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Old 12th March 2009, 20:29   #46
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Originally Posted by Ravveendrra View Post
I have appeared both for complainants and respondents in consumer litigation and I find the system satisfactory. My observation over the years is that a lot of the consumer litigation is totally avoidable. A lot of it is frivolous and misguided, some of it is due to communication gaps and minor mis-understandings between the consumer and the seller.

Tort litigation, especially as practiced in the USA comes with its own set of problems. In any case, some of the sting has been taken out of class action suits by reforms in the tort laws there. One of the fall outs of class action tort practice in the USA is higher insurance premia leading to the higher prices for services and products as the vendors pass on the insurance costs to us - the consumers.

One of the factors that MNCs look at when they start business operations in a new jurisdiction is the 'product liabilty' and the costs of the same. I am sure that they factor in the costs of product liability & consumer claims when they fix the prices of their products. Some of my clients were pleasantly surprised to learn that the product liability laws in India (Consumer Protection Act etc.) were strong. Yes, MNCs are happy to learn that India has a strong legal & judicial system, even if it means that they might be at the receiving end sometimes.

One area of practice that is becoming important is the law of defamation, this has several facets particularly in its application to electronic media.

Sir, although I agree over the PIL part but I strongly disagree over the satisfaction over the consumer courts and absence of Tort action. The fact that we havenít been able to fix tortuous liability has weakened system of justice in regard to such instances and fact that the damages paid off by the company is so meagre that it fails the whole purpose of dragging the party to the court. Paying off 1k or 5k as fine after fighting for one year is just like giving change to the complainant party.

I know its difficult now to develop the law of tort as it is in other countries but at least some improvement should be made in awarding damages in consumer cases (say 50k minimum), this make sure that companies like skoda and others make sure that no such things happen.

This is the reason why we still read/hear horror stories of TD cars sold off as new, person TDing the car being beaten up by dealers. Fine these people so hard that they donít even think of doing any such act. Nothing replaces fear, whether it is of monetary damage or negative media publicity.

Law of defamation, if they decide to sue media for defaming them, they donít stand any chance, media people can always plead the respective defences.

Pardon me if I am wrong, I am studying law and am not that experienced, just wrote what I felt is right.


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Old 12th March 2009, 21:55   #47
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Lots of companies are taken to court every year for dodgy activities and are mostly settled quietly in some hotel with a lump of cash. ALL companies are scared of this, no matter which industry they are in, but it seems Skoda doesn't care..

What you need to do is stop talking to the higher management in the company, go about searching for the high profile lawyers and law firms that specialize in this as mentioned by arindambasu13.
You have the information, you have the pictures, you just need a kickass lawyer to seal the deal, by being strict and not taking any bs from the company.

Use your media contacts,
-get in touch with the campaign from Times of India, Lead India
-get in touch with the jaago grhaak jaago campaign, they might not help you win the case but can surely give you contacts of the important people
-and lastly, don't lose your temper in any way, let the lawyers do the talking, you just sit back and play it cool, try to think about the big lump of cash compensation

You have surely gained respect from me for fighting this, most people wouldn't bother fighting this, it's amazing you have lived without the car for over a year, but in a way that helps your case as it is another "damage" that adds to the lump of money...

Can you give an update as to what kind of legal action you have taken uptil now, or are you still talking to company officials? :s
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Old 13th March 2009, 00:05   #48
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navin, blase', danc, diffsoft, harry10, kapiljolly, happywheels, aaggoswami, Ricky63, ss-traveller, Ramsagar, Flyingspur, monty9991, kailashnj, vinaydas, ariendj, rippergeo, manish7, sandeep108, skywalker, blacmagic, speeding@160mph, sidindica, benbsb'29, rubin2006, f450 ---

thank you very much. all of you.

sam003, gemithomas ---

i knew a guy who was working for nummer eins and had already quit. when he heard about my accident and my sending the car to nummer eins he sounded me off. also someone already working in nummer eins blew the whistle.
rest was dug out by ramkrishna surabhi, skoda engineer, at jmd auto.

sids911 ---

if you read the vehicle inspection report carefully the spurious brake discs and pads were placed in my car on an earlier occassion by nummer eins. these spurious brake parts were already existing in my car during my accident and i definitely assume was the cause of the accident.

