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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, 15:29   #31
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Default Re: Product vs After-sales: If you had to pick one?

I vote for a healthy mix of both!, The decision for product v/s after-sales support will vary differently among consumers based on various factors like: social status-can afford only one car/first car, view car as a status symbol, bad prior experience. If you asked me this same question 5 years back, I'd vote "product" hands down cause after-sales support was something I only had to worry about a year later down the line.

But then I bought a couple of vehicles from a brand infamous for their lack of service: The vehicles were more loyal to the brand rather then the owner, cause they spend more time at the service center than the road! This brought the critical after sales service as a decision factor in my automobile purchase decisions thereon.
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Old 5th December 2016, 15:34   #32
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Default Re: Product vs After-sales: If you had to pick one?

On the other hand, a company can sell cars with waiting periods over a month. Should that be called good service? We are willing to wait for more than a month to get the car as it is a "safe bet", means we are playing safe, compromising today for the hope of a peaceful ownership in future. Just saying.

Agreed, there are some horrible stories on after sales service and some companies are repeat offenders. But the truth is - for a novice owner, even the dealers of companies with "best in class" or "best in industry" service network can rip you off.

After sales service quality for the most part is subjective.
For example, whenever I visit authorized service centre for my car service, my expectations are very high. I need no less than 100% satisfaction and/or solution to the niggles. While visiting any 3rd party service centre or a local garage, I know inside that I am making a risky step/a compromise, and I am willing for "less than stellar" job done (again relative to the authorized service centre).

Most of the mechanical issues/niggles in most of the mass market cars sold in India can be serviced at any local garage anyways.
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Old 5th December 2016, 15:36   #33
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Default Re: Product vs After-sales: If you had to pick one?

Here is my cheat sheet -

Good product + Good service = OK
Good product + Mediocre service = OK
Good product + Bad service = Not OK!

Mediocre product + Good service = OK
Mediocre product + Mediocre service = Not OK!
Mediocre product + Bad service = Not OK!

Bad product + Good service = Not OK!
Bad product + Mediocre service = Not OK!
Bad product + Bad service = Not OK!
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Old 5th December 2016, 15:48   #34
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Default Re: Product vs After-sales: If you had to pick one?

I didn't vote because both go together in my view. Part of the product being great is due to after-sales, and vice versa. We've not come this far only to fail either in terms of a product quality or due maintenence. A brand can sustain only with both.

We know that Nokia had legendary reliability, ease of use and service.. it took a nosedive because it was no longer relevant as a product. Today its a joke to those who never ever used a Nokia. We also know that say, Fiat back in 2008 had a very advanced product called the Punto, it was 5 years ahead of its time to say the least.. yet it never found takers due to lack of support and service (atleast thats the popular opinion).

Its time we stop accepting companies for what they are, a compromise is a compromise, always. We may buy the product but then choosing between product quality or service quality is kind of like choosing between the front tyres or rear tyres of the car, you need alll 4 to move.

That having been I said, to me time is the most precious commodity today. I no longer connect to cars the way I did earlier and thus I think a reliable, hassle free ownership is important, personally. I dont want to waste even a single second attending unnecessarily to a car which is there for my convenience, not vice versa.
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Old 5th December 2016, 16:19   #35
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Default Re: Product vs After-sales: If you had to pick one?

Quote:
Originally Posted by carwatcher View Post
Isn't this contradictory.
No contradiction if you consider driving is a joy and ownership hassle is the price to pay for it.

Quote:
You are the dream customer on which Skoda and VW bank upon.
I would be depressed if Skoda/VW stop selling in India

Quote:
But I would still ask, how many times you can allow yourself to do that (walking/bus option) ?
I have had my share, but have not been pushed to the edge yet. But I dread the alternative of driving a Corolla, instead I would buy lemon Polo TSIs one after the other.
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Old 5th December 2016, 16:34   #36
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Default Re: Product vs After-sales: If you had to pick one?

Voted for Product based in my previous (Opel Corsa) and current (Fiat Punto) satisfactory ownership experiences of unpopular yet fun to drive cars. Both are having the so called sub-par service reputation.

To me every day drive, comfort, feel, fun etc. weighs much more than worry of future sub-par service.

Going forward again will be taking product based approach and as of now have shortlisted yet to be launched Tata Nexon / Jeep B-SUV as my next upgrade.
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Old 5th December 2016, 16:53   #37
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Default Re: Product vs After-sales: If you had to pick one?

Product all the way for me and I think that's the way it should be for a true 'enthusiast'. You spend so much time with your car everyday and I am not going to compromise on the product to make up for a day or so at the service centre.

When we bought our Fiat and Ford, we were prepared for a bad experience at the service centre, but the experience has been good till date. *touchwood*

I believe that if one maintains their cars well, your visits to the service centre will be only limited to scheduled service, thus giving you more time to enjoy your car.

