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Old 23rd August 2011, 20:03   #1
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Default Why is After Sales Support such an important criteria?

One thing i noticed across the forum is the importance people give for the A**. I never quite understand what the fixation on the A** is. If you scan around the forum, you will be hard pressed to point out a manufacturer whose A** was perfect and no one ever complained about. What matters is a good service center for a given place - be it a tata, hyndai, maruti or even Honda.
Now a days with the service interval of one year, you spend a day at the service station in a year - which i think is not pretty bad.
As a daily ordeal, we deal with crazy drivers on the road, terrible customer service from hotels, restaurants, telephone companies, mobile companies, flights, trains, apartment builder etc etc - you name it. I think that as long as everything works its good, the moment something goes a bit out of way is when the challenges arise.
Be it a car which is a lemon, or a cable connection not working, broadband not delivering speed, traffic lights not functioning or an apartment not delivered on time.
Isnt what matters for a car the most - The reliability - has it left you stranded on a road? Your thoughts?
(A disclaimer: I own a Tata vista)
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Old 23rd August 2011, 20:11   #2
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Default re: Why is After Sales Support such an important criteria?

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Now a days with the service interval of one year, you spend a day at the service station in a year - which i think is not pretty bad.
Not generally. Honda has a 6 month interval. Heck, they even have a 3-month "inspection" advice.

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Originally Posted by vista_qjd View Post
Isnt what matters for a car the most - The reliability - has it left you stranded on a road? Your thoughts?
What ensures the car retains the reliability? - the A.S.S. If they can't figure out problems and FIX them (not just patch them up), what is the use of the car's factory-reliability.

In a ideal scenario, you'd visit the A.S.S. just for the routine service schedule but what about unforseen events like an accident, natural calamity (floods) etc. At that point, the car's "reliability" would depend on how well the A.S.S. can fix the issue and get it back to original shape.

No car is perfect - right from Maruti to Toyota, everyone's been thru' recalls. So, you need the A.S.S. to be good in fixing the car's problems.

And if you're A.S.S. ain't good, you'd be stuck with what you think is a lemon but just requires appropriate tuning.

A.S.S. is undoubtedly imp. - you don't start sending new cars to garages immediately.
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Old 23rd August 2011, 20:11   #3
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Default re: Why is After Sales Support such an important criteria?

My thoughts exactly. I own a Maruti not because of the A.S.S. it has to offer but what Ritz as a product has to offer. As the service interval of 1 year is standard for almost all cars nowadays, I won't mind a thin service network. All that matters is the car and not manufacturer for me.
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Old 23rd August 2011, 20:16   #4
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Default re: Why is After Sales Support such an important criteria?

You have answered your own question.

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Originally Posted by vista_qjd View Post
What matters is a good service center for a given place - be it a tata, hyndai, maruti or even Honda.
How else would you define A.S.S?

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Now a days with the service interval of one year, you spend a day at the service station in a year - which i think is not pretty bad.
My birthday comes once a year too. Yet it's always a special day. This logic doesn't hold.
Moreover, the requirement for a responsive and technically sound A.S.S is for those situations which are BEYOND the ordinary. Read up Harish Kanchan & Gagan Anand's respective Skoda service threads and you may rethink your stand. Imagine the absolute worst case: your car doesn't go and nobody knows why...and then you may begin to aprreciate why a good A.S.S is high on most people's list.

Quote:
As a daily ordeal, we deal with crazy drivers on the road, terrible customer service from hotels, restaurants, telephone companies, mobile companies, flights, trains, apartment builder etc etc - you name it. I think that as long as everything works its good, the moment something goes a bit out of way is when the challenges arise.
Be it a car which is a lemon, or a cable connection not working, broadband not delivering speed, traffic lights not functioning or an apartment not delivered on time.
Not sure what your point is here. Everything fails, at some time or the other. How the provider deals with the failure is what we call A.S.S. Do let me know if you have some other definition in mind.

Quote:
Isnt what matters for a car the most - The reliability - has it left you stranded on a road? Your thoughts?
If your vehicle breaks down and leaves you stranded are you going to curse your fate for having an "unreliable" vehicle, leave it on the road and go and buy another "more reliable" one? Or are you going to report the incident to the company and have them quickly, cheaply and effectively find a fix for the problem?
One of my bosses used to say, Hope is not a good strategy. You can hope that you live to a hundred, or you can take out a term plan when you're 25. Your choice.

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(A disclaimer: I own a Tata vista)
Why is that disclaimer? Are you claiming Tata vehicles are 100% reliable?
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Old 23rd August 2011, 20:18   #5
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Default re: Why is After Sales Support such an important criteria?

Skoda-
Imagine you give your car for servicing and it comes back with fake parts. Including critical ones like brakes. Enough said.

Other Manufacturers-
Advising you to take up some schemes otherwise your warranty would be void, replacing instead of repairing mostly, charging exorbitantly for repairs. The A$$ charges almost 2-3 times than what it would have cost at your friendly neighborhood (competent) mechanic. Or you take your car for regular servicing where your car could be mishandled by the staff and comes back in a poorer condition. Or delivered without issues resolved. All this despite paying through your nose for the car. Nobody likes getting ripped off.
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Old 23rd August 2011, 20:21   #6
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Default re: Why is After Sales Support such an important criteria?

Of course, it is important.

