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Old 1st April 2016, 18:45   #1
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Default Service Review: Harry Ford, Trivandrum

Hello fellow BHPians,

I had recently been at Harry Ford, the newest and second Ford dealership in Trivandrum and I would like to share my experience here. The reason I was there Ė to get the 1 lakh service done for my 1st gen Figo TDCi

This may just be my opinion about Harry Ford. May be it was just a bad day for me. So I request BHPians in and around Trivandrum who have had sale/service experiences with them to share their experiences with Harry Ford as well here.

I believe that they have good technicians (at least those who interacted with me) but there is lot to be desired when it comes to the way they treat the customer, keeping up with the promised delivery time and a few other things which will be elaborated below. And I very well know that at least a few higher ups at Harry Ford (and Kairali Ford) are watching comments about them on Team-BHP (which is a very good sign for customers). So, if they really care about customer satisfaction and want repeat customers, they could act upon the comments here and try to improve the service experience.

My not so good experience goes as below:

I was planning on a long trip for the Easter weekend and thought of getting the 1 lakh service done at the earliest as the odo was already a few tens of kms past 1 lakh. I was excited about crossing the 1 lakh mark in less than 5 years. On 23rd March Wednesday I called up Harry ford and asked them if I can get the 1 lakh service done the same day. I insisted on same day delivery because I couldnít have done without the car for the next couple of days and the service centre would close down for Good Friday and Easter holidays. The service advisor asked to bring the car before 11.

I reached there a bit late around 11.15am. SA was busy and he arranged one of his juniors to have the job card filled up and the vehicle was taken in for service. I had a chat with SA regarding the jobs to be done and left. SA later called me a couple of times to update me on the work being done and told that the front right shock and link rod need to be replaced in addition to the parts that get changed as part of normal service. I agreed and asked him to go ahead. He also asked me if I can leave the car with them over the weekend to check the AC cooling issue I had reported. I asked him not to check the AC for now since I needed the car for the weekend. He agreed and asked me to come around 6 to 6.30PM.

I thought of arriving a bit early around 5PM. When I entered the service reception, service advisor was not to be seen and hence I went up to the service floor where my car was being serviced. I was having a casual chat with the technician who was attending my car and we were interrupted by a person (I assume him to be a trainee or a junior staff) who demanded me to leave the service floor and sit inside the customer lounge. I was actually a bit surprised by the tone of his statement and never before during any of the services at different Ford service centres in Trivandrum and Cochin was I asked to leave the service floor while on an interaction with the technician. My interactions with all Ford SAs and technicians in the past has always been nice and informative.

So while I confronted his demand saying that this is the first time I am being asked to stay clear of my car when it is being serviced, there came the second guy (Harry Fordís Customer Relation Manager) backing the first guyís demand. Their stand was that the customer was allowed near his car only at the presence of the SA and that it is for the safety of the customer. They were so mean to tell me that the customer lounge is the place for me and I should better leave the place. OK, agreed on their care for customer safety and they provide an air conditioned customer lounge with TV and magazines to pass time. Honestly Iíve never used that place before in other service centres. I usually just trust the SA and technicians and leave the place. But I arrive an hour or two before the promised delivery time to see how the work is being carried out and it also allows me to have a chat with the person attending to my car.

Anyways, though I did confront, somehow I felt insulted and left the place. Went to the service reception area and my SA was there. I told him what happened at the service floor and he apologized for his juniorís rude behaviour and told me that he is new to the job and that there had been similar instances in the past involving him and he had already been warned to behave properly with customers. The usual apologies and justifications followed. He did take me to the service floor after that and explained the works carried out and the problems that can wait till next service and the parts that need immediate attention and replacement. I agreed to his recommendations.

