Team-BHP > Team-BHP Reviews > Indian Car Dealerships


Reply
  Search this Thread
81,392 views
Old 11th July 2020, 17:23   #1
BHPian
 
GranvilleDsouza's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2016
Location: Mumbai
Posts: 138
Thanked: 312 Times
The new normal, or the old usual - Service nightmare with Autobahn Skoda, Mumbai

Posting on behalf of a friend who is not a part of this forum, however, would like to hear from the people on this forum, and Skoda owners on typical ownership issues/incidents if similar has been faced.

While it’s a universal truth so to say, that Skoda Service is nothing to write home about, or not even acceptable, if we may say, here’s a series of incidents of ‘Dear Diary’ we would put forth.

If anyone has prior ownership experience or knowledge with regards to this technical issue bring faced, please do share. Would help in the entirety of it, of knowing what is it, the would have to be done as the next steps, and moving forward.

In the words of the concerned friend.

I purchased my car (Skoda Rapid ATM) in October 2015. Evidently, my car is not as old as the greed so very blatantly inculcated and displayed at Skoda. Now, since my car is out of warranty/guarantee (whatever Skoda calls it - does not matter since we all know what the ultimate Skoda game plan is) due to efflux of time, it is obviously the ripe moment for the Skoda team to call out some issues that my car never faced (and I did not face the last time I drove my car).

Towards the end of March 2020 (to be specific 24 March 2020), I parked my car at my parking lot before the nationwide lockdown was imposed (emphasis on "I parked my car"). Thereafter, as someone who loves his car, I tried to start my car after a week to keep the battery alive. Sadly, my car did not respond. After that, began my lengthy rendezvous with Skoda to follow up for repairing my car. Understandably, Skoda could not help me during the lockdown. However, after innumerable calls (more requests from my side), Skoda picked up my car on 29 June 2020 - much much after the lockdown was lifted.

Now, a timeline for properly demonstrating my unforgettable experience with Skoda / history sheeters (masquerading as Skoda representatives), in particular, a star named Ajay:

29 June - 1 July 2020:
Radio silence from Ajay. Apparently, Ajay was busy servicing (read fleecing) other customers.

2 July 2020:
Ajay updates me that a complete check-up of my car is complete - Ajay reported that there is no mechanical/electrical/wiring issue in my car. However, the battery needs to be changed (tell me something I don't know - maybe I should change my profession from being a lawyer to a Skoda representative - assured of making more money). Anyway, I approve of the battery change along with the regular annual service of my car. I assumed my car would be back over the weekend (as the hardworking folks at Skoda were working round the clock to meet customer expectations). Based on my discussions with Ajay, the estimate of expenses on 2 July 2020 was:

Service - ~INR 18,000
Battery Replacement - ~INR 7,800
TOTAL - ~INR 25,800

3 July 2020:
Radio silence from Ajay.

4 July 2020:
Radio silence from Ajay. Justifiably, I was annoyed with how things were being handled. I reached out to one of the Skoda CRMs (Shraddha). Shraddha assured me that Ajay will get in touch with me on the same day. Finally, Ajay calls with an update that the brake pads have worn out and the car AC is not cooling. Noteworthy, this is after he confirmed on 2 July 2020 that a complete check-up of my car was completed and that there was no fault other than a dead battery. Also, since I drove my car on 24 March 2020, I know that my AC was working just fine (unless Skoda expects the cabin of a car to feel like Antarctica). Be that as it may, I approved that the brake pads may be replaced (on this please also read what happened on 10 July 2020 - below) and the AC gas may be topped up. On this day, I (not very gladly but under duress) agreed to the following estimate of expenses:

Service - ~INR 18,000
Battery Replacement - ~INR 7,800
AC Gas Top Up - ~INR 2,000
Replacement of Brake Pads - ~INR 7,000
TOTAL - ~INR 34,800 (up by INR 9,000 / 35% from 2 July 2020)

(Well done Ajay, in meeting the post lockdown targets! But, still waiting for the kicker - see 8/9/10 July 2020 below)

For some unknown reason, even though my car had been diagnosed twice already, I was told that the car would be delivered on 7/8 July 2020, to which I agreed.

7 July 2020:
Radio silence (despite follow-ups). Finally, Ajay calls and mentions that my car would be delivered on 8 July 2020.

