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Old 31st May 2010, 18:00   #1
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Angry CARNATION Chennai Review - Stay Away!

MODS: This is a review of only Carnation Chennai and therefore a separate thread.

TO EVERYONE READING: Sorry for the really long thread and poor/shabby writing. Was in a hurry(from office) and wanted to put it up before the 'steam' in me ran out!

I had recently bought a 2006 Maruti 800 (run 38xxx kms) from a local dealer. Within a week, the front left hand side (sounded like it came from the suspension) of the car started making a 'thud' sound over uneven roads. There was even uneven tread wear on the front left tyre. And since I had not taken the car for a complete service after buying, I thought I'll give it for service at Carnation to sort out all problems including the 'thud'.

On a Saturday morning, I reach the Guindy, Chennai branch of Carnation. The SA (Service Advisor) did the preliminary check then handed over the car to a mechanic to check the entire car and give me an estimate (this was after I had mentioned all the problems I was facing with the car including the noise).

The initial estimate was approx Rs. 7,000/-, which included:

-Clutch Overhaul (was needed as per their assessment)
-Spark Plug change
-All the Oil changes etc.

Then after I asked him about the 'thud' sound coming form the car, he directed a mechanic to go along with me saw that he could figure out the problem. After a short drive, the mechanic acknowledges the presence of the sound and tells the SA the suspension has to be changed.

The new estimate was Rs. 12,000/- (he said it would actually be lesser) which including changing the entire front suspension setup, which he said would solve all the problems.

I gave him the go ahead because if it wasn't done, I figured it will cause more problems for me later. He even mentions in between that he will give me the car entirely fixed that day itself (I had my doubts because it was already 1 PM). At around 2:30 PM he comes to me and says the car will be ready only the next day, sunday at 11 PM. Since I was expecting this, I take leave confirming the delivery time.

Come Sunday morning, I reach Carnation at sharp 11 AM. I ask the status of the car and I am told it is waiting for a wash. Finally, I get the car at 1 PM along with the invoice after enquiring many a times about the status.
I tell them I need to drive the car and see whether everything is alright. I go for a short drive and to my utter shock and dismay I find the 'thud' sound is still there even after replacing the suspension setup.

I storm back into the centre and ask the SA why he has given back my car without solving the issue which he said would be rectified by overhauling the suspension.
To add insult to the injury, the invoice read a total amount of Rs. 12,247/- which included the foll:

-Front suspension ovehaul + labour -approx Rs. 5300
-Clutch Overhaul+ labour- approx 3000
-Flywheel
-Oil changes etc etc.

The guy actually billed me an item twice but I didn't make it an issue as mistakes can happen.

So now, when I ask him why he changed the suspension for Rs. 5300. He said it was required and because it was changed it reduced the thud sound ( that's when I realised he was just playing around with me as he had not even taken a ride in the car to pass such stupid and idiotic statements).

I was furious because they had unnecessarily changed the suspension stating the sound was coming from it. After many more moronic statements from the SA, he finally ask the mechanics to figure out the source of the noise. After another 1.5 hours and multiple test drives they figure out its a small bush that's worn out in the steering assembly. He promises to do it free of cost for me ( Free of cost!- after unnecessarily charging me for an unwarranted suspension change, changing the rubber bush would have come to maybe 5%). Then after al this come the next blow! He tells me this small bush is not available with them currently and it is only available in the Ambattur branch and since they are not open today,the, car cannot be delivered today.

I had no option, he promised to ready my car on Monday morning. Monday morning after multiple calls from my side, he finally tells me, I can collect my car at 1:00 PM.

I reach there at around 1 PM with one of my colleagues from work and then proceed to check the car. This time the problem was solved and I am informed it was because of the worn out bush.

