BMW Customer Service Problems - E-mails sent to David H. Park and forwarded on to BMW Motorcycles AG and BMW Motorcycles NA.
As part of my meeting with BMW Motorcycles AG and BMW Motorcycles NA, I asked the BMW community via the Internet to submit to me their questions, comments, and complaints which I would tabulate, organize and present to BMW both in summary and original form. This I did starting with my first meeting with Marco von Maltzan, President BMW Motorcycles and subsequently with Tom Plucinsky, then After Sales Manager Motorcycle Group and now the General Manager, Motorcycle Group, BMW of North America (whew!).
Even though I gave them this data both via e-mail and on CD-ROM, they never addressed these issues or got back to the people (as far as I know). If they "talk the talk" (responsive customer service) they should "walk the walk" (i.e. at least get back to people and try to communicate/resolve the issue). This is most disappointing because when I asked for my meeting with BMW I told them that I was going to bring this information to them which I hoped that they would take and use for communicating with these people to address the problems, concerns, and listen to their suggestions.
I'll start putting up more of these as I find the time to do so and have people's approval to do so (when this happens they will each be on a separate web page and this page will be the index page). I think that since BMW has buried or otherwise ignored these that the voice of the consumer should speak for itself as to their arrogance and standard practice of ignoring the very customers that comprise their cash flow. For the record, I'm more than willing to still help BMW fix these issues. To me it's quite simple, treat your customers as human beings, respond to them within reasonable time frames, listen to their complaints and suggestions equally, and work in an open and honest fashion to improve the business for ALL stakeholders (manufacturer, distributor, dealer, and customer) alike.
David H. Park
* noteó In certain cases upon author's request their name has been withheld or abbreviated for privacy. Also at times their local dealer's name has been changed so that the customer might be protected from any direct retribution. However, BMW, if you are serious about addressing these issues all of the people who have sent me e-mail are willing to give the further details to enable you to improve your business (and you have them in the data which I've already submitted).
I'm a lone chainganger in Ireland and recently saw your post about your meeting in Munich the President of BMW Motorcycles and I thought I might as well put this mail together..although I expect that it will rank way down the list by comparison to all those with F650GS surging problems. Anyway ..here goes nothing. Please let me know if you can present this for me or if you have a contact that I could send it to.
Written March 30th 2001.
To BMW Germany
A brief personal history is necessary to explain my current disappointment with BMW Ireland.
I am a 26 year old motorcyclist living in Dublin Ireland, I got my first bike when I was 6 years old (50cc Italjet) and have enjoyed all manner of 2 wheeled fun over the years, My father introduced me to bikes at a young age as he was a pit mechanic for racing bikes when he was a teenager, currently he lives in the UK where as a hobby he restores old bikes, we make an annual trip to the festival of 1000 bikes at brands-hatch taking his two favourite bikes with us (74 MV Augusta + 67 Honda CB72). My father is also in the motor-trade and as a result I have grown to understand the nature of a good dealer - client relationship, and from my 20 years riding I have grown to love the comradeship shared by motorcyclists.
Due to a medical condition I am deemed unfit to drive a car, when I was told this I decided to sell the bike I had and buy the BMW I always wanted, so I took a trip to the only dedicated BMW Motorcycle dealer in Ireland (to the best of my knowledge) "EasyRider" (Name changed for web publication) where I was greeted by an extremely helpful Mr EasyRider, I visited his premises three times and on the third visit I bought a new F650 funduro (I wanted a F650GS but there were supply problems) and that was where things started to go wrong.
I paid for the bike on the Wednesday (roughly eight months ago) and agreed to have it delivered on the Saturday allowing for PDI. When I called on the Friday to find out what time to expect the bike the next day, Mr Easy Rider(now not so helpful) said that he was very busy and I would have my bike the following Thursday or Friday! (why he had not called me inform me of a delay is a mystery) My father was flying over to Dublin the following day to see the bike and go for a good old father/son ride. I made a trip to EasyRider to insist on the agreed delivery date and was met by a now very rude Mr EasyRider who said "I don't need customers like you, I've a good mind to give you your money back" (roughly quoted) after I replied OK give me my money back he said that the bike was now registered in my name and was no good to him. After a humiliating and insulting exchange I left a little upset, but my bike was delivered the next day.
When it arrived the screen was covered in small scratches, it came with German documentation and a Kilometre Clock, I am aware that it is legal to sell KMPH bikes in Ireland but I wanted a MPH readout as Irish speed limits are posted in Miles, Mr EasyRider tried to spin me some line about a replacement clock costing £150 pounds but again I insisted that it was probably a reasonable request. I finally got my UK documentation and new MPH speedo fitted when the bike went in for its first service.
