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      12-17-2012, 02:06 PM   #1
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Starting to regret buying a BMW

I was thinking that buying a BMW would mean a car of great quality and dealing with a dealership that knows how to deal with people buying premium product.

However, this far it seems I have been sorely mistaken. I haven't even completed the break-in distance, have had the car about a month, and these are the problems this far:

- Squeeling brakes in cold weather (BMW has acknowledged the problem and are working on it)

- The windshield washer fluid sensor can't deal with all kinds of fluid. Certain mixes with too pure water (or high concentration of antifreeze) will trip the low level indicator even when the reservoir is full. BMW is working on it.

- The cold weather engine heating package (with charger and heater for the cockpit) was incorrectly mounted by the dealer, resulting in a tie strap pointing straight into the cooling fan making a loud annoying sound.

- Today I noticed that the light control for the Xenons has failed. No matter what speed I go, the lights are dipped down as much as possible so they effectively illuminate just a few feet ahead of the car. It is now totally useless in the dark.

So, this far it seems I have had some bad luck. This would have been OK if the dealer had dealt with it in a professional manner. However, as soon as I signed the contract, it felt like they lost any and all interest in me. I am expecting them to care and personally try to solve the problem by interfacing with the service department, etc. But the attitude is along the lines of "Why are you callin me - call the service department, I didn't build the car, there's nothing I can do". Well, I do try to call the service department but they are hard as &%! to get a hold of.

So, here I am stuck with a car with way too many problems for a brand new one and a dealer who don't seem to give a d*mn.
I am utterly and totally disappointed in the extremely poor experience it has been this far to get a brand new so called premium german car.

By the way, if anyone is buying a new BMW in Stockholm, Sweden, do PM me and I will tell you which dealer NOT to trust with your time and money.

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      12-17-2012, 02:08 PM   #2
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Do you have any lemon laws that could apply here?
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      12-17-2012, 02:22 PM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jsedlak View Post
Do you have any lemon laws that could apply here?
Not sure if there are any separate rules regarding cars, but in general consumers are very well protected in Sweden. Basically the rule is that the seller should get an opportunity to correct the fault(s) and keep the customer free of monetary damages. If they fail to do this, the customer has the right to reverse the transaction. This applies for up to three years (and has nothing to do with any warranty period).

The dealer is trying to correct the problems at this point, but it is their attitude and (lack of) interest in the customer experience which is severely annoying and infuriating.

I have escalated this with the dealer, so we'll see what happens. If things don't change I will definitely be pushing for something drastic (replacement car or a reversal of the transaction).

Sorry for the rant, but I just had to share the experience and offer a warning to any fellow residents in Stockholm.
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      12-17-2012, 02:33 PM   #4
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poor afterasales

you are not alone! Here in HK the service is just as bad! you can never find the service guy and the sales guy is not interested in you at all after sales !

I dont think I bought a premium product ! bcos the service I received is nothing like premium !
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      12-17-2012, 03:05 PM   #5
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I hope my dealer in Norway will be more cooperative if my car should be faulty, I know from earlier experience that my local dealer hasn't been the most cooperative when a fault occurs in the warranty period. But I've heard they "improved" in that area, so time will tell. This is my first brand new car, so I won't be a nice customer if my car get faulty.

Fingers crossed, 3 more weeks until my delivery, damn it's a long wait.
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      12-17-2012, 03:12 PM   #6
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Hopefully, you now have their attention now that you have escalated the issue. In a brand new car model, there are bound to be some small problems, and it's up to the dealer to ensure that the ownership experience of the early-adopters is a good one. I don't know where in Sweden you are but I had a good experience with BMW Göteborg when we imported a car a while back. Good luck.





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      12-17-2012, 03:17 PM   #7
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I personally thinks it's unreasonable to involve the salesman after the fact unless you're really having a tough time with the service department. Even then, I'd go to the general manager before the salesman.

