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Re: I hate BMW service departments!!! (more) (archive)

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Posted by David on April 22, 2000 at 10:16:27:

In Reply to: I hate BMW service departments!!! (more) posted by GideonArcher on April 21, 2000 at 16:25:01:

GO TO OTTO'S! My last Bimmer was a '74 Tii bought new in '73 from Otto's (then in Chester, PA). Otto and his son-in-law Michael were both realistic about and fabulous at dealing with the same kind of annoying problems we're all having with our Zs and Ms today - no, the Tii wasn't perfect either. But, like our E36s, it was lovable.

Unfortunately, I didn't get my Z coupe from Otto's - only because another dealer had a "factory demo" on the lot, all the other locally available coupes were Ms (I won't chance driving 12 hours with no spare), and I kinda fell in love with the Z when I spotted it while driving down the street minding my own business (and not looking for a new car, I should add). I got a good deal and I took the car despite the nagging voice that said "Go to Otto's, go to Otto's - it's worth the wait, the drive, and the money".

Bad move. I've had 3 separate system failures (all electrical - amplifier, CD player, and DSC) in a month. Shifting is graunchy, and my rear washer also pees on the hatch (but the service depatment told me they didn't see it happen! They also replaced the jet - a bizarre way to deal with the problem). The service manager told me I expect too much from a "used car" - a '00 Z-coupe factory demo, no less! Only Frank Aiuto, my service consultant (didn't we used to call them service writers) really seems to give a damn - and I suspect he's hamstrung by the dealer's and BMW's tight-fisted approach to warranty work. Yes, they replaced the DSC sensor under the driver's seat, yes they replaced the CD player, and yes they got the sound system to work. But it took multiple visits, and no one seemed to care that my car was delivered to me with one obvious failure (no sound from 6 of the 10 speakers) and one they would almost certainly have found had they put it on the computer to check for error codes at pre-delivery (the car sat on their lot for months, based on the inspection sticker - so they must have checked it when it came in and then used it as a mule; either that or the factory exec who drove it had Oddjob as a role model). I've driven over 200 miles back and forth to the dealer in 5 separate trips to get service - all in the first 6 weeks of ownership. No one at the dealer has even said "I'm sorry you've had difficulty" (except one of their salesmen - who isn't the one from whom I got the car!).

I can't put a UUC short shifter in because I KNOW BMW will blame that if the transmission fails (and I believe that it will - shifting is progressively more noisy each week despite VERY careful and deliberate shifting).

I feel terrible that I didn't go back to Otto's - Michael still runs what seems to be the best BMW dealership around. My wife and I were there a few months ago to look at a 528 for her, and the place was a pleasure - nice people who knew their stuff and really seemed to be happy we were there. She hasn't gotten one yet - we had a family loss that slowed us down - but if she does, we'll drive 45 minutes each way just to be a customer there again.

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