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Old 27th February 2018, 12:29   #271
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Default re: 2017 Skoda Octavia vRS: 25,000 kms completed

Ok.

Yesterday when I posted a brief description of the incident, I was waiting to check out of the hotel and leave to Bangalore.

After I posted it, I got a call that the VP is ready to meet me. I met him and then left Hyderbad and reached home late in the night.

Lot of you have made very valid suggestions and asked some questions

I will explain the full story here and I hope it answers many of your questions.

There are 4 parties this situation.

1. Me. The totally innocent party and probably the most affected mentally.
2. The hotel
3. The movie producer
4. The Psycho and his cousin/friend/: the costume designer (who is innocent as of now).

According to CCTV footage it can be clearly seen that I reached the hotel's parking lot at 10:58 am. I didnt check in even though I had just driven non-stop for 6 hours. I first cleaned the front of the car as bug splatters are acidic and can damage the paint easily. This is visible in the CCTV footage. I open the boot of the car, take out my spray of Pro Klear Waterless, a couple of microfibre cloths, clean the bumper, the number plate, the hood.

Before that, I took a couple of pics to show how amazing the hood looks even after a 590 km drive!

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I cleaned the car and then checked in to the hotel.

After lunch, I went for a drive around Ramoji Film City and returned by 2:45 and parked my car.

At 3:45 or so, the black Micra pulls in and the psycho stays back in the car while the Costume Designer (hereafter referred to as "CD") goes towards the hotel.

He stays in the parking lot till 3:54 and can be seen scratching my car, a white Range Rover Evoque (belonging to the producer) and a couple of other cars. Later on we found out that one more car belonging to our company was scratched. My Bangalore colleague's Ford Figo Aspire had the same X X X X marks as my car, the Evoque and a couple of other cars.

I do not know why, but I think I came to take something from the car at 4:15. I left the conference while it was going on, went to my room, got my car key and came to the car. The moment I saw the big scratch on the hood, my heart stopped. And then when I examined the car I saw the scratches.

I raised hell at the hotel and the front office manager, the GM, the head of security everyone was called and they came and saw the car. I gave the Front Office Manager 15 minutes to give me an update.

In 15 minutes, I was taken up to the security room and we reviewed the CCTV footage. It is clear what happens.

After that because I was very firm and steadfast, the GM got involved too and the police were called. The police came by 7:10 or so. That was when I also met the GM for the first time and he spoke very nicely to me and assured me he would "take care of me 200%".

Later that night, we met the producer of the movie and found out that it was his Evoque which was scratched. He says that the psycho was mentally retarded and they had never met him before. The CD of course works for them. They were afraid of taking any action on the psycho as they felt the CD could abscond and he had already been paid in advance. More than that, their entire shoot schedule would go haywire.

I told the GM on Sunday night that we would like to meet the VP and get a proper solution. He said the GM will come on Monday morning to the hotel and we can meet him.

On Sunday morning, I kept waiting and initially I was told the VP may not come to the hotel today as he has gone to the corporate office.

I went down to the security office, got my copy of the CCTV footage.



As I was finishing up with them, the GM called and said the VP is coming.

I go down to the lobby, meet the VP and then we sit down for a meeting.

Consisting of the VP, Mr. Sudhakar Babu, another VP Finance, Mr. , the GM and a bunch of other people from the hotel management (maybe the management of the company that runs the hotel). Along with them, the producer, his director and his team and me.

A lot of things were said, some of which have no relevance to this matter.

Basically I made it clear to them that I will not be spending one rupee on my car. I expect the hotel to pay for it or the hotel to catch the culprit and make him pay for it.

As I said earlier, my expectation is only for the hotel to pay for the repainting job. As of now, the hotel guys are speaking very well. Well trained people to do some hand-holding. Whether this translates to action remains to be seen.

I was very clear to the VP that till now they have been talking all the right things but I hope they will act well as well.

