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Old 26th December 2013, 15:38   #1
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Exclamation Malpractice of Swapping Parts & Poor Service at Kairali Ford, Trivandrum

I am posting on behalf of my friend who had a rather unfortunate experience with the Ford Service centre at Trivandrum, Kerala. To summarize, the authorized service centre has swapped parts including the stereo and have been caught red handed and so far not much progress.

I am putting down the email he has sent to Ford India so that you can see what utter nonsense is happening.

----------------------

Quote:
Sent: Tuesday, December 17, 2013 1:03 PM

To: custmail@ford.com; write2md@ford.com

Cc: dcrc.tvm@kairaliford.com; dcrckairali@mgfkerala.com; md.kairailiford@fordind.com;

Subject: Malpractice of Swapping Parts and Poor Service at Kairali Ford, Trivandrum

Dear Sir,

Let me introduce myself as Visakh Raghunath, a software professional working in xyz , Trivandrum.

I had always preferred Ford vehicles over other brands especially due to the excellent drivability and solid build. Being an owner of three ford vehicles and 2 more bookings made in the family based on my recommendations is a testimonial of my above statement.

However, I would not rate or recommend Ford vehicles based on quality of service and my recent experiences at Kairali Ford, Trivandrum emphasizes just that. Not only that the quality of service was poor, working parts from my car were swapped with defective ones without my knowledge or consent. I am still unable to digest the fact that an authorized Ford service centre had swapped the factory fitted stereo and cooling coil with defective ones when the car was given for maintenance.

When I highlighted the discrepancy in the serial number found in the stereo present now and the audio guide given to me at the time of delivery (photos attached), Kairali Ford, Trivandrum had admitted that they had swapped the stereo.

Same is the case with the cooling coil and I am still wondering on what other parts would have been replaced/swapped without my knowledge. Trust me, I am now skeptical and feeling unsafe on driving my Fiesta and had shelved the plan of using it for a 1000km trip with family on the coming week.

An account of the various events associated with the maintenance of my 2010 Ford Fiesta 1.4 TDCi ZXi ABS (TN-22 BJ 2787 on extended warranty) with the respective dates stated below for your reference. Request you to kindly spend some time and read through the following to completely understand the situation at a Ford authorized service centre.

4th May************** The steering column of my Fiesta was replaced on warranty due to excessive rattling and vibrations at Kairali Ford, Trivandrum

9th August********* The rattles continued to persist and the car was given again for re-checking

12th August******* It was kept there for 3 days and was returned without any work being done and cited that this rattling is a normal issue with Ford Fiesta

9th November* The car was taken back since I had countered their argument stating that my 2006 Ford Fiesta ZXi does not have any such issues. The interesting part was that even though prior appointment was taken for this, it was not registered there.

15th November*************** It was kept there for 1 week and was returned stating that steering column was not available and none of the other complaints that I had raised was addressed even though the bill amount was Rs.717/- for general checkup and brake cleaning. Moreover the AC stopped cooling after I received the car. Please note that the AC was working perfectly when the car was given to the service centre on 9th November.

21st November Kept on continuously following up from my side on the availability of steering column. When it was said to be available the car was taken for replacement of steering column and they also stated that the cooling coil was faulty and had to be replaced on warranty. So I believe that the cooling coil from my car was put on another car which might have been out of warranty. So end of the day Ford had to replace the cooling coil free of cost of some other car which was not covered in warranty.

23rd November*************** Car was said to be ready and reached there by 6 PM and took the delivery by 6:30 PM only to notice that the steering was at an angle of 45 degrees when the vehicle is going straight. Brought it to their attention and they took it for wheel alignment. It was pathetic to see that Kairali Ford, the authorized service center of Ford India performing manual wheel alignment using threads since the wheel alignment machine was not operational. I had to be at the service centre for 2 hours till 8 PM watching all these along with my small kid thus spoiling our plans for a Saturday evening - thanks to Kairali Ford, Trivandrum.

