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BMW 3-Series (E90 E92) Forum > BMW E90/E92/E93 3-series General Forums > Regional Forums > UK > Bird's VRSF downpipes install - really, 10 hours of labour?!



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      03-11-2013, 09:14 AM   #45
RagingKileak
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Seeing as Kevin is now on the scene I think it's important I elaborate on my points.

To some extent I wish I had thought before I wrote something as harsh as 'they'll never have a penny of my money if I can avoid it etc' as that's not really how I feel. What I do feel is that the cost of the fitted LSD is excessive and genuinely doesn't represent value for me. The labour rate appears extremely high to me vs other companies of a comparable standing.

In short then, I will never pay £3,000 for an LSD, it's too much. That's not a Birds specific statement - it's just my view.

There is one other reason why I made the comments I have which is not related to this and which I have just made Kevin aware of by PM, but it's nothing major and wasn't to do with the work that Birds do, which I am sure is great.

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      03-11-2013, 09:15 AM   #46
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Kerr View Post
I can half see the point of both the OP and Birds.

Working in engineering manufacturing myself, we do give quotations based on our estimations and if it all goes a bit wrong, we have to carry the can.

If the customer provided us with all the information required to do the job it is up to us to assess what it will take and cost taking all eventualities into account.

That's why experienced people are put in charge of this who will be able to foresee most potential pitfalls and supply a quotation that is a fair reflection of the job.

If there was any potential that the job could end up taking 250% of the time estimated, I would be embarrassed to go back and ask. Which we wouldn't anyways. We would be far wiser next time though.

It would show the person who gave the quotation/estimation obviously didn't assess the job correctly in the first place.

Yes companies give quotations with the scope that the job might be a bit more time consuming if things go a little wrong.

However to be so far out shows the estimation wasn't a fair estimation in the first place unless it was highlighted that 4 hours was the best case scenario with the potential to be 2.5x out which does seem like a ridiculous level of misjudgement.

Given that other garages are doing this work for £200 and the original quote was already double that, I think the garage does have to bend over backwards to reduce the cost to a fair level.
Well said I own a car body work business and majority of funds go on labour. When we give a quote to someone we stick by it even though it may take double the time doing it. The business key is to do a immaculate job even though we have estimated 4hours labour when inspecting the car many things can go wrong which need to be rectified but we still end up only charging 4 hours labour depending on the job.
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      03-11-2013, 09:16 AM   #47
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Opinions are like arseholes.....everyone has one.

My only comment on this scenario is that this threads exists at all.

It's a great shame that a companies reputation is being dragged through the mud on a open forum before a resolution has been reached.

The time for dissing a company is when there is no resolution,not before.
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      03-11-2013, 09:27 AM   #48
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Hotcoupe View Post
Opinions are like arseholes.....everyone has one.

My only comment on this scenario is that this threads exists at all.

It's a great shame that a companies reputation is being dragged through the mud on a open forum before a resolution has been reached.

The time for dissing a company is when there is no resolution,not before.
I agree with this. Unfortunately I now regret getting involved at all, although as anyone who knows me knows, I won't backtrack as though I never said anything about it because that's not my style. I should have just self moderated a little bit.

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      03-11-2013, 09:28 AM   #49
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Hotcoupe,

You are right about what you have said.

The aim of this thread is not to dismiss a company but instead for me (and hopefully for other people going forward) to clarify what to do in these kind of situations.

I hope that a resolution would be found however personally I haven't been in a such situation before. Every time I have been quoted / estimated something - that is what I paid. On couple of occasions I had to and decided to go over the estimate but there always has been a choice of whether to do that or not.

Although there some quite emotional replies as you rightly said, most of them do share valid information which I only wished for before I embarked on this whole DP journey. It is very unfortunate that this situation has happened with Birds but it could have happened with any other garage as well.

Last edited by olegmukhanov; 03-11-2013 at 09:36 AM.
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      03-11-2013, 09:33 AM   #50
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The fact that my car is still with Birds shows that I have nothing personal against them and still think that they technically probably one of the best in the UK.

However at the same time I am in this very unfortunate situation and am very appreciative of forum members sharing their experience. Hopefully this thread will help both installers and end users in making their decision of going for the DPs going forward.
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      03-11-2013, 01:01 PM   #51
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They should not have taken the liberty of running up a bill on you unless it was agreed upon.