The problem is that the producer is a regular at Ramoji Film City, so the management doesnt want to piss him off. So, when he asked them to hold off on taking action against the CD, they obliged.

The scene as of now is that today evening (tuesday evening), the CD will be handing over the costumes to the production unit. After that, the police can catch him and ask him to give details of the psycho. And what action happens after that, remains to be seen.

Yes, this is not ideal, but keep in mind I am not in control of the situation. I HAD to come back to Bangalore and my team is checking out today, as we speak.

As of now, our company owes them a large amount of money for the conference. So, I have instructed my team to not clear the full payment. We will withhold some amount and clear the rest.

This action actually goes against all our principles. Our company is known to never delay payment and this action really makes me feel guilty on one level but it's the only way I will have some leverage.

These are the facts.

Coming to probabilities and action that could have been taken.....

1. Police were involved from the hotel's side. I am not a localite and I wouldnt have been taken seriously. I have no influence in that area. The hotel does.

2. Though police are involved, I highly doubt they will do anything. Yes, we have CCTV footage, etc etc... but let us be serious for a moment. The Indian police are known to extremely over-worked. Will they really worry about a couple of high end cars that have been scratched? The CCTV footage while making it clear that damage has happened is not good enough to identify the vandal.

3. There is a suspicion that there might be a pending issue between the producer and the CD. And that is why he targeted us as he must have assumed all KA vehicles are linked to the producer.

4. The producer and his team say there is no issue. They say the psycho who came with the CD was mentally disturbed or unbalanced. They met him for the first time on Sunday at lunch time when he and the CD went to the set for lunch. After that, the vandalism has happened.

Best Case Favourable Solution:

Hotel pays for a full repaint of my car as that is the only way I can get perfect paint matching.

Hotel also pays for a new kit of Kamikaze Miyabi and ISM so that I can get my car detailed again.

Hotel pays labour charges for detailing.

How much will this whole thing come up to? Probably 1.5-2.00 lakhs depending on how much TAFE will quote. If it is lesser, so be it! I am not interested in making the hotel pay unnecessarily.

I am not asking for compensation for loss in resale value, loss of factory paint, or compensation for inconvenience of leaving my car for 8-10 days at the workshop, running around using cabs and Ubers....

I think I am being reasonable in what I am requesting.

In any case, I look forward to them getting back to me.

If anyone here can help me in escalating my case to the higher-ups in Ramoji Film City, I will be obliged. Or if someone is uncomfortable involving me, just inform the higher management of what has happened. I hope that can help me.

Last edited by navin : 27th February 2018 at 13:32. Reason: typos
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Old 27th February 2018, 15:49   #272
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Default re: 2017 Skoda Octavia vRS: 25,000 kms completed

Hold your payment and if possible, can you make the producer hold his payment as well (towards CD after their advance pays off) This dude being from Karnataka and maybe possibly from Bangalore this maybe worked out.

You may also talk to your insurance guys regarding this.

Feel for you dear. Hope a resolution as per your satisfaction is done ASAP.
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Old 27th February 2018, 16:33   #273
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Default re: 2017 Skoda Octavia vRS: 25,000 kms completed

Nikhil, just hold the payment due to the hotel. If their money is important to them (in form of the producer, etc.) then your money should be important to you too. No question of guilt and and all that. If it is business for them, you handle it like one too.

Involve insurance and get a quote on paper and present the same to the Hotel Management. Then only you'll be sure about their intentions.
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Old 27th February 2018, 16:53   #274
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Default re: 2017 Skoda Octavia vRS: 25,000 kms completed

This is absolutely shocking - what kind of shameless people we have around. I feel your pain man, hopefully the hotel is able to workout a solution with you amicably to your satisfaction - thats the least they can do for you to diffuse the pain. And also that clown needs to be handled properly so that he learns a lesson and doesnt vandalizes another vehicle in future.
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Old 28th February 2018, 00:34   #275
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Default re: 2017 Skoda Octavia vRS: 25,000 kms completed

Really shocked to read about what happened, Nikhil. Especially knowing how meticulously you have been taking care of the car. Hope that the issue is sorted out soon and that TAFE does a good job in bringing the car back to its former glory. I also hope the psycho is taught a lesson for what he has done. Really shameless.

