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Old 9th April 2013, 12:47   #1
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Angry Bad Experience: Booking an Enfield Classic 500 at the Bangalore Brand Showroom

I am from a small town called Kottayam in Kerala. As a child, I grew up hearing the sweat thumps from the passing bulls. There were couple of bulls in my street itself, one being with my next door neighbor. We used to have an uncle visiting us often, we, as kids, used to look forward for his arrival, for the prize of getting a ride on his ex faugi bull till the next junction. We used feel like being in heaven.

Years passed, joined an engineering college in Kerala. Three bulls were there as well. One was with the junior most profs in college, a rugged one was there with one of our seniors. The third one belonged to a person who stayed behind the college. He used to ride his bull at a steady speed or 35 kmph or so, without missing a single beat, holding the bike only with his right hand with an occasional visit of the left hand when in dire need of shifting the gear. It used to be a sight to behold.

After passing out of college, I joined a small construction firm in my home town, to my envy, my senior in the firm too had a bull, we used to call it the 'company bull'. I used to dream of owning one at some point in time. Well, I believe, every kid in Kerala has some memory of a bull in some form.

Fast forwarding couple of years, I got relocated to Bangalore in the year 2000, picked my first bike, it was a Fiero. I used it for about 5+ Years. Around 2005 another mallu joined my firm, he was looking forward for owning a Bull, he casually asked me whether I would also be interested in buying one as well.

Visited Teknik Motors in CMH Road with my fried the next day, it was an off the shelf purchase, a black Thunderbird, got delivery in 2 days flat. It soon became my daily commute vehicle. My better half also used to like the peaceful ride it used to provide. Couple of years back I had a very bad patch financially, bull proved to be a very good companion during that time as well, I had to sell it to a friend. The moment I sold it off I started missing my bull. I always wanted to own a regular bull, so thought I could always buy one when the shore is clear.

Last year, on an impulsive move, I visited the Royal Enfield brand showroom near Jayadeva hospital on 7th April 2012 and paid the booking amount, 5K, they promised delivery of my Classic 500 Black in 6 - 8 monthís time.

I believe it was my mistake to book with the Brand Showroom. Though I never had any trouble with Teknik and I had been extremely happy with the service provided by them, I decided to go ahead with booking my vehicle with Brand showroom as I expected a better experience from them along with a short waiting period. I believe I should have done my homework better. I also had the option of going for a CBR or a Duke, but decided to go for the bull as I was not looking forward for a flashy one.

I started calling them around August, I used to call them every fortnight or so. Around September they enquired whether I would be going for finance options, if else keep the money ready. In early October I was told I am ninth in line, towards the end of October I was told that there are only four or so ahead of me. But after this I started getting very vague responses, usually on the boundary of being rude, usual responce being the concerned person is not around at this moment, try again later. This repeated few times, then I stopped calling as it was more than frustrating and also thought they would call when the booking is due.

Couple of weeks back, I called them again, they called me back and asked me to visit showroom and make the payment, it was on a Saturday afternoon. I visited them on next Monday, I was kept waiting for over an hour with vague statements. After an hour I was asked to meet the store manager. He started asking questions like who called me, what time I was called, what was told etc. I kind of got the sense that this is another of their tactics, he might not be interested in giving me the bike at that point in time. He finally told me he do not have a bike to give, he should be able to give one during the first week of April. I was completely fine with approach, there was no harm in waiting for additional one week if I could wait for one complete year. But that too has passed now.

Meantime I raised this with the Twitter account of Royal Enfield, they asked me for details, which was duly provided, but ended up getting a a standard response, your email was escalated to concerned department, you shall hear from us soon. This happened 5 days back.

I have couple of questions
a. Isnít this an insane wait for a bike? I have crossed over an year on this booking.

b. How do they maintain the booking seniority, I was told about people who booked after me and got bike from the same showroom. Arent there any internal audits? I know I am stupid.

c. They mentioned during the conversation that my bike was due on Feb 19th, I didnt take their call. As a point of fact, they had collected mobile number, email address and postal address as part of the booking procedure. Does their responsibility of intimating about the maturity of a booking end with a missed call, aren't they not aware about options like SMS, email or a normal snail mail.

d. Now that I have 'escalated' this and also wrote this story in TBHP, what is the guaranty that I would not be given a lemon, especially as we have thread on Classic 500 running with over 200 pages? I do not dream on ending up like being like Harish and his Skoda. I am confused.

Apologies, it was a long post. Your views are most welcome.
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Old 9th April 2013, 12:55   #2
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Default Re: My experience with booking a Royal Enfield Classic 500 at Bangalore Brand Showroo

Dear RsimonS and all - apart from the fact that one bullet transmission got stuck in third gear and the customer had to drive around 30 kms in third gear to reach the workshop, this becomes my second reason for not booking a bullet motorcycle which I would really love to own. Let Harley Davidson come with a bike in this category, then watch the fun!