While I agree it sucks to have so many issues so early, but they are all minor in nature (excepting the headlights). Several are oddities that you can chalk up to new tech that the manufacturer is aware of and working on. These aren't really defects with your car, they're design issues. The dealer can't do anything to help you until the factory tells them what to do or issues revised parts.

Being in sales myself, I can see things from the other side. You have to understand the salesman's job is to sell. That's it really, just sell. Sure there's a level of stewardship that goes along with it after the sale to act as your advocate, but don't abuse it. If you've been through everyone in the service department, including the service manager, and aren't getting anywhere, THEN seek help. But not before. Every minute spent trying to chase down problems for you is a lost opportunity to close another sale. Salesmen aren't compensated for being friendly and helpful after the sale. They're just compensated for moving product.

Finally, it's very disturbing how quickly folks bring up the "Lemon Law" card. Really? Do you really think this is Lemon worthy? Do you even understand how it works and what the original intent was? That's just a ridiculous suggestion at this point.
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      12-17-2012, 03:23 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Sprocket View Post

- Squeeling brakes in cold weather (BMW has acknowledged the problem and are working on it)
More of an annoyance than a defect. We have the same issue in US with the MSport brakes that come with the Euro spec (dusty) pads. A fix will come, just be patient. If you search the forum, you'll find many posters claim the squeal went away by itself after 1-2K miles of driving.

Quote:
- The windshield washer fluid sensor can't deal with all kinds of fluid. Certain mixes with too pure water (or high concentration of antifreeze) will trip the low level indicator even when the reservoir is full. BMW is working on it.
I've heard of this issue as well. Not sure if this is a Europe only issue. Can dealer get you some BMW approved washer fluid? How much could a bottle cost? Certainly not worth you getting annoyed with your new car. Eventually they will address in software or with a new sensor (which is located in the washer fluid reservoir.)

Quote:
- The cold weather engine heating package (with charger and heater for the cockpit) was incorrectly mounted by the dealer, resulting in a tie strap pointing straight into the cooling fan making a loud annoying sound.
Dealer mistake. Don't blame BMW because their dealer has sloppy tech's. BMW has a high level of tech training, but no matter how much training they enforce, if dealership management lacks, your service experience will too.

Quote:
- Today I noticed that the light control for the Xenons has failed. No matter what speed I go, the lights are dipped down as much as possible so they effectively illuminate just a few feet ahead of the car. It is now totally useless in the dark.
We don't get headlight control like that in the US. Take it in and get them to fix it. Likely the switch or a fuse....

Quote:
So, this far it seems I have had some bad luck. This would have been OK if the dealer had dealt with it in a professional manner. However, as soon as I signed the contract, it felt like they lost any and all interest in me. I am expecting them to care and personally try to solve the problem by interfacing with the service department, etc. But the attitude is along the lines of "Why are you callin me - call the service department, I didn't build the car, there's nothing I can do". Well, I do try to call the service department but they are hard as &%! to get a hold of.

So, here I am stuck with a car with way too many problems for a brand new one and a dealer who don't seem to give a d*mn.
I am utterly and totally disappointed in the extremely poor experience it has been this far to get a brand new so called premium german car.

By the way, if anyone is buying a new BMW in Stockholm, Sweden, do PM me and I will tell you which dealer NOT to trust with your time and money.

Advise dealer service manager that you want an appointment with the BMW rep. who visits them once or twice a month. Sometimes just requesting this appointment will motivate dealers bad attitude. Sometimes not, but the BMW rep should be able to help you work with dealer to get these issues resolved.

Trust me, these BMW reps grade dealer performance and dealers don't like to get dinged on their performance scores.
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      12-17-2012, 03:29 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by claykin View Post
Advise dealer service manager that you want an appointment with the BMW rep. who visits them once or twice a month. Sometimes just requesting this appointment will motivate dealers bad attitude. Sometimes not, but the BMW rep should be able to help you work with dealer to get these issues resolved.

Trust me, these BMW reps grade dealer performance and dealers don't like to get dinged on their performance scores.
The next step up is definitely BMW. I have reached out to various levels at the dealership so they have a chance to right the situation, which again is mostly about their lack of interest in a customer having problems.

