Sunday, June 27, 2010

Roseville BMW vs BMW Northwest

I've been spoiled--it's true. I bought my car last August and had it serviced at BMW Northwest in Tacoma until I moved to California in March.

BMW Northwest provides quality work and premium customer service. The service managers always explain everything to me thoroughly so I understand what needs to be done and why, and they provide a loaner BMW if they are keeping my car for a day or longer (even though my car is no longer under warranty). And it doesn't matter why I've brought in my car, they always wash and vacuum it for me--they even washed and vacuumed it for me once when I came in just to ask a question. The waiting area is nice, and the people who work there go out of their way to be helpful. And while I love their customer service, what I really appreciate is the quality of their work. I'm confident when I leave that I won't have any problems.

In contrast, I've had nothing but problems with Roseville BMW. In February, someone tried to steal my car from a hotel parking lot during a drill weekend by slicing through the convertible top. The top and the windshield were replaced in Vancouver, and I left the state only to find that the top leaked. When I arrived in California, the Allstate adjuster told me that I could take my car directly to the dealership to get the leak fixed, so I did.

Roseville BMW provided a loaner BMW as expected, and the repairs took two weeks to complete. The Allstate adjuster approved the estimate, but the final cost was more than $1400 over the original estimate. Allstate still agreed to pay, and the adjuster even faxed a copy of the check being mailed so I could pick up my car. However, the dealership wouldn't release my car until the actual payment was received--a week later. The service manager told me that insurance companies don't always pay, and asked me if I had a credit card and wanted to pay for it myself--I declined. When they finally released my car, it was dirty and even had bugs on the windshield. I wondered why they didn't wash it when they were checking to see if the top still leaked . . . strange.

Now, roughly two months after the repair, the liner is separating from the frame and needs to be repaired. Interestingly, the original statements provided to Allstate show that the work was subcontracted, yet when the adjuster contacted the dealership, he was told the work was completed at the dealership. In addition, even though the work was of questionable quality and has to be repaired, I was told that they no longer provide loaner vehicles when a car isn't under warranty. Fortunately, I have rental car coverage, but I would expect them to work harder to "make things right."

Finally, the repairs to fix the leak totaled almost $4000--the cost to replace the top and windshield in Vancouver was $3000. I'd like to understand why it costs more to fix a convertible top than to replace it.

I've tried to contact a manager to discuss all of this, but he won't return my calls.

My advice: if you own a BMW, don't have it serviced at Roseville BMW. If you don't own one, don't purchase one from them either--head north to BMW Northwest.

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