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Old 16th May 2010, 22:11   #1
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Thumbs down Unsatisfied Honda customer due to poor customer service courtesy a dishonest dealer.

My friend got his Honda City in December '09. In order, to win over a probable customer, the salesman and dealer made false promises about few goodies alongwith the car, which they still haven't delivered till date. And my friend keeps calling them in order to get what he was promised but of no avail.

Here's the very email that he sent to the customer relationship manager of Honda Automobiles (India) taking the matter up to the company itself inorder to get the issue resolved.

--------EMAIL---------

Dear Sir,
I, Nikhil (vehicle registration no. MH 02 ** ****) would like to bring to your notice the problems faced due to your dishonest dealer.
I booked the HONDA CITY VMT in December, 2009 from Solitaire Honda, Mumbai. The promised freebies were as follows : Mattings, Mud Flaps, Mirror Locks, 50% off on Rear Sensors, Teflon Coating , Anti Rust Coating and a cash discount of Rs. 31,000. Out of the promised freebies, I insisted that Anti Rust and Teflon Coating be done during the 1st service of the car which was agreed upon by Solitaire Honda. All other freebies were provided during the delivery of the vehicle.
I got the car delivered on 9th Jan, 2010. Till date there have been no problems with the car at all. I am very happy with the performance of the car. After a month of buying the car when the 1st service was scheduled, I called up the sales person named Ajay asking him to intimate the workshop for the free Anti Rust and Teflon Coating as promised. He agreed upon that and I gave my car for service expecting that Anti rust and Teflon coating would be done. But when they delivered the car to me , they told me that only Teflon coating has been done and they could not do the Anti Rust treatment due to shortage of staff (this was not told me when I gave the car for service). So I decided to wait until the 2nd service and then avail of the free Anti Rust treatment. So when my second service is scheduled I call up Ajay once again asking him to intimate the workshop for the free Anti Rust treatment. To my horror, he just blatantly refuses to acknowledge that he had promised me a free Anti Rust treatment. I spoke to his senior named Mr. Sujit Das Gupta and showed him the paper where Ajay had written the freebies promised to me. After seeing that, Mr. Sujit Das Gupta and Ajay both agree that it was their fault, but still say they cannot provide me the free anti rust treatment on that day as they had to update some file which was in another office. I felt this was highly unprofessional on their part. He again promised me that within 3 days they would pick my car from my home, get the free Anti Rust treatment done and drop it back to my home. I waited for 3 WEEKS but nobody from Solitaire Honda called me. I'm tried to call Ajay again but he'd just refuse to receive my call. At this point I had lost my patience and rushed to the showroom to talk to the Sales Manager , Mr. Avinash Bhardwaj. I told my whole story to Mr. Avinash Bhardwaj and expected he would address to my sorrow right away. But no, that did not happen. He again asked me for some more time to discuss this matter with his directors. I feel I have been cheated by Solitaire Honda. Although the car has given me no problems, I'm not very happy buying a HONDA due to such poor service and would not recommend it to anybody.
I would like to bring to your notice one more incident, where in the front right tyre of my car got torn unfortunately. I went to Solitaire Workshop and showed it to them. They told me that it has to be replaced which I agreed upon and told them to replace it right away. Upon that, the Service Advisor named Chandrashekhar Konga, tells me that the tyre is not in stock!! Upon discussing the tyre changing process with him he tells me that they do not have the machine for removing the tyre from the rim and fitting the new tyre on the rim. And he would be taking my wheel outside of the workshop (to some local mechanic) to do this job. My question to HONDA is when I pay a premium amount for the genuine spares why should the job done from the local mechanic??
I am very disappointed by the laid back attitude of Solitaire Honda. Your dealer is tarnishing Honda's image severely, and even though I like the car and the brand, but due to such pathetic service, I don't think I'll be recommending Honda to anybody if it continues in the same way.
I request you to take appropriate action against Solitaire Honda at the earliest. I hope to get justice. Awaiting your reply. Thanking you in anticipation.
Regards,
Nikhil.

-----------------------------------------------------------

From last heard, he got a call from Honda's customer service dept. and an official heard the whole story and promised him that he'd look into the matter and would demand an explanation from Solitaire Honda (Mumbai) and get back to him by soon.

What does everyone from Team-BHP thinks about this? Has anyone faced similar issues?
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Old 17th May 2010, 11:54   #2
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Honda will get back for sure, i am speaking from experience. They really take customer feedback very seriously. All the best!

