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Old 3rd December 2015, 01:13   #31
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Default Re: V.L. Motors, Santacruz (Honda 2-wheeler service centre) caught overcharging!

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Originally Posted by DHABHAR.BEHRAM View Post
Dear spd-tkt - thanks for your gracious reply, I appreciate and I feel nice about it. My reply is as follows for point 1 and my question is given below for point 2. I will appreciate your real reply:

1. You must realize and understand the latent desires of your customers when they bring their two wheelers to you for attention. They must leave feeling delighted, every single one. I have achieved this again and again and again in all my interactions with customers, I happen to know the exact process to do this. I also see that this is not implemented, because this is not the corporate deliverable of the workforce of the OEMs. You will benefit when you come out of the nonsense that you are told to do and start implementing.

2. I want to buy a new Activa or a new Vespa. How's the Vespa? I went to the Pune Vespa showroom and got an OK response, but it was nothing more than the standard treatment. So I now know that they do 125cc and 150cc, round headlights (looks good) and rectangular headlights (looks terrible, but it seemed to have a small plastic windshield sort of thingy which was quite nice), closable storage space and non-closable storage space etc. But, how is the vehicle? Will it delight me? Is 150cc with 1BHP more worth it? How is the seating? How good is the pulling power on gradients with pillion? Is the braking going to be stable enough? Will my hands and back pain during long rides? How good is the reliability? Will it actually start every single time I thumb the starter switch? Will the handlebar remain straight? (I am onto my third Dio and I have this problem in all of them within 3000 kms, which is absolutely ridiculous). How good is the tire grip? (the TVS tires in my Dio are absolutely useless, do you agree, should I throw them out?). How does the single arm suspension hold? Will the vehicle track dead straight? Will the paint finish diminish after some time? Will the chrome hold? My first choice is shining black color of course, but they don't make it in shining black color, is this true? Does it make sense / is it value for money at 90000 odd bucks because it is 30000 more than the Activa! I am a little hesitant with the Activa due to the handlebar issue. Please reply, or if you find it inconvenient to do so because of your business, please PM. . I am asking because I am not going to spend 90000 bucks to find out. This is known as "latent desire of the customer"!

Best regards,

Behram Dhabhar
Hello sir

Let me start with 2;

Is the Vespa a good buy?

I for one think so, but sometimes you need to look beyond its attributes and appreciate the intrinsic value it offers mostly in terms of aesthetics.

imho, the Vespa is a beautiful object and it always attracts the right kind of attention. Not macho like the Thar or Bullet where other "manly men" and anoraks stare. Everyone seems to be happy to see my Vespa, whether it be pretty girls or little school children. Wherever I park her, someone has a question. My sister uses my scooter quite often and she too gets a lot of attention.

My own ride is an Orange Vespa S (the one with rectangular lights that you detest) but to my eyes it looks perfect offering a fine interpretation of retro style with a touch of modernity.

V.L. Motors, Santacruz (Honda 2-wheeler service centre) caught overcharging!-dsc02972.jpg

Now I am not someone who enjoys attention. In fact the Orange colour was my 7 year old choice. That said, I love that colour now. When I go some place and return to my scooter, I see her and it makes me feel happy.

That alone makes it more desirable than an Activa. Then there are the details, like the branding on grips, the key fob which resembles the silhouette of a scooter while the key that comes with most other scooters feel too plasticy and basic. Now, I am a sucker for such things.

Then there is the ride quality, it feels better to ride than most scooters. Obviously a motorbike with larger diameters tyres will offer better ride over a bad stretch of road but then on any scooter you don't need to swing your legs over and place your dedicates on a piece of hot metal. A gearless scooter offers a lot of convenience especially in traffic.

Back to the USP's of the Vespa, the removable storage compartment is quite a boon, while buying perishables and such.

The headlamp seems more powerful that other scooters.

All the switch gear and bits you touch feel better tha in most other scooters and some motorbikes. Quality comparable to Ford, Honda etc but may not be VW/ Skoda nice.

V.L. Motors, Santacruz (Honda 2-wheeler service centre) caught overcharging!-issunvespa.jpg

125 cc engine offers sufficient power and the engine keeps producing little bit of power as the rpm goes up. Comfortable cruising speed of around 80 Km/hr.

Regarding the 150, I have not rode one myself but from what i heard from someone who rode the new 150cc, it seems to be more useful when riding two up on hilly sections, Otherwise the 125 cc is good enough.

Then there is something, the view from the dash, like in the Thar, I love it;



Now comes the big question - reliability?

This is an open forum but I will keep my answer 'real'

Now I have a small history with a some Italian cars and there are always certain issues with reliability that is fondly referred to as character. This may be due to an overemphasis of form vs function or of engineering something to achieve max performance as with certain older Italian engines and other times, it is just due to their half hearted approach.

