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View Poll Results: Are Service Centres fleecing, to make up for losses they incurred during this pandemic crisis?
Yes 151 77.44%
No 44 22.56%
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Old 15th October 2020, 17:38   #1
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Default Are Service Centres fleecing, to make up for losses incurred during the pandemic?

Are service centers starting to extort more money out of vehicles coming in for regular servicing to make up for the loses they incurred during the COVID-19 pandemic situation?

Few of the personal experiences-

Case 1: Manchester Honda, Coimbatore

My dad's 2009 Honda City was sent for general routine servicing. The previous service had been done in February, and only 300 km had been covered since - as confirmed by the service advisor while taking the car in for service. Brakes were a bit weak, so brake disc skimming was requested and also approved from our side.

We pay the bill of 6.5k, get our car back only to be greeted by an unusual noise from the front suspension. We immediately gave a call back and took it back to the service centre where they arrange for a road test and confirm that suspension struts are gone and needs to be replaced.

I was not convinced as we had a car that made absolutely no noise while being sent in for service, and suddenly the car making noises even on a completely flat road was not acceptable. But the service advisor kept saying car is 11 years old and covered 58,000 km. Yes, I do agree the age factor, but not this sudden single day deterioration - that too when it was at the service centre. And after much discussions we arrive at a conclusion - I will pay for the link rod replacement and labour and they will lubricate the struts and make the noise disappear. I paid an advance of 1000 rupees to also order the link rod from Honda (strange!) and 3 weeks and several follow-ups later, we got confirmation of parts being received. After spending 3 days at the facility, and paying up 3,300 rupees, we received the car back with the same old noise that was prior to this exercise.

Now, the service centre guys want us to change the struts and the steering rack to solve it with a quote of 25-30k, and this has really pissed us off. The car is back with us, along with some really bad taste on the whole service experience.

Case 2: Suryabala Ford, Coimbatore

My Fiesta went in for routine oil service, I kept getting calls for more and more replacements. Brake pads, yes the brakes felt weak so I asked them to change. Brake disc, could not be skimmed - as it was way past that point, I approved again. Coolant flush and change - I approved it again. The Accessory belt had to be changed as it had some cracks, after much hesitation, I gave a go ahead again.

By now he probably thinks I am and easy target to achieve his monthly goals for parts replacements! So ,he calls me up again with a new list - Water pump, Timing belt, Wipers - I lost my cool and asked them not to change anything else.

With all the approved repair work and parts replacement, the bill was a hefty 17,xxx, but at least the work was done to my satisfaction and no new noise from the car like with my dad's Honda City!

Case 3: Ambal Auto Suzuki Service, Coimbatore

Swift Diesel of my friend goes in for regular oil servicing, and with no complaints from his side. The was called by the service advisor for few parts changes now and then, and he too kept approving - just like I did.

Now comes the fun part - afternoon service advisor calls up telling the car is old and that the suspension feels hard and might lead to damages of other components and is suggested to get a complete suspension overhaul done for 60,000 !!

Luckily he bought some time, and gave me a call. I immediately sensed a pattern based on my personal experiences and also from the recent experiences of many of us on the forum and asked him to steer clear and save himself from these greedy folks!

I am posting few other examples of recent fleecing by garages and service centres, possibly to make up for the losses the had to incur during the lock-down enforced to curb the spread of COVID-19 pandemic -

Yet another Honda instance from the "Is it time to move on from brand Honda?" thread:

Originally Posted by littlebrother View Post
Most of the Service dealership is pushing to achieve their higher targets now a days I feel. I own 3 Honda's and as mentioned here, I too have noticed their inflated service quotes, however I insist on seeing the estimate before service begins and also recommends no value added services. Only what's mentioned on the service book, no wheel allignment and balancing as I prefer it from my truster tyre supplier. Despite all this my last three services at honda, the same service advisor who services all our cars says he will mail me the estimate and sir you can leave. He never did mail me the estimate and went on with the service. Some dense and hot words were served as feedback once the Honda India executive called me and the service advisor calls and apologises and acknowledges the same. But they still repeat it. I feel their targets are on the higher side now a days especially with Covid and job crisis hitting all industries.

With Honda's the service advisors try to push you change the parts which are known to generally fail in that particular model with age. As mentioned here, for a Honda City it's normally a steering rack and suspension. The shocks even though a single one or may be the pair is enough they insist on getting their entire suspension kit as a package. If your vehicle has crossed 4-5 years and 60000kms, it's like they see it as a good opportunity to bill you high.
It is also worth spending time on this thread - (Incentives that service advisors receive for upselling you unnecessary add-ons)

I strongly feel that several greedy A.S.S. are trying their luck to fleece us lot, and it is up to us to stay alert and shrug-off such brain-washing and marketing skill exhibitions by service advisors.
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Old 16th October 2020, 12:09   #2
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Default Re: Are Service Centres fleecing, to make up for losses incurred during the pandemic?

