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Old 3rd February 2014, 11:51   #151
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Default re: Skoda Improving? Think again...Only getting worse! *EDIT: now waterpump fails!*

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Originally Posted by drmohitg View Post
We are a very large community with members coming from various professional and cultural backgrounds spanning the length and breadth of the country. All united by a simple reason - " Love cars, Live cars".
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Originally Posted by drmohitg View Post
Skoda makes wonderful cars and the built quality is excellent- Agreed. Skoda cars are great at handling and remain stable at 3 digit speeds - Agreed. Skoda cars are sublime at corners and very involving to drive - Agreed. can anyone explain that?
I think you have answered your question yourself - given the primary USPs of Skoda cars that you have captured so well, it is far more likely that you will find owners of Skoda cars (and similar "enthusiast" models from other manufacturers) on fora like Team BHP contributing regularly and vocally. Given that these people are likely to have made a purchase decision made on criteria other than "kitne ki hai" or "kitna deti hai" and the likelihood that they can delve deeper into the details of what happened and why, they are bound to be far more critical when things do go wrong - and rightly so !!!

My personal opinion is that Skoda has struggled to adapt to Indian conditions in more ways than one. No, i am not talking about their vehicles or their operation. I am talking of three areas where they have gone wrong :
1. Their failure to readjust to their positioning in the market as a premium brand which is alien to any other market in the world
2. Their failure to cater to their target market as a brand that is (or was) the favorite of driving enthusiasts at a time when there were very few cars capable of being tagged as such
3. Their failure to understand that having a service and customer support setup like any other mass market manufacturer selling relatively low tech products in large volumes would see them fall woefully short of expectations.

I am not trying to support Skoda here - i could not care less if my high opinion of Skoda is shared by others or not - but on the lines of what other folks here like Shankar are trying to do, i am only putting forth my opinion and my experiences. The intent is only to share that there are positive experiences as well with what most people perceive as a brand that has repeatedly shot itself in the foot with their attitude.
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Old 3rd February 2014, 12:05   #152
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Post re: Skoda Improving? Think again...Only getting worse! *EDIT: now waterpump fails!*

It's no surprise some people like to live dual lives, one the real self and one on the internet. Where anyone can get away with almost anything spent sharing on the internet.

I've also wondered in the past and even now if few non-customer Skoda bashers do so only because one can't own one. Bash it so it can later be justified as a reason why they don't want to own one. Also, the type of individuals that want to vent their frustration somewhere, do it here, because they want to maintain the (sometimes fake) aura around their brands when in reality, they get equally ripped off their money paying high prices for their car's service (Hyundai) and going to silently accepting what a poor vehicle they've invested in (Toyota Etios, Alto and other unsafe cars, etc)..

Skoda needs to get their act together even after so many years here and that's no surprise to it's owners, it's a fact. It's still strange that Skoda is the only brand that attracts such criticism and non-ownership rants. None of which really will help Skoda nor the wronged customer.

Educated individuals will be able to differentiate between when a customer really has been wronged by Skoda and when there is just noise without merit (be from a customer or a passer-by). That's all that matters.
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Old 3rd February 2014, 12:28   #153
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Default re: Skoda Improving? Think again...Only getting worse! *EDIT: now waterpump fails!*

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Originally Posted by k_ajay View Post
I've also wondered in the past and even now if few non-customer Skoda bashers do so only because one can't own one. Bash it so it can later be justified as a reason why they don't want to own one.
I don't know how to react to your post. It's very childish and on the verge of being offensive. On the other hand, is a Skoda that expensive to buy? If that was the matter, VWs, Merc, BMWs, Audis would have been dead on the forum by now!

As another member also said, probably Mohit, that the views of people who do not own a Skoda car also counts. You never know, he might have been a Skoda car owner, had they not wanted to own a 'reliable' car with sane maintenance costs. And some people expect to be treated nicely by the manufacturer whom they paid for the car. You need to understand that priorities for different people are different. Their needs from a car is different...not merely transportation from point A to B.

