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Old 17th March 2014, 12:36   #1
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Angry Sai Service Ripoff! Rs. 18,000 for service of Swift (22K kms) UPDATE: Excess refunded

Our car was due for 4th year servicing. Dad got an appointment fixed with Sai Service, our regular service center. Yes, I have read posts here strongly advising against Sai Service, but their proximity to our home & the fact that we hadn't had much to complain about till now (with our previous car, as well as this car) made us stick to them. Not anymore though.

The previous day, myself & dad sat together, made a list of scheduled replacements. I had already informed dad about the tendency to push unwanted things along with routine service. I went to work with peace of mind, thinking no more about it.

When I returned, a rude shock awaited me. The car was back, with a bill of Rs 17-18K. Sai Service had done what they are best known for. Dad says that the SA never told him that all these were optional extras. He was under the impression that he had got routine servicing done, and all these jobs are a part of the service. Service invoices attached.

I have written a mail to Maruti regarding this, lets see what happens next.

Quote:
Dear Sir/Madam,

This is with respect to Maruti Suzuki Swift VXi bearing registration number MH 02 BPxxxx , chassis no 5xxxxx, owned by my father Shri xyz. My father got the car serviced at Sai Service Agency workshop, Borivali (E) on 14th March 2014. It was a routine 4th year service.

I was in for a rude shock when I saw the service bill of around Rupees 18,000-19,000 for a routine service which my father had asked for. What kind of vehicle were we servicing? An aircraft perhaps, looking at the cost of service? The car has run only 21933 km as seen in the service invoice. That translates into almost 1 rupee for every kilometer the car has run till date, just for this one servicing! Who said maintaining & running Maruti cars is cheap?

After carefully examining the bill, I found out that the service advisor Mr Bhavil (service looter would be a better word) had included a lot of other extra work apart from regular service and works recommended by Maruti Suzuki. This was done without giving any intimation to my father. He had not asked for any of these jobs to be performed. He wasn't informed that all these works are optional extras. He was misled into believing that these works were a mandatory part of routine service.

This is sheer looting of clueless customers, indicative of bad work ethics & malpractices from the dealer which has received "Dealer of the year" award. Please find photographs of the invoice attached. Unnecessary works to the tune of at least Rs 10,000-12,000 have been performed on the car, which is a significant amount. Money doesn't grow on trees.

Moreover, in spite of charging a bomb for these works, the quality of work performed was unsatisfactory. Sai service was prompt in performing works which would get them profits, but the problem which we reported in the car (some noise from the front wheel area on bad roads) remains unsolved even after the servicing. Work which required practical diagnostic skills was conveniently avoided. The parts which were replaced were not returned to us either.

Service advisors are meant to advise customers, not loot them. But here it seems the service advisors are thieves in disguise, whose sole aim is extracting money from customers.

Our family has been a loyal customer of Sai Service since the last 14 years. In spite of getting strong advice from online forums against the said dealership, we showed faith in them as we were using their services since 2000 & did not have much to complain about. But in the year 2012, we faced such overcharging for the first time during scheduled service. In spite of that we gave them a chance in 2013 & right now. Now, due to this incident of outright cheating, WE HAVE TOTALLY LOST ANY REMAINING FAITH in the dealer.

This is not what was expected from a dealer of Maruti Suzuki, which places a great emphasis on customer satisfaction. It seems that the dealer does not value long term associations with customers. Is this what a customer would expect after being loyal to a brand for 14 years?

I request you to take stringent action against the service station for such fraudulent practices. The entire episode has left a very sour feeling in our minds about Sai Service and Maruti Suzuki. It is the responsibility of Maruti Suzuki to exercise control over the dealerships, and it has miserably failed in its responsibility.

Expecting some concrete positive action from you soon. We should get a refund of the excess work unethically performed on the car. Hoping for a quick resolution of this complaint.

Please find attached: Invoices of servicing.
I understand that we too are at fault. Mistakes made:
  1. Continuing with Sai Service after 2012. In that servicing, they applied anti rust coating even though we had already got it done from them previously. The charges were refunded later.
  2. Me not being personally present while the job card was prepared. It would have ensured that the entire episode did not happen at all.
I have started this thread so that potential members/general public thinking of getting their cars serviced at Sai Service can be made aware of the reality. Stay away from Sai Service under any circumstances. I did not listen to advice given by respected members here, and paid the price heavily.