Thread moved from the Assembly Line to the Dealerships Section. Thanks for sharing!

Voted for No. Had 2 cars go in for servicing and it was all okay.

That said, because of the pandemic, there is an enormous waiting time for labour as well as parts. Good mechanics & spare parts are both in severe shortage.
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Old 16th October 2020, 12:19   #3
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Default Re: Are Service Centres fleecing, to make up for losses incurred during the pandemic?

Voted NO. I own a fiat and the local dealer is offering a package of Rs.5999/- includes all filters, oil, brake cleaning, car wash and consumable fluids top up for 15000 km service. This is atleast Rs.1000/- less than regular servicing. Also heard few Jeep / FCA dealers are providing 5% discount on parts and 10% discount on labour this festive season.
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Old 16th October 2020, 12:44   #4
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Default Re: Are Service Centres fleecing, to make up for losses incurred during the pandemic?

No personal experience yet. But voted yes based on the general impression that even in normal scenarios service centers will fleece customers pushing in things that is not required. With the Covid lockdowns and the pressure on revenue, I am pretty sure they would trying to do this more than ever.

Volkswagen has consistently been calling me to bring in car for service. They rarely used to proactively call earlier.
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Old 18th October 2020, 02:26   #5
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Default Re: Are Service Centres fleecing, to make up for losses incurred during the pandemic?

No. I went to a Hyundai service center to get my car's fog light replaced as the existing one went kaput. The service advisor intially quoted 750 rupees for the new bulb and then for some reason decided to help me out. He said that he has a spare fog lam bulb lying around and asked one of the mechanic to change it for me. Neither the service advisor or the mechanic refused to take the tip I offered
I don't think they would have helped me out if they had instructions to fleece customer.
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Old 23rd October 2020, 01:11   #6
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Default Re: Are Service Centres fleecing, to make up for losses incurred during the pandemic?

I voted for NO as i usually stay right next to the vehicle and get it serviced, or i will convey that i will personally need to inspect the part before replacement. dealers usually have the tendency to replace brake pads even with 50% life left out, however i use it till the actual service limit which is usually 2mm. The same with alignment and balancing. while handing over for service i upfront convey i dont want wheel balancing and wheel alignment, will only do tyre rotation (5 wheel for Thar and 4 wheel for Figo). I'll write it down on the Ro copy when they take my signature while receiving the vehicle. Same with my Honda Activa, for every service dealer will force me for clutch cleaning, i'll simply refuse and write it down on the repair order.
For the belt and pulleys, water pump etc., should ideally survive till the specified odo, except stone peck other mode of failure is a manufacturing issue.
Coolant flush: once i was told that my Figo needs coolant replacement as it could potentially kill water pump. i wrote to customer care and got to know that there's a service procedure released(FOC repair for less than 50K run vehicles) to replace coolant with higher concentration as it would minimize water pump noise in idle. Dealer tried to make make me pay for it during delivery, i showed the email communication i had with Ford and the service advisor silently removed the coolant and its labor cost removed from the bill.

Its a tendency of pretty much all the dealers to find every possibly way to make us spend. if we know our vehicle well, then we're safe.
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Old 23rd October 2020, 16:16   #7
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Default Re: Are Service Centres fleecing, to make up for losses incurred during the pandemic?

Voted YES!

Just when the lockdown started to easen up I took my Ciaz (diesel) for the regular maintenance at 40k KMS.

To my surprise, they told me the estimate would be around 9.5k. I was aware that I have never paid this much for regular 10k KMS maintenance. I started to ask the SA questions that how come this raise in service charges? He told me that charges for labour have gone up. In addition to this, they have changed the engine oil which costs significantly higher.

I showed him my past bills asked to reduce labor charges and also got my NEXA points redeemed. And still paid around 8k something.

So yeah, I believe service stations have started to wind up customers to compensate losses.
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Old 23rd October 2020, 16:46   #8
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Default Re: Are Service Centres fleecing, to make up for losses incurred during the pandemic?

Voted No.

I finished my 45K service for my Crysta and the service was done exactly as recommended. There was only a very gentle nudge (not a push mode)to me for the extra value add services , like the coating , the AC disinfectant etc.. which I politely declined. Did not experience anything out of the ordinary.
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Old 23rd October 2020, 16:57   #9
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Default Re: Are Service Centres fleecing, to make up for losses incurred during the pandemic?

