WARNING: This is a long and tedious post, with amazing hilarious bits of Skoda`s great customer service. Feel free to skip some portions if you`d like!
As you`d all agree, Skoda is hardly a beacon of good management as shown by Harish`s case.
In my case, I had given my RS for a paintjob last May to the Skoda India dealer at Kolkata called JIA AUTO. They asked for a crazy price but since I was scared of another place opening up the car, I gave it to them as I thought that any damage/pilferage done by another work shop would cost me much more than how much these guys were over charging me for the paintjob.
Boy, WAS I WRONG?
Read on to know what they did:
My mail to Skoda India
Cc:Bankar, Ranjeet; Deshpande, Ashish; Nitin.Ahire@skoda-auto.co.in
Subject: Pathetic Service
Car No. XXXXXXX
SKODA OCTAVIA RS
I had given my car to your Kolkata dealership Topaz Marketing Pvt Ltd (Now called JIA AUTO) on the 1st of April 08 at 11 AM vide Workshop Order No. 1912 for a full paint job. I was promised delivery "definitely within ten days". I agreed even though I found the charges exorbitant, because I thought that the Skoda authorised workshop would take good care of the car and paint it in a proper manner.
The degree of lack of judgment on my part could not have been higher!
Today is the 1st of May. i.e. 1 entire month from the day I gave in my car.
This is just to put on record that after being promised delivery of my car at 4 PM yesterday, when I reached the workshop at 5.30 pm, the car was still not ready at all, let alone being in showroom condition as was promised to me by your Workshop.
As if that was not enough, one of the technicians told me that a Lighting Control Unit was defective and had to replaced at my cost! This. is surprising since the headlights were working perfectly fine
when I gave in the car. Skoda workshop taking care of my car?? On the contrary, they were asking me to pay for something that was working when I gave it to them!
I was flabbergasted. However, there was more to come, I was billed for a replacement grille
when I had never authorised that.
After standing at the workshop for 2 hours on a working day, I was told that the car could not be taken by me since the work hadn't been completed.
This is not just poor customer service but an enormous insult.
Apart from wasting my time, your workshop has also wasted my entire holiday today when I had planned a road trip in the car.
Your service is pathetic and the attitude of the staff is very wrong.
Your spares and service cost are very very high, but I decided to bear that as I thought that premium service would come at a cost. This, definitely is not premium service.
We were planning to buy a few Laura Ambiente for our Hotel Fleet at Kolkata and Shillong, you can rest assured that we will not do such a thing which will not only trouble us but also our guests.
I will also never recommend another car from your company to anyone else I know. Infact I`m also sending a cc of this mail to some of my friends and associates within India and beyond who are in the market to buy a car from the segments where your company operates in, just so that they know what kind of trouble they would be inviting if they did commit the mistake of buying a Skoda car.
I think that your workshop has given me below par service, let alone above par or "SPECIAL" like your ad campaign says.
You have until tomorrow (2MAY08) 11 AM to let me know how you plan to compensate me for the inconvenience of not having the car available, for the two hours I have spent there and for an entire wasted holiday in what has been a very busy 30 days. The insult ofcourse cannot be made up for.
Ironically, all this is above and beyond still not having the car.
I trust that you will take this chance to preserve a vestige of respect for your company in my eyes.
AFTER 11 DAYS:
The very same Karthik Ramesh
who was involved in pilfering parts from Harish`s car writes back saying
Dear Mr. Tibrewalla,
We understand from our dealer that your vehicle was sent to our workshop for full car painting on 1st April, 2008 vide our job card number 1912. Your decision on colour shade was done only after 3 weeks, (8X color) and conveyed to our dealer. Once the colour was confirmed from your end it took 9 days for delivery of the car.
With regards to the Lighting Control Unit, as you are aware it is an electronic part and lifespan cannot be predetermined. The car as on date is out of warranty for more than 2 years. As you are our esteemed customer, we are considering a 50 % discount on the control unit on goodwill basis.
