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Old 05-28-2004, 05:24 PM   #1
tlaselva
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Unluckiest BMW Driver?

Check out this story...It's a beauty!

Is this guy the unluckiest person on earth or what?

And you think you have troubles!

Please excuse the length of this post:

Please take serious precaution before deciding to buy a BMW. My story could happen to you and your family and is intended to provide some real life insights which might help tilt your decision when considering the long term ramifications of owning and servicing a BMW. First I am a real owner and would be happy to discuss my experiences with anybody in person or over the phone. Iíve purchased now two new BMWís in my life, 00 328CI & 01 M3.

One of the first things that many new owners feel after purchasing their car(s) is an overwhelming sense of support from BMW. This support is apparent from the second you walk in the dealership to the time you get home and are asked for feedback from a BMW customer support representative. This support, as Iíve come to find out, is more intended to convey a ďfeelingĒ, not necessarily the ďrealityĒ. First I want to separate the fine people whom are employed by BMW from the corporation itself. They are not one and the same. BMW sets the policies and their employees follow them with little or no exception. This fact, that BMW North America is actually completely detached from its dealers and takes no responsibility in handling customer issues with regard to dealers should be your first red flag. Itís one thing to be called repeatedly for customer feedback after a routine trip to the dealer for an oil change and quite another to actually count on BMW when something serious occurs.

Recently, when asked to be in California for business, I decided to take along my M3. I had a couple free days and thought it would be nice to have a car with me so I could drive at sea level and check out the coast! The day before my business meetings were to take place the car broke down. I was near a neighborhood and had to knock on someoneís door to call BMW roadside because my cell was out or range (this was near Half Moon Bay,CA on the coast). Iíve used BMW roadside assistance before and was feeling good that I was going to be taken care of, boy was I wrong and this was just the beginning.

Roadside told me a towing service had been called and that I should wait. The people I was bothering, at 5:00pm, were really nice and we spoke for a while as I waited for help. An hour later the towing company called and said they couldnít make it until the next day because the traffic was bad and by the time they got around to it the dealer would be closed (I later found out that BMW Roadside is supposed to take your car to another dealer or some other guaranteed safe place as long as itís within 50 miles of the first dealer but BMW never offered this option to me. There were dozens of dealerships within 50 miles of the first dealer, whatever). My cell still wasnít getting any reception and I didnít know of any hotels in Half Moon Bay so for the next two hours I struggled pushing my car out of the ďprivateĒ driveway in which I had unknowingly parked and loaded as many of my belongings as I could on my back, arms and neck and I walked back to the house from which I had called BMW. Thank god for this couple, they were so nice that they actually insisted I stay on the couch for the night as it was already past 11:00pm. The next morning, at 10:30am, after the entire household had already gotten up, eaten breakfast and left to work/school I was still there waiting there, like an idiot. When the towing service arrived I finally thought everything was going to be alright, it wasnít in fact it was just beginning.

The towing service said they were taking my car to Peter Pan BMW and that they (Peter Pan) would call me with info on my car. I gave them my cell, home and office numbers along with my email. After thanking the couple I called a taxi and showed up late for my meeting and had to catch myself before attempting to explain why itís not my fault that my sports car broke down, not good. I found a hotel and stayed there a couple nights. I waited patiently for a call about my car but never received one. On Monday I called Peter Pan (car was towed on Friday morning) and asked them what was wrong with my M3 and they said they didnít have any silver M3s brought in on Friday. Ummm excuse me? I figured the flatbed took it to another place so I spent the rest of Monday calling every dealership in the Bay Area looking for my car, nobody had it. On Tuesday I called BMW again and they again insisted it wasnít there. I called BMW roadside and they claimed it was dropped off at Peter Pan. I called the towing company and couldnít reach anybody for hours because the guy who towed my car wasnít in the office. Letís just say that I didnít get a lot of work done on Tuesday as I frantically tried to find my car (BMW was no help).

Finally I spoke with the owner of the towing company who told me it was in fact dropped off at Peter Pan on Friday around 11:00am. I called Peter Pan and they sent someone to ďwalk the lotĒ. They again said it wasnít there and that itís not their fault if the car was gone. I begged and pleaded with them that it had to be there and finally, they found it. They blamed the tow truck driver for dropping if off without telling anybody, although he said he did. Peter Pan then called back and said they had video to prove it so I went down to find out for myself. Why not? my trip was already in the toilet and my boss was questioning my character so at least Iíll find out some answers. The people at Peter Pan were so proud of themselves for finding the exact moment my car was lowered from the flat bed, only TEN FEET from their service bay, on their security monitor. They kept pointing out that the driver dropped off the car and left it without telling anybody, except they never seemed to pay attention to the fact that it was literally 10 FEET from the service bay where dozens of servicemen, salesmen and other staff are constantly walking around. The part of the video they didnít show me was the time between when my car was dropped off between Friday at 11:00 (when it was dropped off) and late Tuesday when it was supposedly found (unlocked with the keys in it).

