I am sure everyone of you must have faced bike service center problems – one or the other! Why are things not improving? Why are makers quiet…?

I’ve never been satisfied with the way the authorized 2-wheeler service centers operate in India. I’ve visited workshops from almost all brands and various cities for some reason or the other, but none of them stood upto satisfactory levels.

Even if you buy the costliest bikes from Bajaj, Yamaha, Hero or any other manufacturer, chances are that you will not get proper service with all your complaints attended. Case for the basic, cheaper models would probably be even worse. Sometimes even the most basic attributes like washing and cleaning are not taken care of.

bike service center problems

Recently, I gave my bike for servicing with just a single complaint – it was the malfunctioning of the digital speedometer console. I was surprised to see that the ONLY problem I’d mentioned was left unattended. I, then, was not interested in talking to the guys out there. So, I went to the service manager and he finally assured me (after showing my id card and of course after blasting him) that he’ll get it rectified in a day’s time.

I am not naming the brand of my motorcycle since I don’t want to target one single maker – this is applicable to almost every manufacturer out there!

Why is it that the service centers pay least attention when it comes to servicing? It’s not a low margin/low profit business by the way. In fact, it is the service and spare parts that earn every maker the majority of their profit margins. Then what makes them so lethargic in their working style?

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Here are a few pointers that make me highly unsatisfied with most of the authorized service centres…

  • The area where they operate is not all spacious enough to get all the bikes coming for servicing to be parked. This results in close parking of the bikes, thereby getting scratched even when the guys working there try to pull your bike out.
  • I have seen them accelerating brand new motorcycles and scooters to red lines and they don’t care about it.
  • The job sheets are not given due importance. When the service attendant makes an entry of your bike’s problem into it, you will notice the fact that they sometimes write something irrelevant – could be lack of knowledge or simple plain negligence!
  • Customer satisfaction at every service centre should be directly measured and monitored. Manufacturers should be most interested in knowing how the service centers are treating their customers!
  • The entire set up of service centres in a lot of cases is highly unorganized and non-professional to the core. Quality training has to be provided to these service centres by the company directly. It so happens with my nearest service center that I see random mechanics performing jobs on customer’s vehicles, specially when flow is higher.
  • Make the customers feel that irrespective of whatever model you bring for servicing, be it the most expensive one or the least expensive one, the service quality will be the same throughout the range.
  • Most of the showrooms have a customer lounge and again in most of the cases, it is not properly maintained.
  • A lot of the times customers are charged for jobs/parts they do not order. If a part has to be replaced or a job has to be performed, the service centers should call up the customer and take permission rather than give him an painful surprise in the evening!

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Above all, it is the attitude of the service center folks that is problematic and the willingness to put the customer first is missing. They try to cross-sell when clearly that product is not required. Some of them terrify the customers that if he/she doesn’t get a particular job done at his service center (for instance purchase of engine oil), his bike’s warranty will get lapsed!

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Why is it that manufacturers also focus more on the sales side rather than the service side? I do not expect any drastic change in the way things work in these service centres but it is high time makers notice and crack the whip!

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Are you also affected by such bad experiences? Share your thoughts with us below..

M.Naren

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27 COMMENTS

  1. i dont understant why 2 wheeler service points are bad compared to 4 wheeler services(eg-maruthi suzuki) they solve 99% of all problem..but these 2 wheeler service centers,forget about solving they create new problem. i had past experience with hero honda…unless they show some respect and professional conduct they drastically lose their trust.

  2. I own yamaha gladiator ss125 and its an awesome bike.
    But i m highly disappointed by service centers. Here in Dombivali(Thane) I was fooled by service center and i have a doubt that they did not change engine oil or just topped up each time. Taapet problem unattended every time.

    Then I went to Thane(main service center) Job was OK. But still not to my expectations. Engine noise is not reduced to like earlier one.
    I am helpless of what to do about this tappet setting. Please help.

  3. forget about servicing,you must be on your toes to see that they do not replace your bikes brand new parts with some used ones and then charge you for same.i was shocked to see even the 100 RS spark plug was replaced with some used one on my twister.they even removed some fuel when i given a near tank full bike.now i prefer learn and do most service jobs myself,and it gives me satisfaction of doing the servicing job better then service center.of course for any major problems when you need special tools/equipment you have to give it to service center.

