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Old 25th January 2011, 01:37   #1
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Default My First New Car; My First Diesel; My Second Ford..The Figo!

So finally I'm about to narrate a marathon tale of tragedy, anguish, research, confusion, jitters & joy.

It all started when I met with a head on collision with a Tata 2 series pick up on the MIDC road going from New Bombay to Thane. I usually take the route to avoid the heavy truck traffic post sunset on the Thane - Belapur road. The car I was driving was a petrol ford fusion - one that i'd bought as a second hand whilst living in Chennai and one that i'd done quite a few road trips in. The car was completely smashed and the insurance company / workshop quoted around 2 lakhs for complete repairs. Out of this, the insurance company liability would work out to approximately 1.5 lakhs.

I did not feel like investing that kind of monies to repair a car that i'd bought for 4 lakhs and also it seemed like a good way to do away with the car as (a) i was concerned with the rising petrol costs and (b) would not have been able to buy a buyer in Bombay with a TN registration and hence i opted for what is called a 'voluntary total loss'. Under this, the insurance company gave away the car to a scrap dealer who paid me 35k cash and the insurance company paid me 1.15 lakhs. The total was 1.5 lakhs which is what i would have got even if i had tried to sell off the car.

Ofcourse, Shreeji Ford in Thane, asked me to pay 350 bucks per day as parking charges (multiply that by 20) and 5k for estimate preparation charges. I was so pissed at their attitude and the owner's high handedness (he didn't bother to meet up with me and offer me a new car despite seeing me standing outside from his cabin) that i dashed off a mail to Michael Boneham, President of Ford India. As expected, i got a templated response from the ford customer care team and one executive called up saying he couldn't do much in this case. I again wrote back to Mr Boneham saying i wasn't looking for freebies but unless their dealer attitude changed, it was going to be difficult for ford to promote themselves as customer friendly.

I'd had an earlier experience with Mr Boneham w.r.t my ford fusion (reported elsewhere on teambhp) and i knew he would respond. He did and that pleased me no bounds. When the President of a company chooses to write back to a customer / prospect personally, that company surely is on the right track. I'd made up my mind that I'd buy a ford again but i didn't want to give my business to Shreeji Ford. I chose Bhavna Ford, near my workplace in New Bombay (I work at Reliance, Koparkhairne whilst Bhavna Ford is in Nerul, about 8 kms away).

I'll post a few pictures and continue later about the research, confusion, jitters & joy bit. The pictures were taken in my building as i did not carry a camera to the dealership as it was quite late when i took my delivery. The soft toys that you see on the rear parcel tray have been removed and kept on the rear seat so please don't worry about rear visibility through the RVM
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Old 25th January 2011, 02:49   #2
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Default Re: My First New Car; My First Diesel; My Second Ford..

Congrats buddy . The first new car excitement is just awesome and it takes months to die down . You'll see yourself running to your call every now and thn to clean the smallest spec of dust . Being a blacky you'll spend weekend washing it yourself . I did the same for almost an year . I have a black punto and I spent every alternate day cleaning the car . Now almost after an year the excitement has reduced , I dont clean my car as often but I love her as much as I did on the first day . Black Rocks !
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Old 25th January 2011, 04:35   #3
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Default Re: My First New Car; My First Diesel; My Second Ford..

Congrats vij4all, the Figo is one of the best buys in the market today. I wish you both clock many a safe mile together!
For some reason, I see a bluish tinge in a couple of the pics. I do hope you have gotten rid of the plastic seat covers
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Old 25th January 2011, 09:01   #4
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Smile Re: My First New Car; My First Diesel; My Second Ford..

Hi Vij4all,

Congrats on your new Ford. Once a ford always a ford seems to hold apt for you. The Figo is truly a VFM buy and hope the car brings a lot of smiles on your face. Happy mile crunching and drive safely.

In fact I was a bit suprised when you had gone back to a Ford after your recent incident with the Fusion. The reason of buying a car based on an MD's reply to mail sounds a bit childish but your faith in Ford vehicles was undoubted.

BTW does not the Titanium come with alloy wheel?
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Old 25th January 2011, 09:30   #5
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Default Re: My First New Car; My First Diesel; My Second Ford..

