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Thread: Dealer Service is making me mad

  1. #1
    On the Road 104857's Avatar
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    Angry Dealer Service is making me mad

    Does dealer service work this way or am I having a bad month?
    I took my 1993 K1100RS ‘«£Big Blue‘«ō with 40k on it to Carolina BMW in Greensboro, NC for a spline lube on May 9th.
    While I was there they showed me wear on the spline & suggested replacement, I agreed. He thought it would take a week. It has now been 4 weeks & I still don't have the bike. They were waiting on a seal, they were waiting on a shim, now they suggest replacing 4 bearings that they need to wait on. I can appreciate them wanting to fix it right. But, 5 weeks (hopefully) seems a long time.
    I'm a recent transplant to NC & had not used a dealer for service in the past. While in Chicago I used Bob's Motorcycle World & received great service at a fair price.
    The service manager at Carolina BMW told me they usually do this type of work in the winter & it is usually a 2 month job.
    I guess I should schedule work in the winter and not at service intervals?
    Am I getting poor service? Is this normal dealer service? Is this a southern thing?
    I‘«÷m venting and seeking advice.
    Oh yea, maybe I shouldn‘«÷t rip on them too bad,they were nice enough to provide a F650GS as a loaner. But, I need my mile eater back.

  2. #2
    Blocking the slow lane
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    Peak season. Involved job (ie. you really want the tech focusing during a tranny rebuild). Peak season.

    None of the Chicago dealers would have given you a service loaner.
    Jon Diaz
    BMW K75/K12GT
    BMWMOA Ambassador

  3. #3
    Rally Rat MarkF's Avatar
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    Service

    Of that 5 months how much is "work" time and how much is "wait" time? I have a hard time believing that the parts needed aren't available anywhere in the Americas. If they were the dealer could get them overnight. Are they too busy to do the job, perhaps? I agree that nobody else would give you a loaner. I wonder how much this job is gonna cost. You might have bought that F650!

    MarkF

  4. #4
    eric2
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    used tranny?

    If you have around $400 you could find a used
    one. I'm sure there's a few listed in the MOA mag.

  5. #5
    On the Road 96073's Avatar
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    have you ever had to do this type of repair before?

    i know the guys at Carolina BMW and would recommend them to anyone. their techs ride BMW's. some shop techs don't.

    one thing i would ask is you be careful how quickly you jump on the "southern thing" you bring that attitude to a shop and it just might take forever. aside from right of refusal if it were my shop and heard that was one of the remarks, careful who's eye and ears are reading or hearing you. take the time and develop a relationship, they will bend over backwards for you...that goes for most dealerships (and i have dealt with a number over the past 5+ years), especially in NC, VA, and MD. in fact all of them in those states.

    they have been fair and reasonable to both my father and myself.

    repoe3
    lived in wisconsin...you wanna talk about the midwest and attitudes, dont get me started.

  6. #6
    On the Blue Roads RevWillie's Avatar
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    Exclamation Long wait that could be longer

    I know the folks at Carolina BMW, and they are a good BMW shop. They do their work well.and they stand by it, which is not always the case in some of the other dealerships down this way. Your problem would rate as a major service, and those can take some time to achieve with our bikes, especially when it is peak riding season and the demand is heavy for replacemnt parts. Keep checking in with the shop and get project updates; that a way, you can feel connected to the work being done on the bike while keeping the shop involved in the process and the solution. Everybody involved wants to get you back on your bike.

    The pointer that repoe3 made: "...be careful how quickly you jump on the "southern thing" you bring that attitude to a shop and it just might take forever." might be one of those "keeper" ideas for you concerning dealing with dealers and other businesses in NC (and SC & VA). If you are nice &respectful to them, then chances are that they will be nice & respectful to you. Cool your jets and try to help get the your bike back on the road.
    Onward, through the fog!

