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BMW 3-Series (E90 E92) Forum > BMW E90/E92/E93 3-series General Forums > New & Preowned BMW Ordering / Pricing / Tracking Information Forum (including European Delivery) > BMW Dealer Reviews + Ratings Forum > Bought my first BMW from Passport...already need BMWNA to mediate! :(



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      03-27-2009, 04:59 PM   #1
aesfah
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Bought my first BMW from Passport...already need BMWNA to mediate! :(

EDIT: Issue resolved, see below:

Sorry for the long rant…I’m just furious at Passport BMW and need some advice:

It's been a childhood dream of mine to finally own a BMW, and 2 months ago, it came true! Coming soon after finishinggrad school & putting a sizable down payment with my hard earned money, I bought my CPO'd '06 330i from Passport BMW two months ago. Based on the recommendation of countless e90post users, I was expecting outstanding customer service…

It started out great: My excellent CA, Alex Fracyon, made the process thoroughly painless and enjoyable. He even got Passport to refinished all the rims for me. The car was nearly immaculate!

Couldn't be happier...but then... immediately after I bought it, the front driver's tire developed a bubble. Passport BMW agreed to replace the tire, but right after the car came out of their shop, I noticed the tech had scoffed up my newly refinished rim. I pointed the damage out to Tony, my SA, who apologized profusely and promised they'd make it right. He's a great guy and really professional (albeit slow at responding to emails... must be very busy).

Well, Passport is 1hr away from me, so I had them send a driver w/a loaner to my wife's work to swap cars. He was to pickup ours & take it to the dealership to fix the rim damage (BIG MISTAKE!!!)

I get the car back 2 days later, only to see HUGE scratches on the rear passenger-side bumper!!! WTF!?! I immediately took pics w/my iphone and emailed the service manager. His curt email response comes a few days later, in which he says: "When ****** drove the car in, **** notated the damaged left front rim, and scratches on the right front fender and right rear bumper. As this is the case, Passport BMW is not responsible for this damage."

IM LIKE, WTF??? ARE U KIDDING ME???

Yes, there was damage to the rim bc YOUR TECHNICIAN CAUSED IT! Yes, there was damage to the rear bumper bc SOMEONE (prob ur driver) CAUSED IT! I do concede, however, that the scratch on the front bumper may have been pre-existing (it’s a 3yr old CPO car, it’s not perfect, and the front bumper has some blemishes…so out of fairness, I can’t blame that on Passport bc I’m not 100% sure it was them).

I wrote the SM, arguing that even if the car arrived at the dealership damaged, as he claims, then the damage MUST have occurred at the hands of his driver, who had the car for the 1 hour / 45mile drive. There is absolutely no way we gave him the car in that condition. If their staff have proved so careless in the past so as to damage newly refinished rims, then it’s perfectly reasonable and foreseeable that they could scratch up a bumper too. I only wish I hadn’t trusted the driver w/my baby  I just couldn’t take off work to drive 1hr there, drop the car off, get a loaner, then drive 1 hr back, and do it all over again to return the loaner. Hindsight is 20/20…

It’s been a few DAYS now, and he has yet to respond to my email, and so I’m not holding my breath in getting the dealership to rectify this. I’ve contacted BMWNA and hopefully they can mediate.

I’m not looking for a free ride or anything, as this sh*t is not worth my hourly billing rate (I’m a newly minted attorney), but based on principal, I can’t let this go. At the very least, out of goodwill, Passport could have offered to fix this. They have made ZERO attempt, and instead are trying to shift the blame to me.

I will fight this tooth and nail, and have already drafted a small claims court complaint, all set to file if BMWNA can’t help. Hell, I’ll throw in an extra $40 and get the PG County Sherriff to serve the papers personally. I’ve got 30+ litigation partners at work, any one of whom can help me polish the court filings, and even a few that are willing to accompany me to court, if needbe. In short, even though I have a lot of firepower behind me, I really REALLY don’t want things to go to that extreme and hope Passport will come to its senses and just fix the damage.

