07-13-2012, 08:58 AM
Join Date: May 2012
Mein Auto: 2012 BMW M3 Coupe
Here we go. :-) I wanted to share this lesson learned anyway.
Originally Posted by maxeaus
"which caused me to miss out on driving on Nurburgring. Long story..."
We have plenty of time here.
Like a lot of us here, buying an M3 and tour Europe in your brand spanking new M3 is a once in a lifetime experience. So, I carefully planned my trip. Knowing that I couldn't drive the M3 above 105 mph and 5500rpm in the first 1200 miles, I started off my trip touring Austria, Northern Italy and then Switzerland. I timed it perfectly that I'd need the first 1200 miles service at Stuttgart. After the service, I'd head up north to Nurburgring and drop it off in Amsterdam.
I made an appointment at 3:30pm on Friday. Took off really early from Switzerland with 1.5 hours padding for traffic. Well, I was stuck on the A8 freeway during rush hour with accident. So, by the time I arrived at the service center, I was 45 minutes. I was told I was too late and had to come back on Monday. I couldn't come back on Monday because I was flying back on Monday in Amsterdam. A simple "sorry" was all they had to say. After feeling like an abandoned child, my stomach started to churn a little bit. "****! Should have a plan B." was in my head. After begging and begging for forgiveness, the manager made a feeble attempt to ask if any mechanic would come in Saturday morning for an OT. Nope.
I had no phone there so I borrowed their phone to call BMW Roadside Assistant. BMW ED office was closed. The person on BMW Roadside Assistant was really courteous and really tried to help me. He called around BMW service centers around the Stuttgart area and found one that has a Saturday service. I was advised to show up at 9am in the morning on the next morning.
I drove an hour, burnt off 50 miles (way over the 1200miles mark already.) Waited for 30 minutes outside the service center for them to open. A really friendly mechanic showed up and started talking to me in really good English. I had a good feeling that it'd be a good day. After his boss showed up for work at 9am, he told me in German that they didn't have the engine oil and differential fluid for M3 because they don't see a lot of M3 in their area. Again, just a simple sorry from them. There was no attempt to help a stranded BMW customer. I begged for help again. I suggested that I could run to another place to buy the oil. They called the BMW in Stuttgart and they said they had the fluid for M3. I was sent immediately to this BMW service center, which is another 50 miles on the other side of city. When I showed up, I was refused service because it's by appointment only. I was furious by that point. Why on earth would they agree to service me on the phone and then refused to service me when I show up? Am I too ugly?
After I asked my German speaking friend to talk to them over the phone, it turned out that they only said they have the oil and never agreed to the other service center to take over my appointment. Oops...
Then, I decided to buy the motor oils even though they don't have the differential fluid in bottle. I figured that I should still get the engine oil changed and continue on my trip. I also asked all three service centers what are the consequence of not getting the 1200 miles service done and put on 500 more miles on it. They all consistently told me that it'd void the warranty.
After paying 225 EUR for 9L of Castrol oil, the other service center told me that they can't do it. I felt like a ping-pong ball being bounced away.
BMW Roadside Assistant told me there is a 24/7 BMW service center next to BMW Welt that can help. When I called, they told me that was rubblish. They closed at 1pm on Saturday. Too late for me to drive to Munich.
It was almost 1pm. I lost the battle. My alternatives was either (1) change my flight, really expensive option; (2) drive 240km to the Munich Airport and drop off the car early.
I decided to drive to Munich that afternoon. The drop-off location at Munich said there is a 50 EUR charge for after-hour drop-off. When I showed up, the lady apologized to me and said she was mistaken. The charge was 200 EUR.
You know how your dining experience would be destroyed if the dessert is bad? This is exactly what happened to me. I had a wonderful time in the other countries and my experience ended up with a bad dessert - skipping the highlight of my trip (driving in Nurburgring) sucks!
To sum it up:
Two Germans couldn't understand each other in German. One heard there was oil while the other said there was no oil.
Two Germans couldn't understand each other in German again. One heard "Sure we have the oil and would be happy to help" while the other said "We have the oil but piss off"
BMW Roadside Assistant has the wrong information.
When it comes to service level, "Not my problem" is kind of the impressive I got from the service personnel. I was treated rudely by the service manager in BMW Stuttgart. He just blatantly said "by appointment only" and walked away. Maybe the Audi people constantly make fun of him. :-)
I'm an idiot to make an appointment on Friday not knowing that German service center are mostly close on Saturday.
Lesson learned: have a plan B and don't make your 1200 miles service on Friday.