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Old 16th October 2013, 10:35   #16
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Default re: Skoda India launches BookYourSKODAOnline.com

SKODA has missed the boat this time too!

With the excessive legal clauses and restrictions placed on the booking process, the whole purpose of it, stands defeated.

As many have rightly pointed out, all the price negotiations happen just before committing the booking amount. The customer is denied this benefit by going online.

The system also doesn't seem to have an option to track your booking status online, in which case transparency could have been a USP.

The 7 day time limit is way too short to mobilize the total funds required for the purchase. May be they'll push their in house finance option to facilitate the same.

By preventing NRI customers from using this platform, SKODA has lost a huge potential market.

Last edited by Warwithwheels : 16th October 2013 at 10:36.
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Old 16th October 2013, 10:37   #17
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Default re: Skoda India launches BookYourSKODAOnline.com

Just wondering how would they deal with "discontinued" or "to-be-discontinued" cars. Say for example, I recently visited the local Skoda dealership in my town and they had only one MT Laura on display. I was specifically looking for the DSG Laura and inquired about it but I was told that it was not available and there are slim to none chances that they will be getting a/any Laura anytime soon.

Now, if I were to book a DSG Laura online (Assuming I never went to the dealership to inquire about it earlier), I would spend 5000 for the booking and then goto the dealership only to find out they're never going to get a Laura and then waste my time/effort/money in getting my 5000 returned.

A better way to do this online booking would be to remove the Fabia and Laura altogether and only keep the ones that Skoda intend on selling for longer.

EDIT: Filled up the first page on the website (Name, mobile number, email), hit the next button, selected the variant and closed the website. Got a call from Skoda in 2 minutes (A mumbai number) inquiring about my registration and asked for further details on the car I wished to buy etc. Confirmed all details and they mentioned that it will be forwarded to local dealership and the local dealership will email with the latest deal on the car I wish to purchase shortly. Got an SMS confirming the same as well. Now, that's FAST service.

Last edited by 9thsphinx : 16th October 2013 at 11:00. Reason: Adding more info.
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Old 16th October 2013, 11:11   #18
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Default re: Skoda India launches BookYourSKODAOnline.com

Although there are many practical difficulties, one has to admit that Skoda has taken a small, but innovative step towards dis-intermediation of dealers and direct marketing/sales to end customers

Most of us here on Team-BHP research like crazy about our future cars, put a lof of effort into the planning, a derive a lot of excitement from the vehicle purchase process. However, there are quite a few people I know out there who do not enjoy the process of walking into a dealership and interacting with reluctant and mis-informed salespeople to start their car purchase process. They just want a cool car with as little sweat as possible. Nowadays, so much information is available on-line in forums such as this one. For instance, many folks I know make their decisions about the car and variant they will buy based on on-line research and reviews.

For such an audience, this facility is probably a good one to initiate their purchase process. Also, it may help Skoda to catch a few impulse buyers, e.g. - a buyer who maybe just made the decision late one night when they are on-line to buy the new Octavia, but may not find it convenient the next day to take time off from work, find and visit a dealership, worry about parking etc! In the span of time that elapses between the impulse decision and getting to a dealership with cheque book in hand and signing the booking form, things can happen which makes the buyer change his or her mind or delay the decision to buy.

Hopefully, in the future, Skoda will make this a more comprehensive on-line purchase process, for example having a direct contract with the customer to sell the car rather than just an advance payment. I am sure there are many legal and implementation hurdles to overcome there. Beyond that, the ability to fully configure your car would be truly exciting! Good start, Skoda!
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Old 16th October 2013, 11:32   #19
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Default re: Skoda India launches BookYourSKODAOnline.com

Only gripe is that they could have instead created an interactive service issue forum and become the first of a kind to address owners issues with service centre etc. The refund policy as always is hidden and should have been straight forward and detailed here.

Knowing the reputation of Skoda i am more scared and worried about recovering the 5K in case i want to cancel my booking.

The only way to earn the trust of owners is to create a way SKODA hears their issues and addresses them the right way with an SLA(oops..thats an ideal state which will never be achieved).

Not just skoda but any manufacturers.

And why people would have appreciated Toyota, probably because of the service record and customer service history they have created over years.

Inspite of all this i will never buy a skoda for the issues i have read on web and their callous response to buyers including someone like Harish. Sorry to bring up Harish, but fixing Harish issue would be first step for anyone to believe skoda wants to make a change and be the change.
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Old 16th October 2013, 13:01   #20
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Default re: Skoda India launches BookYourSKODAOnline.com

Cross-posting from the Octavia test drive thread:

Quote:
Originally Posted by raichoudhury View Post
While other car makers are bending backwards to push for their products the Skoda showroom at Bhubaneshwar (Mahavir) is closed on holidays (today is a Monday). The test drive car is yet to arrive and only a display vehicle is available.
Quote:
Originally Posted by nik_kapur View Post
Delhi dealer told me the same thing. No deliveries of petrol cars before Jan.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Neonic View Post
When I went there on the launch date the sales guy said the 1.8 TSIs will be delivered only in January and that they will get their TSI test drive vehicle only in January!
Quote:
Originally Posted by me_navin View Post
This is pretty weird. The Chennai dealer claims that they would start delivery of the 1.8 tsi only from January. Apparently that's what Skoda has told them. I hope its not true !