With the Vespa though, none of this is an issue. It feels like a tried and tested platform with a reliable engine that would start every time you thumb the starter.

That said, there are some imperfections to add to the character.

Excess play on the key switch may cause disappointment when you thumb the starter. Quite an inexpensive fix and if you use it with some delicacy and it will stay fine.

Speedometer cable may fail - it is mechanical type and could break. The newer ones have a sensor so that issue is taken care of.

Like most automobiles using mechanical cables and linkages, they need replacement when required (periodically). brake cables staying stretch will result is reduced braking effectiveness while worn accelerator cable results in the scooter idling at higher rpm. It will be difficult to ride + it affect the brakes. This is not an issue oer se and you just need to replce cable as and when they get worn.

The handlebar does remain straight unless there is some impact, minor hits can be corrected by loosening the steering fifth wheel and adjusting the handle bar. Again not a big issue.

Th chrome used on the body is of excellent condition and holds well, however, if exposed to salty conditions, the chromed bits on accessories like all round guard and such could be effected.

Single arm suspension - tyre wear (one side) : This could be seen as a failure, only when the wishbone bush fails resulting in excess side to side play on the front wheel. Replacing the pin/bush etc needs removing the steering tube (fork).

There are some instances when tyre wear is uneven even when the wishbone bush is intact. Can this be attributed to one side swing arm design? I am not completely sure maybe someone on this forum can priovide an answer.

Even the Activa comes with one side suspension, the other side has a dummy strut if I have not mistaken and almost every other gearless scooter sold here has some reported case of one side tyre wear.

I will only discuss Vespa for now, yes, some of the earlier scooters did report one side excess tyre wear. As much as I can gather, this could be due to a combination of several factors; Tyre pattern, one side swing arm, mileage, road camber etc.

The stock tyres offer adequate grip at best although the newer models come with different brand of tyres and have slightly larger diameter wheels in front and wider tyres at the rear.


Will the paint finish diminish after some time?

With some careful cleaning and occasional polishing it holds really really well. In fact, I feel that the paint quality is awesome.

Will the chrome hold? My first choice is shining black color of course, but they don't make it in shining black color, is this true?

Only mat black is available for now. The newer models (VXL and SXL) come with sme newer shades.

A maze grey and a nice bright green (only availabe on VXL 150) are some of the newer colours

Does it make sense / is it value for money at 90000 odd bucks because it is 30000 more than the Activa!

Now it does cost a bit more when you compare it to other scooters but look at it this way, there is no other two wheeler below 100,000 that garners so much attention or feel as desirable as a Vespa and it is a fair price for such an iconic brand with so much of history. I am not going for the Roman Holidays' reference but the Vespa is definitely a stylish object that looks the part even when parked. It makes me feel special and one cannot put a price on that.

A lot of walk in customers tell me they can buy an FZ (Yamaha) for the same price. So you can either buy a bike that gives you a bit of everything or you could buy a very special scooter that makes you stand out in the crowd, and then the Vespa feels like VFM.

I have spend as much on my wrist watch as I have on my mobile phone and that is not a lot of money for a watch but it is more that what many others would spend on a wrist watch. Some of my friend ask me why and some even complement me for buying such an expensive watch but at the same time they do not have any qualms about having spend twice that on their cell phones! So I think it depends on how we define our needs and wants.


Quote:
Originally Posted by DHABHAR.BEHRAM View Post
Dear SRK - thanks for your reply but it does not give me the information that I am looking for. Price is my last priority. "I want the best" and "it must work exactly as I want it to work" is my first priority! So I am asking, is the Vespa @ 30000 increment really worth it? Will it meet my latent desire? Will I not get even one blemish on the chrome? Will the engine purr or strain? Will the vehicle glide or just drive? I don't know, so I am asking! I am not even going to consider anything else except the Activa (in grey or blue) and the Vespa (in black, silver or red) because in my eyes, none of the other scooters look even half as elegant as the Activa and the Vespa. Jupiter does not even come close, it looks "obese" with the rear end sticking out like a bumblebee. Fascino rear at the sides looks "cut with a knife"! Suzuki Access front mudguard looks "oh-so-big and bloated" and the Hero whatever looks "dhinchak". Also, I really do not care if I get the telescopic suspension and the disc brakes or not, I am not going to race the thing! I want it to work properly, that's all! Anyways, let's see!

Best regards,

Behram Dhabhar
Hope my previous reply has been of some help. Do let me know if you need any additional information... even if I sometimes take a while to reply.

Coming back to lateral desires - I sometimes feel that customers sometimes do not know what they require and I admire certain brands that rise above the ordinary and deliver products that may not appeal to everyone or are not made for a reason but are made with so much love and care that they create their own market. Brands like Grado, Saddleback Leather, A Lange and cars like Pagani.

