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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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      03-09-2013, 03:12 AM   #23
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My advice to the OP is make an appointment to see Kevin and talk it through in detail face to face. These kind of threads quickly get out of control and do you no favours when you are trying to amicably resolve a situation. For all the sensible advice having individuals just slating a company with no facts is just ridiculous.

I have never dealt with Bird's but I believe they are one of the UK experts in E90 modifications and cannot imagen for 1 minute they wanted this job to take any longer than necessary.

Keep calm, be logical and I wish you luck getting a fair solution for all.
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      03-09-2013, 03:20 AM   #24
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I am in the process of installing my DPs....and I will be the first to say..."They are a PITA"
Seriously they are time consuming. I am having to take 2 days on them. Mainly because I didnt have the tools needed and im doing it in my garage by myself.
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      03-09-2013, 05:10 AM   #25
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Downpipes are a real pain to install, however not that bad! I think you will need to have a chat with Kevin and see what he says.
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      03-09-2013, 09:10 AM   #26
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My DPs were on the car after an hour. The rest of the time took fiddling to fit them without rattles and turbo boost issues. So they could have told you after a couple of hours whether or not they would be able to get them to work
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      03-09-2013, 11:18 AM   #27
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Mate, this sounds wrong. I am a business owner here in the states and bid or estimate 90% of my jobs. If I miss something I eat it. On another note, what kind of profit margin is this shop running under?? There is a lot of room in there for the owner to bring the labour rate down to help compensate for their rather bad, estimate.

100 pounds plus per hour?? Really.

Something sounds wrong there,

Mark
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      03-09-2013, 11:34 AM   #28
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This is why I don't like Birds much. Too pricey, too full of themselves, only interested in protecting their own revenue streams and rarely (if ever) willing to consider helping anyone out in the hope that in turn, they'll gain customer loyalty. Their labour rate is obscene compared to Darren Wood who are just as capable.

For what it's worth, my local VAG Indy fitted my AR DP's in about 5 hours, with the guy who fit them being heavily disabled due to a recent arm injury. I'd say knowing Steve's work from my Golf, he would have done it in 3-4 hours if he'd been full bodies at the time. Bear in mind he's never worked on a 335i either.

He charged me 200 inc vat.

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      03-10-2013, 12:27 PM   #29
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Had a chat with Kevin yesterday on the topic.

Basically was told that the fittment is not perfect and requires more time to be done right, that the fault with the design could not have been spotted before the 4 hour quoted were out and that they are doing their best to get it right. It all generally makes sense but...

...I understand that I still own them 10+ hours of labour for that totally disregarding the initial quote and no sympathy that I am ending paying more that twice what I was guided.

In general I would've thought that if you are running a business and want to establish long term relationship with the clients you should be able to find / offer a consensus in the cases like that as otherwise it leaves a bitter impression on the situation. I get that they might need to spend 10 hours and would like to be reimbursed for that but on the other end I was told 4 hours and now would be asked to pay 10!

I might be naive but would have guessed that a fair thing to do is at least to settle somewhere in the middle. With that in mind now I will think twice (or even more) before doing the suspension or anything else with them despite their expertise and credentials.

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      03-10-2013, 01:33 PM   #30
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If it helps you sleep at night, they've never had a penny of my money and I can avoid it, they never will.

The diff is the only possible exception, as I have no choice.

Matt
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      03-10-2013, 02:55 PM   #31
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Quote:
Originally Posted by olegmukhanov View Post
Had a chat with Kevin yesterday on the topic.

Basically was told that the fittment is not perfect and requires more time to be done right, that the fault with the design could not have been spotted before the 4 hour quoted were out and that they are doing their best to get it right. It all generally makes sense but...

...I understand that I still own them 10+ hours of labour for that totally disregarding the initial quote and no sympathy that I am ending paying more that twice what I was guided.

In general I would've thought that if you are running a business and want to establish long term relationship with the clients you should be able to find / offer a consensus in the cases like that as otherwise it leaves a bitter impression on the situation. I get that they might need to spend 10 hours and would like to be reimbursed for that but on the other end I was told 4 hours and now would be asked to pay 10!

I might be naive but would have guessed that a fair thing to do is at least to settle somewhere in the middle. With that in mind now I will think twice (or even more) before doing the suspension or anything else with them despite their expertise and credentials.

Oleg
Double the quote is a pi** take sorry!

I quote for jobs (IT, not the motor trade) and as I said earlier, unless you add a particular caveat for possible extenuating circumstances - you have to just swallow any extra time taken to do the job properly.

I could not in all conscience go back to a customer and try to charge them more than my quote - unless they moved the goal posts.
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      03-10-2013, 05:16 PM   #32
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I have also had a bad experience at Birds and I will never go back
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      03-10-2013, 08:45 PM   #33
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Quote:
Originally Posted by RagingKileak
If it helps you sleep at night, they've never had a penny of my money and I can avoid it, they never will.

The diff is the only possible exception, as I have no choice.

Matt
Find a cheap 2nd hand m3 diff, output shafts and prop and you can have a diff far cheaper than a birds quaife!
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      03-11-2013, 03:01 AM   #34
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Not possible with a DCT car mate. All the final drive options are incompatible.

Matt
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      03-11-2013, 04:23 AM   #35
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Ouch Birds are good, but their labour is getting steep, it was 70/hour when I had my LSD fitted in 2009.

Now Darren woods do all my work, at 50/hour, 3 hours for DPs.

But unfortunately this is what to expect if you are just buying time/labour off a garage like that and providing your own aftermarket parts you are always at risk of problems.

Do you expect Birds to swallow the labour when the problem is due to the DPs? If they provided the parts then of course they would, but you chose to take the DPs to them and thus the risk is yours if there are fitting issues.

