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Old 26th November 2009, 11:06   #1
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Thumbs down Tata Motors, Service Centres, Insurance cos - All one big nexus

Tata Motors, Service Centres, Insurance cos - All one big nexus-17112009023.jpg

Tata Motors, Service Centres, Insurance cos - All one big nexus-17112009024.jpg

Tata Motors, Service Centres, Insurance cos - All one big nexus-17112009025.jpg

The above images start the story of my recent experience with Tata repairs, and discovering its all a bloody nexus.

Day 0

It all starts off with my wife banging the car into the rear of an Innova. The story of the accident (with pics) right here.

http://www.team-bhp.com/forum/indian...ml#post1590920

I take the car to KB Motors workshop at Park Circus, as they are the only authorized sevice centre who have a cashless tie-up with Royal Sundaram, my insurer. KB gives a cursory glance at the car, and gives me a 60K upfront gross estimate. I dont look too much into the matter, as in any case I'm happy to get my wife and the car out of the accident site.

Day 3, Part 1

It is a Saturday. Over the last 3 days, I've gone over the pics again and again. It doesnt seem that any of the mechanical parts have been damaged. So why such a high estimate?

The phone rings. "Sir, this is Mr. XYZ (the accident guy) calling from KB Motors. Your prelim survey has been done. Your estimate now is 70K." 70K!!! I ask XYZ whether he'll be in office that day, then drive down there within an hour. My wife and Joseph (NOS Power) were supposed to accompany me to a different trip that day. Since that looked a remote possibility, I take them along as well.

12 AM we reach KB. The car is standing forlorn in the accident section. We call XYZ, then ask him to present a part-by-part estimate of what needs to be changed. Read on:

1. Front Bumper - 4K for repair, 2.5K for painting


2. Headlight assembly - 4K each for both. (Why both? I ask. The right one looks untouched. "Because sir, the impact has made this small hole in the plastic. If you keep it like that, water will flood in through the hole. And we cant tape it up. The entire assembly will need changing)

3. Bonnet - 6K, plus extra for painting

4. Radiator Assembly - 14K!!!!! Joseph meekly questions why so high, when all damage there is has been to the bottom most line of the radiator core. "We cant take chances sir."

5. Front Apron - 8K for the entire set.

6. The condenser assembly might or might not need changing, and we are quoted 16K for it

So (without condenser) I'm presented a bill of 40-45K for parts, and 30K for labour. 70K on a car with little or no mechanical damage!

Day 3, Part 2

Obviously shocked at the rate KB is quoting, I ask the advisor not to open up the car on Monday. I want to have a feel of the market first, and advise him to hold on till my further instruction. He tells me even if I take the car out later, they will charge me 1-1.5K as processing + demurrage charges. What do I say?

Next stop, Sheesh Motors in Park Circus. A well known shop selling Tata Genuine Parts (TGP). A Kolkata tbhpian buys all his parts from this shop. Faisal Bhai, the propreitor is a helpful person. Even with a large crowd at the shop, he makes me sit beside him, I carefully list out all the parts that need changing. He gives me a part by part estimate, and I'm overjoyed. The TOTAL cost is coming to 18K, and 24K if the condenser unit were to be included.

From there I go to 2 well known mechanics. Each of them quotes me a rate of 6-10K for the entire labour.

In a nutshell, I learn on Saturday that while KB would charge 70K (so my out of pocket after insurance would be 25-30K), I can get the entirework done outside for 25-30K. Whatever insurance pays me is a bonus.

Life is looking bright. I prepare to give one last call to Royal Sundaram on Monday morning, and move the car out of KB the next day. Little do I know that what I'm seeing is the tip of the iceberg.

Day 5

Monday, I call up the claims dept of Royal Sundaram. After initial pleasanteries, this is how the conversation goes:

Me: So you see, KB is quoting me 70K for the entire repair, which is very high. I have verified elsewhere, if I buy TGP myself and get it repaired at my known garage, I'll have to pay only 30K. So both of us will be saved from cheating. Now tell me, what documents do I have to give you before taking the car out.

