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Dealer service only for bikes they sold?


LordHumongous

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LordHumongous

After a week of ridding I have enough miles on my R12 to get the 600 mile service done. So I called the dealer that I purchased the bike from and was told that they are booked for 2.5 weeks ( they service a lot of Police bikes there ). Which was ok since they are 45 miles from my house. So I went to the BMW web site and did a search for a local dealer. It came up with one 10 miles from my house, so I gave them a call. I was kind of shocked when I was told in a roundabout way that they only service the bikes that they have sold. This does not seem right to me. I was just wondering if this has ever happened to anyone here and if so do you think I should call BMW and file complaint?

 

I was told by a friend of mine that has a K1200 that you practically need to have someone from the "click" to buy so much as a spark plug from them. frown.gif

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The dealer closer to you should service the bike, but if they have attitude, would you want them to?

I would make the appointment w/ the selling dealer and continue riding the bike. The 600 mile limit isn't set in stone, as long as you have it done in a reasonable time. My last 2 new bikes ended up at close to 1K before they went in for the first service.

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ShovelStrokeEd

The only obligation the dealer has to service your bike would be for a warranty failure/repair. Routine stuff, like your 600 mile service, does not fit in that category. Limited resources, in particular during the really busy times of the year, might lead him to want to give some preference to "his" customers. With the tongue in cheek icon firmly in mind I will quote you from a little sign that appears in many service departments. "Poor planning on your part does not constitute and emergency on mine". You should have scheduled your 600 mile service when you picked up the bike.

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I think you have to let them know that their business model "sucks". It cannot work that way as what happens to someone who travels round the world on a BMW bike and drops by for a service?? If all the BMW dealers do that, then we can all forget about touring the world in our magnificent BMW machinery.

 

I have had no problems dropping by for a service in a neighbouring country in fact I was very much welcomed. Shouldnt this be the philosophy behind promoting the brand ie to have excellent back up service where ever you happen to be?

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Paul Mihalka

More or less common dealer practice is the following:

If you are traveling and have a emergency (not xxxmile service unless pre-scheduled) they squeeze you in right away the best they can. If you bought the bike there and are a regular customer they try to get you in as soon as possible, specially if you have a trip coming up or something like that. If you are local but bought the bike somewhere else, you'll get a appointment for when they have open time, which can be a couple of month down the road. - This is what I've seen, it may not apply to every dealer -

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Exact same thing happened to me more than once and with more than service issues. "We try to take care of those who buy their bikes from us". I certainly would hope so but that shouldn't exclude them from providing service to others. That's the main reason I want to learn to do my own maintenance. I know some of you guys are gonna slam me for this but as I see it, it's more of an attitude than an attempt to run a good business. I NEVER had that happen to me with any of my Harleys. With BMW I often feel like I'm begging them to help me instead of being treated like a customer. I don't like feeling like I'm at the mercy of some motorcycle dealer.. Just my opinion...

 

Having said that I will say I've had excellent service and am absolutely satisfied with the service I've received from BMW North Houston..They don't do business that way.. thumbsup.gif

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In the UK, the first service is free of labour costs, but only if you take it to the supplying dealership. This is true of all the bike manafacturers.

If your paying the usual cost, any dealership would be clammering for your business. This is where the steady profit is made.

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I was kind of shocked when I was told in a roundabout way that they only service the bikes that they have sold.
This is not uncommon, but in the long run it's a bad business strategy. Everyone is swamped now in the busiest riding season, and in a time when sales are fairly brisk many dealers' service bays are booked well into the future. My dealer has sold me half a dozen bikes over the years, but when it came to scheduling my 6000 mile service, I was in the queue with everyone else. I expect that and plan around it. When I have something unexpected and urgent, they try to fit me in. That dealer should have given you a place in line. In slack times, when sales, repairs, and modifications are down, they may regret shining you on.

 

(I note that you are in the LA area. In a private message, I would be curious to know who turned you away. My experiences in this area have been mixed, with some first rate dealers and one, or maybe two, that I try to avoid.)

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Kevin_Stevens
The only obligation the dealer has to service your bike would be for a warranty failure/repair. Routine stuff, like your 600 mile service, does not fit in that category.

 

I disagree with this in that the 600mile and other scheduled services are *required* for warranty support. If the dealer doesn't want business for accident repair or out-of-warranty work, that's their call, but being part of a manufacturer dealer network means they need to support the warranty process. I'd complain to BMW.

 

KeS

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Living centrally in the LA/OC area, I'm an easy drive from several dealerships. I'd also like to know (via PM) which dealer gave you the attitude. Like Jon_M, I've had varied experiences with all the LA/OC area dealers. I'd love to compare notes.

 

Don't mind saying that I was treated very well by BMW of Ventura!

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I disagree with this in that the 600mile and other scheduled services are *required* for warranty support. If the dealer doesn't want business for accident repair or out-of-warranty work, that's their call, but being part of a manufacturer dealer network means they need to support the warranty process. I'd complain to BMW.

