Then purchase an extended warranty from United Auto Care...
I ADVISE THAT READERS OF THIS POST AND OF THIS FORUM SHOULD NOT PURCHASE A VEHICLE FROM UNITED BMW ROSWELL GEORGIA OR ANY AFFILIATED UNITED AUTO DEALER OWNED BY PENSKE.
I ADVISE FURTHER THAT YOU SHOULD NOT PURCHASE AN EXTENDED WARRANTY FROM ANY OF THE FOLLOWING COMPANIES, WHICH ARE ALIASES FOR THE SAME PENSKE-OWNED COMPANY:
- “THE WARRANTY GROUP”
- “THE WG”
- “RESOURCE AUTOMOTIVE”
- “UNITED AUTO CARE”
- “CONSUMER PROGRAM ADMINISTRATORS”
I FURTHER ADVISE THAT – SHOULD YOU EVER DO BUSINESS WITH ANY PENSKE COMPANY – YOU SHOULD BE VERY CAUTIOUS SO AS NOT TO SUFFER THE SAME POOR TREATMENT AS DESCRIBED BELOW.
Here are the facts of my experience with United Auto Care and United BMW, both Penske companies.* You should read for yourself before taking the risk of doing business with any of these Penske companies.
January 19, 2010: I test drove a used 2004 BMW M3 convertible at United BMW of Roswell – a Penske company.* After the test drive, I fell in love with the vehicle which is the epitome of “The Ultimate Driving Machine.”* Upon returning home that evening, I performed extensive research on the vehicle, and found many great reviews confirming that the BMW M3 is one of the most favored sports cars available anywhere!
However, one finding caused me great concern: the hydraulic oil pump for the automatic transmission had been known to experience premature failure; sometimes as early as 40,000 miles.
The following day, I spoke with United BMW’s used car salesman to discuss my concerns about the oil pump defect with this vehicle.* The salesman reiterated at that time that the vehicle was being offered “as is,” but that the vehicle had been thoroughly inspected and that there were “no problems with the transmission.”* At that time, the salesman also suggested that I could purchase an extended warranty that “would cover any transmission problems should they occur in the next 36,000 miles.” I informed the United BMW salesman that – if the warranty policy was reasonably priced, I would still consider purchasing the vehicle with the extended warranty.
January 20: I returned to the United BMW dealership to discuss my concerns with the salesman, and to discuss the extended warranty.* At that time, the salesman informed me that the extended warranty by United Auto Care – also a sister company owned by Penske “would definitely cover any problems with the transmission oil pump”.* *At a cost of $3,000 for the Hi-Tech coverage option, the extended warranty seemed like an excessive cost for the coverage, but the salesman indicated that – if there were to be a problem with the transmission, “the repair would cost even more than the $3,000 warranty premium.”* I was amazed at that statement, but after much discussion, I agreed to purchase the vehicle complete with the $3,000 additional extended warranty program as peace-of-mind for this potential transmission problem.
It will become apparent later in the story, why it is important to note that this Penske United BMW used car salesman had a verified history of misrepresenting the vehicles that he sold.* When he sold the vehicle to me, he informed me that the vehicle was equipped with Bluetooth hands-free mobile phone connection.* Only after the vehicle was purchased, did we discover that the vehicle did not – in fact – have Bluetooth capabilities.
When I informed the salesman of my dissatisfaction with his misrepresentation, he informed me that “I’m sorry.* I was wrong and there is nothing I can do about it.”* It was later determined by United BMW that the salesman had – in fact – misrepresented the vehicle as being equipped with Bluetooth.
Fast forward 3 months…
I began to notice a vibration in the transmission during start off from first gear.* I brought the vehicle to United BMW, informing them of the vibration in the transmission.* United BMW was unable to identify the problem, and had no idea as to what might be the cause of the problem.* Over the course of the next two years, I brought the vehicle to United BMW no fewer than five different times requesting that they identify the cause of the problem.
It ultimately became clear that United BMW had no competence for troubleshooting this transmission problem.* It was clear that they had no understanding of how the vehicle operated, and that they were not competent to perform inspection, troubleshooting, or repairs to this vehicle.
After two years of tolerating the poor performance of the LEMON that Penske United BMW sold me, I finally drove the vehicle to an independent repair facility (indy).* My indy was quickly able to recommend inspection of the flywheel, which is a common cause of this particular symptom.* Although the flywheel is a “covered component” according to the extended warranty, United Auto Care refused to pay for the cost of troubleshooting.* I, therefore, authorized my indy to tear down the transmission at my cost to perform the inspection and troubleshooting process.
