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Old 7th May 2017, 01:12   #1
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Default Yeti problem & my experience with Skoda's after-sales

Hi,

I have been away for a while, but have been an ardent Skoda fan for years. On December 12, 2011, I bunged by Toyota Camry and bought a brand new Laura L&K. 13 days later, I passed on my Pajero to a brother and bought a top-end Yeti 4x4.

And I enjoyed both cars. And How! No blemishes. No tarnishes. Crusaders in Delhi and on the highway / mountains. What fun. Put in the diesel, get them serviced on / before time and enjoy. Unbeatable and totally dependable. If anyone complained about Skoda ASS on T-BHP, I protested, like a true fan. I defended Skoda. A smooth-sailer who was facing no problems, I guess.

Today, I learnt a small lesson in life.

My first problem with the Yeti today, now 5 years old, but only 37,000 km done. People still tell me "Sir, Nayi gaadi laaye hain. Mithai kahaan hai?" Totally enjoyable. My Laura: 30,000 km done, same problem. "Mithai".

Today, I got to taste some namkeen, and got a whiff of this Skoda ASS issue.

My Yeti wouldn't start. My info-display says "Engine Trouble: Workshop".

I called up my long-term Skoda 'friend' and Service Manager, and let's forget his name and location. He tells me, "Sir, Aapki Gaadi?! Problem. Kya ho gaya?"

Once explained, he told me that this cannot be fixed at home, despite my repeatedly asking him to help. "Workshop aayegi, Sir. Lafda hai engine mein. Shaayad ganda diesel daal diya. Yaa fuel pump gaya".

So how does one get a Skoda Yeti that wouldn't start to reach a workshop 31 km away, but I have to, since he is my trusted guy?

"Sir, AAP ki gaadi hai. We will send a crane."

Ok. Do please send the crane, I told my long-lost friend / service center manager and now, almost my new brother from a different mother.

I got a call some 5 minutes later, from some weird guy, apparently a crane company owner. "Sir, KRANE MAANGI KYA?. English: You asked for a crane. Flat bed milegi Yeti ke liye. Rs 4,500 for the crane and Rs 1,000 for toll tax."

Like I have a choice?! So okay.

"Kab tak aayegi," I said, hating the thought of seeing my steadfast and ever-dependable Yeti being hauled away on a stretcher. "Aadhe ghante mein Sir. Skoda se phone aaya hai."

Yeeeeaaaah!! Payback time. All my love for and protection of Skoda over these 5-odd years was finally paying off!!

Super special customer. I was being rewarded with instant service, gratification. True camaraderie. Yo Skoda! My first-time debilitated Yeti would finally cough and cough once more, and then vroom into life again, and never cough again. Where's my 6th gear?

There is a God somewhere!

I live in Delhi. Me and the wife ventured down in 43 degree Delhi heat, while waiting for the unimaginable crane (our Yeti that has taken us everywhere under the Sun without a whimper, ever).

We found the "Yeti Book", and checked again. The emergency display said "Glow Bulb Sensor Fault.". We repeated this to our forever friend the Service Manager, name not to be revealed still. "Gaadi workshop aayegi. Kuchch aur na kharaab ho jaaye" was his stoic response...

Petrified of heard-of big Skoda workshop expenses, we waited.

And waited.

1 hour. No crane.

I called Mr Crane.

"Aa rahe hain, Sir."

Retort: "Kab aayenge? Ek ghanta ho gaya."

"Raaste mein hain, Sir. Low-bed hai, road ke left side mein chalna padhta hai. Yeh Dilli hai"

Me: "Toh peechche se itna awaaz kyon aa raha hai? Lagta hai aap office mein hi hain abhi." And it's been an hour.

Sweating at 42-plus degrees, me and the missus went through the Yeti book again. We checked the Fuse section. Checked the fuses, First on the right side of the dashboard and then under the hood. All mentioned in the Yeti book and the manual. All fuses related to the problem in hand were okay...

Perplexed, we returned upstairs and told this to our now truly best friend, the Skoda Service Manager.

"Aapne fuse chcheda? Aap paagal hain? Baat badh jaayegi. Kuchch mat kariye. Gaaadi kya bolti hai aapko? Workshop jaane ko? Gaadi workshop aayegi."

Terrified and worrying about oncoming bankruptcy, we ran upstairs, mostly to have another bath to get rid the sweat. Who were we to interfere with the whims and fancies of the Yeti?

Skoda Yeti bura maan gaya toh?

