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      04-27-2006, 03:21 AM   #1
gewgaw
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My good experience turned bad at South Bay BMW (LA, CA)

I just picked up my new 330i today, and it is great! Unfortunately, I had an experience at the dealer that turned me a little sour... but maybe I'm just being overly sensitive about it. You be the judge.

Flash back to a few months ago... negotiated over the internet and phone with South Bay BMW in Torrance, CA for $700 over invoice for a custom build 330i, black, Sport package, aluminum trim, automatic transmission, heated seats, sat prep. They would not budge on MACO ($375), so it ended up being almost $1100 over invoice (profit + MACO + assorted "document fees"). Whatever, I wasn't happy, but knowing from the other posts on this forum, I wasn't getting the worst deal out there. Here's the point of contention -- I could have sworn the salesperson agreed to throw in floor mats over the phone during the negotiations. I mean, I know I ALWAYS ask for them, and it's just one of those things you ask for... right?!

Fast forward to today, car's finally ready and waiting for me after months of waiting! visited e90post.com and got the checklist of things to check out, and I went out to the dealer all smiles. Everything checked out, they told me that I ought to go get a wax right away (is that a good idea?!?! ). Then they showed me how to use the controls, etc.... that's when I noticed. No floor mats. The salesperson I worked with had to go take a call or something at that point, and she handed me off to an assisting salesperson.

I thought maybe they were going to give them to me after I signed the docs and paid, so when we got to the finance guy's desk, I asked them what about the floor mats? This salesperson looked at me and said, oh floormats are $120 extra. I said, I spoke with the other woman and she said over the phone I would get floormats. This salesperson called in the woman I had been working with, and she said she didn't remember giving me floormats. The finance guy just looked sheepish and didn't know what to do. The salesperson said, check in the e-mails we have on file for this transaction, I didn't remember any promise for floormats. By this point, I was getting angry that I might be getting shafted (FOR ALL OF $120!!!), but also a little confused... maybe I was remembering things wrong. But I really did think we agreed to this deal -- I just didn't have it in writing.

So I checked my anger said, come on, you can work in some $120 floormats when I'm about to hand over a check for over $40,000? Isn't there anything you can do to make me go home extremely happy here? I asked. The two salespeople just said, no we can't, we'll get in trouble, we can't give you mats because you only paid $700 over invoice ("plus the MACO," I reminded them, to which they replied, "oh EVERYONE pays MACO")... etc. etc. I couldn't believe I was getting hit with an suggestion that I was lying, and the insinuation that had I just PAID A LITTLE MORE, I would have gotten free mats??!?!?!

The treatment I was getting was cold, and it was hardly the pleasant, "beginning of a long relationship" feeling I thought I was headed for when I went out there this afternoon. It wasn't the stupid mats, it was the and the benefit of a doubt that I wanted. I told them all, I'm not feeling like I'm having a very good buying experience right now, and I don't think I'll be able to put down that I had an "excellent" experience on the survey I'm sure I'll get from BMW later, and it was too bad that things started off so well, and now I'm being suspected of lying AND paying too little for this car. They said they'd call the GM and see what he could do for me, and with that, the salespeople left the finance office.

Completely distracted by now, I signed my papers and finished up with the finance guy and I was just sad that the situation devolve like this. I went over to the sales office, and the salesperson told me that the GM said given the low profit on this deal, they couldn't give me the mats, sorry. I said, I'm sorry too, and I just want you to know that this whole experience was just unfortunate, and I'll have to honestly reflect that in the survey. She shrugged and said sorry again.

With that, I went home.

And what did I do when I first got home? I took all the dealer-logo stuff OFF my car ASAP.

What would you do, if you were me? Am I just being stupid and petty? Or have people been nickle-and-dimed like this at other dealerships? It's ok, I'll get over it evenutally... the drive back home put a smile back on my face, that's for sure!

Last edited by gewgaw; 04-27-2006 at 05:13 AM.
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      04-27-2006, 07:08 AM   #2
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I would be pissed too just on principle..personally when you are spending that much on a car you expect the basics like mats, a full tank of gas ( ALARM )...I even got two key chains...let me tell you if I didnt get all of those things I'd be mad as hell..the sales person is stupid b/c unless u give her all 5's on the survey she aint getting a bonus....that's one of the only things that really bug me about bimmers...u have add EVERY option BUT it is a great car and you will enjoy it..TRUST me on that one...

