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  #1  
Old 01-16-2013, 06:00 PM
lephantom lephantom is offline
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Thumbs down Ultimate Driving Machine, but Terrible Customer Service!!

I know Lexus was king of Customer Satisfaction (now Lincoln has the title), but Lexus vehicles don't drive like BMW's. Overall, I've owned 6 BMW and meticulously cared for each one as if they were my child. I've always had reasonable care from my BMW dealerships, until today.
Here is a brief history. Since prices have been dropping on the M6, I decided to pick up a 2008 convertible 6 speed. I didn't want an SMG because of the costly repairs that may occur. Plus I enjoy the feel of a manual car. The original warranty was about to expire, so I brought it to my local dealership (I purchase the car at a BMW dealership 500 miles away from where I reside).
They took care of little issues without much trouble, but when it came to the convertible top they told me that I would have to drive the car back to the dealership I purchased the car from to get the top repaired!
Here is the issue with the top: when the top folds down into the trunk boot, the edge piping on both the driver's and passenger's side rub against a metal lip within the storage compartment of the car. One side the roof piping material is gone ( about 1/2") and the other side the same area is soft and weakened. I know it probably is quite expensive to repair the top and BMW feels that if they tell a customer to take it to the selling dealership that is a great distance away, that the customer would possibly give up.
So I called BMW of North America regarding this matter. There is no history of work performed on the piping of the convertible top or the storage area in the trunk; nor has the car been in an accident. It appears to have been manufactured with this defect and over it's low 24k miles the fabric wore off due to constant rubbing against a sharp metal lip.
Perhaps during the manufacturing of the car, the roof didn't touch the metal lip. I understand that convertible tops are not rigid and may alter there folding lines over time; thus I can understand that how this may have occurred. But this should be covered by BMW warranty. I don't think it is right to have a customer drive hours away to get warranty work done. Can you imagine purchasing a BMW on the West Coast and your job moved you to the East Coast and BMW told you that in order for you to have warranty work performed, you need to drive the car across the country back to the dealership of purchase!!
Come on BMW!!! This is why you will NEVER surpass Lexus or Lincoln (yeah, I can't believe it either) in Customer Satisfaction. I've heard that Porsche has very good customer satisfaction ranking; perhaps it's time to change loyalties. I was contemplating this purchase vs a 911 Turbo Cabriolet, but the back seats of a 911 are useless, and I have two little kids.
Sorry for venting, but this type of Service is insulting. I recommend that BMW clearly state in there ads that the Ultimate Driving Machine can only have warranty work performed at the original dealership of purchase. Any lawyers out there?
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  #2  
Old 01-16-2013, 06:13 PM
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What is the service managers side of the story?

What happened when you went to another BMW service department besides the first one?
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  #3  
Old 01-16-2013, 06:14 PM
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Sorry, forgot:

What is the net impact on you besides cosmetic?

And, lastly, what is it you want?
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  #4  
Old 01-16-2013, 06:33 PM
lephantom lephantom is offline
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It is a cosmetic issue as well as functional. If you open the car when it's raining, the piping is suppose to act like rain gutters on a house and prevent a stream of water from pouring in.
As mentioned, the warranty was about to expire when I brought the vehicle to a BMW dealership for service. They held the car for one week and over that period of time the warranty expired, so I was unable to bring it to another BMW dealership. Plus, the dealership claims that it was BMW Corp of North America that told them I needed to bring the car back to the dealership I purchased it from.
It is absurd to have to bring a car to a particular dealership to have certain warranty work performed. I want BMW to step up and take care of there customers. I don't want to hear ridiculous excuses like we will provide you warranty service if you drive your car to our other dealership which is six hours away.

Say your stereo stop working and BMW told you that you would have to take your car 2 states over to another dealership for them to repair your car. Not a pleasant idea, not pleasant service.
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  #5  
Old 01-16-2013, 07:00 PM
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What did BMW NA say about the issue of returning to the original dealer for warranty work when you had them in the phone?

Why did the fact of where you bought the car arise in the context of a warraanty issue?

Was the top in it's current consition when you bought the car?

Was it abused by the previous owner i.e. not covered under warranty due to mis use?
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  #6  
Old 01-16-2013, 07:19 PM
lephantom lephantom is offline
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The information regarding getting warranty work performed at another BMW dealership arose from the dealership where the car was held for service. They relayed that the information came from BMW NA. I called BMW NA directly and I am hoping that it was just the dealership that conveyed this information on there best interest rather than from BMW NA. BMW NA is currently trying to contact the dealerships in question to better understand the situation.

I hope I receive positive news when they contact me.