As for the problems themselves, only one is minor and an annoyance (the squeeling brakes).
The washer fluid level warning might seem minor, but as soon as it's (incorrectly) triggered the car won't clean the headlights or the back window (F31) since it thinks it has to save on fluid. So when in the dark this becomes a major issue. Or well, it did until the level adjustment for the headlights failed. Now I can't see a thing regardless of how clean the lights are....

Anyway, we'll see how this works out. I'm sure they'll fix it but my faith in both the car itself, BMW and the dealership has definitely been severely harmed by the experience this far.
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      12-17-2012, 08:39 PM   #10
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Having owned a VW, Infiniti and a Nissan before I bought my BMW, I have to say that BMW has the worst customer service.
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      12-17-2012, 09:34 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rayusaFL View Post
Having owned a VW, Infiniti and a Nissan before I bought my BMW, I have to say that BMW has the worst customer service.
Worst service I've ever had was a Chrysler-Plymouth followed by Ford-Mazda dealer, then Nissan.
Both Audi and BMW have been great to me.
Sure, they don't always get the problem fixed right away, but the customer service was/is great. I always get loaner cars from my BMW dealer, and they always have very good coffee, or soda, bottled water and a variety of snacks.

Most experiences have much more to do with the individual dealership than the actual brand, imo.
But, premium brands tend to have higher expectations of their dealerships across the board.
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      12-17-2012, 09:43 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Sprocket View Post
I was thinking that buying a BMW would mean a car of great quality and dealing with a dealership that knows how to deal with people buying premium product.

However, this far it seems I have been sorely mistaken. I haven't even completed the break-in distance, have had the car about a month, and these are the problems this far:

- Squeeling brakes in cold weather (BMW has acknowledged the problem and are working on it)

- The windshield washer fluid sensor can't deal with all kinds of fluid. Certain mixes with too pure water (or high concentration of antifreeze) will trip the low level indicator even when the reservoir is full. BMW is working on it.

- The cold weather engine heating package (with charger and heater for the cockpit) was incorrectly mounted by the dealer, resulting in a tie strap pointing straight into the cooling fan making a loud annoying sound.

- Today I noticed that the light control for the Xenons has failed. No matter what speed I go, the lights are dipped down as much as possible so they effectively illuminate just a few feet ahead of the car. It is now totally useless in the dark.

So, this far it seems I have had some bad luck. This would have been OK if the dealer had dealt with it in a professional manner. However, as soon as I signed the contract, it felt like they lost any and all interest in me. I am expecting them to care and personally try to solve the problem by interfacing with the service department, etc. But the attitude is along the lines of "Why are you callin me - call the service department, I didn't build the car, there's nothing I can do". Well, I do try to call the service department but they are hard as &%! to get a hold of.

So, here I am stuck with a car with way too many problems for a brand new one and a dealer who don't seem to give a d*mn.
I am utterly and totally disappointed in the extremely poor experience it has been this far to get a brand new so called premium german car.

By the way, if anyone is buying a new BMW in Stockholm, Sweden, do PM me and I will tell you which dealer NOT to trust with your time and money.

I can understand your frustration.
The following is just my opinion.
How much the sales person helps out after the sale has nothing to do with the manufacturer, and everything to do with the sales person professionalism or lack thereof. In my case my sales guy is willing to go to bat for me if I wanted him to. But, why would I? And I don't, because I'd rather deal with the department that can actually do something regarding service. Sales is NOT service.

A lot of people want the sales person to do everything for them during the ownership of the car. I don't think that's reasonable at all. Sales job is to get you access to test drives, get information on options and availability, negotiate the sale, and help with ordering or finding the car, then delivery and follow up.

Once the sale is made why would you bother the sales person?
You have a service department that has it's own managers, service writers, and technicians. If you have a problem with the service department, you need to talk to the service manager, and if that doesn't help you need to speak to the owner of the dealership.

Sounds like your dealer sucks. But blame the dealer not BMW.

