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Old 25th August 2011, 09:16   #31
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Default Re: Why is After Sales Support such an important criteria?

Well.. for me, the car's performance, comfort, build quality, reliability, handling is more important than the service. You can get the service done from anywhere but cant get all the above aspects added later on. There are a lot of local mechanics who do a far better job than the Authorized mechanics. What is the use of buying a car that has excellent service but lacks in everything else and isn't a pleasure to drive. I would rather worry about the entire year of driving the car than one day of service!

Last edited by Pri2 : 25th August 2011 at 09:24.
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Old 25th August 2011, 09:52   #32
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Default Re: Why is After Sales Support such an important criteria?

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Originally Posted by GTO View Post
I might add that, while reliability is MOST important to me, after-sales isn't. That's because I have a great network which I can use for service & repair. This is true with most enthusiasts, but is more the exception rather than the rule when we are looking at the mass market / average car owner.
Spare a thought to the ones like me staying in Tier II/III places and are at the mercy of ASC.

One of the reason, why I drive so cautiously/patiently and baby the Car. I just want the Car to visit ASC for regular service.

Reason : Post 11 & 12 (mine) http://www.team-bhp.com/forum/indian...-swapping.html (Have you ever been a victim of Parts-Swapping ?)

Pri2 - What about spare parts and their (un)availability?

Last edited by Sheel : 25th August 2011 at 09:54.
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Old 25th August 2011, 10:07   #33
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Default Re: Why is After Sales Support such an important criteria?

I feel buying and servicing a car are like two sides of a coin, one can't exist without another. Fiat and Skoda owner's may desist by saying that a cars cornering abilities does compensate to getting cornered and conned by service; that's because they don't generally have good service back up even if the cars within warranty. Why would anyone buy a car and fall back on other mechanics for service?
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Old 25th August 2011, 10:17   #34
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Default Re: Why is After Sales Support such an important criteria?

*** for me is as important as the car itself.

No car is a trouble free car . Even if the intervals of service is one year as prescribed by the manufacturer, i bet no car is trouble free for that period of time. People definitely take their car inbetween atleast 2-3 times for some trouble. Be it untoward accident or some niggling trouble.

In this modern day world no one has time to spend for the car. As long as the car is trouble free it is fine. but once some big niggle starts it starts occupying peoples mind ( especially if you are a t-bhp member) and puts untoward pressure.

This is where *** comes in.

Proximity of the *** is very important you just cannot take the car and drive half a day spoiling your work to get things rectified. I agree it is ok if it is once a year as recommended by the Manufacturer. But it seldom be that way. If the *** is not close enough there must be atleast pick up and drop

Reliability of *** is also as important: I just cannot take the car repeatedly for the same problem time and again. The skill of diagnosis and total rectification of problem is necessary

I dont mind spending a few extrabucks for spares and service if the service is reliable and make me come to *** far lesser times

Availability of spares and quick rectification of the problem is necessary too. who would want car to be stationed at the *** for weeks?

So the *** part should be weighted As equal as the Car itself
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Old 25th August 2011, 10:50   #35
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Default Re: Why is After Sales Support such an important criteria?

My two bits:
An ASC is very important to ensure 'peace of mind' ownership of our car.
I presume that an ASC would be carrying proper tools and practices for the job.
Genuine parts are assured in an ASC, but I do not know how dependable is this presumption.
Why do people swear by Maruti ASC?
The Maruti service feedback form lays greater stress upon how a customer is greeted and seated in the centre, and how quickly the job is done. They tell you about 120 points check, but you do not know if that is religiously translated into real service.

After second service my car was not properly washed on the exterior, and on the interior the boys just wetted the mat to fake a wash. I discovered the problem after taking the car home.

After third service:
The post service short test run revealed horn not working, they rectified immediately.
Then after a few days I discovered clanking sound from the back, perhaps some suspension problem. Will get it rectified in next service.

This makes me wonder how reliable is Maruti service? I cannot assume that what I do not visualize does not exist. Certain problems may crop up much later just because some grease monkey compromised on his job function.
My car though is very reliable and comfortable and I love driving it around.

However, I must stress that the friendly neighbourhood mechanic must be avoided as far as possible.
Good service requires good technical practices:
Do not use spanner as hammer,
Tighten certain nuts using spanner fitted with torque meter,
Use proper equipment for cleaning critical parts,
Use clean premises to service the car,
and so on.
All of these cost more money, but give peace of mind.

Regular service is required even though you have not experienced any problems because:
nuts tend to become loose and need to be retightened to the proper amount;
fuel and air passages tend to clog and must be cleaned;
many parts and settings need to be re-calibrated;
many points need to be cleaned and re-greased and oils changed;
All such service functions are best known and specified by the manufacturer; and which are available perhaps only with the ASC.

Cheers, and drive safe.
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Old 25th August 2011, 12:38   #36
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Default Re: Why is After Sales Support such an important criteria?