I’m really saddened by this incident. I was hoping to build a long-term relationship with Passport, plus that’s the only place that’ll give me BMW loaners. Yet I feel after this incident, how can I take my car back, trusting they’ll give me excellent service? VOB and Tischer are much closer to me, but alas, only enterprise rentals are available for non-customers.

Any advice? Thoughts? If you were in my shoes, would it be worth the BMW loaner to take ur car back to place where all this went down?

(sorry for the bad pic...road salt on roads until like 2 wks ago).


RESOLVED!!!!
OK, so here's an update:

BMWNA called me back, and they got the sales and service department to work out payment of the damage between them. I was told the dealership would call me to setup an appointment. After about 4 days, I had not heard back, and finally initiated contact directly with the dealership. The car will go in next week (I will drop off & pick up personally!). I hope the body shop does a good job on the repairs.

Seems like this could have been handled so much better. It definitely left me with a bad taste in my mouth. Others have stressed the importance of checking the car over once, twice, thrice before accepting it back from any 3rd party, and my experience absolutely confirms this. Many thanks to Emily at BMWNA for her help.
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Last edited by aesfah; 04-03-2009 at 04:12 PM.
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      03-27-2009, 05:11 PM   #2
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Very sorry to hear about all of these troubles. When my dealership takes possession of the car, they have an intake process where they are supposed to mark any noticible dents, scratches etc. If they didn't mark anything on yours, then that may be evidence that they did the damage. If you are forced to resort to a small claims action, as a fellow attorney, I find that it sometimes helps to send them what I call a "courtesy" copy of a complaint (before it's filed), just so they know you are serious. Sometimes they'll play ball after that. If I were you, I wouldn't waste the partners' time with that, b/c they probably have bigger fish to fry.

On the bright side, I'm glad that your damage is only cosmetic ... stick around here long enough and you'll hear all sorts of horror stories. But I know the incident must be extremely frustrating.

Good luck with everything.
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      03-27-2009, 06:26 PM   #3
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First off, sorry to hear about your plight. Indeed the damage looks pretty bad. I do hope you are able to work out a deal with the dealership to touchup that body work.
I really do feel for you because i've been there before. I'm also a first-time BMW owner and the fact is, my experience with my BMW dealership was just terrible. I had a couple dimples, a bruised tire, scratched wheels when i bought the car - all minor. I took the car in (took way too long to get things done, but different story), they fixed the wheels (very satisfied), removed the dimples - only to create a few more scratches(must have something to do with the tool they use....). Anyway they wouldn't do anything about the tire (RFT) because they said "i probably bruised it without even knowing, etc. etc." After a few back and forth, we settled on a deal.

Yes, of course i should've found out all these things before i drove off. Fair. But honestly, if i was buying a Pinto from a corner dealership, i would then be skeptical of EVERYTHING and do the diligence. But not when you're buying a luxury car with a renowned CPO inspection process, etc, etc. My mistake was in trusting they were different and 'better'.

Point is, there's irony here. People outside of BMW think because you're shelling all this money for a luxury car, you actually get good, careful service. Obviously not always the case.

I have a Subaru and i get 100% BETTER QUALITY CARE when i take my car in, compared to BMW. And i have a theory as to why: Anyone can service a Japanese car, so there's not too much volume at these dealerships. With BMW's, you almost have no choice but to bring it in (especially with the free maintenance), so they DON'T CARE. Literally. Your car is just another statistic. They act like money grows on trees.

Anyway, i digress. What i have learn't is that whenever i take in my car, i have a check-off sheet (the kind you go through when you rent a u-haul), and document exactly how my car looks. This way, i can prove with ease their employees treat these cars like they're Pinto's!!!

Good luck working out a deal. This is truly disappointing.

