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Skoda Fabia 1.6 Long-Termer: Engine failure at 83.000km and lousy customer service at Skoda Egypt Artoc Auto?

What started as a very promising 100.000km long-term test seems to be having a not-so-happy end, due to a possible engine failure, but also due to the extremely reckless, careless and unprofessional attitude of the service center of Skoda Egypt – Artoc Auto.

It is taking the responsible engineers and customers service managers such as Eng. Mahmoud Mahmoud more than two years now (yes, I mean TWO full years, since January 2011!!!) to get a reply from the Skoda customer service and warranty department at the headquarter in Czech Republic regarding a warranty issue with the low-quality air-condition vents on the dash-board of our Fabia long-termer. And until now we still did not receive any reply from the customer service and warranty department at Skoda headquarter yet.

But what is even more astonishing is the heedless and negligent response of Mr. Mohamed Atteya, who is supposed to be the ‘Technical Support Assistance Manger’ at Skoda Egypt – Artoc Auto. (Please do not ask me what ‘Manger’ means as it is written this way in his email signature!)

Mr. Mohamed Atteya decided to write us back on 19.02.2013 as a reply to our last reminder on 11.11.2012 (which means it took the engineers and customer service at Artoc Auto another THREE full months to respond to our complaint!), just to tell us the following:

Mohamed Atteya: This case is closed from one year before, when I meet the customer beside his vehicle in Ghamra service center reception area and explain to him how his all air vents broken by outside mechanical effect [ not manufacture defect ].

So, is this supposed to be the reply we have been waiting for from Skoda headquarter for over 2 years now and which took us tens of emails back and forth and many hours of wasted time???

I would like to add here that I personally do not recall this conversation with Mr. Atteya at all, as all communication at the Skoda service center had been with Mr. Mahmoud. Beside this fact, I do not care at all about Mr. Atteya’s opinion as I clearly disagreed with such an opinion from day one, and this is why I asked the Skoda headquarter to take care of the warranty complaint. So, his useless reply is not only out of place, but completely irrelevant to the whole case!

One more thing I would like to say to Mr. Mohamed Atteya: If you think that this is a proper and professional customer service attitude then I strongly recommend that you make a career-shift and start looking for another job in another sector, which does not require professional people who know how to deal with automotive customers and their complaints.

If this is the same reckless behavior they are taking care of the normal cars and normal customers in their service center, then no wonder that we have so many complaints from Skoda owners and break-downs of Skoda cars in Egypt.

What worries me most is that this is not the first serious complaint of the bad quality and reckless service at the Skoda Egypt Artoc service center we have been receiving through our live radio show and website, and this gives me the impression that those engine failures might be related to the unprofessional and incompetent service at the Skoda Egypt Artoc Auto service centers.

The fact that there was no Mobile Service Car or towing service available on Friday does show us that the Skoda Egypt Artoc Service center is not paying much attention to the sake of the Skoda owners and that it is not offering a proper Emergency service for its Skoda customers.

The gentlemen from the Skoda Artoc Auto hotline 16616 did not even bother to call us back. And this is not the first time the Skoda Hotline responded to our problem. That happened before when we had a breakdown on 11pm on the Ringroad.

Another big problem is the huge discrepancy between the QG service interval recommend by the Skoda headquarter and the service interval forced by the Skoda Egypt Artoc service center, which thereby varies from 5.000km to 30.000km ! But more to that later.

This is surely not the service you would expect from a professional and respectable car dealer, representing such a renowned brand such as Skoda.

I think it is about time that the Manager of the automotive division of Artoc Group, Mr. Pierre Forrest, starts having a much closer look at the Skoda Egypt division and starts an immediate restructuring and personnel changes at the Skoda Egypt service center and the Skoda management.

I am confident that Mr. Pierre Forrest will not allow such customer service failure to pass that easily, as he had been very keen on solving the previous Skoda complaints we have received.

But unfortunately it seems that the engineers and customer service managers and executives still need lots of training in order not to jeopardize the name and imagine of Skoda as well as Artoc Group.

As soon as Skoda Egypt – Artoc Auto sends its towing truck to pick up our Fabia long-termer we will update you on the damage of the engine and tell you if the Fabia will be able to continue the 100.000km test or not.

I just hope for Artoc Group that the reaction time of its Skoda Egypt auto division will be a little bit faster than in the previous case, which took them more than two years to react.

Cairo - Berlin

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