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Old 1st July 2008, 14:22   #1
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Default My experience with JD Power Quality survey

Below is an impression that I gained after being interviewed by JD Power for the 2008 vehicle quality survey.

Disclaimer
Unless we survey the survey, there is no way of finding out how much my impression can be extrapolated.

The Experience
The interviewer was dressed appropriately and didnít mind waiting till I finished work. which took an hour or so, and put me on the back foot as I was feeling guilty about wasting his time. he did put that guilty feeling to good use against me later.

He had met my Dad the day before and asked him questions about his Verna, and Dad had pointed him to me for my views on the other 2 cars in the family. My Swift D and my brotherís Endeavour.
I was a bit miffed when I found out that he was least interested in the Swift(they are dime a dozen), He wanted to talk about my brotherís endeavour which has done 8000kms, of which I have done quite a significant bit.

He didnít seem to mind that the owner was someone else. He said itís enough if they get a user experience, its not necessary that it be from the owner. Fine!

The interview was taped throughout.

Let me come out and say this, I was disappointed! Big time!
The whole affair was rushed.
The questions were worded clearly, but they skipped a few important bits.
For eg,
Qn1 What is the ride comfort during normal conditions? Out of 10, I gave it 8,Because on smooth roads, the ride is pretty decent in the Endy.
Qn2 Quietness of ride over harsh bumps- I gave another 8, because the car is pretty quiet when it goes over bumps, itís the 2nd and 3rd row passengers that scream

As soon as I answered these questions I interrupted, because I could see that my answers would skew the results towards the endy having a good ride. Which is incorrect. It has an atrocious ride.

I could see lower down in the questionnaire that there was nothing about ride comfort over rough roads.

I wanted to retract my scores and give the Endy a ď1Ē for both the above questions, but, the man didnít let me. I was irritated, argued for a minute, then let it go. I didnít want to waste anymore time with this joker. His excuse was that the interview was taped and he canít go back and change it.

It was a very shoddy approach to a survey,he kept saying you have no problems in this section, no problems in this section etc, without going into the details of the questionnaire.
Eg:-
Engine and drivetrain section-
He says, you have no problems with the engine, I pause, uncertain, because, itís true I donít have any problems with the engine(I love it). But he should be thorough enough to go through each detail, rather than flipping the page before I can read all the questions. He kept doing that through the interview.

Another thing I noted was that the questions didnít really touch on rattling as an issue. Which is probably why the swift got away with good ratings.
The questions about the interior were sounded downright silly. Asking about colour co ordination and what not rather than how things were put together. I have no problems with ford or Hyundai on that front, but maruti has a long way to go.
There was a passing mention about panel gaps, but I didnít not hear any pointed questions about build quality

What seemed the worst was, that each agent had been given 1 or 2 brands and this particular agent was dealing mainly with ford. This agent choses the people he surveys independently.

That means he can cherry pick customers who give good reviews,
Also, it makes it easy for a manufacturer to approach an agent whom they know is dealing with their brand.

This particular agent also claimed to be part of a team setting up focus groups for Automobile manufacturers and has offered to get me into one of them, saying that it is good fun, and that they are conducted in Star hotels with plenty of gifts and freebies thrown in.

Iím not averse to gifts and freebies, but the whole incident has left me seriously doubting the integrity of our dear manufacturers and JD Power.

There was a sheet of paper that I was supposed to fill in, evaluating the surveyor. He did not let me fill it and snatched the paper away from me saying that he needed it as a master copy to take photostats.
By this time, I was barely controlling my temper, and hurriedly said goodbye.

To me, the whole thing stinks to high heaven.
People who have had different or similar experiences, would you let us all know?
Iím hoping, if we create enough of a ruckus, JD Power will sit up and take notice and stop trying to help the manufacturers hoodwink the public.
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Old 1st July 2008, 14:31   #2
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Ask the right questions to get the answer you want ! I must mention JD Power survey is well respected in the automotive field and their survey (done this way) carries weight.
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Another thing I noted was that the questions didnít really touch on rattling as an issue. Which is probably why the swift got away with good ratings.
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Old 1st July 2008, 14:36   #3
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Quote:
I wanted to retract my scores and give the Endy a ď1Ē for both the above questions, but, the man didnít let me
and what a stupid excuse for not letting you do that!
Quote:
There was a sheet of paper that I was supposed to fill in, evaluating the surveyor. He did not let me fill it and snatched the paper away from me saying that he needed it as a master copy to take photostats.
By this time, I was barely controlling my temper, and hurriedly said goodbye
Unbelieavable, isn't it? This is the icing on the cake.
Overall, it looks like the man was given a mandate to achieve a certain objective. The whole thing sucks big time. This what I had argued , albeit rather mildly, in the other thread on the topic http://www.team-bhp.com/forum/indian...dable-car.html
Thanks for writing this wonderful & revealing post.
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Old 1st July 2008, 14:50   #4
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So now we know how the 'most respected' survey in the industry is done!