Obviously there was an issue with dealers giving different stories and even wanting premiums for the 1.8 TSI.

This initiative MAY be addressing that issue, and that of dealer misinformation about dates.

Have we considered that while tearing the manufacturer up? It is not as if the online portal is the ONLY option for a prospect.
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Old 16th October 2013, 13:20   #21
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Default Re: Skoda India launches BookYourSKODAOnline.com

Quote:
Originally Posted by 9thsphinx View Post
EDIT: Filled up the first page on the website (Name, mobile number, email), hit the next button, selected the variant and closed the website. Got a call from Skoda in 2 minutes (A mumbai number) inquiring about my registration and asked for further details on the car I wished to buy etc. Confirmed all details and they mentioned that it will be forwarded to local dealership and the local dealership will email with the latest deal on the car I wish to purchase shortly. Got an SMS confirming the same as well. Now, that's FAST service.
That's what outsourcing to a vendor like Automotive Exchange Pvt Limited (Owner of CarWale, Bikewale,etc) does.

Cheers,

Jay
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Old 16th October 2013, 14:42   #22
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Default Re: Skoda India launches BookYourSKODAOnline.com

Well, I don't see too many buyers booking a 'Car' online. Most people go out, test ride, compare, see colors in person and discuss with family unlike buying a cellphone or gadget which can easily be done online.

Wish Skoda works in right areas like sales experience and after sales support which attracts customers base.
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Old 16th October 2013, 18:47   #23
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Default Re: Skoda India launches BookYourSKODAOnline.com

Quote:
Originally Posted by shankar.balan View Post
As a casual observer having just chanced upon this thread, it seems to me that going by the tone of the caustic comments on this new initiative by Skoda, that the Indian public and members of our august forum will never ever forgive them and will only constantly deride any and all efforts that they make and initiatives that they bring.
No but its really not about the brand here. What purpose is this move going to serve? How does it make the process of buying a car more simpler and enjoyable for the consumer?
If they had given options to customize the car like the western world then it would have been an excellent move. But I really fail to understand how will this make me pick there offering over the competition.
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Old 16th October 2013, 19:21   #24
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Default Re: Skoda India launches BookYourSKODAOnline.com

Quote:
Originally Posted by drmohitg View Post
What purpose is this move going to serve? How does it make the process of buying a car more simpler and enjoyable for the consumer?
Your query is answered here:
Quote:
Originally Posted by 9thsphinx View Post
EDIT: Filled up the first page on the website (Name, mobile number, email), hit the next button, selected the variant and closed the website. Got a call from Skoda in 2 minutes (A mumbai number) inquiring about my registration and asked for further details on the car I wished to buy etc. Confirmed all details and they mentioned that it will be forwarded to local dealership and the local dealership will email with the latest deal on the car I wish to purchase shortly. Got an SMS confirming the same as well. Now, that's FAST service.
I was skeptical that paying what amounts to a "token" booking amount only to have to pay the balance to a dealership later would be counter-productive but what Skoda has essentially done is to make the first touch point in the purchase process smooth and pleasant for the customer. A lot of potential buyers get pissed off when they are ignored or not treated with the respect they think they deserve at dealerships, and this may be a smooth way of not losing out on such customers. I imagine that when they do go down to the dealership, the fact that they have already put their money down will ensure that they get the right treatment!

As for your second point:
Quote:
If they had given options to customize the car like the western world then it would have been an excellent move. But I really fail to understand how will this make me pick there offering over the competition.
Custom configurators are a distant dream in India but just FYI, VW had one on their website during the Vento launch. Basically you could choose features, variants, colours and it would give you a basic price and an idea of how your choice looks. It wasn't transactional, but good fun to play with. I don't know if other carmakers have offered this.
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Old 16th October 2013, 19:44   #25
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Default Re: Skoda India launches BookYourSKODAOnline.com

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Originally Posted by noopster View Post
I don't know if other carmakers have offered this.
Hyundai has done this for the Verna. Looks quite nice too

Skoda India launches BookYourSKODAOnline.com-capture.png
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Old 16th October 2013, 20:03   #26
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Default Re: Skoda India launches BookYourSKODAOnline.com

Had this online thing been done for the Ecosport or Duster launches, everyone would have praised the OEMs. Since its Skoda the response is going to be tame and negative.

