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Old 25th March 2014, 17:53   #1
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Default Bad service experience at Khivraj Bajaj, Chennai

So here is the background about the situation.

My friend who is an avid rider and as James may would put it – Fast bikes brings on that fizzing sensation in him. He also likes to maintain his ride, actually he gets irritated with the squeaks and rattles, hence the maintenance.

The year was 2012 and he was looking for a replacement bike, a powerful one of course. There were 4 bikes in the market that would satisfy his requirement without burning a hole in his pocket. Those were Duke 200, R15 V2.0, 200 NS and CBR 250.

KTM Duke 200 was rejected citing its small dimensions, he was not interested in the R15 V2.0. My friend never considered high of Bajaj when it comes to reliability and quality. I and couple of my friends pushed him to consider 200 NS citing the better quality of materials used in 200 NS.

So, now he was left with 2 choices, 200NS and CBR 250R.

This was a time when 200 NS was not out in the market and test rides were next to impossible. He had lost hope of getting a NS. After numerous visits to Honda showroom, he had almost finalized the deal and then he lay eyes on the 200 NS. Fortunately, Honda and Bajaj showrooms are on the same road in Adyar, almost opposite to each other.

Now, smitten by the performance of NS at almost half the price of CBR, my friend went ahead and purchased the bike. The bike was bought at Jai Bajaj, Adyar.

The initial 2 services were done at Jai Bajaj. There were no serious complaints, I reiterate, No serious complaints which means he had few minor ones. Those minors one were not a cause of concern to him.

Now, Khivraj opens a new showroom with service facility close to his home and on the way to his office. Joy of joy he thinks (OR is it?), goes to the service centre for his 3rd service/15,000 km. This is where all the problems start. The very next day after taking delivery of the bike, the bike stalls after riding for 2-3 km, noise from the chain is horrible, there are squeaks just above the headlight, a trauma for my friend if you ask me.

He takes it back to the service centre and no possible resolution for the stalling and squeaks. However, Chain set is replaced. He gives me the “you, you are responsible for this (His opinion that Bajaj is not reliable)” look. After repeated complaints with the service advisor, he decides to ask answers from Bajaj and shoots an email. The very next day the complaint is escalated and his bike is asked to be brought to Khivraj’s service centre near Gemini flyover.

Here, they find that the tube from the fuel tank to the carburettor is squeezed as the tank in placed on the rubber tube, thereby reducing the flow of petrol.

Fast forward, the odo reads 20,000 km. impressed with the service at Khivraj, Anna salai, he decides ride 17km to drop his bike off for the 2nd paid service despite the fact that there at least 4 service centres in the 10km radius of his home.

Apart from the general service, there are a whole lot of things to be done at 20,000 km. In addition to this, there was noise from handle bar apparently the cone set and noise from plastic cladding above the headlight, side panel, fork & Chain respectively. We are told that delivery would happen the next day by noon. Since my office is nearby, I decided to join him.

Due to my friend’ official commitments, he was able to reach my office only by 3:30 PM and then I picked him up and we reached the showroom by 4:00. We were expecting to pay the bill and take the delivery. Boy we were so wrong. There was some work going on the bike.

Finally at around 5:30 we are asked to check the bike. The first thing that we noticed was that original Yamaha branded keychain was stolen at the service centre and apart from the chain noise and cone noise other complaints were unresolved. They despite having the bike for a day, were not able to look at the complaints. They even had the audacity to say that all NS side panels used to rattle. Luckily, I had taken my NS and found the side panel to be intact. After pointing this, they removed the side panel and tightened the black mesh. This eliminated the noise. This was a 2 minute job. Next with respect to the plastic cladding above the headlight, the mechanic said that the insulator or suppressor has gone missing and they need to remove the headlight assembly to fix it. This will take another day to fix. Since we knew that these guys were not even ready to spend 2 mins to tighten the mesh, we were sure that these guys will throw rubbish if we pressed to resolve the matter.

