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View Poll Results: Would it be the after sales/reliability or the product satisfaction?
After sale/reliability 171 49.42%
Product satisfaction 175 50.58%
Voters: 346. You may not vote on this poll

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Old 5th December 2016, 02:44   #16
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Default re: Product vs After-sales: If you had to pick one?

Depends on the usage: for a personal car, I don't mind sacrificing a slightly poor A.S.S. for a better experience. For a household car, A.S.S. is priority!
But then again, the one with the poorer A.S.S. is often the significantly better car!
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Old 5th December 2016, 06:51   #17
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It's surely "product" satisfaction that comes first. After sales is a function of the quality levels of what the car is all about.

But it isn't as easy as that as well. My personal experiences are rather mixed. I owned a Dzire for 4 years, never had any serious problems with it but I just didn't feel the car to be right. Of course it was made to a budget etc, but the quality levels never matched up. I switched to a Skoda Rapid 4 years ago and it's been a rollercoaster ride. While the quality levels and driving experience are phenomenal, I have had major issues like turbo and EGR failures. Luckily for me they were covered under warranty. But would I go out and buy a Skoda or VW again? I cannot say no for sure given the limited amount of choices out there. I wish there was a manufacturer like Ford who offered a sort of "middle road" to both of these --Reliability and after sales experience, but unfortunately not yet.
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Old 5th December 2016, 11:15   #18
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Default re: Product vs After-sales: If you had to pick one?

When it comes to my car, it is absolutely the product! Life offers just few moments of joy, the rest is all just character building.

I would rather wait endlessly in pouring rain for the tow truck to arrive, and have the car spend a month at the dealers to get it back on the road so that when it is all done I can go on a long drive with my favourite song on. When I can't take it any more, I would go walking or take the bus but never ever buy a car just because it offers good after sales experience.
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Old 5th December 2016, 11:56   #19
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Default re: Product vs After-sales: If you had to pick one?

IMO, if the product is good and after sales service is not so good, one would go for the product believing that he/she may not be going to the service centre too often.

Contrarily, if the product is not good than no one is going to buy it no matter how good the after sales service is.

If the product is unreliable and service too is bad - this is what creates a lasting perception (like Tata and to an extent Mahindra).

So for me, product IS the deciding factor. Not the after sales service quality
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Old 5th December 2016, 12:36   #20
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Default re: Product vs After-sales: If you had to pick one?

Good after sales is certainly a critical factor but it shouldn't be the only factor, atleast not for the driving enthusiasts. Personally, I would prefer taking calculated risk by zeroing in the car I love to drive, depending on my location, research, knowing the benefits and drawbacks. The most important factor of considering a fun-to-drive car from a below average A.S.S, is the time, the car has been in the market. There are good chances that the initial issues/niggles are sorted out, minimizing the visits to service centers. Another factor is ones driving style - how much you care about your car and how well you handle our traffic/roads.

After all, what is the point of owing a car which doesn't give you the driving pleasure (in return for good after sale) and makes you grin, every time you take her out . Having said that, you should always have a dependable horse at your disposal.
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Old 5th December 2016, 12:55   #21
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Default re: Product vs After-sales: If you had to pick one?

It's like a catch 22 situation really .

If you pick a poor product just for the good after sales support, sooner or later you would get bored and start regretting the decision. On the other hand, if you pick a good product backed by horrendous after sales, sooner or later, you would start thinking about selling it off for peace of mind.

I would split the weightage of both as 70:30 maybe. The after sales part can surely not be ignored completely.

All other things equal, if genuine spares are available over-the-counter for a particular brand, I tend to prefer it over others, as it gives me the option of taking control of the after sales service once warranty runs out.
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Old 5th December 2016, 13:40   #22
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Default re: Product vs After-sales: If you had to pick one?

I voted for After sale/ reliability.

One of the key factors I look at while buying a new car is how good is the after sales service. I see no point is buying a car if I get poor after sales service and I get stuck with a car whose issues/niggles cannot be sorted out by the authorised workshop either due to their lack of skills of due to their incompetence. What's the point of a buying a great car that ticks all boxes but gets plagued with problems because of poor/expensive after sales service and/or lack of spare parts.

Back in Gujarat when we bought the i20 in 2009, the local Hyundai A.S.C was pathetic to say the least. It had reached a point that I had decided that we will never buy a Hyundai again. But after shifting to Mangalore with that car, I found the local Hyundai A.S.C to be extremely good. They took good care of the car and saw to it that all issues I reported to them were addressed. I never had to go back to them with the same complaint again. It was so good that we ended up buying two more Hyundais from their dealership purely because of their after sales service standards.

Reliability only comes if the A.S.C is competent enough. No matter how good or well built the car is, if the A.S.C is pathetic, no car can ever be reliable in the long run.

Last edited by skanchan95 : 5th December 2016 at 13:44.
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Old 5th December 2016, 13:55   #23
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Default Re: Product vs After-sales: If you had to pick one?

Isn't this contradictory.

Quote:
Originally Posted by androdev View Post

Life offers just few moments of joy.