Sent my 7 year old Innova for service and clutch issues to the Toyota service centre. Was sent a whopping quote of Rs.45,000/-. Was told since its 150,000 km service, lot of things like timing belt, air filters, brakes etc need to be replaced. The clutch itself is around 20k + gst. Finally told the SA to do only the essential stuff as I am going to sell the car in a few months. Quote was brought down to 35k and some items removed. Still its quite a hit for what is supposed to be an economical vehicle.
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Old 24th October 2020, 10:37   #10
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Default Re: Are Service Centres fleecing, to make up for losses incurred during the pandemic?

Just got my jazz diesel 90k service done and the service cost was less than 5k much less than what i thought it would be. The service guys did not ask me to get done anything more than the manual suggests.
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Old 24th October 2020, 10:43   #11
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Default Re: Are Service Centres fleecing, to make up for losses incurred during the pandemic?

Voted Yes! This is based on my own recent experience at RNS motors (Maruti) documented in the below thread. (Water gushing out from my car's exhaust pipe!)
In my case at least, there was a deliberate attempt to scare me into forking over big amounts (full dismantling of engine required before diagnosis was even possible etc).Once I stood my ground, there was a U turn, and miraculously the engine was now okay. They didn't give up trying even after that, suddenly they were 'proactively' fixing the driver side window, without checking/informing me.
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Old 24th October 2020, 10:52   #12
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Default Re: Are Service Centres fleecing, to make up for losses incurred during the pandemic?

Last week had my E-class serviced. The rat had bitten through some sensor wires and had to the replaced, to which the service center quoted an obscene 180k (including the 4th year service cost of around 100k). Told the service center to return the car without any service/repair, to which they countered to replace everything and do the service for 118k! If that is not fleecing, I don't know what is.
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Old 24th October 2020, 11:39   #13
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Default Re: Are Service Centres fleecing, to make up for losses incurred during the pandemic?

I won't post anything directly for any manufacturer, but will post some facts. Readers can conclude based on that:

1. All workshops have targets to achieve. They are classified under Labour targets, spares targets, VAS targets etc. Due to lockdown everything got affected. While some manufacturers gave some relaxation, others haven't. Also since they have an old benchmark, owners are trying to achieve it by end of the year. Who likes to see lesser earnings than previous year?

2. Salaries for staff and expenses continued during lockdown while income was zero. So they have to compensate in some way or the other.

3. Almost all workshops I see are now carrying stocks of batteries, tyres, alternators etc. These are the parts which got affected the most. And they are trying their best to sell them to you.

Bottom line is, there is nothing to panic. Just be alert and aware of your car's needs and refuse other things politely. These things also depend a lot on your rapport with your SA. Different people are treated in different manner.

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Old 24th October 2020, 11:39   #14
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Default Re: Are Service Centres fleecing, to make up for losses incurred during the pandemic?

I would vote YES!
Day before yesterday we took our XUV500 2013 W8 for 50k servicing at Koncept Automobiles, Mathura Road. Before starting the service itself the SA tried to include interior sanitisation of charge 1k as compulsory. Upon enquiring with Mahindra Helpline, was informed that sanitisation of charge 300 is only compulsory. With this attempt of duping us, we didn't have any trust in him. Other than 50k servicing works we had specified the following works:
1. Rough sound at idle from accessory drive belt
2. Brakes squeaking at light press of brake pedal
3. Decrease in AC cooling

In the evening he called us with following quotes:
1. Accessory drive belt replacement - 10k
2. Front disc rotor and brake pad change - 10k
3. Coolant system leak - 8k
4. Front suspension bushing replacement - 8k
We had gotten the bushing and brake pad replaced at 40k mark. We were really surprised with the cost of suspension bushing replacement and decided to get a second look at the issues from a FNG.
After sales service require trust building and such experiences just drive a customer away.

PS: Mods, I am not able to vote on several polls. Kindly let me participate as well.
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Old 24th October 2020, 11:55   #15
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Default Re: Are Service Centres fleecing, to make up for losses incurred during the pandemic?

Originally Posted by aravind.anand View Post
Case 1: Manchester Honda, Coimbatore

My dad's 2009 Honda City was sent for general routine servicing.
My friend recently(Oct'20) did 1lakh Km service for his 2013 Honda City at Sundaram Honda, Coimbatore. His service experience at Sundaram was good and nothing extra items were added.

For my 2010 Honda City, I am planning to get 120k service done from Pitstop at home. Their quotes seem reasonable and I can see the car while they service.
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