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Old 11th March 2009, 23:23   #31
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Quote:
Originally Posted by harishv View Post
I followed up with
Andreas Prinz, MD, Volkswagen India
Jorg Mueller, President, Volkswagen India
Eva Dradkova, Consul General, Czech Republic, Mumbai
Reinhard Jung, Chairman, Skoda Auto, Czech Republic
Karsten Bugon, MD, Skoda Auto India
Adam Pavel, Customer Care, Skoda Czech Republic
Walter Stechel, Consul General, German Consulate, Mumbai
Bernhard Steinrucke, Director General, Indo German Chamber of Commerce

I got few encouraging replies from some of them. Andreas Prinz in fact followed it up personally with Bugon. Unfortunately these Germans are not aware of the mischief played by Skoda, Indian executives.
Germans not aware? Let us not forget the VW bribery and sex scandal:

VW Sex and Bribery Scandal: Sentences Handed Down in Corruption Affair - SPIEGEL ONLINE - News - International

Those excellent photo's of the spurious parts are worth a thousand words.

This thread is a thorn in Skoda India's side especially when they are trying to sell the latest Superb. Maybe Skoda India believes that there's no such thing as bad press.
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Old 11th March 2009, 23:52   #32
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A couple of months ago, when a friend of mine asked for my opinion in deciding to buy an Octavia, i put our friendship on the line asking him to back off from that decision. I filled him with stories about Skoda and their ways in India.

Needless to say, he didnt buy a Skoda, and thanks me to this day. I shall forward this link to him, as well as other friends so they are aware of the happenings and practices which are rampant.

Harish, hope things work out in your favour. As for me, i shall spread the word.
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Old 12th March 2009, 03:23   #33
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I think these ( Skoda + numer Eins ) people need to be sent to jail With Mr Raju the Ex Satyam CEO , Also These German and czech Diplomats Should be Ashamed of them selves for not doing anything Even when they are approached imagine what a hell would have been broken Loose if Tata or Maruti Did something like this in Europe
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Old 12th March 2009, 04:26   #34
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If anyone thinks this is not a big deal etc. IT IS! If this happened in UK or US or someplace, rest assured that the consumer would sue the company for HUGE amounts, the press would make a scandal out of it and Skoda would have to publicly apologise. If it gathers enough momentum, the regional manager might even be fired.

So Harsha, all our support with you. Don't give up, and kudos to you for standing up to their threats, bribes etc. Try to get as much press coverage as you can. TBHP members who have Press contacts can help. Facebook groups, magazine articles can all help.

You have the power to shake up the A.S.S of Skoda which is known to be horrifying. Do it for the other Skoda owners, and for Skoda itself.
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Old 12th March 2009, 06:43   #35
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Originally Posted by sidindica View Post
the entire VW group in India is run by a department of honchos who can think that they can take the Indian consumers for granted.

the case is HORRIFYING.

a recommendation: whenever a car is given for service, spare some time and take that day's leave and be in the workshop with your car and get your work done in front of you, no matter whatsoever the service adviser or mechanic or the works manager persuades you to wait at the customers lounge.DO NOT DO IT.

make sure that the required parts are genuine and are issued in front of you from the counter and fitted in front of you, even if your body feels the pain of moving up and down.


now comes the case-that of accident.
IF POSSIBLE, try to pressurize the workshop to do most of the refitting in front of you by using genuine spares issued in front of you.

yes, this may be a big burden in this today's hectic life but its your money thats going down, not the company's or chauffeur's.

if the car is chauffer driven, still, do not go and tell the chauffeur to go and give the car for servicing. GO YOURSELF. TAKE SOME PAIN. YOU WILL BE REWARDED AND ABOVE ALL, SATISFIED.
I have started doing this, and I am quite satisfied with the current MASS I go to. Even though I trust the guys there now, I still find it difficult to leave everything to them and walk away. Because of difficulty in taking time off from work, I was planning to do what everyone else does and leave the car in their hands, but horror stories like this.... I'm taking the day off for the next service too.
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Old 12th March 2009, 10:44   #36
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Harish -- I really salute you for your courage and determination to fight! I don't own a Skoda, but have heard lot of scary stories about them. I don't know whether you'd be able to have support from 10 other Skoda owners having similar problems, because here most people in minddle clas & upper middle class prefer to stay away from such issues, but you can still fight it out -- you can claim for exemplery damages for yourself if you can prove that they were the culprits!

