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Primier Membership VS Roadside Assistance

Discussion in 'Premier Membership (discontinued)' started by captharley, Apr 11, 2011.

    captharley guest

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    I have had BMW Roadside Assistance for over 6 years and had to call on them one time in Lakewood NJ. I was told that the Towing Company would be there in 45 minutes. Afte 90 minutes and several phone calls, I was advised that the towing service was hung up in traffic. Fortunately, a good samaratan (sp) came by and gave me a jump (dead battery - needed a jump start). Needless to say that did not make me happy. For those of you with the Premier membership and who have had to take advantage of the emergency assistance, what was your experience? Thanks in advance for your "assistance."

    ViolinARC guest

    Post Count: 178
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    I just signed up but they failed me too...

    WOW...6-years and I was upset because I joined in April, needed assistance on May 7th, 2011 and had absolutely nothing to assist me except my standard membership card, which was "rushed" to me minus any Roadside Assistance info (could've at least provided the emergency number in that package). Of course, I received the Premier Package on Monday, May 9th AFTER needing and not receiving my "roadside assistance" when it was needed most...:mad:

    Requested compensation from the Executive Director (he was sympathetic) and received an offer to cancel/refund my Roadside Assistance membership, which would leave me without any assistance in a roadside emergency...:confused:. Since the 540 is aging rapidly, I explained that cancelling wasn't an option. I requested a complimentary grill badge as compensation and was told it wasn't possible due to the financial burden on the BMW CCA community so my question is: why do they offer a free grill badge for a regular 3-year membership including a small discount?!? From my perspective, it should have been the minimum compensation from the organization to maintain my loyalty and keep me happy (just cancelling an emergency service I felt necessary for the safety of my family doesn't make sense IMO) but I guess customer satisfaction is going down the tubes as fast as our economy. At this point, due to the lack of any tangible "compensation" from the top of the organization, I'll have to reconsider my continued membership after this year. To me and from a business perspective, losing a loyal customer and contributor seems worse than giving away a grill badge (which advertises your organization BTW) because you've lost a repeat buyer. Oh well, guess I'll be giving AAA my money next year... :rolleyes:

    Of course I sympathize with you but I don't think that the tow company can control heavy traffic. However, at the very least, they should have kept in touch with you so that you were aware of the situation (premium service). After reading about your experience and having my own, I think there is more to be said about good samaritan help vs. a paid service. I am very happy to hear that there are people out there that will still help others even though they may be sued for helping...:eek:

    captharley guest

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    BMW Assist

    Your comment that the tow companies should not be counted as a negative due to heavy traffic is ridiculous when you are given a timeframe to be "rescued." And, if you're to be late, simple, common courtesy is in order. Following up on my saga, BMW Assist called me two weeks ago and once again apologized for my problem and theirs. They explained what they are doing to rectify the problem so that it would not occur again AND two weeks later, they sent me a letter detailing their fix and a $100 check for my inconvenience. I did not ask for anything when I spoke to them. Yes, BMW Assist is more expensive than BMW CCA Premier Membership, but maybe more responsive than what you found the CCA to be.

    ViolinARC guest

    Post Count: 178
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    Hey...I'm supporting you!

    Whoa...please don't attack my comments as they are SUPPORTING you. ;) My statement regarding the tow truck driver stuck in traffic comes from my own experience with traffic here in the SF Bay Area. No matter how much you pray, curse and holler at the traffic to move, you have no control over it's flow. That's why I bought a motorcycle! :p

    As you notice, I did state that they SHOULD have contacted you to keep you "in the loop". Obviously you are still a bit "miffed" that it happened that way but at the very least, they offered you some compensation...I, on the other hand, received nothing for my frustration. :(

    I also noticed that you stated that you were supplied a letter detailing a "fix" to this issue and am curious what this "fix" was...are they gonna send a helicopter next time?!? LOL :D

    captharley guest

    Post Count: 59
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    No attack was meant; if I sent it all in capitol letters, then it would have been an attack. The BMW Assist program costs 199 per year and is only good for one BMW vehicle; so when they go the extra mile to satisfy, one should expect that when one pays a premium fee for services. The BMW CCA assist program is much more reasonable and covers everyone and all your vehicles and motorcycles; not that cheaper should give "cheaper" services. They need to provide what they promise; but compensation might not be at the same level.
    BTW, the "fix" was getting more tow companies on the roster where there were too few; as was the case with my incident-the facts bore out that traffic was not the problem; too many calls for too few contracted tow companies.
    • Member

    executive director

    Post Count: 124
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    Premier Membership

    Normally, I would not post a response to these comments, but this matter deserves some clarification.