OP, shoot me a picture of the receipt and we'll see what we can do about reducing some of those costs for you. Generally when something like this happens we either get an estimate on adjustments before proceeding. There's always the occasional shop that takes advantage of the customer and runs up a bill without including the option of putting the car back to stock. It shouldn't take a premier shop like Bird more than 2.5 hours to install a set of these nor should it take them more than 2 hours to reinstall the OEMs.
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      03-11-2013, 01:50 PM   #52
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Tiago@VRSF View Post
They should not have taken the liberty of running up a bill on you unless it was agreed upon.

OP, shoot me a picture of the receipt and we'll see what we can do about reducing some of those costs for you. Generally when something like this happens we either get an estimate on adjustments before proceeding. There's always the occasional shop that takes advantage of the customer and runs up a bill without including the option of putting the car back to stock. It shouldn't take a premier shop like Bird more than 2.5 hours to install a set of these nor should it take them more than 2 hours to reinstall the OEMs.
Have you actually read the whole thread!?!
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      03-11-2013, 01:57 PM   #53
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Quote:
Originally Posted by willhollin View Post
Have you actually read the whole thread!?!
Sure did. Want to elaborate on what points you're assuming I missed?

I've fully refunded the OP to make up for the labor mishap on Bird's end. Apparently we have different business ethics. I'll gladly eat the cost to help a customer out, even though I would have preferred the original pipes were put on rather than trying to make these fit @ the quoted costs. I've personally never quoted something for 4 hours and tried to drag it out for 10 on the customers dime though.

I completely understand their point of view but I myself would never quote a time for a project without leaving room in that quote for returning the car back to stock after the "fiddling".
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      03-11-2013, 02:03 PM   #54
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Tiago@VRSF View Post
Sure did. Want to elaborate on what points you're assuming I missed?

I've fully refunded the OP to make up for the labor mishap on Bird's end. Apparently we have different business ethics. I'll gladly eat the cost to help a customer out, even though I would have preferred the original pipes were put on rather than trying to make these fit @ the quoted costs. I've personally never quoted something for 4 hours and tried to drag it out for 10 on the customers dime though.

I completely understand their point of view but I myself would never quote a time for a project without leaving room in that quote for returning the car back to stock after the "fiddling".
Credit where credit is due, that is a very good thing of you to do.
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      03-11-2013, 02:14 PM   #55
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Tiago@VRSF View Post
Sure did. Want to elaborate on what points you're assuming I missed?
All costs were agreed with the customer at each stage so no liberty was taken.
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      03-11-2013, 02:17 PM   #56
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Thank you Tiago - that is much appreciated. I wish everyone has had the same ethics as you - even though the fitment was off, this gesture shows that you do care about your clients and that is why I would happily do the business with you again.

Btw, love your single 3.5" exhaust so there definitely would be an opportunity :-)
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      03-11-2013, 02:24 PM   #57
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Collected the car from Birds by the way - Kevin is a sensible guy so we managed to come to an agreement what is great as well.

Reshaping seem have done the trick so it sounds great and doesn't seem to rattle at all.

Not the easiest DP installation I would say, but both Kevin and Tiago were supportive what makes me feel good about being a part of the E90 community. It shows that ultimately it is not only about making money but also about the customers which is great.

So all-in-all I arrived there and have a nice set of great looking DPs installed, albeit at a certain price. Performance doesn't come cheap if you do it properly I guess!
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      03-11-2013, 02:26 PM   #58
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One thing I want to point out. In the end it took Birds an additional 6 hrs to do the job than quoted which means the DP must have been pretty awful.

I would of thought you should able to tell by looking at the DP's before installation that these wont fit right?
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      03-11-2013, 02:29 PM   #59
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If it takes them 4 hours to install ANY downpipe, I'd be more concerned with who's installing them vs the downpipe.

There's always a few that slip through the cracks and this is the reason we've redesigned the pipes. Not only to improve the quality, but to ensure that nobody is ever put into this situation in the future.
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      03-11-2013, 02:30 PM   #60
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I would defer this one to the tech guys but from my point of view DPs were looking great when I received them and of good quality.

I guess given the tight space in the N54 engine compartment even when even a tiny 2 degrees of a bend are off it makes such a difference...
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      03-11-2013, 02:32 PM   #61
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      03-11-2013, 02:36 PM   #62
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There's a few people running VRSF DPs in the UK and many more in Australia on RHD cars so it seems strange that they struggled so hard to fit them.

