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Give me your advice - 40 days to replace one wheel?

Discussion in 'Warranty questions' started by E92Dreier, Apr 23, 2010.

    • Member

    E92Dreier

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    On 3/12/09 I dropped off my father's car for service - he had a shimmy in the steering wheel that increased with speed. It was clear that a large pothole he hit had caused some sort of failure - thank goodness for that wheel and tire insurance package he purchased through our dealer.

    We sort of expected (among ourselves) to need a new tire, as this was not the first time a road hazard had damaged an RFT on one of our vehicles. I dropped off the vehicle as my father was traveling out of the country the next week, and as the owner of another BMW from the same dealership, I am already in the game and I know all the players...

    Here's where it gets weird:

    I called the dealer after three or four days. Already a little long with no communication at all...my service advisor tels me the tire is 100% ...the damage is to the wheel, which needs to be replaced. I authorize the replacement of the wheel and the labor to mount the old tire on the new rim, while the claim process unfolds with the 3rd party insurer. I am told that the process has changed, and the repair must be authorized by a third party adjuster prior to repairs.

    Rather than wait in limbo, I do what any good son would...I brought my dad's freshly waxed Summer wheels to the dealer, and I take home the three undamaged wheels and tires -- the vehicle ws ready to be picked up with its summer shoes in another day.

    Another week goes by and I am told that the claim is in processing, and that there has been a lot of information requested by the 3rd party insurer. A hassle for my dealer, and a delay to the process...

    Then after another week, I am told that the wrong wheel was shipped.

    Then, after another week, I am told that the wheel has arrived, but is waiting to be mounted with its tire. I even went to the dealer, to attempt to force the issue, but was told they were too busy to mount the tire that day.

    That was two weeks ago.

    Now the dealer's service manager , nor his underlings, answer my repeated email and telephone queries over the span of 24 + hours.

    What should I do?

    I am sick of dealing with the people at this dealer, largely due to them ignoring a 'Don't wash sign' on my own vehicle -- this resulted in a ridiculous swirling of the paint, and a lengthy back and forth to have it corrected. Now, this 40 day wait to replace a broken wheel has me banging my head on the desk...
    • Member

    Zeichen311

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    It takes half an hour to mount and balance one tire, if that.

    If you have an hour or two to spare, just show up at the dealership and tell them you are not leaving without the completed assembly. (Go early, obviously. If you're feeling charitable, call ahead to warn them.) Start with the service manager and go over his/her head to the GM if necessary. Stay calm, stay polite but stand firm. If they protest they are too busy, point out that you have patiently waited two weeks for a 30-minute job--it's time to make someone else wait.

    Tell them if you have the completed wheel in your trunk within the hour, you will forgive the delay on the customer satisfaction survey. If they miss the deadline they will receive bottom marks across the board. That should help them find a free tech in a big hurry.

    Two weeks to mount a tire is absurd. I see two possibilities: either you fell into the out-of-sight, out-of-mind file, or they lost your tire while waiting for the wheel and are trying to stall you until a replacement arrives (or hoping it turns up so they don't have to eat the cost).
    • Member

    bcweir

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    IMPORTANT - Do EVERYTHING NottheStig tells you.

    Be sure to mention what NottheStig told you to tell them about the survey. That will be CERTAIN to light a fire under their heels.

    Dealers do not like anything but perfect surveys, and the backlash from BMW over an unsatisfactory customer satisfaction survey is significant. They're serious about trying to weed out the bad apples that give the brand a black eye on customer service.
    • Member

    E92Dreier

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    Thanks guys -- I was hoping that the dealer's service manager would at least make the gesture of calling me today...I guess he's too busy too.

    Stig thanks for the advice - we think alike.
    • Member

    bcweir

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    Well then I guess you have your answer.

    Fine. You tried being patient and tried being Mr. Nice Guy. Sounds like it's time for the kid gloves to come off.

    Let us know what happens when you go to NotTheStig's Plan B.
    • Member

    tiFreak

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    not even, I work in a shop and if I'm working with someone else we can have all 4 tires mounted, balanced, put on the car and torqued in a half hour, I honestly wouldn't even give that dealer my business if I had to wait that long
    • Member

    CRKrieger

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    Choose your battles more carefully.

    You already said you mounted the summer wheels/tires on the car. What's your hurry? You'll need this wheel back when? October? You are the one precipitating the conflict by postulating a totally arbitrary deadline. What the hell do you think is going to happen if you ever have something more important than swirl marks in your finish or not promptly getting a wheel you don't need for six months happening? You might remember them, but they'll remember you, too. Hope you like your Benz dealer better ...
    • Member

    E92Dreier

    Post Count: 169
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    I have never claimed to be a 'blue chip' customer, but I think I have some expectation to at least be treated fairly -- if not well.