25th November*************** Noticed that rear right indicator was not working, plastic panel to the left side of the gear console was broken when replacing the cooling coil and the security code of the audio system head unit being changed. We could see that the rear indicator bulb was deliberately removed and the enclosure not even closed and sealed properly. Brought this to their attention for which Kairali Ford put some random bulb and hence the right side indicator is now white colored instead of typical yellow. The plastic panel was not available with them and hence it continues to be ill fitted and looks like a sore thumb to the car’s interior. When questioned about the change in audio code, I was told that the code was reset by calling Ford India, which is not something I believe. I still felt that the whole head unit had been replaced with another set since the settings were different and some of the markings I had on my old set were not there anymore.

4th December** The audio set completely stopped working in FM mode and it kept on continuously scanning for stations and does not lock in on the available ones. I had even tried manually scanning and setting the frequencies for the channels but unfortunately it won’t stay there. The CD player also skips tracks backwards while playing. This again emphasized my belief that my original audio head unit had been replaced with a faulty one. The steering column rattle continues to persist when taking curves thus spoiling the drivability of Fiesta.

14th December The car was taken again to Kairali Ford, Trivandrum and to confirm the stereo swapping, I demanded the factory fitted stereo to be un-mounted from the dashboard. I could clearly see that the serial number found in the stereo does not match with the audio guide serial number given to me at the time of delivery. Moreover the interesting part is that the stereo was manufactured on June 2010 whereas I took the delivery of the car on March 2010. So this was highlighted to the Assistant Works Manager at Kairali Ford, Trivandrum who had admitted that the swapping had happened. I don’t want the stereo to be replaced on warranty or any other means, I only want my original working stereo back fitted on my Fiesta. A resolution was promised on 16th December.

16th December No calls or follow-ups from Kairali Ford, Trivandrum till now.

I am totally frustrated with the quality of service and equally annoyed with the fact that working parts from my car are swapped with faulty ones when it was given for maintenance. Since there aren’t any Ford service centers other than Kairali Ford, Trivandrum, I will be forced to approach local service centers for the periodic service of my car in future. I believe these local workshops are more professional and possess better ethics as compared to the ‘reputed’ Ford authorized dealer/service center – Kairali Ford, Trivandrum. Moreover, I will have to compromise on drivability aspect and rely on other brands instead of Ford in the future.* Peace of mind and quality service are of paramount importance for me than drivability.

My humble advice to Ford India is to take necessary steps for avoiding these kind of issues in future and ensure that service quality is upto the mark. Moreover Ford India can take feedback directly from the customers similar to how I am getting feedback calls/surveys from Maruti and Hyundai.

Sales department is also not any better – the two EcoSport bookings I had made for the family is still pending without any updates. Each time I have to call and follow-up on the status. I understand that there is demand on EcoSport, but would really appreciate if the dealership keeps me up-to-date.

I am an auto-enthusiast and an ardent reader of various auto magazines and online forums. So let me convey that the general opinion from the community is not so pleasing for Ford India in terms of quality of service and we don’t want to see Ford India also following the path of the Fiats/Tatas/Skodas/Mitsubishis. Producing quality vehicles alone will not be sustainable unless you back it up with quality service. I believe this also as one of the reason for the recent dwindling sales of Ford India vehicles and trust it is time for some action on this front.

All the best.

Regards
Visakh
Attached Thumbnails
Malpractice of Swapping Parts & Poor Service at Kairali Ford, Trivandrum-stereo.jpg  

Malpractice of Swapping Parts & Poor Service at Kairali Ford, Trivandrum-audioguide.jpg  


Last edited by Rehaan : 26th December 2013 at 16:03. Reason: Putting email in quote
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Old 26th December 2013, 16:19   #2
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Default Re: Malpractice of Swapping Parts & Poor Service at Kairali Ford, Trivandrum

Sorry to hear that your friend had a bad experience with ford service. It cant be any worse than this. I think, he has lot of patience to go through all these.