I would rather wait endlessly in pouring rain for the tow truck to arrive, and have the car spend a month at the dealers to get it back on the road so that when it is all done I can go on a long drive with my favourite song on. When I can't take it any more, I would go walking or take the bus but never ever buy a car just because it offers good after sales experience.
You are the dream customer on which Skoda and VW bank upon.
But I would still ask, how many times you can allow yourself to do that (walking/bus option) ?
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Old 5th December 2016, 14:10   #24
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Default Re: Product vs After-sales: If you had to pick one?

Product for me!

Simple reason - You live with the 'product' EVERY day. You have to bear with the 'service center' max 3-4 times a year.

In reality, product and service are hardly black & white types, where you have to choose ONE between the two. "Product is fantastic, but service is pathetic" is as completely avoidable as "product is pathetic/bland, but service is mind boggling".

AfterSales/reliability have been clubbed together as a single option in this poll. If the product is reliable, you will hardly ever need the aftersales except regular scheduled maintenance. On the other hand, if reliability is poor, you would end up visiting he A.S.S. many times in a year and then the afterSales experience would be of paramount importance.

But interesting poll anyways.

Last edited by SDP : 5th December 2016 at 14:24.
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Old 5th December 2016, 14:31   #25
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Default Re: Product vs After-sales: If you had to pick one?

My only car is my primary means of commute to my workplace on weekdays, and often on weekends (movies / relatives place etc.).
Everyone would agree that you do not drive a car of my segment for 'driving pleasure'.
My office hours are highly irregular too.
Thus reliability is of paramount importance to me, at least in this segment.

Also, one of my bad habits is that I am more inclined to driving somewhere rather than take public commute/cabs.
Thus I cannot live car free for more than a weekend, and quick service turnaround time with a good network of service centers is also important.

So as long as I cannot afford to buy another car and maintain 2 cars together, service & reliability shall remain more important for me, be it a bland and boring car.

If and when I have enough resources/requirements to buy a 2nd car, I would look at product satisfaction first, knowing that I shall have my trusted no nonsense bland-mobile as a fallback option if the noble steed somehow malfunctions.
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Old 5th December 2016, 14:40   #26
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Default Re: Product vs After-sales: If you had to pick one?

This thread simply reminds us why Maruti & Hyundai have managed to fend off newer MNCs. What they do is offer you BOTH, product + after-sales. The 2 giants have continuously improved their product range and have maintained satisfactory after-sales satisfaction levels, despite the growth. Hats off to Maruti, especially. I can't think of any Top 5 or 6 car market in the world where one brand owns half the industry.

Before I vote on the poll, let me give you a hint of my selection.

- The last Maruti I bought was 20 years back (an Esteem VX). And I still haven't bought a Hyundai.

- Currently own a Sunny (HORRIBLE after-sales), BMW (after-sales not a match to Mercedes) and Jeep. When I bought the Classic 4x4, Mahindra's after-sales was as shoddy as you can imagine. At the first service, they nearly put the car on fire & had the gall to exchange my imported ignition switch for a local one.

I voted for product. I think for enthusiasts (1% of the car buying population), the car itself is most important. For the mass market however (the other 99%), after-sales rules. If any automotive noob asks me for car advice, I always recommend a 'safe' brand or car to them.
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Old 5th December 2016, 14:40   #27
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Default Re: Product vs After-sales: If you had to pick one?

Quote:
Originally Posted by SDP View Post
Product for me!

Simple reason - You live with the 'product' EVERY day. You have to bear with the 'service center' max 3-4 times a year.

.
if the sales/service is not able to fix issues, source parts etc, you are stuck with a bad product!
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Old 5th December 2016, 15:13   #28
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Default Re: Product vs After-sales: If you had to pick one?

With some things in life, you vote with your wallet and with others you vote with your heart. When it comes to cars, it is doubtless that a reasonable level of after-sales support is essential, but if the product itself doesn't give you that warm, fuzzy feeling that car nuts know so well, it really shouldn't occupy pride of place in your garage. As it is, most cars in India are devoid of that intangible quality we call 'character', with mass-market commuters ruling the roost, and with good reason. Most people want to get from point A to point B in a modicum of comfort without spending much.

But what good is a car if it only moves you and not your soul? It's why I've never owned a Toyota personally, am loathe to return to Hyundai and have never owned a Maruti. It's a personal thing, I reckon, because such intensely personal variables go into our decision of choosing our steed. For some, reliability and the ownership experience is paramount and some are more willing to roll the dice and hope for the best.
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Old 5th December 2016, 15:18   #29
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Default Re: Product vs After-sales: If you had to pick one?

Quote:
Originally Posted by greenhorn View Post
if the sales/service is not able to fix issues, source parts etc, you are stuck with a bad product!
I believe its a matter of choice.

While some of us would play defensive and choose a no-nonsense car because of better reliability and ignore the bland design and lack of features, some others would rather take a risk and buy a better looking and feature rich car even if it means more trips during the year to the service center and potential parts availability issues.

We have to again differentiate between reliability(small niggles) and reliability(got stranded on some god-forsaken highway). While the first type can be ignored to some extent, the second is absolutely non-negotiable, at least for me.
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Old 5th December 2016, 15:22   #30
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Default Re: Product vs After-sales: If you had to pick one?

To me it is the product. If it is designed and manufactured well, it will hold good even without a good Service center. However, a poorly designed and manufactured with so-so quality, no matter how good the after sales is, you will have to live with the product.

I spend time with the product than the service center, so priority goes to the product.
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