N54 DPs are already as tight as a nats ass, so adding problems with unproven makes is going to make it worse.

AR all the way IMO, you get what you pay for as ever......
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      03-11-2013, 04:23 AM   #36
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In your position I would be venting my anger at the manufacturer of the downpipes rather than the fitter.

They did advise that it would take longer and it sounds like you authorised them to do the work. It would have been better for you to negotiate a price when they phoned you half way through the job rather than at the end. Why should any company take a hit on behalf of the manufacturer? I certainly wouldn't.
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      03-11-2013, 04:30 AM   #37
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ssc330d View Post
Double the quote is a pi** take sorry!

I quote for jobs (IT, not the motor trade) and as I said earlier, unless you add a particular caveat for possible extenuating circumstances - you have to just swallow any extra time taken to do the job properly.

I could not in all conscience go back to a customer and try to charge them more than my quote - unless they moved the goal posts.
I'm a businessman too, and if delays are caused by defective / unsuitable 3rd party kit given to you by the customer, then the risk is on them.

They wanted to save money by getting the parts themselves so they take the fitting risk too.

If however you (the shop) provided the parts, you have taken your profit from that sale and you would of course take fitting responsibility.
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      03-11-2013, 05:09 AM   #38
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All that makes sense and I am trying to get some refund from the pipe manufacturer - however the price of the pipes is now just a fraction of the labour costs so my hopes are not high. However fingers crossed that I will get at least something as apparently VSRF are quite good on the client service front.

On the AR pipes it would have been a gamble as well as Kevin told that they had similar issues with those as well. So potentially I would have ended with the same labour bill but triple the parts bill.

I would have happily gone with the parts from Birds (and in fact saved myself some hassle of ordering them from the US) however they offer only the catted ones what in my view defeats the purpose of the whole exercise.

It is correct that it is unlikely that the fitter would swallow the entire cost of the additional time to be spent due to the poor fitting. However in my view you at least should try to honor the initial quote and if additional time is required - be realistic about that and try to find the middle ground.

What I am facing is the 2.5x the initial quoted time due to it being extended twice. No doubt that it could be very tight fit and they are doing their best to get them right and very experience guys.

Hopefully picking the car up today and still not sure what the total bill would be!
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      03-11-2013, 05:47 AM   #39
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It does seem exccessive, they must have had a right game with them, so fingers crossed that Kevin and you can reach an amicable settlement!
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      03-11-2013, 05:50 AM   #40
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Hope you get it sorted, at least the downpipes should be on .

Don't let this put you off modding the car, theres so much more potential in the car than what BMW sent it out of the factory with ...As far as I've experienced, downpipes are the hardest/most problematic mod to do.
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      03-11-2013, 07:31 AM   #41
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Let me make the facts clear.
Firstly, what the customer received from us was an estimate. It is not possible for us to "quote" for a product that we have no experience of. He was warned of the possibility of additional time being required if it was not a proper fit.
We have experience of similar products that install without issues, and assumed (incorrectly in this instance) that the fact that these pipes did not have catalysts, then any clearance issues would be minimal.
When we realised there was a problem, we spent additional time attempting to gain clearance before realising there were significant issues that would require the pipes to be completely removed from the car in order to address them. This would clearly double the installation time and cost.
The customer had the option to abort at that time, but accepted our best estimate of the additional time required. We used our best efforts to address the issues, but they were more severe than we predicted, and we again requested authority to spend more time to rectify, which was granted.
We had to reschedule our workload to accommodate this unscheduled work, in the hope we could meet the customers' collection time requirement.
The rectification did not go as well as we, and the customer hoped, and we continue to reschedule work today, in the hope we can finish the job today.

Part of our stock in trade is labour. No business can afford to give their stock in trade away for nothing. Of course we are sympathetic to any misfortune, and will help where we can to mitigate unforseen costs.

None of you know the scale of this installation problem. Some have given credit for our reputation and honesty, and some have chosen to attack us on this forum, without knowing the full facts.

This is not the first time we have been presented with polished up components that have no place on a quality car. The manufacturer is responsible for this problem. It is the manufacturer that has pulled the customers' pants down, and in hindsight, we should have returned the car to standard at the first sign of trouble.
The customer has been sent photos of the problem area, so at least the doubters out there can have access to the proof of the level of this problem.

The technician working on the customers' car is a BMW master technician of unimpeachable reputation and skill. He was assisted by an apprentice. His labour contribution has been given free of charge.
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      03-11-2013, 07:58 AM   #42
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Kevin,

To clarify - "had the option to abort at that time" means I was told on the phone that the initially estimated 4 hours were used up and another 4 hours would be required no matter whether I would choose to abort the installation and get back to the stock or to carry on with the DPs. So not much of a choice!

As I outlined in the e-mail to you and in this forum - there is no doubt about expertise of your garage and of your employees, I think this is quite clear. Furthermore it is understandable that these parts do not fit and it is unfortunately a usual thing which would require more labour - hence I have (and still trying to) picked it up with the manufacturer (Tiago from VSRF). And I do appreciate the fact that you made an effort to accommodate this additional work.

So attacking you on this forum has never been the aim and the car is still with you. However I think it is fair to share my experience with the community as well as draw upon their experience in similar situations.

So it is not a question of your expertise or reputation, but rather of client management in my view.

Last edited by olegmukhanov; 03-11-2013 at 08:27 AM.
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      03-11-2013, 08:22 AM   #43
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I think that the OP should get the downpipes for free from VRSF.
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      03-11-2013, 08:57 AM   #44
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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.

Last edited by Kerr; 03-11-2013 at 09:07 AM.
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