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Old 10th October 2013, 17:21   #1
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Exclamation Poor experience with Shaman Cars, Mumbai

I purchased a VW Polo 1.6 MPI Highline in September 2011 (http://www.team-bhp.com/forum/test-d...olo-1-6-a.html (An Extensive Report of My VW Polo 1.6)), from Downtown Mumbai (Shaman Cars), and have been having my car serviced by them ever since at their Lalbaug workshop. In just a little over 2 years, this car had done about 11,800 kms, when I sent it for its 2nd Service.

I took my car to the Service Centre on the 23rd of September. Apart from the routine 2 year/30,000 km service procedures, I even had a few other issues that I wanted rectified during this visit. One of these was the immensely poor braking power of the car. Off late, the brake pedal really needed to be pushed hard in order to bite sufficiently. This was problematic, worrisome and even dangerous. The Service Advisor acknowledged this problem at the time of trial, and committed to investigating the problem.

After a few days, the Service Adviser called me to inform me that this weak brake problem could be solved by replacing the brake pads, rear brake lining, front brake discs, and brake oil. While this seemed like an appropriate fix to the problem, I was astounded as to why such major brake-component replacements were required for a 2 year old car having done just 11,800 kms. Anyhow, being a solution to the problem, I asked him to go ahead with the necessary work, after he committed to covering these expenses (except brake oil) under my AMC and Warranty.

However, at time of delivery of the car, I was surprised to find that he had slapped a bill of approximately Rs. 6,500 relating to the brake work, of which a significant portion was the cost of inserting new front brake discs (Rs. 4,800). I am extremely disappointed that such a well-established product, from a world renowned brand that is Volkswagen, would require a front brake disc replacement at 11,800 kms! As a man passionate about motor cars, who works with the industry, I not only find a replacement this early rare, but also absurd. Front brake discs are known to last at least 30-40,000 kms, and thus I have no doubt that these brake discs were defective. However, when I attempted to dispute this charge, and claim the replacement under warranty, I was met with an extremely unhelpful, nonchalant, callous, and rude response from both the Service Adviser (who by now is well known to me), and the Workshop Manager Mr. Thomas Chandy.

Without accepting this premature replacement of the brake discs to be due to a defect in the product, they went on to tell me that the occurrence of this is due to the fact that I live by the Sea, and therefore ultimately the fault is mine and not theirs. I was disgusted to have received advice to change my location of residence, which frankly is not their concern. For the record, I have in the past and do own other motorcars that have never given me a problem like this. After a heated argument, Mr. Thomas only left me with 2 options – either pay the damages, or have them take out the replaced parts, and install the old, worn out parts back again, and continue driving a car with shoddy, useless, brakes. It’s amazing how the Manager of a Service Centre can even suggest something as thoughtless as this. With a feeling of unhelpfulness I paid the bill.

This only aggravated my negative opinion about Shaman Cars, as in the past I have only ever had bad experiences with them. Week old service appointments are often denied hours before drop-off, drop-off itself takes an hour to find a Service Adviser willing to take the responsibility of work (or to wait for your assigned Service Adviser till he finishes attending the 10 other customers waiting for him before you), the work itself is almost always delayed to inconveniently long periods of time, picking-up the car also involves a good 2 hours waiting at the Service Centre till the Service Adviser and car is found, paperwork is completed, and car is washed, and almost always the car is returned with newly surfaced scratches and dents, that are acknowledged by them but not worth leaving the car with them for an extra week.

Being the owner of a product of the leading automobile manufacturer in the world, one does not expect to have to deal with such hassles, dis courteousness and insolence. Ultimately the way the brand is represented in the market and to the customers, is in the hands of the dealers. And to that effect allow me to say that in my opinion, Shaman Cars and their team are doing a pathetic job in representing Volkswagen in Mumbai.

I have written to Volkswagen India, hoping to experience the real professionalism and quality of the Volkswagen brand. I hope they take up this matter and respond with some sense of responsibility, by acknowledging that the only reason a motorcar’s front brake discs could wear out within 11,800 kms is if there is a genuine defect in the component.

I would appreciate any advice, thoughts, or comments regarding this situation, and whether it is worth pursuing at a higher level, and if so how that can be done.

Regards,
RTM

Last edited by rtm_8055 : 10th October 2013 at 17:23.
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Old 10th October 2013, 22:20   #2
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Default Re: VW Polo 1.6 Brake Discs Replaced at 11,800 km - Poorly Dealt by Shaman Cars, Mumb

Can you confirm that they did a brake check when you went for the first service? And also, what the odo read what at that time?

