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Thread: How to improve the MOA forum.

  1. #16
    Registered User Rinty's Avatar
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    My view is that if you have an issue with a motor vehicle that can't be resolved, then you take the matter to small claims court. In Canada, the limits vary from $7,000 in Quebec, up to to $25,000 in five provinces. Filing fees are low, and you don't need a lawyer.

    My friend and former associate used to say: "One thing about litigation: it gets everybody talking."
    Rinty

    "When you don't know where you're going, any road will get you there."

  2. #17
    Quote Originally Posted by 20774 View Post
    This said a lot to me. We're a paid membership club and I think, by far and away, the number of members that might have issues with their product or BMW NA is very, very small. To take the funds from the vast majority and use it in a way that will only affect a small number of people is not really fair.

    As has been pointed out, there are other ways to address these problems or concerns.
    That's a valid point - do not use member funds in my opinion anyway. Why would you use membership funds? This is not an advocacy club. There are other means to support the effort financially. Those means would be optional contributions to pay for advocacy services at time of membership and renewals. If you run out of optional contributions you are without an advocate. Keep it simple as advocacy is not a core product of the club.

  3. #18
    Dances With Sheep GREGFEELER's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by billy walker View Post
    Steve, your post here is a good one. I don't think it's anyone's intention to alter the basic premise of the club. The repetitive posts do get old and I have been a part of those posts from time to time. There is no reason why we can't have a consumer advocate and maintain the premise of the club. IMO it would be a benefit for people with serious issues to post in some type of advocacy thread rather then the current format. The complaints go on here because they feel they have been seriously wronged and there is no other venting mechanism. Possibly you are in a position where spending $15 to $30k for a motorcycle is not a major expenditure but I can assure you to many BMW motorcycle customers it is exactly that. Our numbers have the potential to provide an additional club benefit for proven issues with BMW product. That sounds like a positive to me.

    Having worked with NA for a number of years I can assure you other OEM's do not handle their issues in the manner of BMW NA. I have never experienced such horrendous treatment from an OEM. Where there are proven issues that arise the number of MOA members writing in may just have the power to make things better. I feel that is caring for your fellow members as opposed to burying one's head in the sand. You cannot go up against NA as a single individual and win almost ever. To put it simply the club has the numbers to effect change.

    In closing, I do realize these type's of post's bother you and that is not my intent. There seems to be very few who agree with my point of view so perhaps I'm off base here. Maybe most don't really care. I don't know what it is but I will officially stop bringing the concept up as it really seems to offend some folks for whatever reason.
    The BMW MOA is a membership and volunteer driven club, and I've always believed that a primary job of the Board of Directors is to help those with good ideas realize them. That's a long way of saying that if someone here - or a group - thinks they have an idea for a way to add some kind of "consumer advocate" function, then I encourage them to prepare a proposal for submission to the Board.

    If you want to give it the best chances of success, the make it a complete proposal and address all the things the Board will have to weigh: cost, source of funds, staffing and management, timeline, potential advantages to the club and membership, any downsides or liabilities, and a description of who would oppose it or be disadvantaged. Completeness is vital, but formality is not. So, as long as you have really thought it through from both your perspective and as much as possible from that of your fellow club members, then just make it readable and clear.

    This process has been used a number of times in the past with great success. By success I don't mean every idea was adopted, but when they were not at least the proponent had a clear understating of why not and believed it was a fair process. If you take up this opportunity and have any further questions about "the process" or feedback on the "completeness" of your proposal, please feel free to contact me either through a PM from the forum, or at my email address or cell phone number as listed in the masthead of the ON.
    Greg Feeler
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    1972 R75/5, 1990 K75, 1990 K1, 1992 K75S, 2003 K1200RS

  4. #19
    Proud Veteran SteveAikens's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by GREGFEELER View Post
    That's a long way of saying that if someone here - or a group - thinks they have an idea for a way to add some kind of "consumer advocate" function, then I encourage them to prepare a proposal for submission to the Board.
    This has been tried at great length in the past. From some time in the late 90's, through at least 2003 - very close friend Rob Lentini served as Consumer Affairs liaison between BMW MOA members and BMW NA.

    He did have some limited success in helping resolving some small - mostly 'bitch issues' with NA but overall he said his tenacity prevented him from giving up - it was mostly a waste of time when it came to anything of any significance. It was a volunteer position, as Greg states.
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  5. #20
    Dances With Sheep GREGFEELER's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by SteveAikens View Post
    This has been tried at great length in the past. From some time in the late 90's, through at least 2003 - very close friend Rob Lentini served as Consumer Affairs liaison between BMW MOA members and BMW NA.