    As an aside, I do like my local Benz dealer better...they are much more efficient than any of the three local BMW delaers I have had the misfortune of using for repair work. Too bad I am loyal BMW enthusiast, huh?

    Why do I want the winter wheel and tire now? Besides the sophomoric answer of 'It's mine!' (or more precisely, my pop's), I simply want it cleaned and waxed and put into the rafters of my garage with the other winter wheels, and the salt, and the snow shovels...is that so hard to understand?
    Are you seriously suggesting I let this go until October? By then, the dealer will have lost the whole thing and be telling me that they will need until november to find another.

    And, as previously stated, it's not the wait alone, but the constant misinformation and outright lies that have me perturbed.

    "Precipitating a conflict by postulating a totally arbitrary deadline?" Do you work at a BMW dealer in Fairfield county CT? Perhaps one where they can't figure out how to mount and balance a tire on a rim? If the dealer thinks that returning a few phone calls, and delivering on their own promises is a conflict, I think that they will be losing some customers, promptly.

    I have not arbitrarily imposed any deadline -- But, I have been given repeated timelines, by the dealer, that have not been met, by the dealer. It amazes me that you think I have created some sort of conflict.

    I did come here for advice -- so I will listen to yours, and everyone else's. So far we have about 5 guys saying 'woah, your dealer is nuts!' and one saying 'it's your fault, stop making conflicts.' Cheers

    Perhaps that is why the dealer is often so frustrating for so many -- they are used to dealing with mindless sheep who don't mind waiting 45 days for a simple task to be performed. Maybe I should tell them that I am going to wait 45 days to pay my next service bill -- after all, they're affluent, they can wait for my few dollars, right? Please...
    • Member

    E92Dreier

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    That's the most ridiculous part -- when I finally spoke to someone late friday, I asked if theycould mount the tire before the end of the day for me to pick it up. They said they were already closed. I asked if I could just come and pick up the wheel and tire separately, and they said they'd have to call me back monday!

    Something fishy is going on -- and conflict or otherwise, I have learned valuable information about my dealer's level of trustworthiness.

    Thanks for all input ladies and gents.

    mose121 guest

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    Excuse me if I think you are crazy for backing the dealer up on this one. I have dealt with these ridiculous wheel and tire road hazard companies on a regular basis and 99% of them are total scamers looking to get out of paying for everything. They'll make me hold up a client's car in service while they ship me a tire that takes 3-5 days to arrive when I have a tire in stock for the car that costs msrp. I'd just put the stock tire on the car and wait for the replacement, but we just can't trust that they will even send the right tire or we'll have some other issue. That means we're out the $$$ for the client to be riding around in our loaner car while this company saves $10 on the cost of a tire. Regardless of this we strive to provide superior customer service, so we deal with it. Absorbing a lot of expense to make a cleint happy. But over a month to get this done? Are you serious? Any reasonable client would be pounding down our door after a week or maybe two tops if they were very patient. If my boss got a phone call that this has been over two weeks with no resolution I'd get suspended without pay for a week.

    And after a comment like that, maybe you would enjoy a Benz dealer.
    • Member

    CRKrieger

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    Excuse me if you think I'm backing the dealer on this one. I'm not. I'm saying that the problem is not so critical that this much fuss needs to be made over it. I tend to get along a lot better with the automotive professionals I work with because I am understanding and reasonable. I will give them as much time as I can when it doesn't matter to me. That way, when it does, they'll remember and they'll tend to work harder for me because I gave them breaks.
    See; and I haven't worked with them. However, I think that your experience is what would make a compelling case for my approach. It isn't the dealership; it's the third party and you, as the dealership representative, are working for me to solve the problem. If the circumstances are partially or fully beyond your control, who do you want standing across the counter from you: the OP or me?
    No; I am the reasonable customer. You are the even more accommodating service advisor. I appreciate that and I show it by being more patient than you expect. It would take a lot more than a winter tire not available in April for me to start beating down your door.
    Yeah; well, I don't fit into that crowd of whiners, either. I tend to do most of my own work. I haul my tires and wheels to a shop I trust and I tell them to work them in when there's time - but I need them by -----. When there's something that I have to take to a dealer, I hope to have someone like you to deal with - and you hope to have someone like me to deal with. But if it all goes south, I will carefully choose whether it's worth blowing up into a huge screamin' deal or not - and believe me, I know how to do that. This time, though, I vote 'not'.
    • Member

    E92Dreier

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    I have been too busy to play phone tag, let alone go to the dealer and wait for service..so I haven't followed 'TheStig''s advice...and as for any idea that I am anythign less than a reasonable customer, I defy you to wear my shoes and do anythign less than grab your hair and pull. HARD.