And if there is a view among general people about something, it has a good reason behind it; passed on by some Skoda owners themselves - You want me to point you to those threads?

Last edited by saket77 : 3rd February 2014 at 12:35.
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Old 3rd February 2014, 12:29   #154
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Default re: Skoda Improving? Think again...Only getting worse! *EDIT: now waterpump fails!*

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Originally Posted by shankar.balan View Post
I am not a "fanboy" but I believe one should be fair.
Though I fully sympathise with Sahil, people with good ownership experience like us cannot be forced into a negative thought process till they encounter something to the contrary. The 'white noise' is constant and heightened in case of Skoda which has more to do with the proper service backup for a sophisticated piece of machinery rather than product competence. I would once again reiterate that people need to be just a little pro-active at the time of service and handing their vehicles to the service station rather than trust them blindly, and half the problems against Skoda would be solved.
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Old 3rd February 2014, 12:42   #155
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Default re: Skoda Improving? Think again...Only getting worse! *EDIT: now waterpump fails!*

My two cents, here it goes:
1. SKODA promptly raised a concern(rightly so) against a fake issue reported, which was acted upon by forum mods and an erring member was banned permanently. This shows that SKODA is regularly monitoring the forums for any issues raised concerning their brand - which is a good sign. HOWEVER, it also proves that for ALL other issues reported, SKODA knowingly agrees that the behaviour and conduct by SKODA and their various dealers is reported accurately - AND that probably they don't care!

2. With regards to the white noise created by non-owners - I respectfully submit that buying and owning a car is an experience which is vastly different than that of buying and owning a consumable - say toothpaste. Hence the customer community will always look for and give importance to the opinions found in forums such as T-BHP and also to the opinions from friends and relatives. Also, one does not need to own a car in order to form an opinion - in fact the opinion forming starts in very early stages of car buying cycle. To rubbish the opinion of non-owners suggesting sour-grapes attitude is not a polite thing in my opinion.
It is a fact that SKODA cars are costlier to maintain and there are more examples of SKODA dealers/workshops (than say Maruti/Hyundai/Honda dealers) not giving best advice to the owners to keep maint costs down but to maximize their profits and service revenue.

Yes, there is a clear case for SKODA needing more customer focus.

Regards,

JLS
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Old 3rd February 2014, 12:55   #156
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Default re: Skoda Improving? Think again...Only getting worse! *EDIT: now waterpump fails!*

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Originally Posted by blacksport View Post
If there is one thing I have learned from discussion forums, it is this: "never talk against popular opinion".

When a mob is formed, reason takes a back seat. Any amount of reason you try to bring into the discussion would be trashed without a consideration and the person who brought it would be condemned. That is how mobs work. Unlike street mobs, fortunately, we enjoy the anonymity of the internet.
On the contrary - one has nothing to lose while airing an opinion which is against the internet/forum mob's opinion. Thus you should make it a point to speak out - something that cannot be done practically in real life.

On the point about satisfied customers - is it possible that for same level of service being offered by say Skoda after sales - one person gets furious, and another one feels quite content?
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Old 3rd February 2014, 13:38   #157
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Default re: Skoda Improving? Think again...Only getting worse! *EDIT: now waterpump fails!*

I think Skoda finds itself in a unique position in the indian car industry hierarchy. It has an image of luxury brand in the Indian car buyers mind while also drawing out the enthusiast crowd with its focus on performance that not many other manufacturers care about. With the onset of premium luxury brands like BMW & Audi, and rapid economic growth over the last years, Skoda can be termed Value for Money (strictly relatively speaking) when it comes to luxury and performance. And also compared to VW it has a better brand recall in the general population.