I had skidded on loose gravel exiting a roundabout a few months later and bent a fork and scratched the bodywork so I claimed on my Insurance and sent the bike back to EasyRider to have it restored to showroom condition which took three weeks and cost £2500, A few months later I received a very rude call from Mr. Easyrider accusing me of not replying to my insurance company with an accident claim form therefore preventing him from being paid, I had never received such a request. I had signed a consent form at the BMW dealership when my bike was repaired giving my Insurance company permission to pay out for the repairs, it was Mr Easyrider who asked me to sign the form and he explained that they would handle it from there.
I was beginning to regret doing business with this man. However when I was out at the dealership there was a Silver F650 in for repair awaiting a new tank faring, I have a full set of silver panels spare so I offered to lend the dealer my spare so that the bike could be put back on the road as I was informed that it was expected to take 3 months for a new one to arrive from Germany, he accepted the offer and I hoped that he might start treating me like a human-being as I had helped him out.
Following on my bad luck, my bike was then stolen, and recovered - the Ignition barrel had been torn out, when I went to Easyrider to order a new barrel Mr. Easyrider told me the job would cost roughly £50 and I would be better getting a non matching ignition as it would take 1 week for a standard ignition barrel or three weeks for a matching key ignition barrel and I quote "you don't want to be riding around for three weeks without an ignition" the bike could be started by turning your finger in the empty socket, so I agreed to go for the faster option.
Over three months later, I got a call to say that my Ignition was in stock (and a matching one ??) so I dropped my bike in to have the work done and returned the next day to collect my bike, at this point I must explain that the dealership is actually outside Dublin on the border of the next county far away from public transport.
So.....I arrived to collect my bike and was given a bill for £192, remember I had been told that it would cost about £50, I do not use a credit card and I did not have £192 pounds with me... Based on the fact that I had over the space of 8 months I had spent nearly £10,000 with the dealer and he still had my spare tank panel I offered to pay £100 on the spot and drop the remaining money in the following day. Mr Easyrider was out sick and I was dealing with his partner Sam (name changed for web Publication) who was even ruder than Mr Easyrider and told me that I could not have my bike until they were paid and suggested that one of their staff would drop me to a bus stop. I was also told that I owed them a further £292 excess for the repair carried out several months earlier..this figure proved to be incorrect however I did owe them £200 but never received a correct invoice for the amount and had not been told about it in any conversation prior to "you cant have your bike back". Only after I made a phone call and discovered that under Irish Consumer Rights Laws, I was within my rights to prosecute my BMW dealer with theft if they held my bike without my permission because I had not agreed to have the £192 worth of work carried out, did I get any sort of reprise from Sam, this whole ordeal took over an hour of very nasty conversation and was the singly most insulting encounter of my life to date.. the outcome was that I paid £132 (every penny I had on me), was made to leave my £200 lock and keys as collateral and had to sign a note agreeing to return on the next day of business and pay the remaining money including the £200 excess from the insurance mix-up. I must emphasis at no point did I suggest that I would not pay, I repeatedly asked the dealer for "good faith" and said that they would have the money the next day.
And now the reason for this letter.. My F650 Funduro has been the unluckiest motorbike for me..on march 8th a van driver pulled out infront of me nearly killing me and completely destroying my lovely bike, after roughly 20 phone calls, £50 in bike transport and £35 for an estimate Mr Easyrider have yet (30th march) to successfully produce a correct estimate for cost of repair, my solicitor and I have been waiting two weeks since I had the bike inspected by one of Mr Easyriders mechanics and It is now causing a hold-up and preventing me from being able to buy another bike. I would very much like to buy a new F650GS but I do not want to buy from Mr Easyrider and seeing as he is the sole distributor of BMW in Ireland my hands are tied. Is there any other option open to me? BMW in London said they were not allowed to export bikes to Ireland. I would like to make my dissatisfaction known as I have never in my life been subjected such poor customer service, but I must also add that the F650 was the best bike I have ever owned and if it were not for its incredibly strong build I might have been killed earlier this month.
I would appreciate this information being kept confidential as I still have to deal with Mr Easyrider for the time being ..any reply would be greatly appreciated.
Thank you for your time.
Mr B. (name abbreviated for web publication)
UPDATE - October 26 2001
I have to date not received any reply from BMW to this letter.
Thankfully I found a BMW dealer in Dublin who due to recent changes in policy in Ireland now have a bike workshop and access to the full product range independently to Easyrider who's real name I have been advised to omit, however I have received excellent customer service from Maxwell Motors in Blackrock, Co. Dublin. and they supplied me with the bike of my choice at a far better price than Easyrider were prepared to do. They have also suggested that I am not the only customer they have gained due to the rudeness of Easyrider.Thank you for your time.Mr BDublinIreland
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