The car was already in the current configuration when it was purchase approximately one month ago. The convertible top shows no other signs of damage and appears to be in good condition except for defect as noted.
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  #7  
Old 01-16-2013, 07:55 PM
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Does anyone else feel like something is missing from this story?
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  #8  
Old 01-16-2013, 09:05 PM
lephantom lephantom is offline
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I have been truthful and forthright in stating this incident. I am a Physician and can afford to fix a problem, should one arise. This is why I decided not to purchase extended warranty and fix problems as they arise. That is also why I purchased a 6 speed rather than an SMG. I was hoping that BMW would stand by there product and take care of warranty issues, rather than dance around them. MMME30W, you forte appears to lie in your cynicism; which I admire, for I too am rather cynical; I am also bit obsessive/compulsive. I keep my possession in as new condition as possible and I care for my patients in the same manner.

I hope that BMW NA calls me tomorrow and tells me that the dealer created this scenario that I could only have the warranty work performed by the dealership from which the vehicle was sold. If that is the case, I shall list the dealer's name as well as the Managers's name and hope people read this post and be careful which dealership they choose to perform business with. After all, dealerships are just people who stand at the side of a corporation and we are easily fooled to believe they have the integrity of the Company they represent.
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  #9  
Old 01-16-2013, 09:35 PM
lephantom lephantom is offline
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A few photos after I hand waxed the car.
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  #10  
Old 01-17-2013, 03:49 AM
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I don't follow.

Your complaint seems to be with the dealer, not with BMW NA.

You've never said what YOU want. If you could wave a magic wand, what do you want to happen?

Cynical, yes. I've been on forums for many years and have never actually heard of any dealer refusing legitimate warranty work. They get paid a good profit to do it. It makes no sense not to do so. That's why I believe you omitted some relevant aspect of the original condition/contract of the vehicle you bought.

Either way, I'm curious what happens, so please, post the result of your conversation with BMW here. I'd be happy to be wrong and hope you get some kind of adjustment.

Good luck.

PS I agree with you on MT, an auto is like kissing your sister.
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- J.C. Watts Jr.

Last edited by MMME30W; 01-17-2013 at 03:58 AM.
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  #11  
Old 01-17-2013, 05:00 AM
letuz letuz is offline
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Why are you giving the OP such a hard time instead of helping him out?

To answer your question, I am on my fourth BMW and have never had an issue taking the car for warranty work at a dealer other than the one the vehicle was purchased from. To me, it sounds like the dealer is trying to avoid doing the work.

I will note that i have even purchased vehicles out of state and had warranty work performed here in Miami. I would press this issue hard with the dealer's service manager/BMWNA. Do NOT allow the dealer to sour your taste on the brand as a whole, as the problem in this case seems to start and end with them!
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  #12  
Old 01-17-2013, 08:33 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by fzutel View Post
Why are you giving the OP such a hard time instead of helping him out?

To answer your question, I am on my fourth BMW and have never had an issue taking the car for warranty work at a dealer other than the one the vehicle was purchased from. To me, it sounds like the dealer is trying to avoid doing the work.

I will note that i have even purchased vehicles out of state and had warranty work performed here in Miami. I would press this issue hard with the dealer's service manager/BMWNA. Do NOT allow the dealer to sour your taste on the brand as a whole, as the problem in this case seems to start and end with them!
See post number ten.

I'm not sure why asking questions comes across as giving OP a hard time. It is hard to tell because OP never stated what he wanted. Some people come on forums and give their version of reality. Sometimes the truth lies in the middle. Kind of hard to judge when you don't hear both sides. YMMV I guess.
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  #13  
Old 01-17-2013, 08:57 AM
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Did some digging for OP.

BMW Warranty booklet for a 2008 M6 Convertible contains this statement:

"The BMW Maintenance Program covers all factory recommended maintenance, as determined
by the Condition Based Service (CBS) system.

Additional items that need replacement due to normal wear and tear, and that are not covered by the original New Vehicle Limited Warranty - such as brake pads, brake rotors, and wiper blade inserts - are included, provided wear and tear exceeds BMW wear limits. Any adjustments required due to normal operating conditions are also included. See pages 5 - 6 of this booklet for additional information.

Exclusions from coverage include the following:

Items reimbursable under your New Vehicle Limited Warranty

Gasoline

Windshield washer additive (except when in conjunction with scheduled maintenance)

Tires, wheel alignment, tire balance and rotation

Wear and tear of soft trim items, such as: seats, carpets, moldings, headliner, door panels and all chrome trim "


Reference: http://www.bmwusa.com/Standard/Conte...antyBooks.aspx

So if the SA judged the OP's issue as wear and tear, that would be in my view a reasonable explanation of why the OP's warranty claim was denied.

As to BMW or it's representatives stating legitimate warranty work must be done at the selling dealer, this is incorrect. There is no such exclusion. Additional warranty information may be obtained here:

http://www.bmwusa.com/Standard/Conte.../Warranty.aspx
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“Character is doing the right thing when nobody’s looking. There are too many people who think that the only thing that’s right is to get by, and the only thing that’s wrong is to get caught.”

- J.C. Watts Jr.

