This happened to us today morning while Hubby and I were on our way to work. We had just stopped at a signal when the car right behind us rammed into us from behind. We got out and saw that the boot has bent and the rear bumper is in a bad shape. The tail lights were peering out from the sockets and we were not able to shut the boot. The guy driving the car was apologetic and asked us to accompany us to his known garage that was about 15km away. Not wanting to go that far to an unknown mechanic, we asked him to accompany us to the nearest Honda service centre. This happened to be Arya Honda. We were happy this was the closest since we have been using this authorised Honda service chain for servicing our vehicle for over two years now. This particular outlet was however new to us. After two hours, three different people had surveyed the car, we had shared all the relevant papers and made the driver of the other car wait with us.
Arya Honda gave us an estimate of 58 thousand rupees!!!
We were shocked and so was the other guy who had promised to compensate us. He however, agreed to let us get the repairs done at Arya Honda. We filed for an insurance claim and were told that the surveyer would come tomorrow morning. Everyone agreed to meet the next morning at 11 am and we went back to work.
At 8.10 pm, after a day of aching backs and making up for lost time, we left for home back in an auto. Barely a km from my office and a few 100 mts from hubby’s a traffic policeman stopped us at a signal to open up another lane of traffic. Tired and eager to get home to a nice warm bath, we cursed that guy for not letting us thru. Suddenly, hubby points at another Honda car parked on the side of the road. It had a bent boot and bumper as well as a broken number plate. His remarks about many Honda cars being damaged today died on his lips as recognition dawned…
It was our car! Parked on the road in the area that is well known as auto chor bazaar and notorious was spare parts replacement and reselling was our car that had been handed over in the “safe” custody of the service executive at Arya Honda the same morning.
There was another Honda car parked nearby and the bonnet of both cars were open. A man in Honda uniform stood between the two vehicles. Hubby jumped out of the auto and asked him what he was doing there. When he told the uniformed man that this was his car, the man’s expression changed. He got on the phone immediately and started talking to someone as I took the keys from him to open our car and hubby talked to the car ahead. When we got into our car, we found a spare battery on the front seat. The other car vanished while we were talking to the uniformed guy. We asked him to drive to the Arya Honda centre which was about a km away from that spot. On the way, he fed us a half baked story about taking to car to another workshop because ours was a major accident and it had to be sent to a larger workshop to be repaired. The repairs could not be done where we had dropped it. We asked him for a work order or papers supporting this and he had none. When we reached the centre, we checked the registers with the security.
There was no entry in the OUT register. The records only showed that the car was checked IN during the morning hours. There were no records of it having gone out.
When asked to speak to the Senior most member, we were kept waiting for 15 minutes. In this time, I overheard the service executive coaching the technician who was found with our car that this is what you should have said and this is how you should have said it. They moved away once they realised that I was right behind them. When we asked about the work orders, the cashier hurriedly prepared a handwritten receipt to show the OUT entry. This receipt was time at 8.45 pm, the time we had entered the Arya Honda showroom. The car was spotted by us on the road around 8.15 pm which meant it would have left the centre at least by 8pm. Best part is that the guy was in such a tearing hurry that he added the wrong vehicle number and switched the last two digits of the car number on the slip shown to us. The receipt was numbered 1076. The previous receipt 1075 had been issued at 5.30 pm and the next one, 1077 was blank. When we asked this, the staff told us that there internal process did not need any paper work when a car was shifted from one work shop to another. The security guard was verbally informed and he “knew” that the vehicle had gone out.
They had no answer to our queries about lack of records on our car moving out, about not informing us that they were moving the car and also about making a fake receipt when we asked for it.
When questioned further, those guys tone became rude, they said that we were lying and not willing to understand the truth. They said that
“We always move cars from one workshop to another and this does not need any paperwork. Our service executive would have informed you tomorrow morning that the car was moved”
As our frustration mounted, the man in charge told us to take our car back if we were not convinced. Sure we were not, but we were absolutely shocked at their attitude toward us. They were dismissive of our concerns and absolutely refused to give us access to higher authorities. The Service Manager, Santosh Chandan was absolutely rude with us. First they said that the car was being sent because it could not be repaired at that location. Then they cited lack of space as the reason for dropping it. They were inconsistent. The things that ticked me off were –
- This was an accident case pending insurance survey. Why was it put out on the road again?
- The repairs could only start once the insurance issue was settled and we gave a go ahead to Arya Honda. Why then was the car moved to a different workshop where the large repair work happens?
- If the car had to be moved due to a genuine reason, why were we not informed before moving the car?
- The second car that was parked next to ours on the road was supposedly another customer’s car that had a battery failure and our car carried a battery for it to help the driver. When asked to speak to that customer, they skirted the issue. They could not give us details of the second car, the name or details of that customer.
- There was no explanation why the car was found parked in the opposite direction to it’s destination in the middle of chor bazaar
- There were no records showing the car had gone out of the centre
- The man who was found with the car had no company id with him
- There were no work orders showing this car had to be taken to another location
- The service centre shuts in the evening around 6 pm. Why were a few service executives, the service manager and 2-3 technicians hanging around till 8 pm? Why was the car being delivered after the closing hours?
They had no logical explanations and kept talking as if we were fools who did not understand processes. All of the points above lead me to believe that the bunch of people were out to cheat us by replacing the original spare parts with fakes and selling the originals in chor bazaar. They are a bunch of arrogant guys who have no idea of customer service.
We got our car back and am thankful we spotted it on time. However, I urge all of you to share this post on social media so others are aware of the rackets pulled by the employees of such so called authorised service centres.