 

KeS

 

This is kind of tricky -- US warranty laws more or less mandate that you can't place requirements like this on vehicles for warranty compliance -- the vehicle has to undergo reasonable maintenance using proper procedures by qualified service personnel; but typically this only means you need to have a service manual and receipts for any materials used (like oil/filters/&c).

 

On the other hand, just because you can prove the work was done doesn't mean your dealer is going to go to bat for you if something DOES fail. You might win in a court of law, but that could take a lot of time and effort, with you having to prove that you did the work, then having to prove that the proprietary, unavailable BMW equipment every RepROM article mentions isn't actually required.

 

That said, I bought my GS at Morton's in VA and had the 600 mile service done at the same place precisely 6 days after I took delivery. They are otherwise backlogged until early August.

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On the other hand, just because you can prove the work was done doesn't mean your dealer is going to go to bat for you if something DOES fail.
So does an owner who is perfectly capable of doing the 600 mile (and all other) maintenance himself still need to pay the dealer for service in order to bribe him to provide full warranty support? That's what these comments tend to sound like to me, and if so... I don't want any part of that deal.
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ShovelStrokeEd

My last new bike was purchased at BMW of Salt Lake. They didn't bat an eye when I picked up the bike on Thursday and said "I'll be in tomorrow for the 600 service". I was waiting at the door when they opened with 750 miles on the clock. They knew I would not likely return as I live some 2200 miles away.

 

As far as I know, there is no requirement that any of the services be performmed by the dealer. I got 4 free services with my 1100S when I bought it and, as a reslut, always took it back to that dealer for service. I also bought 3 other bikes from them in an 8 month period so "fitting me in" was never an issue.

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Now contrast that with my local Honda dealer. Despite the fact my last 2 Hondas were purchased 300 miles away (I tried to buy local but he couldn't even get close to the Lakehill price) the dealer has given me exemplminary(sp?) service. I buy all my tires, Arai's, and accessories there to support them. Neither of my STs have ever needed anything much, but he has taken care of the routine in a professional manner. If you have a Honda, they work on it...period.

 

I have left instructions if a Long Rider comes in with a problem by all means, put mine on the side, and take care of his.

 

A BMW dealer should work on BMWs, I don't see a problem with the triage routine.

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Kevin_Stevens
I disagree with this in that the 600mile and other scheduled services are *required* for warranty support. If the dealer doesn't want business for accident repair or out-of-warranty work, that's their call, but being part of a manufacturer dealer network means they need to support the warranty process. I'd complain to BMW.

 

KeS

 

This is kind of tricky -- US warranty laws more or less mandate that you can't place requirements like this on vehicles for warranty compliance -- the vehicle has to undergo reasonable maintenance using proper procedures by qualified service personnel; but typically this only means you need to have a service manual and receipts for any materials used (like oil/filters/&c).

 

I understand and agree - the 600 mile service isn't the best example, but that was the one on the table. It's certainly true that performing scheduled services necessary to warranty doesn't have to be done at a dealer, given documentation and etc. But we're discussing the converse situation.

 

My point is that PERFORMING the scheduled services is a condition of warranty; therefore any participating BMW *dealer* (opposed to an independent shop) needs to offer those services - because there's no guarantee that they are reasonably available elsewhere. To do otherwise is, in effect, denial of warranty.

 

"You didn't buy this bike here, so we're not accepting your ABS service."

 

"Nobody else in this state is qualified to do ABS service, and if I don't have it done, the warranty on my brake system won't be valid."

 

"Too bad."

 

You can't REQUIRE a maintenance as a condition of warranty, and then refuse to perform it. I understand the shop's position (actually I don't, they're turning down profit on service?), but this is part of the responsibility of being an authorized dealer.

 

KeS

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I bought my R1200RT from Modesto, CA but live in Rancho Santa Margarita, CA and have had great luck with Irv Ceaver in Anaheim. They know I didn't purchase it their and have been very helpful. Try them.

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Ok -- so what's your suggestion? That shops double their staff in the busy summer months so they can fit people in, and then let them go in fall, just to re-hire when spring comes a-knocking? That will serve to degrade the often abysmal level of service already offered.

 

A shop has a fixed level of work it can perform -- based on staffing, available space, and available equipment. Not that this makes it any better -- but what can an already full shop do? Additional work means either bumping current customers or increasing capacity -- the first hurts the existing business, the second is cost-ineffective.

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I was kind of shocked when I was told in a roundabout way that they only service the bikes that they have sold.
Piss poor business decision on their part. Assuming they could schedule you in without having to bump other customers, this would've been a great opportunity for them to earn your long-term service business.
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I bought my R1200RT from Modesto, CA but live in Rancho Santa Margarita, CA and have had great luck with Irv Ceaver in Anaheim. They know I didn't purchase it their and have been very helpful. Try them.

 

I have to ad a compliment to Irv Seaver in Orange California. I was on a trip from Washington all around the USA when service came due on my R12RT. Since I was in the middle of a trip they managed to fit me in to their busy schedule and get me out the door in short order. They seem to care for the BMW brand and the bike owners.