Upon inspection, United Auto Care’s inspector confirmed that “the flywheel showed abnormal wear, and needed to be replaced.”
This is where the TOTAL HELL of PENSKE and UNITED AUTO CARE begins:
I called my indy to check status of the repair, to which he responded “The warranty company is denying your claim.* They are saying that this is not a covered failure.”
I contacted the warranty company, and after spending several hours on hold and speaking to a variety of different “claims representatives,” I finally was able to escalate my case to a supervisor – Mr. Andrew LaPorte – who continued to argue with me that my claim was not a covered item.* I proceeded to question Mr. LaPorte as to why he was denying coverage for an item that is explicitly covered in my contract. *After extensive argument, and PENSKE United Auto Care refusing to replace the flywheel, Mr. LaPorte conceded to “machine the damaged flywheel” instead of replacing it, even though this was NOT an approved BMW procedure.* It is unacceptable that Mr. LaPorte should be allowed to force me to accept an inadequate repair that is not approved by BMW safety specifications.
During reassembly of the transmission, it was discovered that the automatic transmission oil pump had also failed.
November 2: While I was traveling in Asia for business, the indy initiated an additional claim to the warranty company to repair the failed automatic transmission oil pump.
Upon my return from Asia on Nov 9, I discovered that the warranty company still had not processed the claim for the oil pump, and that my vehicle repairs had not been completed.
November 15: My indy informed me that “the warranty company is requiring that we move the vehicle to United BMW.”
November 16: I called the warranty company and spoke with George, who informed me that “United Auto Care is not going to spend money to send an inspector to the repair facility.* We want the car moved to United BMW (another Penske-owned facility).”* I informed George that United BMW had already had the vehicle more than five different times, and that they had failed on multiple occasions to identify the problems with the vehicle, and that they were not competent to solve this problem.* George agreed that my indy could send documentation to the warranty company to clarify the problem in lieu of moving the vehicle.* Upon receipt of the information, they would send an inspector to the repair facility to confirm the problem and authorize the repair.
November 20: After compiling the necessary information, my indy sent the required documentation to the warranty company.
Over the ensuing two weeks, I traveled for business in Europe and Asia; during which time I received no communications from the warranty company.* Therefore, I assumed that the claim had been approved and that the repair was underway.
December 3: MORE THAN FOUR WEEKS AFTER THE CLAIM HAD BEEN INITIATED – I discovered from my indy that United Auto Care still had not sent an inspector to process the claim.
December 4: I called United Auto Care again.* After being put on hold again for a very long time, I finally was able to speak with George.* I asked George why United Auto Care had still not processed the claim after more than a month had passed, and we had compiled and sent the information they requested.* George informed me that he did not see the notes in my file, and could not answer why they had not processed the claim.* George informed me that he would call my indy.* To which I answered, “No.* I will go to the repair facility and we will call United Auto Care together.”* I informed George that I was tired of being put off and jerked around by United Auto Care, and that I was losing my patience.
December 6: I traveled to my indy where, together, we again called United Auto Care.* We spoke with Henry, who said “Oh. Yes.* I see that the problem is the SMG hydraulic oil pump.* We can authorize that repair, but we need to negotiate the labor hours, and the labor rate.”* After several minutes of Henry negotiating the labor costs (to a level significantly below that of Penske’s own United BMW), Henry informed us that “OK, we will approve the repair, but I need to research the availability and price for the parts.* I will call the repair facility back today to confirm parts availability.”
I was finally satisfied – after six weeks of being jerked around by United Auto Care – that I was finally going to get my car back after being without it for nearly two months.
December 17: Again after traveling out of town for business – I checked in with my indy for the status of the repair.* To which, I was told “The warranty company has now declined the claim.* They want the car moved to another facility.”
“OH MY GAWD…ARE YOU KIDDING?!?* These guys at Penske are really jerking me around!” I told him.
I immediately called United Auto Care again.* This time, I spoke again with Mr. *Andrew LaPorte.* Andrew told me that “We want the car moved to United BMW.”
THESE GUYS AT UNITED AUTO CARE ARE EITHER TOTALLY INCOMPETENT, OR THEY ARE TRAINED TO APPEAR THAT WAY IN ORDER TO FRUSTRATE THEIR CLIENTS INTO SUBMISSION SO THEY DON’T HAVE TO PAY A CLAIM.
I informed Mr. LaPorte that United Auto Care had already jerked me around for two months, and now – after already authorizing the repair on the phone on Dec 6, they are telling me again that they want the vehicle moved.* This… after we had already resolved that issue more than a month ago on November 16, and I am still paying for alternate transportation at $250+ per week.*
At this point, I became understandably quite irritated.* I explained the history of United Auto Care’s unacceptable handling of this claim, and explained to him that I felt like I was in the middle of the movie “Groundhog Day.”* Everything just keeps getting repeated, and nothing gets done.
