Saturday, February 9, 2008

Wheel story.

Fields Wheel Story.
This has nothing to do with the car and everything to do with the car dealer.

A little background.
A 2001 BMW M Coupe. Only 690 made with the S54 engine and i got this one with only 6000 miles. It was as new as you could get, and treated with respect. I got this car on September 1, 2005. I always wanted this car and I looked for this specific year, color and condition for over two years.

Purely by accident, I found it one suburb away from Chicago and went to see it as soon as I could. I fell in love with it for obvious reasons, but additionally because the guy who owned it before me was a FREAK about keeping it this new. It only had 10,300 miles and I swear it was the newest used car i have ever seen, and I have bought alot of cars.

Three weeks or so before I bought it, he ran over a nail and got a flat on the rear passenger side. Instead of repairing the tire, he went off and got, not only a new one for that wheel, but new tires aall the way around. (to keep the balance of the car).

He shopped around, got prices and then decided, hey, I am just going to go to my BMW dealer (Fields) and have them do it since that is what they do.

So he calls them and schedules an appointment. When he gets there, he does his "walk around" and has them review the car for zero defects anywhere, and gets it in writing. He additionally states that he knows that he could have gotten the tires cheaper at TireRack, but he wanted the dealer to do it in the hopes that the installation would be done in a careful manner.

They agree and proceed to do the work. He comes back at the end of the day, walks around the car and immediately sees a scratch on the rear passenger wheel.

After hours of back and forth (and I keep this short so as to not bore you to death) they agree to replace the wheel.

I now come into the picture and buy the car from him, but he agrees to continue to follow up with the dealer so I can get the wheel instead.

He does. Schedules me to go to the dealer (he tells him I am a friend who is simply taking the car in) and I go.

Before I go, I call to make sure the wheel is in. They tell me it is.

I had a 9:30 appointment. I get there, and right away they start trying to worm out of the already agreed wheel replacement telling me that they would just repair it.

I stay firm and remind them of all the written agreements and throw at them all of the names of the people we had spoken with on this matter... so they agree.

They ask me to wait in the lounge and i do until 11:56 am. (for a wheel!)

They pull the car out, i go thru my walk-around and to my shock, i see they put the wrong color wheel on the car. I could not believe what I was looking at, so I call the manager.

To my further astonishment, he tells me it IS the proper wheel and that my other three wheels are just dirty. I tell him he is wrong, but he insists and suggests they go wash the car so he can prove it to me.

They go wash that car. After another 30 minutes have gone by, the car returns and he says... "Oh, I guess it is different".

I remind him that this 2001 (and 2002) came with a "satin finish" wheel, unlike the prevoius years' silver color, and they they HAVE THE WRONG WHEEL. He continues to insist they did nothing wrong and that they order by the serial number.

So I say, I want a new wheel, and I want them to put on the old wheel back on the car (because there is no way I am going to drive around with different wheels on the car for weeks while they get another wheel), and ask them to do it as fast as posssible since I had already wasted half a day.

He says... "Oh, we can't do that right now".


He goes on to explain that the entire service depeartment has gone off for a one hour union meeting (instead of doing it after hours because they would have to pay them overtime) and the place was shut down.

I had to sit there for an hour until they got back. And if that's not bad enough, I see the fucking around in the back room as if i wasn't even there.

I go see the manager again, and they start on my wheel, and deliver the car to me. After another 15 minutes of reviewing the next steps, i get the hell out of there and go home.

Three weeks go by and I call my contact to see if the new wheel is in. He says yes, so I say, look, just send it to me via messenger and I will take care of having it installed somewhere else. He agrees (to my surprise) and sends it, even covers the cost of the messenger, saying it's the least they could do after what happened.

OK, so I am satified. Not only for that reason but also because there had been a discussion with my friends about this issue and the ownership on my original wheel came up. Who owns it? I say I do, since it is the wheel I bought and paid for with the car, and the fact that they scratched it, does not revert the ownership to them. In any case, I digress.