Congrats on your new car and its a vice choice to go for a Diesel with the ever rising petrol prices.

Wish you many happy miles ahead.
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Old 25th January 2011, 09:58   #6
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Default Re: My First New Car; My First Diesel; My Second Ford..

Congrats on your second Ford. Wishing you a happy ownership.

Ghodlur-: Alloys are an additional option in Titanium as far as I know.
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Old 25th January 2011, 10:33   #7
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Default Re: My First New Car; My First Diesel; My Second Ford..

Congrats Vij on your new possession.

Very good decision to go in for a Diesel Figo. TDCi is a wonderful engine and with the light weight Figo, it would be more responsive. The best part is its easy drive-ability in the city and is also an effortless mile cruncher.

I have a Ford Fusion TDCi and has till date done 1.07 Lakh kms. Still drives like a new car.

One Question: Having driven the Fusion for a long time, what is the difference you feel while driving a Figo?
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Old 25th January 2011, 11:02   #8
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Default Re: My First New Car; My First Diesel; My Second Ford..

@ Ghodlur - it's not childish at all. Being a customer service professional, I realise, unfortunately that in most organisations unless you reach out to the top most guy, things won't move the way you want. Happened with me with BPL, Vodafone, Goibibo, Stan Chart Bank etc. 3 years back when my fusion crashed and Chennai Ford had no clue what the issue was despite keeping the car with them for weeks together, I wrote to Mr Boneham on his personal email id. Someone called me back within an hour, offered me a replacement car and later when the bill came upto 70k, offered a goodwill gesture discount of 50% - no questions asked. All this for a 2nd hand fusion with no warranty. They need not have done that. And thus, I'm secure in the knowledge that should there ever be a problem with my car or with the dealer, I always have someone senior to fall back on.

@ MAS - There is no difference in the controls and I feel very comfortable except that the seating is lower and the car feels terribly lighter. Having driven an innova for the past 6 months, I sometimes feel the figo is flying
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Old 25th January 2011, 11:25   #9
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Default Re: My First New Car; My First Diesel; My Second Ford..

Congratulations vij4all

sad to read about the crash, but looks like it was an opening for you to go for a new car! That was a great deal I should say

Cheers to your way of getting things done! and welcome to the figo club.
Even I feel that ford as a company is trying to improve, But it will only be complete if it is enforced on all of its dealers!
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Old 25th January 2011, 15:08   #10
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Default Re: My First New Car; My First Diesel; My Second Ford..

Congratulations on the car! Please note that Team-BHP does not permit booking / buying experience threads in the Test-Drives section anymore. For the benefit of members & guests alike, it is now imperative to include a complete report on the car (the driving experience / comfort / features, what you like, what you don't like etc.).

This thread is temporarily closed. Please PM me or report this post once you are ready to update with a complete driving report; that's when it shall be re-opened. Thanks for your support.
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Old 29th January 2011, 13:50   #11
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Default Re: My First New Car; My First Diesel; My Second Ford..

The Research:

So the hunt for a new car began. The usual confusion of whether to go in
for a entry level sedan or a medium - top range hatch kept nagging me.
Initially i was quite confident and sure that all i wanted was a swift vxi
as it had been a dream to own one since the past 3 years. However, when my
father and me visited the fortpoint showroom on Ghodbunder road, the
experience completely put us off. They made us wait and wait and finally
after 30 minutes when i asked the receptionist how much more time it would
take, she gave me a typical government employee look as if i had asked
them for a free car !

We walked out of the showroom slowly trying to gauge if anyone would
bother stopping us but nobody did and i decided that i didnt want a
maruti. Now some of you may argue that one shouldnt be choosing a car
basis one experience at a dealership but it just sealed it for me. Don't
know why. Walked into the Balaji Tata dealership again on Ghodbunder road
(the stretch is full of car showrooms) and an eager but meidiocre language
skills sales guy explained features of the indigo manza, safire. He said
he would offer the mid variant for about 6.20 lakhs. We liked the car but
after reading all the reviews on the forum, weren't too inclined and so
took the quote and walked out.

The ford showroom is bang next to the tata but my dad would have none of
it. "No more ford", he said as we drove back home. We did cross the VW
showroom which is also next door but I wasn't considering the polo at all.

