Buyer Beware!

Discussion in 'Feedback, Reviews & Comments' started by mini2kompressor, Dec 26, 2009.

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  1. mini2kompressor

    mini2kompressor New Member

    Dec 26, 2009
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    K, finally got some time to write this.
    In February 09 I called the Checkered Flag Mini Dealership to get an appointment for the check-up for the car, since I had a little bit of 48.000 miles on it and I was having serious problems with the stearing and wanted the dealership to check it out before I ran out of the warranty. The woman at the dealership told me that no loaners were available for the next 3 weeks. I told her that I will need a loaner, earlier, since in 3 weeks I will be passed the 50.000 miles for the warranty coverage. But she assured me that that wouldn’t be a problem – Mini is very good about their warranty. So, I took the car in with a little bit over 50.000 miles, thinking that it wasn’t more than an alignment problem. When I picked the car up, I was shocked:
    - replace rack and pinion due to P/S leak
    - replace both control arm due to both arm bushings torn
    - needs new oil pan gasket due to leak
    - couple other minor things, the total bill was going to be $3400.00
    One of the repair guys from the dealership ‘Checkered Flag’ had the nerve to tell me I hit too many pot holes – this is Virginia! If you lived in Michigan for 15 years you know what pot holes are – Virginia streets are heaven! Could you imagine owning a Mini in Michigan? Probably get those repair bills after 14-16 month of driving!
    But, as Frank, the service guy from the Dealership assured me: Mini is very good about their warranty. So, no worries, right? Well, Frank told me he did not want to put all the repairs through to the Mini warranty center, before he knew for certain that there was a leak in the engine. So, he told me to keep on driving until the next oil change. And I did. At 56.000 miles I took the car back for the oil change and once again, he told me that; Mini is very good about their warranty and I should drive the car for another 2.500 miles so he can make sure there is an oil leak. I argued with him, that by now he should know if there is an oil leak, but he insisted that he should check, again, after 2.500 miles and not to worry since; Mini is very good about their warranty. So, after 59.000 miles I called the dealership and requested a loaner – which SURPRISE!!! was not going to be available for another 3 weeks. No, problem the lady at the dealership chirped: Mini is very good about their warranty! At 62.000 miles I finally got the car into the shop and Frank was kind enough to finally put the service request through to Mini. And guess what: Mini DECLINED due to the mileage on the car! I was in shock. But Frank wrote on the report, after I gave him a piece of my mind: “customer was offered a one time goodwill repair for the power steering rack and pinion at 100% participation from Mini for an out of warranty vehicle if the customer repaired the leaking oil pan and gasket and the control arm bushings at this dealershipâ€. So, I called Mini directly and complained about the treatment from the dealership and the warranty work that did not get done. No, help. Mini repeated the same offer that Frank wrote on the report; if you pay for this we will cover that. Lol – not gonna happen!!! If you screw me over like that, you will not see a penny of my money, anymore. I don’t care how much I would have saved! I cannot with a good conscience support a company that treats their customers that poorly. So, I paid $2400.00 to somebody else to get the work done. Turns out the right tie rod had went bad, too. And the left control arm was seized, the whole assembly had to be changed. When I finally got the car back, I was warned: the car as it is will not pass inspections due to both ball joints were still bad, and couple other things. I would had to pay at least $700.00 more to even pass inspections. Well, I drew the only conclusion I could: I traded the little piece of s… in a couple of weeks ago. Went to the other side – no more BMW or BMW owned products for me! Been pretty happy with the new car, so far.
    It takes a lot to make a hater out of me - I was a die hard Mini fan! Ford managed to do so. Congrats, BMW you are right behind them, now.
    BMW – you failed to put any kind of quality into the Mini. Any car that has that kind of repair bill after 50.000 miles is not worth it. Biggest miss-investment I ever did. Granted, the drive is more than fun. But, after the original price, I had expected better quality – I mean what in the world did I pay that much extra for? Maybe BMW should have invested more into customer satisfaction instead of the pre-xmas commercials. As a German it hurts me to say this: BMW you are a failure.
    It wasn’t just those problems: after 30.000 miles the air conditioning went south. That was covered under the warranty, thank god. It just took another 5000 miles before the air conditioning started making noises, again. And the ashtray –what the …??? Was that thing made in China? I owned the car for 3 years and went through 4 ashtrays! Obviously, BMW has some serious quality problems that should not have happened on an 04 Mini. By 04 they should have been able to take care of most of the problems that this car had.
    I did love the GPS, however. One of the best in-dash GPS’s I have seen to date.
    Well, good luck to you Mini (sufferers) owners. I will miss the Mini crowd, you are a fun bunch of people! But I wont miss the car.
    Remember, don’t make the same mistake I did – get the car to the dealership if you’re close to 50.000 miles. Don’t wait for the loaners – it’s just not worth it. And don’t trust the dealership when they tell you; Mini is very good about their warranty. – It’s a lie. Insist on all repairs being done immediately!

