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Old 17th September 2011, 12:09   #1
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Default Honda (Activa/Dio) Service Woes

Hi all,

Let me give a brief into to the story - I purchased a Honda Dio for my wife in March 2011 - mainly for the daily commute to office, and for the quick 'no-frills' short drives around the city. We bought it from Sapphire Honda, Bangalore and were quite happy with the performance.

However, there was a slight problem with the electric starter - the Dio refused to start on the button start, when left for over 4 hours. We have owned 2 Honda Activas and starting was never a problem in the Honda scooters.

Just a week ago, the Dio was scheduled for its 3rd free service. We informed the service engineer (at Sapphire Honda Service) who was not very keen on writing down the details - looked like he was in a hurry to "take in" other waiting vehicles. I think they accept about 100-150 vehicles per day. After some repeated demonstrations, he finally scribbled the "check start button" words on the job card.

We also had a complimentary 'teflon coat' during the 3rd service. This was a second "free" coating offered by the showroom, if we opted for one during delivery time. We gave the card to the service engineer (if i can call him that) and he simply took it - no mention of 'teflon coat" on the job card. On asking why, he said that they will do it.. they cant write it down as it is complimentary. I trusted him and left.

On coming back in the evening to collect the scooter, the service center guys were keen on sending me off the the cash counter where I would "sign" on the job card accepting that the job carried out was satisfactory. I refused to sign on the job card until I had a look at my vehicle first. How the hell can they tell us to sign the job card before we have a look at the vehicle?????

On inspecting the scooter, we found the following issues:
  • Vehicle did not start on the button start - as usual...
  • Outer body panels had oil/grease stains, even though vehicle appeared to be washed
  • There was a fresh scratch on the side panel of the body
I called the same guy who took the vehicle for service and inquired about the above issues. He then called the actual mechanic who had "checked" the button start issue. That guy came in after 10 minutes! When I asked him, all he said was "its fine now". On inquiring what the actual problem was, and what was the solution to it, he kept repeating the same answer, "its fixed now... its fine now... it will work now... its working saar" - Quite evident that he had not done any checking. I demo'd the button start issue to him, but surprisingly, the vehicle started this time ... He started his usual dialogue "see .. I told you its fixed". I informed him that I had kick-started the vehicle and left it idling for 5 minutes and hence it started. He still continued his stand, like a pre recorded cassette "Its working now.. its fine now.. It will work no problem"... I told him that I will bring the scooter back to the service center if the starting trouble repeats.

Then comes the oil part. They charge us about 250 Rs. for oil change and expect us to believe that they have actually changed the engine oil. On checking the oil, I found that it was black and sooty, and was very very dirty - and it definitely appeared that they had either only "topped up" the oil, or had done nothing about it. I had to blast them again and get the oil change done in front of my eyes - for this, I had to spend about 45 minutes, going behind half a dozen service "boys" who were passing the buck saying "go there.. go here..." etc.

Finally after they had changed the oil in front of my eyes, I had the third chance to blast them - the exteriors were very shoddy - grease stains and other dirt was clearly visible on the body panels. Plus, there was a new scratch as described earlier!

It definitely looked like they had not done the teflon coating either. After blasting them again, the vehicle changed half a dozen hands again and finally went to the designated place for polishing and teflon coating. All that the service boy did there was to apply some rubbing compound over the scratch and rub it with his fingers. Later, he buffed it with a cloth and it was better - but it was evident that there was a scratch. Later, after another 30 minute delay, one guy came in and he applied teflon coating - that white compound looked to me like wax/polish than teflon compound. All he did was to rub it all over the vehicle and later, wipe it away with a clean cloth. It was such a shoddy job that I had to point out places where he had applied the compound and had not wiped it later.

During all this time, I noticed that during all the "buck passing", the common factor was the mobile phone. All these boys had mobile phones and had earphones in their ears - probably listening to songs while servicing the vehicles. This meant that I had to shout out what I had to say - they didnt even have the courtesy to take the earphones out while I was talking. Those who did, ended up fiddling with buttons on the phone, doing something else while "acting" to listen to me...

All I wonder is - why do these service centers do such shoddy jobs? Is it something that's done during "free" services or is it something that's done on paid services as well? Why do they have to take in so many vehicles per day, knowing very well that the quality will come down?

I would like to inform all Team-BHPians that they make sure that all oil change, consumable changes, etc. be done in front of them. Else, its easy to be taken for a ride, and end up with a broken vehicle.

I had an utterly irritating experience while getting my vehicle serviced. Are there any other people who have experienced the same ? Can we share some details so that we can identify the places to avoid during service?
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Old 17th September 2011, 12:40   #2
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Wink Re: Honda (Activa/Dio) Service Woes and Scams

Although I did have some intial issues during the servicing of my Honda Activa in Thane but not to the extent which the OP faced. Right from the first service I used to keep a tight leash on the service mechanics and used to jot down the servicing experience in the customer feedback form along with the name of the SA. Luckily I had the e-mail address of the owner of the dealership and a couple of mails had ensured that correct servicing happens to my Activa. I did check on a couple of occassions the oil change and found that it had been done. One one occassion I asked the drained oil so that I could take it home, imagine the look on the face of the SA.

Many a times when I asked for the test ride after service, the SA used to come up with an lame excuse that he had done the testing and everything works Ok. But I used to stil insist on it and the SA had to give in to my demands, although I did not find anything wrong during the testing.
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Old 17th September 2011, 13:15   #3
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Default Re: Honda (Activa/Dio) Service Woes and Scams

I'm from Jayanagar Block3.
I purchased my Dio from Silicon Motors,R.V road,Basavanagudi last year and have been getting it serviced at their branch in 4th 'T' Block,Jayanagar[Next to Carmel School].Initially even I had experienced these brazen acts of defiance as my Dio used to have some or the other thing wrong but these "perceptions" of mine changed when I received my Dio from them after the Second Paid Service last week.The job was done really neatly and I've managed to digest the bill amount(1200 INR) without frowning
I liked the attitude of their service adviser,Mr.Suresh who not only took note of the problems that I had mentioned but followed up really well by rectifying almost all of them.
I ask you to give this service center a try too.
On a sidenote-Even my Dio has a drained battery but the reasons are different;I had installed Dual Horns with greater power rating.But that problem is now almost gone.
I suggest that you talk to them in a relaxed manner and explain these issues as calmly as possible.It might not change the quality of servicing but their attitude changes.
I would like to share the number of Mr.Suresh here as i do not have personal messaging option,so,Moderators may edit out the number if they feel that it has served it's purpose.
Silicon Honda Service-9844726972(ask for Mr.Suresh).
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