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  #1  
Old 09-13-2014, 04:07 PM
Z4-Life Z4-Life is offline
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Location: New York
 
Join Date: Apr 2013
Posts: 9
Mein Auto: 2005 Z4 2.5i
My experience with BMW Service Center dealerships on Long Island

Hello, I had some free time today and I wanted to relate a personal experience I had with my local BMW dealership over the last few years.


First some background info:
I purchased my Bimmer as a CPO vehicle at Hassel BMW in Freeport, NY. While I did get a decent price for my Z4, I let myself be suckered into purchasing the extended maintenance plan. At first I was firm against spending an extra $ 2,100 on an extra 3 years of "free" maintenance, but after the constant insistence of the "finance" manager, I buckled and bought the upgrade maintenance plan for $ 1,695.

Being that I now was bound to Hassel BMW Service Center, I faithfully took in my vehicle there for its annual state inspections. It is needless to say, but at Hassel BMW, the service department systematically ripped me off. For all the three years I had my service contract in effect, the only "free" maintenance my car received was a low-mileage engine oil change (and that only after so much persistence on my part). Now granted my Z4 is a low mileage vehicle but BMW recommends at least an annual oil change, regardless of what the Inspection 1 service level indicates (see SIB 11 08 98). Of course Hassel BMW always tried up-selling me some unneeded service that was not included in the service plan such as the induction service, a new starter battery or a valve cover gasket replacement.

But here is the real kicker of the story. Last year (2013), though my service contract had recently expired, I took my Z4 to Hassel BMW for its annual state inspection. To my astonishment my Bimmer failed the state inspection because the stealership found the front brake pad linings were below the minimum, which according to the TIS is 3 mm for both front and rear axles on the E85. It is important to note that in the past years, whenever I asked for the brake pads and rotors change that was part of the extended maintenance plan, the SA would always insist that it was only covered if the brake pad lining warning light turned on. When I bought up the fact that the brake pad light did not turn on, they asserted that under New York State law if the brake lining was under 3 mm it was an "automatic fail." But in any case seeing my Marine Corps decal on my front window, the service manager, offered to take care of a Marine veteran for about $ 650 for the front axle and another $ 600 for the rear axle. I then politely declined service at Hassel BMW.

The very next day I took my Z4 to Rallye BMW up in Westbury, NY. I did not mention any of the events of the previous day at Hassel BMW. All I said was, that in previous years I had my vehicle serviced at Hassel BMW and now that my extended maintenance plan had expired I wanted to sample a different BMW Service Center. Well, guess what? The very next day that my vehicle failed its state inspection due to low brake pads, it miraculously passed with sufficient lining. In fact, now the brake pad lining measurements read 6 mm on both the front and rear. (But wait the good folks at Hassel said my brake pad linings were below minimum, they wouldn't con a loyal customer, right, especially if he was a recent OIF veteran). Just for curiosity, I finally mentioned to the service advisor my ordeal at Hassel BMW. Never mind the not so flattering comments he told me he has heard about other customers' experiences at Hassel, but when he gave me estimates for the brake job (pads, rotors, labor etc) the prices were about 10 15 % less than the Hassel stealership. My SA at Rallye BMW was very professional and did not insist I get my brakes done that day, (I did not need new brakes) and he was not trying to defraud me like the folks at Hassel BMW. He said whenever my vehicle was ready to get a brake change I could simply bring it over: no pressure, and no hassle.

Well the story does not end there. The very next day, I filed a small claims court case against Hassel BMW. I contended that the stealership purposely and deceitfully failed my vehicle to extort money from me to increases its service center's sales revenue. Additionally, I claimed Hassel BMW had deceptively sold me a maintenance plan upgrade knowing fully well that they did not intend on honoring their commitment again to increase there sales revenue at the needless expense of loyal BMW clients. Without going into too much detail, I won the case against Hassel. I was refunded $ 37 for the cost of a state inspection, and awarded about $ 79.00 for the cost of an oil change. That was my only disappointment with the verdict; I guess the court felt that my BMW service maintenance plan was really worth only $ 79.00.


Thanks for reading, I apologize for going a bit longer than I expected.
I guess my point of the story is: don't trust Hassel BMW. If you are anywhere in Nassau County, Long Island go to Rallye BMW if you want to get your vehicle serviced by a BMW dealership. They are very professional, and there service, sales and parts departments are very impressive. In the end, and I know this sounds like a plug for Rallye BMW, but, be warned of Hassel BMW.

Please, respond back with your experience with your local dealership service center and which one you think is best.

Last edited by Z4-Life; 09-13-2014 at 05:22 PM. Reason: grammar and spelling revisions
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  #2  
Old 09-14-2014, 09:10 AM
Jaystyles's Avatar
Jaystyles Jaystyles is offline
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Location: New Jersey
 
Join Date: Sep 2010
Posts: 248
Mein Auto: 545i Sport
My experience with BMW Service Center dealerships on Long Island

Suck that Hassel took you for a ride! I don't trust dealerships. They are theives. They are there to pimp there custmers. They only thing dealerships are good for are buying a brand new car or a car with specific options you can't source privately. Im all about buying my cars privately and using nothing but reputable independent bmw mechanic shops! I tell all my bimmer buddies to stay clear of the dealership service centers.
A buddy of mine had a bad experience with Park Ave BMW of NJ. He got some work done to his car.
Hey fought with them every step of the way...And to top it off they refused ti give him the vehicle service history as he is the second owner. They said that info is private and he need to get a court order to see all the history pre his ownership.
I told him that was total bs because i was able to obtain a detailed service history on my bimmer from another dealership in NJ. Dealership prey on the ignorance of their customers.
I called BMW of NA to complain about some NJ BMW dealerships
and they flat out told me that they can not force dealership to honor certain service bulletin and recall announcement and to try another dealership willing to work with me. I was like wtf! So this is why there is no transparency among dealerships. One can do or charge what they want for the most part.
You should post your experience on the main forums if you haven't already to get more traction on this.

