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|6th July 2014, 15:21||#1|
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Aspen Honda (Baroda, Gujarat) - A tale of their callous & irresponsible attitude
This post is all about Aspen HONDA, Baroda, Gujarat; the exclusive dealers of HONDA 4-wheelers.
While harping about the Japanese reliability is all okay; what a customer dreads is when it’s time to take the vehicle for service to an ever UN-RELIABLE service centre (SC), especially when there is only one in the town!!
My family (read, my parents and me) undergo this every time the Jazz is due to visit the SC; for we don’t know what’s in store for us once we hand over the car to them. In the past 2 years there have been multiple instances where in the SC could have been more pro-active, responsible and showed a mature attitude towards customers; however, they always chose otherwise. They even once shifted their address, but didn’t inform the customers (at least not all of them). During all past visits to the SC, I have always asked my parents to “adjust” since I stay in Bangalore and can’t argue with the SC over the phone, and at the same time can’t expect my Senior Citizen parents to argue with the SC staff, explaining the reasons for their dissatisfaction.
However, we thought the issue needed a broader attention this time since the SC apathy reached new heights in June 2014.
The 15k service was due this June and hence, a date was finalized when the vehicle would undergo servicing. There was also an insurance claim we needed to make since the RIGHT front bumper and the LEFT rear door were scratched in the same incident, while the car was being parked in a parking lot having a non-uniform placement of pillars.
Friday - June 6, 2014
Car was given for service plus insurance claim as mentioned above. It was Mr. Maulik who received the vehicle (for servicing). Mr. Digant (in-charge of dealing with Insurance Claims in place of Mr. Alpesh who was on leave) told my dad that the car needed to be in SC for 5 days for processing the Insurance Claim and the repair work to be carried out. After further discussion it was clear that the car had to be in the SC for 5 days no matter when we chose to claim the insurance; hence, it was decided that the service and insurance repairs would be done in one go. My parents left the car in the SC and returned home.
Monday – June 9, 2014
Unaware about the progress on the claim approval, my dad calls up Mr. Digant. He is informed that the Surveyor had some doubts about the damage being on both the sides.
The following conversation is something not related to Honda SC but an important point in the overall sequence of events-
My dad speaks to the Bajaj Allianz surveyor and informs him about the scratches being on the opposite sides (right bumper / left rear door). My dad gave the surveyor the location where the incident had occurred and asked him to verify the facts himself. He visited the place and after inspection approved the repair work that was to be carried out on the vehicle.
In the meantime, my Dad and I decide to follow up every day with the SC on the progress made since we didn’t want them to delay our work while bowing to pressure tactics from other customers who wanted their work to be completed by jumping the queue.
Tuesday – June 10, 2014
My dad calls up Mr. Digant was he is informed that the work would start in the afternoon and that the car would be delivered in the next 2 days, or latest by Friday, June 13.
Wednesday - June 11, 2014
In the meantime, Mr. Alpesh (the actual in-charge of Insurance Claims) had resumed office. My dad spoke to Mr. Digant and was informed that the car could be delivered on Friday (June 13) if it was inspected by BAJAJ ALLIANZ by then. Mr. Digant also provided my dad with Mr. Alpesh’s contact details since he was now back to work.
In the meantime, Mr. Maulik (the service representative) informs Mr. Alpesh that my dad was not in a hurry to take the delivery of the car, and that it was okay if it was delivered next Tuesday. This is where the SC lost the plot – My dad had last spoken to Mr. Maulik on June 6, and per the 5 days ETA that HONDA promised, my dad agreed for Tuesday, June 10 – however, the work was now deliberately pushed over to next Tuesday, i.e. June 17!! We didn’t know this yet and hence, assumed that we would have the car by Friday, June 13.
Friday - June 13, 2014
Based on the assurance given by Mr. Digant, my dad calls up Mr. Alpesh in the morning to remind him of the impending delivery date.
Mr. Alpesh informs my dad that there was a short-circuit in the workshop the previous day (the only day when we didn’t follow up) and hence, the car could be delivered only on Saturday (June 14) or Monday (June 16).