Now looking for another service center in Borivali/Kandivali area for the next year's service. Options are:
  1. Spectra Borivali
  2. Shivam Autozone, Charkop
  3. Chamunda Motors, Borivali (W)
  4. St Francis auto, Borivali (W)
Any reviews of the above places? As per reviews here, Vitesse Andheri seems to be the best option, but slightly far away.
Attached Thumbnails
Sai Service Ripoff! Rs. 18,000 for service of Swift (22K kms) UPDATE: Excess refunded-dsc_0506.jpg  

Sai Service Ripoff! Rs. 18,000 for service of Swift (22K kms) UPDATE: Excess refunded-dsc_0507.jpg  

Sai Service Ripoff! Rs. 18,000 for service of Swift (22K kms) UPDATE: Excess refunded-img_2774.jpg  

Sai Service Ripoff! Rs. 18,000 for service of Swift (22K kms) UPDATE: Excess refunded-img_2776.jpg  

Sai Service Ripoff! Rs. 18,000 for service of Swift (22K kms) UPDATE: Excess refunded-img_2778.jpg  

Sai Service Ripoff! Rs. 18,000 for service of Swift (22K kms) UPDATE: Excess refunded-img_2779.jpg  

Sai Service Ripoff! Rs. 18,000 for service of Swift (22K kms) UPDATE: Excess refunded-img_2781.jpg  

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Old 17th March 2014, 14:03   #2
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Default re: Sai Service Ripoff! Rs. 18,000 for service of Swift (22K kms) UPDATE: Excess refunded

The R/Off on the bill sounds more like Rip Off than Round Off. Is your car under warranty? If so, then if the SA deems replacements are needed, they should be covered under warranty.
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Old 17th March 2014, 14:24   #3
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Default re: Sai Service Ripoff! Rs. 18,000 for service of Swift (22K kms) UPDATE: Excess refunded

Maruti's known to take customer complaints seriously or so as i have read on forums.Their andheri division once billed us 5k for a service in 1998 for our carb 800.5k in those days meant a lot.

Suggest if your car is out of warranty then go to a trusted independant garage.I can recommend nakita motors , joe ( t bhp directory) but he is based in bandra.

Good luck with the issue in hand.

Last edited by sumeethaldankar : 17th March 2014 at 14:25.
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Old 17th March 2014, 14:25   #4
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Default re: Sai Service Ripoff! Rs. 18,000 for service of Swift (22K kms) UPDATE: Excess refunded

This is a RIP off, but the other important question is what are you going to do about it.

1. If payment is by cheque, issue a stop payment immediately.

2. If payment is by credit card, challenge the payment to start with.

While neither of the two options will solve the problem, atleast from your side you are clear that you are challenging the invoice.

To start with immediately take a copy of the job card with all the supporting,

most imp, on your job card I hope none of these items are listed which you are in excess, take a copy of this, if your dad has signed and these items are listed, case becomes weak.

I see in some places labor charges as high a few 600-800, this should match with the Technician mentioning the start and the end time on the job card. My gut feel says this will not match.

Next what you can do is take each of the tasks mentioned in the invoice and look at your service booklet, many of them would not be listed, mark those clearly.

Take it up with Maruti in BKC, if they do not listen to you there is always a next course of escalation.

If you need contact numbers of people in BKC maruti office PM me,
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Old 17th March 2014, 15:02   #5
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Default re: Sai Service Ripoff! Rs. 18,000 for service of Swift (22K kms) UPDATE: Excess refunded

There is a lot of unwanted stuff floating around in that bill. Stuff like Silencer Coating, Glass Polishing, Headlight renovation, steering overhauling, link rods etc. are uncalled for, unless you've asked for it specifically. Especially on a 22k kms driven car. My best guess, and I hope that they've billed you for some other car. Human error while billing, maybe.

Also, did you ask the service looter why he's gone ahead and carried out unnecessary jobs? Who gave him the authority to do that?

Now what I don't understand is, why did you give the go-ahead without asking for an estimate? All service-centers give an estimate before taking the car in for a service. You should've asked for an estimate IMO.


Cheers!
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Old 17th March 2014, 15:09   #6
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Default re: Sai Service Ripoff! Rs. 18,000 for service of Swift (22K kms) UPDATE: Excess refunded

Now this takes the service rip off to new heights. Please do keep us posted on any update from Maruti regarding this.
Also in the bill break up noticed labor charge for fitting AC filter quoted at Rs.106, this is just a take out tray and insert filter job. Are these charges these high elsewhere too?
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Old 17th March 2014, 15:34   #7
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Default re: Sai Service Ripoff! Rs. 18,000 for service of Swift (22K kms) UPDATE: Excess refunded

Let us do a simple omission of things that were absolutely not required:

