rickshaw with no way to go back, I just took delivery and decided to take care of it later.

On the way, I discovered that the substance was on the windscreen too. Visibility became a serious problem due to both the windscreen and headlight. On running a hand over the screen one can easily feel significant roughness over the glass. Wipers would make weird noise over the glass and the windscreen fluid no longer gets wiped away by the wiper. In short, the screen has become a mess. It seems the substance is on the bonnet too, as you can feel the same graininess if you run your hand over it too.

Next morning, daylight revealed the mess in all its glory – several panels including 2 which were newly painted had several marks which I can describe as “pitting”. Called up the Body Shop advisor and he said it would be rubbing compound. I said I don’t think so as it feels like they are indentations and not protrusions. Drove there all the way the next day itself, where he confirmed that it was not rubbing compound but the paint was either damaged/defective.

Now their solution really made my eyeballs pop – they simply put touch-up paint all ver the marks and rubbed polish paper over the windscreen windows, and headlamps and indicators. I quickly regained my composure and pointed out that doing that may scratch the surface, esp. since all lights have plastic lenses and they will likely become dull and scratched. They did not pay heed and assured me that they know what they are doing and everything will be all right when they finish.

They delivered the car in a dirty condition (milky, dirty water caused by their polish paper) right after their crude work. Needless to say, no problem was solved. Only made worse.

Has anybody ever heard a big authorized service center doing this kind of work?

Patchwork painting?

Polish paper over plastic and glass surface?


Observing and probing revealed many other things about this Body Shop. Their floor area is open ground with no tiling. Even otherwise the area they operate in is exceedingly dusty. Even the floor where they work and where parts are opened up does not even have a tiled surface. Doors of paint boots are open even when painting and drying is going on inside. The front office of the Body Shop is as low down as it can get. Cars are parked in their premises with hardly 1 inch gaps between them. Is it possible for anybody to park cars like this without damaging them?

Several other observations, and some shocking insider info, all of which I cannot mention here for obvious reasons.

Question is, how as Maruti Suzuki given them Authorization? That itself seems to be a mystery. Interestingly, I hear they have recently been demoted to a C grade workshop by Maruti.

Needless to say I’m in no mood to take this atrocious work lying down. Will try and post a few pictures, later.

Suggestions/comments/advice on how to proceed against both the Chowgule and Maruti Suzuki will be appreciated.

Last edited by Raccoon : 25th March 2012 at 17:55.
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Old 25th March 2012, 19:45   #2
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Default re: Must read: Incredibly shoddy work & damage by MASS (Chowgule Industries)

Quote:
Originally Posted by Raccoon View Post
Several other observations, and some shocking insider info, all of which I cannot mention here for obvious reasons.

Needless to say I’m in no mood to take this atrocious work lying down. Will try and post a few pictures, later.
Hope you have taken pictures of each and every part in case you need to file a case. Also try to post them along with the insider information. At least it will be beneficial to those who are planning to send their vehicles to Chowgule. I think you should write to Maruti and ask them for compensation.

Last edited by dot : 25th March 2012 at 19:46.
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Old 25th March 2012, 21:13   #3
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Default re: Must read: Incredibly shoddy work & damage by MASS (Chowgule Industries)

Quote:
Originally Posted by dot View Post
Hope you have taken pictures of each and every part in case you need to file a case. Also try to post them along with the insider information. At least it will be beneficial to those who are planning to send their vehicles to Chowgule. I think you should write to Maruti and ask them for compensation.
Yes, I hae every intention of taking this up with MUL. Its amazing how MUL has even authorized such a set up. Would anyone like to consider buying a Maruti if this is the kind of service they receive? Even a small local garage who will charge many times less will do a better job and won't cause damage at least.

However, there is just one customer care email on MUL's site. I wonder if it will go to the right person.

Problem with pics is that the stuff will most likely not be properly visible unless I have a good quality digicam. Which I don't have at the moment. Will see what I can do.

Last edited by Raccoon : 25th March 2012 at 21:15.
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Old 25th March 2012, 21:56   #4
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Default re: Must read: Incredibly shoddy work & damage by MASS (Chowgule Industries)

Horrible to say that least, and a really bad situation to get in.

On a side note, I was wondering if the thread title was a bit misleading, I first thought that Chowgule did something great and kept searching for this while reading the first post.
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Old 25th March 2012, 22:03   #5
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Default re: Must read: Incredibly shoddy work & damage by MASS (Chowgule Industries)

thats really horrible work, don't let it go and send a mail to maruti with all the photographs and documents immediately. I am sure they will take action. Can you post some pics here ?

PS: even i feel thread title is misleading, please change it.

edit: sorry, just saw your second post, i feel pics are really required in case like this if you want to take it up with maruti.

Last edited by Rahulkool : 25th March 2012 at 22:04.
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Old 26th March 2012, 02:42   #6
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Default re: Must read: Incredibly shoddy work & damage by MASS (Chowgule Industries)

Counting on their action so that I don't have to explore other avenues. Have shot off an email to them. Could not get contact details of anybody in charge though.