PS: I own 2007 NHC Gxi. I was told by the dealer that the car is perfect and there is no reason to replace any power windows switch (remember recall?). I dropped a mail to Honda 121 stating so, and immediately within 45 mins got a call from dealer. Car was picked up next day and the issue was fixed.
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Old 17th May 2010, 23:11   #3
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@wild, i know that small things are sometimes very irritating and get on our nerves but i strongly suggest that you should not be too much worried about free anti rust coating as much as to spoil your new car enthusiasm. i feel like you have taken the matter to your heart and be sure that honda normally takes customer feedback seriously and your dealer must have already been taken in hand by them


@eqqus, my dealer said that honda will call owners individually if their switch needs replacement, should i write to them for clarification
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Old 18th May 2010, 03:23   #4
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@drsnt Thanks for you opinion. This is actually my friend's car, not mine. He was too frustrated and wanted to warn people about such poor service from the dealer and also needed advice and requested me to put up, hence I did it. Anyways, thanks.

@equus Thank you for sharing your experience. Ya, I too think that Honda people value their customer and would get the things in place asap.
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Old 18th May 2010, 09:42   #5
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This is poor service from Honda dealer. I hope they resolves the issue quickly (In your favor).

Have your friend has change the the tyres?
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Old 18th May 2010, 11:24   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Wild Phoenix View Post
@drsnt Thanks for you opinion. This is actually my friend's car, not mine. He was too frustrated and wanted to warn people about such poor service from the dealer and also needed advice and requested me to put up, hence I did it. Anyways, thanks.
Do let us know if and when Honda responds. I had a small issue with my dealer during delivery. One call to Honda and the issue was resolved pretty fast. So I would expect that Honda will take their dealer to task.

Does your friend have any letter from the dealer stating the list of goodies that would be included. Honda is not known to include freebies.
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Old 18th May 2010, 11:25   #7
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Honda dealer is at fault, that's for sure. Why didn't your friend take all the 'promises' in paper & got a signature. Verbal promises cannot be enforced & hence are the tools of the trade for salesman at dealerships.
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Old 18th May 2010, 11:43   #8
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@navin sir: It looks like the sales person did give the freebies in writing. Please see the quoted sentence.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Wild Phoenix View Post
I spoke to his senior named Mr. Sujit Das Gupta and showed him the paper where Ajay had written the freebies promised to me.
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Old 18th May 2010, 11:57   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Wild Phoenix View Post

He again asked me for some more time to discuss this matter with his directors. I feel I have been cheated by Solitaire Honda. Although the car has given me no problems, I'm not very happy buying a HONDA due to such poor service and would not recommend it to anybody.

I would like to bring to your notice one more incident, where in the front right tyre of my car got torn unfortunately. I went to Solitaire Workshop and showed it to them. They told me that it has to be replaced which I agreed upon and told them to replace it right away. Upon that, the Service Advisor named Chandrashekhar Konga, tells me that the tyre is not in stock!! Upon discussing the tyre changing process with him he tells me that they do not have the machine for removing the tyre from the rim and fitting the new tyre on the rim. And he would be taking my wheel outside of the workshop (to some local mechanic) to do this job. My question to HONDA is when I pay a premium amount for the genuine spares why should the job done from the local mechanic??


From last heard, he got a call from Honda's customer service dept. and an official heard the whole story and promised him that he'd look into the matter and would demand an explanation from Solitaire Honda (Mumbai) and get back to him by soon.

What does everyone from Team-BHP thinks about this? Has anyone faced similar issues?
Hi Buddy,

Feel sorry for your friend but would like to say something.

1> Why is a car being blamed when there is no issue in the car itself or its performance.

2> The dealerships salesman is to be blamed and since you have his assurance in writing regarding the freebies am sure you will get the same from the top level management.

3> Most dealerships go to a outside vendor for replacement of tyres/puncture repairs. They normally only keep the alignement & balancing equipment with them. There is nothing wrong with what they are doing and a buying a spare tyre from them does not make it a genuine spare as it is not a spare in itself.

I think the issue is being blown out of proportion. Just my 2 bits

Viper

Last edited by viper : 18th May 2010 at 11:59.
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Old 18th May 2010, 13:35   #10
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I don't think thgis is blown out of proprtion.

The salesman made promises in order to close the deal and didn't deliver.

