Bought a 2 year old 320d M Sport Auto from this dealership just prior to Xmas. Although I am happy with the car (so far) and with the price, there are a number of factors that mean that I probably won't do business with them again in a hurry - unless I am looking for a specific car and their price is cheaper than others.
1. I agreed an outline deal over the phone and stupidly gave them a £500 credit card deposit to secure the deal until I could test drive the car the following day. When I was negotiating the finer points I was treated in a fairly threatening manner, with the Salesman claiming that I had already bought the car. I said that I would cancel the credit card transaction and he slightly backed down.
2. The Salesman was new to the job and constantly had to refer to colleagues. On the test drive, he could not answer simple questions, such as what MPG would you expect? What is the difference between M Sport and SE spec. I knew the answers, but was just making conversation.
3. They promised to valet the car (my 6 year old trade-in was cleaner), but, upon picking the car up, nothing had been done. In truth, the car was not filthy, but had things like coffee stains on the plastic trim, dirt on the seat adjustment etc.
4. What really pissed me off was the transfer (or not) of my private plate. I have had a private plate since 1988 and transferred it between 6 cars. Normally, I agree a deal and pick up the car a week or so later with the plate transferred. Stratstone flatly refused to do this for me and insisted upon transferring my number onto a retention certificate and have me drive around on a '57 plate for 2 weeks. They then contacted me to say the plate could be put on the car. They claimed that the DVLA rules had been tightened recently to prevent "ringers" etc. I rang the DVLA and a guy said that he did not know what they were talking about - WHAT DO OTHERS THINK ABOUT THIS?
5. I was taken into a separate office and a guy from finance tried to sell me 5 types of insurance:
- Extended warranty
- Tyre damage cover (£249)
- Shortfall insurance
- Motor insurance
- Scratch and dent insurance
This all seemed OTT to me.
6. I had to take the car to another BMW dealer after a couple of weeks for a minor issue and they did a "healthcheck" on the car - tyres, brakes etc. They pointed out that all my tyres were wearing on the inner rim. The worst case was 7mm of tread in the middle of the tyre and 4.2mm on the inner. Concerned that I may have to replace "good" tyres prematurely, I contacted Stratstone and was told that there was nothing that they were prepared to do as the tyres were all above 3mm tread. I have had to have the car wheels "Hunter" aligned, where they found that 8 out of 12 checks were out of tolerance. One was so far out that it was off then end of the scale! In my opinion, Stratstone sold me an "approved" BMW knowing that the alignment was likely to be out.
Sorry to be so long-winded, but I am on crutches and have some time on my hands for the next week or so.