So, I bought myself a Honda Accord this week. It cost me 25 lacs (50k US$)
Now, being a Indian consumer for decades and someone who buys an after mint for 25 paise (5 cents), to breakfast at Airports for Rs 300 ( 5$) to a car once every few years, I have realized that:
- The price tag of the goods and services in relation to the service you will get doesn't matter AT ALL in India.
I mean my paan walla who sells me 4 paans for 40 bucks every weekend (1$) is far the sweetest, most pleasant and effective salesman than the suited and tie totting educated graduate who sold me my Honda Accord!
- Consider Honda and their agent Arya Honda in Mumbai.
I booked my Honda Accord car a month back and delayed delivery because i was travelling. On Wednesday when I got my car, :
- Lets talk Etiquette.
Ever so often, my wife orders DVD's (movies) from Shemaroo Video library (Napeansea Road). Most of the recommendations are good but I usually dislike/reject/ just say 'comon - what the hell is this' and ask my wife to return some DVD's.
When she does call Shemaroo ( and this is typically when I throw a tantrum at 9 pm on Saturday night - the busiest in the movie rental business), the servicing guy at Shemaroo immediately sends a couple of more DVD's home and happily cancels what he had sent us. He is courteous on the call, very concerned with feedback of the movies he sends us and best of all - he calls my wife in ADVANCE on Friday for pre bookings suggestions and updates on latest DVD's.
Each DVD rental costs Rs 75 (1.50 US$)
- When I escalated my Honda car case (to the showroom manager of Arya Honda) - he had the AUDACITY AND GALL to tell me that if I was not happy to WAIT for the music system to arrive, he would REFUND my Music Audio System money!!!
I mean, I BOUGHT THE CAR just for a complete experience of car entertainment - so why would I buy a car without the music???
Would my Paanwala sell me a paan without the LEAF??!!!
- How Companies and its Representatives respond:
I had an observation of the way Crosswords (CW) was going downhill and posted that on therodinhoods.com. Within a couple of days, the brand manager of CW had written to me apologizing and also pleading me to come to CW to allow him to EXPLAIN how he and the management were planning an upgrade of the stores etc. My purchase from CW was probably Rs 2000 (40 US$) on the day when I had made that comment.
In the case of Honda - i wrote 11 MAILS - to ALL CONTACTS on the Company website, PR agency, AND ALSO reached out to 13 management and brand position folks in HONDA SIEL via my LinkenIn contacts..... but...yup - you guessed it - RECEIVED NO REPLY.
I sent a REMINDER yesterday - to get a terse 'we will get back to you'... 2 liner.
All this to someone who had spent 25 lacs on their product just 48 hours back!!!!
The point I am making is that the Indian Customer is taken for granted by the biggest brands in the world - probably because we are too many of us; we are enamoured by 'foren' brands and we just take what is given to us....
Well, I certainly AM NOT one of them.
Honda Arya - I will NEVER buy a Car from you ever again and hope that all your new customers read this.
HONDA INDIA - want a tip? Hire my paan wala to run your operations - he will probably do a better job than the cronies you employ!!
UPDATE - 24th Feb 2012:
hahahahahah - this was bound to happen!
For SPECIFIC REASONS on why INDIAN CONSUMERS are made suckers, please read - Why Service at India Retail is SO BAD
A post on customer delight by me
I agree paan walla should run their operations . Another story of my buying Honda City 3 years back..In first 2 years 30% of the time my car was in workshop(Classic Honda - Faridabad ) due to various reasons...1.noise in the steering wheels 2.Noise from Brakes 3. Crunching noise from front side during winters 4. Noise from Boot during summers. Except for 1 & 2 nothing got resolved as Company claims that this is due to climate changes :) .Also, BEST PART..all doors have got rusted badly to an extend that they need to be replaced & now HONDA is saying that it is not part of warranty & I have to bear cost of 80k for the same...anyways I am going to Consumer court for the refund of the car...as will never advise my friends to ever go for this brand in future.
In my honest opinion, blaming the brand for the dealer may not be right in its entirety. Of-course every dealer does have a common trait which the brand enforces but dealers are very finicky and not all may imbibe the brand's value completely.
Alok I do share your sentiments as after paying a high amount(around 20 lacs?) and still not getting the experience you wanted even after repeat reminders is just not acceptable.
I have also noticed that cars which have a higher waiting period, their dealers are more arrogant than others...is this not true?
Honda cars till last year sold like hot cakes and ruled for close to a decade, only now after Vento and Verna they have been dethroned!
Check out this absolutely brilliant video on customer service that is doing the rounds on Facebook.
Story of an Auto driver from Chennai
Alok Sir, i had similar experience with my Samsung galaxy mobile. I had bought Samsung ""galaxy ace dous"" because they said it had a special feature of "smart sim" which is unique for dual sim mobiles. I liked it bought it immediately. But soon after 1 month of purchase all sorts of problems started happening. Took it to service center. All they were doing was formatting my cell over & over again. Issue could not be fixed for 3-4mnths straight. I called up Samsung explained the problem & asked for refund if they are not able to fix my issue. They denied as expected. Later when i mailed to the contacts at Samsung & threatened that I will go to CONSUMER COURT, they pulled up their socks. However the irony is that the problem which they couldn't fix, suddenly one day out of the blue I fixed it myself !!!
MORAL - THREATEN THESE GUYS WITH TAKING UP THE ISSUE TO CONSUMER COURT !!!
Looks like the discussion saved me out :) THANKS ...
I don't agree with you. Not all big brands take us for granted. Last Year I made a purchase from Hyundai. The showroom staff was incoherent at best of times, no clarity on what documents were needed and to my utter shock, no accessories were given (not even car cover). I felt dejected and a bit insulted and all this after spending 12 lakhs.I fired a mail to hyundai and received a reply within hours. The showroom called me and requested to give them a clean chit. My father being an emotional person gave in.
But my point is hyundai a foreign brand responded pretty fast. Maybe Honda has just developed an ego with all the success.