    Merry Xmas to all of you (yes, you too, Frank) and have a Happy New Year! May your repair bills be low and your tank be full!
    Well, bye – gotta go and post this on all the Mini forums I can find. I’d feel bad, if they sucker anybody into their false promises as they did me.

    McLaren all the way!!! With Schumi on board, now, BMW will eat dust in the ’10 season!
     
  2. CHKMINI

    CHKMINI Club Coordinator
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    Sorry to hear that you had problems. On the other side of this subject...I had an '04 MCS fully modded, tracked, and driven everyday on rough Ohio roads. At 106,000 miles I traded it for a new '09 JCW. The '04 still had the original clutch, original Power Steering Pump, Original Supercharger, original Water Pump, and yes, the original ball joints, steering arms and hubs. I replaced two sets of brake pads, changed the oil and never had a warranty claim other than a stressed cracked windshield at 85,000 miles which MINI replaced free of charge.

    My '09 JCW has 26,000 miles, not a single warranty claim, no cold start rattle and is still as tight as the day I drove it off the showroom floor. With the good luck I've experienced with MINI, if it shoots craps tomorrow I wouldn't get overly upset.

    There are good cars and bad cars with every OEM. I've been fortunate over that past 35 years of driving BMW's and now MINI's, to have had all good cars and good experiences with BMW and MINI.

    I'm happy to hear that you're back to a car company that you enjoy...I'm with one that I enjoy as well.:Thumbsup:
     
  3. rkw

    rkw Well-Known Member

    May 7, 2009
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    How did you manage to have it covered at 85K miles? Extended warranty?
     
  4. CHKMINI

    CHKMINI Club Coordinator
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    No. I took it in and a BMW District Service Mgr. found a slight exposed piece of metal inside the windshield framework. They replaced it as a policy adjustment. I suspect that being a BMW customer for over 30 years helped in some way.
     
  5. jcauseyfd

    jcauseyfd New Member

    May 25, 2009
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    Best reply I've seen yet to the OP's tale of woe on different sites.
     
  6. CHKMINI

    CHKMINI Club Coordinator
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    They weren't very nice to him over on the sewing site:cool:
     
  7. Nathan

    Nathan Founder

    Mar 30, 2009
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    The OP was not happy and wanted to get the word around. Shows to me the M/A is place where people will think they will be heard. Tis a good thing.

    Tis a better thing we all listen, state our thoughts in a reasonable and civil manner and get on with our lives.
     
  8. goaljnky

    goaljnky New Member

    Apr 7, 2009
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    So what did he move on to?

    P.S. I fee his pain. My passenger seat butt warmer just died.
     
  9. SNEEEZY - Erika

    SNEEEZY - Erika M/A Wrenchin' Babe!
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    "Sewing site"?
     
  10. Mike

    Mike New Member

    May 4, 2009
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    Well, if I were to guess from his name alone (and his perception of "the other side"), perhaps a Mercedes with a "Kompressor" (supercharger).
     
  11. ScottinBend

    ScottinBend Space Cowboy
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    May 4, 2009
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    And his support of Schumi..........boy is he in for a surprise. LOL
     
  12. maacodale

    maacodale Club Coordinator

    May 7, 2009
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    Let me just chime in here for a second. He's actually a SHE and she's one of our members at Hampton Roads Club MINI. (HR MINI) Several of our members have had less than stellar service with our local dealer. Mine have been mostly positive, though I am awaiting a return phone call on one item. Not real sure of this is an occasion of them taking advantage of a woman or not. She is fairly car aware I think. It seems to me her original issue is with the dealer which soured her opinion of the brand in general. Shame too, she was fairly active within the club, just not a big poster online.