Thanks for sharing the info, Ripper!
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Old 1st July 2008, 14:52   #5
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I've always been quite wary of these JD Power studies especially the Initial Quality ones. I mean how many people even here are ready to accept that their new car bought with their hard-earned money has faults?? Not many since it's becomes an ego issue & the owner automatically assumes that his rationale behind choosing the car is being questioned & thus it's a negative point to him for choosing a faulty car. And add to that the fanboys that every brand has & you can end up with a faulty survey result!

Your experience just goes to show that not only is the survey not being conducted in a transparent manner, but there are a lot of loopholes in it too for manufacturers to exploit (No question regarding ride over rough roads, build quality comes to mind) and by the behaviour of the surveyor who interviewed you, it seems they just might be using it nicely to improve their results.
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Old 1st July 2008, 14:54   #6
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We cant assume that every person is interviewed in the same manner. the agent was useless. So I cant categorically say JD Power is cheating. I have only my experience to go on. I hope there will be others who speak up and let us know what most of the surveys are like.

But IMO, the questionnaire was devious, and lets car manufacturers hide a lot of their defects.
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Old 1st July 2008, 14:56   #7
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@rippergeo, 1. It would have been better if you had quoted the conversation verbatim.

2. Who did the taping? The interviewer? What equipment?

And yes, it is absolutely essential that the questiosn have to be unbiased if the results have to be unbiased.

Putting words in mouth of interviewee is never a good thing, in fact, such tactics influence the outcome of the interview.

While most people want to influence the outcome of assessments of their own performance (the interviewee, in this case), it is very unethical of him to indulge in such behaviour.

And if the bit about not having a copy of that assessment sheet, was honest, reliability of the organisation conducting the survey is very suspect. It is surprising that they have not provided adequate sheets.
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Old 1st July 2008, 15:00   #8
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thanks ripper for sharing this. We are safe with t-bhp. did they record you trying to fill in your part evaluating the surveyor? i doubt it. even if it is, it will be edited out.
Ford will send you a GT as a gift!!!
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Old 1st July 2008, 15:03   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BaCkSeAtDrIVeR View Post
@rippergeo, 1. It would have been better if you had quoted the conversation verbatim.

2. Who did the taping? The interviewer? What equipment?
The agent did the taping on a sony walkman.
Its difficult to qoute him verbatim. the interview lasted 30 mins or so.

About him needing the evaluation sheet as a master copy, is Bovine waste because he wanted me to sign at the bottom of the "Master copy". I refused saying it was his master copy and didnt want to spoil it.

@kutlee- damn! now that you point it out....he didnt record that bit. I thought I didnt miss any tricks.
I'll send the Ford GT back.I drive only diesels

Last edited by rippergeo : 1st July 2008 at 15:06.
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Old 1st July 2008, 15:37   #10
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ripper, in that case, this is a fully faltoo survey. They never wanted any info in the first place. They just wanted to wash thier hands and send some report. No genuine survey will be this bad. Will be double skeptical about survey reports.
Thanks mone..ummah.
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Old 1st July 2008, 15:45   #11
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This is very much surprising and pretty serious stuff too. People would be taking decisions based on the JD Power Quality survey.

I always thought it was a written questionnaire which had ratings from 1-5 or 1-10 and dealt with all sorts of possible questions.

I guess this re-iterates the fact that it is always beneficial to go through the unbiased owner views posted in T-Bhp instead of coming to a conclusion based on these surveys.
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Old 1st July 2008, 16:13   #12
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Hey Ripper, thanks for putting this here in T-BHP. Atleast we can be aware of what these surveys are and how to react / value these. From your experience this is a total faltoo one.
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Old 1st July 2008, 16:24   #13
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So, this is how the renowned JP Power surveys are carried out! Thanks a ton for sharing!


Quote:
Originally Posted by rippergeo View Post
About him needing the evaluation sheet as a master copy, is Bovine waste because he wanted me to sign at the bottom of the "Master copy". I refused saying it was his master copy and didnt want to spoil it.
In all probability, he himself would have filled it in and signed on your behalf
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Old 1st July 2008, 16:40   #14
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I would not have paid much attention to his antics, were it not for team bhp. the forum has taught me to be cautious when dealing with people like these.

I hope JD power emails me or something. I'm sending them a link of this post, and his name and contact details.
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Old 1st July 2008, 17:10   #15
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IMO, this is a case of an agent who was either not doing his job well or was not told how to do it in the first place. ie. unless we hear similar experiences from other tbhp-ians with other agents.

@rippergeo, do write to JDPower about this experience, even if you dont receive any email from them - there should be a link on their site with email address.

JDPower surveys were just about the only ones I trusted. Feels bad to know that the data is collected in such a lousy manner by stupid agents, which really can screw up the results.
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