Dose ---

how true. i have read about the volkswagen scandals. nothing is beyond imagination.

rutvij ---

how true. incidentally skoda has said in their written say in court that they are not responsible for the action of their dealer. interesting isn't it. will post a scanned copy on this thread soon. should highlight this much more than anything else.

arindambasu13, setu niket ---

thanks for all the legal advice. i hope i can take the liberty of consulting you on team bhp for any help.

ravveendrra ---

good for u that u do not have a problem with your skoda.

i have all the entry and exit records of my car from skoda dealerships. i have all the records of my various correspondence with skoda and their dealers. i have copies of internal correspondence between skoda and their dealers. i have ip addresses of origins of all their mails. i have a very informative 1 hr 20 min recording of the metting held at jw marriott between skoda gm ashutosh dixit, jmd owner gulubhai menda and myself along with its transcripts. besides many other proofs.

thanx for your suggestions. it was very informative.

gagan.js --

i am not speaking to any company officials. as you must be aware crooks are very happy once someone goes to court, cause then they have a very convenient answer to the whole thing - 'matter is sub-judice'.

my advocate is anand patwardhan. the honourable district court in its interim order ruled - skoda to bear the cost of rectification and to hand over the car to me at its international standards.

skoda went in to appeal in the honourable state forum which granted a stay in the matter. since there is a huge backlog of cases dates are being given at a 2 month frequency. the process is moving slowlly but i have faith in our judiciary. hope truth prevails.

good night.
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Old 13th March 2009, 08:19   #49
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I am not a law student and dont know about the sections, etc. But at this point of time, I would like to add that going to court = spending our very own time and resources. The outcome, even though in favour of customer, will be rendered meaning less. This is why I appreciate the efforts put up by thread starter.

The primary reasons for not going to court are :
1) Very cumbersome paperwork + insufficient details on the required proof on paper ( like bills, etc. ).

2) It takes a lot of time, one thing the common man in India is generally short of. Around an year is nothing but Justice denied indirectly.

3) No concrete decision. What replacement of faulty parts after 1 year of fighting ? A brand new car as replacement and some other incentive to pay off for the mental torture to customer. We have thread " Protest against Tata motors ". This thread is sufficient to give outline of how things generally end up.

Owning a car in India is an achievement in itself thanks to high costs. This is not US that one can get even a second hand car for $3-4K. And when the Indian customer pays so much, he ends up getting poor treatment from dealer and manufacturer.

The only way to deal with these companies is to get support from Media. They can easily handle courts and all the matters, but not the media. This is the only hope. And even if a win is secured in courts, the compensation, in any form, will be not satisfactory to justify lot of fighting.

There might be arguments about the things being correct as far as judicial system goes for cunsumer courts, but I feel nothing is positive for customer. There are many cases filed but only a handful get justice.

The thread starter is correct in approaching the media.
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Old 13th March 2009, 09:22   #50
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Originally Posted by harishv View Post

skoda went in to appeal in the honourable state forum which granted a stay in the matter. since there is a huge backlog of cases dates are being given at a 2 month frequency. the process is moving slowlly but i have faith in our judiciary. hope truth prevails.

good night.
A little money in the hands of a court clerk can go a long way...unfortunately.
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Old 13th March 2009, 15:52   #51
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@Harishv- Lots of proofs you got there. I do feel with all this you will get justice - sooner or later and i hope to see you smiling after this trauma ends
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Old 17th March 2009, 10:19   #52
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Dear fellow TBHPian Harish-ji,

Just happened across your Skoda woes and here is to offer you complete support. I was just about to buy a Fabia, after a lot of discontent, and similar problems with Excel motors, the *** for the Lancer I have owned for six years. After your experience I will surely not touch Skoda even with a long bargepole.

I think the best way I can help is to personally write to everyone I can find to put pressure on Skoda. I already have the following email addresses from your posts. (Customer Care/After Sales) ( Business Development) (?)

