My 335d required brake fluid change and vehicle inspection, I had noticed on another thread mention of 'maindealerdiscount.com' website, which I'd previously not come across. So I thought I'd write a quick review for anyone else considering going down this route.
The idea is that dealerships can increase the productivity of their service bays, by offering better levels of discount on days when they are quieter. It must be quiet everywhere presently, or els BMW dealers are just offering a set number of slots a day to bookings made via this website as I was able to book without difficulty.
The process of obtaining a quote from the website is entirely straightforward, just enter your reg and postcode and it quickly comes up with a list of prices and availability. The difficulty I came across was in booking more than one item, ie 'brake fluid change' and 'vehicle check', though to my amazement, I emailed 'maindealerdiscounts' and received a response within fifteen minutes advising I could add my initials after my reg on the second booking to make it 'unique' (otherwise it says you can't book again since it's too soon to rebook).
A guy called Darren Bone, who obviously owns the website offered assistance by phone or else by return of email so I felt reassured enough to go ahead and book, paying a small deposit via my Paypal account. I booked on Friday last week for a service slot today. Later on Friday afternoon, I received a phone call from the dealer who had been contacted by the website and the time of drop time on Monday was arranged. Top marks so far, I thought it was going too well.
This morning I dropped the car off at Rybrooks 'revamped since I last visited' customer service area. They now have a series of computers with internet access and tables where you can sit with you laptop if you need to do work. Nice touch Rybrook. The lady who brought my wife and I through from the reception desk made us both a coffee and supplied biscuits. Very nice. We had planned a trip in Shrewsbury for lunch, the park and ride is just 200 yards from the dealership and we even offered a lift. All the paperwork checked out with the correct balance in price quoted back verbatim from the dealers paperwork. Excellent.
Just as we were getting on the bus, a phone call from Chris at the dealership. It was picked up the oil and microfilter were due to be changed next month based on age as opposed to mileage (8000 miles to go otherwise). Chris apologized it wasn't picked up on the keyfob and offered to do it for 20% discount. Being the tight wad I am, I said I'd book again through 'Maindealerdiscounts' on my iPhone.
It gave the perfect opportunity not to browse clothes with my wife, instead I had ten minutes messing around on my phone sitting down on the 'bored husbands seating area' - I'm not alone in hating clothes shopping clearly. Unfortunately, I had to go through the somewhat laborious process of filling in the data on an iphone and by the time I'd got through to Paypal, it didn't register any deposit cost so I gave up. I called the dealer and said I'd reschedule the oil and filter change.
About twenty minutes later I got a phone call from Darren Bone 'maindealerdiscounts' who asked if I needed any assistance, he went on and booked the oil and filter change and took deposit over the phone (done separately, so four separate deposits for the work in total). I phoned to check with Rybrook and they'd already had instruction and agreed on price and were proceeding with the service.
Following lunch and the bus ride back to the dealership, we waited about twenty minutes, with another nice coffee, paid up and picked up the nicely washed and vacced car.
All in, a superb service. Darren tells me in a week or two, the website should be able to take multiple bookings with ease. He's obviously working very hard to make the website lift off and therefore it shows every sign of success.
Being able to book a service at a discounted rate via a few clicks (OK a bit more than that), but at least it saves a bunch of phone calls and bartering with service departments. The communication with the website owner was second to none and the most important thing is I'd use them again and recommend to family and friends.
BMW dealerships are mainly based around the West Midlands presently included on the website, though as it gathers momentum it will be rolled out across other dealerships too. Darren tells me five manufacturers are presently included, including Alfa Romeo. He's in talks with Volvo too currently (so we may be covered by the time our inclusive service package on our XC90 is up too).
You can probably negotiate up to 20% off through the dealers themselves, maindealerdiscount access 35% discounts, well worth the trouble. This may even compete with independent dealers.
So, from me a big
And well done Rybrook Shrewsbury on a seemless experience