The car in happier times
I own a Maruti 800 car which I like to maintain, the first owners of the car were a little careless which caused the car to rust at a few places, but ever since I have got the car I have tried to maintain it well. One of the most important things to maintaining a car well is of course good servicing from an Authorised Service Center.
If you search around the internet, you realise that Maruti Service Masters is supposed to be the best (and the most expensive) service centre in New Delhi. I took a day off as there is a lot of rush on weekends and was off to their service centre. The 1st time I used them they had messed up the butterfly valves in my engine, at that time I thought it might be an exception to the kind of service they offer.
At the service center, I noticed a distinct lack of concern for the customer, they get a lot of customers due to their name so do not need to take customer delight seriously.The reception person was more interested in passing the blame rather than assigning a SA and pointed me to a senior who told me they are short of staff. In the middle of the week ? I waited for half an hour before a service advisor came out and actually took down my problems.
He advised some changes, one of them un-necessary, he recommended the change of the water pump which I agreed to as he said it would lead to better fuel efficiency and smoother performance. The car servicing estimate came out to Rs. 11000 , which is pretty much near the resale value of the 14 year old car, but it being my first ever car I agreed to the uber expensive service with the assurance that engine work be carried out by an experienced mechanic who understands the old Japanese carburettor engines.
The service took one whole day and next day when I came the car was dirty from the outside, while I made payments, the car was wiped once more and cleaned for outer appearance.
Here is where it went downhill for me:
1. The service advisor insisted on a blank feedback card, thinking at that time that he had done an impeccable job, I agreed and gave him the blank feedback form which he literally snatched from my hands. He had given me a test drive.
2. On reaching home, I rolled up the windows and saw major brown dust on the windows, I didn’t feel it was worth the concern and wiped it myself.
3. After 2 days I took out the car and noticed engine oil underneath the car and lots of it. I called the service advisor and asked him what I should do, his response was to bring the car on a weekday. He did not offer to get it collected from my home or to service it on a weekend. He said there is too much rush on weekends.
4. The next day I went to college , at the college parking I noticed a super large amount of engine oil leakage, scared, I came back home early and stopped using the car so as not to cause engine damage. Also the car was giving blue smoke on cold starts.
5. Angry, I wrote 2 emails to Maruti to which I got automated responses, I decided to get the engine fixed outside the MSM as engine oil was low and I couldn’t go to their workshop with a car low on engine oil and leaking it steadily. The same day the customer care lady called me, she was apologetic, +1 to MSM here but she couldn’t really help me, promised to get back to me.
6. She didn’t get back for 7 more days, I got the timing seal issue fixed and paid 900 to the local garage to repair the problem + cost of engine oil. The blue smoke problem has persisted. She called again after 7 days and again apologised but didn’t offer to do anything, did ask me to choose MSM for my next service. I told her I would never like to visit them again.
7. I emailed Maruti and asked for a fresh feedback form to incorporate the low level of service given to me. I got no response. I even told them about blank feedback being collected, no response to that too. 3-4 days later, dad got a call from the service advisor, he gave him my number, I got the call during class and was unable to pick it up. So the grand total of 1 missed call was received by me.
8. The blue smoke at cold start issue was discussed with an engineer at Maruti (who prefers to remain anonymous), he says the MSM people probably ruptured a valve seal,
This causes engine oil to leak overnight and when I do a cold start, I see blue smoke. He told me that complaints are a regular feature at MSM and they cant handle the huge rush. Most complaints are swept under the carpet.
He told me the timing seal issue was a direct consequence of bad workmanship during water pump change.
I have decided to take things to a logical conclusion, I will keep contacting Maruti till they accept that the levels of service are actually below par at Maruti Service Masters Delhi and I have asked for them to repair my car’s blue smoke issue at another Authorised Service Center free of cost.
Till then, let this serve as a warning to anyone looking to get their car serviced at Maruti Service Masters Okhla, they seem good, but very little accountability. One expects this from them but when the company also ignores customer feedback, you know its a problem.