Published on May 13th, 2019 | by Subhash Nair


Dashcam Reveals Fishy Behaviour at Service Centre

A friend had a dashcam installed and it revealed some fishy things about a service centre.

I would like to preface this article by saying a few things.

  1. This article is not meant to stoke fear, but to make you aware that these incidents happen and can happen to you
  2. This article isn’t made to make you suspect any particular car brand
  3. We won’t be showing any footage or still from the dash cam, though we have seen the evidence first hand and can confirm its credibility
  4. This article isn’t aimed at selling you a particular brand of dash cam

What it’s meant to do is spread awareness that this sort of thing may be happening to you. At the end of the article, we give you what tips we can for you to protect yourself.

Here’s the story

People put a lot of trust in official service centres. Perhaps a little too much trust. Many assume that because the reputation of the brand is at stake, personnel at official service centres won’t mess around. But we’ve been hearing complaints from readers and personal friends to the contrary.

Last month, it happened to one of Daniel’s friends. He was able to detect foul play because he himself is a professional mechanic. This week, one of my own friends detected strange behaviour and checked the footage on his dash cam. What he found was strange and upsetting. Here’s the story.

A perfectly nondescript picture of a service technician at work.

The scheduled service began as usual. He was promised, amongst other things, that the car would be cleaned and vacuumed. Upon receiving the car, he noticed that no cleanup had been done inside or out. Plus, the service had taken less time than before.

This made him suspicious. So, the following day, he took a look at his dash cam footage to see what had happened. It turns out there were a few red flags. But the most prominent and disturbing thing he found was that a whole segment of footage was missing.

The dash cam he had purchased and installed had its own built in battery. Any movements would trigger it to start recording. However, no aspect of the service could be found on its memory card. The car simply drove into the service area and the footage continues as it was already out.

Generic oil. No affiliation to any brand meant.

When he got someone to recover the ‘lost’ footage, he found a clip showing the service personnel had indeed removed his dash cam from the car to delete footage!

Not only does this raise a red flag, as dash cams have captured mechanics and salespeople doing highly inappropriate things with customer cars. Why would somebody charged with taking care of a car have any reason to modify or remove footage in any way? It’s highly inappropriate and suspicious.

How has the brand responded?

So far, the brand involved has not offered any compensation and insists that the service was carried out properly. But anyone with half a mind would have doubts. They have called to meet with my friend, but no offer was made to even have his car washed!

The brand did not offer to reconduct the service at their own cost to the satisfaction of their customer either.

I myself am a little disappointed in the response as I personally recommended the brand to this childhood friend of mine for its aftersales reputation. We will still seek remedies and escalate this to higher-ups in the meantime.

For now, what I can recommend is that you yourself get a fancy motion-detecting dash cam AND insist on seeing the discarded parts and lubricant bottles after each service. As an additional measure, what you can do is put a little marking on your oil filter before servicing. If it’s still there after, you know it wasn’t changed.

Personally speaking, there are plenty of great mechanics who work independently and are proud of their work. Sure, they don’t serve you coffee or have an air-conditioned room for you to wait in, but many are honest understand the importance of maintaining customer relations. This is where you should be sending your car.


About the Author

Written work on @subhashtag on instagram. Autophiles Malaysia on Youtube.

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