  7. #7
    On the Road 104857's Avatar
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    Smile Thanks for the encouraging words

    Thanks for the encouraging words re: Carolian BMW.
    I'm more at ease with the situation. George the mechanic has been very good. I just wished they would keep me informed. No one ever has called to relate another delay. It is only when I call on the day it was to be done, that I'm informed of another delay. I think anyone in my position would be frustrated.

    1. first experience with the dealer

    2. primary means of transportation down for 5 weeks

    3. 2 trips cancled

    Big Blue

    Oh yea, re: the "Southern Thing" I've been told many times by people from the south when I ask "why" "that it is the way it's done here", "a sothern thing". So if there are procedures or practices unique to the south why would anyone get offended if they are referred to that way?
    Last edited by 104857; 06-07-2003 at 12:17 PM.

  8. #8
    On the Road 104857's Avatar
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    Question Service Expectations

    I'm just wondering, perhaps my expectaions are too high.
    Here are my thoughts on this.
    If you provide service, you live or die with customer satisfaction.
    You better be interested in what your customers have to say about what you are doing right & more importantly what you are doing wrong.

    I bring with me to the dealer these expectations.

    1. Let's both understand why I brought the bike here.

    2. What is wrong?

    3. What will it cost to repair?

    4. When will it be done?

    If you can not meet target repair costs or if you can not meet the delivery date I want to be informed ASAP, not on the delivery date.

    If you can not meet the target delivery date or projected cost then:

    1. Why

    2. What is the new projected cost?

    3. What is the new delivery date.

    Communication, Communication, Communication


    Am I expecting too much as a customer?

    Big Blue

    Maybe this should be a new thread? I'll post as such
    Last edited by 104857; 06-07-2003 at 02:36 PM.

  9. #9
    eric2
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    Re: Service Expectaions

    Originally posted by Big Blue
    Communication, Communication


    Am I expecting too much as a customer?

    Are there regional differences in expectations?

    Your thoughts please.

    Big Blue
    1) yes

    2) yes

    3) Build rapport with the tech (bring a 12pack). Use
    the chain of command effectively. If you find yourself
    at odds with the service dept, contact the owner end express
    your concerns. Use the checks and balances every team
    uses to your favor without going ballistic. Just my .02 worth

    Eric Barnes
    Occasionally POd at service in:
    Austin, Tx

  10. #10
    Focused kbasa's Avatar
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    Re: Service Expectaions

    Originally posted by Big Blue
    4. When will it be done?

    If you can not meet target repair costs or if you can not meet the delivery date I want to be informed ASAP, not on the delivery date.
    I've been in a direct customer service role for better than 20 years, providing document management services to lawyers. Lawyers expect you to fulfill the committments you make because they may be required by the court to meet hard and fast deadlines. Failure to meet the deadlines, or at least manage the deadline can result in giant problems that extend beyond a customer being upset. It can result in a company losing their case in court. When companies have to cough up a couple hundred million dollars in a settlement, it has an effect on the folks that work for that company.

    The questions Big Blue posted here are the questions that any customer will ask of any service provider, whether it's providing data or fixing a bike.

    In my experience, the single biggest failing of a service organization is the failure to communicate proactively with the customer. Good news, bad news; it doesn't matter. The customer needs to know what to expect.

    If you're a service organization and you don't effectively manage the customer's expectations, whether you do perfect mechanical work or not the perception will be that you do a lousy job.

    The example Big Blue is providing here is a classic example of a single phone call keeping the customer happy. He's sitting at home waiting to come get his bike and the day it's due service makes the call and tells him it won't be ready. I'd place a bet on the service organization knowing that the bike wouldn't be ready a day or two ahead of time and not making the call because they didn't want to deliver bad news.

    Instead, the shop has assumed a reactive position and waits for the customer to call. At this point, the customer is already cheesed because they haven't heard anything. They're now making the call the dealership should have made and they're not happy about that. It just spirals downhill from there, especially when the bike isn't ready and the customer has to call to find out.