    ...and I am trying to also take a blance of the advice received here -- after all, why start a fire if I don't need one? Right?

    This 45 day wait is annoying and borderline retarded ( Sorry Ms. Palin), but the absence of one winter wheel during the summer season is an acceptable slight, especially if my gregariousness now ensures good relations later...RIGHT?

    Just by way of an update:
    I received an email from the Service advisor, saying something like this:

    "I didn't forget about you my man. I will talk to the tech first thing tomorrow."


    I didn't respond...other than to say thanks.
    For what, I'm not sure...perhaps some insurance against future malfeasance?
    • Member

    E92Dreier

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    Update -- we're up to 50+ days...
    Apparently, the wrong wheel had been shipped again (or at least, I have been given that story again, 3 separate times).

    Yesterday afternoon, my pleasant and affable SA called to ask me what type of TPMS should come with this wheel -- We apparently determined the answer by having me tell him whether the valve stems where metal or plastic on the other three wheels I have in my garage.

    I know that there are differences in the systems, from MY to MY, but isn't this information included in the dealer's computer? Why don't they just use the TPMS sensor from the original damaged wheel? The answers: 'No,' and 'we lost it.'

    I then stressed that this wheel is not needed until the first snow of the season -- So, it's not worth starting a fire about in April or even May -- but, when managers and coordinators shake my hand and look me in the eye, and their promises soon become empty, I begin to doubt their integrity.

    Then I said that if all was resolved and the rim and its ancillary components (tires and TPMS) were all sorted properly in the near future, everything was still 'fives' -

    Thanks for the advice all, I took a balance of your ideas and it is helping me to negotiate this situation. Though, I am seriously doubting ever returning to this dealer for service of any kind.
    • Member

    CRKrieger

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    If this is what you said, it is perfect! Even better than what I think I might have said. Can I steal that? ;)
    • Member

    E92Dreier

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    Intellectual property laws are very vague -- so you can probably use it without it even being stealing...maybe just credit me!

    :p
    • Member

    Zeichen311

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    I completely agree with CRKrieger--you handled that beautifully!

    I'll print up little cards with the URL of your post and hand one over every time I get a runaround. Credit enough? :)
    • Member

    E92Dreier

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    LOL -- more than enough...

    I guess my journalism/english degree wasn't a waste of time afterall - Cheers fellas.
    • Member

    E92Dreier

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    Update:
    I was in the area the other day, so I drove into the dealer to say hello to a friend, a man so conscientious he actually asked me about my dad's wheel/tire. It is still not ready...and no one gave me a clear answer as to why...everyone I spoke with was as perplexed and disappointed as I -- or at least they pretended to be.

    I explained that the tire is not needed until the first flakes hit the ground -- and that I am not interested in creating a conflict by forcing an arbitrary timetable -- I simply came in to say hello and ask about getting a test drive of an X6.

    Since my last posting there has been no communication from the dealer at all, except an e-mail blaming all of the delays on the warranty company (the one they sold me on for my own car too), in early May.

    I gave up on a 'timely' resolution of this problem months ago, but I think that my relationship with this dealer, especially its service department, is nearly at an end. In addition, this episode has soured the entire BMW experience for my father, a recent convert to the blau mit weiss. When he mentioned something about an ///M5 to my mother she said, "and deal with that BMW service? No thanks, I'll stick with my E-class." :eek:

    I am not really hoping to get any advice here, just wanted to vent for a second, and offer some insight into the process of replacing equipment under the tire and wheel insurance
    offered by your local dealer.

    Aside: If you have to drive on the FDR, and your vehicle comes with RFTs, you will break your wheels and bubble your tires -- it is not a matter of if, but when. If you try to replace them under warranty at your dealership, you may have to wait, umm, 3 months plus. At least at my local dealer.

    Puke.

    /rant
    • Member

    CRKrieger

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    You know, I thought you overreacted early on, but now I'm on your side. This is ridiculous and I don't blame you or your parents for feeling the way you do. I think it's about time to go postal with the owner of that dealership. Maybe you'd like to print this thread, or selected messages, for that pathetic excuse for a dealership you're stuck with.
    • Member

    E92Dreier

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    Thanks for commenting...I appreciate the support/comiseration...

    I am well beyond going postal -- who has the energy to argue with indifference?

    My ultimate revenge may be to simply bring my business and enthusiasm for all things BMW elsewhere.

    However, the real shame is that this experience has driven others with less dedication to the Roundel from the marque all together. Unfortunate, but perhaps for the better.

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