- Engine wax - Rs. 792/-
- Bardahl Conc - Rs. 440.01/-
- Bardahl oil supplement - Rs. 410/-
- Engine wax treatment - Rs. 222.47/-
- Silencer coating - Rs. 1359.56/-
- Service Pluse (whatever that means) - Rs. 350/-
- Headlight renovation - Rs. 549.44/-
- Glass polishing - Rs. 1188.77/-
- Cowl panel cleaning - Rs. 764.05/-
- Caliper pin greasing - Rs. 764.05/- (COMPLETE rip off because this is done as a part of brake cleaning / service)
- Paid service - Rs. 1400/- (In Pune Sai Service for a diesel Swift it is around 1000 bucks)
- PUC - Rs. 98.88/-
- Steering overhauling - Rs. 1403.94/-
- Balance rod bush replace - Rs. 1101.13/-
- Both link rod replaced - Rs. 730.34/-

These are items that I feel are not required at all.

Now, this isn't the first time I am seeing this happen. I had once accompanied my uncle to Sai Service Pune when he wanted to get 40k servicing done for his Zen Estilo. The moment a service adviser made a job card he added the following items very slyly:

- Intake manifold and throttle body overhauling.
- Complete engine decarbonizing.
- Radiator flush
- Engine oil treatment
- Steering oil treatment
- Gearbox oil treatment
- Coolant additive
- Some other additive I don't remember.
- Complete suspension check.

Our requirement was simple. I told him to:

- Replace engine oil and filter
- Replace air and fuel filter
- Wash the car.

Apart from these three items there was nothing to be changed / fixed or added to the car.

He sheepishly passed on the job card stuck to a pad to me and asked me to sign. I took a pen and cancelled everything that he had added. He looked astonished and disappointed. The reason is simple, these service advisers earn an incentive on unwarranted repairs. Workshop floor technicians earn a percentage bonus on the labor cost involved on a bill. And you my friend fell for this decade old service station trick.

Unless you've signed on a job card that called for these unwanted jobs, I don't see why you had to pay for it. Rs. 18,000/- is a big amount for 20,000 km run Maruti car.
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Old 17th March 2014, 16:17   #8
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Default re: Sai Service Ripoff! Rs. 18,000 for service of Swift (22K kms) UPDATE: Excess refunded

Quote:

Unless you've signed on a job card that called for these unwanted jobs, I don't see why you had to pay for it. Rs. 18,000/- is a big amount for 20,000 km run Maruti car.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Cartman View Post
Now what I don't understand is, why did you give the go-ahead without asking for an estimate? All service-centers give an estimate before taking the car in for a service. You should've asked for an estimate IMO.
Cheers!
Cartman
+1 to the above. I keep a copy of the job card with me, verify it with what has been performed and flatly refuse anything in excess unless they call and confirm with me before performing the repair/replacement. If you have signed the job card with all of the mentioned tasks, I am not sure if you can really do anything. If your dad has not signed for it, then you have every right to challenge this and claim for refund. Keep us posted.
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Old 17th March 2014, 18:27   #9
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Default re: Sai Service Ripoff! Rs. 18,000 for service of Swift (22K kms) UPDATE: Excess refunded

Like you realized, Sai Service like Spectra is one of the most horrible service station you can find in Mumbai. Anyway,

Engine Wax Treatment - 222 bucks - Absolute Rubbish

Silence Coating - 1359 bucks Complete LOOT, Who does all this ?

Headlight Renovation System - 549 BUCKS I don't know what to say.

Glass Polishing System - 1188 Rupees - I am out of smiley's but this is shocking too.

They charged you so much for steering overhaul and the sound is still present, whats the point and at 20 thousand kilometers who overhauls the steering ? They did not even try and diagnose what could be wrong and just went on a parts replacement spree. My steering is 91 thousand run in my Swift D and I have never touched it and OH I have taken it to Ladakh Leh once too.

Your service bill should be in the range of 6 to 7 k AT MAX.

Next time, please, forget the distance part and take it to Navneet in Thane, they are cheaper, very very VERY technically sound and they will not push anything down your throat.

Last edited by humyum : 17th March 2014 at 18:28.
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Old 17th March 2014, 18:30   #10
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Default re: Sai Service Ripoff! Rs. 18,000 for service of Swift (22K kms) UPDATE: Excess refunded

Quote:
Originally Posted by dass View Post
If you have signed the job card with all of the mentioned tasks, I am not sure if you can really do anything. If your dad has not signed for it, then you have every right to challenge this and claim for refund. Keep us posted.
Quote:
Originally Posted by moralfibre View Post
Unless you've signed on a job card that called for these unwanted jobs, I don't see why you had to pay for it. Rs. 18,000/- is a big amount for 20,000 km run Maruti car.
I've already said in the opening post that not being at the service center when the job card was prepared is a mistake on my part. Had I been there, this wouldn't have happened at all.

