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Old 25th May 2010, 15:31   #1
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Default Pinnacle Honda - Kolkata

Pinnacle Honda

Pinnacle Honda is currently the only Honda dealer in the city. Both Windsor Honda and Imperial Honda have shut shop.

They have a spanking new setup with a single building housing Sales and Service. It seemed that even their 'yard' to park new cars awaiting sale/delivery is in the same building.

The ground floor has the sales / showroom, backoffice and the service engineers' stations. Along with quick service bays. Elevators are used to take the cars to the upper floors for service.

When I was hunting around for my new car purchase, I interacted with Honda, Toyota, GM, Skoda, HM Mitsu and VW. Also having been bitten by the T-BHP bug, I do tend to visit dealerships just like that , for TD's or just to kill time. Hence have visited Ford, Hyundai, Tata/Fiat and of course Maruti. Nope, never been to a Mahindra showroom, although there's one bang opposite my house !

I was pretty used to the Maruti folks and have a fair rapport with them. It's been a very pleasant experience with them over the last 5 years. Ever courteous, always willing to help and an overall sincerity to resolve issues.

So I was of course looking for a good dealership experience again. I was inclined towards the Civic, but was a tad apprehensive about how the dealership would be. Given that a) they sell Hondas ! & b) they have a sales&service monopoly in the city. I was even preparing myself for accepting some amount of arrogance. Partly due to my earlier experiences at Windsor Honda, where I used to get a feeling they were doing me a favour showing the car around.

First visit and TD experience
All of those apprehensions went out of the window during the first visit as a possible City or Civic customer on a Saturday. Shekhar was all attention, no hint of arrogance, eager to explain every little bit, ready to accept what he did not know and willing to find out immediately from his peers to give me a response. I was offered brochures, drinks, test drives and not an iota of displeasure was shown with me poring over the cars for 40mins. I had also mentioned clearly I'd not be buying anything for a month or two.

I was very happy and went away mentioning I'd take a TD next week at my office. And it would be great if they could give me a TD of both the City and the Civic.
When should I call sir?
Tentatively next Friday, around lunch.
1pm sir?
Yes, thank you


A week later he calls me exactly at 1pm !! I was tied up, so had to decline the TD and we setup the same arrangement for the following Wednesday.

Come Wednesday and he calls up again bang on time! I'm getting more and more impressed.
Do you want the TD today?
Yes, I'd like to drive the City first.
Sure, no problem. The manual?
Yep, can you come at around 3:30?
Sure. I'll be there.


The dealership is a 30min drive from my office. 3:30 and he calls! He asks me to drive. I rip it for 20kms. No complaints. Am happy. He checks again if I have brochures and price list etc.
Thanks for the TD. Can I drive the Civic next?
Absolutely. Shall I bring it tomorrow?
Fine ! Wonderful. Same time?
Sure. I'll be there!


Thursday, he calls me at 1pm.
Sir, slight hitch. Would it be ok to do it at 430 instead of 330?
No problemo ! And thanks for proactively letting me know of the change in plan
And sir, colleague of mine would be going today, since I'm tied up with a delivery

I was now really impressed. No dealership had ever been so proactive and valued their customers' time.

You guessed it by now. 4:30 sharp, Soma arrives in a Silver V M/T. Another round of hard driving. Wifey deciding this is the car to buy.

Shekhar calls to follow up 1 hour later.
Was the TD ok?
Yes, very much. Thank you!
Thank you sir, hope to talk to you soon


Not a hint of pushing for the sale ! He respected that fact that I was just TD'ing cars now and would not be taking a decision immediately.

Next post .. Booking.
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Old 25th May 2010, 15:33   #2
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Booking experience

I land up at the dealership a couple of weeks later. Just wander in for some small talk with Shekhar. On a Sunday. Start asking him about freebies with the

City/Civic and loan options. He's very straightforward with the freebies.
Sir, not much to offer. But what would you want?
Nothing much, just rubber mats, car cover, michelins and sunfilm.
Sir sunfilm wont be possible. Other 3 I should be able to do. Sunfilm costs 4.5K since we install only Llumar


Meanwhile he calls in an ICICI agent and they both sit with me patiently providing me with all loan details.

Whats the lead time for delivering a White V M/T Civic?
Umm, there's just a Silver A/T in stock. Normally we do it within 20 days, however at the outside you should plan for 30-45 days sir.

Another 45 mins in the dealership. I'm always getting the feeling of being welcome.