For the first time, I entered a Ford customer lounge and waited to have my car back. I had casual chats with a couple of fiesta and ecosport owners who were there and both of them had their own story of lack of attention and poor behaviour of staff and one of them said that he is never going to return to Harry Ford. He had been asked to come in the morning to collect the car that he left there for service the previous day. He came late around 3PM and still he had to wait for hours to get his car washed. He got his car finally and left.
My turn to wait for the car to get washed. I went outside to see if the car has gone for wash. To my astonishment, I saw the washing guys and another SA arguing within themselves about few cars not being washed on time and the head of the washing team complaining about lack of enough washing staff etc. Hearing all these, I understood that it is going to be pure waste of time waiting for my car to get washed and decided to pay the bill and leave without the wash done. Also, I took the car to them only around noon. So did not want to insist on getting the car washed ahead of cars that came in before mine.

Went to the service reception and told the same to the SA and he asked me to bring the car sometime next week to have it washed. I agreed and asked him to ready the bill. The billing was done by another SA who had no clue about what was done on my car. He handed over the bill to me and to my astonishment, there were some additional items included in the bill which were either not performed or replaced. The difference amounted to 800 INR and I quizzed him about it. His immediate response was that it was for AC vent cleaning. I asked why they did that when I asked them not to do anything with the AC. He went back to my SA and my SA asked him to remove those items from the bill. I asked him what if I did not care to check the bill properly and I would have ended up paying 800 extra for what was not done. SA had a readymade answer that everything is scrutinized finally by him and hence nothing extra will be charged. I was completely pissed off with the attitude of the service staff as a whole by then. I did not want to argue further. Paid the bill and left the place.

If anyone at the top management of Harry Ford is reading this, I request you to not see this as an attempt to defame your dealership. I donít have anything to gain from doing so. Every single thing said here is 100% true and described exactly as it happened. May be this is what happens at most of the service centres across India and these are all damn silly stuff. But Harry Ford being less than a year old dealership and you have the advantage of being within the city, please take efforts to train your staff on how to behave well with customers and how not to make them feel insulted or frustrated or cheated. Otherwise, I am sure lot of the customers will choose to stay away from Harry Ford.

P.S. I donít have anything to complain about the quality of the works done during the service. My car still feels good to drive even after 1 lakh kms. Thanking the technician for that
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Old 2nd April 2016, 10:28   #2
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Default Re: Service Review: Harry Ford, Trivandrum

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Originally Posted by hardoop View Post
hence I went up to the service floor where my car was being serviced.
While he shouldn't have been rude, you are at fault here. Customers aren't permitted to enter the service area primarily due to SAFETY issues. The potential of injury is very high. Imagine how a service area will look if each of the 50 cars in it had their 50 owners standing by.

At the very least, you could have taken permission before going in.

Service areas are NOT for customers. Period. In many countries, insurance companies strongly prohibit this practice. I understand you might want to check your car; before you do, please take permission. From the workshop's POV, there could also be other concerns (theft, interference with work being performed etc.).

Quote:
P.S. I donít have anything to complain about the quality of the works done during the service. My car still feels good to drive even after 1 lakh kms. Thanking the technician for that
Good to hear that the actual work performed was to your satisfaction.
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Old 2nd April 2016, 10:50   #3
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Default Re: Service Review: Harry Ford, Trivandrum

I usually don't venture into service bays, because I'm no expert to evalaute the technicians ability. What's the point in going and standing and pretend to know things? I ask the service centres, not to wash the cars, because for them washing is a headache they have to undergo. Most guys don't care a damn about the cars that come for washing,so I personally wash my cars or get them detailed. And most cars will be lined up for washing by late evening and I have seen the washing guys cursing a lot and washing as if taking vengeance. Why make your car suffer?
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Old 2nd April 2016, 11:07   #4
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Default Re: Service Review: Harry Ford, Trivandrum

I have the same experience in Rajshree Ford, Coimbatore- although i sneak in through another passage to reach to the interior cleaning section to tell the guy not to polish the dashboard(for sunlight reflection issues).