The next day I get the wheel. What a lovely sight to see this box.


I can not tell you how angry, amazed and utterly disapointed I was.

I call the dealer to tell him. Rob says, "no shit", and that he would call me right back, he is going to look into it. Fifteen minutes later he calls and says, "that's gotta be the right wheel, did you take it outside and compare it to the other ones?", I said Yes.

He continues with "we ordered it by the part number. We even opened and checked the box before we sent it.

I knew he was lying, so I say, "I don't see how you could have opened it, untless you have a factory staple gun on premises". He says "you mean there is no tape on the box?", i say NO!!!!!!!!

He says he'll call me right back, and ten minutes later he does and requests the serial number on the wheel. I read it to him and he says, yep, that's the wrong wheel.

So now I wait again until the good wheel comes in so we can replace it with this one... stay tuned.

Wheel Story Update.
-October 20th. I called Rob to get an update on the wheel and he's "No longer there". OMG! Now I have to talk to the manager and start all over again. They transfer me to him, and of course, I get his voice mail. Let's see what happens next.

-October 21. No call from Jerry (the service manager, who's "message is VERY important to him") yesterday, so I call again today and get his voice mail again.

At 11:00 am I get a call from Jerry, he's not sure why they can't seem to get the right wheel. He transfers me to David (the parts manager), he too can't explain it, he transfers me to Phil. He tells me it is against their policy not to order a wheel unless they have the original part number off the original wheel. I remind him that it HAS been ordered, twice, both times wrong. I don't understand how that could happen if it is against their policy.

He says they will not order another wheel until they get the part number off my wheel. I have to take the car in and have them take the wheel off my car so they can get the number.

I asked them to come to my location (where I have the car in storage for the winter). He said he is not sure they can do that, but would ask if the Roadside Assistance program can be applied to this situation and they will call me back.

Jerry calls me back at 11:30, he says a tech guy will drive to my location on Monday at 10:00 am to get the number off my wheel.

-October 24. Monday comes. No one shows up or calls. I call at 11:42am and ask for Jerry. I leave a message both ot the office and on his cell. I call again and ask for Phil. I tell him who I am and he says he can't remember. Asks me to refresh his memory and as I am doing so, he remembers and says, "oh, you spoke with Jerry about this, you need to talk to him".

I tell him that I have placed calls to him and can't get a hold of him and that no one has shown up or called. He says "Oh, that's not good". I say " NO, IT'S NOT!" He gets my number and will call me back.

Phil calls at 4pm. Tells me there is disagrement as to why they did not show up, and that there was no agreed time. I told him that the understanding was that they would be here at 10am.

He asked if they could come tomorow (Tuesday) at 10am. I said yes.

-October 25. Tuesday. I get a call from Mike at 10:04am. It goes directly into the sprint voicemail (which is an entirely separate story) telling me he "undesrstands that they need to send someone out to come see me" and is calling to ask me if I am available.

I call him back and get his voice mail, remind him that they were suppose to be here at 10am, not call me to ask if i'm around.

He calls me at 10:25am to ask for my address (Jesus!). I reming him that he was supposed to be here at 10:am, he tells me that Jerry forgot to bring it up in the meeting!!!!!!!! He asks if i'm gonna be around, he is sending a guy down now, it will be about an hour or so.

At 11:06am, Armando shows up. I bring him into my office to get the number off the incorrect color wheel. It is #3611-228060 (9Jx17AH2). We then drive to the location where my car is at, take the wheel off the car and get the correct wheel number, which is #3311-228060 (9Jx17AH2). He tells me Jerry will call me and update me. (let's see how long this takes).

--October 26, 27, 28, 29 30 and 31. I got no call from Fields regarding next steps.

--November 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, 13, and 14. I got no call from Fields regarding next steps.

--November 14, Monday. 20 days have passed without a return call from anyone at Fields. I call Jerry, get his voice mail.

