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Onerous terms in ED Purchase Order

Discussion in 'European Delivery' started by RBinDC, Sep 14, 2010.

    RBinDC guest

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    I just got the Purchase Order for my 335is (ED Oct 11th). I can't believe what it says, to wit:

    "This offer shall constitute an irrevocable offer buy the Customer for a period of six weeks from the date of its receipt by... BMW NA ..., to purchase the vehicle .... Acceptance by BMW NA shall be made in the form of a Confirmation of Order in writing, which may be modified from time to time, in writing, by revision to the Confirmation of Order. In the event of a variance between the Order and the Confirmation, the terms of the acceptance contained in the Confirmation shall govern unless the Customer shall reject the Confirmation...within 10 days after receipt of he Confirmation....

    Prices are subject to change without notice; and the price charged, notwithstanding the Purchase Order or the Confirmation(s) thereof, shall be the price valid at the time of delivery. All payments must be made prior to the confirmed date of delivery."

    Holy S**t!

    So, regardless of the Purchase Order I signed, and confirmation of its acceptance by BMW, I don't actually know the price of the car I am buying but am obligated to pay that unknown price 10 days before delivery at which time the price may change further!

    There's more:

    "... If BMW NA has not delivered the Vehicle in Munich within ten business days of the scheduled delivery date, the Customer shall be entitled to cancel this order, and BMW NA shall refund to the Customer the amounts paid on account of this order, without any interest; except however, that where delivery is delayed by reason of causes beyond the control of BMW NA, the Customer shall be entitled to cancel this order, only after delay of more than one month, and BMW NA shall refund the amounts paid on account thereof without any interest."

    "BMW NA shall not be liable for any expenses incurred by the Customer in connection with the Customer's journey to the place of delivery including, but not limited to, travel meals, accommodations, telephone calls, and the like while at the place of delivery' or penalties or cancellation fees for missed hotel and transportation reservations; or for incrased costs for traveling in Europe or journeying from the place of delivery to the Customer's residence regardless of whether any or all of such expenses may have been caused by BMW NA's delay in delivery, non-delivery, or the Customer's non-acceptance of the Vehicle...."

    So now BMW is absolving itself of any damage claims if it fails to deliver the car as promised so I will be out the travel costs, and possibly the Vehicle itself, since I can't hang out in Europe for up to a month waiting for them to make good on delivery.

    Finally, there is this little tidbit:

    In the event the Vehicle ordered is discontinued in production, or materlally altered with respect to the design thereof, after the date of the Confirmation of Order, the Customer shall have the option of accepting delivery of a replacement vehicle ..., if such delivery is offered by BMW NA or accepting a refund without interest of the amounts paid by the Customer...."

    So now I don't even know what I am buying and when I show up at the Welt they may offer me a rebadged Yugo. Of course, I can refuse - and absorb all of my travel costs.

    This contract is pretty outrageous. I know what some of you will say. BMW has seldom exercised this right so the risk is small. Yeah? Then why doesn't BMW bear that risk?

    Has anyone tried negotiating the removal of these one-sided conditions? Maybe BMW CCA should approach BMW on behalf of its membership.

    These freaking Germans! I am seriously thinking of cancelling this order and just reordering the same car for US delivery. I know I can drive a harder bargain than I did on the ED order.

    This is a downside to ED that nobody has ever mentioned.
    • Member


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    In practice, prices do not change that often (typically a few times a year, tops) or by all that much. Since Euro deliveries are set in motion three or more months in advance, this is perfectly reasonable albeit a touch miserly. It isn't fair to expect to pay this year's price for a car to be built next year.

    Most people complete the actual purchase as close to the delivery date as possible but there's little to prevent you--except good sense--from doing so months before delivery. When the purchase and delivery dates are close together, they will probably just charge the price that is going to be in effect on the delivery date, if a change is coming in the next few weeks.

    Well of course they are. For you or I, it's one purchase. For BMW, it's one of thousands per year. Suppose some disaster halts production at a plant for an extended period--they could be exposed to millions in damages without such a clause. I'd wager you'll find similar terms in the factory-delivery agreements of most other manufacturers.