Once i walked to the mechanic and asked him to 'wait till the oil drips completely before putting back the drain nut again' and said 'okay saar' and proceeded to close it in front of my eyes even when the flow hasn't stopped.

Compare this with my FNG guy who first pulls the plug when the engine is hot (to extract out the maximum), then does the filters and fills in oil only at the end. Simple nuance but helps prolong engine life!

On a lighter note, these 'qualified' and 'well-trained' SAs do make driveshaft tests and suspension tests and high speed cornering tests in the workshop floor, so it is quite understandable, LOL.
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Old 5th April 2016, 13:39   #5
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Default Re: Service Review: Harry Ford, Trivandrum

Quote:
Originally Posted by GTO View Post
While he shouldn't have been rude, you are at fault here. Customers aren't permitted to enter the service area primarily due to SAFETY issues. The potential of injury is very high. Imagine how a service area will look if each of the 50 cars in it had their 50 owners standing by.

At the very least, you could have taken permission before going in.

Service areas are NOT for customers. Period. In many countries, insurance companies strongly prohibit this practice. I understand you might want to check your car; before you do, please take permission. From the workshop's POV, there could also be other concerns (theft, interference with work being performed etc.).



Good to hear that the actual work performed was to your satisfaction.
I admit my fault of not taking permission before entering the service bay. I would never have entered the service bay without the SA if I had seen him there at the service reception. May be I could have asked the receptionist atleast if I could enter the service bay before checking on my car.

Anyways, I still strongly believe that their junior staff should be trained the basics of how to talk / deal with customers.
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Old 5th April 2016, 14:30   #6
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Default Re: Service Review: Harry Ford, Trivandrum

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Originally Posted by The Rationalist View Post
I usually don't venture into service bays, because I'm no expert to evalaute the technicians ability. What's the point in going and standing and pretend to know things?
Some people don't care to talk to the person who is "actually" working on your car. Some do. Fortunately or unfortunately, I belong to the latter group.

Wanting to check on your car while it is inside the service bay doesn't necessarily mean that you are doing it to evaluate the technician's ability or to show off your knowledge or pretend that you are knowledgeable about the mechanicals of the car.

I always try to interact with the technician working on my car in a way that he doesn't feel I am hindering his work or I am trying to question his abilities.
Honestly, I never intend to do both and I don't consider myself to be knowledgeable enough to question a mechanic's knowledge or abilities. Two reasons I do so are (i) I believe the technician more than the SA. I have seen SAs that don't really have a clue when you ask them what was actually done to resolve a particular issue. (ii) I get to know more about the actual problem, the different parts of the car and their functioning. In fact these interactions have always helped me to gain knowledge about hitherto unknown things. But I never try to push and get more words out of the technicians mouth if I get the slightest indication that he is not willing to discuss technical stuff with me. I have always had friendly chats.

During this particular service at Harry Ford, the technician was more than willing to discuss about the issues in my car and what parts need immediate attention and what parts can wait until next service etc. We were interrupted and I was asked impolitely to leave the floor.

Only thing I tried to point out here is the rude behaviour of their junior staff and how they tried to push some additional charges in the final bill. It was my first service experience with them and I was really disappointed. Just wanted to share it here. That is all what I meant.

Quote:
Originally Posted by The Rationalist View Post
I ask the service centres, not to wash the cars, because for them washing is a headache they have to undergo. Most guys don't care a damn about the cars that come for washing,so I personally wash my cars or get them detailed. And most cars will be lined up for washing by late evening and I have seen the washing guys cursing a lot and washing as if taking vengeance. Why make your car suffer?
Exactly the same reason why I chose not to wait for my car to get washed that day.
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Old 7th April 2016, 16:52   #7
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Default Re: Service Review: Harry Ford, Trivandrum

Quote:
Originally Posted by GTO View Post
While he shouldn't have been rude, you are at fault here. Customers aren't permitted to enter the service area primarily due to SAFETY issues. The potential of injury is very high. Imagine how a service area will look if each of the 50 cars in it had their 50 owners standing by.