    If you look at Big Blue's other messages, he's not upset about his bike being out of commission. He's not upset that it's going to cost him a bunch of money. He's OK with having the F650. But, I'd bet he'd be a lot happier if he got a call once in a while, prior to the date his bike was promised, about the status of his motorcycle.

    Like they say, one call does it all.

    In a region noted for their terrific interpersonal courtesy, I'd say it's not a southern thing, it's just poor management of the customer.

    Your mileage may vary, of course.

    Dave
    Dave Swider
    Marin County, CA

    Some bikes. Some with motors, some without.

  11. #11
    Focused kbasa's Avatar
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    Gonna merge two threads

    The service expectations post appeared elsewhere in another thread, so I've merged the two threads.

    Since it no longer has anything to do with Kbikes, I've also moved it to Campfire.

    Dave Swider
    Marin County, CA

    Some bikes. Some with motors, some without.

  12. #12
    eljeffe
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    Re: Re: Service Expectaions

    [QUOTE]Originally posted by nfgeezer

    3) Build rapport with the tech (bring a 12pack).

    A 12-pack works; however, I have found that Krispy Kremes or Pizza work wonders.

    It's amazing how quickly a faulty K1200RS transmission can magically appear and get replaced in 48 hours after bringing 4 dozen Krispy Kremes to the dealership.

  13. #13
    On the Road 96073's Avatar
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    if this was a feed store..maybe

    but this is a motorcycle shop and refering to way of doing things as a "southern thing" is a poor excuse from someone that is either obnoxious or arrogant regionally. having lived in and/or worked in various regions, i prefer, for the most part, the southeastern part of the US for good reason...lack of pretensious attitudes that plague our society everywhere else. having experience all over, i tend to give people the benefit of the doubt, do a bit of research and let my experience dictate my opinion not some misinformed comment from another person. most of my experience with new englanders and midwesterners is a mix 50/50. they are either arrogant wastes of skin with their "i am superior" attitude or they are decent people. does that mean they have a way of doing things? sure, but what do you call that? and i don't jump to conclusions. enough demographic babble..just remember the joke...what is the difference between a porcipine and a bmw? the pricks are on the inside (of course that is referring to the car, but often carries over to people on a beemer)

    but back to the topic overall, customer service is a tough role. while we can all lay out preferred ways of receiving service, a good thing to do it request certain expectations prior so they can note it on the service ticket. if they dont meet your expectations, then make a phone call and have a civilized conversation about it. treat people they way you would like to be treated.

    repoe3

  14. #14
    On the Road 102624's Avatar
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    O.K., everyone is defending the dealer, yet this is what I don't get: He asked how long it would take when he took it in. He was told 1 week. He is later told by the same people this service takes 2 months in the winter. How is this good service? The onl thing added, according to the original post, from what he was told when he came in are a few bearings. The spline replacement was suggested (as I understand/read the original post) when he first took the bike in for service. Should not the dealer know and or expect this type of service to be suggested (potential need for bearings) when he come in for the spline lube and is informed at that time replacement is suggested? I don't see how this is good service, no matter the region. I guess I just used to a mechanic who is rather up front and very blunt about what needs to be done in the first place and has a real understanding of how long it takes to get parts along with the ability to estimate length of service at the front end. No he's not a BMW dealer either.


    Nomex donned by the stupid one south of the Mason-Dixon, who is not offended by the southern thing.

  15. #15
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    5 Weeks! You're getting screwed

    To say that a repair will take 5 weeks is TOTALLY out of the question.

    If it's a part they are waiting for, tell them to get on the stick and have these parts flown in overnight.

    Items are shipped all over this planet overnight all the time to and from strange and exotic locations.

    In that five week time you probably could have shipped your bike to China and cleared customs.

    Get on the phone and start making some noise.

    Five weeks!!?? You gotta be kidding.

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