    And Nathan, I think it's a testament to the quality of responses here at MA versus the "sewing site".
     
  13. mini2kompressor

    mini2kompressor New Member

    Dec 26, 2009
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    lol - yes. it's a compressor.
    i was mostly unhappy with bmw/mini's response to my complaint. they ended up calling the service manager, and calling me back to tell me, that they agree. when mercedes owned chrysler several years back, they had full control over the dealership (they still do over the mercedes dealerships). customers were not put off as easily. you just had to threaten the dealership to call the mercedes complaint line directly and the dealership would start to investigate themselves and correct their wrongdoings, if there were any. bmw doesn't seem to believe in that concept. i'm tired of believing in a product if the company doesn't stand behind their product.
     
  14. mini2kompressor

    mini2kompressor New Member

    Dec 26, 2009
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    btw, thanks maacodale, you got my point. some ppl seem to have taken it a little personal. it was never intended to be.
    again, the mini crowd will be dearly missed.
    erika - you know me - minikraut from hrmini!
     
  15. mini2kompressor

    mini2kompressor New Member

    Dec 26, 2009
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    lol - settle down, ralf is thinking about coming back, too. not sure if he will race for bmw, again. but my money is still on michael!
     
  16. galoki

    galoki New Member

    Sep 8, 2009
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    I've been a Mini owner since April. I was coming up on a lease end and was looking for my next car. I wanted 3 things out of my next car 1. fun to drive 2. uses less fuel 3. something less common (I had 3 Honda Accords in a row). My quest was rewarded with an '09 MCS, Chili Red, white top and bonnet stripes. After purchasing my car i got into the forums and started reading all the issues people have had... cold start rattle, fuel pump issues with ethanol.etc..etc..etc... i became worried... Oh no.. did I just get myself into a maintenance nightmare??

    I have had one warranty claim for a loose rocker arm bolt. Fixed with no questions asked.. Actually the dealership (Global Imports) has been pretty good to me when I have been in. I went one other time for a spa treatment for my mini. I went on a monday morning and they were pretty backed up. I ended up having to go back the next day because I couldn't wait for them to process me and get my loaner. lesson Learned? Yes, monday is not a good day to schedule service...everyone does that.

    So what have i learned from my experiences and those of my fellow Mini owners? most of the issues people have had with their Minis has been a product of bad customer service at the dealership level. Not all dealerships are managed well. Mine is pretty good. they focus on getting good customer service ratings. Others...not so much.

    However, BMW/MINI needs to own up to a few things as well.... better QA for one. And how about monitoring the dealerships a little better? Yes, of course.

    In the end however, I recommend to all people looking to purchase a car. Research the dealership as much, or more, then you research the car. As with all products, it's not just the manufacturer that can be the problem.
     
  17. TGS91

    TGS91 New Member

    May 8, 2009
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    Well said. That seems to be the root on many MINI issues

    Theres a trade-off in cars it would appear. Trusty, reliable and boring or fun to drive and issues.

    Mines had it's issues thats for sure but I don't regret a one.

    I am really blessed by a pretty good service dept.

    I also think that BMW/MINI gets in the way of many of the dealers being even better.

    As an example I had a wind noise in my sun roof, they adjusted it, glass between front and rear panes rubbed up against one another, they adjusted, fell out of adjustment, took it in again and had a conversation with SA, they replaced the seal all the way around, works great.

    Point is I talked to the mechanic and on warranty work MINI USA gives the dealer a play book on warranty issues and on this one it is basically adjust, adjust, customer complaint, replace.

    Not sure if this is all that different from allot of other car companies
     
  18. SNEEEZY - Erika

    SNEEEZY - Erika M/A Wrenchin' Babe!
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    Of course I know you! I wasn't sure what the "Sewing Site" is, though.

    I've had several similar experiences...and I'm very "car aware" as Dale, put it.

    We'll have to get together so I can check out the new ride!
     
  19. mini2kompressor

    mini2kompressor New Member

    Dec 26, 2009
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    yeah, erica. just call me or pm me on the hr site when you get some time.
    i think the sewing site they're refering to is mini2. check it out, it was funny, really. the thread got closed.
     
  20. xalfa

    xalfa New Member

    Nov 24, 2009
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    Holy [email protected]!! :eek6: I bet they didn't ask any questions. Let's hope somebody else assembled the block...
     

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