  4. I had this bad experience with my RE TBTS service center at chennai. Though I gave my list of complaints in a hard copy format, they never listened to my complaints. Instead I had more problems with the bike after the service.

  5. the list of complaints just goes on regards to the service centers, and for the motorcycle company this would be just one other complaint. although you were right, the servicing dept. is indeed a high profit zone but they know the weakness behind it.
    Every customer has to get their serviced with the authorized service centers time to time to avail the full warranty of the bike, or else it gets void.
    Otherwise by now people would have started using the local mechanic’s help to get their bike serviced.
    Even I recently got my FZ serviced just to add more issues to it.
    There’s nothing we could do really.. 🙁 !!

  6. I agree with the author regarding the service provided by the centers. Its pathetic. I have a suzuki gs150. Its a wonderful bike and i am loving every moment i spent with it. But this feeling vanishes when i visit the service center. There is no water wash. The excuse is that someone stole the water pump. Its been like that for 2 years. The mechanic sometimes doesn’t know which nuts to unscrew a certain thing, for example the racer kit. The only thing they do on servicing is change the oil and tighten the chain and want me to pay 250 for it. I can get it done for 20 at a local shop or i can do it myself. I love my bike and want to take good care of it. But most of the time i have to rely on my local mechanic. I just hope this changes with time. Raj

  7. Hey guys just do one thing. If you know any good private service centre or mechanic in your area post its name and adress on bike advice. this will help other readers to find a good place to get their bikes properly serviced!!!!!

  8. Ditto…! I had recently purchased an Avenger 220 in Mumbai. Due to unavoidable reasons, I had missed the first free service of the bike by 3days. I was then asked to use the 2nd service coupon or pay for my first service. As if this wasn’t enough, a day post the service, I had noticed that the left indicator bulb was full of water. This I notice when the entire electrical system of the bike shorts itself out. A friend of mine, then pointed out that the water cannons they use to clean the bike could have resulted in water getting into the indicator shell. The callousness of the service personnel at the centre was indeed surprising. Bajaj and for that matter any other serious vehicle vendor, should realise that post sales, the only thing that shapes customer opinion is the service. Customer compliants on the nature of service should be seriously considered by any brand looking to retain and increase its share in the market.

  9. Very true, I have an R15 Yamaha and after the first service have more complaints than before.
    They messed up with the engine for an issue that is not related to it. Like a doctor operating the kidney instead of the brain.

  10. Yes it’s TRUE these service centre’s don’t take care of the bike properly I have experienced same with my honda activa. They can’t even adjust my carbeurator which left my bike in an inefficient average running condition with a lot of vibration’s while driving.

  11. Good one Naren.. finally somebody is talking about the real issues. I have been facing this problem since the day I bought my first bike. Earlier it was a Bajaj Caliber and now it is a Pulsar 220. I have been going to Bajaj service centers since past 9 years and things haven’t changed a single bit whether it is some service center in Gujarat or in Pune. Nobody know what they are doing and when ask questions you get the most stupid answers. On the launch of Ninja 650, I just asked a simple question about the after sales service of the bike on the Ninja 650’s official page and not a single person cared to comment on it. We are all just happy that new and big bikes are being launched but what about the after sales service?

  12. i thought i was d only one facing this problem!
    i recently serviced my r15 at malad,mumbai….IFS service centre and they had parked d bikes so close…..tht it resulted in scratches on my rear view mirror!
    when i asked him about it…..he just said….its ur fault…..v never do things like that!
    they were so irresponsible….that i dnt feel like handing over my bike to ’em!
    i still remember how polite dey were wen i was enquiring for the bike and i received so many calls in a day frm dem!
    I HOPE THE COMPANIES ARE LISTENING……TRY PROVIDING GOOD SERVICE IF U WANT UR SALES TO IMPROVE……JUST SMILING WHILE SELLING D BIKES WON’T HELP!!!!!!!!!

  13. Hi.. fortunately YAMAHA service in bangalore is awesome!! .. at least my showroom service is highly proffessional compared to general Indian standards.. The above issues have never come up .. and they give a realy international feel to the hole process

  14. never a fact so truly said time and again we have faced this kind of situation especialliy with bajaj service centers in mumbai empahize onyour comment ‘Why is that these centres always take customers for granted? Service centres are the lifeline of any manufacturing company and proper care has to be given for this segment of business by every company.’ hope they open their eyes….