Coming to reality,
- What your friend has experienced is not something new in India. Our chaps do it everyday. Try to spend some time in service centers, you will hate the reality. Exception being Hyundai & likes, which can provide the complete vehicle repair video, if demanded. in some centers.
- The company cannot do much for these wrong doings. As the service centers are operated by our local chaps.
- Often, some big fishes like local leaders, cousin of ABC MLA are involved in running these service centers. So, i don't think Ford will take a serious action on them.
- Ford would issue a formal warning. and then, Do nothing.

What we can do for our cars?
- As we accompany our ladies to protect them from eve teasers, bad boys, etc. Similarly we should spend some time with our cars, in garage, just to protect them from rapi*ts a.k.a mechanics.

Saying based on my experience. Not all males on road are bad. Not all mech's are bad. But identifying good & bad has become difficult nowadays.
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Old 26th December 2013, 16:57   #3
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Default Re: Malpractice of Swapping Parts & Poor Service at Kairali Ford, Trivandrum

It is indeed disheartening to note that a Ford dealer has started following footsteps of some Skoda dealers. Since, this mail was written on 17th December 2013 and assuming that Ford India has not bothered to respond when the employees at the dealership have confessed swapping the audio system highlights the attitude of Ford India towards its customers.

Ford India should have used this incident to set an example for dealerships across India, but their silence on the issue will only encourage other dealers to start taking customers for a ride. Dealer's enjoy full immunity from the respective company managers in-charge of the area. Without this immunity, dealer's can't dare do such a thing.

I agree with gemi kk when he says that we need to protect our cars like we do with our ladies at home. Your friend should learn from this incident and not send his car to this dealer ever again for any issue.
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Old 26th December 2013, 17:30   #4
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Default Re: Malpractice of Swapping Parts & Poor Service at Kairali Ford, Trivandrum

Quote:
Originally Posted by kutts View Post
I am posting on behalf of my friend who had a rather unfortunate experience with the Ford Service centre at Trivandrum, Kerala. To summarize, the authorized service centre has swapped parts including the stereo and have been caught red handed and so far not much progress.

I am putting down the email he has sent to Ford India so that you can see what utter nonsense is happening.

----------------------
This is a very unfortunate situation. and going by the mail, it appears that the mechanics at Kairali Ford have mastered the art of keeping some Ford owners happy (at a personal gain of course) and at the cost of unsuspecting other owners.

Now this is not an isolated issue. Your friend was vigilant and so was able to catch their misdeed red handed, but there could be many owners who would not suspect anything and would believe the fault / breakdown (of swapped parts) to be a genuine breakdown and pay from their pocket. But the issue is more serious than that.

Imagine a new car kept for service and some vital parts are swapped and the unsuspecting owner takes her out and meets with an accident due to the failure / fault of the replaced faulty parts or poor service. This could be fatal.

I strongly suggest your friend to file a case with the consumer forum with all the details and also spread awareness among the Ford users in Trivandrum so that either they all can avoid this service center altogether or another option is to someone to stay with the car during service.

This issue can have disastrous consequence to some unsuspecting car owner in future if not dealt with firm hand now.
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Old 26th December 2013, 18:14   #5
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Default Re: Malpractice of Swapping Parts & Poor Service at Kairali Ford, Trivandrum

It's really sad to see the state of some dealerships. But unfortunately what your friend went through seems to be commonplace. I believe Skoda's legendary A.S.S was famous for swapping parts like this.

I once had a kind off similar issue at Mercedes - Sundaram Motors, I had sent my car in for it's yearly service and was charged Mercedes prices for everything. When I got the car back everything felt exactly the same. The service counter had been reset.

A month later the car was running a little rough, and a friend of mine who is a experienced mechanic told me to change the engine oil. The E class has no dipstick so checking the oil is only by letting it drain out of the car. When we lifted the car and drained the oil it was completely burnt. Then my friend proceeded to change everything changed on a regular service and we found that nothing but the service counter had been touched.