Insurance Guy(IG): Nothing sir, just a letter. The morning you deposit the letter at our office, you can move out the car of KB that very day.

Me: Great then, I'll give you the letter tomorrow morning.

IG: Just one thing. Where did you say you'd buy the parts from?

Me: Sheesh Motors. The one in Park Circus. They sell all TGP, no fakes. I'll even save the monogrammed covers for you, if you want proof.

IG: No need. I know Sheesh sells TGP. But let me warn you, if you buy parts from the market, even if they're TGP, insurance will value them at "local parts" rate, which is 40-50pct of the list price.

ME: (Totally taken aback): Why? If what I'm buying is TGP, then its the same that KB would have used.

IG: We know. But only parts sold from Tata's own parts centres, and their authorized distributor in Kolkata will be treated as genuine parts.

Me: Ok, parts centre wont sell to individuals. Tell me where Tata's AD is.

IG: Daga Auto Parts at Mango Lane is Tata's only AD in Kolkata. You can go down there and take a quote.

Day 6

I take time out from office and go searching in the bylanes of Mango Lane. Very soon I'm standing at Daga Auto Parts office, where 5-6 busy looking people are printing invoices and counting fat bundles of cash. I ask for a sales guy, and someone comes over.

Me: My car has had an accident blah blah. These are the parts I need (Again, I list down the parts and he gives me the costs for each)

Front Bumper - 3.8K

Headlight Assembly - 3.5K each

Bonnet - 5.5K

Radiator Assy - 4K (this is a surprise!)

Front Apron - 8K

Condenser - 16K

So you see, except the radiator, all the parts are same (or almost same) as KB.

I repeated the same exercise taking a quote from RD motors (another tata service centre) today. They quoted nearly same prices as KB.

So here are few learnings from the story.

1. The cost of parts is same in KB, RD and the AD - around 40K. However, the same set of TGP comes for 18K in Sheesh. That means the service centres are not cheating us, Tata Motors is. Whoever they "authorize" is also authorized to quote insane prices for parts that are basically cheaper.

2. The insurance cos are also in the nexus. Otherwise how can they acknowledge that Sheesh sells TGP, but refuse to pay full cost of parts only because it is not authorized?

3. The service centres quote insane labour costs. KB has quoted 30K while external mechanics, equally good, quote 6K. Isnt this another policy to fleece insurance and customers alike?

__________________________________________________ _____

In the last part, I require your advice. I have 3 choices left now, please advise which one I should take.

1. Let KB handle the entire repair. Saves me a lot of hassle, they will repair the car, call insurance over and take money directly. I'll only have to pay the difference. Only problem is, I'll be paying almost 30K out of my own pocket and I'll know I've been overcharged.

2. Take the car out of KB, buy parts from Daga and get it repaired by my own mechanic. In this case, the total cost will come to 50K (40K for parts + max 10K for labour). Insurance will pay entire labour and whatever applicable on parts, but I'll still have to pay 25-30K out of my pocket.

3. Take the car out of KB, buy parts from Sheesh and get it repaired at my own mechanic. Total cost will come to max 30K (18K for parts and 10K for labour). Only problem is, insurance will pay almost nothing for parts. That means I'm still paying maybe 25K out of pocket.

Wattado?
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Old 26th November 2009, 11:10   #2
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I see your problem. But are you not tricked by the dealer and local insurance guys? I have heard this story so many times.

Also I do not see Tata Motors gaining anything much here.
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Old 26th November 2009, 11:19   #3
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I call BS on this one.
here's my bill from a recent shunt
http://www.team-bhp.com/forum/attach...report-img.jpg

The prices are lower, in fact, recently when i was going to get a replacement tail lamp , all spares shops quoted 1.7k, but when it was changed under warranty, it cost only 1.2k. similarly, the fog lamps which cost me 1k(in the above bill) suddenly became 1.5~2k when a friend wanted to add them to his DLS

