Navi Mumbai: Fed up with delay in delivery, customer rides off with demo bike

Updated: Sep 18, 2016, 13:01 IST | Gaurav Sarkar

Before Kawasaki cancelled its Navi Mumbai dealership, Chennai resident was probably the last person to get a bike from showroom, that too, only because he forced staff to give him the demo bike

Before Kawasaki cancelled its Navi Mumbai dealership, Chennai resident Mohammed Mubarak was probably the last person to get a bike from the showroom, that too, only because he forced the staff to give him the demo bike.

Also read: After showroom fails to deliver 11 superbikes, Kawasaki cancels Navi Mumbai dealership

Mohammed Mubarak demanded that the showroom staff either return his money or give him the demo bike on display there
Mohammed Mubarak demanded that the showroom staff either return his money or give him the demo bike on display there

Like many other customers, Mohammed Mubarak was kept waiting for months to receive the bike he had paid lakhs of rupees for.

Tired of being taken for a ride, he flew all the way to Mumbai, marched into the Kawasaki showroom and took off with the demo bike on display there. But it was hardly a smooth ride — even as he was riding back to Chennai, the brand new bike broke down.

Last week, mid-day reported that the Kawasaki disowned the SNK dealership at Palm Beach — the city’s first Kawasaki showroom, which was opened just a year ago. The showroom had taken lakhs of rupees from customers but had failed to deliver orders to at least 11 customers for months together.

One of these buyers is Mohammed Mubarak (25), a Chennai resident who owns a store for superbike accessories and spare parts. “I wanted to get the latest edition of the Kawasaki ZX14R — also known as the Ohlins edition,” said Mubarak, adding, “This model was not available at any showroom in the country, except for SNK Palm Beach. Along with me, another Chennai resident, Irfan, had also booked the same bike. We contacted Satyen at SNK, and he promised to have the bike delivered within 20 days, but only if we paid him the full amount in advance.”

Called their bluff
In May, they transferred the full payment but Satyen failed to deliver the bikes. The showroom manager told him that his bike hadn’t been received yet.

“They kept bluffing for some days. Finally, I flew down from Chennai to Mumbai, where I found the exact same bike that I had ordered, lying idle at the showroom,” he said.

“I caught hold of the staff and threatened to file a case against them. I made it clear that they had two options: either refund the money, or give me the bike,” said Mubarak. Finally, after a lot of arguing, the staff gave Mubarak the demo bike.

Bumpy ride
Mubarak decided to ride his new superbike all the way to Chennai and he got the bike’s registration and other formalities completed in Pune. “But while riding, the clutch started making noise,” he said.

He called the mechanics at SNK, who advised him to immediately take the bike to the Bangalore Kawasaki showroom as it was on the way to Chennai. But he didn’t find satisfactory service there either, as they told him there was no issue with the bike.

Mubarak go back on the road, but just a little later, a screw fell off the new bike.

The bike continues to throw up glitches. “Satyen said he would send someone from Delhi to fix it, but till date, no one has come. I have also called Japan Kawasaki, but there is a communication lag between us. This is not the kind of service people expect when they go to a big brand like Kawasaki.”

The other side
When mid-day tried to contact Satyen Karandikar, the owner of SNK Palm Beach, his phone was not reachable. However, when the dealership was cancelled a week ago, he had told this reporter: “From today, I will start refunding money of the customers — not the whole amount in one go, but some part of it.”

Since then, he has been absconding, confirmed Mumbai-resident Neil Shah, who had also tried to contact the showroom owner for a refund. “Satyen is absconding and has not been taking our calls since the last two weeks,” he said.

However, Bhanu Prakash, the service manager at the Bangalore showroom, confirmed the fact that Mubarak had stopped at the Bangalore branch to get his bike repaired. “On the day Mubarak visited here, most of our staff was on leave. There was a new technician who had joined at the time, who somehow made the mistake of overlooking a small loose screw on the right hand side of the bike. This kind of mistake has never happened before. Other than this small mistake, our quality of service has consistently been top notch,” he stated.

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