8 July 2020:
Radio silence during the first half. Out of sorts, I called Shraddha again to express my disappointment with how things had panned out. Eventually, Ajay calls me with an update that my car is starting but not moving. First, I had laughed and then asked him if, after 3 check-ups, he could confirm if the car had an engine (obviously, petty thieves do not understand sarcasm, so he confirmed that when my car was received, the engine was in place - Phew!!). Moving on from entertainment, I was told that the multi-clutch of my car was malfunctioning - if you are keeping track, this is the 3rd diagnosis in 2 weeks (of problems that did not exist when I handed over my car to Skoda). Disgusted, I followed this up with a call to Shraddha and categorically stated that Ajay/Skoda (not sure now which one) is trying to blatantly fleece me. She said should we get back to me, and she did with another (not very helpful) update that Ajay would call and suggest the best forward. Ajay called and as expected repeated his jaded narrative but a new estimate of expenses:

Service - ~INR 18,000
Battery Replacement - ~INR 7,800
AC Gas Top Up - ~INR 2,000
Replacement of Brake Pads - ~INR 7,000
Replacement of of Multi-clutch - ~INR 60,000
TOTAL - ~INR 94,800 (up by INR 60,000 / 172% from 4 July 2020)

9 July 2020:
Based on my discussions with Shraddha, Ajay was taken off my file as I very categorically expressed that he is dishonest and I do not trust him. I was assured that someone more responsible/senior would be assigned to my file (enter Nishant - assistant service manager at the Jogeshwari service center). Nishant called me and assured me that he was handling my file very sensitively and responsibly. Funnily, when I asked him if he was aware of the car history (since my car was always serviced at Jogeshwari) and communications made to/with Ajay (from 2 July onwards), he was clueless - not one bit surprising. Trying very hard not to lose my cool, I requested Nishant to call me back on the next day (i.e. 10 July 2020) after he had acquainted himself with my car's history.

10 July 2020:
Nishant called me on 10 July 2020 around noon. The first question I asked him was what work was done on my car during the 2 weeks my car was at the Jogeshwari service center, and instantly he fumbled (surprise! surprise!). Nishant was not aware of the AC gas top up or the brake pads being worn out (even though I was being quoted ~INR 9,800 for that work already - if I had called my car back on 10 July 2020, I am reasonably certain I would have been charged for the AC gas top up and replacement of the brake pads without the job actually being done). Since I had gotten familiar with the Skoda way of doing things, I specifically told him to not touch the brake pads. We then moved on to the (alleged) bigger problem in my car - the multi-clutch. Nishant confirmed that the multi-clutch was malfunctioning, but it didn't end there. He also mentioned that he could not be sure if the mechatronic was functioning properly and said that if after the multi-clutch is replaced (costing me ~INR 60,000), the mechatronic is found to be faulty, the mechatronic would also need replacement. This new adventure would cost me a very small amount of INR 2,00,000 - could not even laugh at this one because by this time I was certain that Skoda is out to charge me an amount which is equal to nearly the depreciated value of my car. Nishant, being more senior/responsible, obviously bettered his colleague Ajay and gave me the following estimate on call:

Service - ~INR 18,000
Battery Replacement - ~INR 7,800
AC Gas Top Up - ~INR 2,000
Replacement of Brake Pads - ~INR 7,000
Replacement of Multi-clutch - ~INR 60,000
Mechatronic (if faulty) - ~INR 2,00,000
TOTAL - ~INR 2,94,800 (up by INR 2,00,000 / 210% from 8 July 2020)