I am going to forward it to all my friends, and I really hope mods put up his thread as prominantly (sticky?) as possible!
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Old 12th March 2009, 10:54   #37
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After I advised my friend to buy Skoda Octavia, initially he was very happy. Problems started after 1.5-2 years. Then huge bills from nummer eins and even more problems. Friend started cursing me. Lucky our friendship is stronger - will survive such stuff.

But recently a year ago when he wanted to upgrade to better car, he wished to choose between BMW/Merc. I asked him why not Audi - he said it is same co. of/like Skoda - stay away. So in the end though he suffered somewhat, it seems VW/Skoda/Audi suffer even more.

All who generally buy Skoda only buy for diesel economy, since they have huge daily running use for 3-4 years to recover fuel savings. If only Honda/Toyota plonk their diesel engines in Civic/Accord or Altis/Camry, then Skoda/VW will automatically disappear from India.
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Old 12th March 2009, 11:54   #38
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Quote:
Originally Posted by manish7 View Post
...but have heard lot of scary stories about them...
One of the Mods already has a thread "Achilles heel..." on the problems faced with the Octavia vRS. Search for it and read that too.
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Old 12th March 2009, 13:18   #39
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Harish..There was some mention about an accident after which the parts were changed. Did you take an Insurance Claim on this? I went through a similar issue with Mitsubishi some 7 years ago. The car was a wreck and the dealer + insurance agent got together and passed the claim for new parts but used second-hand goods from other cars. i found out when the suspension & steering were not as smooth. Apparently the dealers manager + agent were in cahoots and pulled this off. The Owner of the dealership met with me, fired the manager, reported the agent, replaced all parts free of charge and returned the car within a week.

its a shame that Skoda has proceeded in this manner...
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Old 12th March 2009, 15:25   #40
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Saw all the posts, seems like everyone wants to support him, but did not see any concrete action plan.

How about, we change Team-BHP sticker to include some bad publicity on skoda.

"Thank god i don't own skoda : Team-BHP"

or something similar, hopfully, such messages appearing in many cars across india, will make upper management in skoda and govt to do more in such cases.
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Old 12th March 2009, 15:38   #41
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Default a big thank you to team-bhp

wow. that was overwhelming. i wish i was here earlier.

thanks a ton guys. you all have rejuvenated me.

want to reply to each one individually. will do so tonight.

thanks once again friends.

thanks team-bhp
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Old 12th March 2009, 15:58   #42
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sidindica View Post
a recommendation: whenever a car is given for service, spare some time and take that day's leave and be in the workshop with your car and get your work done in front of you, no matter whatsoever the service adviser or mechanic or the works manager persuades you to wait at the customers lounge.DO NOT DO IT.
You dont have to spare a day if u have Toyota. They do routine service in 2 hours and in Ahmedabad you can actually see the guys servicing your vehicle while seating in the lounge!

I was seriously thinking of buying Skoda Fabia inspite of its premium pricing. I had read references to Skoda problems in various posts but this is the first post that i have read on Skoda problems.

Had the company acted promptly and attended to your grievances (like that Mitsubishi dealer) I would have no problem going for this brand. But after reading the approach of Skoda I am alarmed and would certainly not go for this brand. At present I might not have many choices in this class but i can certainly wait for few months for Jazz to arrive.

