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Ask-A-Dealer
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  #1  
Old 03-01-2011, 07:38 AM
Dr. Oz Dr. Oz is offline
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Do Dealerships Discriminate?

Do Dealerships Discriminate?

No, I don't mean racially, but by model (eg, 530 vs 550, etc)
I recently when in for a couple of items for my newly acquired e60 550 LCI. This would be my 3rd trip since November: issues included a sunroof seal, ground strap, new dvd drive, upholstery issues, sunroof vent anti-trap issue.

Last week, my SA called to tell me that they were not able to duplicate certain concerns (vent anti-trap and a low frequency vibration at idle). I thought "here we go again..." Then he said for me to come in and take a drive with the shop foreman to see if I can duplicate it myself - "sometimes we don't go through the same procedures when it happens to you". EXACTLY! THANK YOU! VERY IMPRESSIVE. Until now, I always felt like when they couldn't duplicate the problem, I was either imagining the problem or I was making stuff up.

Everyone of my concerns were dealt with to completion without a hiccup. Now, this is what I would expect but the reason this is so odd is that I used the same dealership for a '04 e60 530 and always had an issue with them (same manager and SA's)

So my question is: 1) do you think they just drastically improved their level of service 2) offer a better level of support for different models? 3) better service for long time client 4) or didn't screw around with me because I'm better educated about my car (credit - bimmerfest)

Either way - NO RANT here - No longer can I say I'm unimpressed with my local dealership - Thank You!
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  #2  
Old 03-01-2011, 08:05 AM
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ProMed12 ProMed12 is offline
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Are you comparing 4 years ago when the 04 was under the original warranty to now where your 08 is still under the original warranty?
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  #3  
Old 03-01-2011, 08:26 AM
Dr. Oz Dr. Oz is offline
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Originally Posted by ProMed12 View Post
Are you comparing 4 years ago when the 04 was under the original warranty to now where your 08 is still under the original warranty?

Yes! Apples to Apples of course.
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  #4  
Old 03-01-2011, 08:51 AM
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ProMed12 ProMed12 is offline
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I think some of it has to do with the dealers current work loads. If they have a tech just sitting around or finishing up a car you go right in, if they have a long que backed up he may push you off he can.
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  #5  
Old 03-01-2011, 09:49 AM
ArtchredTTU ArtchredTTU is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Dr. Oz View Post
Do Dealerships Discriminate?

No, I don't mean racially, but by model (eg, 530 vs 550, etc)
I recently when in for a couple of items for my newly acquired e60 550 LCI. This would be my 3rd trip since November: issues included a sunroof seal, ground strap, new dvd drive, upholstery issues, sunroof vent anti-trap issue.

Last week, my SA called to tell me that they were not able to duplicate certain concerns (vent anti-trap and a low frequency vibration at idle). I thought "here we go again..." Then he said for me to come in and take a drive with the shop foreman to see if I can duplicate it myself - "sometimes we don't go through the same procedures when it happens to you". EXACTLY! THANK YOU! VERY IMPRESSIVE. Until now, I always felt like when they couldn't duplicate the problem, I was either imagining the problem or I was making stuff up.

Everyone of my concerns were dealt with to completion without a hiccup. Now, this is what I would expect but the reason this is so odd is that I used the same dealership for a '04 e60 530 and always had an issue with them (same manager and SA's)

So my question is: 1) do you think they just drastically improved their level of service 2) offer a better level of support for different models? 3) better service for long time client 4) or didn't screw around with me because I'm better educated about my car (credit - bimmerfest)

Either way - NO RANT here - No longer can I say I'm unimpressed with my local dealership - Thank You!
Off topic, but how did you know you needed a new seal for the sun roof? I am asking because I can hear my sun roof letting in a little air when I'm on the highway.. I just wanted to know if there is a way to find out that i need a new seal. Thanks
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  #6  
Old 03-01-2011, 09:59 AM
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NoQuarter NoQuarter is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ArtchredTTU View Post
Off topic, but how did you know you needed a new seal for the sun roof? I am asking because I can hear my sun roof letting in a little air when I'm on the highway.. I just wanted to know if there is a way to find out that i need a new seal. Thanks
you know you need a new seal when you can a hear a little air coming in when you are on the highway.
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  #7  
Old 03-01-2011, 10:01 AM
oceanexpress oceanexpress is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ArtchredTTU View Post
Off topic, but how did you know you needed a new seal for the sun roof? I am asking because I can hear my sun roof letting in a little air when I'm on the highway.. I just wanted to know if there is a way to find out that i need a new seal. Thanks
I am in the same boat. see the attached bulletin. -OX
Attached Files
File Type: pdf SI B54 04 09 Wind Noise or Water Leak From Sunroof.pdf (237.4 KB, 221 views)
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  #8  
Old 03-01-2011, 10:02 AM
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NoQuarter NoQuarter is offline
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My level of service went up significantly after I was "tagged" as a repeat customer and/or multiple BMW owner.