This brings me to the actual incident that has shattered my relationship with all things BMW for ever, as if the above mentioned wasnít enough. Up to this point I just wanted my car fixed but since it was found on Tuesday it had just been put in the queue meaning it was going to take another few days, I told them how important it was that I have my car so I can get back to Colorado and they said, ďeh, weíll see.Ē I explained to them that the EML light, check engine and some other lights went off and that I was worried about the brakes. They seemed soft and I was concerned about the ridge around the rotors which indicated they needed to be changed. When I picked up the car they told me the car misfired because of a separator in the gas tank which wasnít allowing gas to flow freely and that the coils went out, whatever. When I asked about the brakes and my concerns they said according to their measurements they had a little more than one millimeter left on them and that until there was less that one millimeter they couldnít fix them. I asked how long until they need to be replaced and they said soon, maybe a month or sooner but not to worry because they, or another dealership, would replace the pads and rotors for me. That made me feel better, but not for long.

Continued below.............
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Old 05-28-2004, 05:25 PM   #2
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Cont.....

Soon after I found out my company lost the client we were there to meet with. Whether it was my fault or not when I spoke to my boss he didnít want to hear my excuse and fired me. I was indeed late and I canít blame him for that, he has responsibilities also. So jobless and still in CA I decided to go to LA and see some friends for a couple weeks through my birthday. When I returned to the Bay Area I figured Iíd call Peter Pan to get my brakes fixed because they still werenít feeling normal and they already knew about the problem, and, since I had more miles on the car maybe theyíd be ready to change. Peter Pan informed me when I called that because my maintenance warranty had expired they couldnít cover the brakes. Thatís when it hit me that it was around the time of my birthday when I bought the car and that my 3 year warranty was coming up soon. Nobody at Peter Pan ever mentioned this to me including the part about never being able to renew my maintenance protection EVER AGAIN if I hadnít renewed it BEFORE the day it expired. It had expired 4 days earlier, two weeks after I had my brake service denied by Peter Pan. I asked them why they didnít tell me about the maintenance and they replied it wasnít their responsibility. When I called BMW North America the ďcustomer serviceĒ lady said there was nothing they could do and that the 2K brake job that I was weeks away from getting was now my responsibility. I asked why BMW doesnít send out any letters to warn us that our maintenance program is ending and she said they didnít have to. I asked why they constantly call and bother us for feedback about their dealers, every single time we stop in, but not warn us that our upcoming 2k dollar break jobs might not be covered? She said itís not their obligation. I asked why, when I specifically mentioned my breaks as being a problem at the time I brought in the car, (while still under the maintenance contract) they wouldnít perform the service while, in the same breath, tell me to come back in a month to get the service done, and then not cover it? She asked if there was anything else she could do to help me. I said you have to be kidding, after what youíve put me through this last month youíre denying me my mandatory 2k break service and she said thereís nothing she can doÖ Nothing she can do? BMW canít do anything? Iíve lost my job because of BMW Roadside assistance didnít tow my car when they were supposed to. Peter Pan loses my car for 4 days then pushes me out the door claiming Iím still one month away from getting the break service only to deny to me because while living out of my suitcase, in hotels, with no access to any of my files at home theyíre claiming itís my fault for calling 4 days too late?

I finally found out just how important I am to BMW. I finally found out just how interested they are in making things right and treating someone fairly who had already been through a nightmare of their creation. This is what I mean by not being able to count on BMW when it counts. The dealers protect themselves and so does BMW North America. All of their ďcustomer serviceĒ is a fraud. I feel completely isolated and alone with my problems with BMW and thatís why Iím writing this. Iíve read letters like mine here before but never thought Iíd be ďone of those" unfortunate, disgruntled and overly-picky owners but here I am. The worst part is Iím not a jerk whose out for blood, Iím an extremely tolerant and understanding person, and Iím also a huge car nut. Itís clear to me that if you possess or display any of these qualities BMW doesnít want you as a customer because they will always toss you aside if it means they'll save a few bucks. I will never buy another BMW again and always refer to them as the greedy corporate snakes that they are! Thanks for reading this.
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Old 05-28-2004, 05:33 PM   #3
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Why am I not surprised?
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Old 05-28-2004, 05:40 PM   #4
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Wow.
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Double layer that sucker.

