Tatamotors substandard car booking experience - eNidhi India Travel Blog

Tatamotors substandard car booking experience

January 09 Update:

1. I learnt that though Tata Motors has opened a showroom in Udupi, Tata Motors don't have a service centre in Udupi. There is no immediate plan either. For now customer have to drive all the way to Mangaluru. For me it is 100 kms one way from home- that is 1500Rs in fuel + 300 Rs in toll and one full day's time. Sales people didn't proactively inform this to me while accepting booking amount. Luckily I found it out just in time. I am now evaluating other options.

I am told they have a tie up with Shama Honda in Udupi for once a week service camp. Not sure what will happen if I detect an issue on Monday morning on the way to office and need it fixed urgently. if we go to private garages they claim "warranty will be void" but they don't have any way to support.

2. Cars will not be delivered to Udupi. Cars made in Tata Motor's Pune/Sanand plant will be shipped via truck to Mangaluru. Road to Mangaluru passes through Udupi, so it is cheaper for them to stop the truck at Udupi, offload cars meant for Udupi showroom. But no, all cars will go to Mangaluru and someone has to drive it from there to Udupi. Tata motors give 5 liter petrol with new cars and 200 Rs fast tag currency (out of 600 Rs paid for fast tag)- all of this fuel and fast tag money will be spent while car is being driven from Mangaluru to Udupi, Udupi showroom will not compensate with extra fuel or fast tag top up. So Udupi customers will be delivered car with near empty fuel tank and near zero fast tag balance, so they will have to head to fuel station before they can enjoy the ride home. Why should they risk driving a brand new car 60 kms on delivery day risking any accident/damage that will delay the delivery further? Automatrix should put it on a  truck and get it transported at no extra cost to customer. I think it is same situation for customers of Automatrix Puttur and Sullia showrooms.

Also not sure how can I ensure staff doesn't drive faster than 100 kmph as vehicle hasn't completed run in period. 

3. As there was no update from dealer visited again in person, I was shown an excel sheet where dealer is maintaining tracker of pending booking. I was told I may get my car by end of Jan but they can't commit. There is a 15000 Rs consumer discount on offer, which is valid till end of January only. So if they delay delivery, they get rewarded by forcing me to pay 15000 more, for no fault of mine.

From Feb 2021, a price hike is also expected, so if dealer doesn't deliver by end of Jan I will be forced to pay at least 40k more for no fault of mine.

4. Altroz turbo petrol is getting launched next week. It will cost 2-3 lakhs more than the Tiago variant I had booked. If sales person had called and made some offer asking if I am interested to upgrade I would have been happy evaluate. But no such action or enthusiasm.

All these are forcing me to reconsider. Evaluating Grand i10 Neos next. Let me see.

------Original post-------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

One month since I paid advance to book a Tata Tiago, my experience with Tata Motor's Udupi dealer Automatrix has been substandard. May be it is my fault I had too much expectation. I am sharing my observations. You decide. 

1. No official statement on waiting period

Tata Motor's Bengaluru dealer claimed waiting period for Tiago is only 2-4 weeks. Udupi dealer says 2 months. Social media team won't respond with an answer as to what is the official waiting period.

  • May be Tata Motors has different priority for different cities- Tier 1 cities may get cars sent on priority while tier 2, tier 3 cities will have to wait longer
  • May be Bengaluru dealer was lying. Their tactic could be to get a booking saying 1 month and then delay to 2 months citing some excuse. May be Automatrix guys were prompt and honest.
  • May be some dealers quote with 2-3 weeks buffer, so that they can use the car as display car or test drive vehicle before informing customers that their cars have arrived, or they are keeping buffer knowing possible delays.
  • A known person in Mumbai got Harrier delivered in 2 weeks- may be bigger SUVs are delivered sooner (they make 2x-3x more money to Tata Motors) than entry level car like Tiago.
  • May be Tata Motors is now getting more bookings than they can handle, so they no longer care if a customer gets upset and walks away.
  • Automatrix has 3-4 dealerships -one in Udupi, Mangalore, Puttur, Sullia etc- probably they have only 1 master dealership account with Tata motors, so the waiting period is combination of all 4 dealerships- another dealer with only 1 showroom might be able to deliver faster.
All I wanted was some authentic update on this. But no, I am left to believe whatever local dealer says.

2. No breakdown of insurance, accessories will be shared

The leaflet says 32000 for insurance. I wanted to know the breakdown- how much for own damage, how much for 3PL, how much for accident cover, what kind of own damage cover it is- zero dep, bumper to bumper etc. But no response. After I physically visited showroom one more time and made some noise online someone from Mangaluru dealership called and answered my questions, but still won't send a formal quotation.

Similarly asked for details of accessories included in "essential kit"- got some oral response which I soon forgot. Won't send it officially. I wanted to compare their breakdown with other options available in market and decide if they are overcharging. +/- 5% I would have ignored, but them guarding their rates like a secret is raising my suspicion. 