At the very least, you could have taken permission before going in.

Service areas are NOT for customers. Period. In many countries, insurance companies strongly prohibit this practice. I understand you might want to check your car; before you do, please take permission. From the workshop's POV, there could also be other concerns (theft, interference with work being performed etc.).



Good to hear that the actual work performed was to your satisfaction.
I beg to differ. The last time I took my Ecosport in for the 2nd service, I made it a point to take the day off from work and spent the entire morning on the shop floor right next to my car. There was a lady supervisor who questioned my presence, but retreated when I asked her for a written assurance on an official letterhead that the ASS would assume liability if any service item was skipped or any parts were swapped.

I also carried a copy of the service job sheet from my owner's manual and instructed the technician working on my car to indicate as and when each item was done. Needless to say, the turn around time on my car was 4 hours.

In comparison, owners who arrived long after I did and had availed of the customer lounge, were driving off in 90 minutes. But from where I was standing, I noticed that the technicians working on their cars would just change the oil + filter and send the cars for a wash after ticking off all the items on their respective job cards. No brake caliper greasing or any of the other preventive maintenance was done.
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Old 10th April 2016, 18:47   #8
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Default Re: Service Review: Harry Ford, Trivandrum

Quote:
Originally Posted by GTO View Post
While he shouldn't have been rude, you are at fault here. Customers aren't permitted to enter the service area primarily due to SAFETY issues. The potential of injury is very high. Imagine how a service area will look if each of the 50 cars in it had their 50 owners standing by.

At the very least, you could have taken permission before going in.

Service areas are NOT for customers. Period. In many countries, insurance companies strongly prohibit this practice. I understand you might want to check your car; before you do, please take permission. From the workshop's POV, there could also be other concerns (theft, interference with work being performed etc.).



Good to hear that the actual work performed was to your satisfaction.

This may work well in countries where strict consumer protection laws are there. Here sadly it's up to the car owner to make sure he is not ripped off and the is no better way to ensure that than staying with your car wherever it goes. Please check out my review of Hercules Motors to get an insight of what happens in the average Indian service center.

http://www.team-bhp.com/forum/indian...rivandrum.html

Staying with your car is a sure shot way of ensuring that the chotus (yes, even authorised service centres have them) keep away.

I have ensured that my car is not unnecessarily revved hard or badly handled. Seen it personally where cars are handled differently and with care when the owner is around.

Even for my Ertiga 1st service, I had asked for an Oil Change and cabin filter change. When the car was waiting for it to be taken in, I was waiting in the shade. A chotu comes up with the oil and cabin filters and tries to open the glovebox to install the cabin filter himself. But the way in which he was pulling at the glove box without pushing the sides, sitting on the driver's seat it was clear that he was just a helper and not a trained mechanic. I opened the passenger side door and gave him one icy stare. That was enough for him to leave the parts and scamper from there.

It's my car and I decide how it's handled. And what better way than to be there myself.

But I do wish that stricter consumer protection care laws are there in India too so that we need not stand guard like this at least in authorised service centers.

FNG s are far better in this regard.
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Old 10th April 2016, 23:25   #9
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We have never let our 12 year old Palio get serviced without us standing next to it. And in India, I would never let it happen with any vehicle we own. I do however make sure that the SA knows that before I hand over the car to them. Also, whether they like it or not, the person working on my car has to explain to me in detail, what and why is anything being done to my car. I even check online on whether the work done to my car is being done properly or not and don't mind correcting the trained mechanic if I don't feel he is doing the work correctly.
The first visit at any new workshop is always difficult because of my approach. However I always treat the mechanic with a generous tip for putting up with me and after that all future visits are a walk in the park. For the past 2 years, I have been getting the work done outside by one such mechanic who I befriended and ordering the parts has been taken care of by 99rpm.
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