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      11-14-2012, 12:24 AM   #1
E92325i
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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.
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      11-14-2012, 12:48 AM   #2
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Absolutely appalling to hear!!! I hope they go out of business (which is a bit harsh) but people like this do not deserve to own and run businesses with that level of arrogance and disregard!

All the best with getting to the bottom of it and your purchase of the upcoming F30.
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      11-14-2012, 01:01 AM   #3
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Thats horrendous mate on any level, let alone what is considered a premium brand and premium service. You _could_ try again .... Any other dealers in Melbourne?!
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      11-14-2012, 02:08 AM   #4
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If the dealer principle treated you like that, you should write a complaint to BMW Australia. I'm sure they don't want their brand to be associated with such idiots.
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      11-14-2012, 02:17 AM   #5
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Any workshop can deal with alianz direct.
We have done it a few times for customers, no problems for us.
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      11-14-2012, 03:44 AM   #6
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I am truly sorry to hear of your experience and the unbelievable attitude of the Stealer Principle - the dictionary definition for that type of behaviour I think is "arrogance"? I would agree with the other guys that you should make BMW Australia, if not Germany, aware of the treatment you received. Why not even consider contacting "Today Tonight" and/or Alliance directly?

I get very pissed off when reading about this type of attitude and as consumers we need to stand up for our rights and if they donít want to play their part then make sure we warn others as you have done.

I hope you get things sorted...a well written overview too.
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      11-14-2012, 04:33 AM   #7
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Jeez mate that's a bloody dreadful experience you have had, and just bloody typical!

I know just how you feel, but my last car purchase (a lexus) my local dealership were actually friendly prompt courteous and always delivered on their promise.

I can't believe the dealer principle is that narrow minded!!!
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      11-14-2012, 04:56 AM   #8
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Posting in here may give you exposure to 20 or 30 people... hardly worth it.

For maximum bang for buck... post directly this info here:

http://www.facebook.com/BMWAustralia
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      11-14-2012, 04:57 AM   #9
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Originally Posted by QLD View Post
Posting in here may give to exposure to 20 or 30 people... hardly worth it.

For maximum bang for buck... post directly this info here:

http://www.facebook.com/BMWAustralia
+1!!!
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      11-14-2012, 05:44 AM   #10
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Facebook fo sho! Hectic audience on BMW AUS oage. Yallah.
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      11-14-2012, 06:57 AM   #11
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Thanks for sharing your experience. I know in the scheme of of things your repairs might not be a big deal, but you purcahsed extended warranty in good faith and you are entitled to get it it sorted.

Your story sounds that their argument was hardly based on fact but more so based on emotion and something more personal ?? I really could not believe their attitude when reading your post. Oil changes at a non BMW dealer causing electrical faults; using extortion tactics as leverage to coax you into buying a new vehicle from them. What the hell has buying a new vehicle from them have to do, with the problems you are having with your car now, that is covered by a current warranty sold by them. WTF??

As you know the BMW branded new car warranty is offered by Allianz which is a 3rd party service provider in this case. There should be no reason you can't go to another dealer or mechanic for that matter. An inedependant mechanic should be able to deal with Allianz. If you read the Extended Warranty PDS, I am sure it says you can take the car to an authorised repairer. An "authorised repairer" if I am not mistaken is a repairer that has a license to carry out motor repairs, in other words a licensed mechanic.

Give Allianz another call. Tell them what Doncaster BMW has said to you about their warranty and that you do not feel comfortable taking the car there for repairs. Ask them to recommend what course of action you should take. Maybe suggest if you can take the car to SouthernBM to undertake the repairs.

The Facebook suggestion sounds like a good idea. It might help with elevating your problem with BMWAG. Nothing like private issues with a customer being broadcast on the www to persuade them into taking some action. As much as you might hate to do that, it seems like it gets results these days. Keep us posted on how you get on.
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      11-14-2012, 07:09 AM   #12
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Quote:
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Posting in here may give you exposure to 20 or 30 people... hardly worth it.

For maximum bang for buck... post directly this info here:

http://www.facebook.com/BMWAustralia
What an awesome and evil plan!!

I LOVE IT!!!
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      11-14-2012, 07:24 AM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by QLD View Post
Posting in here may give you exposure to 20 or 30 people... hardly worth it.

For maximum bang for buck... post directly this info here:

http://www.facebook.com/BMWAustralia
This man is onto something!
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      11-15-2012, 06:08 PM   #14
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Thanks for the replies

The only reason I ever took my car back to Doncaster was that I was advised by a few informed people that any warranty claims through Allianz are much more easily dealt with through an Authorised BMW dealer. I can actually understand this as it would be fair to assume that Allianz would scrutinise the work of an independent mechanic far more than what they would that of an authorised dealer. The other reason for taking it back to Doncaster BMW was because they had dealt with all these electrical issues from the very start and if I had another dealer or independent try to fix the issues then I was could see it turning into a sort of blame game as to who has caused more damage and who should be responsible for trying to sort it out.

I thought about writing a letter to BMW Australia about the issues but I've don't see it getting far as they will most likely side with the dealer I have simply decided to cut my losses and treat it as a learning experience. It appears that the Allianz look at each claim as an isolated case and unfortunately don't look at any past issues to see any cause or effect. I may post it on the facebook page but the fact is that it has now gotten to a point where I don't want them to solve the issues because as per the previous post, it's not over a battery which I can have replaced at a cost of ~$300 (as opposed to the dealers $750 price!) but rather the level of customer service received.