    He did have some limited success in helping resolving some small - mostly 'bitch issues' with NA but overall he said his tenacity prevented him from giving up - it was mostly a waste of time when it came to anything of any significance. It was a volunteer position, as Greg states.
    We still have the Consumer Affairs Liaison volunteer position, although few seem to take advantage of it, or wait until both sides are dug in so badly that compromise is very, very difficult. My post about a better idea was directed to something more elaborate than what we have now. I worked with Rob and he was a great guy - both as Consumer Affairs, his service on the Board of Directors, and the general knowledge base information he provided. The good ones leave far too soon.
    Greg Feeler
    2017 Rally Chair & Ambassador
    1972 R75/5, 1990 K75, 1990 K1, 1992 K75S, 2003 K1200RS

  6. #21
    Administrator 20774's Avatar
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    We're back open for business!! Sorry, but with all the threads on this similar subject, it got confusing on this side of the keyboard. Sorry for the short time-out!!
    Kurt -- Forum Administrator ---> Resources and Links Thread <---
    '78 R100/7 & '69 R69S & '52 R25/2
    mine-ineye-deatheah-pielayah-jooa-kalayus. oolah-minane-hay-meeriah-kal-oyus-algay-a-thaykin', buddy!

  7. #22
    Quote Originally Posted by 20774 View Post
    We're back open for business!! Sorry, but with all the threads on this similar subject, it got confusing on this side of the keyboard. Sorry for the short time-out!!
    Thank you.

  8. #23
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    Just came to this thread and don't know any of the background. That being said, I am really surprised about the "official" response of the MOA leadership and the widespread agreement thereof.
    While I understand, that the MOA can not and should not take on BMW NA on beahlf of individual members when it comes to issues, it is, after all an "owners club" and should assume some kind of representation of owners' interests.
    Why would I join an owners club for? To get a magazine with trip reports from South America? To participate in a mileage contest? To elect and follow a group of people to help satisfy their desire to organize a club ( Germans call it "Vereinsmeier" )? I will ask myself these questions again when my current 3-year membership is up for renewal.

  9. #24
    It is what it is. Bud's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by EMSimon View Post
    Just came to this thread and don't know any of the background. That being said, I am really surprised about the "official" response of the MOA leadership and the widespread agreement thereof.
    While I understand, that the MOA can not and should not take on BMW NA on beahlf of individual members when it comes to issues, it is, after all an "owners club" and should assume some kind of representation of owners' interests.
    Why would I join an owners club for? To get a magazine with trip reports from South America? To participate in a mileage contest? To elect and follow a group of people to help satisfy their desire to organize a club ( Germans call it "Vereinsmeier" )? I will ask myself these questions again when my current 3-year membership is up for renewal.
    I think the answer is yes.
    Ride Well

  10. #25
    Administrator 20774's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by EMSimon View Post
    Just came to this thread and don't know any of the background.
    Easy...grab a cup of coffee and read through any one of the 3-4 other threads (now closed) in Motorrad started by the original poster of this thread. Check back in a couple of hours!
    Kurt -- Forum Administrator ---> Resources and Links Thread <---
    '78 R100/7 & '69 R69S & '52 R25/2
    mine-ineye-deatheah-pielayah-jooa-kalayus. oolah-minane-hay-meeriah-kal-oyus-algay-a-thaykin', buddy!

  11. #26
    FUKENGRUVEN SURVIVOR akbeemer's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by EMSimon View Post
    Just came to this thread and don't know any of the background.
    Count yourself lucky and just walk away.... let go of the mouse and walk away.
    Kevin Huddy
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  12. #27
    Registered User lkchris's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by 20774 View Post
    To take the funds from the vast majority and use it in a way that will only affect a small number of people is not really fair.
    How many members, again, voted to have a "foundation?"
    Kent Christensen
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  13. #28
    Dances With Sheep GREGFEELER's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by lkchris View Post
    How many members, again, voted to have a "foundation?"
    First, the BMW MOA Foundation was started by an independent group who believed in the concept, and the Foundation today is still an independent organization, although closely aligned with the MOA itself. Secondly, all those types of decisions fall under the responsibility of the Board.
    Greg Feeler
    2017 Rally Chair & Ambassador
    1972 R75/5, 1990 K75, 1990 K1, 1992 K75S, 2003 K1200RS

  14. #29
    It is what it is. Bud's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by lkchris View Post
    How many members, again, voted to have a "foundation?"
    Kent,

    The Foundation is a completely separate entity. It is a 501C3 non-profit. From their web site: http://bmwmoafoundation.org/


    "Rider Training



    The BMW MOA Foundation is dedicated to improving motorcycle riders safety, support for motorcycling, and increasing awareness and participation in the moto-lifestyle and its many enjoyable benefits. The BMW MOA Foundation is a non-profit Public Educational Foundation that meets IRS 501(c)(3) requirements.