These items were very much present in the job card. Slyly put in there, to use moralfibre's words. Refer to the lines in bold in the e-mail written to Maruti. That is my main bone of contention. Dad asked for a routine service & a couple of niggles to be fixed, and the SA went ahead and performed this huge list of works, without even informing that these are apart from servicing. IMHO, it is the SA's duty to inform that these were extra tasks. The case is not strong, but I do have reasons to complain. Their behavior is against work ethics.

Another quick question - the car was dropped at 8 am. By 3 in the afternoon it was ready. Can all these things be done in such a short time?

The main purpose of starting this thread is that anyone searching should find this and be aware of the practices being followed.

The email was sent on Saturday itself. Expecting some response tomorrow or day after as today is a holiday. Will keep you posted on the developments.
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Old 17th March 2014, 18:59   #11
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Default re: Sai Service Ripoff! Rs. 18,000 for service of Swift (22K kms) UPDATE: Excess refunded

What Moralfibre has mentioned is absolutely the right picture. Like at many Maruti dealerships your car was wrongly worked on unnecessarily as indicated below,
1. Online Engine De-carbonizing (Bardahl) was done without need, which itself is a great scam running at many dealerships. No engine needs one for sure at 22K kms.
2. Steering overhauling also appears to have been carried out without need. Was your steering rattling?
3. The silencer treatment and the engine waxing are also part of the great cam going on at dealerships.
4. Glass polishing and Cowl panel cleaning are also another way of extracting hard earned money from unsuspecting customers. Another scam.
5. Labour charges for balance rod bush replacement and brake caliper lubricating are exorbitantly high.
6. Service plus may be an additive and such additives or enhancers are used to fatten the service Bill.

Never ever agree for such unnecessary jobs and please don't use any such additives. They are not at all required for your car.
To put an end to such unscrupulous practice going on at Maruti dealerships kindly take up with Maruti and give wide publicity so that this practice would cease for good.

Last edited by rajeev k : 17th March 2014 at 19:09.
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Old 17th March 2014, 19:12   #12
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Default re: Sai Service Ripoff! Rs. 18,000 for service of Swift (22K kms) UPDATE: Excess refunded

Beat this!
For a 10000 KM Service for a (newly acquired second hand, mint condition) Alto, paid 7800/- at Maruti Service Masters, Chennai! I was a novice with cars then.
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Old 17th March 2014, 19:45   #13
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Default re: Sai Service Ripoff! Rs. 18,000 for service of Swift (22K kms) UPDATE: Excess refunded

I just got my swift serviced for 25000kms at Shivam Autozone, Charkop. Although i stay in Powai which is at least 30kms away from their service facility i prefer to send my car only to them and opt for free pick up and drop facility from them.

I had a similar problem with noise from the front left tyre which was suspected to be from the calliper pin. The SA told me over the phone that it might require replacement but later called me and told me that it required only greasing so they did not require to replace i,. they have only charged me Rs.23.12 for the grease satchet. I also had a few other complaints like gear shift felt very tight into second, noise from the steering rack and some central locking issues. All issues were rectified without charging a single penny extra.

The main charges were engine oil, coolant, and brake fluid replacement along with wheel alignment and balancing. Total cost of the service Rs.4620/-. Which i feel is pretty reasonable for a 25000kms/ 6 month service.

I would suggest you to try them out, I have been using them for 2years now and I am very satisfied with them.

Regards,
VVB
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Old 17th March 2014, 19:46   #14
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Default re: Sai Service Ripoff! Rs. 18,000 for service of Swift (22K kms) UPDATE: Excess refunded

You must complain to Maruti in writing- clearly point out that with this kind of negative publicity on cost of ownership, their brand value will surely fall. Follow up with postings on every Maruti/ Suzuki forum you can find - in India as well as abroad. Make sure to hold Maruti Suzuki accountable for the redress. Use a consistent set of keywords / tags to make sure they pop up correctly in web searches. At minimum, seek a refund of excess billed.
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Old 17th March 2014, 19:49   #15
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Default re: Sai Service Ripoff! Rs. 18,000 for service of Swift (22K kms) UPDATE: Excess refunded

How was the condition and performance of your car prior to entrusting it for this service?
My suspicion is on the part Joint Comp costing Rs 910. This appears to be the manifold gasket and the need for its replacement may be inquired at.
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