Will try and post the pics.

As for the topic title, I feel its not technically incorrect. Just like you can have incredibly good work, you can have incredibly bad work. Anyway, I would be unable to change it now as editing rights expire few minutes after posting.
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Old 26th March 2012, 06:20   #7
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Default re: Must read: Incredibly shoddy work & damage by MASS (Chowgule Industries)

@Racoon, that is BAD !
Quote:
Originally Posted by Raccoon View Post
Just like you can have incredibly good work, you can have incredibly bad work.
I have to say that the title is technically in-correct. I was expecting incredibly Good work by this MASS, but it was the absolute opposite. I suggest you change it to say " incredibly Bad work ".

Pls report your post to the mod's and they can update the title for you.
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Old 26th March 2012, 09:26   #8
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Default re: Must read: Incredibly shoddy work & damage by MASS (Chowgule Industries)

Quote:
Originally Posted by Raccoon View Post
Just like you can have incredibly good work, you can have incredibly bad work. Anyway, I would be unable to change it now as editing rights expire few minutes after posting.
Quote:
Originally Posted by condor View Post
I suggest you change it to say " incredibly Bad work ".
This episode is beyond the realms of "bad". Even "horrible" and "pathetic" are understatements to describe it.

@ Raccoon - If you had escalated the matter to MUL right after the first hiccup, i.e. when you found out about the bumper damage, maybe things wouldn't have deteriorated this much after the body shop got a rocket from them. However, I have the benefit of hindsight as I write this post, which you didn't.

Also, if you've written to MULs customer care email, there's a very good chance that they will respond. One of my friends had used the same route for resolving servicing and delivery related issues a couple of years ago and he did not have to use any individual's email id.

EDIT: Please include a link to this thread in a followup email, in case you have not already done so. Negative feedback on TBHP does get things moving in the customer care corridors of various automobile co's.

Anyway, due to your thread, a lot of forum members will now think twice before patronising Chowgule's body shop. Thanks for posting your experience in such detail!

Cheers,
Vikram

Last edited by comfortablynumb : 26th March 2012 at 09:29. Reason: Typo
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Old 26th March 2012, 16:40   #9
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Default re: Must read: Incredibly shoddy work & damage by MASS (Chowgule Industries)

^^^I did not escalate the matter to Maruti Suzuki, as I believe someone should be given a chance to put this right. Also, in the 1st instance it seemed like the driver met with an accident on the way to their Workshop. Possibly caused to carelessness/incompetence, but possible that the someone rammed the driver or something for no fault of his. After all nobody can guarantee anything on our roads. Could happen to anyone. Thats what I had in mind. And since they eventually agreed to fix it, I did not see the need to escalate it. After all, I'd have liked to maintain good relations with them for further work (which is on the cards).

In hindsight this may have been a wrong decision, but that was my reasoning at that time.

I dashed off a mail to Maruti Suzuki last night. I have clearly mentioned that I intend to publicize this amazing work by a workshop that they have authorized. And I mean it. Maruti can expect a major publicity (adverse) campaign very soon. More than blaming the workshop, I'm amazed and disgusted that they have authorized such a set-up in the 1st place, where even the bare basics are not in place. Have mentioned that I have already publicized this thru tbhp (though I forgot to provide a hyperlink), and it will appear in more places soon. Gosh, one needs time to do all this, which comes at a cost to me right now!

As I'v mentioned before, though their Workshop part may be relatively better, it remains to be established whether part or whole of the damage occurred in their Workshop. Further, any damage to your car in their Workshop, and your car will land in their Body Shop. Get the risk?

An interesting point to be noted is that they told me the rough sticky film on the windscreen and headlamps was caused by water during their wash process as they use hardwater, and its "normal". Obviously this is almost certainly false, potential customers need to understand what may happen when their car goes for washing after the work. Be prepared to have your windshield, headlamps and paint ruined in one wash with their magic water!

Further, as the area is exceedingly dusty, dust settles on newly washed cars very, very quickly. The same is routinely wiped away with a dry cloth before delivering the car to customers. Customers concerned about swirl marks caused by a very dusty, dry cloth, please take note. This was never the case when we used to give the car to Millenium as they had a much better automatic car washer and drying was done with compressed air. And since the area was not half as dusty, cars used to remain dust free a lot longer.

I can see that a Mod has made changes Thread Description, however "damage" needs to be added to "shoddy work" along a bit of rephrasing:

Incredibly shoddy work & damage by Maruti Suzuki Authorized Service: Chowgule Industries Pune

Mods, please modify as given above, if possible, so can Tweet it more accurately. That will give it a much wider audience on Twitter.

