I recently got my Tata Nano and later Maruti Swift Dzire serviced. I noticed a sharp contrast in the service of two major auto makers.
Experience of Servicing Tata Nano from Tata Motors
By the end of 2011, Tata Motors had sent a letter stating that starter motor for Tata Nano can be replaced free of cost at their service centre because the company has noticed a manufacturing defect. I was lazily holding onto that notice until one of the Tata Motors service representative called to remind me. The lady insisted me to setup an appointment so that motor can be replaced else after 15 days, customers will be charged for replacement. When I informed that I am short of time to get the service done, the representative offered to let their driver pick up the car and if required drop the car after the service is done.
On the set time, driver came to pick up the car. I chose to go with the driver to service station. At 11:00 AM, I was in the service centre. I had a few minor adjustments that needed to be done. I was told that the whole process would take 4-5 hours. By 7:00 PM service centre was ready with the car. At 7:00 PM, I heard the closing siren of the service centre. However, service representative offered me to take to test drive. After the drive, I suggested a couple of minor complaints and he willfully attended my complaints to my satisfaction.
Customer satisfaction score was mandatory for every service performed and advisor was probably expecting excellent score on service. However, I was unhappy with the service not because of quality of service but because service had taken around 9 hours instead of promised 4-5 hours. I gave rating of 9 or more on all parameters when service advisor insisted on it. However, I gave a rating of 7 on timeliness and 8 overall when Tata Motors called on phone next day.
The rating of 7 and 8 started a series of events. Service Centre in-charge for services called me whether my service was not done properly. Even Service Advisor called and asked how he may satisfy him if I am not happy with the service. Score of 7 or 8 was not acceptable to them and they really looked desperate to fix the problem. I realized that Service was done to my satisfaction except that it took longer than expected. I had forgotten that while it took so long, Service Advisor had worked overtime to mend my complaints. I had a firm belief after the service that feedback is taken very seriously in Tata Motors.
Experience of Servicing Swift Dzire from Maruti Suzuki
Instance 1 - Regular service
Last month, my Dzire completed its one month and I was already feeling some creaking noise and observing that car was giving a lot of vibrations when passing over pot holes on the road. I took Dzire to Moti Nagar service station, the location recommended by sales representative who sold me this car. I had informed that I was feeling lot of vibrations and the creaking noise and I was assured that they will be minor loosening of bolts; bolts will be tightened and noise and vibrations will disappear. The representative sold me the body coating package that included Teflon coating, anti rust coating etc. I entered around 10:00 AM and I was out of the service station by lunch time at around 1:30 PM.
After the end of service, I was asked pay for the coating package and consumables. I diligently paid and Maruti issued me a gate pass. At that time, I was looking for Service Advisor who was no where to be seen. On my way back home, I realized that creaking noise is still there and the vibration level has not changed a bit.
I returned to the service centre and asked for Service Advisor. This time, Service Advisor came with me for a test drive. We returned to service centre and he fixed the back seat which was lose and might be causing creaking sound. I was assured that vibrations are like that in Dzire and the level of vibration in new car may not sustain now (is a month old car not new?)
I was offered to go home and return if I notice the sound again. Creaking sound was still there although lot less frequent. I returned to service station and informed to the advisor. The advisor advised me to observe the car for a few days as it may take some time for seat to settle and the noise should disappear. I was not fully satisfied but I believed what I was told.
Instance 2 – Repair of bumper
A few days back my Dzire was hit from behind and I took the car to the same Moti Nagar service station. Three days later, I went to pick up my car in the evening. The car was dirty from outside. It had developed a few more nicks. The trunk (boot) that was not closing due to the accident still showed resistance in closing. I got the trunk lock adjusted although the adjustment is still not what I had in the new car (this is anyway just 1.5 month old car). I had to get those nicks touched up. My car was cleaned from outside and inside. I was not offered a test drive and I did not believe that test drive was required.
On my way back, I realized that the dash board panel (where odometer, fuel level indicators display) was hazy with oil marks. I tried to clean the display with my hands and the oil spread further to block the view completely. I noticed from inside rear view mirror that back glass showed similar oil marks and floor mat were put upside down. I could not help but remember the instance when service advisor had adjust the outside rear view mirror by hand when there was a joystick to adjust the rear view mirror (this could disrupt the setting).
I called the service advisor telling him that my car is still dirty. In response, he offered me to bring the car back to service station to get it washed. I was thinking, why couldn’t washing be already done.
Next day, when I thought of cleaning up my car, I found that the new duster that I had bought and I had put in the trunk was missing.
I should have given a really low rating for core service activities (creaking noise still there, vibrations still present, trunk does not close as smoothly as it used to be) and additional service activities (car was not clean). However, feedback form is not mandatory for Maruti.
Overall Comparison of Tata vs Maruti
- None of Tata or Maruti overcharged me for their service. At least I did not feel so.
- Tata took longer to service while Maruti was prompt in their service. Tata did not value much to promptness of service.
- Tata took the responsibility of the quality of their service. On the other hand Maruti does not care.