Finally the time comes for payment. I am given the same invoice without any additions. I tell the SA I am totally dissatisfied with the kind of service I have received and did not experience the quality of service promised by the brand 'Carnation'! Further, I ask him for a good discount, for all the TROUBLE I had to go through (I've read about fellow BHPians getting discounts for delays). He says its not possible as the bill was closed the previous day. This was the heights, he had closed the bill the previous day even without handing over the car and rectifying the problem. Finally without any shame he tells me he will give me a discount of Rs. 247 on 12,247 bill!. To me this really showed his arrogance and 'I don't care' attitude (even my colleague who came along was also convinced about this guy's attitude).
I demanded to see the Unit Head for Guindy branch and was informed that he is on leave. I clearly told him that I will escalate the matter to as high as Mr. Jagdish Khattar ( I work for an auto mag and had mentioned this initially to him so that he would be extra careful with my car). He just refused to come to any compromise! Finally, since I had to get back to office, I made the full payment of Rs. 12,247/- and walked out ( oops...actually drove out with my car).


Sorry guys I'll finish the rest of my frustrating experience after I get back home
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Old 31st May 2010, 18:06   #2
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I also had not so good experiences with Carnation. I am a big fan of Jagdish Khattar and tried carnation immediately it opened in Hyderabad. But the service was dismal, Service Manager's clueless and that customer delight missed by a long way.

I was hoping that Mr. Khattar will be able to carry over the same processes that he created in Maruti and add his flavour to it. Well, the flavour he added has left a bitter taste to my mouth.

To add insult to injury, my pen drive was also stolen and nothing was done to rectify it. Not even an apology from someone higher up the ranks.
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Old 31st May 2010, 18:11   #3
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If you had replaced the bush in the first instance would it have saved you from changing the suspension setup?

I guess we must merge the thread together with the one started by Benny. It'll be a comprehensive Carnation SS review across India.

Last edited by laluks : 31st May 2010 at 18:12.
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Old 31st May 2010, 18:12   #4
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In India, multi brand car service stations like Carnation have a huge potential. It's pitiful to see the opportunity being wasted.

I was seriously thinking of going to Carnation every time i go through industrial estate. Now, i won't even take that road.
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Old 31st May 2010, 18:14   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by vjabraham View Post
... including changing the entire front suspension setup...
Did they actually replace the suspension parts and clutch ...you should have been given the old parts in that case.

Last edited by Blue Thunder : 31st May 2010 at 18:16.
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Old 31st May 2010, 18:32   #6
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@vjabraham - I'm sure you know the thread already running here - http://www.team-bhp.com/forum/indian...al-review.html (CARNATION Multibrand Car Service - Initial review)

Anyway, did you write to Mr.Khattar? I'm sure you would've got a good resolution. I once experienced a similar issue with M.A.S.S & I wrote to him; not only the issue was resolved to perfection & free of cost, but they brought all their technicians to my home to fix it.
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Old 31st May 2010, 19:02   #7
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@ vjabraham Thanks for sharing your experience.
I really think your car did't need a new front suspension.
My Zen suspension went spongy around 77k Kms at 38K Kms its unlikely.

Do share how the "escalation" works out.

I was tempted to go there. As per the site they have some good "packages" for cleaning the interior. Would't have done the mechanical bits there anyway. Got much better places for that

By the look of it better stay away and let the chaps mature a bit.
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Old 31st May 2010, 19:13   #8
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The Clutch Overhaul at 38xxx km's also looks like a sham!! Did you experience anything wrong with the clutch before you gave the car to them?

All that your car needed (if the mileage is genuine and the car was not abused) was a change of spark plugs, filters and oils and the steering bush. All this should not have cost more than 3 - 3.5K.

Stay away from such places.
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Old 31st May 2010, 19:16   #9
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I dont know if Mr.Jagadish Khattar is just on the Board of Directors (who is lending his name), or if he is actively into Carnation.

But this kind of thing happens at all Maruti service stations. The SA is only a middleman who like a quack will try to solve problems based on his limited experience.