To cut this tirade short, we went down again. The crane never came. And we finally called our best friend. "Bhai, where is the crane? Now, it's 2 hours. "Aa rahi hai. Fuse mat chchoona".

5 hours later, with no crane, we decided to carry on the story to tomorrow, and cover the Yeti, as always. So what if she isn't starting or running? She's our Baby. She still looks brand new, and has taken care of us, always.

A scooter came suddenly with two guys.

"Sir, aap itne pareshaan hain. Aapne itna phone kiya. Aaapko bataane aayen hai ki aapki Yeti kal workshop mein hi theek hogi. Crane mein aayegi. Fuel pump gaya. Ya glow sensor jal gaya."

Ok. Glum face.

"Bhai, zara fuse check kar leejiye..."

Answer: "Sir ne bola nahin aapko ki Yeti ka fuse kabhi nahin kharaab hota hai."

My answer: "Bola bhai ne. Itni garmi hai. Kuchch paani peejiye, aur ho sake toh fuse check kariye, please..."

Thanda paani done, they checked the fuses, found one blown, replaced it from my Starter Kit 5 years back.

I cranked the engine, and the poor old destroyed Yeti sprang to life.

No issues. No problems. One single, blown, 20 ampere fuse.

The nice soul called and asked his same service manager (my good friend of 5 years) if he should charge me. "Sir, inki gaadi toh start ho gayi."

My best friend's reply: "Rs 1,000."

I refused to pay them, offered them Neembu Paani, and requested them to very politely leave, forever.

They did.

My first brush with Skoda ASS.

I will survive, as will my Yeti.

But this is wrong.

Last edited by rajeevn : 7th May 2017 at 01:19.
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Old 7th May 2017, 01:42   #2
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Default re: Yeti problem & my experience with Skoda's after-sales

Great write up indeed!!

It just goes to show what we love and hate about Skoda. The cars are so good that they rarely need anything other than a regular service.
But in case they do go wrong, the attitude of the A.S.S. makes them the worst people to get help from.

Wishing you a million more miles in your skoda
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Old 7th May 2017, 09:23   #3
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Default re: Yeti problem & my experience with Skoda's after-sales

You just escaped from getting ripped off buddy. Those unspeakable characters at VAG dealerships only know how to scalp a customer even for minor issues.

You should ask your pal at the dealership if an owner isnt supposed to touch the fuse box then why are the fuse location & replacement procedures mentioned in the manual?

Last edited by R2D2 : 7th May 2017 at 09:24.
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Old 7th May 2017, 10:13   #4
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Default re: Yeti problem & my experience with Skoda's after-sales

I believe everyone should have some basic knowledge of cars, especially about what to do when the car breaks down/ behaves unusually.

Its very important for us (our community) to educate friends and family about basic troubleshooting, as none of us would want anyone to be stuck in a helpless situation.

I have, over the years, taught and educated people around me (especially women), to
1) change a flat tyre
2) fix a puncture
3) basic battery wiring
4) access fuse box and replace faulty fuses if any
5) jump start
6) check and replace spark plug (in case of bike cranking but not starting)
7) power naps when driving long distance/ sleepy

It has come useful to a few people, and although we all wish to have trouble free motoring, anything can happen to anyone.
Basic knowledge can help with your confidence levels massively, especially for women, in situations where your at the mercy of a local tyre/ garage guy.

Mods: Can we have a new thread with a compilation of basic skills/ life-hacks/ tricks/ basic diy that can be printed and kept in the car glovebox, for use in case of vehicle breakdown.

PS: I remember one incident very clearly.

This was almost 10 years ago. My (then) girlfriend once called me sometime in the afternoon, told me her scooter refused to start. She was a bit scared. She was inside Pune University campus, so help was atleast 20 minutes away.
I had always told her that the vehicle is a fairly simple machine, just keep asking yourself why and what possibly has gone wrong, and to always be confident about getting back on the road. Mentality also matters a lot at such times.
Horn, lights work, engine cranks but no life. So she said there's no battery issue.
I kept asking her for 5 mins about what she thinks it could be. She first said fuse, second said spark plug. I told her to replace the spark plug with the spare one (I always believe in carrying a spare plug).
Imagine the pride and happiness I felt when she called me within 15 minutes, said she had changed the plug and the vehicle was completely normal. We were 17 back then, careless and as far away from responsibilities as possible. But the confidence she had after this incident, about dealing with unknown issues, was quite empowering.