Feeling sorry for me (yes, you can laugh), Nishant assured me that he was trying to fight my case with Skoda to ensure that costs for me are reduced (laugh just once more) and committed to updating me on 13 July 2020 on the way forward. Given the obvious lack of trust with the Skoda ecosystem, I requested Nishant to send me an email on our conversation. Being a very honest man, Nishant did that and very conveniently mentioned in an email that my car was dropped off at the Jogeshwari service center on 6 July 2020 and that the mechatronic may also be faulty. Fuming, I had to reply and correct him on the following counts:
  1. My car was dropped off at the Jogeshwari service center on 29 June 2020, and
  2. Skoda had not confirmed anything on the mechatronic (it was just doubt created to fleece me a bit more). I also reiterated the 2 weeks and 3 diagnosis stories on email (something you have read above). If you think that Nishant's suggestion of 6 July 2020 was a slip or mistake in typing his email, I can assure you that this another dirty trick the Skoda team is trying to play. If you have any doubts, I can reproduce
  • The receipt I got from the towing team,
  • My conversations with Shraddha prior to 6 July 2020 (evidence that my car was at the service center before 6 July 2020), and
  • My email exchange with Nishant.
A few points to note:
  1. As mentioned above, I drove my car and parked it at my parking lot on 24 March 2020. None of the issues being flagged by the Skoda team from 4 July onwards were faced by me. In fact, even the Skoda team did not flag these issues from 29 June - 4 July 2020. I am certain that I am being fleeced by Skoda to make good the loss of revenue faced by the Jogeshwari service center during the nationwide lockdown - the multiple varying reports received from Ajay/Nishant are very evident of this fact. To my mind, this is a no-brainer and I am very disappointed/infuriated with Skoda.
  2. I have never heard/seen any car being kept at a service center for 2 weeks. More so, I have never heard/seen 3 staggered and inconsistent diagnoses of varying nature and still the technical team being uncertain. In 2 weeks, I suspect that Skoda has either damaged my car or has deliberately given me staggered/varying reports to pinch as much as the money they can. From 2 July 2020 to 10 July 2020, the indicative expenses have gone from ~INR 25,800 to ~INR 2,94,800 (that is an increase of INR 2,69,000 / 1142% over a period of 8 days). I am shocked at the dishonesty/unprofessionalism displayed by Skoda. I am certain Skoda's revenue from after-sales service is much higher than the revenue from car sales.
  3. I truly believe that my car was in good condition and all of the issues being flagged by the Skoda team from 4 July onwards are incorrect, dishonest, and fabricated with the sole intent of fleecing me. What I do not know for sure at this point though is whether Skoda has also damaged my car in the 2 weeks it has had possession of my car. As mentioned above, since my car is out of warranty/guarantee due to the efflux of time, it is obviously the ripe moment for the Skoda team to call out some issues that my car never faced (and I did not face the last time I drove my car).

Last edited by GranvilleDsouza : 11th July 2020 at 17:29.
GranvilleDsouza is offline   (104) Thanks
Old 11th July 2020, 17:42   #2
BHPian
 
Join Date: May 2014
Location: Pune
Posts: 141
Thanked: 364 Times
re: The new normal, or the old usual - Service nightmare with Autobahn Skoda, Mumbai

Typical Skoda , huh.
This could be another Skoda horror stories.

I have a question though, did your friend go to Skoda showroom to verify when they mentioned that car is not moving. Or even before that, when they said brake pads needs to be replaced, your friend will know the condition of brake pads ( well, an educated guess can be made based on KMs driven and driving conditions).

One visit would have alarmed them that the person is going to make an effort to verify whatever is being told, so they would be careful and would not try to rip off your friend.

Last edited by moralfibre : 13th July 2020 at 16:35. Reason: break = brake. Typo.
INJAXN is offline   (8) Thanks
Old 11th July 2020, 18:15   #3
Senior - BHPian
 
IshaanIan's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2012
Location: Hyd
Posts: 3,565
Thanked: 7,122 Times
re: The new normal, or the old usual - Service nightmare with Autobahn Skoda, Mumbai

Moral of the story: If you want a VAG car, no problem, just be sure to hand it over to a trusted independent garage once your warranty expires. Parts are easy and not as expensive to source independently and issues are much better resolved by a specialist rather than a company operating in a country where consumer protection is a joke.
IshaanIan is offline   (34) Thanks
Old 11th July 2020, 19:09   #4
Senior - BHPian
 
Join Date: Jan 2012
Location: Bangalore,Coorg
Posts: 1,088
Thanked: 766 Times
re: The new normal, or the old usual - Service nightmare with Autobahn Skoda, Mumbai

Might I suggest you try and get the car out of Skoda with the minimum work done (battery probably) and get it to another Skoda dealer or an FNG.