Good to see a company standing behind their product like this and taking responsibility.

And just FYI Darren Wood in Manchester removed my engine, downpipes, changed my turbos, oil lines, water lines, clutch, flywheel, HPFP, water pump and thermostat and valve cover in the same time for much less in labour.
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      03-11-2013, 02:48 PM   #63
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Tiago@VRSF View Post
I've fully refunded the OP to make up for the labor mishap on Bird's end. Apparently we have different business ethics. I'll gladly eat the cost to help a customer out, even though I would have preferred the original pipes were put on rather than trying to make these fit @ the quoted costs. I've personally never quoted something for 4 hours and tried to drag it out for 10 on the customers dime though.

I completely understand their point of view but I myself would never quote a time for a project without leaving room in that quote for returning the car back to stock after the "fiddling".
Mishap? I'm not sure I would call it that. It's just an unfortunate situation that the DPs didn't fit an RHD car as well as it was to be expected. You can argue if Birds should have called quits on this sooner, but the fact that other UK installers ended up spending a lot more time than they expected "fiddling" and going as far as saying never again would support that there are fitment problems on RHD? The fact that they swallowed the extra costs is their decision, but not something a manufacturer should count on.

Regarding your suggested options then, neither solution are much better for the OP.

1. Reverting the DPs back to original after trying to make them fit.
= Customer pays for 4 hours, no DPs on car and trying to get refund/replacements that will fit. This could possibly incur additional custom charges and another 4h to see if the new ones fit?

2. Contacting you guys after spending 4h+ to make them fit. Possible, but Birds didn't buy them from you and had no way of knowing who to contact. Also I'm not sure that you would have been able to do anything to make them fit. I'm sure Birds tried everything they could to make this work. Perhaps pictures will tell more about the fitment? The car would either tie up ramp time or had to be pushed out of the way until you got back to Birds. Time is money and the customer would also like his car back in a reasonable time.

For the OP, I'm happy to see that it's come to a reasonable/agreeable solution.
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      03-11-2013, 02:51 PM   #64
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 335rocks View Post
Mishap? I'm not sure I would call it that. It's just an unfortunate situation that the DPs didn't fit an RHD car as well as it was to be expected. You can argue if Birds should have called quits on this sooner, but the fact that other UK installers ended up spending a lot more time than they expected "fiddling" and going as far as saying never again would support that there are fitment problems on RHD? The fact that they swallowed the extra costs is their decision, but not something a manufacturer should count on.

Regarding your suggested options then, neither solution are much better for the OP.

1. Reverting the DPs back to original after trying to make them fit.
= Customer pays for 4 hours, no DPs on car and trying to get refund/replacements that will fit. This could possibly incur additional custom charges and another 4h to see if the new ones fit?

2. Contacting you guys after spending 4h+ to make them fit. Possible, but Birds didn't buy them from you and had no way of knowing who to contact. Also I'm not sure that you would have been able to do anything to make them fit. I'm sure Birds tried everything they could to make this work. Perhaps pictures will tell more about the fitment? The car would either tie up ramp time or had to be pushed out of the way until you got back to Birds. Time is money and the customer would also like his car back in a reasonable time.

For the OP, I'm happy to see that it's come to a reasonable/agreeable solution.
I've been in constant contact with the customer since the first step. I've known exactly what was going on and I suggested they get a quote before proceeding with the install simply to avoid this kind of problem.

There's no incurred costs if our product doesn't fit, we pay every penny. It's not their responsibility and we don't make it out to be.
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      03-11-2013, 02:52 PM   #65
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Also, let me say that I'm not trying to redirect the blame to Bird, judging from Oleg's recent comments, they went out of their way to help the customer as well.
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      03-11-2013, 03:05 PM   #66
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Tiago@VRSF View Post
Sure did. Want to elaborate on what points you're assuming I missed?

I've fully refunded the OP to make up for the labor mishap on Bird's end. Apparently we have different business ethics. I'll gladly eat the cost to help a customer out, even though I would have preferred the original pipes were put on rather than trying to make these fit @ the quoted costs. I've personally never quoted something for 4 hours and tried to drag it out for 10 on the customers dime though.

I completely understand their point of view but I myself would never quote a time for a project without leaving room in that quote for returning the car back to stock after the "fiddling".

Fair play if you've refunded the customer.

I think that the customer is king and any company going by this, will always have my money.
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