Skoda could certainaly have born the replacement costs (which is peanuts in the whole scheme of things) to protect their image particularly when they themselves have terminated the dealership for their dubious acts. Afterall you have purchased the car from THEIR DEALER.
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Old 12th March 2009, 16:01   #43
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I had talked about this with my cousin who had his Laura from Continental motors and i was told once there was a problem with the AC, instead of rectifying it they took some part from a new Laura of another customer and fitted in his Laura in front of his own eyes. Needless to say he was shocked.
Now he cant be present in every service so he may not know how many original parts of his car has been changed in the same way. Pathetic!
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Old 12th March 2009, 16:20   #44
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Default Go ahead for a PIL!

Harish,
Being a lawyer myself I think that you should definitely, and without any hesitation, file either a PIL and/or a petition in the consumer forum, apart from creating the media awareness that you have already started. Attorney client privilege debars me from mentioning names, but the litigation wing of my firm handles these kind of cases on a regular basis, and there are several so-called 'reliable' car manufacturers who are taken to court on a regular basis on account of faulty products/bad service/dishonest dealings. These matters fail to come out in the open (on this forum) probably becase not may of the affected people are on TBHP.
In fact, cases like these in the United States and other foreign jurisdictions, are called class action suits and are extremely popular, and their effectiveness puts the fear of God into a lot of the dealers/manufacturers.
ALl the best,
Arindam.

Last edited by arindambasu13 : 12th March 2009 at 16:22.
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Old 12th March 2009, 19:16   #45
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Quote:
Originally Posted by blasť View Post
Saw all the posts, seems like everyone wants to support him, but did not see any concrete action plan.

How about, we change Team-BHP sticker to include some bad publicity on skoda.

"Thank god i don't own skoda : Team-BHP"

or something similar, hopfully, such messages appearing in many cars across india, will make upper management in skoda and govt to do more in such cases.
In my case the sticker would have to read "Thank god I own a Skoda". (And I mean it).

Please also read my post at post no 27 of this thread.


Quote:
Originally Posted by arindambasu13 View Post
Harish,
Being a lawyer myself I think that you should definitely, and without any hesitation, file either a PIL and/or a petition in the consumer forum, apart from creating the media awareness that you have already started. Attorney client privilege debars me from mentioning names, but the litigation wing of my firm handles these kind of cases on a regular basis, and there are several so-called 'reliable' car manufacturers who are taken to court on a regular basis on account of faulty products/bad service/dishonest dealings. These matters fail to come out in the open (on this forum) probably becase not may of the affected people are on TBHP.
In fact, cases like these in the United States and other foreign jurisdictions, are called class action suits and are extremely popular, and their effectiveness puts the fear of God into a lot of the dealers/manufacturers.
ALl the best,
Arindam.

Sorry Arindam, but I fail to see how a PIL (Public Interest Litigation) under either articles 226 or 32 lies in this case as the respondent would be private body which does not fall within the definition of 'state'. In case one were making the FIPB or the ARAI or the MoST. MoT etc. parties it is a very long drawn and tenuous argument that we would be trotting out - that their job is to regulate and ensure quality and therefore a writ would lie against them. Too remote, I would say.

I have appeared both for complainants and respondents in consumer litigation and I find the system satisfactory. My observation over the years is that a lot of the consumer litigation is totally avoidable. A lot of it is frivolous and misguided, some of it is due to communication gaps and minor mis-understandings between the consumer and the seller.

Tort litigation, especially as practiced in the USA comes with its own set of problems. In any case, some of the sting has been taken out of class action suits by reforms in the tort laws there. One of the fall outs of class action tort practice in the USA is higher insurance premia leading to the higher prices for services and products as the vendors pass on the insurance costs to us - the consumers.

One of the factors that MNCs look at when they start business operations in a new jurisdiction is the 'product liabilty' and the costs of the same. I am sure that they factor in the costs of product liability & consumer claims when they fix the prices of their products. Some of my clients were pleasantly surprised to learn that the product liability laws in India (Consumer Protection Act etc.) were strong. Yes, MNCs are happy to learn that India has a strong legal & judicial system, even if it means that they might be at the receiving end sometimes.

One area of practice that is becoming important is the law of defamation, this has several facets particularly in its application to electronic media.

Cheers,
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