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Old 27th December 2009, 13:26   #1
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Default Pandit Auto, Pune : Is cheating the only way to make money from a dealership?

This post is regarding an accessory buying experience at the most 'learned' dealership at Pune.

So I am in Pune, with my Punto, sans any floor mats/mud flaps. I was told that Bangalore Concorde did not have these with them at the time of buying and for months afterwards, hence decided to check out Pandit while I was in Pune. I call up their accessories dept, a dame answers and I ask for original Punto mudflaps and floormats. She informs me that it would cost me 2400 rupees for both mudflaps and mat set, I think it is a bit on the high side, but then I wanted original Punto stuff, so told her that I will be coming there soon. Got a colleague to tag along and off we went.

Park the car, go inside and 2 ladies are manning the accessories counter and as expected, has no clue of what needs to be done and asks me to wait. For a more knowledgeable person to arrive. (Or rather, wait for the person trained in cheating to arrive, because we are just getting trained and not good at it). So one smart guy arrives with the stuff and it is handed over to a fitter. The mats do not look anything like original and a closer look reveals that is rubber sheet bought in bulk cut to size and stitched haphazardly. I am not sure if I should pay 1600 for this lot, so take a look at another Punto that was just driving out of the service section. Voila ! He has the same mats, but the driver reveals that these are aftermarket stuff from outside, got at a princely sum of 300/(Seemed very low to me, maybe it was more). But this set off alarm bells in my head. I go to the fitter and say that I do not need the mats, just the mud flaps will do.

The mud flaps turn out to be cheap looking rubber stuff with "For use in PUNTO(Punto in bold, rest small) embossed on it. Still I let him fit the first one, which the moron fits at an angle to the wheel, when viewed from the rear. I get pissed off and go inside to meet the smart dude. Tell him that I do not need the mats as they are not original and I have come only to get the original stuff. That's when he flipped and took out an original box set of mud flaps. He also said that he will give me original carpet mat set - he said company has not come up with rubber mats yet - but that carpet mats are costlier and hence I will not get the boot mat in the Rs 1600/- mentioned in their price list. I decide to argue this point later and ask him to go ahead and show me the stuff. It looks decent and is correctly shaped for the footwell of the Punto, that's what I want.

The original mudflaps are much better looking and has a hard plastic like sheen on it. I ask the smart dude to instruct the fitter to do his job properly and he obliges. I discreetly take pictures of the duplicate mudflaps side by side with original ones, repeat the same with mats. I know the guy was trying to pull a smart one on me, but little does he know what I am going to come up with next.

Fitting over, we walk back to do the payment. Since he does not have the original carpet boot mat, he offers the aftermarket one(for which I will have to pay extra) and I refuse. Also, since he says it costs more, I ask him to show me a price list, where this price is mentioned. Hearing this he gets all jittery and tries to blabber his way out. I insist that he show me a price list, else I am not going to pay. He calls up his superiors and has a long chat in Marathi(pity I do not know the language) and they come to the conclusion they have been found out and have to somehow find an escape route.

Now the smart dude suddenly goes back from his earlier stand that carpet mats were more expensive and that boot mats would cost extra. He says that boot mats are also included in the original cost of 1600/- and since they are not available, he would reduce the amount for the same. But still, no price list. How much would be reduced, I ask. 600, pat comes the reply. I was still seething and wanted to insist on the price list still, but my colleague talked me out of it saying that 600 was a good discount. Anyway, I had already got calls from office and needed to rush back, so I pay 1850 for a set of original mudflaps and carpet mat set and head back, making a mental note to put this up in T-Bhp. So here it is, albeit a week late.

Also attached are the pictures of the original and aftermarket stuff. First one shows the mudflaps side by side. Note the difference in quality. Second one shows the floormat, which look Ok in the pic, but the stitching is iffy
and not worth the price charged by the dealer. Otherwise they are pretty OK. Third pic shows the flaps as fitted onto the car.

My questions to Pandit & Fiat(Also TATA) , if they are reading this -

1. Why try to pass off aftermarket stuff as original, when I can get the same from outside for much lesser? Is this authorized by the companies themselves?
2. Why say that carpet markets are more expensive and then do an about turn when a customer has seen through their game? Does reputation not matter to you at all?
3. Lastly, what is gained by cheating a customer? FIAT is trying to build it's already tarnished reputation, how does dealers like this help in their endeavour?
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Last edited by kuttapan : 27th December 2009 at 13:31.
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Old 27th December 2009, 13:36   #2
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Send a mail to service@fiapl.com , mangesh and the CEO corner with the link to this thread.

Spare Parts and Service Costs Page - Punto Users Group India | Google Groups

Flaps are at 411/- and mats at 775/-, you can get the pricelist from service@fiapl.com

I hope you have the invoice with you, they have clearly overcharged.

Last edited by sdp1975 : 27th December 2009 at 13:39.
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Old 27th December 2009, 15:09   #3
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Is invoice itemized ? If it has part number and prrices are more than MRP, than Fiat might be able to put this dealer to task.

OTOH, many dealers issue invoice from a different company (other than dealer) to avoid scrutiny.
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Old 4th October 2010, 23:18   #4
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Scary!!! To put it mildly! I am staying away from Pandit - though I think Sidharth of Pandit was here on forum few months ago.
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Old 17th October 2012, 09:22   #5
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Default Re: Pandit Auto, Pune : Is cheating the only way to make money from a dealership?

A Vista (Limited Edition) owned by a friend has been sent for some AC repairs @ Pandit. After evaluation the SA sent him a list of items to be replaced which also consisted AC condensor, pipes & compressor. I informed my friend that as the car is in warantee most of the items will be free replacements.

When this was informed to the SA, He came back saying that the they cannot honour the warantee, as the Brake oil, Fuel Filter & coolant was not replaced during the 3rd servicing. How is brake oil connected with AC issues? We checked all records and showed the SA that the car was serviced as per the required schedule @ an authorised Tata Motors service centre ( Richard Garage). Further, Pandit Auto had replaced the Brake oil during some repairs few months back. We have also given him the EW list showing all the parts covered under warantee. Inspite of all this, Pandit is agreeing to replace only the compressor under warantee and all other parts as payable.

We have now taken up the issue with TATA MOTORS directly, who have agreed to talk to Pandit and resolve the issue.

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