Happened to me once at Khivraj where a faulty solenoid was diagnosed as a battery problem. I ended up paying for both a new battery plus a solenoid coil.

In fact Maruti may like to encourage these quack SA's as it ends up making a lot more money.
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Old 31st May 2010, 19:28   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by CrackedHead View Post
The Clutch Overhaul at 38xxx km's also looks like a sham!!
Yes, true. However it really depends on how its driven.
My Zen's clutch was changes at 92,500kms it still would have done another 3k but changed it anyway.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Brix View Post
In fact Maruti may like to encourage these quack SA's as it ends up making a lot more money.
Not if you voice you concerns and press at the correct "pressure" points. My dad's swift is the example for this. If you make a complaint in most cases it will be responded and resolved in a timely manner. Especially in the case of MASS. All dad did was to write the entire thing up and mail it to Maruti.

Considering the sheer volume they do give good service.
Yes at some places they do encourage SA's who are rather trying to act "smart". A month back my Zen's A/C was not cooling SA said its shot and gas is not there at all that with a load of "tech" jargon. This was without even looking at the car.

I clearly told him I don't want BS and walked away. A/C sorted itself out

Last edited by yzfrj : 31st May 2010 at 19:31. Reason: Bad Grammer, Say what ?
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Old 31st May 2010, 19:56   #11
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Angry Continuing from where I left off...

The same day evening I call up the Ambattur branch to speak to the Unit Head. I state that I am an unhappy customer to the receptionist and she takes down my no. as the Unit Head was not in. In about an hours time, I get a call from the Unit Head (UH) asking about the details of my car and about what has transpired in the Guindy branch. He was courteous enough and asked me whether I could drop in to the Ambattur branch so that he can take a look at my car and the old parts to check whether the change was warranted.
So, not to delay this, I take half day off on Wednesday to visit the Ambattur branch. On arrival I meet the UH, the Customer Relations Supervisor (CRS) and a Maruti Specialist (he has worked with MASS for 10+ years).
He looks at all the old parts that have been replaced and gives me the reason for the same! For the suspension (this is the only part I was doubtful about) he said, the shocks had started leaking (I have no other option but to believe that). So the final verdict is all the changes were warranted.
The CRS tells me that he had recently joined and was calling back all unhappy customers and offering them a free wash! On hearing this, I clearly told him I don't care about a free car wash as the time, money and effort put in by me to get my car serviced has left completely me dissatisfied and I will never care to come back for a free wash!

In the meanwhile, I had noticed a change in the exhaust note when I was driving back home on Monday. I conveyed this to the CRS and also about the poor FE I was gettinga and poor cooling by AC. The exhaust leakage problem was sorted out and free wheel alignment done (Guindy branch did not do it saying that had already done it before changing the bush in the steering assy).
After few discussions with UH, he said that there was a problem with my AC blower and it had to be cleaned thoroughly. He offered to do this for me at Rs. 800 (if i remember right) for a Rs. 2500 job. After further discussions he said he'll finally said he'll pick up the car from my place on whichever day is convenient for me and do the work for Rs. 599(they still could not resist getting some money into their pockets). Finally, I figured it was a waste of time and returned home.
Since I had to get the AC fixed (Chennai was getting hotter by the day), I didnt want to risk going to another ***, so I called up Carnation the same weekend and got it fixed for Rs.599+free car wash+ tuning the car for FE.

Meanwhile on Friday , I used the link on the Carnation website to give feedback to Mr. Jagdish Khattar himself(or so the website says). The next day, Saturday (the day I had given the car for the AC to be fixed). I get a call from a senior guy from the Regional office(for TN and Kerala) in Cochin asking what was my problem and I repeated the whole story again! During the conversation, I mention the remedial steps taken by the Ambattur branch to solve my issues. He also asks me about the SA (his name) and about his responses. He admits the SA was not right especially in giving me an excuse like he closed the bill the previous day! He basically wanted to know whether my problem was solved, that is the noise coming from the left side. He promised that he will take action internally and see to it that things like this don't happen again. Before hanging up, he requests me to be a regular at Carnation and promises better experience next time.