    The Club's Roadside Assistance Plan provides coverage for up to five. Generally, a member, his/her spouse and three dependent children up to age 24. The plan provides for 5 tows of up to 25 miles each per year. Perhaps most importantly our plan attaches to the driver and not the car.

    One of the few limitations of the program is that roadside assistance benefits are not available to members until they receive their Premier Membership Cards. That is stated up front on the website, so members have that information before purchasing.

    To enroll in Premier Membership the club must first process a members request, take payment and transmit it to Nations Safe Drivers (NSD), the company providing the service.

    Once NSD receives payment from us, along with a member's information they assign a number to him/her and transmit the information back to the club office where his/her Premier Membership cards are printed and then mailed to him/her along with full program details

    The time factor has nothing to do with customer service, but because we have an office of 7, responsible for handling all details of club operations. BMW and AAA both have staffs dedicated to their roadside assistance programs, and the fees to prove it. (ex. $199.00/per year for BMW Assist.)

    The cost of our program is $62.00. The average cost of a tow is around $150.00 give or take, based on any fuel surcharges that may exist at the time of service.

    $150.00 x 5 = $750.00. Or a recognized savings of $688.00 per year when utilizing the full benefit.

    Who uses 5 tows in a year? As of the first four months of 2011 we had 3 members who utilized 5 tows each. One of whom managed to do so within 30 days. This is just one reason why the cost of this benefit rose from $50.00 to $62.00 this year.

    ViolinArc was understandably disappointed when he was not able to access Premier Benefits in early May. As he stated he purchased the program in April, but to be exact the purchase occurred on April 27, 2011. On May 6, 2011 we mailed his cards to him. On either May 7th or 8th he experienced a code malfunction and pulled his car to the side of the road. Unfortunately, his Premier Membership Cards did not arrive until May 9, 2011 - eight business days after his purchase, at which time his benefits were effective.

    Having been stuck on the side of the road myself, I completely understand how frustrating it was for him not to be able to access roadside assistance. Luckily, the code malfunction he experienced reset itself and he was able to drive the car home. If he had actually called a tow truck and paid for it, NSD would have reimbursed him as a gesture of good will and because the cards were in the mail.

    On May 10, 2011 it was suggested to me that the club should "compensate" him, because we did not post the emergency roadside assistance information on our website. I explained that I could and would authorize a refund of his purchase of our roadside assistance program. He declined, stating that he needed the service. It was then suggested that I should send him a BMW CCA grille badge in order to provide him with something "positive" to say on his forum post.

    I declined to send him a grille badge as I am still not certain what the club should be "compensating" him for, and because I did not like the implication of his request. Unlike BMW and AAA, the club is not a for profit entity, when we "give" something away it costs each and everyone of our members, and I cannot "give" to one member, that which I cannot "give" to all.

    It goes without saying that I sincerely regret any occasion when we cannot meet the reasonable expectations of our members. I also regret when I cannot go above and beyond for them.

    Frank
    • Member

    Pete540

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    Frank, your explanation sounds reasonable and appropriate. I would like to offer two suggestions to improve member service. The first would be to have a box on the renewal form where youu could indicate the number of cards one needsk so that we do not have to contact them again. Second, my girlfreind used the service several months ago and was very pleased with the prompt response. However, she could not start the car and she was asked whether she needed a tow or a jump. Not being technical at all (I am being kInd, if you catch my drift) she really could not answer that. Fortunately they decided to send someone to jump her and that was solved the problem. But if it wasn't a weak battery she would have had to wait for a flatbead, which I believe they told her could be another hour. It was freezing that day and she had her 92 year old mother in the car. I think it would be more appropriate, unless it is certain that a dead battery is incolved, that a tow truck with the ability to jump start be sent. Pete
    • Member

    executive director

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    Pete,

    I will definitely pass your concern along to NSD regarding the jump start service. I suspect it costs them quite a bit more to send the flatbeads than a guy in a truck, however two calls cost more than one. ;-)

    We are re-designing forms right now so your first point is timely. Additional cards are printed in house so we normally turn those around pretty quickly, but a one time shot would be ideal!

    Frank
    • Member

    CRKrieger

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    Y'know, Frank; I'm glad you did respond. It finally motivated me to take a look at the 'CCA Premier Membership program. Just now, AAA is calling to inquire why my wife hasn't renewed her (our) membership. She wanted to look at some alternatives, given that we only very rarely use any services of this type. This looks like the way to go. So you at least sold a Premier membership ... :D
    • Member

    executive director

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    Awesome! Hopefully we can earn your business!

    Frank
    • Member

    CRKrieger

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    It's not a question of convincing me. I had to consult with SWMBO. ;)

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