Best regards,

Behram Dhabhar
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Old 9th April 2013, 12:58   #3
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Default Re: My experience with booking a Royal Enfield Classic 500 at Bangalore Brand Showroo

I am surprised that you waited for such a long time for the bike which you always wanted to ride and the showroom has taken you for a ride (looks like), its Sad.

I hope RE takes stern action and finds out why such delay happened in the first place, its surprising in todays time when there are loads of other options for the buyer to choose from.

However I am also of the opinion why did you wait for such a long period of time for the bike, if you felt there is an overly delay which is happening (which was the case anyways), you should have got the delivey from the other dealers(like the one you mentioned from where you picked your previous bike) by cancelling the current one and getting the refund. Think over it and check if any other dealers can get you a faster delivery.
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Old 9th April 2013, 13:09   #4
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Default Re: My experience with booking a Royal Enfield Classic 500 at Bangalore Brand Showroo

walk into a bajaj showroom, pick up a Duke. Bullet is all good etc, and the feel is irreplaceable. But you want to be on a bike, or hope to be on a bike? You have to decide that, and then go ahead with your choices.

To me a vehicle is at the first and foremost instance a transport solution, and at the second instance a passion - manufacturers who open bookings for vehicles a year in advance, and then again don't follow procedure in allocating the vehicles, do not provide with answers to either the first question, nor the second question, so I just straight away rule them out.

In my opinion - Infact, if a car/bike has a waiting list of more than 1 month, I just would never consider it, as it means that the production process has not been streamlined, the marketing and the factory are not in sync with each other, and the leadership has no idea of how their product will be - all of which when taken together mean that the customer for that particular vehicle is just being taken for granted. Eg. the Maruti policy of replace not repair in service - comes from selling cars way beyond their capacity to service (not to mention the additional profits from part replacements).
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Old 9th April 2013, 14:10   #5
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Default Re: My experience with booking a Royal Enfield Classic 500 at Bangalore Brand Showroo

Shoot a mail to Mr.Abin Varghese,the RE guy responsible for the South.
I had a similar problem with my booking(I had booked it at HSR Services,K.R.Road) and had similar questions and the dealer was unresponsive so I visited the RE webpage and got this guy's e-mail id and mailed him,his response came in a day and since I failed to check my mail,he was courteous enough to call me on the telephone,he answered all my queries and asked the dealers to help me.
The dealership did help me out,the following day but started to tow the 'In a week saar' ,line,again and I ended up with a different bike.

avarghese(at)royalenfield(dawt)com
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Old 9th April 2013, 14:22   #6
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Default Re: My experience with booking a Royal Enfield Classic 500 at Bangalore Brand Showroo

Man Oh Man, you seem to have the patience of a sage. Why are you still not decided to cancel the booking, get a full refund of your money and then think?
If you are still insistent on the bullet, then you have lot of bullet showrooms and I can recommend you to visit the HSR Showroom folks. Know the folks there personally and am sure you must be able to realize the bike in a span of 3-4 months. But then I feel with the KTM 390 to be shortly unveiled you might want to consider that option?
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Old 9th April 2013, 15:45   #7
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Default Re: My experience with booking a Royal Enfield Classic 500 at Bangalore Brand Showroo

I personally feel that RE hasn't cared and doesn't care at all. They are selling in very good numbers also now and that makes them that much more unapproachable.

Move on - get some other bike.
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Old 9th April 2013, 16:01   #8
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Default Re: My experience with booking a Royal Enfield Classic 500 at Bangalore Brand Showroo

Quote:
Originally Posted by RSimonS View Post
As a child, I grew up hearing the sweat thumps from the passing bulls.
That's the irony, the very people who helped make the Bullet a legend are being priced out, or hassled out of owning one today! RE has it so good like no other bike manufacturer- a bike with quality issues (compared to contemporary bikes), pathetic service (by any standards), ridiculous waiting times, and still is in such great demand purely because of image and no competition at that price point! Lucky them!

Quote:
Originally Posted by RSimonS View Post
Now that I have 'escalated' this and also wrote this story in TBHP, what is the guaranty that I would not be given a lemon
Chill man, for all their faults, I don't think RE would do something like that.

Quote:
Originally Posted by naveenroy View Post
Move on - get some other bike.
Most sensible thing to do.

PS: Like the OP, I too picked up a Thunderbird in 2007 from Teknik. I still have the bike and I love her. But would I even consider buying one today?! No chance! No bike is worth waiting over a year for and then putting up with RE-level service!

