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      11-14-2012, 12:24 AM   #1
E92325i
First Lieutenant
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Drives: E92 325i
Join Date: Jun 2008
Location: Australia

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My experience with Doncaster BMW and the Allianz Extended New Car Warranty!

Just a little background information is that I purchased a brand new E92 325i from Doncaster BMW in December 2007. Once the 3 year factory warranty was due to expire, I took out the 24 month/unlimited Km Allianz extended "new car warranty" through Doncaster BMW to the tune of ~$3100 (policy was apparently worth $5300!!) The car has had a myriad of electrical issues from around the 51,000km mark onwards and Doncaster BMW has recharged the battery a several times whilst changing a number of faulty parts such as the footwell control module, steering angle sensor, fuse boxes, etc which were apparently all at one stage or another causing a drain on the battery (leading to the low battery voltage warning or the increased battery discharge warning).

The car was back at Doncaster BMW in September with further electrical issues such as the rear demister not working at all and the sunroof not moving. On this occasion Doncaster BMW identified the fuse box as faulty and replaced it. Since I received the car back, I noticed further electrical gremlins such as the windows getting stuck down randomly, aircon fan & compressor coming on randomly (you switch it off and it comes straight back on within 2-3 seconds), the angel eyes barely ever come on when you unlock the car (lights are left in auto setting so they should be coming on all the time) and of course the dreaded low battery or increased battery discharge warning on the i-drive telling me to take the car back to the dealer.

I booked the car into Doncaster to take a look at all these new issues that had popped up since they replaced the fuse box in September. On arrival I informed the service advisor that the car is under the Allianz extended new car warranty which was also purchased through Doncaster BMW. To my surprise, the service advisor stated that they don't and will not recognise the Allianz extended warranty anymore because they have had various issues with Allianz coming through with claims and as a result they no longer sell the warranty at BMW either. The SA went on to advise me that the car is no longer recognised as being under any sort of warranty despite me having all the policy documents, etc on hand which were issued by BMW Australia themselves

The SA advised me that if I wanted the car looked at, there would be a ~$230 diagnostic fee to just see what was wrong with the car. I excused myself and called BMW Australia (the number on all of my policy documents). They advised that the car is in fact under warranty still and that all BMW dealers are still selling the Allianz extended new car warranty so I would best take it up with Doncaster BMW. I asked Doncaster BMW if I could have a chat to the gentleman in their finance/insurance department who sold me the warranty. Luckily he was still working there so he followed up the warranty and told me that it is still valid and confirmed that they are still selling the allianz extended new car warranty. I call over the service advisor who comes over and states that he was advised during a BMW training event in May that they are no longer to be selling the Allianz extended warranty

So three hours and eight phone calls later, we have established that my car is in fact under warranty but no closer to understanding why two departments in the same dealership are providing such conflicting information. After all the headaches, Doncaster BMW still advised me that I would be responsible for the ~$230 diagnostic fee. I questioned why there was never any diagnostic fees charged or mentioned on other occasions (as recent as September 2012), they replied that they had made a mistake every other time and that they should be charging the diagnostic fee for any extended warranty work (which is fine with me but again why the inconsistencies when dealing with me on different occasions on the same warranty?)

I couldn't be bothered at that point so I accepted it and left the car with them. I received a call about 4 hours later advising me that the Doncaster BMW believes the battery problem was caused by my "poor driver profile" and that neither Allianz nor Doncaster BMW would fix the car. I immediately questioned the SA further who told me that I had at one point left one side of the parking lights on for about 4 hours and this has caused the battery to go bad

I didn't accept the ridiculous explanation offered by the SA and put forward a more logical explanation that the various battery issues and the discharging and recharging by Doncaster BMW has decreased or damaged the battery life. The service manager chose to disregard this and was adamant that no amount of discharging or recharging of a battery would affect its working life so they stuck with the parking light theory.

I had a long chat to the service advisor who told me that if the car had a full service history through Doncaster BMW then he could fix the issue under warranty but because I had taken the car to SouthernBM for routine servicing after the 80,000km mark then he couldn't fix the issue under warranty because he had no guarantee that genuine oils were used for servicing I was shocked to see the sheer level of stupidity by someone who I assume would have decent mechanical knowledge given his position! Rather than asking me why I had not returned to the dealership for routine servicing and if there was anything they could do to get me back as a customer, they have effectively implied that the brand of the oil used could have had an effect on the electrical issues.The service manager was aware that I was looking to trade my E92 in for an F30 so he said that if I buy a new car from them, they will fix the issues with my E92 under warranty

I picked up the car from Doncaster the next day and asked to speak with the dealer principle, I was told that he doesn't need to deal with customers at all but they would try get him to have a quick chat with me. The reason for meeting the dealer principle was not to have any warranty work covered or not but rather to inform him of what was going on within his dealership because as a business owner myself, I know that the most honest feedback you will ever receive is straight from your customer's mouth and not from reports through your own staff. After all I would be insane to think that either the service advisor, service manager or finance manager would let the dealer principle know that they have told a customer that they would not recognise the factory backed/approved warranty despite the fact that they are continuing to sell those warranties at the dealer. Essentially how could I expect anything to be done about it if the dealer principle (who is the owner in this case) wasn't aware of the issues in the first place. I was met by a very rude and hurried gentleman who couldn't care less that his dealership wasn't recognising warranties that are being sold by them, he checked with the service manager and went on to state that if I purchased a new F30 from them, they would take care of the issues with the E92 or else to simply not waste his time because he had 17,000 customers, at this point he simply walked off without saying another word and jumped into his car.

I was stunned to see that he had invested millions of dollars into transforming his dealership to what it is today but didn't take the initiative to spend a fraction of that on improving customer service through measures like simply acknowledging the poor customer experience in the past and trying to rectify those issue moving forward or simply having a one full time staff member call up customers who had not visited the dealership for servicing for over a year to just touch base and see if there was anything they needed or could have done differently to get them back into the dealer.

Needless to say, I won't ever step foot into another Doncaster BMW dealership for servicing or sales and I will ensure that all family/friends and colleagues hear about my experience with them Overall, this experience has left me with a very bitter taste over what was truly a fantastic car, not over a $500 odd battery because in the grand scheme of things, it's nothing but the fact that they don't stand behind the products that they put their name on and sell!

On related note, this experience has confirmed why I had made the decision to take my business over to Andrew and the team at SouthernBM who truly go out of their way to make sure that each and every client that interacts with their business leaves completely satisfied Apologies for the long winded post/rant and I stress the fact that this has been my experience only. I can only hope that my experience was an isolated case but I would definitely think twice about the Allianz extended warranty that is being sold through authorised BMW dealerships.

Last edited by E92325i; 11-14-2012 at 01:01 AM.