Category Archives: forums

Skoda India / VW service/PR coasting downhill?

I got forwarded a link today by a good friend, interested people may want to check it out:

Thats a three day old thread with around 400 replies and 19,200 views till now!!!!!

I quote:

I have been advised to forward to you the following notice pertaining to this thread of the forum.…rned-year.html

I have been advised to inform you that the hosting or publishing of such information (which , does not represent all of the facts) would instigate both Team-BHP as well as the various users in the ongoing court case.

The cause of the above? This:

The whole thing makes for an interesting read. If nothing else, it shows how clueless PR/marketing can be. While some peoples responses (in the original thread) may have been overboard, threatening one of the best sources of Indian auto news and a site with such a huge member-base? The person over at skoda India who thought this one up should simply have committed hara-kiri instead. Would probably have turned out to be less painful and quicker as well.

I shudder to think of the kind of damage this will cause to Skoda India’s reputation. Earlier, people knew that Skodas were good, well-built vehicles but the service costs were a tad ‘high’. Now, it just got a lot worse! A public relations disaster in the making. Why? Simply because the kind of people who put down 10L+ on a car are not your rural Indian without access to the internet. These are people who will do some research, or ask someone who they think knows something about cars. Thats going to translate into some lost sales, even if nothing like what is being claimed in the thread.

Looking at the above, you can understand why Skoda India initially tried to hush up the matter by not admitting to the issue that caused it all:

Maybe they were afraid more customers with the same issues ‘might’ come forward?
Maybe they thought getting tbhp to remove it would in effect ‘erase/supress” all the negative publicity from the internet.

Though it is commendable (and expected nowadays) that someone over at Skoda india is looking at online feedback/complaints/reactions to their products, the handling/action on the whole is all wrong.
While this would undoubtedly have caused some damage to their reputation, but nothing that couldn’t be fixed by spending some amount of money on some spares/free service etc. Instead, someone completely ****** it all up with his/her response (no offense intended to any Skoda india employees. I abso-fricking-lutely cannot afford a lawsuit right now!!!!).

Does anyone think they would have tried something similar in the US? By now Skoda would have been facing a higher profile lawsuit or maybe even a Class Action suit instead of just having to fight things out in Consumer courts. Me thinks they would probably have settled long ago. However, thats neither here nor there. This is India. A place where companies dont think too hard about taking customers/prospective customers for a ride. How this particular ride ends for the Indian Customer is something we shall have to see.

PS: Note for VW, Skoda India reps reading this: If you think the above views are too inflammatory/insulting/defamatory, please let me know before you file a legal case against me. Please? I will take down the post, or modify it suitably 😛