The dealer principle could have taken a more more customer service orientated approach and informed me that he appreciates the fact that it has been brought to his attention and whilst he would happy to fix the issues under warranty, he simply can't because Allianz won't ok the repairs and that whilst my experience to date hasn't been pleasant he could try and improve it now that he was aware of the treatment that customers are receiving. If this approach had been taken then maybe I would bought the F30 from them!

Unfortunately this experience has put me off the F30 because as great a car as it was, it simply wasn't that much better than my current E92 to warrant the appalling service received from both Doncaster BMW and BMW Australia. I actually received a call from a lady at Doncaster BMW stating that she had been informed that I was looking to purchase an F30 (she wasn't a salesperson though), I stopped her there and informed me that I wouldn't be too keen on returning after the customer service I had experienced at their dealer (I didn't go into any detail at all) and her reply was simply "Ok thank you and have a good day"

I've settled on either an E-class or C-class coupe, they seem to be far better screwed together than both the E9X series and the F30's as well and family friends have nothing but praise for them. It may turn out that Mercedes has poor customer service as well but so far my experience (3-4 years back) with both my ML and another immediate family members SLK has been nothing short of fantastic

I'll keep you informed on any progress if I hear back from either Doncaster BMW or BMW Australia
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      11-15-2012, 07:43 PM   #15
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I thought about writing a letter to BMW Australia about the issues but I've don't see it getting far as they will most likely side with the dealer
Writing letters was big in the 70's... today FaceBook is king.

You post that message on FaceBook - and BMW Australia will publicly respond same day..
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      11-15-2012, 09:50 PM   #16
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Writing letters was big in the 70's... today FaceBook is king.

You post that message on FaceBook - and BMW Australia will publicly respond same day..
I will get around to it over the weekend or early next week. Just had a quick look through the BMW Australia facebook page, they appear to have a number of quite pissed off customers. Interestingly they haven't yet responded to the bloke with the M3 with the clutch issue (posted yesterday) yet they have accessed their facebook and posted a new video less than 1 hour ago
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      11-15-2012, 11:41 PM   #17
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I would suggest it is completely different to your story. Your issue is with a dealer.. that guy has already had lots of involvement with BMW HQ and is still not happy.. he has had emails and had personal contact and offers... that is nothing like your problem.
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      01-09-2013, 06:43 AM   #18
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I'm sorry to hear that. but as far as I know, the owner of Doncaster BMW owns the most BMW dealerships around the world and I'm sure he will be upset if he could see your post.
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      01-15-2013, 09:03 AM   #19
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Originally Posted by QLD View Post
Posting in here may give you exposure to 20 or 30 people... hardly worth it.

For maximum bang for buck... post directly this info here:

http://www.facebook.com/BMWAustralia
Love it!

I was gobsmacked to hear of the arrogance of the dealer principal. I have heard people from dealerships complain that BMW customers can be arrogant, but this is from the other side of the table. You would rightly be excused for thinking you had walked into a Ford dealership.
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      01-15-2013, 08:31 PM   #20
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Shoot, I just spent over $3000 for my alliance extended warranty for my troublesome 330d. Brought it to cover my ass if the sh!t hits the fan again. The reliability of BMW is really a bit of a concern for me and it really pisses people off when dealership sells this warranty to u and then turn their backs on u.

I guess it really all depends on the dealership itself. In Brisbane for example, I have heard some bad stories of motorline whereas Brisbane BMW and westside seem to be more responsible. My last service consist of a few items which was covered by extend warranty and I was never charged to diagnose the problem. Car was there for 2 weeks and I was given a loan car, didn't pay a cent.

Sorry to hear about ur experience. It is really annoying to spend your hard earned money on something that keep stuffing up.
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      06-18-2014, 06:47 AM   #21
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I guess it really all depends on the dealership itself. In Brisbane for example, I have heard some bad stories of motorline whereas Brisbane BMW and westside seem to be more responsible. My last service consist of a few items which was covered by extend warranty and I was never charged to diagnose the problem. Car was there for 2 weeks and I was given a loan car, didn't pay a cent.
Will second the motion for Brisbane BMW. Bought a 2010 car from them 3 weeks ago, found the undertray torn up and dodgy intake chargepipe (which had been "fixed" by the previous owner with a cable tie) two weeks after delivery. These problems were not picked up even after getting it independently inspected, and they replaced with new parts, without too much protest, gave me a new demonstration loan car for the duration of repairs, and returned my car fully fixed and detailed.

After hearing some horror stories on forums I was prepared for the worst, but was pleasantly surprised. Having said that, it *is* just 2-3 weeks after the sale, and I did write a formal letter of complaint just to document things in case it got nasty (which it never did). If you deal with them, talk to William, he seems a good bloke, tell him Andrew sent you.
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      06-18-2014, 07:39 AM   #22
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My limited experiences at BMW service centres were pretty bad too.
Worst was when me and my friend took his dad's E60 M5 for a service. They completely treated us like little kids (we were young tho) but still, age shouldn't determine how a customer service rep treats you. Appalling compared to other service centres I have been to.
Hope after picking up my E92, I don't have to take it to a dealership, and if I do, I hope the one I go to has better service.
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