    In practice: Communication in the ED department is excellent. It would take a major screwup to board a plane a few days before your delivery date and not find the car waiting for you as promised. If it will be delayed, they will give you plenty of advance notice. If they screw up and you make a polite stink, they may reimburse all or part of the cost to reschedule your trip.

    Yes, you do. Again, these terms are there to cover the extremely long lead times possible for ED orders. If I ordered an M5 last year for delivery this December, which would be more reasonable: BMW storing the car for months (after production ceased earlier this year) until I want to come get it, or me hustling my butt over to Deutschland while they're still building that model?

    That "harder bargain" will be relative to a different invoice price. You'll pay roughly 7% more for the car (though you won't have to pay for the trip of course). Also, if you read the fine print on a US-delivery order, you'll find many of the same clauses. It's a consequence of placing an order for a car to be built to your specifications rather than buying from dealer stock.

    Honestly, RB, you are overreacting a bit to terms that, as you recognized yourself, exist to cover the fringe cases. Don't let the legalese detract from your ED experience. Also, remember that this is a luxury brand that values customer relations. In the unlikely event that any of these terms come into play, accommodations can be made.

    ForcedInduction guest

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    Typical legalease but enforcable no doubt. :(
    • Member


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    I think you can say a big "Thank You!" to our litigeous society for the wording in your contract.

    Of course, any company is going to use the terms and conditions that protect it the most. The real question is this...

    Has anyone ever been involved in an incident where these terms and conditions were invoked?

    Sorry, but that's life. Its why your hair dryer has a label on it telling you not to use it while in the shower....

    Have you actually ever sat down and read your cell-phone contract? Your internet access contract?

    You'll find similar protections for the companies there as well.

    RBinDC guest

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    My cell phone contract isn't costing me north of $50,000. (LOL)
    • Member

    Satch SoSoCalifortified

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    Those @#$%! megacorporations

    I think if I look at my cell-phone contract closely, I'll find that they are charging me something north of $50,000! :eek:

    RBinDC guest

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    I signed the papers and am taking my chances. That doesn't make the contract language any less objectionable.

    Delivery is scheduled for Oct 11th. Hopefully all will go well.

    pinmagic guest

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    Not only will it go well, but as one who just returned from ED, I can tell you that you will have a blast! BMW takes good care of you throughout the process.

    - The NY ED office is very helpful and responsive - if you have a question, just drop them a line, and they'll get you an answer.

    - You can track the progress of your car's production at BMWUSA.com. But what's cool is that you can actually call an 800 number, and use the automated system to find out your car's status at EVERY step of the process - when it's in the paint shop, when it's through electrical, etc. VERY cool. So, trust me, you'll know your car is finished before you ever step foot on the plane.

    - When you get to BMW Welt, they'll assign you a personal rep who will walk you through the process, and take care of any issues you find with the car. I even went back the next day with a minor issue, and my rep came out to the car with me to check it out, and see what could be done. (Turned out to be a defective iPhone cable.)

    As NotTheStig said, this is a major PR operation for BMW, and they're not going to leave you hanging, if there's a problem. Besides, at delivery, you're standing smack-dab in the middle of BMW Welt - a MAJOR tourist attraction filled with potential BMW owners. Do you think they're gonna **** you off there? ;>)

    My salesman told me this, but he swore it was true: a customer of his dealership ordered her BMW for ED, and arrived to pick it up, only to discover she'd mistakenly ordered stick shift, which she couldn't drive. Tho BMW could have "stuck her with the stick" (sorry!), they loaned her a car for her trip, and built her a new one with an automatic transmission.

    Bottom line - I've never heard of a single person who didn't love the ED experience. So relax and enjoy!
    • Member


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    Good for you!

    It will be a great experience.

    Of course, we expect a full report after you return, telling everything...The good, bad and ugly.
    • Member


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    What dealership did you use for ED? Most dealerships have NO clue about ED and will tell you anything to sell a car (especially one with very little/no profit associated with it). I know very few salesman that actually can speak about the experience and those would be the only ones I would deal with.

    pinmagic guest

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    I used Joern Esser at Passport in Maryland. He's the "Euro Delivery Manager" or somesuch. He specializes in ED. He's got a great rep - check out some of the other chat boards, and you'll see his name all over. BTW: he's German, too.

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