BMW Luxury Touring Community banner

1 - 16 of 16 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
331 Posts
Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
Ok, here's the issue and I am willing to take blame as well. In Sept 2011 I had my 2009 R1220RT with ca. 12k miles on it serviced “locally” (that is I live near Richmond, VA). Thereafter I noticed a steady drop in mileage. I even posted that on this forum. When I contacted my “local” BMW service dealer (not the one, by the way from whom I purchase the bike originally), they told me that “..it is probably due to the winter gas mix.” Seemed reasonable enough, I thought that a drop from 48 mpg to 38 mpg was excessive (but what do I know of the “winter mix?”). In February of 2012 I brought my bike into a local, non BMW authorized center, to have a head lamp replaced (and PIAA lights installed). In the process, I mentioned the drop in mileage. Long and short, they found out that the left spark plug coil had deteriorated due to leakage of oil around a spark plug seal that WAS NOT REPLACED when the Sept service was performed. The failure of the spark plug coil was confirmed by the the dealer that I originally purchased the bike from (Max BMW) who said they could not do anything for me because they were not involved in the service.

I sent the coil bake to my “local” dealer and asked them what, if anything, they would or could do for me? (It didn't cost all that much to replace, but I was...fill in the blank). The answer was NOTHING.

Bottom line: I do not TRUST my local dealer AND it cost him a new purchase.

Any thoughts?

Brselman
2009 R1200RT
2011 335i
2012 R1200R
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
362 Posts
In my opinion that's not a good way to treat a customer. I can tell you right now my local dealer would be bending over backwards trying to make things right, either replacing the part for free or taking care of me on a future service.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
3,525 Posts
You just never know what you're going to get when someone else services your bike..

Those seals need to be rotated every time the valve cover is off.. Sometimes they just fail too... They're not automatically replaced...

Pretty low miles for a faillure.. Usually it get's pinched on reassembly...Probably what happened to yours...

Just one of those things.....Sucks to be on the receiving end of it however...

That's why I do all my work myself.. So I know it's been done correctly...

John
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,182 Posts
Spend some time and contact the GM or the owner. Explain your situation and let them know what you think a reasonable remedy would be; part reimbursement, free oil change, etc. Most dealers will try to satisfy the customer considering there is not a great deal of money involved. Keep cool and be professional...
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
472 Posts
They serviced the bike, charged you for the plug and to replace it, didn't do it and won't make it right?
Is that the whole story? Do they acknowledge that it wasn't done?
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
331 Posts
Discussion Starter #6
I am not exactly sure what was replaced at the 12k mile service. They have their protocol, oil, filters, etc. Valve check. In addition I had both tires replaced. The total bill was close to $1k. But the bike clearly went downhill from there with respect to mileage.

And I did communicate with the owner. I sent him an email and we spoke on the phone thereafter. There was no offer of conciliation.

I, too, wish that I could do the routine service so that I would know who is responsible when something fails, but I am afraid that I am just too old and too non technically equipped to handle that. (Oil changes, sure, but valve check and tb setting...way beyond my expertise...I deliver babies!) I don't object to paying a reasonable price for professional work.

At any rate, my local shop, Richmond Superbike, does seem to be able to perform routine maintenance though they cannot, of course, do warranty work. That work will not longer go to my "local" BMW dealer for either bike (2009 R1200RT or 2012 R1200R). :(

brselman
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
726 Posts
So sorry to hear this, I would half to agree that My local dealer would have made things right with no question. Losing out on a mew bike deal in the future would depend on it. :eek:
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
62 Posts
Why did the servicing dealer decline to replace the coil? From the above posts it seems like a spark plug seal got pinched when the valve cover was reinstalled, and the resulting oil leak onto the coil ruined it. Does the dealer disagree as to that scenario? Did he state his reasons?
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
331 Posts
Discussion Starter #9
Sailorlite said:
Why did the servicing dealer decline to replace the coil? From the above posts it seems like a spark plug seal got pinched when the valve cover was reinstalled, and the resulting oil leak onto the coil ruined it. Does the dealer disagree as to that scenario? Did he state his reasons?
Wish I knew the answer to these excellent questions. At any rate my local BMW dealer was penny wise and (many) pound(s) foolish. Probably could have sold me a new bike. Not anymore.

brselman
2009 R1200RT
2011 335i
2012 R1200R
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
331 Posts
Discussion Starter #10
As an aside, if anyone is in the Richmond, VA vicinity and needs any work done on their (BMW) bike, I would highly recommend Richmond Superbike. Joey,, the proprietor, is extremely helpful and quite knowlegable. His shop works on the local police RTP's.

brselman
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
747 Posts
In checking work done by others I find that about 1/3 of all jobs are not done to my standard and about half of those have obvious errors of failure to replace parts properly. I took my first mechanics class in the 1960s but made my living at other stuff- yet still choose to do most work for myself despite ability to pay others...

A properly trained owner has an advantage over any pro- lack of time pressure and, generally, freedom from the multiple interruptions that can occur in a shop environment. So I've got sympathy for the guys who do it for a living- its not easy work and the guys who do it well deserve more respect and better pay than they usually get...