On the same day, my sister and mother met with an accident when a tempo hit them while it was trying to overtake a CIVIC from the left hand side. My sister ended up with a broken collar bone and a fractured shoulder, in addition to the rear end of the tempo hitting her head while she fell down due to the impact. The tempo driver fled the scene along with this vehicle. In this entire melee, my dad forgot to follow up with Honda on Saturday.
Unfortunately, ASPEN HONDA did not choose to follow up as well!!
Saturday – June 14, 2014
My sister needed to undergo an urgent CT scan at 22:30 hrs. since she had become seriously sensitive to any type of sound. We didn’t have our vehicle when we needed it the most, and as a result had to request our neighbour to help us take her to the hospital and back.
Monday – June 16, 2014
My dad, having had enough of the callousness of ASPEN HONDA, called Mr. Alpesh, informed him that he was coming to get the car(the call was made using our land-line this time). Immediately, Mr. Alpesh called back on our land-line and informed my dad that the car was ready, but was pending a wash since there was no electricity!!
My dad told him that he needed the car urgently since couple of our family members had met with an accident and there were frequent trips required to be made to the hospital. On hearing this, Mr. Alpesh assured that he would call back as soon as the electricity supply resumed; however, he didn’t.
My wife and I were leaving for Baroda the next day, so I told my dad to discontinue any follow ups with ASPEN HONDA, and that we would deal with them once we were there.
Tuesday – June 17, 2014
We didn’t call ASPEN HONDA as we had decided “no more follow-ups”, and they didn’t call us as well – simply because it’s not in their culture!
However, sensing that there was no vehicle that could receive us once we reached there, my dad again called up ASPEN HONDA at 16:33 hrs. (Yes, that’s how precise the details we have at our disposal for this entire apathy and callousness demonstrated by ASPEN HONDA)
The response that my dad got from ASPEN HONDA was a shocker – they said “we have been waiting for you whole day as you said you would be here in the morning to collect the car!!"
My dad asked him some simple questions –
1) Last evening he was informed that the car was pending a wash, and that they were awaiting the electric supply to resume – so how in this world can we know that the power supply to ASPEN HONDA was restored?
2) When Mr. Alpesh assured he would call back once the vehicle was ready, why would he visit ASPEN HONDA assuming the vehicle was ready without getting any indication from them?
My parents visited ASPEN HONDA around 17:45 hrs. and collected the vehicle. When they inquired about Mr. Alpesh, they were informed that he would be coming in 5 mins, then 15 mins, and finally an hour. But he didn’t appear, ever!
Conclusions from this episode –
1) ASPEN HONDA has zero liability towards its customers. For them, a customer is just a customer once he buys a car from them. Heck they don’t even notify the customers when they change their address permanently.
2) Work on our car was deliberately delayed for reasons only known to ASPEN HONDA. Total lack of co-ordination and apathy was exhibited by ASPEN HONDA.
3) They have a zero co-ordination among their departments, and it was glaringly evident in the co-ordination efforts between Mr. Maulik and Mr. Alpesh.
4) Despite being aware that we needed the vehicle to make frequent trips to the hospital, ASPEN HONDA didn’t buckle up and instead maintained their lethargic and irresponsible attitude.
5) Even after so much of dilly-dallying, Mr. Alpesh was absconding when my parents finally went to take the delivery of our vehicle. Every time he was contacted, he gave different reasons for not being in office, and didn’t turn up for more than an hour.
6) During the 12 days the vehicle was with ASPEN HONDA, they called only once, and that too when my dad informed them that he was coming to collect the car (June 16). They never called back to keep the customer informed, there by exhibiting sheer apathy towards the customer.
Unless there are laws in place to curb this kind of attitude exhibited by a car dealership, the Customer will always suffer! It's the customer who has spent the hard-earned money, still it's not within his rights to get an acceptable level of customer service, forget about good or best!
I don't know what else to say! It was a tough time!
|6th July 2014, 17:39||#2|
Join Date: Dec 2012
Thanked: 189 Times
re: Aspen Honda (Baroda, Gujarat) - A tale of their callous & irresponsible attitude
And just in case you are wondering what the Insurance claim was for -
12 days to remove these scratches and carrying out a 15k paid service is an awful lot of time!
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