Was wondering if PPF would help in such freak cases...
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Old 28th February 2018, 10:28   #276
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Default re: 2017 Skoda Octavia vRS: 25,000 kms completed

Quote:
Originally Posted by Nikhilb2008 View Post
I'm heartbroken today.

I am furious and frustrated.
We too are and still trying to come to terms with it. Pls. continue to pursue the case and as you said see if they can settle it amicably.

How can someone destroy the beauty instead of enjoying the extremely well maintained steed. It is indeed heartbreaking for us so can only imagine your plight

Hope you get some justice
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Old 28th February 2018, 11:02   #277
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Default re: 2017 Skoda Octavia vRS: 25,000 kms completed

Quote:
Originally Posted by Nikhilb2008 View Post
Best Case Favourable Solution:

Hotel pays for a full repaint of my car as that is the only way I can get perfect paint matching.

Hotel also pays for a new kit of Kamikaze Miyabi and ISM so that I can get my car detailed again.

Hotel pays labour charges for detailing.

How much will this whole thing come up to? Probably 1.5-2.00 lakhs depending on how much TAFE will quote. If it is lesser, so be it! I am not interested in making the hotel pay unnecessarily.

I am not asking for compensation for loss in resale value, loss of factory paint, or compensation for inconvenience of leaving my car for 8-10 days at the workshop, running around using cabs and Ubers....

I think I am being reasonable in what I am requesting.
Nikhil, my heart goes out to you and i know how much it hurts, when you use the MF towels better than your own towel for your car. However, i would say do not take so much mental stress. Please visit skoda dealer and take a quote for the areas required to be repainted. In my case the dealer did an excellent job 4 years ago for denting & repainting right rear door. Even today i cant see the difference, its that zero zero. So if the dealer is confident, no need to repaint the whole car. For repainting whole car, dealer will open up every door, bumper, rubber parts etc, you will loose the factory tightness. You should be able to settle this in less that 50K. Deduct the amount from the one which you had to pay to hotel. issue resolved.
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Old 28th February 2018, 14:36   #278
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Default re: 2017 Skoda Octavia vRS: 25,000 kms completed

Enough has been said about the nature of the crime, the criminal and the situation.

I would like to add the following points: -

1. Do NOT release the payment to the hotel without deducting your part (as per the given estimate of the painter/polisher/material etc). There is no way they are paying up if you pay them in full.
Remember that standard line - Vehicles are parked at owner's risk. They can engage a cheap lawyer by spending 20k for a year than paying you 200k.

2. I would not recommend repainting the car, especially at a dealer. Dealers are NOT the best painters and do a shoddy job, something which will spoil the car permanently. If you have decided to get it painted, get it done at an expensive, reputed FNG. Rush knows someone at Bombay, and I guess a drive there will be worth the effort.

Going by the video, I feel that a deep sanding should remove 70% of the scratches, which, if followed by good buffing and coating products, should bring the car back pretty close to what it was. A few scratches that are very deep can be ignored at best or be very finely touched up with a brush in the hands of an artist, NOT a painter.
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Old 28th February 2018, 14:42   #279
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Default re: 2017 Skoda Octavia vRS: 25,000 kms completed

Thank you everyone for your kind words of empathy. They have definitely helped me heal quicker.

I sent this thread to my Dad and his reply was "Read the full post. Nice to see so much of support and empathy among car lovers."

I totally agree.

While the rest of the world may mock us for having so much love towards our cars and feeling so bad over what is "just a few scratches", we truly can understand each other.

I hope this is the final post in this saga and we can get back to "Regular Programming soon".

Yesterday, the rest of our team were checking out from the hotel and of course, it was time for payment. Because we held back a substantial amount, the hotel management started negotiating with me.