I like the option of booking online something like an online term insurance if it cuts out the middlemen and gives the customer a VFM product. For a car the middlemen would be the dealers and RTO. How about, Demo the car at mall, book it online and get it delivered home.

Guys how much do you think a customer can save if the Car company directly sold us the car plus not pay any bribes at the RTO against a conventional buy?
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Old 16th October 2013, 20:51   #27
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Default Re: Skoda India launches BookYourSKODAOnline.com

Like someone else pointed out earlier, Skoda or every other manufacturers should come up with a SERVICE BOOKING / FEEDBACK forum and not a new-car booking website.

Mahindra's WithyouHamesha.com is a decent initiative, but it is not full blown. It is just a subset of their internal management system and it doesnt help much either.
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Old 16th October 2013, 21:42   #28
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rajeshsundaram View Post
Like someone else pointed out earlier, Skoda or every other manufacturers should come up with a SERVICE BOOKING / FEEDBACK forum.
The problem with a full blown public feedback forum is that most guys trying to find the forum online and sign up and then post meaning ful stuff will be the guys who are pissed off and bad things to say.It will be a PR disaster.
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Old 16th October 2013, 21:58   #29
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Great initiative by Skoda. Kudos to Skoda. First we got online service /spares list and now an online booking platform. Awesome.. We can clearly see the company making all efforts to provide additional value add services online. I have decided (almost) to book a Skoda as my next car during diwali, and such initiatives brings a lot of feel good for me.

I can only laugh at all those who are whole heartedly criticizing Skoda for this. If folks want to go for test drive, visit showroom to admire, window shop or negotiate over the table, they are still free to do so. Someone even wanted a configurator, and it's asking for too much too early. I'm sure Skoda will bring that as soon as market is ready for one.

A decade back, folks who didn't realize the power of Internet, joked buying electronics or apparels online. Look at the situation today, almost everything under the sun is available online and Indian market has accepted this new way of shopping. Even homes can be booked online, and why not a car. It's just a matter of time before other manufacturers follow this trend. So folks crying or making fun, realize the larger picture. Even if you don't appreciate, Atleast don't make silly comments to prove your ignorance.
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Old 17th October 2013, 08:44   #30
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Default Re: Skoda India launches BookYourSKODAOnline.com

I am sure all of us appreciate initiatives as long as it has some thought behind it. It would really help if you can say why it is 'Great'??

Quote:
Originally Posted by harishpr View Post
Great initiative by Skoda. Kudos to Skoda. First we got online service /spares list and now an online booking platform. Awesome.. We can clearly see the company making all efforts to provide additional value add services online.
Every initiative is underpinned by a purpose or to solve a problem. what value add does this service provide to the customer? In fact I found this feature impractical and almost useless yesterday.

We are looking for an executive sedan. I saw that Skoda was offering this online option and was all too eager to try it out. There is a dealer monopoly here in Chennai (gurudev motors) with a not so 'great' reputation. Laura was being offered with a 2.5 lakh discount in NCR and Bangalore.. I hoped that the online option will offer transparency that i can avail this here..

And all it does is give an 'ex-showroom cost' and collect money. No aids to support decision making... none at all!!

1) No on the road price.. even an estimate.. I can even get this directly on carwale
2) No current stock information at the local dealer, no estimated date of delivery
3) No information on discounts and in this experience, I am expected to pay a booking amount at the full price?

Wouldn't a car buyer need this basic info before deciding on a car?

And then I walked into the dealership.. I am offered 1.8 lakhs on the Laura and I negotiate and he offers 2 lakhs... I get the OTR pricelists and stock info (truth in it, I am not sure).. at least what I would need to make a decision..

Quote:
Originally Posted by harishpr View Post
A decade back, folks who didn't realize the power of Internet, joked buying electronics or apparels online. Look at the situation today, almost everything under the sun is available online and Indian market has accepted this new way of shopping. Even homes can be booked online, and why not a car. It's just a matter of time before other manufacturers follow this trend. So folks crying or making fun, realize the larger picture. Even if you don't appreciate, Atleast don't make silly comments to prove your ignorance.
Are you saying that the solution offered by Skoda is in this direction? There are some online shops that have been way more successful than others.. why?

I was an avid shopper on Amazon and now on flipkart.. and the only 2 reasons I buy online.
Choice... and of course Savings.. Savings.. Savings..
- Save money.. usually and always lower than walking into a retail outlet.. and I know how much I pay and I am sure I will get it and when..
- Save time.. Getting it delivered home.. saves fuel and time and energy..

Where is the larger picture? Skoda offers none of the benefits of the larger picture .. what it offers today is but a namesake, purposeless option that actually addresses none of a car buyer's requirements..
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