In Reply to: Re: My two cents posted by Perry on February 08, 2000 at 14:23:45:
Small claims court will look at the reciept and use that as the business transaction. As a business owner, who the business does subcontacts is not important to the customer. In most cases, the seller does not tell the customers who the subcontractor or original manufacturer is. The laws in the state of Washington will have a problem if you or your agent (the insurance company acting on your behalf) paid for services and recieved substandard work. Since you did not have any say in how the company you contracted to perform the work was going to accomplish this task, BMW Seatle will have a hard time explaining how they are not at fault. Keep in mind that BMW Seatle did not perform this duty as a charity function but "for profit" and that will leave them responsible in the eyes of the court.
If BMW had you sign that they were charging you a fee for processing this service but that they are not responisble for the actions of the subcontractor, then you and the insurance company are going to have to slug it out. I would spend the $50 and go to small claims court and see what the judge says. Pay a couple of hundred and have an attorney write a nasty lawsuit letter that demands Seatle BMW pay for your legal fees and refund the money they were paid for the serivce in question. Then take that money and go to another body shop for the work.
BMW North America and AG do not have any way to effect this issue. The PR people might send you a sweater or something. The dealership is used to people suing them so be prepared since they will most likely take this to court and not settle since they have an attorney on staff or retainer.
You are in the right, check to see what laws in specific they are in violation of and what precedences have been set for subcontractors.