After Sales service is very important for any product to succeed. That is the long term and permanent road to success for any manufacturer. My wife had an Omni and after 5years of usage wanted a change of vehicle. I suggested the Hyundai i10. She opted for the Alto instead.
No doubt the Omni proved to be a reliable vehicle. Her entire decison making process was based on the after sales support she received from ABT. She knew the staff there , has received impeccable and prompt service, and above all they have taken care of her as a customer when she has had to go back to them to get a few niggles sorted out on very few ocassions. Brand Loyalty is built not only by building reliable vehicles but more by the level of after sales support that is provided to the end user. I doubt if my wife will ever move away from the Maruti Suzuki range of vehicles when she needs to make a change.
Regards,
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Old 25th August 2011, 12:58   #37
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Default Re: Why is After Sales Support such an important criteria?

It depends on people and their financial ability.For those who can afford to replace a vehicle in 2-4 yrs ASC doesn't matter much.
But for the majority who buys a vehicle for a 5+ yrs / 1 lac+ kms it is difficult to live with troubled ASC and limited availability of frequent failing parts.
For any manufacture who targets for the mass market, they have to make sure that spares are readily available in the open market.
People still shy away from Figo stating huge expense on service compared to a maruti counterpart.To an extent it is correct.
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Old 25th August 2011, 13:07   #38
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Default Re: Why is After Sales Support such an important criteria?

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Originally Posted by a_myth View Post
IMO *** does play a very important part while selecting a car.

I own a Fiat Punto, and nobody understands the importance of a Good A.S.S than me. I have the Punto since the last two years, out of which it has spent atleast 4 months at the service station (2 months for accident damage repairs) and another 4 months at home (for not being road worthy). Last time it was returned for the service station, the TASS guys messed up the music system. It will be a long wait for the ports to arrive.

Most of the time i keep thinking where i had gone wrong. Punto is a superb car, nice to drive, a real head turner, very comfortable and loaded with goodies (Emotion pack). But somehow i do wish i had gone for a tried and tested Swift. The punto has just been a very costly showpiece in my garage. Imagine not being able to take out your car, when your grandma needs to be taken to the doc, or during heavy goan rains, taking out your bike for the 30 odd kms to your office.

Sorry boss no more TATA-Fiat cars for me. I have learned my lessons the hard way.

A.S.S is the only reason why Fiat and now for that matter Tata too is looking at its sales charts going south. Fiat in India is going to repeat history itself.
Though you did not have good experience with Fiat but you just cannot discard a brand on one such experience, if you search on the forum, there will be lot of similar instances for different brands but yes if FIAT is associated with any of those threads then they do get lot of popularity.
A.S.S. performance is very subjective for all brands and vary from workshops to workshops. I own two Fiats - Palio S10 & Tjet and I have never faced issue with A.S.S. and I have owned Swift ZXi also for 1 year and used to face issues with service stations. so please lets not crucify one brand. and Yes, if anyone is very particular about his/her car then they need to get their car serviced in their presence as that is the best way to ensure that your car is getting proper treatment. I resorted to this strategy even with Maruti to get the problems rectified.
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Old 25th August 2011, 13:13   #39
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Default Re: Why is After Sales Support such an important criteria?

Now a days cars have longer service intervals. Going once or twice a year does not matter, but the job has to be done pucca.

My perception is the quality of all cars have become better now and performs (as per its standard) well if serviced as per the schedule.

If reliability constitutes 75%, then 25% is from the A-S-S.
A-S-S mostly depends on the quality of the Service Centres and not on the number of Service centres. More the no of SC's, better the chance of good and quality service.
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Old 25th August 2011, 13:30   #40
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Default Re: Why is After Sales Support such an important criteria?

If one does not buy "extended warranty" schemes, and cares two hoots about the standard warranty (typically two years) as well, he need not bother about A.S.S. and can visit a friendly neighborhood workshop. Everyone else will have to give a thought to A.S.S..
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Old 25th August 2011, 13:31   #41
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Default Re: Why is After Sales Support such an important criteria?

I can add from my experience that After Sales Experience matters a lot. And as somebody said on this thread, as your experience and knowledge of cars increases one starts to expect a lot more from service centers. Even if you have to take your car just once in a year to the workshop, we expect to be treated well and that our time and money is not taken for granted.
Previously, when I was a novice with cars,I bought a WagonR because peace of mind was important to me. True, it didn't give me much trouble but each time I took it for service (which was more than once in year) I had to say No to so many unnecessary services that I couldn't help get a feeling of being taken for a ride.Knowledge levels of some of the people at Maruti centers were also low.
Now after many years of ownership and with a Ford (supposedly prone to more failure and more costly to repair), it's a different experience all-together. I found knowledge and expertise levels to be better at the Ford service centers, Overall Customer service and interactions were much better. On one occassion, they themselves found a problem and fixed it under-warranty with no charge. I would never go back to Maruti in-spite of it having the largest network and lowest cost of ownership.
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Old 25th August 2011, 15:34   #42
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Default Re: Why is After Sales Support such an important criteria?