Last edited by am1m : 9th April 2013 at 16:06. Reason: Adding PS
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Old 9th April 2013, 16:10   #9
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Default Re: My experience with booking a Royal Enfield Classic 500 at Bangalore Brand Showroo

Speaking from my personal experience of picking up a Classic 500cc on the same day that I took a test drive ( I picked up the bike in 3-4 days in reality but, technically I could have picked up the same day)

I feel this waiting period projected by Royal Enfield is more of a sham than anything else

I can agree about the waiting period for a Classic 350 or TB 350 as the majority of the people who buy a bull pick up either of these two

But, 500cc buyers are fairly less compared to their volume sales and shouldnt be more than 45-60 days at the maximum

Another BHPian picked up a Classic 500 Black Chrome in little over a month after I had put in a word with sales manager whom i know well.

Relationship and some contact definetly helps in getting the bike faster than waiting period. Besides, the other problem in your case was booking in a small town and that too from a new dealer

My suggestion, cancel the booking and book from a larger city where the deliveries happen faster

In Hyderabad, 500cc is available in < 2 months.
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Old 9th April 2013, 16:55   #10
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Default Re: My experience with booking a Royal Enfield Classic 500 at Bangalore Brand Showroo

Quote:
Originally Posted by mobike008 View Post
Besides, the other problem in your case was booking in a small town and that too from a new dealer.
The bike was booked in Bangalore as far as i can gather from the OP's first post and the dealer is not really new.
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Old 9th April 2013, 16:59   #11
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Default Re: My experience with booking a Royal Enfield Classic 500 at Bangalore Brand Showroo

Quote:
Originally Posted by RSimonS View Post
Isnít this an insane wait for a bike? I have crossed over an year on this booking.
Definitely, yes. My son got his Classic 500 Black from HSR Services, Lal Bagh Road, Bangalore, after waiting for 6 months. Situation is more or less the same in Royal Enfield Brand Store, Besant Nagar, Chennai. I booked a Thunderbird 500 Twilight on 16 November 2012 at Royal Enfield Brand Store, Besant Nagar, Chennai with an advance payment of Name:  rupeesymbol.gif
Views: 13947
Size:  578 Bytes5,000 vide booking order # 9942 with a tentative delivery by March 2013. But, till today, I haven't got my Thunderbird even after almost 5 months. As per my latest telephone call, I was assured that I would get it before the end of April 2013. Earlier, I was assured that I would get it by the third week of March, then, the fourth week of March, and later, the first week of April 2013. Nowadays, I have become so popular that as soon as I call, I am recognised! I am running out of my patience.
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Old 9th April 2013, 17:12   #12
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Default Re: My experience with booking a Royal Enfield Classic 500 at Bangalore Brand Showroo

Hi,

As most guys already mentioned, go ahead and make the booking with another dealer. Dont cancel this one just yet. Make the other booking as a back up. RE guys are pretty OK with cancellations and dont give you too many troubles. (Personal exp, when I had canceled my 1st booking with them). Who ever gives you the bike first, gets your cheque.

Try to book from a dealer closer to your home town , Kochi or Trivandrum. I got mine in flat one week after my 2nd booking with Marikar.

Hope this helps.

Regards
Bugs
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Old 9th April 2013, 17:26   #13
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Default Re: My experience with booking a Royal Enfield Classic 500 at Bangalore Brand Showroo

1 year for a bike! Are these handmade? Damn! In this one year you could have bought a second hand bullet, ride it thoroughly and even sold it by now.

Even a baby takes only 9 months after booking, and here a bike has taken above 12 months and counting. How much is the cancellation charge? See if you can do this: Book the bike with your dealer as well, and whichever turns up first, you buy it.

@DHABHAR.BEHRAM: Agree with your statements. Bullets are good and all, but such reviews of slow deliveries and some harsh experiences pull me back to reality.
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Old 9th April 2013, 17:35   #14
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Default Re: My experience with booking a Royal Enfield Classic 500 at Bangalore Brand Showroo

Hi RSimonS,

As advised by others, cancel the booking and check with other dealers for an earlier delivery. In case you happen to be given a bike from this dealer, the nagging feeling of "lemon" will haunt you at the slightest hint of trouble.
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Old 9th April 2013, 17:46   #15
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Default Re: My experience with booking a Royal Enfield Classic 500 at Bangalore Brand Showroo

Boy, you have got some serious patience!
I always feel this long waiting times quoted in Bangalore for Bullet is all a gimmick. A waiting of 2-3 months is still understandable, but nearly a year

Even one of my friend was asked to wait for 9 months to get his TB350 after booking. Though he cancelled the booking for some other reason. I would advise you not to cancel this booking but make another one with a different dealer. Such long waiting times, especially when you hear more capable machines arriving in the market really makes it an agonizing experience!
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