We expressed our displeasure to the manager and though initially they did not take up the responsibility for stealing the key chain, they later took it up and offered a discount on the bill. We were plain angry for making us wait, for the pathetic service and the fact that complaints were not looked in to. SO we decided to let go of trivial matters (key chain) and Despite pressuring the manager there, we got the bike delivered by 5:45. I had a call at 6 and I just managed to reach the office on time.

The very next day, my friend shoots a complaint email to Bajaj and he also sees in the manual that there was lots of work to be done on 20,000 km mark. And none of the work is done. He is shocked to look at the sheer number of activities that needs to be carried out. All the service centre did do was the general stuff like oil change, filter change, chain lubrication etc. for which the bill ran to Rs 1,540.

As soon as the complaint is raised, he gets a call from Khivraj and the service advisor blamed my friend for not mentioning the complaints when he came for the first time. My friend got angry and blasted him, asking him if he requires 2 trips and 4 days to service the bike. Later realising his mistake, he apologized and promised to loan a bike and rectify the fork noise in a day i.e, on Friday. Since my friend was busy, he fixed it for Saturday.

So my friend goes there to drop the bike and then the advisor says that he cannot loan his bike as the work will take 1.5 days. MY friend decides to drop the issue and agrees to take delivery of the bike on Monday evening. Luckily for him, some office work cropped up and he decided to take it today morning i.e., Tuesday. Now since the bike is supposed to be ready, I picked him from his home and we went to the service centre to see that work is still pending. We reached the service centre by 9:30 AM and we wait for the work to be done.

In the meantime, we started a casual chat with the service advisor and enquire about the things to be done in 20,000 km interval. He never reveals that a number of activities have to be done. Since we already had a look at the manual, we knew that spark was one of the items that had to be replaced. Then we had if spark plug had to be replaced. He was pretty sure that it does not need replacement until there is a performance deterioration (whatever happened to preventive maintenance, who cares). So we decide not to leave this and we chat with the mechanic who says that it better to change it. So when we ask him why it was not replaced. He immediately points to the service advisor and says this might have been replaced in the earlier service.

We walk back to the reception to get the service history of the bike and receptionist says that she is not able to get the details of the service done at Jai Bajaj. We had nothing to say. Bajaj, please centralise the system like Yamaha.

We were hell bent on getting answers/creating a ruckus, I ask him to give him in writing that all the parts that were supposed to be replaced in 20,000 km were not replaced as all the parts are in good order. He just mentions that spark plug was checked and found to be in good shape. I asked him for the condition of other parts.

Then he realises and says that “I assure you that there will be no problem whatsoever and if anything arises I will take care”. I am not about to leave it, I ask him what will happen when these critical parts are not replaced on time and if in case these cause wear and tear, this will literally void the warranty and the company (Bajaj nor Khivraj) will not take up the responsibility citing that manual had mentioned to change the parts keeping in mind the preventive maintenance. Again he insists that “there will be no problem at all and in case such a problem occurs, the company will take liability and change the parts free of cost”. I told him that this story is nice to hear but hard to believe.

This ensued argument between the advisor and me. Finally he said I will replace all this and he asked my friend as to when will he leave the bike for next service. I was prompt in saying that “you can never expect us to return to his centre again”. This enraged him and he pointed to me and asked my friend “who is this guy”. My friend replied that he is my friend and this ended the conversation.

We paid Rs 1,177 for fork service and left the showroom.

Now though the bike is free of noises, my friend is posting this question “what is the purpose of the manual” and “Why do manufacturers take the pain in creating a manual and instructing what has to be replaced/serviced to keep the bike in good shape when the advisor and mechanics think that they are the creators/designers of those components and they decide on what has to be done”.

So back to my question “Does Bajaj know to design bikes??? - Service advisor seems to know more. Or does he?”

