Sunday, May 01, 2011

Car head light on?

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It was raining hard. I came back into the car. Something fell on top of car from above, not heaven. I wondered lightning and dared not to open the door. Is it safe to be inside or outside of car if lightning strikes on the tree under which your car is parked?

After few secs opened the door and checked, found the tree shedding some dry weight. I was still twisting the key. For the first time in 5 years the twisting key did not start the engine of Maruti Swift. I had no clue in the world. I twisted some more. The wipers moved in slow motion. Stopped them.

I ran to the security at the parking entrance seeking help.
Do you have any cab driver around?
Do you know somebody who can fix a car?
Do you have umbrella?
All negative.
"Today is Saturday, Sir, Nobody is around, rest of the days there are hundreds of cab around". Somebody from behind quipped in "There's a Hyundai showroom on the main road, why don't you go and check with them for mechanic?"

It was still pouring hard, I thought to give it one more try and came back to the car through muddy car parking lot. It looked like a playground converted to car parking. No luck again.

A neighboring car was about to be driven off. I pulled the guts and went and knocked on his window. He said he would not mind dropping me to the main road. Meanwhile I called the 24 hours helpline of Mandovi Motors. The guy disconnected and said he would call back. I thanked the person who helped me with the lift, he had come for the SPIN meeting. Guess some quality initiative in software services world but definitely meant a lot of quality support to me at the right time.

The Mandovi guy called back and said I would need to call another number. He started to give the number. I was out of the lift car, in front of Hyundai service center and in the rain. How in the world could I have noted a number and called it back. He was generous enough to send the number as SMS.

Meanwhile I chatted with the Hyundai service guys and they offered their own help line number. He expressed his inability, he and his branch managers and all. He also mentioned that do not describe your car as Maruti otherwise they will not come. You have a full fledged Hyundai service center within 300 meters of a broken car and they refuse to help because you are a Maruti owner.

I called the Delhi number and here are few questions which the Delhi helping hand of Maruti asked.
Which color is your car?
Which year model?
What make?
Where are you stuck? I explained him the location. He could not get Domlur properly. I asked him to let a local mechanic give me a call and he would be able to understand address better.
Is it under warranty?
You will be charged Rs 300 for a visit.

Finally I got a call from on road support of Pratham motors on inner ring road new Domlur. I got a message from Delhi Maruti help center number that the help will be in 40 mins.

I waited. The rain stopped. Finally the glimpse of the Maruti van. The first question the authorized Maruti mechanic asked was "Did you leave any lights on?" I could not understand the question as the voice was as muddy as soil below soaked in rain.

We reached to the broken car at Sasken car parking lot and he found the headlight open. He switched it off. The car was started, jump-start, 2 mins. The mechanic said it was the most common reason they get a call. The IT professionals park car in dark basement with lights on. They forget to switch if off because they have remote lock.

I said why don't you paste a warning and train novice driver with the advisory that "Your battery will drain off if you leave your lights ON for more than 2 hours". He said everyone knew. Did I? Did you?

I got a call from Delhi helpline after 3 hours. Two questions.
Was your complaint attended to?
How many kilometers has your car traveled?

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