Last edited by RPM90; 12-17-2012 at 09:50 PM.
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      12-17-2012, 09:46 PM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rayusaFL View Post
Having owned a VW, Infiniti and a Nissan before I bought my BMW, I have to say that BMW has the worst customer service.
I love broad generalizations. They're so useful and informative.
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      12-18-2012, 06:28 AM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BavarianFanatic View Post
I personally thinks it's unreasonable to involve the salesman after the fact unless you're really having a tough time with the service department. Even then, I'd go to the general manager before the salesman.
To give the full picture, I did not approach sales at first. I did go through the service department. My first call to the sales guy (if I recall correctly) came after problem #3. At that point I was annoyed and expected him to take care of the problem and the communication with me, as getting in touch with the service department was hard and they were not giving the problems the attention they needed.

I run a company and we have lots of customer contact. From my point of view, even if you're a sales guy and is supposed to sell you do have a responsibility personally for the things you sell. So if I buy a car from a sales rep, and I have problems with it that exceed what can be expected then he is the first one I will go to when I am stuck. His job then is to stand up for the product that he sold and fight any battles that need fighting for me.

Regarding "lemon law" or our swedish equivalent, I am not considering it at this point. But if the car continues to have problem after problem I will invoke it real soon, and I don't think that is unreasonable. I have to be able to trust a brand new premium car. At this point, I don't.
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      12-18-2012, 11:05 AM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Sprocket View Post
To give the full picture, I did not approach sales at first. I did go through the service department. My first call to the sales guy (if I recall correctly) came after problem #3. At that point I was annoyed and expected him to take care of the problem and the communication with me, as getting in touch with the service department was hard and they were not giving the problems the attention they needed.

I run a company and we have lots of customer contact. From my point of view, even if you're a sales guy and is supposed to sell you do have a responsibility personally for the things you sell. So if I buy a car from a sales rep, and I have problems with it that exceed what can be expected then he is the first one I will go to when I am stuck. His job then is to stand up for the product that he sold and fight any battles that need fighting for me.

Regarding "lemon law" or our swedish equivalent, I am not considering it at this point. But if the car continues to have problem after problem I will invoke it real soon, and I don't think that is unreasonable. I have to be able to trust a brand new premium car. At this point, I don't.
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      12-18-2012, 11:25 AM   #16
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Originally Posted by BavarianFanatic View Post
Salesmen aren't compensated for being friendly and helpful after the sale. They're just compensated for moving product.
Logically it's true, but we all live in human interacting world. Not in robot world...

Salesmen may be compensated for being friendly and helpful after sales.
If I get a very good and reasonable after-sale follow-up from the salesman for minor troubles with the car, I will definitely deal again with the same sales person when I buy another car for myself or my family members or re-new my lease and/or even recommend the sales person to all my friends or colleagues.

If I get the not-so-good after sales experience from my sales person as OP had, then I won't deal with that sales person again. Never! And will spread out the bad reputation to my friends or families.

For me, my sales person is very helpful after sales. He addressed and forwarded my complaints to service department in a prompt manner and took care of all the very detailed things even though they were minor issues.

So, just "Don't bother the salesmen after sale is done!" attitude is not going to help your future sales performance and compensation, unless you really don't want see the annoying customers again.
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      12-18-2012, 11:38 AM   #17
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Sprocket View Post
To give the full picture, I did not approach sales at first. I did go through the service department. My first call to the sales guy (if I recall correctly) came after problem #3. At that point I was annoyed and expected him to take care of the problem and the communication with me, as getting in touch with the service department was hard and they were not giving the problems the attention they needed.

I run a company and we have lots of customer contact. From my point of view, even if you're a sales guy and is supposed to sell you do have a responsibility personally for the things you sell. So if I buy a car from a sales rep, and I have problems with it that exceed what can be expected then he is the first one I will go to when I am stuck. His job then is to stand up for the product that he sold and fight any battles that need fighting for me.

Regarding "lemon law" or our swedish equivalent, I am not considering it at this point. But if the car continues to have problem after problem I will invoke it real soon, and I don't think that is unreasonable. I have to be able to trust a brand new premium car. At this point, I don't.