Last edited by satya180 : 7th May 2017 at 10:19.
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Old 7th May 2017, 10:44   #5
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Default re: Yeti problem & my experience with Skoda's after-sales

ROFL. Hilarious post mate. And yes, this is how Skoda ASS is. No laughing matter. As a fellow Skoda (Superb 2012 1.8TSI 6MT) owner, I completely sympathize with you. After living with the car for 5 years I have completely left looking at the Skoda ASS for service and have gone 'rogue'. I service the car myself, with OE parts from them of course, which they dare not refuse me. The car itself is such a beauty and joy to drive that I truly feel sorry for Skoda. They have NOT been able to fix the ASS issue since inception and have in fact closed down many ASS, my Meerut one included. I would love to buy another Skoda for their hardware which is at par with Audi, but their service gives me nightmares.

Cheers...
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Old 7th May 2017, 11:02   #6
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Default re: Yeti problem & my experience with Skoda's after-sales

I would actually read this as a somewhat positive Skoda vehicle ownership experience. Absolutely no issues for 5 years with 2 vehicles. This one eventually turned out to be a minor problem. Three things come to my mind reading your story -

1) Yeti's display unit should have said "Fuse Udd Gaya" instead of "Engine Trouble: Workshop". I wonder why on-board software cannot detect such a simple issue.

2) All authorized service centers outsource towing to third party service providers. And their ETAs are notoriously optimistic. It is quite rare to not turn up at all though, but there is nothing much Skoda workshop can do (other than firing them and enlisting some other provider - whose service levels are not guaranteed either).

3) I find it very interesting that the service advisor used his head and sent across blokes to your place on bikes to check the fuses. "Maybe this customer is right. Maybe there is something wrong with the fuse". Although it was your idea, I think we have to give the service advisor some credit here - for NOT being stubborn. His initial doubts about faulty fuel pump is probably based on his previous experience with such an error message.
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Old 7th May 2017, 11:07   #7
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Default re: Yeti problem & my experience with Skoda's after-sales

Apparently it is good idea to sell off a Skoda after its warranty period is over as the dealers are waiting to rip you off. The only protection that one has is warranty.
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Old 7th May 2017, 12:00   #8
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Default re: Yeti problem & my experience with Skoda's after-sales

Quote:
Originally Posted by rajeevn View Post
A scooter came suddenly with two guys.

Thanda paani done, they checked the fuses, found one blown, replaced it from my Starter Kit 5 years back.

I cranked the engine, and the poor old destroyed Yeti sprang to life.
Very well-written, I must say! Thanks for sharing.

I must say, this is an example of the dealer actually treating you well. Sure, the towing chap took long & the communication wasn't clear, but that's unfortunately the norm in India with the unorganised segment. However, they did send two people to your place who finally fixed the problem. No workshop visit, repaired at home.

Frankly, I'd be very delighted if such service was rendered to me.
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Old 7th May 2017, 12:10   #9
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Thanks so much for the feedback and comments. More than anything else, yesterday, it was utter frustration at being stuck half on the road and half at home, being able to do nothing but wait for intervention that never came. For a vehicle that has given so much pleasure and no pain.

One clarification, the Service Center manager did NOT send the guys on the scooter. These were the guys who were coordinating the crane. I called them so many times and we probably struck a bond somewhere. They came on their own, after duty hours, on their personal vehicle. Skoda did not send them. I hail these two blokes for their humanity and help. But they came on their own, on their time.

When the issue was fixed, they called up their boss to inform, perhaps to get some praise. It was only then that my true friend learnt of their intervention. And he asked them to charge me!!

Skoda ASS didn't help me. These two, who I spoke to for hours to get me a crane, did.

Hats off to them!

Pants off to Skoda.

Last edited by rajeevn : 7th May 2017 at 12:11.
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Old 7th May 2017, 13:08   #10
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Default re: Yeti problem & my experience with Skoda's after-sales

Quote:
Originally Posted by rajeevn View Post

Today, I learnt a small lesson in life.

My first brush with Skoda ASS.

I will survive, as will my Yeti.

But this is wrong.

Quote:
Originally Posted by satya180 View Post
I believe everyone should have some basic knowledge of cars, especially about what to do when the car breaks down/ behaves unusually.
This is exactly the need of the hour. Sometimes, I feel that we as owners should do one round of troubleshooting first before we hand over our cars to the service center. This needn't be the case only with Skoda, and can happen with any manufacturer. Since cars get more and more complex over time, simple things like a blown fuse can escalate to such incidents where innocent owners might get ripped of thousands just to solve small issues, where so much of hassle isnt really necessary.