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      04-27-2006, 07:13 AM   #3
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Floor Mats

As Judge Judith Sheindlin would say, "GET IT IN WRITING!"
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      04-27-2006, 10:50 AM   #4
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Oh yeah, you bet I'm gonna get EVERYTHING in writing from now on... lesson: learned.

Would the General Manager care if I give the dealership less than straight 5's across the board? Because the salesperson didn't seem to flinch when I told her she wasn't getting 5's... maybe she's resigned to it, or she's already ruined her perfect score this year so far anyway, so she doesn't care anymore? I guess the trick is to be the FIRST person that gets screwed in a calendar year, then the threat to put a low score down means something?
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      04-28-2006, 11:23 PM   #5
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Don't sweat the small stuff...

Dude...you bought a 330i over a 325i...you clearly have the money to spend for the car. You even custom ordered all your features! Don't let this one experience make or break what is a fine fine car.

If it makes you feel better - I've owned an 04 E46 BMW 325i, an 04 Audi A4 Avant 3.0 Quattro, and now have an 06 E90 BMW 325i. Yep. I paid for the floor mats.

The Audi did come with mats, but I wanted the all season rubber mats. I paid for them.

I've made friends with the parts department - and have gotten great deals on tire covers, travel accessories, and clothing. You can get that $120 back with getting discounts on BMW gear!
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      04-29-2006, 12:30 AM   #6
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Gewgaw,

It sounds we might have had the same saleslady. You can PM me if you want, but if her initials are L.S., then we did. I was ALMOST in the same situation as you (I bought my car from South Bay BMW as well). Here's how my situation was:

I negotiated for the car in person with L.S. Good experience overall... during negotiation she had written down the four squares on a piece of paper. Well, I told her at that moment that I wanted floor mats thrown in as well, and she wrote that down, then went to the GM to discuss the deal. Just as an aside, I paid $1,124 over invoice out the door (with my mats). Well, when she came back after talking to the GM, he had said, no mats because I was getting a steller deal that only the employees get Anyway, so I negotiated the price without the mats, left the dealership, and waited for my baby to come.

I come back to the dealer to pick up my car, and she goes over our negotiated price again. She takes out that piece of paper she had jotted the 4 squares on, and says... "Ok, so you want $1,124 over invoice and it looks like we're throwing in the mats". She HAD FORGOTTEN TO CROSS IT OFF HER SHEET and completely forgot the GM had said "NO MATS". She had the mats sitting next to her when I arrived to pick up the car, and I got the mats with my car all by keeping my mouth shut. I guess I got lucky, but because she had it in writing on her sheet... she couldn't back out. Believe me, I was damn near ready to fight for them mats. I guess it was all principle, so I see your point.
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      04-29-2006, 01:00 AM   #7
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I sensed a little bit of attitude from South Bay, which is one reason why I ultimately decided not to buy from the one dealership closest to my home. Sales people should always treat customers with respect, honesty and integrity.
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      04-29-2006, 01:12 AM   #8
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yea that sales lady is DUMB...First of all I had an outstanding experience at BAKERSFIELD BMW... long story short after I was about to drive off the lot I had to turn around and go say thanks for all the compassion and well being of how they treated me..I went right to the GM and told him how impressed i was being Im only 24 years old and look young they treated me the whole time like I was a king with 1million dollars... And he told me well if they dont they lose there job or will not get paid for the week! i started laughing and he says no seriously u will get a survey in a week and they will probably even call u so if the dont get 5's ther e striking out!
So I suggest u write in your survey how you were treated and I highly recommend going back into the dealer a month later and see if the BITCH is still there! I doubt she will be..And another thing let em know it wasnt recorded due to the fact she told u over the phone...That would be like her telling u the cars 40K and u get there and its 44k..Did u record the conversation? of course not,,it sounds like thats how there getting people...Well I wouldnt let that stuff get u down just go to a different dealer and establish a relationship there for service/parts...
Good luck man..
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      04-29-2006, 01:39 AM   #9
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You're probably SOL. Definitely give them LOW MARKS on their survey, they will lose money as a result.

