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Old 27th July 2009, 01:38   #1
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Thumbs down Tata's newest TASC - Detroit Motors, Hyderabad

Amongst its various dealers and sub dealers I believe Detroit Motors is the newest Tata sub dealer and a TASC. They are not a dealer but from what I understand they act as sub dealers for Concorde Motors, Hyderabad. These guys have a sprawling setup at ECIL X-Roads with an impressive workshop, paintshop etc.

Many of you in Hyderabad would have noticed of-late a surfeit of Tata vehicles with Detroit emblazzoned on the rear screen. They are definitely aggressive in marketing themselves. Its not only the Detroit name that they put on your car (in big bold letterings) but also ensure that the previous dealer's name (Autofin or Malik) is removed as well. That is not all. They are also aggresive in solicitation of business. They have access to Tata's CRM software and they cull out the name of all Hyderabadi Tata owners. Then they start chasing them to get their vehicles for service.

Now coming to the point, they have been incessantly bombarding me with SMSs to bring my car (indica) for service and with offers to give free wheel alignment, 20% reduction on bill etc. So finally, I paid them a visit this Saturday to get the Indica (Turbo) serviced. The mistake I made was to ask the service advisor (one Mr. Mohd.) about all these freebies they are offering. His ears cocked up. He asked me what are the offers that I was made. So I told him about the free alignment and the 20% rebate offered through SMS. He made a point to note these at the bottom of the JobCard.

Now, the whole day I was there in the workshop as the car was getting serviced. Mainly so because I was anxious that everything I mentioned was done properly as I am supposed to drive this car down to Kolkata very soon.

Now, I do not know how skilled the mech was as he misdiagnosed at least one problem which resulted in me shelling out 750 bucks on a FICD when none was required. However I do not blame him entirely as it was my mistake that I did not check the car properly after the installation (that is to take it on a long drive to heat up the engine sufficiently) and agreed with the mech that the FICD indeed solved the problem of the high RPM as suggested by him. It actually did not. The earlier FICD was just as well. But as I said, that is not the only issue here.

The problem is elsewhere. At 1pm the guys vanished for lunch. By this time my cars service was done and it had to be taken for wheel alignment (so called free offer) and then for a wash. However these guys were just not moving it even though the time neared 3 pm. My car was still parked exactly where it was, waiting for the alignment job. As I went to one of their so called team leads (Mr. Srinivas I believe) to ask him to put the car in for alignment he just waved me away saying that their QA guy will first TD the car before it can go for alignment. And with that he started talking to someone else. I know that style. Its called "summarily dismissed".

I was fuming, but I searched out the service advisor Mohd. and asked him to put the car in for alignment as they are just wasting time even though the alignment bay is lying vacant. After this within 5 minutes I see my car being driven away for TD by the QA guy. I went back in and enquired whether they will do the alignment after the TD. To my shock and amazement they tell me that alignment is already done. I was clueless. Is it possible to do alignment job in less than 5 minutes? Well, they also produce the alignment report sheet for the car.

I know it when I have been taken in for a ride. And this looked like one such case. Its just impossible that they would have done all that camber and caster alignment work in less than 5 minutes time. Moreover, the report was dicey. Just 3 days back I had put in new tyres and alloys from one of the reputed shops here and they had done complete alignment. Everything was fine. Whereas this report from Detroit showed some good amount of adjustment in the Camber and Caster settings. Chances are its like one of those pollution test con jobs we see everywhere in Hyderabad. A fixed value table (saved in the comp) is printed against your car's number and passed on as the certificate. But then I could say nothing much as everything was merely circumstantial. It showed me their ethics though.

However the kicker came during the billing process. The Mohd. guy hands me a bill of Rs.4145. This is far more than what I paid for even my 40k service which is a major one with lot of replacements etc. It is necessary to mention here that Detroit claims that their rates, whether for labour or parts, are the lowest in Hyderabad and even have two huge boards in the entrance showing comparative rates.

I look a little more closely at the bill and two things strike me as odd. They billed me almost 1000 bucks (can't remember the exact figure but was probably 995 or something) + taxes as service charges! I look at him incredulously. I tell him that this is very high. Even Autofin (they are a dealer and a TASS) charges 770 or something for service. However he just tells me that is what the services charges "now" are and that it is still low as compared to others. He would have me believe that Autofin and Malik charge some 1200 bucks or so plus the taxes to service an Indica. I told him that this is unacceptable. However he won't budge.

Next thing on the bill was even more stupifying. I had told him that he should check the smoke from the tailpipe during service. Nothing unusual. Every diesel car owner asks the service guys to check this on every service. And they also do something predictable, just as Detroit also did. The mech took my car next to an open collapsible gate on the farthest end of the workshop which opens to a vacant land next to them. He lustily rode the accelerator and thus cleaned up the exhaust of all the carbon residue inside. I was standing next to the car all the while so I know. For this job the service advisor added a head called CatCon cleaning and billed me another 100 rupees! I did not know what to say. 100 rupees to press the car's accelerator a few times? I mean, hello!

I tried to tell the guy that this is unacceptable but he simply hands over the invoice to the Cashier and tells me that he will get my car outside and vanishes! I had no mood to fight with these thugs any more. So I paid up and left.

Moral of the story is that in case Detroit is chasing you with all those freebies beware. There is nothing like free lunches (as the saying goes) and in this case they have some underhand tactics to actually overcharge you. Vedict - You are probably better off sticking to your regular TASS than paying a visit to these guys.

