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      05-08-2007, 01:31 PM   #1
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Drives: 335i Coupe
Join Date: Feb 2007
Location: Ontario

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Angry Town and Country in Toronto = BAD


Sorry for the long post. This is a letter I sent to Town and Country BMW complaining about their business practices. Names and some financial terms are deliberately omitted in the post.

Dear Mr. M,

This is a complain letter regarding my recent failed business transaction with Town and Country BMW (TCBMW). Please consider this letter as a formal termination of the lease offer with cause.

On Feb 22, 2007, with the assistance of the new car specialist Mr. H and the business manager Ms. C, I entered into a new car leasing agreement with TCBWM for a 335i Coupe. The delivery date was verbally set on May 2007.

On April 30, after I have persistently trying to contact Mr. H for 1 ˝ weeks, clearly stating my interest in finding out the Production Number and VIN, I finally received a verbal notification that my car will not be available in May. Please bear in mind that it was weeks from the proposed delivery date yet I had to make numerous phone calls and leave several voice mails before discovering the delay, as opposed to being contacted by Mr. H or TCBMW proactively and alerted me of the situation.

On May 3, I arrived at TCBMW in person and discussed with Mr. H reasons of the delay and changes that may impact the deal. At that time I was told (after I brought up the topic myself) that my current rate was locked down for 90 days only and it would be long expired by the time I took delivery of the car in June/July. My contract would then be subjected to the new 7.75% lease rate. Mr. H seemed to understand my frustration and said he would do what was in his power to ensure that my monthly payment would not be affected. I agreed to consider his offer over the weekend.

On May 5 (Saturday), Mr. H phoned me in the morning regarding the availability of a similar car that had just become available. My wife and I went to TCBMW immediate, only to learn from Mr. H that the car had already been sold to another buyer who was in a similar situation like us. However, we did appreciate Mr. H’s effort in trying to satisfy our needs. Although that car had more options and packages than the one that we ordered, Mr. H managed to offer us a very attractive and reasonable price; unfortunately timing was not on our side.

We then proceeded with the discussion of some finer details of my situation, including the financial one. First, we were finally being provided with a production number. We were told that the car was “guaranteed” to be built in June and shipped in July. Financially, Mr. H could only provide me with 4% discount on the MSRP and there was nothing he could do to honour the lease rate as “it is controlled by BMW Finance and non-negotiable” – so we were told. He was sympathetic to our dilemma and seemed genuine in his effort to help us. However we left the dealership with the knowledge that the new monthly payment will be increased by $30.

On May 7 (Monday), I contacted Mr. H at 9:30am stated my dissatisfaction with the new arrangement. I told Mr. H that I was not going to accept those terms. Mr. H volunteered to discuss the matter with management and promised he would contact me on the same day with an answer. I phoned Mr. H at 4:15pm, 5:10pm at the office line and 5:15pm at his cell phone, left him messages reminding him that I was still awaiting for a reply, but to no avail. I even mentioned in the one of the voice mails that should I not receive a reply from him that day, I would consider it as an indication that TCBMW was unable to provide a reasonable offer.

Hence my letter to you today.

If Mr. H’s business ethics and lack of concern over customer satisfaction is a representation of how TCBMW conducts its business, just as TCBMW being a representative of BMW, then I am afraid that BMW and I, dare I assume the general public, have diametrically opposed definitions of consumer rights. In this case, a dealership, or individual(s) working for the said dealership, first failed to deliver goods as dictated in a legally binding contract, then made a blatant attempt to take advantage of its customer through underhanded sleigh-of-hand tricks by charging a higher price for the same goods at a delayed delivery date. As a customer, I suspect this dealership or individual(s) representing it is deliberately holding back on delivery to drive up demand and urgency in order to unfairly and unethically profit from the situation. It is obvious that TCBMW or Mr. H was trying to sell production slots to the highest bidders with this shell game, using interest rates and delivery dates as incentive and bargaining chips. If Mr. H’s assertion regarding corporate BMW financial policy is to be believed, then it will lead me to conclude this unscrupulous practice is approved or encouraged by BMW Canada, tacitly or otherwise.

Ironically, I was penalized again and again for nothing other than wanting to own a BMW, by none other than BMW itself! Not only was I not being compensated for having to wait two extra summer months due to the supposed fault of BMW (the supply shortage, according to Mr. H), I was asked to pay more than what was clearly stated in the Lease Offer, which is a binding contract. Though the timing of delivery was never under my influence, and I had never once caused the delivery delay in the last 3 months, yet TCBMW created a situation where I was forced to accept a higher interest rate in order to purchase the privilege of holding on the production slot promised me back in February. I was hijacked, fleeced and taken advantage of by TCBMW as they were determined to hold me hostage for their blatant mistakes, inadequacies or bureaucratic mishaps. The mere fact that I was being offered this new “deal” was an insult, and my consumer rights were gravely violated! It was a clear indication that the Leasing Agreement was nothing but a weapon for the dealership to swindle and exploit its customers. Here, I question if this is an example of the BMW corporate culture? Is this how TCBWM and BMW value their customers?
At this time, I can assure you that this experience with TCBMW is by far the worst - what supposed to be a joyous and exciting adventure has become a dreadful and aggravating incident. I have seen my shares of bad deals in the past but no sellers have ever insulted me the way TCBMW and BMW have. I was appalled to learn that TCBMW and BMW held such low esteem of their business images, both collectively and individually.

As much as we would like to become owners of this fine BMW car, we also have to count our blessings that this purchase was purely one of pleasure, not of necessity. Therefore, there is no reason for my wife and me to subject ourselves to TCBMW and BMW’s mistreatment and what seemingly questionable business practices.

You may regard this as a written notice of my termination of the lease offer with cause, as requested by the said offer in the Additional Terms section, Item 9. Reasons for the termination are:

i. The delay in the delivery of the vehicle
ii. Unilateral alteration of contract terms
iii. Unreasonable and unethical demand for additional payments through higher interest rate in order to secure a production slot

I expect full refund of my deposit within 3 business days.

In summary, through this incident I found TCBMW lacking in common business courtesy in business communications, unmotivated to maintain customer satisfaction, and demonstrating a very low regard for their customers as nothing less than hapless victims to be fleeced and manipulated. I also found a lack of transparency and honesty in the way TCBMW (or BMW Canada at large) handled this incident as they were far too eager to exploit their customers for short term gains, and had no intention of retaining their long-term loyalty. Given the highly competitive luxury car market, I cannot help but to wonder how BMW hopes to increase market share against stiff competitors that place customer satisfaction above all else?

I will provide a copy of this letter to BMW Canada and BMW International. Also, I will not hesitate to share my experience in any online forum, printed media, medium of any form, and any consumer review/alert.

Thank you for your attention and your prompt response. I can be reached at XXX-XXX-XXXX should you have any question or comment.

335i Couple | AW | Jade Grey | Poplar Grey | 6AT | Premium Package
Ordered: Feb 24
Still waiting

Last edited by klock379; 05-08-2007 at 02:46 PM.
Appreciate 0


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