It might be a bit hard to prove exactly when this error happened. At any service interval, the "valve" check may have been done simply by comparing vacuum readings rather than by physical inspection after removal of the covers. However, if this mistake happened at the 12K service as seems likely based on the mileage observation, the dealership ought to offer a remedy. In general, its wise to resolve things with at least something in favor of the customer- folks aren't exactly lining up for miles to buy new bikes and any bike dealership needs every bit of customer loyalty it can get if long term survival is the goal..
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
560 Posts
SmokinJoe said:
Spend some time and contact the GM or the owner. Explain your situation and let them know what you think a reasonable remedy would be; part reimbursement, free oil change, etc. Most dealers will try to satisfy the customer considering there is not a great deal of money involved. Keep cool and be professional...
Having spent a number of years in the retail business, having a customer offer a remedy usually works if it's reasonable. I agree that it's not good practice to treat a customer as if they opened a bottle of soda, looked under the cap and it says, "Sorry, you're not a winner today." But, having a customer come in with a legitimate complaint and then offer a solution that will satisfy them allows the dealer/manager to either accept the solution or make a counter offer.

Maintaining one's cool and being professional is great advice. Storming in with shouts and accusations will just put the dealer/manager on the defensive.

Good luck.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,182 Posts
racer7 said:
In checking work done by others I find that about 1/3 of all jobs are not done to my standard and about half of those have obvious errors of failure to replace parts properly. I took my first mechanics class in the 1960s but made my living at other stuff- yet still choose to do most work for myself despite ability to pay others...

A properly trained owner has an advantage over any pro- lack of time pressure and, generally, freedom from the multiple interruptions that can occur in a shop environment. So I've got sympathy for the guys who do it for a living- its not easy work and the guys who do it well deserve more respect and better pay than they usually get...

It might be a bit hard to prove exactly when this error happened. At any service interval, the "valve" check may have been done simply by comparing vacuum readings rather than by physical inspection after removal of the covers. However, if this mistake happened at the 12K service as seems likely based on the mileage observation, the dealership ought to offer a remedy. In general, its wise to resolve things with at least something in favor of the customer- folks aren't exactly lining up for miles to buy new bikes and any bike dealership needs every bit of customer loyalty it can get if long term survival is the goal..
+1 very well spoken....
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
331 Posts
Discussion Starter #14
Tracus said:
Having spent a number of years in the retail business, having a customer offer a remedy usually works if it's reasonable. I agree that it's not good practice to treat a customer as if they opened a bottle of soda, looked under the cap and it says, "Sorry, you're not a winner today." But, having a customer come in with a legitimate complaint and then offer a solution that will satisfy them allows the dealer/manager to either accept the solution or make a counter offer.

Maintaining one's cool and being professional is great advice. Storming in with shouts and accusations will just put the dealer/manager on the defensive.

Good luck.
Tracus-

I couldn't agree with you more. I called my "local" dealer service manager before I sent the damaged coil back to them. After receiving the coil, the service manager called me back and responded that "there was nothing he could do for me." In terms of bmw parts, this was not terribly expensive (ca. $120). It was the attitude that bothered me. First of all, knowing that it was an oil leak around a spark that most likely occurred when his service team did my 12k service, and secondly when he told me that "BMW would just laugh at me [the service manager] if he sent the part back to BMW." Well, he made me feel stupid (as if I had something to do with the failure of the part) and certainly not worthy as a customer.

I did subsequently file a formal complaint with BMW NA (for whatever that is worth) and also wrote to the owner. To his credit, the owner called me...but offered only words.

I have been tempted to email the owner the link to this thread, but doubt that action would bring satisfaction to anyone.

brselman
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
560 Posts
brselman said:
Tracus-

I couldn't agree with you more. I called my "local" dealer service manager before I sent the damaged coil back to them. After receiving the coil, the service manager called me back and responded that "there was nothing he could do for me." In terms of bmw parts, this was not terribly expensive (ca. $120). It was the attitude that bothered me. First of all, knowing that it was an oil leak around a spark that most likely occurred when his service team did my 12k service, and secondly when he told me that "BMW would just laugh at me [the service manager] if he sent the part back to BMW." Well, he made me feel stupid (as if I had something to do with the failure of the part) and certainly not worthy as a customer.

I did subsequently file a formal complaint with BMW NA (for whatever that is worth) and also wrote to the owner. To his credit, the owner called me...but offered only words.

I have been tempted to email the owner the link to this thread, but doubt that action would bring satisfaction to anyone.

brselman
And people wonder why we have recessions. It irks me to no end that a dealer is letting you hang out to dry. No doubt your next nearest service center is in a different time zone. What many dealers, managers and shop owners have forgotten is "The Rule of Ten." If you upset, and thereby lose, one customer through bad service, that customer will take ten other customers with him/her. That mantra was beaten into our heads countless times.

When someone asked about dealing with a customer who is absolutely in the wrong, the answer was to negotiate or compromise. It may cost the business some money but that customer is going to make recommendations and that easily counters the initial loss.

However, There are exceptions. I recall a customer coming in with a relatively new mountain bike that we had sold to him. The front wheel was pretzeled beyond repair. The forks were bent back and ran parallel to the down tube. When I asked him what happened. He said, "I was just riding along."

"Now wait a minute." I said. "If you were taken to an ER with a compound fracture of the leg with bones sticking out of your flesh and the doctor asks, 'What happened?' Are you going to tell him you were just walking along?"

As it turns out he was trying to do an Evel Knievel over a six foot wide ditch and came up short. So much for his warranty claim.

Anyway, I wish you the best of luck. Keep knocking on enough doors and sooner or later, someone is going to answer.
 
1 - 16 of 16 Posts
Top