We apologize for the inconvenience caused to you on the 30th of April when you visited the workshop to collect your car. We have spoken to our dealer and strict action would be taken as required.
Request you to kindly coordinate with our dealer and get the necessary work carried out.
Please do let me know if you require any further details/ clarification.
Thanks & Regards,
Karthik So much for the truth.
Not only about the paint job, also about the fact the Lighting Control Unit malfunctioned. My mail to them
It is good to see that there is some response from your company, considering that you last communicated with me 11 days before
You`ll understand that this means that for the past 11 days my car has been running without a high beam lamp working due to no lapse on my part.
The colour shade 8x 8x was given to your workshop BEFORE I gave my car. I had infact also given them a pdf document from the Skoda UK website that had this shade and the exact number. I had also categorically asked Mr. Yogesh if it was possible for him to match the colour and he assured me that it could be done. It is utterly disgusting how you choose to hide behind invented excuses
even after having been supplied with all relevant information.
I doubt that many of your customers go through the trouble of finding out the exact shade with your companys shade code!
It was your dealer who couldnt find the colour from the shade code for the 3 weeks that you have mentioned. I found this very surprising since it was a colour that belonged to your company! If I had given you a Honda colour and asked for it and your dealer took time, it would have been still understandable.
I have the sms messages that Mr.Yogesh and I exchanged which will give a nice chronological outline of how it happened.
I`d request you to verify facts
before corresponding with me in the future.
As for the Lighting Control Unit, please note that electronic items which cost this much money dont suddenly stop working. If they do, then you should seriously reconsider your campaign of "The most well built luxury car
." or the Advertising Standards Council may find you guilty of misleading advertising.
That aside, even if your products are of such flimsy quality, there is absolutely no reason why I should be liable for a fault which happened in your workshop. One of the reasons why I did not give in my car to a non Skoda workshop was because I was not sure whether the other workshop would mishandle the parts or try to bill me for additional parts.
Here I am, at a Skoda workshop, where you are asking me to pay for something which happened under your care! A possible reason could be mishandling or poor storage on the part of your workshop and it just goes to show the kind of concern you have for customer`s property. This is hilarious that you so casually chose to not take any responsibility.
I would like you to end this immediately by firstly replacing the unit at no cost to me and secondly detailing how you intend to compensate me for the grievances that I have already specified in my earlier mail.
I am also not willing to wait a further 11 days
for a reply from your company. As such I`d like a reply tomorrow by 11 am at the latest. THEN, Jia Auto (the dealer) writes back saying:
On Tue, May 13, 2008 at 5:02 PM, Gaurav Goenka <firstname.lastname@example.org> wrote:
Dear Mr. Deval,
As per discussion, we would like to inform you that we can waive off 50% of the cost of spare subject to your acceptance, request you to kindly send the vehicle at our dealership for necessary action.
To quote your mail"The color shade 8x 8x was given to your workshop BEFORE I gave my car. I had in fact also given them a pdf document from the Skoda UK website that had this shade and the exact number" we would like to put some light on the facts that for painting of the car, we need a formal approval from the customer irrespective of any shade or of any make. On number of occasions it was found
that you were not in town for approving the sample before the car was fully painted.
Secondly, it was you who took time to decide on color combination & at times you have changed your idea, which further delayed the process.
Thirdly, the control unit has got nothing to do with the car painting which we still tried & got the approval for on a goodwill gesture for a vehicle which is out of warranty.
Fourthly, though we have considered the case under goodwill gesture, you have informed about the issue to your colleagues without giving the reason behind the delay.
We once again request you to kindly quit the argument
and send the vehicle at our dealership at the earliest for immediate action.
0-98368 28400 SO
, the dealer asks me to "Quit the argument", so much for corporate communications! And also says that I was "not to be found" like I was obligated to be found in town when they called.
As such, I sent both Skoda and the dealer the sms transcript of our conversation regarding the colour.
Posting the sms transcript in another post so you can skip it if dont want the petty details.