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Old 4th March 2016, 20:58   #1
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Thumbs down Maruti Workshop Review: Hercules Automobiles, Trivandrum

Found no reviews on Hercules Trivandrum in the forum, while there were reviews on Indus & Popular. This is my experience over a four year period from 2011-2015 for my A Star ZXi.

1st Service @ 1 Month - January 2012
One month after purchase. Service was OK with nothing much to be done. Just inspection. Along with the service I had a minor tear in the rear bumper on the lower portion which I collected when I got rear ended by a bike and the rear tow hook pierced the bumper. The service advisor called the body shop guy and he announced that the whole bumper would have to be repainted (for a 2 inch tear) and would cost Rs. 2800/-. Being a new car I gave him the go ahead. As the cost was less I told I would not claim insurance. I was asked to come after 3 days. Left the car there and went home.

On the fourth day I went there with my father to pick up the car. The bodyshop guy tells me that the painting had been done and that the car had been left out to dry.

I immediately smelt something fishy. I demanded to see the car. It was parked in a corner near the washing area. One look at the bumper and I as able to make out that only localized painting was done on the tear and the guy was ready with a bill of Rs. 2800/- for the "full bumper painting"

I pointed out to him and he says that the full bumper was painted and only the clear coat was left and bla bla bla. I was seething with anger and demanded to see his boss the bodyshop manager. When the body shop manager came I pointed out the whole thing to him and to his credit the guy did not argue. He accepted the mistake and asked me for 2 more days to do the work. I told him nothing doing. You had the car with you for 3 full days and you have not done anything. Today I am going to stay with the car and you will repaint it in front of me.

Finally he agreed with me and the car was taken up the ramp to the first floor where the body shop is located. Here too a bodyshop guy came up tried to give me gyan on how it would take atleast 2 days. I told him to buzz off and start work on the car.

They started work by covering the numberplate and mudflaps with newspaper and masking tape. I immediately asked them to REMOVE all trim and fittings from the bumper and paint it in the PAINT BOOTH with the heating system TURNED ON.

Really. my knowledge on automobiles saved me from being ripped off that day.

Seeing that I would not budge, they removed the bumper, prepped it for paint and took it into the paint booth and started to paint with me standing and looking through the glass door of the booth. Meanwhile numerous requests were made to me to go and sit in the customer lounge which I ignored. I stayed there till the whole bumper was painted and ensured that the baking part too was done inside the paint booth.

Finally everything was done and I took the car home by 6pm.

Second Service @ 6 Months - June 2012
Again just an inspection. So nothing much to do. But the car was being used in very dusty areas and I had a drop of around kmpl in the mileage. So asked the service advisor to clean the filter (which should have actually done without request). I give the car and leave for office. Evening when I return to pick the car I am told the servicing is done and the car is waiting for washing to be done. I go to the rear of the service center and see the car in the line of cars to be washed. On a hunch I pop up the bonnet and I see that the layer of dust on the air filer box is still intact and it has not been touched. I close the bonnet, seek out the service advisor and ask him if the air filter has been cleaned. He tells me yes. I ask him again if he is sure. He again tells very confidently yes. I then tell him about the layer of dust on the filter box and how it would be smudged if the box as opened. He goes red, mumbles something and leaves me. The car goes to the wash and comes out at the other end of the shop floor. from the opposite end I can see it. A guy pops up the bonnet and starts pulling at the filter housing. I walk upto the car and tell him to take it easy and that I will wait till the work is done properly. I leave with the car after the filter is cleaned. Had I not seen the car before it as washed I would never have known that the filter was not cleaned.

3rd Service @ 1 Year December 2012
Given my experience the previous two times and considering that this was a "real" service I decided to take leave from office and stay with the car during service. Was uneventful and not much to report and I was out of the service center by 2pm.

4th Service @ 2 Years December 2013
Meanwhile at around 1.5 years the clockspring went kaput, check airbag light came up and was replaced under warranty with a weeks time of waiting for the part.

This incident prompted me get the extended warranty for 4 years /80000 warranty.

And oh yes I used to get the 6 month (scam) service reminder.

The 4th service also was uneventful with me never letting it out of my sight. But with the attempt to push those useless ripoffs like various coatings, injector and brake cleaning all of which I refused.

5th Service @ 3 Years December 2014
This where things got really frustrating. This time too I took leave from office and stood with the car.

I went for the service with the following problems - Driveshaft Boot Slippage, Power Window Winder Mechanism Failure, and Central Locking Actuator Malfunction.
The last fault was readily attended and replaced by them under extended warranty.

Driveshaft Boot Slippage - This was not noticed by them even after they had the car up on the hoist and checked the underbody during the service work and changed the oil filter. Made me wonder where they look when they are "inspecting" the car. When I looked under the car during wheel alignment, I saw grease splattered all around the area near the gear box and on close inspection saw that the circlip on the boot had slipped and the boot had moved out of place with the joint being exposed to all the dirt and grime. I immediately called the service advisor and brought it to his notice.

Power Window Winder Mechanism - There was a rattling sound from the front drivers door glass.

Central Locking actuator Malfunction - The rear right passenger door made a humming noise when the lock was operated. They agreed readily to replace this under warranty.

But for the first two, I was asked to bear the cost of a new Driveshaft - around 4500 myself.

And with the window winder they tried to stop the rattling sound by twisting some cotton waste around it. They refused to replace it under warranty.

Spoke to the Customer Care, Service Manager and Works Manager too. No warranty coverage was the answer.

I had to take it up with Maruti directly to get it replaced under warranty. (It took about a weeks time for this) but Hercules made me run around for a straightforward warranty replacement.

While this was going on, I took the vehicle to Indus Motors service center, did not disclose what had happened at Hercules. Just told them there is some problem with Driveshaft and window winder. They took one look and without hesitation told me both have to be replaced and are covered under extended warranty.

Told them I will return later and got the work done at Hercules (who were instructed to do the warranty work by Maruti)

Both are Maruti Service Centers.

This did not end there. A few weeks later, a screeching sound started coming from the front. I did not want to go to Hercules again. So this time took the car to Indus. They took a look and found the problem. The "mechanics" at Indus had while putting back the driveshaft had hammered on the brake disc dust plate and this was in turn rubbing against the brake disk causing the screeching sound.: Was rectified by Indus mechanics in 5 minutes with a zero bill.

Net result - By the end of the next year I was looking to buy a new car. Again a Maruti product.
Went to Indus Motors and bought a new Ertiga ZXi+

Good part - Customer care lady from Hercules calls me and asks to send my A Star for service.
Told her I sold the car and am buying a new one.

She - Is it a Maruti?
Me - Yes.
She - Is it from Hercules?
Me - No.
She - Why?
Me - Narrates the above incident and tell her for a Rs. 5000 warranty claim for which you would have got reimbursement from Maruti, you lost a Rs. 10 Lakh sale.

Last edited by Ramon : 4th March 2016 at 21:23.
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Old 13th August 2016, 08:35   #2
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Default re: Maruti Workshop Review: Hercules Automobiles, Trivandrum

My dad have been buying and servicing more than a couple Maruti Suzuki cars from Hercules for the past two years in Trivandrum.
But in his case it's been a good dealership to deal with as dad was upfront with his requirements each time.
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