|Pancho & Tomas|
I'll have to post my own experience with my last BMW dealer service visit. I don't look forward to bashing one of our very few dealers but the purpose of this blog is to help fellow riders in any way we can. To be fair we need to publish both positive and negative experiences with dealers, Internet stores, equipment, etc.
I kept a record of dates and times but I'll just recap in this posting. I've yet to return to the dealer and see if he can make good on my last service request. I called my dealer (where I purchased a new 2010 R1200RT) on a Saturday and schedule a warranty service in 2 weeks time for a Thursday. I scheduled Thursday because I had a rally not too far from the dealer's location for Friday through Sunday. My service request was pulsating front brake, gas gauge not accurate, and cruise control switch not working except for the on function.
Since my dealer is about 260 miles away I need a very early start in order to get there in the late morning and still give them most of the day to work on the bike. I can't afford to leave the bike there for day or even weeks so I schedule my visits and tell the service dept as much as I can in case they can order the parts ahead of time (normally they don't).
1) I get there at about 10:30 AM on Thursday and the service manager tells me that nobody scheduled my service and there was no way he could service my bike since he had no parts for it. He talks to the parts guy and tells him to order all the parts. If he orders before mid afternoon he can have the parts in overnight. I tell them I will go on to my destination but can return Friday or Saturday if the parts are in.
2) I call Friday morning to see if the parts are in. Parts guy says they are not in but should be in later on Friday. He goes on-line while I am on the phone to check shipping status. Therefore Friday is out as a service day. Maybe Saturday...
3) On Saturday I call again. No parts came in. They tell me that they did not get in on Friday and they don't get shipments on Saturday. I start to go into oh-oh mode. This does not sound normal. I've dealt a lot with shipping and these companies are good. Seldom do they not meet deadlines. I tell the dealer that I will not return home on Sunday and instead hotel it for a day and wait for Monday service.
4) Rally ends Sunday morning and I ride to dealer's town and get a room for the night. This is my second time for a room. Remember, I had to get one for Thursday also.
5) Early Monday morning I go to the dealer's and wait for parts and they take some parts off of my bike. The status is a) that the rotors are within spec's and will not be replaced. b) their bike computer is not working so they cannot check the fuel strip. They want to check it before replacing it. c) the cruise control switch did not arrive. The SM suggests that I wait while the "main office" helps them fix their computer (diagnostic system I presume). At least the fuel gauge problem will be addressed.
6) After waiting about 6 hours I start to push for answers since I haven't heard anything from them. It's 4PM and I ask where the "main office" is located. I learn it is on the east coast. I ask the SM "well aren't they close by now?". He says yes.
By this time I am very upset. Only a few items were off of my bike like saddle bags and tank bag. I wonder if they even had any intent to service my bike. One reason I think that is the case is because the SM walked around the shop asking guys if they could work on my bike when I first got there in the morning. I told the service manager that I wasted two days and $215 on hotel bills for nothing! I expressed my displeasure for a few minutes before I rode off. By now it is just past 5pm meaning I am hitting the peak of rush hour plus I will be getting home at about midnight or later.
My friend with an identical bike needs some service on his RT and asked me if I was over my incident so that I can ride up with him. I told "not really.. but I need to take my bike back". We don't have too many options on dealer service. We have to live with what we got for any warranty work.
I just think the dealer (Service Manager) had so many better options but he elected to do about the worst thing he could have done. At least replace the fuel strip. We BMW guys know that only too well. He said he wanted to calibrate it first to see if that fixed the problem. Or at least tell me that he could not have fixed it and I would not have wasted the entire day in his lobby! And how could he service all the other bikes in the shop without his computer system? Perhaps they were in mundane maintenance mode that week.
This too shall pass...
Update - Feb 17, 2012
Drove to dealer for fuel strip problem and cruise control switch. Fuel strip was replaced but the wrong switch was ordered. The right switch was ordered and over night delivery was requested. I was asked to stay another day which I did. On Saturday, Feb 18th I went back to the dealer only to discover that the part was not making it to the dealer until Monday. Two more days of hotel rooms was not worth the wait. My hotel bills have now far exceeded the cost of the switch.
Update - Mar 2, 2012
Took the bike back to the dealer for the cruise control switch. Since I was there last the horn button also quit working. That makes 3 switches on the left side that quit working (the first was the wind shield switch). All is good now... finally.