P.S.:
1> They have a really nice waiting hall though, all wood with plush carpeting and AC'd with DTH and a LCD TV. The sofas are also very comfy with some automags around. Also, this waiting lounge overlooks the workshop so at any time you can go near the glass wall (on the workshop side) and see them working (not necessarily your car though).
2> They actually offered me only a Rs.240 discount on the bill which must be only on the labour as I figured it and not "on the bill" as they claim in the SMS. So in effect they overcharged me pretty well to recover that discount and then some more.

Last edited by Zappo : 27th July 2009 at 02:21.
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Old 27th July 2009, 01:51   #2
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Zappo, really sad to hear the state of affairs at Detroit Motors. However i feel you should not let this pass and complain to tata on their helpline number.

We should bring these people to task.
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Old 27th July 2009, 01:58   #3
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I always used to take my Palio to the TASS in SanathNagar at Concorde and I found them to be good enough.
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Old 27th July 2009, 02:10   #4
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Problem here is that Tata does not track their TASC. They only followup on the service done by their TASS, which is basically dealership cum service station. I think this is actually a faulty model since some like Detroit are pretty big and are actually looking for an opening to get their own dealerships soon. If you see their sprawling workshop you will know that they dream to become dealerships soon (currently they are sub-dealers under Concorde). And thus it also becomes necessary that Tatas collect feedback on their operations.

As for me, I do not think it is worth chasing up this issue further with Tata as at the end of the day its only a few hundred bucks that they overcharged me. However it makes sense for us as a community and the hyderabad members who own Tatas to be aware that the ethics takes a backseat with Detroit. As for others (public in general), even if I complain to Tatas it will not spread any message.

I just posted it here as a record for others, and also so that in future any Tata owner who may search the forum for any notings on Detroit will know what to expect. I would not mind if they did not offer any freebies. However talking of freebies and then acting unethically to ensure that you actually recover more is outrageous.

P.S.: hillram, I believe all the TASS here in hyderabad are much better. Autofin is good (I have noted so in the past) and so are Malik going by himanshu's thread. Apparently, Concorde is also good. Problem is Detroit is not a TASS. Inspite of all its trappings they are actually TASC. And Tatas do not bother with them as I understand it.

Last edited by Zappo : 27th July 2009 at 02:12.
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Old 29th July 2009, 02:10   #5
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An update. I was surprised that Tata actually called me up today for feedback on this service done at Detroit. From my past experience they never call for Feedback if the service is done at a TASC instead of a TASS.

I told them that the ethics part of it was missing. I also asked the guy whether they have any standard service rates for a regular servicing of an Indica. He had no answer really since he knew this is a minefield from which he was better off remaining far enough. However the person elicitated enough details about everything from me and also promised to forward this issue to the principals.

Lets see.
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Old 29th July 2009, 07:09   #6
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heh. I guess TASC's and TASS's are the same everywhere. I had a strong sense of deja VU reading the report. Sometimes i wonder if the feedback I give is useful after all...
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Old 30th July 2009, 00:38   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by greenhorn View Post
I Sometimes i wonder if the feedback I give is useful after all...
I had a few good experiences with feedback in Gwalior where, after getting my Indigo serviced, I had a few issues which I let the feedback guys from Bombay know. The service center promptly called up the next day and requested me to get the car back to them to resolve the issues which I did.

And yes, even that was a TASC !
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Old 30th July 2009, 01:58   #8
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Normally, my experience with TASS (Autofin) in Hyderabad has been good. So is Himanshu's experience with Malik Cars (another TASS). However Detroit is new (TASC) and hence very aggressive. They are trying to acquire business by aggressive solicitation. However I think in the process they are giving ethics a go by.

No one ever asked them to provide free this and that or discounts. If they are doing so then it is out of their own volition. After promising these there is no point in doing things half heartedly or try to resort to such underhand tactics. That is where I have an issue. If I can pay 3600 (my approximate estimation for this service) then I can as well pay another 500-600 bucks as well. My point is they used unethical means. They apparently did Wheel Alignment free of cost. My point is a wheel alignment is not a blink and miss job. In less than 5 minutes that I was away it was over! Moreover, the alignment report they gave me suggests that either the earlier guy did nothing 3-4 days back or else they are bluffing. I have no reasons to believe the former as I was present when the alignment was done and saw the pain he took to adjust the camber which had a problem. Similarly 900 bucks+taxes is way more than normal. Autofin, by virtue of being a TASS, has higher rates and yet they never charged me this high for a routine service in some 6 or more service that they did on my car. Similarly the catcon cleaning thing. It was another stupid head they added to inflate the bill artificially.

I went there to check their service level as I thought being a new TASC they also needed some patrons (after all competition is good for us customers). However I doubt whether I will ever go there again. As it is its pretty far from the city, on top of it all these unethical means make me wary of them.

I would like to see whether the service feedback that Tata took from me does any good.
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Old 30th July 2009, 10:42   #9
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No wonder they call themselves "Detroit" motors, suits them right.
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Old 22nd March 2010, 19:01   #10
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Hi Zappo,

Thanks so much for such a detailed review on Detroit Motors, I have been contemplating to get my Indigo serviced at Detroit (more in terms of trying out), even though I stay quite close by to Malik Motors. Your point "I just posted it here as a record for others, and also so that in future any Tata owner who may search the forum for any notings on Detroit will know what to expect" has made me change my mind and better stick to Malik motors itself even I have not been much satisfied with their service, needing to remind smallest of the things time and again and as rightly mentioned "summarily dismissed" happens quite often or rather they believe in "ignorance is bliss". My Indigo is due for 30K service and really confused as the supervisor was ready with a laundry list for my vehicle, he has mentioned during my last visit i made for some alternator beltl issue, so need to gear up for a rich bills for my car.
Thanks once again for your review, it really helped.
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