These guys are out to fleece you, which is obvious by the way they keep finding new issues.
pganapathy is offline   (6) Thanks
Old 11th July 2020, 19:59   #5
BHPian
 
Join Date: Jun 2020
Location: Bangalore
Posts: 205
Thanked: 299 Times
re: The new normal, or the old usual - Service nightmare with Autobahn Skoda, Mumbai

Have had a similar encounter with “apple auto” in Bangalore, when my Polo 1.2 MPI was stuck in their bodyshop for about 2 months. Guess the no of instances have reduced but the odd one does pop even these days looks likes across VAG associated dealerships. Perhaps, a good idea to stay away from Skoda/VW cars if peace of mind is needed even post the warranty period/esp. if someone wants to keep their cars for longer than 5-6 years.
TokyoDrifter is online now   (4) Thanks
Old 11th July 2020, 20:33   #6
Senior - BHPian
 
coolboy007's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2009
Location: New Delhi
Posts: 1,852
Thanked: 2,138 Times
re: The new normal, or the old usual - Service nightmare with Autobahn Skoda, Mumbai

Old habits never change and despite trying their best, i think Skoda also would never be able to eliminate such cheats from their dealer networks. The other issue with Skoda/VW is that there is no escalation matrix, whatever mails you send to the company get rerouted to the dealer and you are at his mercy for every thing. The parent company cheated the world with the diesel gate scandal so it is no surprise that some of the dealers might get hints from there.

Please raise this issue with Skoda or Zac as he is pretty active on online platforms. Get your car out from there and find a good independent fng to work on her, the kind of replies you are getting from your workshop, they might even start swapping parts etc to inflate your bills and meet their targets.

Last edited by coolboy007 : 11th July 2020 at 20:34.
coolboy007 is offline   (9) Thanks
Old 11th July 2020, 21:30   #7
OSH
BHPian
 
OSH's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2016
Location: Pune
Posts: 454
Thanked: 1,556 Times
re: The new normal, or the old usual - Service nightmare with Autobahn Skoda, Mumbai

This thread has come out at the perfect time to hurt Skoda.

Everyone was going gaga over the Rapid's rider variant and this thread will open their eyes to what's in store for them during their ownership.

On one hand they launch really VFM variants so that more people buy their cars and on the other hand they just refuse to improve their service standards. Its like saying, "you save a few lakhs during purchase, we'll recover that from you in aftersales anyway."

Last edited by OSH : 11th July 2020 at 21:32.
OSH is offline   (37) Thanks
Old 11th July 2020, 22:52   #8
BANNED
 
Join Date: Aug 2013
Location: Pune
Posts: 1,008
Thanked: 2,952 Times
Infractions: 0/1 (7)
re: The new normal, or the old usual - Service nightmare with Autobahn Skoda, Mumbai

Just another Škoda service center story. Ask your friend to just find a competent FNG for VAGs at his place(he can check the Team-BHP directory). There is no point in dealing with the service centre. He shouldn’t be surprised if in another 3 days they ask him to do an engine overhaul. :P
asit.kulkarni93 is offline   (4) Thanks
Old 11th July 2020, 23:04   #9
BHPian
 
Join Date: Jul 2017
Location: Bangalore
Posts: 95
Thanked: 173 Times
re: The new normal, or the old usual - Service nightmare with Autobahn Skoda, Mumbai

I suggest you ask your friend to just get the battery replaced and take the car back. Probably they haven't done anything, taking advantage of the Covid situation since most of us would be wary of going to the service center and are just billing for whatever they fancy. If the gearbox/clutch didn't have issues earlier, unless they have replaced with defective parts unlikely to have any issues. If possible, ask him to go to the service center and ask them to show what was replaced, and if the clutch / transmission is not opened take the car back.
I would never go back to this dealer again.
Once the warranty expires, I never get the battery replaced from the dealer since not only is it marked up, they would also charge insane amount of labour/ towing charges / whatnot. Get a local battery wala who has the Amaron/Exide battery model (via phone / internet - lot of apps for this now) and ask him to replace it at your doorstep. Also, keep multimeter handy at home and jumper cables in the car to avoid getting stranded since batteries have a tendency to give away suddenly and you can't really push start an automatic.
Grease_Monkey is offline   (5) Thanks
Old 11th July 2020, 23:43   #10
BHPian
 
Join Date: Jun 2019
Location: Bengaluru
Posts: 615
Thanked: 1,689 Times
re: The new normal, or the old usual - Service nightmare with Autobahn Skoda, Mumbai

/Rant
I don’t understand why these(I am including Nissan also here) numbnuts dont get it that it is not enough to make good vehicles, but to get repeat customers it is the after sales and servicing that matters. Fleecing customers is going to not do you any help.

I dont know how Skoda is surviving even with such attitude.

One doesn’t need to be IIM MBA to understand this without word of mouth you are going to be in trouble.

