16 May 2012

The Wheels of the Fortunate

Buying a car is an exciting proposition. A bit daunting… but exciting nevertheless.

Most car buying habits have been well documented especially in the Indian scenario. You normally move from a two wheeler to a hatchback, hatchback to a mid-class sedan, then to a luxury sedan and so on. SUVs, XUVs and now even LUVs fall somewhere along that line based on needs, occupation, and finally the brag value!

But that’s so much theory.

In practical terms that’s really not how you buy a car in India.

You check the car for its features and ask around for the best dealer and the most dependable service. And if you have to choose, the dealer and the service wins way over that fancy set of wheels that you so wanted.

This is a known fact.

But then some times there are new entrants in the market and you trust the brand name, the lineage that it brings with the name and what you’ve heard about from the media.

And you succumb.

NB, a colleague was on the quest for a new car. Decided to go in for a Nissan Sunny. The excitement seemed to end once the decision was made.

Even the pre-sales service was poor. Many follow ups later the car was handed over at a time inconvenient to him. Minus the desired seat covers.

In his words:
Hi Friends, I had this horrible experience of buying Nissan Sunny from Torrent Nissan in Andheri Mumbai. It felt like they are doing a favor to me by selling the car! Even after giving a negative feedback about the dealer there has been no call or effort from Nissan India to speak to me regarding this matter. Here is what went wrong in brief
– Once I had made the advance payment to Torrent – I had
to follow up with them every week, not once have they made an effort to update me on the status of my car. They have been at their unco-operative best
– The fittings of the accessories (seat cover & steering wheel cover) was not up to the mark and I was told this is the Nissan Standard!
Urge you to forward this to as many people as possible so the others dont suffer the pain I have been through even after spending lakhs of Rs on Nissan Sunny!
BTW Nissan India when the whole world is moving towards USB, you have chosen to install an old version of music player in your car – dont consider the Indians that forward do you?

After this post appeared on Facebook (Long live social media), I posted it on my timeline too. The PR person from the dealer called and desperately asked NB to get me to take the post off my page!
Here are some interesting facts:
  • Nissan deigned to contact NB after the stipulated period of 72 hours. We suspect they meant 72 working hours

  • Even post putting the seat covers, there was a problem – a seat belt had been damaged and had to be changed for which the car had to be taken to the workshop – one more day lost

  • The dealer has offered no real apology or make good – and has claimed this to be the Nissan standards
Does Nissan think they can continue to take customers for a ride in their caaaaar? Isnt this going too faaaar?
What’s your view on it? Have you been more fortunate with your set of wheels?