NorCal dealers-long response
We test drove @ BMW of San Francisco, Peter Pan in San Mateo, and Stevens Creek in San Jose. The only bad experience was Stevens Creek, the guy was a jerk and on top of that, gave us a lot of incorrect information about the car. If he couldn't answer a question, he would basically blather on about how great BMW's were. (again, still giving useless or wrong information)
San Francisco was very friendly and accommodating, as well as knowledgeable. It's not a very long nor great test drive area though.
For service, we so far have had pretty bad luck. We took the car in to Peter Pan to fix some minor blemishes that had occurred in transport after ED, and picked up the car with a long scratch starting below the driver's side blinker passing across both doors to the rear wheel fender, as though they had brushed up hard against something. After relating this story to friends/co-workers, we found out they were notorious for this, and many people had experienced dents and scratches after leaving their cars with Peter Pan. (Their working bays/garage space is pretty small so it is easy to see how these things would happen if the mechanics are not super careful.)
Next, we tried Allison in Mountain View. After calling several times before getting thru for a quote on an Ipod controller + installation, we finally got through, set up an appointment, their earliest slot was 3 weeks later. We show up 7:30 in the morning, and they've lost our appointment. (this was after calling the day before to confirm). It took us over an hour to check in, and they wanted to charge $125 more, as they claimed for our model, they had given us the wrong quote for the part (even though they made me look up the production number of the car when I made the appointment) The car was ready by 2 pm. However, when we picked it up, we noticed the warning symbol on the dash indicating the sunroof was not working. (it was stuck in the up position) We immediately called attention to this, to which the service manager replied, they weren't sure what that was, and everyone had left for the day anyway, so bring the car back on Monday. (BTW, they had also performed a courtesy diagnostics check before releasing the car. How can you miss the exclamation point and beeping?)
We take it back on Monday, it sits there all day (we call to check on the status and no one gets back to us throughout the day). I go to pick up the car, so I can take it somewhere else with hopefully some competent employees. When I show up, they can't find our paperwork again. They won't release the car without the paperwork. The receptionists pages the garage, and the mechanic walks in a few minutes later. I hear him tell her in Spanish that the car is still parked and was not worked on, and see him hand her the key.
She turns to me and says, I'm sorry, we aren't sure where the car is exactly, it could be up on lift, and everyone that can sign off on the paperwork is gone for the day. I was incredulous. After speaking with the only available manager, (who also could not help me) I ended up getting really nasty and fighting with him in the showroom, explaining very calmly that I WAS NOT leaving without the vehicle. An hour and a half after showing up to pick up the car, I left with the unrepaired car. It took them all of 5 minutes to bring it around.
The next day, I took it down to San Jose, and the guy checking the car in brought a mechanic out right away, since apparently the only thing wrong was Allison didn't re-set the sunroof controls after the Ipod Installation. I was on my way in about 6 minutes.
The icing on this sordid cake, is that Allison called while I was in San Jose, wondering testily what exactly was wrong with the sunroof since they in the process of working on the car and couldn't find anything wrong. (poor other unsuspecting customer!!)
So we have a brand new car, with a 4 year maintenance plan, and no where convenient to take it to where we can be assured that it will be looked after properly. I guess we will be taking the trek down to SJ for oil changes, etc. and hope they are as on top of service as they were when they helped us with the sunroof .
330xi | 6-speed | Sparkling Graphite | Sport Package | iPod Adapter| BlackLines| F1 Pinnacle 35%