I was recently on a 7500 km trip from Mumbai to Bhutan and back. On day 2 of the trip (31st October 2014), about 25 kms from Kota, I went over a stone at high-speed, really high-speed. This bent both the rims and blew open the front tire. I shit my pants, literally.
I called KTM Orange Assist immediately to ask for a flatbed truck, which could take me to nearest KTM service center, from where I could then continue the journey after necessary repairs. A guy named Mahesh took my call. My details were captured and verified. The sequence of events after that is as follows:
- I was told that a truck can be sent to my location, but it will not be able to take my bike to the service centre till 10 PM, since trucks aren’t allowed in the city before this time. What?
- Then I was told that a flatbed truck is simply not available in or around Kota.
- I was given an option of a normal truck, which I accepted, since I didn’t have any other fucking option.
- However even this normal truck didn’t come with ropes and harnesses to tie the bike with, which would have made the transportation very dangerous.
- I still accepted this arrangement, ready to use our own bungee cords and ropes, since I didn’t have any other fucking option.
- I was then put on call directly with the truck driver, who didn’t really seem interested or capable of helping me out. No confirmation was given if the truck will be sent or not.
- Finally I was told it will still take 2 hours for the truck to show up, if at all the driver and truck is arranged for.
It was then that I very calmly said screw this, and rode about 5 kms on a blown front tire and 2 bent rims, and found a miracle puncture guy who sealed my tire from the inside and took only 50 bucks from me, after which I was able to slowly ride till Kota, where KTM service centre guys helped us immensely.
Overall, I had an extremely bad experience with KTM Orange Assist. It was not like I had the issue in the middle of nowhere, I was well within the stipulated 100 kms of a service centre. Even then Orange Assist guys were spectacularly unequipped to handle my problem. Mahesh was polite and trying to help me the best he could, but if the infrastructure is not there, what can an agent with a phone do?
KTM Orange Assist needs to understand the following things:
- When someone pays 800 bucks for an orange assist policy, they expect some use for it when the time comes!
- People on long motorcycle trips are bound by schedule. Time is of great essence. Asking your customer to wait for an entire day for no plausible reason is outrageous.
- If you promise flat-bed trucks in 100 kms of every service centre, provide flat-bed trucks within 100 kms of every service center. Asking the customer to compromise on his bike’s safety by sending in a normal truck is stupid.
- For God’s sake DO NOT put your customer on direct call with a truck driver. If that’s what I had to do, I would have taken some local truck guy’s number from a friend and called him up. What’s the point of orange assist then? If you want location info, that can be taken by the agent as well.
- Most importantly, if you guys feel you will not be able to help the guy within a short amount of time, tell him that. I wasted 2 hours calling and waiting for the truck. 2 hours on a good day is equal to 150 kms. Be clear and concise in your communications, and be honest.
So there you have it, my little skirmish with KTM Orange Assist that didn’t go as planned, at all. I had taken the policy to find some peace of mind in what was expected to be a long and tiring battle against the universe, but as it turned out, disappointment hit me square in the crotch on just the second day. I’m still happy with my Duke 390, and honestly surprised the rims took such a huge impact without breaking apart!
If you have any experience with Orange Assist, let me know!