I would also like to write to the following mentioned by you

andreas Prinz, MD, Volkswagen India
Jorg Mueller, President, Volkswagen India
Eva Dradkova, Consul General, Czech Republic, Mumbai
Reinhard Jung, Chairman, Skoda Auto, Czech Republic
Karsten Bugon, MD, Skoda Auto India
Adam Pavel, Customer Care, Skoda Czech Republic
Walter Stechel, Consul General, German Consulate, Mumbai
Bernhard Steinrucke, Director General, Indo German Chamber of Commerce

Would be glad if you can post the email addresses here, or I will search them out.

I am also going to ask all my friends interested in automobiles and basic decency in life to join our email campaign to let Skoda know that they may feel they have brow-beaten one Harish Kanchan but the battle is still on, and ultimately they have lost much, much more than they have gained.

Since you are the affected party here, I will begin mailing only after I hear from you and other fellow BHPians if there is anything wrong with my proposed course of action.

I believe if enough number of us join issue with Skoda, we will win !

All the very best in your struggle, which is also our struggle now.
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Old 17th March 2009, 14:23   #53
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Harish, adore your nerve mate. . Your deeds will help improve situation for a lot of us. Good Luck.
OT, Jmathew's civic issue with peninsular looks quite decent compared to this. What happened to that anyway?
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Old 17th March 2009, 15:14   #54
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I decide i would never buy a Skoda brand in my life. They are such a cheaters, i hope whoever reads this post would definitly support in this. The attitude of skoda dealers in the whole India is like this. This brand has to go out of india.
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Old 17th March 2009, 15:27   #55
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skoda is very famous for extremely high cost of spares and all people i know have always told me never touch skoda from 10 ft. its cost of running is ten times higher then honda's. No wonder, we don't see lots of skodas on road. I don't see any skoda's outside south bombay.

Part replacement by dealers and garages is quit common practice here in India. That is why I never sent my car to any honda dealer after free service. All of our family cars are serviced and maintained by local big garage since last 10 years because we trust them. I don't mind paying 10-20% more to them because they are trust able people.

I would have never bought skoda anyway but i will make sure to forward this thread to anyone considering buying skoda.

Last edited by Max : 17th March 2009 at 15:28.
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Old 17th March 2009, 16:47   #56
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Originally Posted by Gear-ge View Post
Dear fellow TBHPian Harish-ji,

I am also going to ask all my friends interested in automobiles and basic decency in life to join our email campaign to let Skoda know that they may feel they have brow-beaten one Harish Kanchan but the battle is still on, and ultimately they have lost much, much more than they have gained.

Since you are the affected party here, I will begin mailing only after I hear from you and other fellow BHPians if there is anything wrong with my proposed course of action.

I believe if enough number of us join issue with Skoda, we will win !

All the very best in your struggle, which is also our struggle now.
A great sugestion, maybe someone from the forum can volunteer to draft the email and a few hundred or thousand emails in Skoda honchos mailboxes will force them to set their customer care strategy right.
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Old 17th March 2009, 20:16   #57
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Hats off to you Harish,

My 2 cents : DON"T GIVE UP , you are already an inspiration to a lot of us!!
This has already been a long fought battle but I personally feel it's going to take a bit more time. The point is to stay put and make sure SKODA bleeds, this not a joke I mean C'mon we all know abot Skoda's A** but this is cheting/stealing/robbing your own customer who in faith spent more than a million rupees on your product.

As far as SKODA is concerned , this should be a good eye opener for them, the amount of money they will be paying in thend will be peanuts, the point is what do they learn from this. The most important thing is that they don't have any control on their own delaers: no vigilance, no quality control , no audits or even if there are they are completely forged or of no imoprtance for SKODA. Ultimately it's making a huge dent to their reputation and would carry on to the same to AUDI and VW cars as well. C'mon SKODA "SHAPE IN OR SHIP OUT".
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Old 19th March 2009, 23:22   #58
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Default thanks folks

sorry was traveling for a few days guys.

thanks once again to everyone at team-bhp. i am getting repetitive but i have to say it again - 'wish i was here earlier'. but like they say better late than never.

will give all contact details in my next post gear-ge. thanks for the offer.