  15. Hi Naren,
    I fully agree with you.This type of problem are faced by us and we let the dealer go off easily.We should infm the company people through their site and also inform which service centre on the blog so as we can avoid such service centre. I am curious to know the servic ecentre you are talking about .

  16. Service managers and mechanics get commission for the parts which they change, so even if the parts are not needed to be replaced, they will try to convince us that they are damaged / worn out. Most people do not know that the part is worn-out to such an extend that it needs to be replaced.

    I have Bajaj Croma and the service centres in Mumbai, Goregaon (W) and Borivali (E) sucks.
    I have Access 125 scooter and these people in third service damaged my oil tank. The threading was damaged. They used aluminum foil or thin SS strip do patch up. After 10 days, oil started leaking. When i questioned them, the manager said that ‘scooter says with us for 1 day and with you for 10 days. You can do what ever you want in 10 days. our responsibility ceases once it leaves the service center’.

    IS ANYBODY DUMB TO CHANGE OIL IN 10 DAYS AFTER SERVICE.

    Again, only neumatic power screw drivers can only have power to damage the internal threading of oil tank, if the bolt is not driven straight, at 90 degree.

    Road side mechanics do not have power tools.

    To add, he asked Rs. 200/- as repair charges. not to mention scooter was in warranty period. Indian laws created by keeping in mind that criminals are never given punishment, as the law says that let 100 criminals be left, but one innocent should not suffer. So the case goes on and on – this is well known to all.

    since it is difficult to authorize / or setup service center by bike manufacturers, except for thieft of parts, which occur regularly, company does not forfeit authorization.

    service centre is

    AKSHAY AUTOMOBILES
    (Malad Suzuki)
    Malad West, near link road

    Service center manager: Mr. John

  17. I also had Hero Honda Passion. Service Center at Borivali (W), near Kora Kendra is a very good option. I think the name is ‘Autolink’ They have a good reputation. If spare parts are needed to be replaced, they call us. They are used to stick a sticker indicating Km reading during servicing. They do not force to change parts like other service centers.

    Now they are also authorized distributors of Hero bikes.

    But this is 3 years old news.

  18. Thats 100% true, no service centers are properly maintained by any dealers. The main reason is they attend 100 of bikes in a day & the service people have to complete the target, this should be controlled by them. Take less amount of bikes for the service , & give proper service to the customers.

  19. I have a Yamaha RX-135 4 Speed (96 model). It has gone to Yamaha Authorized service only once after I purchased it in 2005. One simple problem which couldn’t be rectified by the service center people after giving me a bill of Rs 1400 was rectified by a local mechanic for just Rs 80. Then after I never take my bike to any service center, no matter what a major problem it is. And of course; as someone mentioned, service by Castrol bike zones are actually good, but its too costlier.

  20. Honda Service Center in Vijayawada also sucks. I took my Uni at 4pm from the other town which is 30kms away from vijayawada and they refused to take my Uni in saying that you have to get the bike to the service center only in the mornings. They didn’t even consider that I travelled 30kms to their service center.
    They don’t even sell spares, dirty a**holes.
    I left a strong feedback to the owner about the behavior of the service manager and also to HONDA about the NO-OVER-THE-COUNTER sales of spare parts.
    Got a phone call after 3 days from the service manager saying you can bring your vehicle anytime or you can buiy the spares.

  21. I am not satisfied with the Popular Bajaj Service Center at Muvattupuzha, Ernakulam(Dt) Kerala. They are inefficient to locate trouble with my Bike several times.During the last 4 months my Pulsar 135LS bike produced irritating sound. So many time I took my Bike to them . But in vein. the sound not susided after several srvicing. But the charges are very high. I was fed up with my Pulsar. I took firm stand that never buy Bajaj Bikkes in future. I adviced so many friends, not to buy Bajaj Bikes. I took my Bike to a local mechanic . He took my Bike for a ride and said the chain and sproket had to be replaced. This was not found out by this bajaj service centre. I took my Bike to the Bajaj service centre and adviced to replsce the chain and sproket. They told me that It were not in stock. I purchased from outside store and brought it to them. Then they said ther were plenty of stock. See their responsibility.

  22. The same situation is facing by me also.I own a Pulsar 150 cc 2011 model.Can some body suggest a good workshop / service centre in Cochin/Aluva.

    Heby

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