And 4,500Rs was labor charge or rate of brake pads?
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Old 10th October 2013, 23:12   #3
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Default Re: VW Polo 1.6 Brake Discs Replaced at 11,800 km - Poorly Dealt by Shaman Cars, Mumb

A set of brake pads for polo costs approximately INR 1200 here . It is not from dealer . You better drive away with old parts and get new one from some good shop at opera house .
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Old 10th October 2013, 23:18   #4
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Default Re: VW Polo 1.6 Brake Discs Replaced at 11,800 km - Poorly Dealt by Shaman Cars, Mumb

Sounds a lot like this doesn't it?
http://www.team-bhp.com/forum/indian...10-months.html (VW Beetle requires new Brake Discs in 10 months!)
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Old 11th October 2013, 11:27   #5
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Default Re: VW Polo 1.6 Brake Discs Replaced at 11,800 km - Poorly Dealt by Shaman Cars, Mumb

Thats really sad to know such things are happening at VW service centres. Whenever I read such cases it becomes all the more difficult for me to buy a VW as my next car. I guess what swathyd said makes sense but since the damage has already been done there is nothing much you can do except write to VW-India guys. I am sure they would turn deaf ears citing brake discs and pads are not covered under warranty.

The best solution IMHO would be to make friends with one of the service advisors, build a strong rapport with him (by hook or by crook, you know what I mean) and make him take care of your future visits to the service centre. You will be a satisfied individual 3 years down the line of your car ownership.

Trust me it works !
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Old 11th October 2013, 12:12   #6
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Default Re: VW Polo 1.6 Brake Discs Replaced at 11,800 km - Poorly Dealt by Shaman Cars, Mumb

VW charges a premium over most other brands claiming the parts that go into making the cars are of a higher quality than the 'cheap low quality' ones found on the 'cheaper' Indian and Japanese brands.

Wonder how the cheaper versions almost always outlasts and outperforms the 'European spec' parts.

Not so sound a build quality eh?
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Old 11th October 2013, 13:43   #7
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Default Re: VW Polo 1.6 Brake Discs Replaced at 11,800 km - Poorly Dealt by Shaman Cars, Mumb

I am not surprised with this. One of my mother’s friends had to have the clutch plates changed in her polo after haven driven for about 10000 kms. When asked for warranty they denied saying that most lady drivers’ don’t take their foot off the clutch pedal properly and that’s the reason for the clutch plates to get busted so quickly!!
Totally absurd.
After hearing stories like these I am so happy with my car. Servicing issues have been hassle free and till date (touch wood) I have not faced any issues with my car either. I have done 55000 kms so far and the same brake pads and discs are running.

Last edited by GTO : 11th October 2013 at 14:48. Reason: Please do NOT cut-copy-paste text from other word software (MS Word etc.). That results in a formatting error on our Forum.It's best to type directly into Team-BHP. Thanks
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Old 11th October 2013, 14:53   #8
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Default re: Poor experience with Shaman Cars, Mumbai

Whether pads or discs, it's highly unusual for them to wear out so quickly in an MT car. Even in the cars I've driven hard, they've never worn out so soon. Definitely a manufacturing defect, no two sides to it.

VW should have covered it completely under warranty.

Quote:
Originally Posted by rtm_8055 View Post
I asked him to go ahead with the necessary work, after he committed to covering these expenses (except brake oil) under my AMC and Warranty.

However, at time of delivery of the car, I was surprised to find that he had slapped a bill of approximately Rs. 6,500 relating to the brake work, of which a significant portion was the cost of inserting new front brake discs (Rs. 4,800).
Bad on him to go back on his word. 4,800 is too cheap for discs, and too high for labour. Can you provide exactly what this charge was for?

Quote:
Front brake discs are known to last at least 30-40,000 kms
The discs actually last much longer, as long as the pads are replaced on time. Number 1 cause of disc damage is driving around with worn-out brake pads.
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Old 15th October 2013, 17:20   #9
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Default Update

An Update

My email to VW India Customer care was met with fairly prompt responses from them, calling and emailing me to tell me that the case would be investigated. Bertrand D'Souza (Editor, Overdrive), also very graciously emailed the Head of Press Communication, VW India (Mr. Sameer Kumar), stating that this is not the first instance of poor service that he has come across from VW, and therefore they should look into the matter and give me some ownership value. The Head of Press Communication then forwarded the Complaint to a Mr. Vishal Bhat of VW NSC.