I keep my car for about 6-7 years. In a Tier II city barring Maruti (and to an extent Tata) you are stuck with the A$$ for spares and service. Spares etc are not available. Service manuals are locked up tighter than Fort Knox.

Honda used to recommend service for the City at 3 months / 5000km. What for I do not know. It was 3000 miles for the Civic in the US as well. Also, if you read the handbook it now talks of six months /10,000 for the City Mk.III as well. Dealers keep calling you every three months. However, there is a term called severe conditions which has more holes than Swiss cheese for interpretation. It has been reported here that some ones father was coerced into a three month service. The chap then raised stink with Honda and got a Credit Voucher for the charges.

As I do not do 10,000km per annum on either of my cars, my policy once the car is out of warranty (normal and not extended) I go for an annual service and oil change. You have to look at the replacement schedule intelligently. I have followed this for the past quarter of a century with no ill effects, except possibly on the coffers of the A$$s.

Also, for things like brake pads, windscreen (I broke one on my Accent), exhausts, etc. I rely on the outside sources for both parts and labour. They are able to get the OE parts at a lower cost if you give then a few days lead time.

This aside I do use the A$$ for other repair work. In general if the skill/tooling level required is high you do not have an option. I need to maintain my car for five+ years after the warranty period is over and cannot necessarily trust the outside agencies to have to tools, documentation and skills.

Last edited by sgiitk : 25th August 2011 at 15:37.
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Old 25th August 2011, 16:47   #43
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Default Re: Why is After Sales Support such an important criteria?

After-sales service is of paramount importance to those whose daily usage is high and especially to those rare ones--Like us!-- who are going to keep using the vehicle till the end; until that vehicle gives up on them--Conditions Like : Engine O/H , TL(Total Loss) in an accident, etc..., Conditions on which its not worth to spend money on it-- therefore, to such a lot, Regular maintenance is a priority. However, Is it absolutely neccessary that the course of the Regular maintenance must be done through ASC. I dont think so, unless, you have a skilled independent mechanic fain to do an impeccable job at prices a whole lot lower that what the ASC charges and that parts availability outside ASC is not a problem--which it isnt in a city like New Delhi for cars of Maruti, Tata, Hyundai Brand.
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Old 25th August 2011, 17:33   #44
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Default Re: Why is After Sales Support such an important criteria?

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Originally Posted by oxymoron View Post
Though you did not have good experience with Fiat but you just cannot discard a brand on one such experience, if you search on the forum, there will be lot of similar instances for different brands but yes if FIAT is associated with any of those threads then they do get lot of popularity.
A.S.S. performance is very subjective for all brands and vary from workshops to workshops. I own two Fiats - Palio S10 & Tjet and I have never faced issue with A.S.S. and I have owned Swift ZXi also for 1 year and used to face issues with service stations. so please lets not crucify one brand. and Yes, if anyone is very particular about his/her car then they need to get their car serviced in their presence as that is the best way to ensure that your car is getting proper treatment. I resorted to this strategy even with Maruti to get the problems rectified.
Yes Oxy i do agree with you that is very subjective and a lot depends on the workshop in your vicinity. One big problem for me is that there is only one authorized service center for fiat cars in Goa and it is busy selling trucks. Looking at the boom in the mining sector in Goa, it is hardly surprising that these people are not bothered about what happens to their car business. Also i would like to mention that Fiat car owners in Goa get their car servicing done at far off places like Kolhapur, Belgaum and Hubbli.

But Fiat has to something about its spares issues and you have to agree with me here. Spares are simply not available off the shelf. The whole process of ordering does take more than a month.
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Old 25th August 2011, 23:34   #45
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Default Re: Why is After Sales Support such an important criteria?

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Originally Posted by oxymoron View Post
Though you did not have good experience with Fiat but you just cannot discard a brand on one such experience, if you search on the forum, there will be lot of similar instances for different brands but yes if FIAT is associated with any of those threads then they do get lot of popularity.
A.S.S. performance is very subjective for all brands and vary from workshops to workshops. I own two Fiats - Palio S10 & Tjet and I have never faced issue with A.S.S. and I have owned Swift ZXi also for 1 year and used to face issues with service stations. so please lets not crucify one brand. and Yes, if anyone is very particular about his/her car then they need to get their car serviced in their presence as that is the best way to ensure that your car is getting proper treatment. I resorted to this strategy even with Maruti to get the problems rectified.
I have heard dreadful stories of the Tata-Fiat service here in Goa. My brother's friend was recently bitterly regretting his decision to buy the Linea in Goa. He had this to say: "The Fiat service is pathetic. Those guys just don't know to service a Fiat car and they have messed up with my car. I'm seriously considering a visit to Belgaum just to service my Linea. Never again will I ever buy a Fiat car her in Goa."
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