In the evening, the same day, my car was delivered at home by a driver and the CRS. The CRS had come because he wanted a letter in writing stating that I was happy with the way the Ambattur branch handled my issues and that I will visit them again( he wanted this because they had received a call from the regional office). Well, even though I was far from satisfied, I gave them letter stating I was happy and will come back to Carnation for any services. I did this because I just wanted to end this and had realised it was a futile exercise!


The REASON why I chose CARNATION:

- Jagdish Khattar name
- Relatively new, so I thought they will be extra careful to build up their brand
- Promise of Quality service
- Peace of mind as against giving the car to a local mechanic


TO SUM UP MY EXPERIENCE/ MY VIEWS :

- Carnation was not any better than a local garage. I believe a local mechanic would have done a much better job
- Waste of time, money, effort - had to travel more than 50 kms up and down mutiple times and more than 4 days to 'sort out' problems for a basic car like M800. Even had to take time off work to get things sorted.
- They have stickers saying 'Customer is King'- their policy is, since the customer is King,he has loads of cash to throw away!
- Car washes and those little freebies they give will never get a customer like me back who had to go through this 'horrible torture'!
'Once bitten twice shy'
- I will never ever step foot in Carnation again nor will I recommend it to friends!

Well, there were many more things, I just can't think straight as my mind gets overloaded with the info about the horrible experience that I end up writing nothing!


Finally I would like to mention that, what I have posted here is just purely my experience with CARNATION Auto. Just because I had a bad experience doesn't mean everyone will have the same. And my intention is definitely not to paint a bad picture about Carnation Chennai or the Company as a whole. All these things mentioned here are just so that everyone on this forum is better informed while choosing service centres

Last edited by vjabraham : 31st May 2010 at 20:02. Reason: Missed out on an important point
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Old 31st May 2010, 20:04   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Brix View Post
I dont know if Mr.Jagadish Khattar is just on the Board of Directors (who is lending his name), or if he is actively into Carnation. But this kind of thing happens at all Maruti service stations.
Brix, Mr.Khattar is the founder for Carnation & he has his email id written on all the feedback forms on Carnation & from my personal experience, I know he's a man who takes customer's voice seriously.

If there's any hesitant to write to Mr.Khattar, one can alternatively write to Mr.Azim Premji who also has a stake with Carnation
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Old 31st May 2010, 20:05   #13
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Originally Posted by CrackedHead View Post
The Clutch Overhaul at 38xxx km's also looks like a sham!! Did you experience anything wrong with the clutch before you gave the car to them?

All that your car needed (if the mileage is genuine and the car was not abused) was a change of spark plugs, filters and oils and the steering bush. All this should not have cost more than 3 - 3.5K.

Stay away from such places.
Well I guess the clutch overhaul was needed as the clutch was getting harder(while depressing)!
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Old 31st May 2010, 20:20   #14
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Did they change only one wheel's suspension, or the pair? Suspension changes, IMHO, are to be done in pairs.

I suggest not to take any car to any service center (authorised or otherwise) for a major job (read anything apart from regular service / oil change) the first time - have a first hand feel of how good / bad / ugly they are before putting your ride at stake!

If they can mess up fixing a M800, which is ubiquitous, I shudder to think what they can do to a not-so-common car!

Last edited by ph03n!x : 31st May 2010 at 20:22. Reason: Edited post after reading previous post
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Old 31st May 2010, 20:23   #15
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Many whom I know have been cheated at the MASS. Carnation is no different apparently. I'm not surprised.

Once out of warranty, it's best to find an individual service station, that does not have a "brand". Who needs a "brand" like Carnation anyway?

Another bad review:
Carnation Sec-63, Noida: Service Review: Avoid this place!
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