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John Moylan
You can't REQUIRE a maintenance as a condition of warranty, and then refuse to perform it.

 

I seem to remember this in another sphere from years ago, in the electronics solder/rework equipment field, between Pace and APE, whose parts were interchangeable. The blurb APE used to quote was the Moss-Magnusson Act (or the other way 'round.......) iirc.

 

The basic tenet was that if a condition of warranty is the specific use a a (branded) spare part, then that part must be supplied f.o.c. - you can't dictate what to use, and then dictate the terms you supply them under. I'd see this 600m service issue as an extension of that, if not explicitly in the Act. Heck, what do I know, I live on a different continent from ye guys anyhoo.......

 

Ah, yes, back when there was an electronics business in the EU, before they all ran away to China........... crazy.gif

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Heck, what do I know, I live on a different continent from ye guys anyhoo.......
You don't live on a continent at all... thumbsup.gif
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Now contrast that with my local Honda dealer. Despite the fact my last 2 Hondas were purchased 300 miles away (I tried to buy local but he couldn't even get close to the Lakehill price) the dealer has given me exemplminary(sp?) service. I buy all my tires, Arai's, and accessories there to support them. Neither of my STs have ever needed anything much, but he has taken care of the routine in a professional manner. If you have a Honda, they work on it...period.

 

I have left instructions if a Long Rider comes in with a problem by all means, put mine on the side, and take care of his.

 

A BMW dealer should work on BMWs, I don't see a problem with the triage routine.

 

A call to a Honda dealer from HondaNA is nearly a fate worse than death. Honda dealers will do most anything to avoid such a call. Honda puts teeth in their calls.

 

That said, to be very tactful, BMW service SUCKS!. I would call BMW customer relations....800-831-1117.

 

I got that number after I ate them alive then gave them a train load of shit after they called for an after service survey. Doubt if it will do any good to call but I did keep the number. BMWNA just doesn't care IMO.

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tom collins

these guys are all independent businesses and can basically take or deny customers as they please. i think it is foolish to ever tell anyone what you were told. the dealer could implement that policy without ever saying a word to a customer, simply, this is the first appointment we have, whenever that happens to be. they do make money, most of their income from service. the only way that dealer would change its policy is if enough people don't do business with him that he needs the business.

also, at least on my 04, the dealer said 1000-1200 for the first service was perfectly fine. at 26,000 miles now, it seemed he was right as no problems whatsoever.

 

respectfully,

 

tom collins

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these guys are all independent businesses and can basically take or deny customers as they please. i think it is foolish to ever tell anyone what you were told. the dealer could implement that policy without ever saying a word to a customer, simply, this is the first appointment we have, whenever that happens to be.

 

I agree. It's certainly not exclusive to motorcycle dealers, but many I've run into many, over my decades of riding, who really don't have much of a clue as to how to deal with customers.

 

However, dealers are walking a tightrope in this situation. On the one hand, they certainly want customers who bought their bike from them to feel as though they're getting preferential treatment. On the other hand, service work is (I've heard) the lifeblood of a dealership, so I would think that they'd want to do as much as they could to build this profit center by bringing in business, regardless of where the bike was purchased.

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tom collins

it is a real dilemma for a dealer. probably the amount of shop space available and the number of techs determines the policy. in some shops, there are only several service lifts and 2 or 3 techs. the problem is the seasonality of the business as you can't realistically hire more people than you will need during your slowest periods becasue they still have to get paid even if you are not busy. it is not how i would choose to earn my living (owning a dealership), too risky.

 

respectfully,

 

tom collins

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I personally have not experienced this problem either with BMW or other brands. However, I know these issues exist. I was talking to a salesman in a NON-BMW shop some time ago and he was telling me about a person that became up-set when they told him they wouldn't service his bike because it wasn't purchased from them. I asked him why and he said they are busy with customers bikes that bought them there. If this person had been on a trip and in a jam, the salesman said they would have been glad to help him out. Otherwise, take it where he bought it. Just passing on what I witnessed.

Rotor

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This isn't limited to BMW, nor is it limited to just motorcycles.

 

Considering that during the summer, most BMW dealers have a 3-4 week backlog for service, and dealers will give preferential service to their customers rather than someone who bought their bike elsewhere, it could be more than a month before you get service from that dealer.

 

You have the weigh the cost. Do you spend a few extra $$$ to buy from your local dealer and get preferential treatment, or do you save a few $$$ and find yourself at the end of the line for service anytime you take it in -- or worse, not able to get service from that dealer at all.

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LordHumongous

Just got back from a ride after picking up my bike from BMW of Ventura County, Butch there was super helpful. Before I left I thanked him servicing the bike there even though I did not buy it there. He said "no problem that's what they are there for" Then I said " Man you would be surprised, other place I called told me that they would not service the bike unless I purchased it from them" He then said " We want to sell you your next bike" ....

 

Other dealers could learn from this kind of thinking. thumbsup.gif

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