In the meanwhile, after Shreeji Ford's high handed approach, i dashed off
an angry email to Mr Michael Boneham complaining about the attitude of the
dealers causing them to lose a prospect. I wasn't really expecting much
but Mr Boneham personally wrote back and had one Mr Ruchik Shah, GM,
Customer Care talk to me. I was impressed. With 60k figos sold in less
than a year, what would they care how one prospect felt but hey! this was
an American company with more focus on people than a 'chalta hai' lala
attitude (and that's strictly my personal opinion).

I started researching and reading up all the figo threads on the forum and
was really impressed. In the meanwhile, the car itself started winning all
the possible awards so it was as if the faith i was trying to build in the
brand was getting vindicated.

Called up Bhavna ford in Nerul and asked for a test drive. Initially had
my reservations about the car but loved the peppy engine but was still
reading up the various threads on the car. And then something happened. I
saw a a thread on a black polo and the angle of the pictures made me fall
in love with it. I could not think of anything else but the black polo and
I called up the VW dealer in Nerul for a test drive. They arrived and the
minute i sat in the car, it was a different feeling altogether. Felt
plush, rich & loaded. But the noisy engine, the cramped rear space and the
unusually high hump in the middle of the rear row made me re-think. Still
would take walks in the parking lot to admire a polo trendline parked
there. But then realised that for the price of a fully loaded figo all i
would get was a base polo which would not even include the rear parcel
tray or body coloured door handles. But the mind is difficult to convince
once the heart falls for someone/something so walked into the VW showroom
on Ghodbunder road and the entire experience and feel of the showroom is
so so much classier than the others. Test drove the vento and was thinking
if i should stretch my budget by a few lakhs but better sense prevailed
and i walked out.

The Decision:

Finally decided that it was going to be the figo titanium for me. Paid a
booking amount of 50k to Bhavna Ford and asked him to book a car. The
sales guy said he had 2 black figos in the stockyard. Once again, thanks
to Teambhp and the enormous knowledge i gained because i asked him for the
VIN and he pretended he didn't know what it was. I threatened to cancel
the booking if he didn't give the VIN and he gave me the VIN. Wilfred
helped me understand that it was a july 2010 manufactured car and i
refused to take it. The sales guy then put me on to his manager who came
up with "aapko aise thodi pata chal sakta hai sir" and all that crap. I
put it back at him and said he should quit his job if he didn't know that
one could find out details of the car basis the VIN. He conceded defeat
and gave me another VIN (for the 2nd figo) and it turned out to be a
november 2010 manufactured car. Asked him to lock this car. He agreed. He
also agreed to throw in sunfilm and a usb extension as accessories.

The Loan:

Now the agony with ICICI bank began. Being a customer for 12 long years
with a homeloan didn't matter. They still wanted 4 cheques as security to
clear the loan and i had only 3. So applied for a new cheque book and
waited. In the meanwhile went to a local branch to ask for a cheque leaf
but they refused since I had already made a request for a new cheque book.
Tried reasoning with the loan manager that in anycase the car was
hypothecated to the bank on form 20 so how would it matter if they had the
cheques or not but they cited rules and I waited ...patiently. Finally the
cheque book arrived and the loan was cleared directly to Bhavna Ford. Paid
the sales guy the remaining monies and asked him for delivery on the 20th
of Jan (last thursday).

The Delivery:

The sales guy said that the car had to go for RTO testing and they were
not allowed to release the car from the showroom without the final number
etc. Called him up on the 20th and he said that the number had come in but
the documents were still pending. I requested him for a delivery even if
it was late since it was a special day for me but he just flatly refused.
Drove to the showroom in the afternoon with another colleague and realised
that the sales guy had taken half a day and gone home. Spoke to the
mananger who cooly agreed to deliver the car after a few hours. In the
meanwhile the sales guy called me up and said "sir aap kyon ghai kar rahe
ho" etc etc. I told him that I was disappointed he chose not to make a
customer happy by having the car delivered inspite of the number and the
documents being available. He had no answer. Went back in the evening and
took delivery. Went with the Teambhp PDI checklist. Found the rear parcel
tray missing. Pointed it out and they came running with the tray. Checked
all the 5 tyres, all corners of the car, switched on the lights, the
blinkers everything that i could think of. All good. I was upset that the
car had already done 110 kms. Asked them how it was possible and they
again spun a yarn about some PDI test drive. I laughed at him and asked
him to shut up if he didn't have the answer. He smiled sheepishly. They
gave me a 200 rupee fuel coupon from a pump nearby and i appreciated the
gesture. The only thing i regretted was not carrying anything for the
sales guy but he wasn't there anyway.