P.S This narration is not just based on the decision taken on the spark plug, I am pretty sure that other parts minor/major were not looked into. They are of the opinion that just engine oil change, filter change, chain lube will be enough to keep the vehicle in running condition. (Though this is partially true in case of first few years of ownership) I am of the opinion that changing these parts will prevent breakdown and would also keep them pristine condition.

Last edited by katchkamalesh : 25th March 2014 at 17:59. Reason: Add content
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Old 25th March 2014, 18:29   #2
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Default Re: Does Bajaj know to design bikes??? - Service advisor seems to know more. or does

I do not know about Yamaha but I can say same is the case with Honda (atleast the bikes lower than CBR250r, might be the case with it too).

Even in my Dazzler and Unicorn's manual there are atleast 20 things written to be checked/replaced post the 4th service (I reckon, forgot the service number). I had kept this in mind and decided that while taking the delivery will just casually ask the mechanic if he has done it "all"; and no prizes for guessing, he nodded with half-confidence cuz no one in past would have asked him such a question.

I knew he lied and he hadn't done the things which were needed in that service. He had just solved the problems which I had stated while the job-card was prepared and nothing above that. My air filter, oil filter(oil strainer) and spark plug are due for replacement long-back but still it isn't replaced cuz I was given the same answer "No need to replace it now sir, we'll replace it later"..

So as you said there is no concept of "preventive maintenance", the attitude is just like "If it is working then why replace it and replace only if it breaks down".. And the problem is people believe them thinking that they are "Company's personnel" and whatever they say is right..

-Bhargav
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Old 25th March 2014, 19:06   #3
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Default Re: Does Bajaj know to design bikes??? - Service advisor seems to know more. or does

Some reasons that I can think of why jobs that are supposed to be done but are not done:

- No time. Too many bikes, too little time.
- Most customers don't know/understand/care. The attitude is mechanic knows better.
- Special jobs i.e. anything other than routine service takes more time and the SA's daily targets for number of bikes serviced cannot be met.
- Most importantly, the attitude of the service centre/dealer/agency as well as the manufacturer. Bikes are commodities unlike cars. Most brands have some bread and butter models and do the bulk of the sales.
- Many people stop visiting the ASC after the free services or warranty period. So there is no incentive for the dealer to invest in servicing.

IMO, the best things to do:

- Find a good local mechanic
- Find time to sit with him while he works on your bike
- Read the manual and understand what needs to be done
- Understand preventive maintenance and appreciate it.
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Old 25th March 2014, 22:38   #4
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Default Re: Does Bajaj know to design bikes??? - Service advisor seems to know more. or does

From my experience of owning a CBZ Extreme for over 7 years now, it is better if you can find a local mechanic who can take good care of the bike and repair/replace as and when needed.

The problem with most ASC's is they take in too many bikes for the day and try to wash + change oil + grease and deliver it the gullible customer. Most average joe's may not even notice the difference and silently accept the bike. Also, these guys promote all the rubbish that brings in money for them. Example : Teflon coating . However, I must say that my experience at HH service centres has been decent till date. There are a few advisor's and mechanic's who know their job well.

As far as the quality of components is concerned, atleast till a couple of year's ago, HH was way ahead of competition.
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Old 26th March 2014, 11:09   #5
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Default Re: Bad service experience at Khivraj Bajaj, Chennai

If you're expecting a dealer or ASC to follow owner's manual to perfect, then, you're in Utopia, better welcome to the real world.

Point is that, BMW or Merc, Ducati or Harley, it stinks the same if we get our nose deeper to smell the intricacies of Indian (and few outside this country) ASC's. Let me share from my little experience, why such things happen?