A couple of weeks later, I call up Shekhar's number. Missed call. A lady returns the call.
How may I help you sir?
May I speak to Shekhar? I want to book a car.
He's left the dealership. I am Swagata the Sales Team Lead and I'll have Kunal speak to you right away. Would you want another TD?

Wow !!!!

Kunal does call right away ! I plan to go down during the weekend and finally go on Sunday. Kunal was away on a TD. Dalia and Soma helped with the formalities and I was given an earliest delivery date of 2 weeks to a max of 4 weeks, subject to when the car would be shipped.

By this time I was getting used to the consistency in attitude among the whole team. This wasn't a one person thing. There seemed to be an overall culture of courtesy and genuineness.

Over the next week I negotiated with ICICI directly and through the dealership. A lot of back and forth quotes. Kunal was ever helpful, honest and patiently went through the 'haggling' . And finally graciously accepted it, when I decided to go with the bank directly.


Next post .. Delivery

Last edited by shuvc : 25th May 2010 at 15:50.
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Old 25th May 2010, 15:48   #3
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Delivery experience

I kept in touch, enquiring about the shipping date. It got delayed by a week since the one White V M/T in the 'common pool' (Vehicle Exchange Board or something like that) got indented by another dealer before Pinnacle could block it for me. It gave me some more time to work out the finances.

I had requested for the VIN on Wednesday. Got a prompt reply with the number indicating the car had been shipped on Monday. Tuesday was a strike in Cal, so i guess they failed to send me the details proactively in this case.

Kunal, when will the car arrive? How should I plan the next few days?
Sir, car should be in the dealership by Monday. If you make the full payment by then, we would do PDI on Tuesday and register on Wednesday. You could take delivery Wednesday evening or Thursday.
Nope, I want to see the car before I make the payment. I'm in no hurry to take delivery
Sure sir, I'll call you when the car comes.


I get a call on Tuesday morning that the car has arrived and I could come and inspect it. I went in the evening at the specified time. Kunal was waiting for me. Went upstairs, saw the car and was satisfied. Happy to have got the Michelin MXV8s too ! A white S parked beside it had come with B250s. He let me take my time, introduced me to the guy who would do the PDI.

I'll release the payment now. So you should have it tomorrow, Wednesday. I'll take delivery on Saturday morning. So that leaves you 2 days to complete the registration. I want the car ready when I come on Saturday at 1130am. Is this ok?
No problem. Will be done.
How long should I plan for, on Saturday? I want to know whether I should have lunch and come!!
Normally we could do it in 45mins. But since you'd be checking the car again, let's say 2 hours at the most.
Great !


Pinnacle Honda - Kolkata-pre-pdi.jpg
Happy, I walked out, called up ICICI and asked them to release the payment.

Come Saturday, I reached a bit after 12. Everything went smoothly. Cake cutting ceremony, a snap with a big cardboard key, introduction to service advisor et al. I had carried some sweets for them. Asked for and met the sales head for the first time and mentioned about the wonderful experience I've had.

I was out with the car in 1:15mins !!

Post delivery there were at least 3 calls to check on my delivery experience and any initial niggles. The road tax receipt was mailed to my home promptly. An online survey was sent from the dealership. I responded to it once again indicating the good experience and also mentioned that the promised car cover was not in stock and would be given during the first service. I got a reply the following day from the MD of the dealership indicating he would look into it and ensure it is delivered to me.

To summarise:
The qualities that I really like. Courtesy, honesty, proactiveness, giving the customer time and space and the necessary inputs to arrive at a decision at his own pace and not an iota of arrogance on display.

I do hope the service experience is as good.

ps: Thanks for reading through the loooong posts !

Last edited by shuvc : 25th May 2010 at 15:54.
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Old 25th May 2010, 16:16   #4
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wah wah!! Seems like you had a great experience. Maybe I should try them out for my next service. Congrats once again.

PS.. Great write up too.
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Old 25th May 2010, 16:27   #5
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when we went to check out the SA at Mohan's, there was this guy who was planning to switch over to Honda, remember? did you check with him if he has shifted to Honda or is he still with Mohan's?

@ Toiingg - the OHC?

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Old 25th May 2010, 17:26   #6
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It is truly a welcoming change for Honda Dealership in Kolkata. Back in 2002/03, I had rejected OHC 1.5 due to a pathetic conversation with Windsor Honda.