And then after 5 minutes of driving, realised that i'd forgotten to check
the odo/tripmeter and realised to my shock that the trip meter showed 7400
!! Drove back and asked them what was going on. Took a picture with my
phone because what happened next was just as I feared. The guy who did the
delivery put his head inside the car near the steering, cooly reset the
trip meter and said "dekho sir, zero ho gaya". I lost it by now and asked
him how the hell did it reach 7400 in the first place. No answer. I called
up my sales guy who was at home and told him about this and also told him
that a feedback was on its way to Mr Boneham. The guy must have wet his
pants because he conferenced me with his director and they both pleaded
for me to get the car back the next day and that they would sort out all
problems.

Post Delivery:

Realised the next day that the dashboard had a slight humming / vibration
too. Called up the sales guy and he reached my office and after driving
with me in the car, pretended he didn't hear any noise. I sometimes marvel
at the unique excuses / acting these guys go through. Any normal customer
and they would easily win but with Teambhp customers, they better be on
their toes I looked at him as if to say that i was looking through his
bluff and he said he could hear the vibrations. He took the car back to
the showroom, promised to wash it and came back in a few hours. The car
looked dirter than before. The reason - they washed it but didn't wipe it
as a result water stains all over. I looked at him and he tried one of his
instant ones again. "Sir dhool to lagta hai na". I asked him to shut up.
He had the cheek to ask me for his gift. I did ofcourse carry one for him
but didn't expect him to ask! He then pointed out a small screw and said
that i'd left it on the dashboard which is what caused the vibration. I
told him that since they fixed the numberplates, he should be asking this
to the guy who did it rather than act smart with me. He got the message.
Said goodbye and left.

In the meanwhile I had started querying on Teambhp with quite a few
responses. I also decided to write to Mr Shah since he heads the customer
service at Ford and he should know about my experience. Mr Shah
immediately replied and I guess someone at Ford also called up Bhavna Ford
for an explanation since the sales guy was back on phone telling me "sir
aapne yeh kya kiya. Director tension mein hai".

Now I realised that the USB accessory was not working and decided to go
back to the showroom. Waited there for the guy to sort it out. 10 minutes
became an hour and the sales guy had the cheek to show me his director's
cabin and ask me "sir miloge kya unse?" I replied that if his director
wanted to meet me, I was okay with it but hey! this guy made it sound as
if i should have been dying to meet his director. He then went in and came
out with the director who glanced at me and then kept walking on. I guess
the guy's ego didn't want him come up and shake my hand and say "hey mr
customer. thanks for choosing Bhavna ford. I understand you have some
minor problems but don't you worry, i will take care". Nah ! That;s just
not in their genes. Instead the sales guy walks upto me and says again
"sir aap miloge kya unse?". This guy obviously didn't realise who he was
dealing with. I stood up and told him loudly that when I had the
President of Ford look into my problems, i didnt care to meet his
director. I also told him that he could stop fiddling with the usb and
give me something else in return. I chose the door visor and it looked
really cool. The sales guy again had to consult the senior for this. i
would have again been happy had they said "hey keep the usb too. After
all, its our fault that you have to go through all this".

What I like:

Its been a week now that ive been driving around i just absolutely love
the car and the feel
ive adjusted to a nice seating position (im 6 feet 2 tall)
The music system sounds just too good
The bluetooth integration is good
The car just seems to fly even at 2rpm. I have been careful not to exceed 2rpm

What I dont like:

There's a creaking noise from the right rear side. I removed the parcel
tray to see if that was the culprit but the noise still persists.
The mild dashboard humm is back.
Still trying to find some support for my lower back (lumbar support). trying to use my son's little pillow for the time being.