An ancient proverb says; Whoever is loyal in little things is also loyal in big things.

However it was a series of promises not fulfilled and the staff couldn't care. This is not on.

,q Wild Phoenix . Feel free to pm me and I will take it on the list for the newly created dealer lemon award, which will be issued to the worst dealer of the month.
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Old 18th May 2010, 15:11   #11
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Forget it. They will just bounce it back to the dealer. I ran into a n executive who tried to con me. I wrote to Mr Nagai the President & CEO on 30th April. The letter was referred to the dealer who has nothing to do with the matter, and replied as much to Honda. I have had no communication from Honda on the matter. Sorry for the long post but it may be of interest:

Mr Takashi Nagai
President & Chief Executive, Honda Siel Cars India Ltd.

Plot No. A-1, Sector 40/ 41, Surajpur-Kasna Road
Greater Noida Industrial Development Area
Distt. Gautam Budh Nagar, U.P. 201 306

Dear Mr Nagai,
Sub.: Issues with your marketing staff
It pains me to have to write this to you. However, I am forced to complain about the false information put out by your Area Sales Manager Mr Negi (I think his name is Rakesh) who handles this region. His behaviour is a blot on the good name of Honda. Let me itemise the full story which is forcing me to write this letter:

I had contacted Honda in the middle of March this year for the possible purchase of a Civic. I was contacted by Mr Sameer Ahuja (who has since left) of your dealers Pushp Honda, Kanpur. I indicated that I was interested in purchasing the car in April, with BS4 specifications only. Not being familiar with the situation, on the following day he set up a conference call with Mr Negi, who stated that all Honda cars were BS4 compliant. I stated in no uncertain terms that I am not looking for mere compliance but certification. He said that there may be a price increase of about Rs.11,000 to 15,000 after 1 April on account of BS4. He added that BS4 certification requires a warning light on the console to monitor the emissions, which was linked to the Lambda sensor. I joked with him that you want the money just to reprogram the ECU unit to light up a warning (which may already be there).

More important he indicated that the Full BS4 certified car will only be available by the 14th April or thereabouts, depending on the exact production schedule. He will be able to finally confirm only by the first week of April.

I had a Test Drive of a new Civic V MT a couple of days later. Till this point we were talking totally in the context of a Manual Transmission Car.

Thereafter, Mr Ahuja accompanied by Mr Akash Sahani, GM Sales (Pushp Honda) again visited us on the 20th March. We decided to go in for a Civic V-AT in Alabaster Silver. We agreed on the accessories and prices (subject to the Rs.11,000-15,000 increase on account of BS4). I also issued a cheque for the booking amount of Rs.100,000.


In the meanwhile I had put my main car on the market, got a buyer within two days, and delivered my car to him on 12th April (as promised by me). However, I was informed by Mr Sahani, in the first week of April, that the delivery date would be around the 3rd/4th of May as the AT takes a bit longer. So we will have to manage for three weeks instead of only a few days.

Up to this point, things were nice and cordial, and we were working on the basis that my BS4 Civic V-AT will be delivered on May 3 or 4 as was repeatedly confirmed to me by Mr Sahani.

I had requested a Test Drive in an Automatic for my own satisfaction. Yesterday, on 29th April Mr Sahani brought a car for the purpose. To finally confirm the date Mr Sahani called up Mr Negi once again from my house. Now a totally different story emerged. He stated that there are some changes (must be minor since the face lift was only in September 2009!), and the revised car will be available only in the first week of June. I can have the current one earlier. I said fine, since being without our second car for over a month and a half was not comfortable. I asked Mr Sahani to confirm that it was indeed BS4. He talked to Mr Negi and then passed on his phone to me. When I questioned him on the date of manufacture Mr Negi said March, and repeated the story of BS4 compliance. On further questioning he confessed that it was BS3 only.

This was not a mistake, since he recalled our talk in March and was also attributing his subsequent talk with Mr Sahani in April to a conference call, which it was not. I got agitated and told him that Honda was trying to cheat customers. Why should I have waited if I only wanted BS3!

I am bringing to this your notice as a formal complaint against your system. Please clarify on the following points:

1. How did Mr Negi make the statements and commitments in March about BS4 Civics in April? He then apparently repeated this to Mr Sahani when I was given the delivery date.

[2. If the vehicle was not even in the production schedule then how and from where did the delivery in early May appear? Does it not amount to cheating, or at least misstatement? At best it could have been a BS3 vehicle.