--Novenber 15, 16, 17, 18, 19, 20, no call from Jerry.

--November 21, Monday, It has now been 27 days since they came out to see my wheel, and six days since i left a message so I call Jerry again. The operator transfers me to his voice mail but I can'r leave a message because his mailbox is full. I transfer back to the operator and they hang up.

I call again. Tell the operator what happend, she transfers me to the main desk, four times. They can't get a hold of him so I leave a message with her.

--November 21, Monday, (11:06am). Phil calls. He does not know what is going on and asks me to "fill him in".. I tell him the ENTIRE story from the begining. My wheel has not been ordered. Tells me this is a "common occurance" with BMW because they have so many "blasted" wheels. He will order a new wheel, it will come in (by Wednesday).

--November 27, Monady, (11:29am). Phil answers. I ask where we are. He tells me that he ordered one of each and that only one is in. He is waiting for the second one. I tell him I will call him on Friday.

--December 2, Friday, (9:30am). Called Phil, get his voice mail. I tell him I will call him later this afternoon.

--December 2, Friday, (3:10pm). Called Phil, He tells me the wheel came in today. I ask if they are both different, he says "they're different part numbers" I ask, "have you looked at them" he say "no".

Then he starts with me having to bring in my old wheel. I say no. I own the old wheel. I bought it. It's mine. The new wheel is a replacement that was caused by BMW's negligance, and does not create an exchange situation where they now own my old wheel. (I'm even willing to give on this if they would just get me the right wheel).

He says Jerry tells him otherwise. I remnd him this is old news. I have already dealt with this. It is why I already have a wheel here (a wrong one) but a wheel in any case that they already delivered to my office. It was delivered to me already. No exchange required. All I am trying to do now is get the right wheel, not revisit the onwership on the old wheel.

The analogy being, let's say I go to a friends house and I break a vase they own. I have to replace it, but that doesn't mean that I now own the one I broke. They STILL own it. I have to buy a new one, not because I bought theirs, but because I broke it.

He tells me he is not in a position of authority and I need to call Jerry and that he would be in tomorrow. I tell him again that this is old news. If Jerry needs to talk to me, than HE needs to call me. I give him my cell phone number )to insure I don't miss the call). He hangs up on me.

--December 3, Saturday, No call.

--January 10th, 2006.
I send an email to BMW USA from their website.

It reads...
I don't know if you can help, but I would appreciate it if you passed this on to the right person. The story of my experience is posted at...

Read "Wheel Story" at...

January 11th, 2006.
I get a response from BMW USA, it reads...
Dear Carlos Segura:
Thank you for contacting BMW of North America, LLC regarding Fields BMW. I am happy to help you. I apologize for the disappointing service experience you had at this authorized BMW center.

BMW centers are independently owned and operated and responsible for their representations, sales, policies, and procedures. We appreciate the feedback our valued customers provide to us. We strive to be attuned to our valued owners and aim to respond as positively as possible. Thank you for taking the time to notify us about the situation you experienced.

If you have any further questions, please respond to this e-mail or contact the Customer Relations and Services Department at 1-800-831-1117, Monday through Friday from 9:00 A.M. to 9:00 P.M., Eastern Standard Time. Again, thank you for contacting BMW.

--January 11th, 2006. I respond to the email, it reads...
I am not clear from this email what you suggest my next step should be. Please advise.

As a point of fact, while BMW centers are independently owned and operated and responsible for their representations, sales, policies, and procedures, they are still BMW (in the eyes of the public) and reflect on your brand's reputation. Individuals don't know (or should care) about this fact.

I am hopeful that after reading my post online of my experience, you have come to the conclusion that this is at minimum ridiculous, not to mention absolutely unacceptable, independently owned and operated or not.

--It is now June 9th, 2006 and still no call from BMW. Neither Fields or BMW are obviously not planning on calling me to resolve this, so this is the last entry on this matter.... Nothing ever happened.

1 comment:

Chris said...

Pretty good post. I hope you create more in the future..