The difference between a good vehicle brand and a bad one can boil down to the efficiency of their service centres and how their customers are treated.
One of my business colleagues drives an upmarket German vehicle but when I asked if he would recommend buying one, his answer surprised me – “Great vehicle but not worth the service hassles and poor customer service received to date” – and that for a car costing close to 800k!
Therein lies the crux of the matter, even the most expensive cars needs parts and servicing. I would rather drive a value for money vehicle with a good service centre back-up than a top of the line luxury brand with poor customer service.
So it was time to put the Chery Service Centre to the test. I phone the Randburg branch and they quickly responded and gave me a booking for a Monday morning a few days later.
I drove to the dealership at 7:30am and Kenneth, the service manager was already busy checking in another customer. I had a very short wait and Kenneth had all the paperwork ready and sorted when I sat down at his desk.
He confirmed all my details and then took me through the service procedure, explained my consumer rights and asked if there were any specific problems that might need attending to. This was the first 15 000km service and there were no problems with the vehicle. He then went out to the parking lot with me and did a visual inspection of the Tiggo to confirm any scratches or dents (there were none) and then reminded me to remove any valuables that may have been left in the vehicle. I signed off on the service request and then went to the waiting lounge in the service centre.
Whilst there, the service advisor, Ikram, introduced himself to me and advised me that if I had any questions or queries, he would answer them. (The service advisor liaises with the customer directly and informs them of any additional maintenance or repairs that might come to the attention of the mechanics servicing the vehicle).
Under normal circumstances Ikram would be the customer’s point of contact, but I had requested to meet the mechanic and look through the workshop. I’ve been in a variety of workshops over the years, from mining and farming to large commercial set-ups and usually you can tell a lot about a mechanic by the condition he keeps his workbench in. Craig was scheduled to service my vehicle and I was pleased to see that his workbench was very neat and tidy and his tools were laid out in an orderly manner. Overall, the workshop was also clean, neat and tidy and I saw no sign of litter or rubbish or old parts lying around.
The first thing Craig did was an overall inspection of the outside of the vehicle. He tested all the lights and indicators and went through the engine bay and checked fluid levels and any visible wear and tear on items like the fan belt.
The vehicle was then hoisted on the lift and Craig inspected the bottom of the vehicle from front to back, checking for any leaks or any visible defects. The oil was drained and a new oil filter installed. Once lowered, the service was completed with new oil and then a full electronic diagnostic was carried out. The vehicle was then taken out for a test drive.
I left Craig to finish off and had a cup of coffee whilst they returned the vehicle to the customer parking lot.
I collected the keys from Kenneth and when I walked out to the vehicle I was pleasantly surprised to see that the Tiggo was glistening in the sun from the wash and wax it had just received.
Overall the whole procedure was quick and efficient, taking just under 90 minutes to complete. The service staff was knowledgeable, friendly and professional and getting your vehicle back sparkling clean was a nice touch.
The Chery Tiggo continues to impress.