The only solution I can think of (however impractical it may be) is to sit there with the car and watch it get serviced. This seems to be the sad but unfortunate truth of service in some dealerships.
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Old 27th December 2013, 22:43   #6
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Default Re: Malpractice of Swapping Parts & Poor Service at Kairali Ford, Trivandrum

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Originally Posted by VellVector View Post
It's really sad to see the state of some dealerships. But unfortunately what your friend went through seems to be commonplace. I believe Skoda's legendary A.S.S was famous for swapping parts like this.

I once had a kind off similar issue at Mercedes - Sundaram Motors.

The only solution I can think of (however impractical it may be) is to sit there with the car and watch it get serviced. This seems to be the sad but unfortunate truth of service in some dealerships.
+1 to you

I make it a point to sit and watch.I take a prior appointment and take an off from work ,carry my lunch with me.

That way I ensure what is exactly happening on my car.
I have been doing this for ever since now and hence never had any issues with all the A.S.S involved.

I am very up front and make it a point to visit my dealers workshop before buying any car and make it clear that I will buy the car only if I have access to the service floor

My list is as follows:

1)Maruthi 800 (1984) sold
2)Suzuki esteem(.1993)sold
3)Tata sierra (1997)sold
4)Ford Ikon.1.6 (2000)sold
5)Honda city type 2(2003)sold
6)Honda city(2012) present
7)Honda civic (2008)present
8)Ford ecosport (2013)present.

Last edited by ecosport rules : 27th December 2013 at 22:45.
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Old 28th December 2013, 06:32   #7
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Default Re: Malpractice of Swapping Parts & Poor Service at Kairali Ford, Trivandrum

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Originally Posted by ecosport rules View Post

I make it a point to sit and watch.I take a prior appointment and take an off from work ,carry my lunch with me.
Baby sitting your car when at a service station is definitely a wise choice, however in reality hardly 10% of the people have the time or patience to do this (I know one should find time for their loved ones ). They blindly trust the dealer and end up loosing faith in the company when things like these see daylight.
As the saying goes " the ownership still lies with you even if you delegate" , truly applies in all cases to companies and they should twist the arm of all such fraudulent dealers.
As long as we have dealers who love foul play no matter how hard companies try to gain customer confidence all their attempts would be in vain.In this case I expect Ford to react immediately and address the situation and showcase their focus on customer satisfaction and not to drag this until eternity like Skoda or others.
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Old 28th December 2013, 11:04   #8
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Default Re: Malpractice of Swapping Parts & Poor Service at Kairali Ford, Trivandrum

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Originally Posted by pdma View Post
Baby sitting your car when at a service station is definitely a wise choice, however in reality hardly 10% of the people have the time or patience to do this (I know one should find time for their loved ones ). They blindly trust the dealer and end up loosing faith in the company when things like these see daylight.
As the saying goes " the ownership still lies with you even if you delegate" , truly applies in all cases to companies and they should twist the arm of all such fraudulent dealers.
As long as we have dealers who love foul play no matter how hard companies try to gain customer confidence all their attempts would be in vain.In this case I expect Ford to react immediately and address the situation and showcase their focus on customer satisfaction and not to drag this until eternity like Skoda or others.

Hi Pdma,

Just my two cents.
-I strongly believe that we cannot change the situations and people around us ,then what do we do?
"find the best way to work your way around"thats what I do.

-Today it is this dealer tomorrow it will be another.
-I have never trusted any dealer till date and never will.
-In reality it is not the time ,it is the interest people lack, dont you think any extremely busy person also makes time for something that interests him.

And definitely yes Ford should take these kind of fraudulent dealers to task.

Last edited by ecosport rules : 28th December 2013 at 11:06.
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Old 28th December 2013, 12:06   #9
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Default Re: Malpractice of Swapping Parts & Poor Service at Kairali Ford, Trivandrum

That is a very sad incident and leaves one in a bad taste about the concerned auto manufacturers. This is more of a service center related issue than a manufacturer, but since the ASC are agents of the manufacturers, strong action must be taken by them to curb such frequent wrong doings with customer's cars.