    The BMW MOA Foundation sponsors and provides various seminars and classes at the BMW MOA International Rally. This is a quote from their web site.



    MSF Experienced Rider Course
    MSF Advanced RiderCourse (ARC)
    MSF Seasoned Rider Seminar
    Camp GEARS
    The MSF?s SmartTrainer
    Rider Perception Training
    Motorcycle Awareness
    Coffee With? an annual roundtable discussion led by notable personalities in the field of rider education and training
    Rider Education and Training courses from a variety of commercial training firms



    The goal of the BMW MOA Foundation is to provide rider training and support for motorcycle safety and awareness programs. This goal is accomplished through the development of programs for riders, with an emphasis on young and new riders, women and families. The Foundation also supports educational and personal growth programs related to safe and enjoyable motorcycle use."


    While there is a close association between the two organizations, your MOA dues do not support the Foundation.

    I'm sure at some point the MOA BOD voted to establish the Foundation. As representatives of the MOA membership their "vote" represents the membership.

    I sure hope my Super Stakes ticket wins, but if it doesn't (and I've entered every one and won nothing) the money will be wisely used by the Foundation to accomplish their goals and that is a good thing!

    And I applaud those who are willing to serve on the Foundation BOD.
    Ride Well

  15. #30
    Setting the example of one member with one bike aside for the moment, (I will get there) I want to comment on the issue of the role of BMW MOA in our contentious society. I think having an Ombudsman (Consumer Liaison) is a good idea. That allows a calm advocate for any member who feels aggrieved by BMW Motorrad USA or a dealer or vendor. It can add a calm voice to try to sort out a given problem.

    But no voluntary recreational membership association has much clout to force or cause a company to do what it is unwilling to do. Trying to do that is both futile and harmful. We have a variety of institutions that do have the ability to require companies to do things. They include warranties; state lemon laws and attornies general; state consumer protection agencies; the US DOT NHTSA when safety is an issue; and of course attorneys, courts, and litigation. Depending on the circumstances they also include the availability of small claims courts.

    I was around and still remember the days when BMW MOA and Butler and Smith (the importer) and later BMW of North America saw themselves as adversaries. When BMW MOA saw itself as having "clout" it took a while but we did discover that we had no such thing really. And the membership suffered to a degree by the bad relationship between BMW MOA and BMW.

    I understand that in these days of mass social media sometimes it is possible to embarrass a big company to cause it to do something it has decided it doesn't want to do (Apple Maps comes to mind). But I would venture that in the many attempts to do this few succeed. I do recall driving by a hand painted yellow car with a big "Lemon" sign parked in front of a Chevy dealer once and recall that I thought it was pretty funny but I still would have bought a Chevy had I wanted one.

    Now to the current case. BMW offers a 3 year - 36,000 mile warranty to protect against defects in materials and workmanship. Honoring that warranty for three years or 36,000 miles is their duty. Beyond that time period, whether we like it or not (and I don't) they are entitled to tell us to go pound big rocks into little grains of sand. The bike in question is now, I believe, seven years old. The real question is whether the defect was discovered within the warranty period but never repaired. It appears from the narrative that the defect was evident within the warranty period. It also appears from the narrative that repeated efforts to treat the symptoms never cured the root problem. Assuming adequate documentation, if that were my circumstance, I might seek redress under the original warranty. That might entail an attorney or self-representation in small claims court. Or, I might not. I might decide that taking a trade offer from the dealer of about half of retail for a 7 year old bike that needs a new motor wasn't all that bad. In my specific case I suspect I would be getting out the tools and putting the bike on my lift to install a used motor.

    But this is all just me. I know others see it differently.
    Last edited by PGlaves; 06-10-2013 at 06:27 PM.
    Paul Glaves - "Big Bend", Texas U.S.A
    "The greatest challenge to any thinker is stating the problem in a way that will allow a solution." - Bertrand Russell
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