Last edited by MMME30W; 01-17-2013 at 09:03 AM.
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  #14  
Old 01-17-2013, 09:04 AM
ColoradoKraut ColoradoKraut is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MMME30W View Post
See post number ten.

I'm not sure why asking questions comes across as giving OP a hard time. It is hard to tell because OP never stated what he wanted. Some people come on forums and give their version of reality. Sometimes the truth lies in the middle. Kind of hard to judge when you don't hear both sides. YMMV I guess.
As he stated, he wants the top repaired!! Quit being a PITA.
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  #15  
Old 01-17-2013, 09:06 AM
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Originally Posted by ColoradoKraut View Post
As he stated, he wants the top repaired!! Quit being a PITA.
As far as I know stating opinions is within the tou.

If you have a problem with me or a post, I recommend you hit the 'report a post' button at the lower left.
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  #16  
Old 01-17-2013, 09:44 AM
lephantom lephantom is offline
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It was my assumption that dealers are paid well for warranty work, but I am starting to believe that some warranty work is more profitable than others. I believe that to replace the top is so labor intensive that the reimbursement profit is diminished for long labor intensive work. Further, I am beginning to believe the dealer lied when they told me BMW NA stated that I would need to bring the vehicle to another dealership. Hopefully, BMW NA can shed some light on this matter.
Thank you for posting the information from the warranty booklet. I initially thought the damage was due to wear and tear; but I've own a 3 series convertible BMW 20 years ago in the harsh weather of Boston and that top never showed this type of damage. So I slowly lowered and raised the top and noticed that the piping was scrapping against a sharp metal lip in the trunk compartment. Perhaps BMW should have allowed more room for ingress & egress of the top. If the roof where metal, like on my SL55 AMG, the roof would have caught and been stuck. But then again, a metal roof is more rigid and probably would not have expanded outward as it appears mine has. But to me, this is a manufacturers error and I'm hoping BMW NA would cover this repair since the car was under the original warranty term. I am hoping that it was only the dealership that did not wish to perform the service and not BMW NA Corp.
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Old 01-17-2013, 11:22 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by lephantom View Post
Further, I am beginning to believe the dealer lied when they told me BMW NA stated that I would need to bring the vehicle to another dealership. Hopefully, BMW NA can shed some light on this matter.
You may be right. I understand your frustration, but hopefully you will feel better when you hear back from BMWNA. Perhaps this is a case of "terrible customer service" from one dealership's service department, rather than from BMW.

If this dealer is playing games with you, do you want to trust the the car to them for the warranty work? Is there a convenient alternative?
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  #18  
Old 01-17-2013, 11:32 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by lephantom View Post
It was my assumption that dealers are paid well for warranty work, but I am starting to believe that some warranty work is more profitable than others. I believe that to replace the top is so labor intensive that the reimbursement profit is diminished for long labor intensive work. Further, I am beginning to believe the dealer lied when they told me BMW NA stated that I would need to bring the vehicle to another dealership. Hopefully, BMW NA can shed some light on this matter.
Thank you for posting the information from the warranty booklet. I initially thought the damage was due to wear and tear; but I've own a 3 series convertible BMW 20 years ago in the harsh weather of Boston and that top never showed this type of damage. So I slowly lowered and raised the top and noticed that the piping was scrapping against a sharp metal lip in the trunk compartment. Perhaps BMW should have allowed more room for ingress & egress of the top. If the roof where metal, like on my SL55 AMG, the roof would have caught and been stuck. But then again, a metal roof is more rigid and probably would not have expanded outward as it appears mine has. But to me, this is a manufacturers error and I'm hoping BMW NA would cover this repair since the car was under the original warranty term. I am hoping that it was only the dealership that did not wish to perform the service and not BMW NA Corp.
Good info.

I tend to agree with your first sentence; it may very well be that the local SA just didn't want to deal with the problem. In that case, shame on them and they should be drilled by BMW NA.

Hard to say what is wear and tear and what is not; I am not a master tech just a shade tree mechanic; so without an inspection/review it is hard to say.

I genuinely meant no disrespect in my questions, it was just hard to determine what the original issue/full story was. Believe it or not, reps from BMW NA cruise these forums, and each post which tops the thread means more exposure for your problem. Despite what some of my friends posted above about me me being a PITA, one of my objectives was to get some exposure for your issue in this way.

Best of luck and I sincerely hope it works out for you. Please do post the results of your discussion with BMW NA.
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- J.C. Watts Jr.
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  #19  
Old 01-17-2013, 12:00 PM
lephantom lephantom is offline
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Actually, I felt your questions were pertinent. It is important to heard the full story to arrive at a strong conclusion. As for the dealership; I gave it thought last night and decided that if BMW NA approves the job, I would request the work be performed at another dealership. Just not 500 miles away. I'm crossing my fingers for a positive response. BMW NA contacted me this morning and said they are getting in touch with both dealerships to resolve the issue. Thanks for everyone's opinions and input.
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