“PLEASE.* DO YOUR JOB AND SEND AN INSPECTOR TO THE REPAIR FACILITY.* UNITED AUTO CARE HAS BEEN JERKING ME AROUND FOR TWO MONTHS!” I told him.
December 17: Mr. LaPorte agreed that United Auto Care would FINALLY (after jerking me around since November 2) send an inspector to the indy repair facility to confirm the repair.
December 18: *A United Auto Care inspector visited my indy.* The inspector confirmed that “yes, the transmission hydraulic oil pump is failed, and this is a covered repair.”
Shortly thereafter, a United Auto Care representative contacted my indy and informed him that “Yes we will authorize this as a covered repair,” and proceeded – once again (as they had already done on 12/6) – to negotiate labor hours and the hourly labor cost rate.* United Auto Care then informed my indy – as they had already done once before on 12/6 – that “we need to get our parts department to locate the part and we will let you know how to obtain the part.”
December 18 – 12:32 PM: United Auto Care sent email stating that “Warranty Group has secured an estimate of 1951.67 for the smg pump. You may choose to match this amount, source a part for this amount, or have us ship the part to you”.
December 18 – 1:15 PM: *I received a call from my indy informing me that “the warranty company has approved everything, and we’re just waiting for the part.* We will have your car repaired and ready for you this Friday.”
December 19 – 8:30 AM: *I received another call from my indy telling me that “another guy – Willy from the warranty company called me and told me that the repair claim is being denied.”
So…here I am…two months later…after being totally lied to by United BMW about the extended warranty policy that “will cover any transmission problems” that I have with this LEMON THAT UNITED BMW SOLD me.
December 19: *I was again forced to call United Auto Care, and I spoke with Stephanie.* I immediately requested that Stephanie transfer me to Andrew LaPorte.* She informed me that I had to explain the problem AGAIN to her before she could transfer me.* After another wasted hour, I was transferred to Mr. LaPorte’s voicemail.
Mr. LaPorte called me that afternoon, and informed me that “the SMG pump is not a covered component.”* I reminded Mr. LaPorte that he had said the same thing two months previously about the flywheel, and that the Penske dealer who had sold me the vehicle had explicitly sold me the $3,000 add-on extended warranty in case this common problem occurred.* In typical United Auto Care fashion – and as he had done previously – Mr. LaPorte proceeded to argue with me that the component was not covered.
I finally told Mr. LaPorte that I had no more tolerance for their abuse and mistreatment, and that my patience had run out.* I informed him that “If United Auto Care does not authorize this repair – as they had already done TWICE and reneged previously – that I would share the facts of their mistreatment with the motoring public.* That is why you are now reading this.
December 21: Mr. LaPorte had the gumption – after jerking me around already for two months – to send me an email stating that “you will receive a formal response within 15 days.”
January 7, 2013: Another 17 days has passed, and still no response from Mr. LaPorte or anybody from this crooked warranty company.
So…on January 8 – nearly three months after the claim was initiated, I am forced – once again – to contact Penske’s warranty company to ask them the status.
January 8, 2013: Frank Polyak – Complaint Resolution Specialist – responds to my email, stating that “our senior management has determined that our decision to deny coverage was correct and justified.”* He did not – at any time – make reference to the multiple reneged repair approvals made, nor did he comment on, or apologize for, the thousands of dollars in costs I incurred for alternative transportation during their delays, stalling, and reneged repair authorizations.
I will leave it to you to decide…but my recommendation – as I stated at the beginning of this story – is this:
I ADVISE THAT YOU SHOULD BE EXTREMELY CAUTIOUS ABOUT EVER PURCHASING ANY VEHICLE FROM UNITED BMW OR ANY AFFILIATED UNITED AUTO DEALER OWNED BY PENSKE
I ADVISE THAT READERS OF THIS POST AND OF THIS FORUM SHOULD NEVER PURCHASE AN EXTENDED WARRANTY FROM ANY OF THE COMPANIES LISTED BELOW, WHICH ARE ALL ALIASES FOR THE SAME PENSKE-OWNED COMPANY:
- “THE WARRANTY GROUP”
- “THE WG”
- “RESOURCE AUTOMOTIVE”
- “UNITED AUTO CARE”
- “CONSUMER PROGRAM ADMINISTRATORS”
I ADVISE THAT YOU USE EXTREME CAUTION IF EVER YOU DO BUSINESS WITH ANY PENSKE COMPANY FOR ANY REASON.