I don't disagree with anything you've said. But, my point is that your issues were incredibly minor in nature. You need to pick your battles. None of these issues were affecting the performance of the car or your ability to drive it. They were simply annoyances. Your expectation of him to take care of the issues and communication with you was a tad unreasonable. Now if you were not able to drive the car, or the service department never provided an updates or feedback, THEN I could see involving the sales guy. But not at the point you did.

It seems you have incredibly high expectations on many different levels. You need to realize nothing and no person is perfect. Price is wholly irrelevant.
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      12-18-2012, 11:57 AM   #18
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BimmerHJ View Post
Logically it's true, but we all live in human interacting world. Not in robot world...

Salesmen may be compensated for being friendly and helpful after sales.
If I get a very good and reasonable after-sale follow-up from the salesman for minor troubles with the car, I will definitely deal again with the same sales person when I buy another car for myself or my family members or re-new my lease and/or even recommend the sales person to all my friends or colleagues.

If I get the not-so-good after sales experience from my sales person as OP had, then I won't deal with that sales person again. Never! And will spread out the bad reputation to my friends or families.

For me, my sales person is very helpful after sales. He addressed and forwarded my complaints to service department in a prompt manner and took care of all the very detailed things even though they were minor issues.

So, just "Don't bother the salesmen after sale is done!" attitude is not going to help your future sales performance and compensation, unless you really don't want see the annoying customers again.

See my response above. Of course after-sales support is very important, but in the correct context. He's complaining about squealing brakes and a noisy wire tie. None of these issues was significant enough to involve the salesman. This is akin to crying wolf.

I personally spend an incredibly great amount of time dealing with things after the sale. Unfortunately, I also have several folks who follow the OP's lead by getting me involved when I just shouldn't be. The problem is that this detracts from the time I have available to handle new sales opportunities and grow the business.

Here's something to keep in mind - it's very common that the "annoying customer" as you've put it (or as I would say, a demanding customer) is also very demanding during the negotiation of the sale. This means that you'll be spending a lot of time working with someone who is very difficult to please when you've made the minimum margin on their transaction. Does this make much fiscal sense?

To be frank, I evaluate my account list annually and I "grade" all of my customers based on sales volume, margins and time investment. Without fail, those with an exceptionally high time requirement are the lowest margins. Often even net negative because we end up providing more than was owed in a futile attempt to appease them. As I'm sure just about everyone can relate, I barely have enough time to handle all that I must in a given day. With that said, how do you think I prioritize my time? I can assure you it's working with the folks at the opposite end of the spectrum. My best customers are the ones that are REASONABLE in their expectations and the ones that are understanding when things don't go as initially planned.

I should also mention that I'm NOT in the automotive industry in case anyone's ready to throw the car salesman dagger at me. My work is in a realm orders of magnitude greater than what we're speaking of here.

Bottom line - be reasonable in your expectations of products and people. Sure there are folks out there that are just plain horrible when it comes to customer service. But remember, they're often that way because they've become jaded and /or have a hair trigger from having dealt with folks that are a tad too demanding. Take a breath and proceed carefully with discipline and respect. Take a brief second to consider the situation in a logical manner devoid of emotion. Trust me, you'll go farther and be cared for better than you ever could have imagined.

Best of luck with your new Lexus!
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      12-18-2012, 12:17 PM   #19
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Originally Posted by BavarianFanatic View Post
See my response above. Of course after-sales support is very important, but in the correct context. He's complaining about squealing brakes and a noisy wire tie. None of these issues was significant enough to involve the salesman. This is akin to crying wolf.

I personally spend an incredibly great amount of time dealing with things after the sale. Unfortunately, I also have several folks who follow the OP's lead by getting me involved when I just shouldn't be. The problem is that this detracts from the time I have available to handle new sales opportunities and grow the business.

