We all hear the advertisements about BMW being the ultimate driving experience. We also hear about the wonderful maintenance contract that BMW provides its buyers. I own a BMW, courtesy of The Hubz, who wanted me to trade in my ’99 version for a newer car back in 2010. Since that time, I have been faithful to take the car downtown for its service, anytime the on-board computer signaled that it was time.
A few weeks ago, we received a letter from BMW staying that it was time for us to make a maintenance visit. I was surprised that the computer had not nudged me, but made the phone call and scheduled an appointment. As always, I needed a loaner vehicle so that I could travel to my office and complete the appointments for the day.
When I arrived at the service desk, I was greeted warmly as always, and told that my service consultant was out for the day, but I could wait on the next available assistant. I was ushered into his office about ten minutes later, only to find out that my service contract had expired about thirty days prior, and though there was a recall on a part for the car, the other minor maintenance issues would cost me approximately $600.00. (air conditioning filter and Flushing the brake lines).
Not only did I never receive notice that my maintenance contract was expiring, I did not receive any notice that there was a part recall for the vehicle. I called The Hubz to see what course of action he wanted to take. He spoke to the service consultant, and agreed that we would take care of the recall part, but not the other service at this time. I checked on-line, and found that the filter costs between $20 and $25.00 each. I am no mechanic, but I have checked and flushing the brake lines is usually under $200, and many times, under $125.00. If I changed the fluid myself (HA!), I could do it for under $20.00. A net savings of $400, worst case scenario.
After we made our decision, the consultant then told me that, unfortunately, there was no loaner vehicle available. Really? I wonder if he were sticking his hand in my pocket for $600.00, if by some magical moment, a loaner vehicle would appear? I spoke to the service supervisor, and explained that I had an appointment, and that a loaner had been promised. I explained that I did not know of the recall or the expiration of the maintenance contract. The supervisor just looked over my head and mumbled apologies.
Don’t get me wrong, I still love driving my BMW. What I don’t love is the run-around service treatment. We have decided to have our vehicle serviced elsewhere. I am hopeful that my next service experience has a better outcome.
Until next time,