Edit: If they won't make you whole, go with the dealership that'll give you a non-BMW rental. It'll only make you appreciate your car EVEN MORE when you get it back!
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Last edited by p4junk; 03-27-2009 at 06:52 PM.
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      03-27-2009, 06:33 PM   #4
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Wow, that's terrible, good luck with this and keep us updated.
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      03-27-2009, 07:27 PM   #5
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I'm sorry to have read a post such as yours. The posts above are on target with regard to these cars just being another "statistic" of sorts when brought in for service etc.

I also have dealt with a dealer (not a local dealership regularly used by myself) who caused cosmetic damage to the hood of my car. It was an accident made by the tech assigned to my car (a Dinan tech no less).

I was notified of the damage immediately, the damage was corrected while I waited and all has been well since. As a matter of fact, although I do not use this particular dealer on a regular basis, the SM personally oversees any dealings with the car and is absolutely a pleasure to deal with. This would be BMW of Nashville, TN ... btw.

I truly hope things are able to be sorted out through mediation rather than legalities ........
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      03-27-2009, 09:17 PM   #6
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Nice to see another driver in moco. Are you in any type of school right now?
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      03-27-2009, 09:29 PM   #7
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Definitely good luck with getting things resolved. That's exactly why I would never let anyone pick up my car for service!
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      03-27-2009, 09:34 PM   #8
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Wow man that sux...
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      03-27-2009, 10:40 PM   #9
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wow that really sucks big time. i think you should wait and see what BMWNA says bout this. definitely send BMWNA the pictures bout what happened. i hope they admit to it and fix the car!
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      03-27-2009, 10:42 PM   #10
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Good luck with this. Never let somebody else drive your car without you/family member/friend being present.
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      03-27-2009, 10:48 PM   #11
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As a rule of thumb .........

If I'm forced to park next another vehicle I snap a picture of the car(s) next to me including the plate(s). If someone else is to drive my vehicle or my vehicle is being left with someone/place, then I snap pictures of the car (all sides). Pictures are time stamped ........... let them argue THAT point with me.
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      03-27-2009, 11:02 PM   #12
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I recommend you try phoning your CA first to talk to him before filing suit. Email is impersonal and creates difficulty in pursuing a dialogue, as the time between responses varies. If you can't make headway with your CA, perhaps try speaking to his supervisor.

Regarding the small claims matter, you will shoulder the burden of proof (I know you know this). Do you have pictures of the rear bumper without scratches? You purchased a used vehicle and admitted to the front bumper having blemishes. It is reasonable that the rear bumper would have blemishes as well. Before you drop the hammer, I'd recommend you analyze the strength of your case. You shouldn't burn any bridges, especially if you intend to continue patronizing this dealer.

Just my $0.02.
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      03-27-2009, 11:11 PM   #13
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I hope you get this matter resolved.

If it were me, I'd try hard to get them to repair the damage they caused and NEVER go back. Once you can't trust them, it's over.

I just had a guy scratch 3 of my wheels mounting a set of tires. I showed him the damage before he got my car off the lift and wrote him a letter. No response. We all make mistakes. Good professionals admit it and make it right. Most people don't. I'll never go back.
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      03-28-2009, 11:05 AM   #14
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I recommend you try phoning your CA first to talk to him before filing suit. Email is impersonal and creates difficulty in pursuing a dialogue, as the time between responses varies. If you can't make headway with your CA, perhaps try speaking to his supervisor.

Regarding the small claims matter, you will shoulder the burden of proof (I know you know this). Do you have pictures of the rear bumper without scratches? You purchased a used vehicle and admitted to the front bumper having blemishes. It is reasonable that the rear bumper would have blemishes as well. Before you drop the hammer, I'd recommend you analyze the strength of your case. You shouldn't burn any bridges, especially if you intend to continue patronizing this dealer.

Just my $0.02.

Well reasoned advice, bobbykurva.
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      03-28-2009, 11:26 AM   #15
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Thanks for the love everyone. I think the suggestion to contact the CA is a great idea. I originally didn't bc I didn't want him to be caught bw me & his manager.
I tried being very diplomatic with Passport when they banged up my rims, knowing that shit happens. I just expected they'd step up & take responsibility for this mishap too...

