What’s with car dealers nowadays? Every single day we receive calls or emails from people complaining about how they have faced some problem or the other. The problems vary. It could be a manufacturing defect of a car or a dealer delaying delivery even after taking full payment. It could be a shoddy service job or ridiculously disproportionate billing. It could be careless attendance to a customer because he’s availing finance from elsewhere or a plain take-it-or-leave-it attitude. That’s not all – many times, customers are subjected to bare-faced and shameless lies from different levels of personnel working in a dealership or service station.
In India, whether you buy an expensive luxury car or a tiny entry-level hatchback, the sad treatment meted out to customers is the same. It’s not death, but the dealer who is the great equaliser between the rich and the middle-class.
Most of us don’t realise how we are being conned. Others are beyond bothering. Some shrug it off. But a few customers persist by making dealers learn their lesson – these people are not doing it for themselves, but it’s social service, I would say.
Whatever it is, there is a problem out there and it’s only set to grow bigger. I do hope manufacturers and their distributors sort out between themselves on how to keep customers happy – that is, if they want to.
I came across this lovely paragraph in a 1960s Cadillac workshop manual. Even after 40-odd years, it is timeless. In fact I would say that what it says is all the more relevant to Indian auto manufacturers and dealers now. Suggest you forward this to all the people you know who are working in automotive companies and dealerships and hope they get something out of it. Here goes:
Cadillac Craftsman Code
I hereby pledge myself in all my work on Cadillac cars, to be thorough and exact in diagnosing trouble; to recommend only that service which is to the best interest of the owner; to perform that work for which I am responsible in accordance with Cadillac Standards to the best of my ability, and in all my dealings with Cadillac owners, to be courteous, honest and ethical; and to do everything within my power to further the owner’s satisfaction and promote his goodwill to Cadillac and to my dealer.
Somehow adding Amen to that seems apt, doesn’t it?