3. Why was an attempt made to fob a BS3 car to me knowing full well that I am only interested in a BS4 certified car? If I had not been alert and aware a BS3 car would have been registered in my name, and it would be a fait accompli. This was obviously being done to take advantage of the grace period in which cars manufactured prior to April can still be registered.

4. Who is responsible for the delay of an extra month, and the hardship we are facing? Mr Sahani refused to provide even a service vehicle for the period. He offered to refund the advance, fully aware that we have lost over a month and may not wish to do so now.

I am afraid I am totally losing faith in Honda as a brand. If I had not lost a month then I would have gone to a competitor. Toyota was much more truthful when their local dealer stated that they had no information about the forthcoming BS4 regulations.

Looking forward to a reply with a possible resolution of the matter, specifically in the form of delivery of a BS4 certified car as soon as possible, with a firm date.

Thanking you,
Yours sincerely,
30 April 2010

Last edited by sgiitk : 18th May 2010 at 15:17.
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Old 18th May 2010, 15:14   #12
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I have a 2006 NHC GXi and had lots of problems with the dealer at the time of delivery.
I find no difference between the Skoda dealers and Honda dealers, the only saving grace is the vastly superior reliability of Honda and a decent operations in the After Sales Service.

Last edited by LonelyPlanet : 18th May 2010 at 15:19.
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Old 19th May 2010, 09:49   #13
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I think all assurances are null and void once the payment is made. In my case even earlier!
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Old 19th May 2010, 10:06   #14
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@Sgiitk Sir - What happened after writing to Honda Cars India? Did Honda or Pusp Honda dealer come back to you? Did you get your car?
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Old 19th May 2010, 11:15   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by AkMar View Post
It looks like the sales person did give the freebies in writing. Please see the quoted sentence.
Has Honda been informed of this.

If I were so agrieved I'd write to Honda's MD and CC the dealer, every auto journal I know, and the better business bureau / Consumer Grievence Body (or equivalent).

The fear of bad press should get Honda to respond.

Quote:
Originally Posted by viper View Post
1> Why is a car being blamed when there is no issue in the car itself or its performance.

2> The dealerships salesman is to be blamed and since you have his assurance in writing regarding the freebies am sure you will get the same from the top level management.

3> Most dealerships go to a outside vendor for replacement of tyres/puncture repairs.
I agree with Viper. Car dealers change sales people regularly. A sales person at a car dealership has not responsibility and knows full wel that this job is just temporary. Normally before you book your car you should talk to the most senior Manager you can find.

But that is in hindsight. Your best bet now is to take up the case with the manufacturer and/or dealership.

As far as tyres go, our spare was stolen and we too could not get a sapre from honda - they expected us to wait several weeks. Finally we we got one from Premjis.

Quote:
Originally Posted by sgiitk View Post
I think all assurances are null and void once the payment is made. In my case even earlier!
Not always...let me relate my experience with Arya Honda.

About 20 months ago (Nov or Dec 2008) my wife booked a Red ANHC. At the time of booking the sales person and manager at Arya Honda (Prabhadevi) assured my wife that she will get the first Red ANHC they get. 3 days before delivery (delivery date was Friday, Jan 23rd, 2009 and they called us on Wednesday) the dealer calls us to tell us that no Red car is available and that we'd have to choose between Silver and Grey.

My wife told the dealer she will come by on Friday to choose. She forgot to go on Friday and evetuallly went by the dealer on Sunday only to see 2 Red ANHCs in the dealership. We called the manager who told us that one Red car was a demo car and the other was for delivery to another client. That got my wife quite upset and a flurry of phone calls later someone at Honda called us to tell us that they are very sorry for this and that they are prepared to send the nearest Red ANHC to us (from Pune) by Tuesday.

Meanwhile the dealer called us back and told my wife that she will have her car by Monday evening. Monday Jan 26th 2009 was a holday so we told the dealer we cant come to pick it up. The told us not to worry they will deliver the car to our residence.

We called Honda back and told Hodna that our dealer has promised delivery by Monday evening. They were fine with that and told us that we should call the dealer in the afternoon on Monday to check the progress and get back to them. Monday evening my wife got her car. They gave us a small Ganpati and some sweets as well.

BTW, just to clarify, at no time did I ever mention TBHP or that I am a Moderator here. I did have it in the back of my mind to report this on TBHP if the issue was not resolved but since they responded I felt no need to.
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