folks we need somebody from the media amongst us team-bhpians. will make a big diff.
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Old 19th March 2009, 23:45   #59
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Default list of contacts

Ravi Rao, Times of India -
Hafeez Mateen, Times of India -
Soumitra Pote, Maharashtra Times -
Durgesh Singh, Navbharat Times -
Danish Khan, Mumbai Mirror -
Hemal Asher, Mid-day -

Joerg Mueller, President, Volkswagen -
Andreas Prinz, Managing Director, Volkswagen -
Bernhard Steinrucke, Director General, Indo German Chamber of Commerce -
Ms. Radha Mathai, Memberships, Indo German Chamber of Commerce -
Walter Stechel, Consul General, German Consulate -
Ms. Eva Drdakova, Ambassador, Embassy of the Czech Republic -

Indian Government officials
N.N.Prasad, Joint Secretary, Public Grievances, Ministry of Commerce and Industry, New Delhi -
Ms. Radha Shankar, Ambassador, Indian Embassy, Berlin, Germany -

Skoda Czechoslovakia
Reinhard Jung, Chairman -
Tonsu Ondrej, Customer Care -
Richard Kuba, Assistant to Pavel Adams, VP, Customer Services -
Pavel Adam, VP, Customer Services -

Skoda Auto India Private Ltd
Karsten Bogun, MD -
Jean-Marie Lagey, MD -
Thomas Kuehl, Director Sales - 0240-3051220
0240-6631206 0240-6631111 93250-88123 0240-6631256
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Old 20th March 2009, 00:19   #60
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Default my letter to the germans before nummer eins was shut down

Harish Kanchan
B 407, Sundaram
Lokhandwala Complex
Andheri West
Mumbai- 400 053

Dear Mr. Walter Stechel

I am grateful for the opportunity to present to you an ethical dilemma that has implications for not only how our two countries transact with each other but also the future growth of German business in India. The ethical dilemma relates to the fundamental question: Would strong ethical business practices and the sanctity of contracts be critical for Germany's success in India, or would Germany have to "adapt" to Indian business practices to survive and thrive? I believe that my situation will provide you a lens in developing your advisory practices for German businesses pursuing Indian opportunities, and the decision you make will allow me to plan my next steps. As in most situations, the answer may not be black and white, but I have confidence in your collective judgment and look forward to your counsel.

My situation: Three months ago, I found out that the Skoda authorized dealer, Nummer Eins Motors Pvt Ltd, who was working on my car (Registration no MH-06-AF-6115),had replaced original parts with counterfeits. Had I not discovered by chance, I would have accepted delivery of my car, and used it for a 1000 km trip to Mangalore with my family, jeopardizing not only my but their safety. The enormity of the potential hazard to my family has compelled me to pursue a course of action to set the situation right, rather than one that gets me monetary gain. (See attached Appendix - Newspaper Reports). Therefore, I have refused hush money provided by the dealer to fight what seems like a loosing battle for basic consumer rights. I would like Skoda, and its parent company Volkswagen, to live up to their reputations of being globally respected brands and set an example for good business practices in India. This would include disciplinary action against the dealer in question, and stronger dealer certification and quality control. To do this, I needed access to decision makers (the Managing Director Mr. Karsten Bogun) at the Skoda India headquarters. Unfortunately, my attempts to make contact have been unsuccessful so far, which has compelled me to knock on the doors of the Consumer Forum. I am seeking your assistance in finding the right long term resolution for this problem, which is to set up high quality dealer networks that follow ethical business practices.

Mine is not an isolated case. There are many issues like mine against this Skoda Auto India dealer.

I have a few questions Ambassador Sir,

Why is Mr. Karsten Bogun, Managing Director, Skoda Auto India Pvt Ltd silent? Why don't we have the courtesy of receiving a simple reply from him in answer to our complaints?

Despite Skoda Auto having confirmed this fraud through an inspection by their own Engineers why is this dealership still functional?

Does Germany conducts its business in this fashion?

It is 5 months today. My car is still stuck with Skoda Auto India Pvt Ltd.
I look forward to your counsel. I will follow up with you in two weeks, in the meantime if you if you have any questions please feel free to call or email me.

Best regards,

Harish Kanchan
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