Deficiency in service - Harmony Honda, Chandigarh
I have often experienced the unprofessional (and if may add unethical) working of Harmony Honda- Chandigarh (authorized service agency for Honda cars). There are many serious points I can refer but will stick to the more recent case which occured last month for which I am considering filing a case in consumer court. The deficiency of service is on 3 counts as explained below:
Pt 1. Delay in hand over of my car after service: The dealer was clearly advised to make sure the car is serviced and returned very latest by 6 pm (car was scheduled to be picked up by 9:30am though actual pick up was done about an hour later). Nevertheless, I was assured that car will be dropped back by 6 pm when the adviser called to give me a service estimate/understand what work needs to be done. My urgency was a family wedding function at city's outskirts for which I needed the car to be delivered latest by 6pm at my factory. The problem started when I received a call by about 6 pm informing me that during final check, some problem with wheel alignment has been detected for which they will require max additional half an hour to which I had no option but to accept. To cut it short, the car never moved till I received a call from the driver who asked me if I can wait till 8 pm to get the delivery as he had more vehicles to deliver at Mohali (adjoining city) and they were short on drivers. I made it clear to him that he should deliver my car immediately. From abt 6:30 to 7:30 pm, I had a harrowing experience calling up any number at the dealer I could find to contact anybody senior and responsible who would make sure that the delivery commitment made is fulfilled - but could not find any available. The customer care personnel had also left for the day leaving no clear instructions for their staff to follow. So basically, the management proved inconsiderate towards my need and planned their commitment very unprofessionally and left me to deal with their 'drivers' and other nonsupporting staff members. Eventually, as the marriage function was scheduled at about 7:30 pm and was a little away from the city, I had to miss it as my family along with my parents had left by the time I reached home..
Pt 2: Not just this, the car reached my factory at about 7:40 pm and on test driving, found the wheel alignment absolutely messed up big time - with the car pulling hard on one side (video available and sent to Honda later). The 'pull' which did not exist or may have existed very marginally before I handed over the car to them now turned into a major pull. So despite an invoice debit on account of providing this service and despite making me wait for an additional hour and a half on account of this specific problem and making me miss an important family function, they still delivered a car with a hard pull and an incomplete job.
Pt 3: The dealer was advised to look at the problem with car AC as the cabin was not cooling. They had some suggestions to the problem which I accepted - and received a debit towards the same in the invoice. However, when the car was delivered, it still did not cool.
Now, I have exchanged email correspondence with both Harmony Honda and Honda India. At least 14 reminders have been sent without anything significant coming from Honda India's side. Its clear, they have no solutions to their clients true grievances - they clearly seem to favor their dealers. As for harmony honda, I received a mail where they explained that the wheel alignment could not be done properly as the tyres need to be changed. I asked them if this was the case, why did they even suggest that the wheel alignment of the car needs to be done - to which they had no reply. As for the AC problem, they advised me to bring the car back to workshop.
After seeing no appropriate reply coming from either of the two parties and considering the extreme heat conditions prevailing last month, I decided to get both the works re-done at alternate locations. Please note what transpired:
1. The wheel alignment was fixed in about 30 minutes. There was no problem in doing so whatsoever. So basically, harmony Honda did not either have the expertise to do it properly or did not attend to the problem properly. I have a video recording of the work re-done.
2. On taking the car to a AC specialist, he advised the gas needs to be filled up and the AC needs to be serviced. On informing him that the AC has been checked by the authorized dealer, he showed me the AC filter (fitted inside the cabin) which was full of dirt. He confirmed there is no way anybody has serviced anything.This is still available for verification.
As I have never dealt with any court cases and I understand Indian legal system works very slowly, I seek following advise:
1. Does this case have enough merit for a submission in consumer court?
2. If so, do you advise I take it up myself or hire services of a lawyer?
3. What kind of an estimated compensation can be expected in case the consumer court decides the case in my favour?
4. Can a case be filed against Honda India for not assisting their customers / for not providing any solutions to the problems faced / and for not providing requested information by me ( as the customer care dept had no suitable reply, I had requested for contact details of anybody senior who can understand the problem and give a suitable advise - but no reply was forthcoming despite 14 email reminders)
Will greatly appreciate your inputs and professional advise!