I know that this might not have much relevance for a customer oriented approach that a service centre should provide.

btw, I got rid of the separate consumables on my billing. Added bit of that to my labour so no more questions of 'why charge for consumables'. Is this a good enough solution?
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Old 4th December 2015, 07:39   #32
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Default Re: V.L. Motors, Santacruz (Honda 2-wheeler service centre) caught overcharging!

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Originally Posted by nairrk View Post
After reading above incidents with various Service centres, I think TVS service centre in my place (dealer showroom and Service centre) where I service my Wego seems very realistic or very cheap...!!

1st service, total bill - Rs. 260 (oil change)
2nd Service, total bill - Rs. 80 (oil top up 40 + consumable charges 40)
3rd service, total bill- Rs.100 (oil top up 40 + Consumable charges 60)

They never asked or insisted to do this and that like others...
TVS has some good products and if they can provide a good service like you have experienced all across India then their market share is sure to rise.

Quote:
Originally Posted by DHABHAR.BEHRAM View Post
Dear SRK - thanks for your reply but it does not give me the information that I am looking for. Price is my last priority. "I want the best" and "it must work exactly as I want it to work" is my first priority! So I am asking, is the Vespa @ 30000 increment really worth it? Will it meet my latent desire? Will I not get even one blemish on the chrome? Will the engine purr or strain? Will the vehicle glide or just drive? I don't know, so I am asking! I am not even going to consider anything else except the Activa (in grey or blue) and the Vespa (in black, silver or red) because in my eyes, none of the other scooters look even half as elegant as the Activa and the Vespa. Jupiter does not even come close, it looks "obese" with the rear end sticking out like a bumblebee. Fascino rear at the sides looks "cut with a knife"! Suzuki Access front mudguard looks "oh-so-big and bloated" and the Hero whatever looks "dhinchak". Also, I really do not care if I get the telescopic suspension and the disc brakes or not, I am not going to race the thing! I want it to work properly, that's all! Anyways, let's see!

Best regards,

Behram Dhabhar
I think a thread can be started about this topic. Both the scooters you are looking for are targeted at different segments. How about test riding them? (For Activa, Honda dealer won't give it to you. The showroom guys would ask you to just ride a relative's scooter and come to book one )
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Old 4th December 2015, 10:49   #33
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Default Re: V.L. Motors, Santacruz (Honda 2-wheeler service centre) caught overcharging!

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Originally Posted by SRK View Post
I think a thread can be started about this topic. Both the scooters you are looking for are targeted at different segments. How about test riding them?
Dear SRK - thanks for your reply, yes, a thread must be started for "Critical Evaluation" of both these vehicles. The Activa fellow will not be affected because his is the largest selling two wheeler in the world, so if I don't buy, somebody else will buy and he knows it. The Vespa business model is based on differentiation and discontinuity. He is in the market for quite some time now. I daily see a burgundy colour rectangular headlight scooter parked inside the showroom for more than 3 months now, they have not even moved it off the pedestal, this seems to indicate that his products are not flying off the shelves. As a customer I am recording this as stagnation, so I will be a trifle disinclined to go in for this guy's product. This is latent desire!

Dear Spd-tkt - thank you for your very good, comprehensive and to the point reply, I appreciate. My reply is as follows:

1. Is the Vespa a good buy? I for one think so, due to its intrinsic value in terms of aesthetics - correct.
2. I am not someone who enjoys attention - me too, that's why my first choice is always black but they don't make black! The dull finish black looks terrible!
3. The ride quality, it feels better to ride than most scooters - good.
4. The removable storage compartment is quite a boon, while buying perishables and such - good, but I won't use it much.
5. The headlamp seems more powerful that other scooters - good.
6. All the switch gear and bits you touch feel better than in most other scooters and some motorbikes - good.
7. The 125 cc engine offers sufficient power and the engine keeps producing little bit of power as the rpm goes up. Comfortable cruising speed of around 80 Kmph - good, I am OK with maximum speed of 80 kmph.
8. Regarding the 150, I have not rode one myself but from what I heard from someone who rode the new 150cc, it seems to be more useful when riding two up on hilly sections, Otherwise the 125 cc is good enough - good.
9. The view from the dash, I love it - good.
10. Reliability? This is an open forum but I will keep my answer 'real'. Although "Italian", this is not an issue. It feels like a tried and tested platform with a reliable engine that would start every time you thumb the starter. That said, there are some imperfections to add to the character. Excess play on the key switch may cause disappointment when you thumb the starter. Cables may need replacement. This is not an issue per se and you just need to replace cables as and when they get worn - not good. my take is not the cost but the hassle of time and the labour quality that I will be forced to endure. But this can happen to any scooter. Noted.
11. The handlebar does remain straight unless there is some impact, minor hits can be corrected by loosening the steering fifth wheel and adjusting the handle bar. Again not a big issue - OK.
12. The chrome used on the body is of excellent condition and holds well, however, if exposed to salty conditions, the chromed bits on accessories like all round guard and such could be effected - good. I am completely against fitting any accessories whatsoever, so fine.
13. Single arm suspension resulting in tire wear (one side), this could be seen as a failure, only when the wishbone bush fails resulting in excess side to side play on the front wheel. Replacing the pin/bush etc. needs removing the steering tube (fork). There are some instances when tire wear is uneven even when the wishbone bush is intact - not good at all.
14. Even the Activa comes with one side suspension, the other side has a dummy strut if I have not mistaken and almost every other gearless scooter sold here has some reported case of one side tire wear. Some of the earlier scooters did report one side excess tyre wear. As much as I can gather, this could be due to a combination of several factors, tire pattern, one side swing arm, mileage, road camber etc. - so this is something that I have to actually find out. Don't worry, I'll find out and tell you, thanks!
15. The stock tyres offer adequate grip at best although the newer models come with different brand of tyres and have slightly larger diameter wheels in front and wider tyres at the rear - OK.
16. Will the paint finish diminish after some time? With some careful cleaning and occasional polishing it holds really really well. In fact, I feel that the paint quality is awesome - good.
17. Only matt black is available for now. The newer models (VXL and SXL) come with some newer shades. A maze grey and a nice bright green (only available on VXL 150) are some of the newer colours - OK. If I cannot get black, I may settle for silver or bright red only.
18. Does it make sense / is it value for money at 90000 odd bucks because it is 30000 more than the Activa. The Vespa feels like VFM - OK.
19. Hope my reply has been of some help - of course yes.
20. On lateral desires, I sometimes feel that customers sometimes do not know what they require. I know that this might not have much relevance for a customer oriented approach that a service centre should provide - you are 100% correct. This is very true, especially for the India market. There are manufacturers who sell toys as vehicles, what more can I say!
21. By the way, I got rid of the separate consumables on my billing. Added a bit of that to my labour so no more questions of 'why charge for consumables'. Is this a good enough solution - of course, you must get your profit without the fellow realizing. Perfect decision.

Best regards,

Behram Dhabhar
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Old 7th January 2016, 16:16   #34
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Default Re: V.L. Motors, Santacruz (Honda 2-wheeler service centre) caught overcharging!

Hey Srk. You mentioned that the washing centre is 500m away from the main outlet. I don't approve of this as I too used to give my scooter to V.L Motors for servicing. The washing area is withen the outlet itself. Thats where my bike was washed.

That being said I do agree that V.L has a bad reputation of extracting alot of money. They did the same with me as well untill I decided to stop giving my vehicle to them and started giving it to an independent mechanic to service who I know well. However thanks for the heads up as i had in the past given my vehicle to them for Tefflon coating which i realised today after reading your thread that its an incomplete job.
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Old 20th August 2016, 23:29   #35
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Default Re: V.L. Motors, Santacruz (Honda 2-wheeler service centre) caught overcharging!

I was searching for a thread on Honda dealer over charging and found this one, so contributing my first hand experience here.

We had given our Honda Aviator for service at Sterling Auto Chinchwad and they informed that Exide battery is dead. Since the battery went out of warranty, we decided to put an Amaron battery. Dealer said 1500 rupees and 2 years warranty so we agreed.

I asked for the old battery to be returned to us, which was returned in the empty box of new battery. Just out of curiosity I checked the MRP which turned out to be 1143 rupees. I checked the bill which mentioned labour charges as zero and battery as 1500.

V.L. Motors, Santacruz (Honda 2-wheeler service centre) caught overcharging!-img1.jpgV.L. Motors, Santacruz (Honda 2-wheeler service centre) caught overcharging!-img2.jpg

After a complaint over email to their customer care they agreed to refund the money. Their initial offer was to refund 150 rupees. A lot of false justifications like "battery prices change every month sir", "we cannot change the bill now sir" were thrown at us but we simply told that we are going to consumer court if matter not settled here.

Finally they agreed for 1150+110 labour charges and got 240 rupees refund after lot of heated arguments for 15-20 minutes and my great explanation of taxation in India .
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Old 21st August 2016, 10:43   #36
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Default Re: V.L. Motors, Santacruz (Honda 2-wheeler service centre) caught overcharging!

Just went through this thread; short of doing a degree in automobile engineering, how do you expect a "normal" person to service their own 2 wheelers? And don't tell me the usual "build a rapport with the mechanic" stuff, that's an art by itself.
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