We live in an era where some people just want to make easy money, irrespective of what means the money come from. They have no self respect, no shame and no fear of losing their name and their genuine customers. One such person is Mumbai based Aldo Russel Leitao, who, desperately, wants to make customers and earn his commission by practicing all means of false promises to his customers. One of our team members was informed of Aldo’s such malpractices and we decided to review this by our own mechanism to deal with a fraudster like him in the automobile market.
Firstly, we needed to confront him as a customer in need of a bike. However, before meeting him, our team wanted to ensure we have the standard price and deal offered by the other bike dealers in Mumbai. So our team met several other bike dealers to understand the standard offers available widely and generally, before meeting this bike fraudster. Our team now contacted Aldo in May 2019 and met him personally to understand his offers. The bike that our team decided to check for was TVS Ntorque.
After gathering the information on the deals available from the other bike dealers and talking to Aldo, subsequently, Ajanta News’ team met Aldo Leitao. Aldo started by claiming that he can get us any bike at a much cheaper price than it’s market value. We asked for TVS Ntorque, and as expected, Aldo replied with a yes for it’s availability with him. We asked for it’s price and he replied “Rs. 80,000” as it’s on-road price. We were surprised by this quoted price as the TVS showroom had quoted Rs. 87,000-Rs. 89,000 for the bike.
We asked Aldo, why his quoted price is lesser than the market price, he replied that we shouldn’t be worried about that as it’s his contacts which yields this benefit. Anyway, our objective was met and we realized that Aldo is faking it. We wanted to test his offers and we decided to walk with him to his showroom to see if he really has the TVS Ntorque to sell us. After he took us to a showroom based in Sakinaka, Andheri East, where the bike wasn’t available for a booking, he asked our team to follow him to another showroom in Ghatkopar. We got curious to know if he owns multiple showrooms as he was taking us to another bike showroom. We killed this curiosity and directly asked Aldo if he owns multiple showrooms. Aldo replied that he has several of his bike dealers and that he arranges bikes from them for his customers. It wasn’t too late for us to realize that he is a bike agent on commission. We asked the same to Aldo, to which he tried to dodge our questions initially, however, after our repeated probing, he finally admitted that he works on commission.
Anyway, we wanted to witness if he can really arrange the TVS Ntorque at the price he had quoted i.e. Rs. 80,000. Well, so far so good, we thought so until we reached Ghatkopar with him to enter into another bike showroom. We saw the TVS Ntorque, however, we decided to shift our choice from TVS Ntorque to Suzuki’s Burgman Street. We asked for it’s price, and as usual, Aldo asked us if we know it’s price. We quickly spoke to couple of showrooms and fetched the information. In the meanwhile, Aldo checked with the showroom owner for it’s price. After coming out, he quoted Rs. 85,000 on-road price for the Suzuki Burgman Street. We were taken aback after hearing the price as the on-road price of the Suzuki Burgman Street was quoted to be Rs. 92,000 to Rs. 95,000 elsewhere.
The time had come to check if he can arrange the bike at his quoted price. We were keeping everything on WhatsApp and was recording his calls to take it on record whatever he was promising us. Finally, we decided to buy the bike. Our team had decided to unveil Aldo’s true face to our readers and followers so we decided to buy the bike on loan. We again checked with Aldo if there are any hidden charges that he should tell us before booking the bike, to which he denied any such charges. Finally, we submitted one of our members’ documents and the loan was sanctioned by Manba Finance. Now comes the twist.
When we contacted Aldo after the sanction of the loan, he said that the bike price will go up as there will be processing fee of Rs. 2,500 and accessories charges on top of it. We denied of any such charges in our knowledge, nothing that he mentioned about in the earlier conversations. So the on-road price now went up to Rs. 87,500+. We denied to pay this, however, we checked with other sources and got to know that we cannot approach any other dealer since his partner showroom’s name is already linked with our loan process. This is to be noted by all the readers reading this article. Let’s move ahead.
We decided to take our time before giving Aldo a final nod on our intention to purchase the bike. In the meanwhile, to our surprise, our team member received a text message from Manba Finance reminding him of his EMI due. He immediately brought this to our team’s notice and we decided to take on Manba Finance as to how could they disburse the loan without the bike being delivered to us. We reached out to Manba Finance, the customer service to reach Manba Finance is as fast as a bullock-cart ride, anyway, we finally emailed Manba Finance officer to call us back as we were unable to reach them through their official customer service number.