/Rant over
SideView is offline   (11) Thanks
Old 12th July 2020, 10:35   #11
Senior - BHPian
 
samaspire's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2015
Location: Manipal / Udupi
Posts: 1,630
Thanked: 4,860 Times
re: The new normal, or the old usual - Service nightmare with Autobahn Skoda, Mumbai

Quote:
Originally Posted by GranvilleDsouza View Post
Posting on behalf of a friend who is not a part of this forum, however, would like to hear from the people on this forum, and Skoda owners on typical ownership issues/incidents if similar has been faced.
Now that you have posted it here, I'm sure someone from Skoda has taken notice and the customer will be contacted soon. Zac Hollis is building up the brand and I don't think he will take kindly to dealers misbehaving like this.
samaspire is offline   (3) Thanks
Old 12th July 2020, 14:18   #12
GTO
Team-BHP Support
 
GTO's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2004
Location: Bombay
Posts: 70,772
Thanked: 303,077 Times
re: The new normal, or the old usual - Service nightmare with Autobahn Skoda, Mumbai

Thanks for sharing, GranvilleDsouza! Reading through, I didn't know whether to or . Skoda can try "revamping" their after-sales experience all they want, but frankly, unless they change every single dealership (which won't be possible for them), these kind of experiences will keep coming up. Worse still, for every such experience that we read up on Team-BHP or social media, there would be a hundred unreported ones.

There has always been talk of how Skoda dealers cannot fulfil their financial ambitions with the small number of monthly car sales, hence resorting to looting at the service centers. You'll see this with many low volume brands, including Nissan. Autobahn has long had a shady reputation; am disappointed that Skoda continues with such dealerships.

Please ask your friend to remove his car from that wretched workshop and take it to a good independent garage. As I'd told you earlier, I strongly recommend Sunil Shanbagh @ Select Auto. There are many other good, honest shops in The Team-BHP Directory.
GTO is offline   (22) Thanks
Old 13th July 2020, 10:02   #13
BHPian
 
Sk8r's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2019
Location: Chennai
Posts: 470
Thanked: 2,222 Times
Re: The new normal, or the old usual - Service nightmare with Autobahn Skoda, Mumbai

Now I am doubting my ability to empathize. Simply because this wasn't surprising but rather a typical Skoda A.S.S horror story

Just yesterday I was drooling over a full page ad of the Rapid TSi in The Hindu and was going " Some day..... " in my mind

I am not exaggerating - Even if someone sells the Rapid TSi for the price of S-presso, I will be scared to even think about it

Thank you Skoda, only you can pull off something like this - Simply Clever !
Sk8r is offline   (8) Thanks
Old 13th July 2020, 10:16   #14
Distinguished - BHPian
 
ninjatalli's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2011
Location: Bangalore
Posts: 3,827
Thanked: 15,862 Times
Re: The new normal, or the old usual - Service nightmare with Autobahn Skoda, Mumbai

I find the primary fault (shared) with the OP's friend - why didn't he just head over to the workshop once the servicing was done (irrespective of Ajay's lack of a proper response)? A mask and maintaining social distancing norms for a short duration will be sufficient to handle the current situation risks. (Trust me, I did that for my annual service affair ~3 weeks back).

It's still not late - assuming the car hasn't been fiddled with during the additional days spent there. Enough of this armchair based conversations and emails. Especially with Skoda who's known to be doing this over and over again.

Last edited by ninjatalli : 13th July 2020 at 10:36.
ninjatalli is offline   (6) Thanks
Old 13th July 2020, 10:38   #15
BHPian
 
ashishy's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2009
Location: MH01
Posts: 227
Thanked: 134 Times
Re: The new normal, or the old usual - Service nightmare with Autobahn Skoda, Mumbai

Quote:
Originally Posted by INJAXN View Post

I have a question though, did your friend go to Skoda showroom to verify when they mentioned that car is not moving. Or even before that, when they said brake pads needs to be replaced, your friend will know the condition of brake pads ( well, an educated guess can be made based on KMs driven and driving conditions).

One visit would have alarmed them that the person is going to make an effort to verify whatever is being told, so they would be careful and would not try to rip off your friend.
I am wondering the same thing. Did the owner physically verify any of these claims? How was the service advisor confident of getting away with these claims without physical inspection from customer?

Last edited by moralfibre : 13th July 2020 at 16:35. Reason: Typo in quoted post.
ashishy is offline   (2) Thanks
Reply

Most Viewed
Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search

Copyright 2000 - 2024, Team-BHP.com
Proudly powered by E2E Networks