Maxbimmer gangbang.. cmon peoples!!! throw some high fives, slap dinks together and take turns!!
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Old 05-28-2004, 05:53 PM   #5
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Moral of the story.......buyer beware and use your warranty untill it is up and then go to a private BMW mechanic.
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Old 05-28-2004, 05:57 PM   #6
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wow 30 min
later
thats a kick in the face
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Old 05-28-2004, 06:16 PM   #7
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too long
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Old 05-28-2004, 06:32 PM   #8
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buyer educate yourself and don't think that everyone is goingt o help you out because you bought an 85, 000 car....

c'mon!
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Old 05-28-2004, 07:39 PM   #9
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Originally posted by punnzzells
buyer educate yourself and don't think that everyone is goingt o help you out because you bought an 85, 000 car....

c'mon!
i think you would be a little mad to if you had a new M3 and they did that
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Old 05-28-2004, 08:10 PM   #10
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Do you have nay legal recourse?I guess as far as them losing your car that was 10 feet from the bay and the towing?It cost you your job and accomidations.Unfortunatly I had a similar ..not as bad problem with GM a few years back...the short story..
I bought a 1995 s10ss. I had some additions put on it .the salesperson was great ..he dorve it around to have the wheels put on and all the accessories put on.In the first week the transmission blew. So on a tow truck it went 4 hour wait. In a town with 45000(uncalled for). It took them 2 weeks to fix it. 4 days later again with the transmission. This wa a 5 spd so i was thinging something else was wrong causeing it. little over a week and a half I get it back. I had it 2 more weeks and i took it in cause it was sagging in the right rear. Broken leaf and shock. 4 days after that i get it back with a huge scratch on it. I said i have 700 kms on this and you have had it almost the whole time i owned it. They were forced by my lawyer to repaint it. I get it back orange peeled. So i refuse it. My lawyer said lets take it to another gm dealer to see what is all wrong. I did and found out they sold me a SL not a SS it had the badges on it and the same size engine but thats it.So i could care less what was wrong i wanted a new truck. Well i got another truck after a 2 month wait. but no monies for all the hassle. during this time i was fired from my job for comming in late due to handeling it all. Then i was driving down the 400 in my new truck ..it all off a sudden slipped out of gear and revved up and the engine blew. It some how locked up and i rolled it.My insurance fixed it and i told GM to keep it. I wasent paying for the POS. And i never did..and they came after me for the money.....all car comapnies are out for themselves.
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Old 05-28-2004, 09:00 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally posted by BMWF1
i think you would be a little mad to if you had a new M3 and they did that
Agreed.

I'd be fuming if they put me through that nonsense.

Stories like this is exactly why I was seriously looking at Merc when I was looking for an SUV for the wife.

If I want to put up with that nonsence, I'd buy a domestic......
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Old 05-28-2004, 09:09 PM   #12
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Thats why i wont buy a new domestic again. From your story I dont want a new bmw either.
Quote:
Originally posted by tlaselva


If I want to put up with that nonsence, I'd buy a domestic......
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Old 05-28-2004, 11:20 PM   #13
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BMW will never see my car. They are famous for joy riding in the M coupes.
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Old 05-29-2004, 02:51 AM   #14
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um, this is what bugs me... 95% of the public believes BMW's are made to be ragged out and (ive actually heard this from many people) they can take it!...

in addition... a whole bunch of people complain that BMW is a worthless POS because it breaks down constantly...

now whats the connection here??????

depending on how you take care of your car is how it will last...
also "customer service" is never good in anything... because NO ONE WILL DO ANYTHING FREE FOR YOU!
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Old 05-29-2004, 02:55 AM   #15
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Quote:
Originally posted by 328is_Perf
um, this is what bugs me... 95% of the public believes BMW's are made to be ragged out and (ive actually heard this from many people) they can take it!...

in addition... a whole bunch of people complain that BMW is a worthless POS because it breaks down constantly...

now whats the connection here??????

depending on how you take care of your car is how it will last...
also "customer service" is never good in anything... because NO ONE WILL DO ANYTHING FREE FOR YOU!
it all depends on the model. I you buy a proven drive-train you will be ok. If you buy new... your taking your chances IMHO
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