Another point that comes to my mind is that dealership experiences vary vastly across dealers and cities / towns. Say you buy brand X considering the after sales experience and for whatever reasons, you shift city / town or the dealer changes and the after sales experience suddenly turns sour. You then have compromised on the product and don't get good service as well !
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Old 5th December 2016, 17:25   #38
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Default Re: Product vs After-sales: If you had to pick one?

Once bitten twice shy.

This comes from an ex-owner of Fiat Palio from early 2000. I had bought this "enthusiast's choice" car after reading many reviews online and some friends recommendations. On a fateful Saturday, I was stranded on Mumbai-Pune expressway with a radiator hose busted in a brand new car and the A.S.S from Navi Mumbai took 8 hrs to arrange for a tow truck. Those days, we did not have many flying squads (highway police patrols) for support.
Add to the insult, they took another 5 days to source the replacement part.

On another instance I was stranded again by FIAT - TATA A.S.S for ECU malfunction. In the two years of Palio's ownership, most of the issues reported could not get fixed by A.S.S, rather they further complicated the issues. It was the most taxing and SADening experience of owning the car.

What was the reason? - Superior product, let down by below average service center.

Hence, I decided, that irrespective of better product, I will better buy an average albeit reliable car, rather than an advanced modern car with lackluster service center support.

I replaced Palio with Honda City and had the most satisfying and reliable experience for 6+ years and 1+lac kms.

Once I moved to Gulf, A.S.S has been top-notch irrespective of the brand. I have owned Japanese / American brands in the last 12+ years here and service experience has been top notch.

This shows that a great product can be ruined by lackluster and indifferent attitude of service centers whereas average products can be superstars if backed by proper A.S.S.

Proof - Check the yearly JD Edwards customer satisfaction survey.

Last edited by arunu : 5th December 2016 at 17:37. Reason: Details added
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Old 5th December 2016, 18:05   #39
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Default Re: Product vs After-sales: If you had to pick one?

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Last edited by GTO : 6th December 2016 at 10:10.
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Old 5th December 2016, 18:24   #40
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Default Re: Product vs After-sales: If you had to pick one?

Quote:
Originally Posted by arunu View Post

Once I moved to Gulf, A.S.S has been top-notch irrespective of the brand. I have owned Japanese / American brands in the last 12+ years here and service experience has been top notch.

This shows that a great product can be ruined by lackluster and indifferent attitude of service centers whereas average products can be superstars if backed by proper A.S.S.

Proof - Check the yearly JD Edwards customer satisfaction survey.
Indeed true. I think that the government should implement stringent laws for both automakers and dealers alike. You won't see these kind of things happening in the U.S.A or the gulf.

Proof: Volkswagen's goodwill package in the U.S.A. The emissions scandal has hit the manufacturer hard. The faster judiciary also made things easier for other countries and respective car owners.

Ask a Skoda owner who had been left stranded by the roadside and you will know.

Regards,
Vishy76
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Old 5th December 2016, 18:55   #41
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Default Re: Product vs After-sales: If you had to pick one?

Would appreciate if you quote example of each situation. Asking because everything is subjective.

Quote:
Originally Posted by smartcat View Post
Here is my cheat sheet -

Good product + Good service = OK
Good product + Mediocre service = OK
Good product + Bad service = Not OK!

Mediocre product + Good service = OK
Mediocre product + Mediocre service = Not OK!
Mediocre product + Bad service = Not OK!

Bad product + Good service = Not OK!
Bad product + Mediocre service = Not OK!
Bad product + Bad service = Not OK!
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Old 5th December 2016, 19:03   #42
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Default Re: Product vs After-sales: If you had to pick one?

Quote:
Originally Posted by carwatcher View Post
Would appreciate if you quote example of each situation. Asking because everything is subjective.
I will sidestep that landmine and just say that it's up to you (buyer) to make that classification.

But some examples:

1) Tata Hexa is a good product but I expect mediocre levels of after sales service and long term reliability. But if I was in the market for a 7 seater, I would still put my money on it.

2) Chinese Chevrolets are good examples of mediocre products with mediocre levels of after-sales service. I would not buy them.
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Old 5th December 2016, 19:11   #43
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Default Re: Product vs After-sales: If you had to pick one?

My priorities were towards product satisfaction before buying my first car.

After 5 years of ownership, my priorities are now completely reversed.
I now value peace of mind, re-sale value, longevity and service support more than looks/performance.
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Old 6th December 2016, 08:07   #44
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Default

For me, as a new car owner back in 2010 I had gone for a Fiat Punto, purely as an enthusiasts car, but terrible after sales support for 6 years has me reversing my opinion too. Now in late 2016, I have bought a Hyundai i20 active, definitely giving after sales a huge preference over fantastic product quality.
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Old 6th December 2016, 09:16   #45
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Default Re: Product vs After-sales: If you had to pick one?

Quote:
Originally Posted by arpanjha View Post
. Now in late 2016, I have bought a Hyundai i20 active, definitely giving after sales a huge preference over fantastic product quality.
But there is a difference. Hyundai i20 is a fantastic product in itself. Coupled with a very good after sales, it is kind of sone pe suhaaga offer.

Is it not?
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