Skoda is probably the leading luxury brand for middle and upper middle class segment of buyers. And these buyers are VFM conscious and expect the same japanese reliability and after sales service in a luxury/performance car. They are more vocal in forums like these and in general when compared to premium luxury car owners. No doubt we do have a few BMW, Audi, Merc owners sharing their experiences (and thanks for that) but I feel in general they are less likely to turn up here.

I have had a Skoda for the last 9 years and have had a fair share of troubles but everytime I've persisted and did whatever it takes to get it back on road. I agree some of troubles could have been avoided if Skoda service was more proactive (or me). When spending that kind of money it would also be wise to do some research on service and maintenance.

If I've to make a new car purchase decision I cannot simply ignore Skoda or VW. A Polo GT vs BMW 1-series or A-class? Polo GT is the VFM choice for almost similar performance and experience. The new Octavia would give a 3-series or A4 a run for their money.

Yes there is significant room for improvement in the after sales service area for Skoda and for that matter all European manufacturers (given the exorbitantly priced spare parts and labor rates). I hope Skoda especially recognizes this, given their current brand image and positioning.
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Old 3rd February 2014, 14:13   #158
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Default re: Skoda Improving? Think again...Only getting worse! *EDIT: now waterpump fails!*

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Originally Posted by k_ajay View Post
I've also wondered in the past and even now if few non-customer Skoda bashers do so only because one can't own one. Bash it so it can later be justified as a reason why they don't want to own one.
Educated individuals will be able to differentiate between when a customer really has been wronged by Skoda and when there is just noise without merit (be from a customer or a passer-by). That's all that matters.
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Originally Posted by saket77 View Post
I don't know how to react to your post. It's very childish and on the verge of being offensive. On the other hand, is a Skoda that expensive to buy? If that was the matter, VWs, Merc, BMWs, Audis would have been dead on the forum by now!
Without sounding repetitive to what Saket77 has already said. Your post and views do sound a little pseudo snobbish. The forum is full of exoticas, luxurious epitomes that can put the premier-ish Skoda to shame. Infact, the top of the line offering: Skoda Superb is often quoted(on this very forum) as an affordable luxury option to BMW/Merc at half the price.

Q. Do I own a skoda vehicle?
A. No

Q. Can I afford to own a skoda vehicle?
A. Yes

Q. Will I ever contemplate to own one?
A. Not in the currently prevalent skoda scenario.

The point is that life ain't long enough to try every experience first hand(or with a hit and trial strategy). This is the reason internet forums exist on every possible topic. Because it is easier to share(your joys and sorrows), disseminate your experience/knowledge, and learn from other fellas instead of self-experiencing stuff.
For instance, the forum advises that cars with airbags and ABS are safer than their non complying counterparts. Now, I need not try to experience it myself, or else I may not even survive to give a testimony on the matter. Similarly, when 5 out of 10 threads on an unadulterated forum like Tbhp points towards non-satisfaction with Skoda, it is wiser for me not to take the plunge.

Coming to the next point, Does skoda makes some superbly engineered cars: Yes, period. But, does skoda provide a superb service/ownership experience: highly dubious.
When I invest my resources/time/money in anything, I have a certain reasonable expectations out of it. But when the other party vehemently fails in those reasonable expectations, it is best to severe the ties. Or, knowing the party's ill-reputation beforehand, best is not to have any dealings with such a party. What our fellow member: Harishv is going through is solely enough for me to give Skoda a pass. Skoda might be having a little edge over the competition in terms of product offering, but the very edge is blunted with the ownership and after sales service. Buying a good product is not even half a battle won, you emerge as winner only if you have a satisfactory alliance with the machine for your entire ownership period. I cannot live in a constant fear that some xyz component may fail prematurely(with a higher than the industry's standard probability) or the parts of my beloved car would be replaced by spurious ones by the very manufacturer(or the dealer authorized by the manufacturer) I am supposed to have faith in.

Many a skoda owners would not agree to my post, but this is what concur in the minds of most non-skoda owning auto-enthusiasts.