The friendliness of these people in the service centers misleads people into believing what they say. Amazed by how these people start their talks at the level of bad fuel - fuel pump - injector and so on. Thats where the scamming attitude shows up. Hence, I take what these people tell with a pinch of salt. And being friendly and prompt is excellent, only when the intentions are genuine.

Why shouldnt they send such a person on a two wheeler first, before advising to get the vehicle towed? That would get a thumbs up from me. If this had happened, I would have been happy to tip him 500 or more since he saved a potential bill of more than 5k in all. But this is just cheating.
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Old 7th May 2017, 16:18   #11
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Default re: Yeti problem & my experience with Skoda's after-sales

Thanks for sharing your experience.

What does Skoda have to do to make the ownership experience pleasant?!

I think Skoda, unlike Maruti, doesn't have the numbers to threaten dealers with dire consequences due to deficient service.

Funny how the SA, a single person, effectively makes or breaks your ownership experience. The brilliance of the car, manufacturer and technology stand pale in front of that one person who gets to decide how things are fixed when broken!

Quote:
Originally Posted by rajeevn View Post
One clarification, the Service Center manager did NOT send the guys on the scooter. These were the guys who were coordinating the crane. I called them so many times and we probably struck a bond somewhere. They came on their own, after duty hours, on their personal vehicle. Skoda did not send them. I hail these two blokes for their humanity and help. But they came on their own, on their time.

When the issue was fixed, they called up their boss to inform, perhaps to get some praise. It was only then that my true friend learnt of their intervention. And he asked them to charge me!!
Glad you clarified; until you did, I was under the impression that the SA sent them to you to persuade (threaten) you against troubleshooting. The SA saw it as a dent to the opportunity to pull a quick one on you. Surely, the fuel pump replacement would have cost you in tens of thousands.

Quote:
Originally Posted by smartcat View Post
1) Yeti's display unit should have said "Fuse Udd Gaya" instead of "Engine Trouble: Workshop".
Priceless!

"aaj bas mann nahi hai" [Simply not in the mood today]

Last edited by libranof1987 : 7th May 2017 at 16:20.
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Old 7th May 2017, 16:21   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by audioholic View Post
Why shouldnt they send such a person on a two wheeler first, before advising to get the vehicle towed? That would get a thumbs up from me. If this had happened, I would have been happy to tip him 500 or more since he saved a potential bill of more than 5k in all. But this is just cheating.
Exactly my point. I asked the Service Manager at least 4-5 times to have the vehicle checked at home first, in case it was something minor. He point-blank refused and "knew for sure" it was the fuel pump.

By my 4th or 5th request, he was getting downright rude. "Arrey bhai, bol diya na aapko itni baar ki workshop mein hi theek hogi. Aap maante hi nahin hain!!"

He clearly has been blessed with clairvoyance.

I am also pretty sure that had the Yeti reached the workshop, the fuel pump would have been found out to be the culprit. Clearly, the Service Manager would never have admitted that it was just a blown fuse. At the very least, I would have paid a lump of money so that he could spare himself some embarrassment.

Quote:
Originally Posted by libranof1987 View Post
Funny how the SA, a single person, effectively makes or breaks your ownership experience. The brilliance of the car, manufacturer and technology stand pale in front of that one person who gets to decide how things are fixed when broken!
Very true. Even at other Skoda workshops, it is up to that one SA to decide what will be done to the car.

Skoda India has been seeing for years that customers really like and appreciate their vehicles and technology, but have been suffering badly at the hand of these ASS. Why an international brand does nothing about this is beyond me. There are more than enough Skodas out on the road, and there's enough and more business opportunity fpr the workshops. Surely, they can be pulled up.

Last edited by Gannu_1 : 7th May 2017 at 19:59. Reason: Back to back posts merged. Please use the multi-quote option (QUOTE+) while quoting and responding to multiple posts together. Thanks!
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Old 7th May 2017, 23:13   #13
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Default re: Yeti problem & my experience with Skoda's after-sales

Quote:
Originally Posted by rajeevn View Post
My first brush with Skoda ASS.
Excellently written.

That said, dont worry, its not a Skoda problem.

Even TATA ASS tried to pull something similar on me when the A/C was not working. They told me that the Compressor needed to be changed, and later it was diagnosed to be a blown fuse.

A/c worked fine until I sold the car.
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