Either way, your car is a Facelift I (2004) version. prices for them can be a bit high. See if you can get the facelift II (2007) version bumpers and headlight ( not sure about the headlight, since the 2004's dont have the leveler). they should be cheaper
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Old 26th November 2009, 11:24   #4
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The Tata group is a highly respected group which follows corporate ethics. I don't buy that they are involved in this bull. IMO the insurance guy would be having some tieup with the dealers to fleece the customers. You should probably be speaking to someone higher up from the insurance company. Ask them to give in writing that they will pay only 50% for genuine parts purchased from non Tata authorised dealers. Check your policy if any such thing is mentioned. If not, they are taking you for a ride.
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Old 26th November 2009, 11:27   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by greenhorn View Post
I call BS on this one.
here's my bill from a recent shunt
http://www.team-bhp.com/forum/attach...report-img.jpg

The prices are lower, in fact, recently when i was going to get a replacement tail lamp , all spares shops quoted 1.7k, but when it was changed under warranty, it cost only 1.2k. similarly, the fog lamps which cost me 1k(in the above bill) suddenly became 1.5~2k when a friend wanted to add them to his DLS
@greenhorn
I am not sure about the rest. But in general service centres can have 2 different prices for same part - one for sale and one for warranty. In some cases,where you have AMC's or extended warranty even a third price is possible.

EDIT:
WRT this:
3. The service centres quote insane labour costs. KB has quoted 30K while external mechanics, equally good, quote 6K. Isnt this another policy to fleece insurance and customers alike?

For Service Centres accident repairs are one major source of income - parts and labour. However, a good Service centre will be ready to give you a discount on the labour.

In all, accidents are a loss of money for the owner - and also loss of time and peace of mind!

Cheers.

Last edited by jagan0677 : 26th November 2009 at 11:36.
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Old 26th November 2009, 11:28   #6
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Quote:
1. The cost of parts is same in KB, RD and the AD - around 40K. However, the same set of TGP comes for 18K in Sheesh. That means the service centres are not cheating us, Tata Motors is. Whoever they "authorize" is also authorized to quote insane prices for parts that are basically cheaper.
Dont jump the gun here. Ask Sheesh to show you the parts. The pacakaging will have the TM hologram, and the MRP printed on it. The price of any TGP item will be the same at any outlet. It is also possible that Sheesh is not giving you TGP, but quoting for a third party item. No outlet can quote their own prices -except a discount, if & when applicable.

Quote:
2. The insurance cos are also in the nexus. Otherwise how can they acknowledge that Sheesh sells TGP, but refuse to pay full cost of parts only because it is not authorized?
Ask him to put in writing and let's see his reaction. And ref my above point in this context too - Sheesh selling TGP at a different price.

Quote:
3. The service centres quote insane labour costs. KB has quoted 30K while external mechanics, equally good, quote 6K. Isnt this another policy to fleece insurance and customers alike?
1. Replacement of the other head-light is not warranted.
2. Service center labor is normally a little on the higher side. So pls make allowance for that.
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Old 26th November 2009, 11:32   #7
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Hi 'predatorwheelz',
I can understand all your pain and agony; I passed through all this an year back.
The difference was that I was having Maruti Zen; i blew up the engine on very first day of my purchase ( the car didnít had any engine oil)
What I will advice you is that you go to original dealer (KB, RD), its real headache to follow up mechanics etc and at the end they increase the labor. Finally you will have to pay equal price from your pocket.
The overall benefit that you will get from getting the job done from these will be that you will get some warranty for few months or so.
I faced problem of oil leakage after I got job done from Martuti dealer and they corrected did it free of cost 3 times, otherwise I would had to pay 20 to 30 K.
You can try doing only one thing, try negotiating with the insurance agent offer him out some money so that you donít have to pay extra cost from your own pocket.
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Old 26th November 2009, 11:37   #8
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also, I'm not sure about your service center, but mine always quotes their estimates on the higher side. I wonder if there is some sort of directive that says that the final amount should be within the estimated amount.
For my rear end shunt, the SA estimated that I'd have to pay 20~30K , but in the end I had to pay only 18k

similarly for an FIP overhaul, they estimated 7k, but eventually the actual cost came to ~3k

EDIT : WAAIT a minute. 3.5k per headlight is the cost of a new unit with levelers. Your 2004 indica doesnt need them . From a recent debate @ TIUG, the levelers were introduced in late 2005. non leveler headlights cost ~ 1.8k ( which might be the rate sheesh quoted.) Am I right

Last edited by greenhorn : 26th November 2009 at 11:41.
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Old 26th November 2009, 11:45   #9
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Glad that the accident didnt result in any casualty !