Our team member received a call from Manba Finance and we revealed the whole episode to them, asking them to cancel the loan as the bike isn’t with us. After a lengthy conversation, we were unsuccessful in cancelling the loan, however, we found out that the dealer who sold our team member the bike was C. H. Automobiles based in the outskirts of Mumbai, Ulhasnagar. We reached out to them, thanks to Google Business.
They were surprised to know the whole dubious transaction done by Aldo Leitao. Our team asked them how could they release the bike to a third person without the consent of the customer. To which, the lady on the line told us that they usually give the bike to the agent who brings the business to them. We counter argued on this point by stating that what if the vehicle they release to a third person meets an accident or breaks down before it is handed over to the actual customer. The lady realized the mistake and assured that she will speak to Aldo and ask him to sort this out as it’s bad for their brand.
Our team member received a call from Aldo and we countered him by asking him how could he take custody of the bike without our consent and keep us uninformed about it. To which he said that he has the bike but he will only handover the bike to us if we pay him extra Rs. 5,000. So the price is going to be Rs. 87,500 + Rs. 5,000 = Rs. 92,500. We countered Aldo by saying that he never discussed about this price neither on calls nor on WhatsApp. He said that he has paid the same amount to C. H. Automobiles and that he will need this amount without which he cannot handover the bike to us. We immediately asked for the bill/invoice/receipt that he has received from C. H. Automobiles which proves he has paid the extra amount. He said that he cannot give us the scanned copy, neither can he show us for once. It was a hooliganism by Aldo Leitao, even though knowing that this could land him to jail for his fraudulent malpractices.
Now, imagine the situation where the actual owner of the bike is now getting blackmailed with the intention to extort more money from him. We decided to take on the owner of C. H. Automobiles as to how could they release the bike without our team member’s consent. At this point in time, our legal department was kept on standby to take on this case in the court of law to challenge this malpractices by C. H. Automobiles and their unethical agent Aldo Leitao. We demanded to speak to the owner of the showroom before suing C. H. Automobiles. We also wanted to understand if the owner of C. H. Automobiles is also backing his team member’s malpractices and whether he is aware of the malpractices his team is doing to meet their target. However, the lady replied that the owner is on a business tour and that till he returns, she is the only person we could talk to. Our team member finally revealed that he is a journalist and works with Ajanta News and will flash this news on it’s media properties as well as take this matter to the court. The lady understood the gravity of the case and assured for a settlement to de-escalate the matter.
Our team member, subsequently, received a call from the now proven fraudster Aldo Leitao. He agreed to give us the bike on receipt of Rs. 2,500, however, the remaining accessories like Helmet, Seat Cover, Steel Body Guards, RC Book, etc. to be collected later. Our team member quickly consulted our legal department and he along with couple of more team members reached Aldo Leitao who didn’t show any sign of shame for his fraud and cheating. Anyway, we took the custody of our team member’s Suzuki Burgman Street. However, our fate didn’t end here. Aldo Leitao was waiting for another harassment to our team member.
After months of chasing, Aldo didn’t return the bike accessories after making several promises. He even stopped answering our team member’s calls. A visit to his last showroom (a 60-70 sq. ft. showroom) got shifted from Kurla’s Pathanwadi to some unknown place. We still kept tracing him and called him from several unknown numbers, to which he just said that he will call back and never returned the calls. We are in December 2019 and his messages have gone abusive towards our team member and finally, our team member has bought the accessories by his own.
Take-aways & Learning: We understand the plight of a customer in buying a bike, can imagine the happiness with which he/she decides to welcome a new member (vehicle) in his/her family, however, Aldo like fraudsters just spoil the whole experience. We, hence, recommend that whenever you buy a bike or a car, make a thorough reference check on the dealer/agent who is concluding the deal for you. Otherwise, you will end up losing your happiness and your money unnecessarily. You can also approach consumer court, to book and punish such fraudsters. However, remember to keep your conversations in a written form or in a recorded state so that you can sue and recover your damages from such fraudsters before the court.
Disclaimer: The intention of the above review is not to defame the fraudster but to make other customers aware of these malpractices carried out by fraudsters in the automobile industry. Any dispute arising from the fraudster’s side against the review must be dealt between the fraudster and the team member who is the victim in the case. Ajanta News isn’t the party in the case as this review is based on the document verification, recorded calls and WhatsApp messages shown to us.