This is my first Bmw andi envisioned gold service, like I got from toyota. I guess I was due for a reality check...
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      03-28-2009, 12:12 PM   #16
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This is my first Bmw andi envisioned gold service, like I got from toyota. I guess I was due for a reality check...
It's all dealer dependent. Some are good some aren't so good. And dealers hire anybody willing to work for minimum as their tire wranglers, and oil changers, and lot jockeys, etc.. Find a place you like. You know, like finding a good doctor you feel comfortable with.

Or, find a certified indy who you can develop a good rapport with. As long as you do the required services, the warranty will stay intact. There are some really super talented Euro car indies out there....
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      03-28-2009, 12:16 PM   #17
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please let me know whatever the outcome may be
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      03-28-2009, 12:19 PM   #18
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WTF that's f'ed up...
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      03-28-2009, 12:29 PM   #19
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OP, good for you, don't let it go and see it to resolution. Sorry to hear about this situation. In reading the post, there are a couple things the SA wont be able to relate to. First of all, you have 7 years of post HS education. Secondly, you worked hard to get this car, so you actually care about it. Right now we're in a disposable who gives a **** society. Heck, if you leased the car, what's a couple of scratches, dings and dents? You wouldn't care, the dealer wouldn't care, when you return the car BMWFS wouldn't care either. The SA is probably sick and tired of the minority 35% who purchase their vehicles and do care since they are always rocking the boat everytime the dealership damages a vehicle that was brought in for service.

It really got me teed-off seeing a bunch of MB techs taking customer vehicles to the local convenience store out at lunch time in northern VA. They drove those cars like their own. imho techs have a job--to fix the vehicles, just like a valet has a job to park the car. That doesn't mean they can use them for their personal errands and these errands fall under the we have the right to drive your vehicle umbrella.

I dunno, my dealership does a walk around when they take the vehicle. Maybe if someone does not, then too bad, they have to be responsible for anything discovered at a later time...my .02
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      03-28-2009, 01:10 PM   #20
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Thanks for the love everyone. I think the suggestion to contact the CA is a great idea. I originally didn't bc I didn't want him to be caught bw me & his manager.
I tried being very diplomatic with Passport when they banged up my rims, knowing that shit happens. I just expected they'd step up & take responsibility for this mishap too...

This is my first Bmw andi envisioned gold service, like I got from toyota. I guess I was due for a reality check...
From now on, take your car to VOB. The BEST car service ever. I've owned three BMWs. NEVER had a complaint and the prices are cheaper. I'm now with Tischer and considering going back to VOB for service. Had to get the NAv system replaced in my 09. They forgot to activate the BMW search on the new nav! So, of course, it can't be magically activated without taking the car BACK to the dealership. I bought the car three weeks ago and this is my second trip to the service center.

Tischer is closer to me than VOB, but I may have to bite that bullet for better service.
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      03-28-2009, 06:05 PM   #21
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From now on, take your car to VOB. The BEST car service ever. I've owned three BMWs. NEVER had a complaint and the prices are cheaper. I'm now with Tischer and considering going back to VOB for service. Had to get the NAv system replaced in my 09. They forgot to activate the BMW search on the new nav! So, of course, it can't be magically activated without taking the car BACK to the dealership. I bought the car three weeks ago and this is my second trip to the service center.

Tischer is closer to me than VOB, but I may have to bite that bullet for better service.

You're joking right? VOB is 15 minutes away from me and I've had the WORST experience with them. Given them 4 chances, and none of them have been good. I'm now with Passport and my experience has been flawless John Dugan was great!
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      03-28-2009, 11:00 PM   #22
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Be thankful you have choices fairly close. I've got one dealer 12 miles from me, and the next closest is 350 miles. And the service manager just lied to me the other day at the close one.
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