3. No introduction to manager

Not a mandatory step but would help customers gain confidence. When I visited Hyundai and Renault showrooms, after test drive sales rep introduced me to manager, who would give additional information and try to win customer confidence. No such thing in Tata Motors. Even if you pay 100% in advance no will give a damn about you, your booking and your car. 

4. No communication on booking

No email sent after booking advance payment, no SMS confirmation. No "welcome to Tata Motors family message". It is same feeling what happens when you file an application in some government deposits- you are totally at their mercy- don't expect any courtesy, communication, update or prompt action.

5. No update on booking status

At some point after booking, customers should get some written confirmation about their booking, progress- but no, Tata Motors or its dealers won't send any to customers waiting for their cars.

6. Social media team won't give any useful information

Asked a simple info- how long customers have to wait for Tiago- they could have responded 2 months, 3 months whatever. But no, their standard answer to everything is that we should give our number by DM, they will then add it to their database and keep spamming.

7. Not possible to track booking status online

I am told it is not possible for prospective customers to track their booking status online. How difficult is to build a simple program/app to let customers know where they are in the waiting list? (Ex: Dec 1st: Waiting no 2000, expected delivery date Jan 30th, Dec 30th- Waiting no. 1000, expected date Feb 2nd, Jan 20th Update: Dispatched from Sanand plant etc)- A TCS trainee software engineer will build this in few weeks.  How hard it is to know your production capacity, number of orders and a reasonably accurate date by which car would be shipped from factory?

Is it same for all other manufacturers? We have to blindly wait for dealer to inform?

8. No attempts by sales rep to upsell

When I asked for Tiago XZ, sales rep made no attempt to upsell XZ+ or try convincing me for Altroz or Tigor. Felt like they don't have any motive to enthusiastically explain the options, differences and offers. May be sales rep gets better incentive from competitor brand to divert potential customers to their showrooms, than put extra effort to get more business for Tata Motors.

9. Substandard overall dealership experience

Past 4-5 years Tata Motors have done remarkable changes in their product line. Good features, high safety standards and global design have increased their sales. However, on the ground issue of poor after sales service and substandard dealership level experience still remains. Maruti has introduced an accessory configurator , Renault had all models ready for test drive and less than 15 days waiting period, Hyundai sales rep followed up multiple times and made every attempt to convince me how their cars are better than Tatas. Bengaluru dealer staff told me Tiago XE and XT- without variant badge even their own staff are unable to identify variants correctly.

10. No discounts or offers available during booking will apply.

Tata Motors had an offer in December, but it doesn't serve any purpose because price prevailing on date of delivery will apply. As they have 2 months waiting period, no one who books in December will get any offer. For those who pay advance and book, there should be a price commitment.

May be I am expecting too much?

I have rented and driven 100s of cars, was part of media drive for several car launches including Tiago, Tigor, Nexon, Grande, Hexa, Jazz, Ecosport etc but it is my first car purchase. So far I have only bought few two wheelers with near zero waiting period. I know fairly well about cars, its features, safety issues, competition but don't have first hand experience dealing with a car dealer. Having read several stories online about how dealers cheat or try to milk customers, I am skeptical and won't believe anything they say just like that.

Knowing Tata Motors and their cars in and out, may be I was expecting too much from local dealership. May be they are overworked, underpaid and don't have a motive to put more effort. May be they have too many orders to handle and a few cancelling theirs doesn't affect them in any way. May be I was supposed to keep quiet and wait patiently for my car, pay whatever amount they quote without asking for a breakdown or details, may be I was to give my number to Twitter/FB bot replies and hope some magic happens. I don't know. As of now I have decided to hold on for few more weeks and see how this unfolds. Once I lose my patience I will head to Hyundai or Renault or Maruti and book a different car.

Let me know your experience...

7 comments:

  1. You are expecting too much from them :)

    My thoughts/understanding -
    1. The allotment of cars to dealers is linked to the demand. So obviously bigger cities get more vehicles. I don't think the delaers are allowed to use the cars for test drive, if they intend to sell that car as 'new car'
    2. This depends on the dealer/manager. The manager in Maruti delaer gave me details & also helped in reducing my insurance further
    5. I haven't seen this anywhere! They do not want to commit to a date in writing
    7. In Maruti, they track the vehicle status via spreadhseet that is sent to them daily :)
    This is internal & not shared with customer.

    These are my opinions. I may be wrong too!

    ReplyDelete
  2. The proof is in the pudding , I hope now you know why Tata’s products fail miserably- I also go on further to say it’s the entire product - from the car to the last mile - absolute poor quality- glad you got to see it for yourself .

    There are far better quality cars in the market for the same range .

    ReplyDelete
  3. All valid concerns Shrinidhi
    It is clear TATA is failing miserably when dealing with end customers.


    ReplyDelete
  4. Thanks ,just saw the update ,i dont know whether to cry or to laugh .How man tries to make simple things more difficult ,one has to learn from TATA folks .

    Given TATA's background this doesnt surprise me even one bit. Infact this doesnt even have to come from TATA ,even the local dealer can fix it and save loads of money like offloading vehicles in Udipi.

    ReplyDelete

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