- Dealer orders parts, manufacturer doesn't send them on time. What's the dealer supposed to do until then?
- Send a guy for training, he becomes expert & then there're few boys who learn under him, the guy then starts working else where. This is at lower level, higher levels there're parts sold to outside market in big numbers
- Manufacturer provides most tools but no one does provide torque wrench (for motorcycles), how're the dealers supposed to handle until then? Buy from outside? Well, if this is reported, dealer is penalized
- Then comes our great COVERment, paying right from corporation to tax to sewage to electricity to fire to what not. Oh!! this is the "extra" I'm talking about
- And in places like Chennai, where things are worst than rest of India in terms of attitude esp when it comes to work. Most, almost everyone that I've seen right from carpenter to tile layer to painter to mechanic to mason to gardener & even some IT guys exhibit same attitude...give them work, they want to throw something & get the payment. Pay them for free, they have an ego not to accept the money for not they're working. Basically, they do only what they are willing to do but you have to pay to the industry standards.
- Last but not the least, most Chennaites, wants vehicle to get serviced at highest standard at lowest possible price even if it were an engine replacement, but should get it done in half a day

Point here is I'm not blaming anyone, but saying, as a customer one HAS to stay vigilant with all the information around. Before starting the work, get things written down & an estimate for each of the work to be carried out. After the service, compare it with the work actually completed.

Agreed that ASC can still forge the work or can spit straight on the face as these works are not done. Instead of fighting, it's good to make others aware, like you did & simply move on from that unscrupulous dealer. This is why I said, welcome to the real world!!

So what can be done?
- No matter how much you trust your, always keep that 1 or 2 things undisclosed to see if he's smart enough to fix them - Gauge your "trusted" mechanic
- Strike conversation with the service advisor (don't know what he advices) to see what he speaks is BS; eg, keep the vehicle running & everything will be alright (the most dumbest statement)
- Watch the way the ASC treat other customers & their vehicles, it says a hell a lot about them
- Talk to ASC a week before handing over for service (you've to have rapport with them) & give them reasonable time to complete their work & let them know your vehicle is more important & you're not "just another customer"
- Most importantly, stay vigilant & knowledgeable all the times even if the service involves a simple oil change or an engine replacement

Last but not the least, the guys whoever are suggesting "local" mechanic, please do suggest one for C250R or Ninjas who can be "trusted"; please don't talk from the age old Rx100 days, where anyone who can open a seat is mechanic!!
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Old 26th March 2014, 15:29   #6
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Default Re: Bad service experience at Khivraj Bajaj, Chennai

Quote:
Originally Posted by aargee View Post
If you're expecting a dealer or ASC to follow owner's manual to perfect, then, you're in Utopia, better welcome to the real world.

Point is that, BMW or Merc, Ducati or Harley, it stinks the same if we get our nose deeper to smell the intricacies of Indian (and few outside this country) ASC's. Let me share from my little experience, why such things happen?

Last but not the least, the guys whoever are suggesting "local" mechanic, please do suggest one for C250R or Ninjas who can be "trusted"; please don't talk from the age old Rx100 days, where anyone who can open a seat is mechanic!!
Aargee, I agree with you on some aspects and disagree with some of your points pertaining to the hardship faced by the dealer/ASS.

I put across a simple question. When the dealer/ASS thinks that they are facing immense pressure from manufacturer, government authorities and customers alike, when they are not able to handle the issue or when the environment is not conducive, isn't it time to shut shop and do something meaningful/profitable?

And BTW at the end of the day, the "extras" that you mentioned are recovered from the customers. So dealers have no right to complain, they act as intermediates and take a commission on that as well. Talking about the extras does any one of you in around Chennai paid Rs 100 towards flag day?

What is this "Flag day" that the dealers talk about?

Based on my experience, Paying extras has two perspectives/reasons, from public point of view, it is done to save time. From business point of view, it is done to cover up non conformance.

The genuine reason for ASS not doing the necessary work is to make more money by spending less time aka general service. Khivraj have mentioned consumables under the labour section of the bill, guess it was for carrying the items from the spares dept to the bike. When they can make quick buck on very simple stuff, why to break their head and "waste" their time on complex things like clutch or engine overall.

Khivraj did not cheat my friend, they did not charge for anything else apart from general service, lube & fixing forks.