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      05-02-2006, 12:25 AM   #10
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This dealership has an issue with respect. Our 545i had been having problems with the engine whining while idling and creaking coming from all the seals in the back doors, so we took it into the dealership. The manager treated my mother like she was an idiot and talked down to her, even letting out an audible sigh after she repeated what was going on with her car. I have yet to go there in person, but it certainly is disconcerting to hear that family members are being treated like trash when all they want is their automobile to be repaired under warranty. Definitely never going back to South Bay. Long Beach BMW was much better.
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      05-02-2006, 12:31 AM   #11
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Really? I haven't had a bad experience with the service folks there. In fact, I like my SA a lot. He's a pretty cool guy... a little bit forgetful, but he is always courteous. My CA on the other hand was a little bit snooty at points, but in the end (after I gave her my money) she was all smiles. Hahaha...
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      05-02-2006, 02:19 PM   #12
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i'd take my money to elsewhere unless they fix the issue.
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      05-02-2006, 02:29 PM   #13
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UPDATE: After calling South Bay's General Manager and leaving a very polite voice message explaining exactly why I would not be able to give South Bay all 5's on the BMW Survey, I promptly got a call back from the "Quality and Excellence Manager" who immediately promised to make things right (this includes shipping me the floormats), and to make me satisfied enough to win my business back to them for service and future purchases.

He added that one of the Sales Managers had instituted a "no freebies" policy that has resulted in several less-than-stellar customer satisifaction surveys, and that this Sales Manager is "no longer with our dealership". It was this policy along with several other issues (that he didn't fully explain to me) that led to his "departure", the guy said to me.

Now I'll believe the floormats when they show up at my front door, but I did appreciate the call from the dealership. Whether the Sales Manager story is true or not, at least they cared enough about the survey to pay attention to the issues.

It's just too bad because they could have had a very satisfied customer from the get-go, but instead, they dropped the ball somewhere along the line (exactly HOW did this "rogue" sales manager ever get to the position where he could influence customer satisfaction like this anyway!?!?!), and now I view the whole dealership with suspicion and distrust.

Stay tuned....
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      05-02-2006, 02:41 PM   #14
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They should do more to make it up to you...you had communicated how displeases you were so the original floormats in question should be the basic minimum in trying to set things straight with you. Remember, you bought a $40k plus item and they were dickering with you over $120 mats...it shouldn't have to be that way.
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      05-02-2006, 02:47 PM   #15
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You are correct. Dealer should have shown little bit of respect for you being their customer. But looks like all will be sorted from your last post...

FYI : I got carpeted BMW OEM mats thrown in for my 325i in 12/05. And my deal was just $450 over invoice (no other strings/fees attached). Salesrep promised me rubber mats, but on delivery my car had carpeted mats !!!
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      05-02-2006, 03:09 PM   #16
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UPDATE: Well, wouldn't you know it, right after I posted my last update, the UPS guy rings my doorbell... floormats are here.

For me, it feels like the saga is over in a way... but I know one thing, I'll definitely be looking around for another dealership to do my service and parts buying!

Thanks all for the words of advice and wisdom.
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      05-02-2006, 03:47 PM   #17
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Quote:
Originally Posted by gewgaw
UPDATE: Well, wouldn't you know it, right after I posted my last update, the UPS guy rings my doorbell... floormats are here.

For me, it feels like the saga is over in a way... but I know one thing, I'll definitely be looking around for another dealership to do my service and parts buying!

Thanks all for the words of advice and wisdom.
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      05-04-2006, 04:17 PM   #18
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Congrad with your floormats. I shopped around for a new 2006 325i lease for 2 weeks, I got the lowest deal from South Bay. $2500 total out of pocket, included 1st month payment, tax, registration, license, etc. and $400 per month lease (tax included). They said they lost money on this deal since we are a returned customer. I asked for the floormats but they wouldn't give to me neither. I hope my new lease is a good deal. What do you guys think?
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      05-04-2006, 04:52 PM   #19
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i know exactly how u fell,i love my car but bmw service blows.check out my other threads about valencia bmw.what a fuckin nightmare.good luck to you in future dealings.
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      05-04-2006, 08:51 PM   #20
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be lucky you got aluminum trim thats so hard to get these days.

i got it, but i did'nt get xenons.