As per my experience either be ready to fight else take the beating ! Sorry if this sounding rude, but thats how the consumer's plight is prevalent in India. This is not only for a car, be it any product. Though the scenario is slightly becoming favorable towards consumers these days, we have to prepare ourselves for a war if you are trying to do things in the unconventional way.

So to be specific, if you are damn sure(stressing DAMN) abou the genuineness of the after market parts, you may have to prove this to the insurance company and once proven, you win. Of course this might have to be done by taking resort of consumer forums(if it goes beyind your capabilities), as insurance people are tough to be convinced.

Hassle free way, go with the dealers and of course the cost is something unavoidable. Try speaking to some senior people in TATA about the cost of spares, primarily it might be their margins that is making it higher than after market prices.
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Old 26th November 2009, 11:47   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by predatorwheelz View Post
Front Bumper - 4K for repair, 2.5K for painting
2. Headlight assembly - 4K each for both.
3. Bonnet - 6K, plus extra for painting
4. Radiator Assembly - 14K!!!!!
Day 3, Part 2

...if you buy parts from the market, even if they're TGP, insurance will value them at "local parts" rate, which is 40-50pct of the list price.

The published rates for accidental spares for the Indica are
Front bumper: 3331.14 (2216.04 for Marina)
Front fender: 2738.00
Bonnet: 5679.00 (5185.00 for Marina)
Radiator: 4264.52
Headlight assy (each): 1634.00.

KB AND Daga are overquoting you on certain items, obviously.

Quote:
Originally Posted by predatorwheelz View Post
3. Take the car out of KB, buy parts from Sheesh and get it repaired at my own mechanic. Total cost will come to max 30K (18K for parts and 10K for labour). Only problem is, insurance will pay almost nothing for parts. That means I'm still paying maybe 25K out of pocket.
Assuming your 5-year-old car has 50% depreciation on its parts, and they assess the rates to be 50% of list price if you buy from Sheesh Motors, you are still likely to get back 25% of the parts cost, and 100% of the labour and painting costs. Which means the insurer will reimburse you 4.5k of the 18k you spend on parts, and 10k labour charges - so, in effect, you are out of pocket by (28k-14.5k)= 13.5k. That's the best deal as it stands now (Option 3).
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Old 26th November 2009, 11:58   #11
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I think the best choice you have is option 3.

As per you in all 3 cases you have to pay around 25-30K. Now what you have not considered is that you will lose on the NCB & the premium amount which will also increase for the next year.
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Old 26th November 2009, 12:16   #12
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if insurance is this bad, then there is no point paying so much for a service which is virtually useless. and since yours is a 5 year old car, the IDV will also be less. lose this current insurer and/or get just third party coverage next time
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Old 26th November 2009, 12:31   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by greenhorn View Post
if insurance is this bad, then there is no point paying so much for a service which is virtually useless. and since yours is a 5 year old car, the IDV will also be less. lose this current insurer and/or get just third party coverage next time
OT: Which insurer offers 3rd party-cover-only these days?

Cheers

Last edited by jagan0677 : 26th November 2009 at 12:36.
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Old 26th November 2009, 12:34   #14
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I'm not sure. I recall a manager of mine had his ikon 1.6 with just third party coverage. But the insurance co had the last laugh when a bus ran over the car totalling it !
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Old 26th November 2009, 13:35   #15
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Slightly OT but the front left tyre seems to need replacement as well, so would need to get added to your total cost. I would also advise speaking to a senior Service Manager at Tata Motors to establish the "correct" prices
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