Regards

P.S.: I am not a skoda basher and this is my first post on the forum that pertains to skoda.
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Old 3rd February 2014, 14:49   #159
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Default re: Skoda Improving? Think again...Only getting worse! *EDIT: now waterpump fails!*

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Originally Posted by alpha1 View Post
On the contrary - one has nothing to lose while airing an opinion which is against the internet/forum mob's opinion.

On the point about satisfied customers - is it possible that for same level of service being offered by say Skoda after sales - one person gets furious, and another one feels quite content?
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Originally Posted by dkaile View Post
Though I fully sympathise with Sahil, people with good ownership experience like us cannot be forced into a negative thought process till they encounter something .........need to be just a little pro-active at the time of service and handing their vehicles to the service station rather than trust them blindly, and half the problems against Skoda would be solved.
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Originally Posted by blacksport View Post
If there is one thing I have learned from discussion forums, it is this: "never talk against popular opinion". ........ That is how mobs work. Unlike street mobs, fortunately, we enjoy the anonymity of the internet. We can just close the browser and pretend it never happened. I advise you to do so.
BlackSport and Alpha1: To your points ref "speaking out": All my life I have swum against the tide and have done pretty decently at it if I may say so myself. Right from early childhood in India, life is about "conforming" - I have followed it in my early life only under some amount of "duress". Arrived at Man's Estate, I have been a Maverick-ish sort of bloke..been labelled so as well, across several of the organisations where I have worked. Yet, I have left behind relationships based on real affection so I obviously have not rubbed people up the wrong way all these years. Hence, by the grace of God I will always hold my head up high and speak out where required, against popular opinion if need be.

To your point ref "service": I have been in the service industry a long time. I believe I am a discerning consumer who values first class service. The only difference is that I, like my Dad before me, make the time to build relationships with the service provider(s) as far as I am able to. It has worked for us so far and I see no reason for it not to, in future.

Dkaile: Yes I have so far had a good experience and hence, am generous in giving credit and praise where they are due. Were they (god forbid) to make a mess of things, then I will be equally vociferous in flaying them alive and drawing and quartering them and feeding 'em to the vultures.
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Old 3rd February 2014, 15:25   #160
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Default re: Skoda Improving? Think again...Only getting worse! *EDIT: now waterpump fails!*

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Originally Posted by shankar.balan View Post
Yes I have so far had a good experience and hence, am generous in giving credit and praise where they are due. Were they (god forbid) to make a mess of things, then I will be equally vociferous in flaying them alive and drawing and quartering them and feeding 'em to the vultures.
Now, don't you think your last statement qualifies as "excessive anger"
Don't get me wrong, I wish you well but just a word of caution that I was exactly like you in several similar Skoda complaint threads. I was the guy who vouched for the product and went against the tide which is what makes this whole experience even more sour for me. I got Skoda's back on public forums and recommended the car to numerous people generating revenues for the company yet when it came to getting my back Skoda turned it's back and didn't give a damn.

Anyway, lets get back to the topic now which is my car in concern. For those who are still interested in the topic- Dealership just called me saying the part will come in tomorrow hence by this weekend,if all goes as planned, we should have the matter closed and my pocket lighter but heart heavier.
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Old 3rd February 2014, 19:56   #161
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Now, don't you think your last statement qualifies as "excessive anger"
Don't get me wrong, I wish you well but just a word of caution that I was exactly like you in several similar Skoda complaint threads. I was the guy who vouched for the product and went against the tide which is what makes this whole experience even more sour for me. I got Skoda's back on public forums and recommended the car to numerous people generating revenues for the company yet when it came to getting my back Skoda turned it's back and didn't give a damn.

Anyway, lets get back to the topic now which is my car in concern. For those who are still interested in the topic- Dealership just called me saying the part will come in tomorrow hence by this weekend,if all goes as planned, we should have the matter closed and my pocket lighter but heart heavier.

Man!! I am wondering if I can even say something in Jest without people flying off the handle!

