For a celebrated Superbike whose appeal lies in its monstrous speed, Ducati has failed the velocity test for Mumbaikar Mohit Kalra, reducing his roaring dreams of owning a Monster 795 into a whimper. A 26-year-old Mumbai businessman, Mohit paid an advance of Rs 4 lakh for the 795 in March last year. After a year-long harrowing wait, the Italian-make sport bike has still not been delivered, forcing him to haul Ducati India’s official dealers to court for cheating him.
Mohit, a resident of Lokhandwala, told MiD DAY that in January 2012, he came across ads about an auto expo in New Delhi, which spoke of Ducati bringing its new model, the Monster 795, to India at a price of Rs 6.99 lakh. It would have the engine of the Monster 796, which costs between Rs 10-11 lakh, imported all the way from Italy, the ads claimed.
Mohit was tempted. Two days later, another ad said early birds would get the 795 at a discounted price of Rs 5.99 lakh if they booked right away. Now, Mohit was hooked, oblivious that he would be kept on the hook for the 13 months that followed. “I have been passionate about super bikes since my childhood but never owned one,” said Mohit, the chief operation officer of a jewellery manufacturing unit at Seepz. “Excited, I went to the Ducati showroom in Worli. There, a salesman informed me that the on-road price of the bike would be roughly Rs 7 lakh with taxes, and the delivery would be made within a month of booking.”
The biker in him revved up and, on February 17, 2012, he wrote a cheque for Rs 2 lakh made out to M/s Precision Motors India (Pvt) Limited, the official Ducati dealers in India. A month later, when his dream bike didn’t show up, he issued two more cheques of Rs 1.50 lakh and Rs 50,000 hoping for an early delivery.
A very charged Mohit then set out on a shopping spree for his super bike. “I got a special registration number 4222 blocked after paying the required charges to the Andheri RTO,” Mohit said. “Excited that the bike would be delivered within a few weeks, I went to the US in March-end and bought Ducati accessories, including a helmet, all costing about Rs 80,000.” But the bike remained a fancy even on his return.
Mohit claims all his inquires thereafter hit a brick wall. “The dealer would claim the bike was on its way or was tangled in customs issues. Till date, I haven’t got my bike. At last I wrote to the Ducati head office in Italy but did not receive any satisfactory response,” he said.
Mohit feels he has been taken for a ride. “I feel cheated. I was pining for a super bike and dreamt of being a rider, but all my dreams have been dashed. I never thought an international brand like Ducati could cheat its customers.” He has decided to take legal recourse. “I do not trust Ducati anymore and have decided to take up the matter in court,” said Mohit. “I have approached advocate Hrishikesh Mundargi to file both civil and consumer complaints in the courts against the Mumbai-based dealer for duping me.”
Mohit is in company. Arun Chandrasekhar (39), a designer from Chennai, made an advance online payment of Rs 1 lakh to book the Ducati Monster 795 on January 12, 2012, the day they advertised the super bike in India. Arun was informed by Mumbai-based dealers that he was the first to book the bike in India and was their privileged customer. “In the last 15 months, I have made umpteen correspondences with the dealer, who kept assuring the delivery of the bike but it never came.
Last month I spoke to a representative at the dealer’s Mumbai office and I sensed that the bike would never be delivered. So I asked for a refund of my advance payment.” Arun got his money after a month but without any interest. “The dealers should have given a nominal interest on the deposit but they did not. It is very upsetting that a dream super bike remains a dream. I do not want to go for Ducati again, even though it is internationally renowned.”
Says the dealer
“We are committed to fulfilling the delivery conditions of the sales contract once the payment conditions are met by Mr Kalra. In case Mr Kalra is unable to pay the balance or does not want the bike anymore, we will duly process the refund upon his request,” said an official spokesperson for Ducati India. More details regarding the prolonged waiting period or the problems assailing the delivery could not be obtained.
Other aggrieved customers have conveyed their displeasure with the international brand through posts on Facebook
>> Aldrin Gomes: Please DON’T BUY Ducati 795. Ducati India have been promising the bike since April 2012. I paid my deposit then. I did speak to the owner of Ducati Mumbai and he promised to give me the delivery date two weeks ago. Bad service before buying the bike, I can’t imagine (what it would be) post-purchase. The only reason for taking this b***s*** is that I purchased gear worth Rs 2 lakh from Ducati Paris last May. Please do not buy this bike. On March 2
>> Jeffery Stagg: I have now left India and am willing to give the inside story to exactly what has been going on with Ducati India and how the customers have been made to suffer. On November 20
>> Aniket More: Let’s all come together to help our motorcycling community brothers who have been brought to great troubles with the Ducati. It has been a year that bikers who have booked their Monsters 795 have not been given deliveries but only false promises. If there are people at Ducati India reading this, let it be known that we bikers cannot be taken for a ride. On November 14
>> Ashish Mishra: How many guys have got their refunds back for monster 795? On January 19