Took it to Bhavna Ford again yesterday and was disappointed yet again to see the atttiude. The sales guy sent two workshop guys who sat with me and i made them listen to the noise. They confirmed there was a noise. Then the sales guy made the workshop manager sit in it and asked me to hop in but i refused. I asked him if he doubted what i was saying. No customer is crazy to keep visting the workshop repeatedly taking permission from the office for an imaginary problem.

Demanded that he drop me back to work in one of his cars. He did and in the evening called me to pick up the car. So i had to go back all the way on a friend's bike (pillion). Again no apology. No courtesy to mention that I, as a customer, had to keep getting hassled. Instead he says "kuch nahi tha sir...the rear noise was because of the number plate and we've attached two rubber beadings on it and tightened the dashboard. When asked why he didn't look at these things in the first place, he put it back to me saying "sir aap ghai kar rahe the thursday delivery ke liye".

That's it for now. Has completed 700 kms in a week (actually 600 since the odo was already at a 100 during delivery) and have filled in about 40 litres so far and the DTE is now at 18.

How trustworthy is the DTE? The sales guy informs that even after the DTE shows 0, the car will have 4 to 5 litres. Really?

Last edited by mobike008 : 29th January 2011 at 16:25. Reason: Only 2 smileys per post. Do read board rules before proceeding further. Thanks!
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Old 29th January 2011, 14:34   #12
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Default Re: My First New Car; My First Diesel; My Second Ford..

Quote:
And then after 5 minutes of driving, realised that i'd forgotten to check
the odo/tripmeter and realised to my shock that the trip meter showed 7400
!!
If he did reset the trip meter even then the odometer should be showing 7400kms.Isn't this a lot?How can they clock 7400 kms on a brand new car before delivering it unless they used it as a test drive car.
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Old 29th January 2011, 14:39   #13
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Default Re: My First New Car; My First Diesel; My Second Ford..

The odo showed 110 only and im satisfied that this was probably an error. I immediately wrote to ford and they confirmed it.

Last edited by vij4all : 29th January 2011 at 14:39. Reason: typo
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Old 29th January 2011, 14:44   #14
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Default Re: My First New Car; My First Diesel; My Second Ford..

Quote:
The odo showed 110 only and im satisfied that this was probably an error. I immediately wrote to ford and they confirmed it.
Then its all good ,And sorry i forgot to congratulate you for your new acquisition before.Some more pics please (interior/exterior),Any specific reason why you didn't go for the red dash(I find it a bit refreshing with everyone offering either black or beige)?

Last edited by trumpcard : 29th January 2011 at 14:46.
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Old 29th January 2011, 15:07   #15
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Default Re: My First New Car; My First Diesel; My Second Ford..

Just wanted to share this (Mods - hope its okay)


From: "Boneham, Michael
Date: 29 Jan 2011 14:23
Subject: Re: Proud to be a Ford customer
To: <vijay> "Shah, Ruchik

Vijay, firstly thanks for your very kind email! We try our best to support our valued customers, and I really appreciate your feedback!

Secondly I am so happy that you have elected to purchase a Titanium Figo! Thank you! I am sure there will be many happy days of motoring! Our job is to deliver great Value for Money , Again ,I sincerely appreciate your email, and your decision to purchase a Figo!

Best regards, Michael


From: Vijay Mohan Iyer
Sent: Saturday, January 29, 2011 03:42 AM
To: Boneham, Michael
Subject: Proud to be a Ford customer


Dear Mike,

Writing in to congratulate you and your team on winning so many awards for your wonderful product called Figo.

I have gone ahead and purchased a diesel titanium version too and got delivery last week (my second ford).

I had shortlisted a couple others too but the figo is sheer value for money and what made a huge difference is the respect and care for customers that you have demonstrated personally. I doubt many other CEOs would do that.

I'm very happy with the car and more than delighted with having interacted with someone like you and your team member, Mr Ruchik Shah. You guys make all the difference.

I have already gone around recommending Ford to everyone in my family and friends circle and i cite YOU as the primary reason.

With someone like you leading from the front, Ford India will soon be the top car company in India.

I hope me providing feedback on lackadisical dealer attitude will only help in improving services and not be seen as an ever whining customer :-).

Have a great weekend and thanks once again.

Vijay Iyer

Last edited by vij4all : 29th January 2011 at 15:11. Reason: typo
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