Last edited by Raccoon : 26th March 2012 at 16:49.
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Old 28th March 2012, 20:30   #10
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Default Re: Incredibly shoddy work & damage by MASS (Chowgule Industries)

An alternate way to escalate this to MUL is to call their regional office and ask for the person who handles dealerships and service centers. Talk to him, email your evidence and most likely he will take it up. I had an experience with Bimal Auto in Bangalore where I took delivery of a Swift. During PDI they had damaged one of the plastic attachment points near the hatch which holds down the parcel tray (possibly when they were fitting the seat covers). Of course Bimal tried to tell me it was my fault (I had taken the delivery of the car the previous day and it was not even 24 hours since I drove it out).

Finally I called the Bangalore Maruti office, talked to a gentleman who handles dealerships and he promised to look into it. Within 1/2 half hour the GM-Service of Bimal calls me and asks me to bring in the car so they can replace it. Where did they get the part? Simple - they went to one of the brand new cars (probably already assigned to a customer, took the same part out of that car, and fitted into my car - not the most honest thing of course, but I couldnt say anything at that point since I was shocked).
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Old 28th March 2012, 21:17   #11
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Default Re: Incredibly shoddy work & damage by MASS (Chowgule Industries)

^^^Actually, had planned to do that, but just could not get the time. Maruti replied and has mentioned his phone number too.

On the other hand, got a call from the Dealer's Customer Care Manager, asking when they can come home for inspection. But I don't have any confidence in Chowgule now. Can anybody have confidence in a place that gives such an experience?

Regarding your car, more instances of unprofessional behavior. I'm sure that new owner must be another fuming customer. If he had come back complaining, I'm sure they would have flicked the part from another new car...

Actually we had similar, rather worse issues with Chowgule when delivery was taken from them. But thats another story, which happened long time ago. Returning to them was a huge mistake.
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Old 29th March 2012, 01:10   #12
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Default Re: Incredibly shoddy work & damage by MASS (Chowgule Industries)

As mentioned earlier, the work and damage isn't getting captured properly on a mobile cam. The metallic color does not help the case as its too reflective. Maybe a much better digicam would have done the job, but don't have one at the moment. Hence only posting two pics which have captured at least some useful detail, compared to the rest.


The rough translucent film on the headlights, which seems to have reacted with the plastic lens and has made it patchy. It obstructs light output. This is after the sandpaper job, which has made the plastic lens duller. Its messier than what you can make out in the pic:

Incredibly shoddy work & damage by MASS (Chowgule Industries)-car3.jpg


The doors edges. Though the phone cam hasn't picked up the detail from the reflective surface properly, you can still make out the touch up work done with a brush:

Incredibly shoddy work & damage by MASS (Chowgule Industries)-car1.jpg

Last edited by Raccoon : 29th March 2012 at 01:14.
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Old 29th March 2012, 15:37   #13
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Default Re: Incredibly shoddy work & damage by MASS (Chowgule Industries)

@Racoon - going to the A.S.S. will make sense but only if the Maruti Regional representative is there with you. Otherwise the A.S.S. will make all sort of excuses and sometimes turn the tables back on you. Without support from the Maruti representative, you will most likely not be able to stand your ground. It really becomes a futile exercise going just on your own.
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Old 29th March 2012, 16:46   #14
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Default Re: Incredibly shoddy work & damage by MASS (Chowgule Industries)

^^^Well, this does not seem to be working out. Called their regional office, and was told that Regional Service Manager is out, and was promised a call back from him. Strangely, was asked for all kinds of details like who the complaint is against, and what about, etc., etc.

After that, just few minutes later, got a call again from the dealer confirming the date of inspection and asking why I'd called the regional office.

So Maruti Suzuki does not even want to look into the matter personally and expects the dealer to resolve complaints against itself.

Really bad show, and very disappointing. What does one do in this scenario?

How does one have confidence in a workshop that has the capability of damaging even the work done by itself?

Last edited by Raccoon : 29th March 2012 at 17:04.
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Old 12th April 2012, 18:40   #15
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Default Re: Incredibly shoddy work & damage by MASS (Chowgule Industries)

Raccoon, did you get your issue resolved?

Just last week, I had a similar incident with a MASS in Bangalore. Long story short, when I went to pick up my car after service, I noticed that there were extensive scratches on the driver side of the windscreen. Initially the contact person told me that it must be due to wiper which I immediately dismissed because of two reasons; 1. this happens with old cars and mine is just 2 months old where I haven't used the wiper since monsoons are still elusive, 2. wiper marks have to be concentric circles, but these scratches were random like wiping with a dirty cloth.

When I talked to the manager, he cleverly tells me that any argument will not be conclusive as we cant prove if these scratches were there when you had given for service or they happened during the service.

So he suggested, that he has contacts in the upper management and he can get it claimed via MY insurance. Only that I will have to pay the insurance charges. The windshield will be replaced via insurance and the cost of the sealant (required to fix the glass) will be borne by the staff who forgot to note that there were scratches.

I am seriously worried and dont know what to do. Maybe after your case's resolution, I'll get the right way to take it up with the service station management as I dont want to spoil my relations with them.

Regards
Dhrupadh
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