In Jan' 2009 when I decided to go for Civic, I ensured that the three dealers( Windsor, Pinnacle, Imperial Honda), sit across and provide me the best deal. It was real fun to see how they started calling their managers just for a Civic MT, that too an outright purchase. The deal went to Pinnacle that time because of their price and attitude.
Even after almost 1.5 years, I have no reason to complaint about them. I just don't allow the workshop engineers-technicians,essentially rally cum racing-skilled drivers even to switch the Ignition ON.
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Old 6th June 2010, 09:48   #7
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ShuvC, incidently both Kunal ad Swagata had handled my case. Specially Ms. Swagata was co-ordial and always returned the calls /e-mails.

The follow-up calls, online survey and MD's E-mail gave a good feeling. Hope to have similar experience during the service.
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Old 18th June 2010, 23:50   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by shuvc View Post
[b]I responded to it once again indicating the good experience and also mentioned that the promised car cover was not in stock and would be given during the first service. I got a reply the following day from the MD of the dealership indicating he would look into it and ensure it is delivered to me.
Just after a month, as promised, I proactively get a mail from the MD that the car cover has arrived and they would deliver to my preferred address. I decided to collect it personally instead.

I was requested to wait. He came down and met me personally.

Customer delight(ed) as usual !
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Old 20th June 2010, 09:41   #9
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Everytime I read this thread, I think that there is at least one dealership that takes customer service seriously, and it gives me hope.

These customs usually flow from the top down (As in the managament, down to each and everyone) and I guess that's the case with Pinnacle Honda as well.

Do you think the lower numbers that Honda logs, along with higher margins are the main reasons for excellent service? That is, had the same person been in charge of a Hyundai or Tata-Fiat dealership, would that have been just as good? I know this might be a little off-track, but when you get the time, do share your insight.
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Old 20th June 2010, 10:19   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Amartya View Post
Do you think the lower numbers that Honda logs, along with higher margins are the main reasons for excellent service?
That observation itself could be flawed. Since being the only dealer, they do handle pretty large volumes. Everytime I've been to the showroom, I've seen 2-3 cars ready for delivery. Add a few more for the whole day I guess. Late mornings, afternoons, it's difficult to get parking inside the complex.

So as of now, it seems to be the overall culture of the folks.

Last edited by shuvc : 20th June 2010 at 10:20.
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Old 2nd January 2013, 19:51   #11
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Last week, I had been to Pinnacle Honda for my Car's (City) serive .

Although the service itself was OK, the wating time to generate the work order was more than 30 minutes.

I was there at 9.15am and I could get the work order aroud 10am. After inspection of the car, the system took 30 mintues to generate the serive order.

It seems they have switched to new software or to a new centralised server based system, which has made their system very slow.

Since the number of car's has gone up significanty, quality of cleaning has gone down a bit.

Last edited by Ram_NP : 2nd January 2013 at 19:53.
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Old 3rd January 2013, 00:25   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ram_NP View Post
I was there at 9.15am and I could get the work order aroud 10am. After inspection of the car, the system took 30 mintues to generate the serive order
Same experience. I went last week too. Reached at 915. I was second in queue for the service adviser. He took up my case at 10 and the job card was created by 1030 after a TD.

But overall work done was pretty good.
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Old 17th April 2014, 02:44   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by shuvc View Post
To summarise:
The qualities that I really like. Courtesy, honesty, proactiveness, giving the customer time and space and the necessary inputs to arrive at a decision at his own pace and not an iota of arrogance on display
I couldn't agree more! What you have written here is exactly what i wanted to pen down, glad someone has already done that.
I first went there to check out the Amaze 3 months back and got surprised by their professionalism and attitude towards customers. They were so different from the other showrooms which i visited earlier (Maruti, Ford, Fiat, Chevy). Although i gave Amaze a pass and booked ES, i am sure one day ill buy a Honda just for their dealership experience. I also checked Eastern Honda, their behavior was good enough, but i found the showroom to be cramped (not easy getting space in heart of the city). Also the sales - service in one location gives them an advantage over Eastern.
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Old 17th April 2014, 12:33   #14
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Originally Posted by Samfromindia View Post
I couldn't agree more! What you have written here is exactly what i wanted to pen down, glad someone has already done that.
Good to hear that.
I've also been getting good vibes about Eastern's service. Yet to experience first hand. Some of the Pinnacle folks have moved there.
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Old 24th April 2014, 15:06   #15
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The head honcho at the Pinnacle workshop is one Dipu-da. Although sounds very Bengali, he is a South Indian. He is a very knowledgeable automobile engineer. Very different from run of the mill workshop heads. Knows the subject like the back of his palm.
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