I think I get great service with unexpected levels of cooperation and support from my dealer.
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  #9  
Old 03-01-2011, 11:28 AM
ArtchredTTU ArtchredTTU is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by oceanexpress View Post
I am in the same boat. see the attached bulletin. -OX
So do you think I have some room to complain, because I would hate to go there and them tell me "we could not duplicate"...... lol

that noise can't be normal considering my old car had a sunroof and never had a noise like that. It was 10 years old too!
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  #10  
Old 03-01-2011, 11:57 AM
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ProMed12 ProMed12 is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ArtchredTTU View Post
So do you think I have some room to complain, because I would hate to go there and them tell me "we could not duplicate"...... lol

that noise can't be normal considering my old car had a sunroof and never had a noise like that. It was 10 years old too!
I just told my SA it was noisy and they replaced it, no test drive.
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  #11  
Old 03-01-2011, 01:42 PM
Dr. Oz Dr. Oz is offline
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There was just too much of a noise difference from the sun shade being closed vs. open -- that's how i knew the seal was an issue.

Also, for those that are still under original manufacturers warrantee: if you ever get intermittent dvd read errors while using the navi under any cirumstances AND hear the drive clicking while it spins, bring'er in for sure.
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  #12  
Old 03-01-2011, 01:44 PM
Dr. Oz Dr. Oz is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by NoQuarter View Post
My level of service went up significantly after I was "tagged" as a repeat customer and/or multiple BMW owner.

I think I get great service with unexpected levels of cooperation and support from my dealer.
Good point.
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  #13  
Old 03-01-2011, 01:51 PM
TRS550 TRS550 is offline
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Any good business recognizes repeat customers and treats them accordingly.

Ever heard of "Frequent Flier Miles" or the "Hilton Honors Program"?
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  #14  
Old 03-01-2011, 06:12 PM
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Nube1kenobi Nube1kenobi is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ArtchredTTU View Post
So do you think I have some room to complain, because I would hate to go there and them tell me "we could not duplicate"...... lol

that noise can't be normal considering my old car had a sunroof and never had a noise like that. It was 10 years old too!
You are right about this, you know. I had Hondas, Acuras, and even a Ford that I used and abused for a long time without sunroof leaks/noise issues. It is a flawed sealing design that for some reason BMW keeps using. Acura/Honda seals theirs with seal around the movable glass... BMW has their seal body side. Pride keeps them from doing the right thing?
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  #15  
Old 03-02-2011, 02:22 PM
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Bremen Ben Bremen Ben is offline
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I might just be totally off, but the way I make my dealership "remember" to go to the extra mile for me is to buy into the dealership's service or merchandise once in a while. Also I do not hesitate to slip a $20 into the hand of my service advisor every time I am satisfied with the service. I have noticed nothing but great service and great accommation every time my car has to go in. But perhaps I am just lucky to have a good dealership.
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  #16  
Old 03-03-2011, 03:28 AM
stifelm stifelm is offline
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In regards to the sunroof seal ... If your car is under warranty just ask for it. I did it to mine! By the way the problem was not "detected" when the car was "certified" before I bought it with 3 yrs of age. I had to return the car after less than a month to request the replacement. Everyone could hear it except for the "technician" that was responsible for driving the car during the certification process. My dealer is below par for this type of car and, yes, discrimination is happening because it is an "old" car.

Last edited by stifelm; 03-03-2011 at 03:37 AM. Reason: clarity/typo
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  #17  
Old 03-03-2011, 03:30 AM
stifelm stifelm is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by NoQuarter View Post
My level of service went up significantly after I was "tagged" as a repeat customer and/or multiple BMW owner.