Here's something to keep in mind - it's very common that the "annoying customer" as you've put it (or as I would say, a demanding customer) is also very demanding during the negotiation of the sale. This means that you'll be spending a lot of time working with someone who is very difficult to please when you've made the minimum margin on their transaction. Does this make much fiscal sense?

To be frank, I evaluate my account list annually and I "grade" all of my customers based on sales volume, margins and time investment. Without fail, those with an exceptionally high time requirement are the lowest margins. Often even net negative because we end up providing more than was owed in a futile attempt to appease them. As I'm sure just about everyone can relate, I barely have enough time to handle all that I must in a given day. With that said, how do you think I prioritize my time? I can assure you it's working with the folks at the opposite end of the spectrum. My best customers are the ones that are REASONABLE in their expectations and the ones that are understanding when things don't go as initially planned.

I should also mention that I'm NOT in the automotive industry in case anyone's ready to throw the car salesman dagger at me. My work is in a realm orders of magnitude greater than what we're speaking of here.

Bottom line - be reasonable in your expectations of products and people. Sure there are folks out there that are just plain horrible when it comes to customer service. But remember, they're often that way because they've become jaded and /or have a hair trigger from having dealt with folks that are a tad too demanding. Take a breath and proceed carefully with discipline and respect. Take a brief second to consider the situation in a logical manner devoid of emotion. Trust me, you'll go farther and be cared for better than you ever could have imagined.

Best of luck with your new Lexus!
Hmm, that point of view makes sense too.
I thought car salesmen have plenty of time during the weekdays specially daytime, just sitting on the desk surfing the webs or chatting with others...
Seems like you are very busy salesman compared to them.

My wife hates Lexus, by the way.
And we will buy BMW cars again and again because it's the best car in the world.

Don't judge other users simply because they are complaining about BMW's issues.
Raising the issues and complaining the issues all make better BMW!! even though salesmen like you don't think so...
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      12-18-2012, 12:47 PM   #20
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Interesting. I recently had to fill out a service survey and dinged them on a few small items. Things like, having to come in twice to get the same thing fixed (windshield washers not operating), no gas in the loaner, etc. I was not only called and emailed by the service manager and dealer principal, but also by the regional service VP! They said that BMW takes any survey's that don't reflect "Ultimate Service" very seriously and offered me several apologies and promises that they would make it right including free car washes. I felt like they were sincere and have no problem taking my now 3 month old vehicle back to them. The dealer is Kimberly BMW in Davenport, Iowa.
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Caddy ATS . . . finally, a decent rental car option.
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      12-18-2012, 12:56 PM   #21
BavarianFanatic
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BimmerHJ View Post
Hmm, that point of view makes sense too.
I thought car salesmen have plenty of time during the weekdays specially daytime, just sitting on the desk surfing the webs or chatting with others...
Seems like you are very busy salesman compared to them.

My wife hates Lexus, by the way.
And we will buy BMW cars again and again because it's the best car in the world.

Don't judge other users simply because they are complaining about BMW's issues.
Raising the issues and complaining the issues all make better BMW!! even though salesmen like you don't think so...
I was thinking the OP might like Lexus...

I don't have any issue with folks airing their troubles. I just find it interesting when the "issues" are minor and don't warrant the reaction. As folks often post at this point "first world problems".

In fact, I actually value constructive criticism and negative feedback far more than I do accolades. You can't make improvements if you don't know what's not working well. Likewise, you'll never learn anything new if you don't make a mistake every now and then. The key is LEARNING from those mistakes.

As I've said previously, make sure the issue at hand is really justification for the response and/or attention it's given. And make sure you're barking up the right tree when you do make a fuss. I'm pretty sure your mailman wouldn't take well to you yelling at him because you're unhappy about the huge bill he just delivered. While he IS responsible for delivering the physical envelope to you, he's not really connected to the contents...
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      12-18-2012, 01:57 PM   #22
shivaswrath
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I'm not a fanboi per se, but I feel the OP...
it's abusrd when you pay $50k+ for a car and have all these minor issues.

My $35k Mitsu and Acura had literally no issues for the duration of ownership (5 years, 3 years, respectively).
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