Employee retention is a the biggest challenge across every single private company. I am sure that everyone will agree on this. When one becomes an expert at something, I think he/she deserves the hike. Some mechanics have entrepreneurial spirit and they start their own garage. Those guys can be a good bet.

For eg. Some people whom I knew in Sri motors (Yamaha) have started their own shop and they can be trusted with R15. At times it is economical as well. Let me share an experience, I went to Sri Motors for the regular service, the clutch needed replacement. But when the advisor checked it, he found that the bell needed some machining and then it can be good to go for another 5,000 km. I trusted him and the bell was machined and it lasted 3,500 km.
This is the kind of service that ASS should offer.

It not just that chennaities are the ones who want more bang for their bucks, its a common phenomenon across the country famous for "Jugaad". on a related note, did you know that auto OEMs prefer suppliers to reduce cost by 5-10% year on year without affecting the quality?

The motive of this thread is look at non conformance to the instructions of the service manual and the so-so attitude of the service centres.

It is well known fact that the service centres do not respect the time of their customers.

I feel that the OEMs are also indirectly affected by this attitude of the ASS. When preventive maintenance is not done properly, it will definitely lead to damage. This will in turn raise a big question on the reliability of the OEMs and their ability to design and manufacture the bikes.

(Since flights have been the talk of the town) Let me give you an eg on the above lines, In 2002, A Boeing 747 of China airlines disintegrated in mid-air and crashed into the Taiwan Strait. It was caused by improper repairs to the aircraft 22 years earlier. The repair work was not as per the standards of Boeing but were reported to be carried out as per the Boeing's service repair manual. In 2002, entire fleet of China airlines Boeing 747 were grounded. Because of the irresponsibility of the airline management and workers, lives were lost and even the brand took a beating. *Facts as seen in air crash investigation prog*

We as customers do not have the might and the time to put up with the ASS but why cant the OEMs scrap these kind of irresponsible ASS?

@MODS: My intention of this thread is not to bring to limelight my/my friend's bad experience with ASS. I hope that someone from Bajaj or any OEM for that matter sees this thread and understands the ground reality. Hence I would like to keep the title which I have used earlier.
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Old 26th March 2014, 23:41   #7
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Default Re: Bad service experience at Khivraj Bajaj, Chennai

Will address one by one...

Quote:
Originally Posted by katchkamalesh View Post
I isn't it time to shut shop and do something meaningful/profitable?
Ideally yes, but then, the whole country will come to stand still as you & I are paying these "extras" right from table salt to flight tickets, this is part of every transaction in this country.

Quote:
Originally Posted by katchkamalesh View Post
What is this "Flag day" that the dealers talk about?
Rule imposed by RTO; dealers are just recovering the cost. More here - http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/c...w/28303332.cms

Quote:
Originally Posted by katchkamalesh View Post
Based on my experience...from public point of view...From business point of view...up non conformance
Pls take whichever view, you ought to get this things done, either comply or live without it

Quote:
Originally Posted by katchkamalesh View Post
This is the kind of service that ASS should offer
Agreed, but, just like all 5 fingers in anyone hand is not same, not all ASC's behave the same. I've got 5* treatment from Vihaan Honda Mumbai without having much to even speak. Lake City Honda in Udaipur, I had to press them after which we departed as good friends after a minor tussle. Didar & JSP in Chennai offers a great service to my bike, though few still complain about JSP. So the dealership, service is all depends upon how vigilant & one approaches them. Who knows who comes to work after putting a good fight with his Wife to just vent it on our vehicle?

Quote:
Originally Posted by katchkamalesh View Post
The motive of this thread...the so-so attitude of the service centres
Nothing can be done; if you still want to, visit xBhp, there're 1000s of threads & millions of posts You're talking about Rs 1L motorcycle, even some 8-10L motorcycle or even 25L cars experience the same fate in this country

All other questions...beyond the scope of this forum We got to live with the law of land or take a flight
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