Quote:
Originally Posted by gewgaw
I just picked up my new 330i today, and it is great! Unfortunately, I had an experience at the dealer that turned me a little sour... but maybe I'm just being overly sensitive about it. You be the judge.

Flash back to a few months ago... negotiated over the internet and phone with South Bay BMW in Torrance, CA for $700 over invoice for a custom build 330i, black, Sport package, aluminum trim, automatic transmission, heated seats, sat prep. They would not budge on MACO ($375), so it ended up being almost $1100 over invoice (profit + MACO + assorted "document fees"). Whatever, I wasn't happy, but knowing from the other posts on this forum, I wasn't getting the worst deal out there. Here's the point of contention -- I could have sworn the salesperson agreed to throw in floor mats over the phone during the negotiations. I mean, I know I ALWAYS ask for them, and it's just one of those things you ask for... right?!

Fast forward to today, car's finally ready and waiting for me after months of waiting! visited e90post.com and got the checklist of things to check out, and I went out to the dealer all smiles. Everything checked out, they told me that I ought to go get a wax right away (is that a good idea?!?! ). Then they showed me how to use the controls, etc.... that's when I noticed. No floor mats. The salesperson I worked with had to go take a call or something at that point, and she handed me off to an assisting salesperson.

I thought maybe they were going to give them to me after I signed the docs and paid, so when we got to the finance guy's desk, I asked them what about the floor mats? This salesperson looked at me and said, oh floormats are $120 extra. I said, I spoke with the other woman and she said over the phone I would get floormats. This salesperson called in the woman I had been working with, and she said she didn't remember giving me floormats. The finance guy just looked sheepish and didn't know what to do. The salesperson said, check in the e-mails we have on file for this transaction, I didn't remember any promise for floormats. By this point, I was getting angry that I might be getting shafted (FOR ALL OF $120!!!), but also a little confused... maybe I was remembering things wrong. But I really did think we agreed to this deal -- I just didn't have it in writing.

So I checked my anger said, come on, you can work in some $120 floormats when I'm about to hand over a check for over $40,000? Isn't there anything you can do to make me go home extremely happy here? I asked. The two salespeople just said, no we can't, we'll get in trouble, we can't give you mats because you only paid $700 over invoice ("plus the MACO," I reminded them, to which they replied, "oh EVERYONE pays MACO")... etc. etc. I couldn't believe I was getting hit with an suggestion that I was lying, and the insinuation that had I just PAID A LITTLE MORE, I would have gotten free mats??!?!?!

The treatment I was getting was cold, and it was hardly the pleasant, "beginning of a long relationship" feeling I thought I was headed for when I went out there this afternoon. It wasn't the stupid mats, it was the and the benefit of a doubt that I wanted. I told them all, I'm not feeling like I'm having a very good buying experience right now, and I don't think I'll be able to put down that I had an "excellent" experience on the survey I'm sure I'll get from BMW later, and it was too bad that things started off so well, and now I'm being suspected of lying AND paying too little for this car. They said they'd call the GM and see what he could do for me, and with that, the salespeople left the finance office.

Completely distracted by now, I signed my papers and finished up with the finance guy and I was just sad that the situation devolve like this. I went over to the sales office, and the salesperson told me that the GM said given the low profit on this deal, they couldn't give me the mats, sorry. I said, I'm sorry too, and I just want you to know that this whole experience was just unfortunate, and I'll have to honestly reflect that in the survey. She shrugged and said sorry again.

With that, I went home.

And what did I do when I first got home? I took all the dealer-logo stuff OFF my car ASAP.

What would you do, if you were me? Am I just being stupid and petty? Or have people been nickle-and-dimed like this at other dealerships? It's ok, I'll get over it evenutally... the drive back home put a smile back on my face, that's for sure!
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      05-04-2006, 08:55 PM   #21
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Originally Posted by tl_boy
be lucky you got aluminum trim thats so hard to get these days.

i got it, but i did'nt get xenons.
why is it hard to get the aluminum trim ?

how much is it ?
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      05-04-2006, 09:01 PM   #22
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nothing extra for e90, i heard it was extra for e46 tho. But i heard they stopped making it??? or at least a bunch of people look like they want to trade for it or retrofit it.

Quote:
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why is it hard to get the aluminum trim ?

how much is it ?
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