Tata dealer not allowed to sell Safari; booking amount stuck

They were to service my booking by purchasing the car from another dealer without really informing me of this arrangement.

BHPian red herring recently shared this with other enthusiasts.

Fraud by Tata Motors & its Dealer DSM Autos, Kurla, Mumbai

This post is to get some help and advice from you all.

I booked a Safari XZA+ from the TATA dealer My DSM, Kurla in Mumbai in April. I paid an initial booking amount and was informed that the delivery would happen around 10th June. I started following up for the chassis allocation around 1st June and closer to the date of delivery the delivery date was moved and kept moving forward every one week. In early July I got a call from My DSM Kurla to pay some deposit amount so as to secure a vehicle. Hesitatingly I gave some deposit amount (big mistake) for which I received the receipts. All this while the dealer kept refusing to give final delivery date on mail - all verbal communications which were never honored.

Finally around 10th July after much wait, I decided to write emails to the company and also tweeted to Ratan Tata citing a default of payment. Finally things started moving and I received some mail communication and a call from the company - no final date of delivery yet.

While delayed deliveries are a norm, it's not where I need your help. Once I spoke to the company official, he informed me that My DSM is not authorized to sell a Tata Safari as he has some funds crunch at his end. And he is trying to source me a Safari from another dealer. This spooked me out - not sure why but it did. May be the lack of transparency or the outright lies that the dealer kept telling me.

Since this piece of information, I been have insisting on a refund or a mail from a official Tata Motors email ID that what My DSM is doing is an allowed practice and all future commitments of return/service will be honored. My worry is in case the Safari I get develops issues right at the outset and has to be returned, My DSM cannot do jack. The dealer from which he has bought the car wouldn't be able to help me either and I will be stuck with a lemon for life.

What would be the your view here? What would you do - insist on a refund or take the car if Tata's confirm on mail that all's fine with this practice? IMO, this sounds like a compliance issue for which heads should role if it gets caught in audit - its something which would happen in the companies where I've worked. Not sure how strong Tata's compliance practices are.

Looking forward to some help here.

Sadly this got escalated to a full fraud from Tata Motors & its Dealer DSM Autos, Kurla, Mumbai.

DSM as I had mentioned is not authorized to take bookings of Safari as per TM (Tata Motors) guidelines but they went ahead and took my booking. They were to service my booking by purchasing the car from another dealer without really informing me of this arrangement. Whether it was mal intention or sheer incapability to manage their cash flows, they couldn't provide me with a vehicle within the committed timelines and now have gone absent with my initial deposit amount. DSM hasn't refunded my amount yet and doesn't seem like they intend to.

Why I think Tata Motors is also involved in this - well this arrangement of inter dealer car transfer wouldn't have gone unnoticed by TM infact they might have actively encouraged this. Anyways, for a group that prides itself on propriety, this is gaping compliance and integrity issue.

I am thinking of sending a legal notice to DSM and TM. In all this I'm hoping I am able to salvage some of my money. TM asked me to transfer my booking to another dealer so that I can get my car sooner. Now I'm not even sure I want to do that and ever buy a Tata car - a company which makes you grovel for your own money imagine what would they do if there is some issue with my car. They will immediately wash their hands off the issue.

Lesson learnt for me and hopefully others will think twice before doing a transaction with Tata Motors & DSM, Kurla.

You'll notice that the booking is for a Tata Harrier - which is what I had booked earlier but then asked them to change it to Safari. They never sent a booking receipt for Safari except for a whatsapp confirmation. Now I understand why they didn't send a revised booking for Safari - they were just not authorised to sell it:

red herring provides an update:

An update to this saga.

Not really an update as the needle hasn't moved at all. The dealer has refused to return my money and after multiple tweets tagging multiple Tata handles including Mr Ratan Tata himself, I still don't have my money back.

TM had removed the dealer from its website a few days back because of impropriety but the dealer is back on the website as an authorized dealer. And there is no mention at all that the dealer is not allowed to sell Tata Safari. So it seems that the reward of defrauding a customer is reinstatement of your dealership - well done TATA. For a group that prides itself on integrity, this is a real low. People in Mumbai looking to make a purchase from my DSM - please note. People looking to buy a vehicle from TATA - please note as well!

What's next for me? Well for starters no TATA car for me ever again. Two, sending a legal notice to the dealer. Third, continue to create a noise on social and local media. Let's see where this leads.

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