A car is a mechanical vehicle that uses a motor and electrical equipment to function. The chances of it going kaput, are quite high. There are so many oily bits and lots of wires. It's a complicated thing. Such things need to be maintained well and cared for. A company that sells a car and doesn't give you assurance is a company, best avoided.

There are problems with every car. It's the way the service-guys deal with it. Do they do a clinical job, or do they make a hash of it? Servicing is an integral part of the ownership of a vehicle. Every car needs a service.

Makes that are known to be the most reliable are Honda, Maruti-Suzuki, Hyundai, etc. They are generally trusted, as they've built it for themselves over several years. Companies like Fiat and Chevrolet and even Ford aren't known for their after-sales-service.

At the end of the day, you don't just buy and drive a car, you own it and run it, and bear the costs.
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Old 23rd August 2011, 20:24   #7
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Default re: Why is After Sales Support such an important criteria?

I think after sales matters more when your knowledge about car parts increases. When I knew nothing about cars, the only criteria that I used to judge after sales were 'less total bill' and 'good hospitality'. Now that I know more, 'total bill' doesn't matter much, but I can't sleep for 2 days with a 'being cheated' feeling.
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Old 23rd August 2011, 20:24   #8
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Default re: Why is After Sales Support such an important criteria?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Gandhi View Post
My thoughts exactly. I own a Maruti not because of the A.S.S. it has to offer but what Ritz as a product has to offer. As the service interval of 1 year is standard for almost all cars nowadays, I won't mind a thin service network. All that matters is the car and not manufacturer for me.
This is my thought too,infact i advice my friends to buy vw or nissan because the service interval once in a year or six months ,so why so much importance to ***. Hardly you are gonna send the car for service only twice in a year.

But on the other side i also find some irritating service provided by TOP brands.I own a maruti and they are just a phone call away.They pick up and drop the car for FREE ,but my friend who owns a Honda needs to call first to fix a date ,then take the car to workshop and drop and pick up too.

Maruti with such a big volume is able to give free pick up and drop and on the other side Honda which volume is much less than maruti doesnt offer such service.Not only Honda even Hyundai doent offer free drop and pick up,KUN HYUNDAI Charges 300 for the drop & pick up.

Hats off to Maruti and especially CARS India in chennai !
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Old 23rd August 2011, 20:37   #9
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Default Re: Why is After Sales Support such an important criteria?

Me thinks a person never buys just one car. In his life time I am pretty sure a person will buy and sell at least 2-3 cars on an average. Which means if the A.S.S is not good the first time around for a particular brand the chances of being considered in the forthcoming purchases becomes 0. So it's really a very important factor. Also it could either encourage new buyers or scare them away through word of mouth.
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Old 23rd August 2011, 20:41   #10
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Default Re: Why is After Sales Support such an important criteria?

I completely agree with Noops and Libran. I am currently looking around to upgrade/change my car in India, and the first filter criteria to check is the dealer/ASC. The car maybe good, but if I am not convinced with the Dealer/ASC, the car is off the list.
Maybe I am spoilt by the fact that I get the car to be checked and fixed by the ASC, even in case of a minor scratch.

I am not particular about having ‘n’ no. of ASC’s in my city. Just one dependable ASC is good enough. For e.g.; I see a McDonalds outlet every 1km here, but that’s does not make McDonalds good. Its still junk food.

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Old 23rd August 2011, 20:43   #11
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Red face Re: Why is After Sales Support such an important criteria?

After Sales Service defines the trust which a customer will have after buying a brand. It can make or break the customer's faith in a brand or manufacturer. The long service interval for a brand does not mean that the A.S.S would be good. It depends on the technical capability of the service team, availibilty of spares and customer relationship which the service centre maintains.

Even with such a vast dealer network, I know a few Maurti A.S.S which are worst.
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Old 23rd August 2011, 20:44   #12
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Default Re: Why is After Sales Support such an important criteria?

What I meant was, A.S.S. is not that important a factor to rule out a car or short-list a car.
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Old 23rd August 2011, 20:55   #13
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Default Re: Why is After Sales Support such an important criteria?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Gandhi View Post
What I meant was, A.S.S. is not that important a factor to rule out a car or short-list a car.
You'll be surprised how important a factor it has become actually.

For a similar spec car, people would rather go against a FIAT or a Skoda. Given the current market, I doubt there is any car which is not outmatched by any other car in its league. So, people will simply chose something else.

And it is very well justified - way too many threads on T-BHP itself to corroborate.

Last edited by libranof1987 : 23rd August 2011 at 20:56.
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Old 23rd August 2011, 21:04   #14
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Default Re: Why is After Sales Support such an important criteria?

A car is a machine, and EVERY machine needs routine maintenance for efficient functioning and max output.

If you can carry out the routine maintenance yourself, then well and good. If not, A.S.S is the way to go.

Also, there is always wear and tear in a machine. Which means, however well engineered the parts/car are, some parts will need periodic replacement. Like the brake pads. How would it feel to wait a week for your car's brake pads, cos they are not in stock?. Or even if they are, how would it feel if the *** guys do a shoddy work of replacing it, and put your family's life in danger?

For all the above mentioned reasons, an average customer NEEDS A.S.S, unless he has the required tools, time, interest and skill to work on his machine.

Last edited by dhanushs : 23rd August 2011 at 21:05.
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Old 23rd August 2011, 21:06   #15
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Default Re: Why is After Sales Support such an important criteria?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Gandhi View Post
What I meant was, A.S.S. is not that important a factor to rule out a car or short-list a car.
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.
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