The GM first said that I had mentioned an amount of 20-30k for the damages. I was furious as that is peanuts and never had I mentioned that amount to him. I knew from the minute I saw the damage that considering the repainting done at Skoda's bodyshop plus the detailing, the amount would be closer to 1.0 lakh! I was very angry that they were trying to cheap out like this.

We refused to negotiate and told them to give us a proper solution.

Then, the VP started saying that they also own cars and high end cars and such kind of "Minor damage" doesnt require the entire car to be painted. And when I questioned him about the detailing, he was silent.

I told him to check with Ceramic Pro (one of the more famous detailing centres in Hyd, though I am not a believer) about the price for a full detailing of a Skoda Octavia. Told him it will be around 70k or so. Then I told him, I am not demanding so much. All I am asking for is $300 (the amount I spent on buying the Kamikaze ISM, Miyabi and Overcoat) and labour charges for the actual detailing work done in Bangalore. Along with the full body repaint as it's a brand new car and I will not accept a mis-matched car for no fault of mine.

Then he promised to cover the entire damage and asked us to release the entire payment withholding a small amount. He also offered an undertaking which specified that any cost over and above the amount we are holding will be paid by the hotel.

I refused as such undertakings do not hold much value. So, I demanded that we withhold the entire amount that we are claiming.

By this time, TAFE had seen my car and were kind enough to speedily make a quote for the full body repaint.

After this, suddenly, they made a U Turn. Till now, they werent serious about actually settling the issue except for occasionally throwing around numbers like 30k and 40k.

The quote from TAFE was for 1.18 lakhs and I sent this to the GM and VP and then they started saying that we wont give an undertaking, you just deduct a certain amount from the final bill. Added to this was my detailing costs, plus some repainting costs for my colleague's Ford Figo Aspire as well.

After their U turn and their willingness to make good on their promise of "Taking care of me 200%" (the GM's words on Sunday night), we decided to negotiate in good faith.

I also decided not to be greedy and having finally seen their genuine-ness in closing this matter, we settled at an amount which would be deducted from my company's final bill.

I am not comfortable disclosing this amount in public. Let me be honest and say that I am satisfied it's a fair amount. It doesnt cover me 100%, but frankly, I dont think any of us expected that.

So, in the end I have been compensated fairly. The amount agreed upon covers 90% of my expenses and some for the Figo.

Yes, I will be out of pocket a little bit, but I didnt want to drag it on once they showed willingness to actually talk numbers. Dragging it on and being greedy would have killed the deal.

So, as of now, we have accepted this arrangement.

I have got a letter from the hotel acknowledging that they have passed on a discount of Rs xxxxxxxxx in lieu of the damage caused to two vehicles and that they are accepting the balance payment after taking the discount into consideration.

This is on their letterhead and signed.

From our side, we have also given them a letter saying that we have deducted X Rs towards the damage of the cars and clearing the rest of the payment.

While I would consider this a small win, at the end of the day, the money only helps to a certain extent. My car, which is just 6 months old will never have factory original paint again. This is a very sad feeling.

Also, I want to see justice served to that psycho who did this. However, I hope you all understand that I cant do everything. I will follow up with the hotel to see if they caught him today. But catching him wont help me anymore except make me feel good that he isnt getting away scot-free. In this country, we cant expect justice to be served. We only have to take care of ourselves. I'm sitting in Bangalore. Have work and family commitments. Cannot go to Hyderabad and sit there applying pressure on cops to do their work.

To close this chapter, I am very unhappy that the psycho may get away. It kills me to see someone who ruined my beautifully maintained car to get away. But what is done is done. Catching him will only give me some sort of vengeful pleasure.

The hotel has done right by supporting me and for that I would like to thank them. Yes, they tried to wiggle out of it, but at the end of the day, thanks to some pressure tactics, they did right by me.