However I then went on to receive 2 emails from VW Downtown, as can be seen in the attached images.

I guess that ends that, and I'm still a dissatisfied, unhappy Volkswagen Customer.

Regards,
RTM
Attached Images
File Type: bmp untitled.bmp (897.4 KB, 650 views)
File Type: bmp untitled2.bmp (885.6 KB, 532 views)
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Old 16th October 2013, 20:12   #10
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Default re: Poor experience with Shaman Cars, Mumbai

VW dealers are well known for looting money at the slightest opportunity with tacit support from the Company. My 2 month old Polo got a slight scratch and they quoted a price of Rs 7500/- for repainting it. The full details were mentioned in the Polo Official Review Thread. When I contacted Volkswagen India, they again forwarded the same to dealership and I was greeted with a one page essay about the supposedly out of this world quality of Volkswagen paints based on water colours and supposedly applied with paint gun and not with brush. I felt so disgusted that I promised that my next car will either be a Maruti or a Tata. No more consorting with Foreign brands.
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Old 22nd October 2013, 13:20   #11
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Default Re: VW Polo 1.6 Brake Discs Replaced at 11,800 km - Poorly Dealt by Shaman Cars, Mumb

Quote:
Originally Posted by bigben View Post
After hearing stories like these I am so happy with my car. Servicing issues have been hassle free and till date (touch wood) I have not faced any issues with my car either. I have done 55000 kms so far and the same brake pads and discs are running.

I have the same 55000 in my ODO and have changed brake pads twice and it seemed normal. I feel really surprised that even till 55k the brake pads arent changed in your case !!!
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Old 22nd October 2013, 14:54   #12
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Default Re: VW Polo 1.6 Brake Discs Replaced at 11,800 km - Poorly Dealt by Shaman Cars, Mumb

even till 55k the brake pads arent changed in your case !!![/quote]


Absolutely! Everything is stock- clutch plates as well as the brakes. Really suprised that you changed yours twice!!
In fact somebody else on the forum changed his pads when he had done something like 64k kms in his Vista!
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Old 8th November 2013, 00:49   #13
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Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by bigben View Post

Absolutely! Everything is stock- clutch plates as well as the brakes. Really suprised that you changed yours twice!!
In fact somebody else on the forum changed his pads when he had done something like 64k kms in his Vista!
As per standard of VW, brake pads should be changed at around 30k. Would suggest you to get them replaced ASAP as it is not safe to run on 55k old brake pads.

64k without replacing brake pads even once is quite insane. Just my two cents.

Last edited by the_skyliner : 8th November 2013 at 01:03.
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Old 27th April 2014, 07:26   #14
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Default My poor experience with VW Shaman Parel

I have owned my Vento for 3 years. Each year I have to go to the Downtown Shaman workshop in Parel for the annual service. A trip that leaves me angry and disappointed. Their workmanship is shoddy with no attention to detail and they provide very poor value for the amount charged. I have no trust with this vendor and I wonder if they even change the oil and filter as billed.

They have tried to bill me even when I have an AMC! There is no mail or letter confirming the same except for a receipt! I have an extended warranty in progress but again there is no communication / proof but for the receipt.

They have failed to repair a minor fault with the roll up mechanism of a window over the past two services. They just won't address it. The latest, I wished to purchase a coolant when I visited them last wek. They have not sold it to me!! The Representative had forgotten and the counter was closed when I landed up to collect the car. Of course there is no call or message about getting it across to me.

They do not address the niggles pointed out.... e.g. cleaning the nozzles of the windscreen vipers or cleaning the interior cabin well.

I wish I could change my service center.... is it possible? Can I complain and bring this to the attention of VW India? Who should be contacted there? Please do let me know friends.
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Old 27th April 2014, 09:31   #15
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Default Re: My poor experience with VW Shaman Parel

Dear Mate, It is really a pathetic situation. First thing is you should communicate your experience to the customer's cell/forum of VW by mailing them the entire history. Then you change to a better ASC of VW in Mumbai. I am sure there will be an alternative.

All the ASCs, be it any brand, have this rule of keeping the owner out of the work place when his/her car is under going the service. At times they use this technique to fool the customer.

Request you to provide us the details of the AMC. I have never come across a procedure like this.

Thanks

AD
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