Last edited by Jaystyles; 09-14-2014 at 09:17 AM.
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  #3  
Old 09-14-2014, 11:26 AM
BigMoose BigMoose is offline
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Location: New York
 
Join Date: Jul 2014
Posts: 3
Mein Auto: 2011 535xi, 2014 428xi
Hassel BMW service has been terrible for the last couple of years. The Dealership was just sold on Tuesday. Group 1 Auto sold Hassel BMW, Mini and Massapequa Mercedes. Hopefully the new owners will straighten it out. I have great CA there and would hate to bring my cars and business elsewhere, but will if things do not improve. I may have to give Rallye a try also.
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  #4  
Old 09-29-2014, 05:31 PM
E39 Fan E39 Fan is offline
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Location: Queens, NYC
 
Join Date: Aug 2012
Posts: 15
Mein Auto: '01 530i
i own an E39, never took it to the dealership. why? because im a mechanic for mercedes (yes a dealership tech). I will say this, I worked with a lot of techs that came from massapequa merc and they've all told me everything under that Group 1 umbrella just sucks. i went to hassel once, because i was in a bind for an upper rad hose. thank god i work my uniform because i can only imagine what i would have been charged for THAT part.

with that said, let me confirm what rallye said. brakes (in regards to pads and rotors, because almost no cars come with drums and shoes anymore) will ONLY fail IF: the brake wear light is on, the ABS light is on, the the rotors and/or the pads have severe cracks or chips and finally if the pads and rotors are metal to metal. meaning. if your brake pads are 99.999999999999% worn, but you still have some lining left. they can NOT fail your car.

i can also understand the aggrevation and frustration of the dealership customer. A lot of times, the things i relay to the service advisor some how gets translated in to something that had nothing to do with what i said. easiest example, my "recommendation" for replacing a component miraculously turns in to "requires". I always make sure to say whether a client requires brakes, control arms, valve cover gaskets etc etc etc....or if i recommend them. you might say yeah sure, just always say requires. i wont do that, why? because lets say the client complains, says no way, youre ripping me off, i want to see. my service manager comes to me, says, you said this guy needs so and so part? i say no...take a look. his brakes are worn aprox 80%. i would recommend them, but he can still drive a little longer. that covers my ass and then falls on the service writer. trust me when i say there is a huge conflict between technician and service writer, they rarely work together.

finally, i frequented the mb boards a lot. until recently when MBUSA sent out an email to all employees about the use of social media in regards to the MB product. on the mb boards i would post technical bulletins, campaigns, etc etc, always willing to help out. but now, unfortunately i have to cease with all that. i even deleted all my posts for fear i may be terminated.

i started as an enthusiast, with VW first...started at the bottom, worked my way to the dealership, i now work for MB and own a 530i. i remember and know what its like having to go to the vw dealership when i got my first car, not knowing much if anything about cars and just having to take their word for it. i told myself i would learn how to work on cars so i wouldnt HAVE to rely on someone else and possibly getting ripped off. i have morals, i like to go to bed at night with a clean conscience.

hope i was helpful and feel free to message me for any insight on dealership tactics.
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  #5  
Old 10-09-2014, 11:04 AM
Danguy426 Danguy426 is offline
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Location: Long Island NY
 
Join Date: Jun 2014
Posts: 20
Mein Auto: 2014 335i Xdrive
rallye BMW

i bought/leased my car from Bayside BMW (the dealership is ugly as sh*t but they gave me the best deal) and i heard that rallye is not taking any new service customers unless they specifically got their vehicle via Rallye BMW. a total bummer since that is the closest dealership to me... I haven't heard great things abt Baysides service center... but from what i have hear abt hassel.... is that they live up to their name... nothing but a hassel.

i hear habberstad has a decent service dept. if yer willing to go out to huntington.
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  #6  
Old 10-09-2014, 01:55 PM
BigMoose BigMoose is offline
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Location: New York
 
Join Date: Jul 2014
Posts: 3
Mein Auto: 2011 535xi, 2014 428xi
I hoping that the service at Hassel...now BMW of Freeport improves now that they are not under the Group 1 umbrella. They are owned by another group now that promises a better customer experience. We will find out. With that being said, my main issue with the service was that the people booking the service appointment were located in Texas even though you called a 516 number. They worked on Commission for every service appointment they booked, so they really didn't care if you needed to go back again. I have two new cars that I leased from them, a 2015 X5 and a 2014 428xi. Hopefully the service has improved. I will find out in another two months or so when the 428 goes in for its first service. I have been dealing with a service adviser over there for the last year or so that is pretty good. You can PM me if you want his name.
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