I think I get great service with unexpected levels of cooperation and support from my dealer.
Aren't the dealers supposed to provide you good service in order to make you feel comfortable to BECOME a repeated customer?!? I don't get it. It should be the norm!
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  #18  
Old 03-03-2011, 03:35 AM
stifelm stifelm is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by oceanexpress View Post
I am in the same boat. see the attached bulletin. -OX
In regards to the sunroof seal ... If your car is under warranty just ask for it. I did it to mine! By the way the problem was not "detected" when the car was "certified" before I bought it with 3 yrs of age. I had to return the car after less than a month to request the replacement. Everyone could hear it except for the "technician" that was responsible for driving the car during the certification process. My dealer is below par for this type of car and, yes, discrimination is happening because it is an "old" car.
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  #19  
Old 03-03-2011, 05:36 AM
HokieXDriver HokieXDriver is offline
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Originally Posted by Bremen Ben View Post
Also I do not hesitate to slip a $20 into the hand of my service advisor every time I am satisfied with the service.
Really? Do SAs accept tips? I'm curious how many other readers do this, and in what locations. The SAs at my dealership look like my colleagues; I'd feel very awkward tipping them.
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  #20  
Old 03-03-2011, 09:05 AM
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Bremen Ben Bremen Ben is offline
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Originally Posted by HokieXDriver View Post
Really? Do SAs accept tips? I'm curious how many other readers do this, and in what locations. The SAs at my dealership look like my colleagues; I'd feel very awkward tipping them.
I haven't felt awkward, because I do that out of true appreciation. If the service is just so so, I don't give anything. We give tips to restaurant wait staff to recognize them for good service rendered all the time, no reason to exclude the SA at the dealership. If giving tips makes you feel like "looking down" on the recipients, just view it as "a token of appreciation for a job well done!"
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  #21  
Old 03-03-2011, 09:23 AM
ArtchredTTU ArtchredTTU is offline
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Well I'm a college student so I don't tip unless it's a waiter and I'll tip my exact 15%. haha, once i make money and not 7.25 an hour i will tip random folks that do a great Job . I will call up my dealer tomorrow and set an appointment. Thanks guys, do you think it will take less then a day for it to be replaced?
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  #22  
Old 03-03-2011, 01:24 PM
Dr. Oz Dr. Oz is offline
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Although I tend not to grease palms unless I'm on vacation, my service dept has made the "Harry and David Gift Basket" List or at least a box of donuts and a Box O'Joe soon.
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  #23  
Old 03-03-2011, 02:35 PM
njlou njlou is offline
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I really haven't needed anything major, but I tip - even $10/$20 is to keep them friendly. It's an easy way to be remembered instead of being just a complainer!! LOL
heck it costs more in gas just to get there!!!

When you need a favor it will be remembered.
I am sure they hate the customer who always says " I paid $$$$ for this car and I am entitled to........."

They will be last on the friendly list!!!
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  #24  
Old 03-03-2011, 05:58 PM
HokieXDriver HokieXDriver is offline
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Originally Posted by njlou View Post
I am sure they hate the customer who always says " I paid $$$$ for this car and I am entitled to........."
That's not what I meant - I look at an SA like I look at my dentist or lawyer, not a waiter, valet parker or doorman. I'm not going to tip a dentist or a lawyer - they would be offended, as I would if someone tried to slip me $20 for a great piece of software. I assumed it would be the same with an SA, but I'm seeing that's not the case.
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  #25  
Old 03-04-2011, 08:05 AM
235301 235301 is offline
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We've officially reached the level of defcon bat**** insane when it comes to tipping nowadays. It's not that we don't know who to tip, it's that it seems a whole new class of services now is looking to make a tip. We all know/want to tip the delivery guy, the waiter/waitress, etc. These are all people that make a relatively low hourly wage and tipping them is essentially an expected part of their compensation package. And especially if they are delivering a repeat service it can only help with future service(I know, this contradicts NOT tipping the SA). But now do you tip the guy at Sherwin Williams that just mixed your paint or did a custom color match for you? How about the guy at Autozone that helped you find the right wiper blades? Yikes!

I would think an SA would fall into that "professional" category and a tip would seem offensive. I can see dropping a nice gift(restaurant gift cert, etc) on them at appropriate times of the year to let them know you are pleased with their service(as you would do with any vendor you have of services/products). I just don't see tipping the SA.

I'm open to hearing other opinions. Perhaps I am just a cheap bastard.
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