Yes, I use some expressions but do you really think I would do all this?

I will grumble, crib and everything else, but would pull all the stops to get a resolution using whatever pull I have in the world. Thats it!
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Old 3rd February 2014, 21:41   #162
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Hi sbkumar. I appreciate your view. However, I don t really understand why you equate 'building relationships' with 'elitism'. There is no elitism here really. Im just a regular guy like anyone else. Grace of god I have been fortunate so far in the vehicles that I have bought and my relationships with people in general. And I do take time to build relationships with people. Thats been a practice in all spheres of my life in general! No elitism on my part really, because I genuinely have friends in all sorts of walks of life and circumstances as well.
Fail to understand what is wrong in building relationships instead of taking a transactional approach. That is what success in any business calls for. There is the principle of being nice and polite to people. That is a value system.

I for one have invested in building a relationship with my car manufacturer (Toyota) and their service workshops. I should also state that this was not for selfish reasons at all.
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Old 4th February 2014, 00:56   #163
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Default re: Skoda Improving? Think again...Only getting worse! *EDIT: now waterpump fails!*

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Fail to understand what is wrong in building relationships instead of taking a transactional approach. That is what success in any business calls for. There is the principle of being nice and polite to people. That is a value system.

I for one have invested in building a relationship with my car manufacturer (Toyota) and their service workshops. I should also state that this was not for selfish reasons at all.
I build relations in all work that I do. Be it official or non-official and on a personal base too. The relationship that is built with the workman in the ASC or dealership is not on selfish part but it is a moral that back's us to be nice and friendly with them (we are humans at the end of the day) which not many customers are with the SA's so when a person they confront is happy and helpful along with appreciation of their work (praises and not money) they go way out to help us out when we are in a problem. I have seen this personally with Maruti and Honda along with a couple of friends who own Skoda's and Toyota.

No one is pointing a finger at Skoda as a company but the dealers and their ASC's are spoiling the names and creating a bad mouth more than it is actually.

Hope times change soon and the good times begin for Skoda too.

Anurag.
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Old 4th February 2014, 10:40   #164
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Default re: Skoda Improving? Think again...Only getting worse! *EDIT: now waterpump fails!*

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Originally Posted by Sahil View Post
I was the guy who vouched for the product and went against the tide which is what makes this whole experience even more sour for me. I got Skoda's back on public forums and recommended the car to numerous people generating revenues for the company yet when it came to getting my back Skoda turned it's back and didn't give a damn.
Not to mention their sister brand VW. It was Sahil's early feedback of the Vento AT that encouraged me to go the same way
Quote:
Anyway, lets get back to the topic now which is my car in concern. For those who are still interested in the topic- Dealership just called me saying the part will come in tomorrow hence by this weekend,if all goes as planned, we should have the matter closed and my pocket lighter but heart heavier.
A lakh out of pocket for ABS module replacement on a low-mileage car!! I guess you've made your peace with it but it does sound excessive. Maybe if it works out you could sell the car off before more problems rear their head. The problem with petrol automatics is that resale value is pretty pathetic so looks like you may be stuck with it.
Skoda doesn't seem to care that it has lost a major customer, one who actually evangelizes the brand (at least, used to). Marketing 101 fail!

Anyway, good luck and do keep us posted on developments.
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Old 9th February 2014, 23:47   #165
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Default re: Skoda Improving? Think again...Only getting worse! *EDIT: now waterpump fails!*

Hi Sahil Sorry to hear about your DSG problems. I was considering the new face lifted Superb in DSG but after seeing your problem i dropped the idea. What do you think of the Manual Elegance Trim of the Superb any ideas? Im thinking either Superb in Manual (thanks to DSG issue otherwise i would've bought the Auto eyes closed) or the Honda CRV 2.4 AT as my next car. Let me know your thoughts. Thanks

Last edited by M00M : 9th February 2014 at 23:49.
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