I would like to thank some people who will remain unnamed. These people escalated my issue to the top office in Ramoji Film City and while there is no proof (there rarely is in such cases), I am very convinced that this escalation worked. There must have been some word coming down from the top to close this matter and that's why the hotel took a U Turn and started talking numbers.

Maybe some other people have also helped but without telling me. Thank you.

Someone emailed me directly with some email addresses of a top boss in RFC and I dropped a mail to that person. That also helped. So, thank you too!

To conclude, while this incident hurts a lot, this is not such a major tragedy. After grieving for a brief period, it is time to look at the bigger picture. This is First World Problem. A few scratches on a car.

It is time to move on.

Now my focus will shift to getting the car repainted as best as I can. For that, again I will trust TAFE who have been excellent service providers for me in the past 6 months.

If someone can inform a top boss at Skoda that I am going in for a repaint and need the best possible factory-like finish, I will be very grateful!

I will visit TAFE again today and explore further options. I have spoken to the bodyshop manager Mr. Sanjeev and he's promised to get me the exact paint shade.

Once again, thank you all. The messages that poured in on TBHP, FB, Whatsapp really made me feel like I have thousands of people supporting me. Many of you offered to take it viral but I was clear that I wanted to give the hotel a chance to fix this mess. I am glad it happened and no mud had to be slung.

Thank you all.
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Old 28th February 2018, 15:40   #280
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Default re: 2017 Skoda Octavia vRS: 25,000 kms completed

Super one Nikhil!! I am hoping the delta in shade is more from a "I know it" than "I can see it" perspective
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Old 28th February 2018, 16:07   #281
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Default re: 2017 Skoda Octavia vRS: 25,000 kms completed

Nikhil, you handled it well. No point dragging it further and spending time and effort on this issue. It is clear that the hotel was not keen to punish the scumbag, or it would have been more just. It's possible the hotel is collecting some money from the other party to make up for the loss.

Coming back to the car, don't mind me saying it but don't aim for perfection. First try a cheap correction. I say this because your usage is very high and go anywhere type but your expectation is that of a show car in southern California Enjoy the car without getting too invested in it.
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Old 28th February 2018, 17:02   #282
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Default re: 2017 Skoda Octavia vRS: 25,000 kms completed

Quote:
Originally Posted by Nikhilb2008 View Post

So, as of now, we have accepted this arrangement.
That is a good end result and happy to know that the resolution came quickly and did not drag on. Luckily you had the leverage of pending payment, otherwise in such situations I think there is little hope in getting them to pay up.
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Old 28th February 2018, 17:12   #283
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Default re: 2017 Skoda Octavia vRS: 25,000 kms completed

Sorry to hear about this bad experience Nikhil. This kind of vandalism is really very saddening especially for no fault of yours. For us Team-BHPians who are very much attached to their vehicles , even the slightest scratch hurts very badly - heck, I get irritated even when someone fidgets with my bike mirrors.

The culprit infancy should not be let off without trying to understand why he did such a cowardly act.

Anyways all's well that ends well. Happy that the resolution was as per your satisfaction.

As suggested by Androdev, yes I would also advise to try out a different option rather than repainting the entire body. Probably a wrap or something.

Last edited by v12 : 28th February 2018 at 17:32.
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Old 28th February 2018, 17:16   #284
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Default re: 2017 Skoda Octavia vRS: 25,000 kms completed

Thanks guys.

A wrap is out of question. I bought the vRS in this blue because I loved it. The detailing made it look absolutely brilliant.

This colour really gives the car a different charm.

I will be getting it repainted for sure. Will discuss with TAFE and decide how to go about it.
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Old 28th February 2018, 20:13   #285
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Default re: 2017 Skoda Octavia vRS: 25,000 kms completed

At last some relief to yourself though not a complete one. Lately cars are more like celebs on road. People get envious or try to get very up close and personal with them not realizing the fact it requires it’s own personal space. It’s better you think of getting additional protection through PPF from 3M post the repaint if it’s done upto your satisfaction. I’m happy things have sorted in a professional manner.
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