I have been through this with an ASC of the most reputed brand in India at least. I always make it a point to be present on the floor to see every work that is being carried on my car but once when the car needed a windshield replacement, I had to leave it with an ASC overnight. That ASC, unfortunately was not the regular one where I always go; to due to some reason.

Next day the car was delivered at home with a new windshield. I was charged about Rs. 5500/- plus labour, sealants & taxes for a new windshield (some 5 years back) but what the ASC did was they fitted a toughened glass windshield (worth not more than 1400-1500/-) rather than a laminated one. Needless to say, I showed up at their door step at once and yelled on top of my voice. And that guy had the courage to tell me that they had fitted the right (laminated) windshield and I have changed it outside and brought the car here to harass him.

I involved the regional manufacturer office and the insurer/ surveyor. Finally the ASC had to replace the windshield at his cost.

Last edited by saket77 : 28th December 2013 at 12:09.
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Old 28th December 2013, 12:40   #10
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Default Re: Malpractice of Swapping Parts & Poor Service at Kairali Ford, Trivandrum

I am aghast at this. But let me say this, i have had excellent service from Kairali ford, Ernakulam for the past >7 years,and never had any issues from them except for a delay in giving delivery.
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Old 28th December 2013, 13:23   #11
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Default Re: Malpractice of Swapping Parts & Poor Service at Kairali Ford, Trivandrum

I donot know about Ford, but in Maruti Service, you are not even allowed to go into Service bay. You are expected to cool your heels in Customer lounge and mechanics can do whatever they want (which includes genuine service too!) to your car!
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Old 28th December 2013, 13:35   #12
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Default Re: Malpractice of Swapping Parts & Poor Service at Kairali Ford, Trivandrum

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I donot know about Ford, but in Maruti Service, you are not even allowed to go into Service bay. You are expected to cool your heels in Customer lounge and mechanics can do whatever they want (which includes genuine service too!) to your car!
Not true. To let in or not, is the policy of the the service center and not the manufacturer. I would never go to a service center where I am offered the hospitality only at the customer lounge- strictly!
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Old 28th December 2013, 14:50   #13
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Default Re: Malpractice of Swapping Parts & Poor Service at Kairali Ford, Trivandrum

What is wrong with Ford? In such a clear case scenario where you have the evidence of genuine parts being swapped, they should double up there efforts in addressing the complaint. This is plain fraud.

For those who recommend being in the service bay, what if there in only one dealership and they don't allow you to be in the service bay. what choice does it leave the customer with? And moreover then what is the whole point of company provided service etc? They should then make all parts available and let owners get there cars serviced themselves at outside trusted mechanics.

Ford India if you are reading this then address this complaint at the earliest and to the full satisfaction of the consumer. The dealerships are your point of interaction with the customer and I don't buy this logic that its the dealership issue and not Ford issue per se.
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Old 29th December 2013, 20:36   #14
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Default Re: Malpractice of Swapping Parts & Poor Service at Kairali Ford, Trivandrum

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For those who recommend being in the service bay, what if there in only one dealership and they don't allow you to be in the service bay. what choice does it leave the customer with? And moreover then what is the whole point of company provided service etc? They should then make all parts available and let owners get there cars serviced themselves at outside trusted mechanics.
Even if the service center does not allow you into the bay itself, most service centers now a days have a huge window in the service lounge to see the work get done. Not as good as being next to the car but somethings better than nothing.
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Old 29th December 2013, 22:29   #15
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Default Re: Malpractice of Swapping Parts & Poor Service at Kairali Ford, Trivandrum

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Even if the service center does not allow you into the bay itself, most service centers now a days have a huge window in the service lounge to see the work get done. Not as good as being next to the car but somethings better than nothing.
But that works only when the service bay allotted to your car is very near to the window. Otherwise it doesn't work. And even then as you say, its not the same as standing right next to your car.

But on the contrary as a dealership owner, I feel that the policy to not allow customers inside the service area is good also in some cases. There are so many machines out there and numerous people carrying out there work. Some customers can be very careless ( like on a phone or listening to music) and might get hurt or otherwise come in the way of workers carrying out there work.
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