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BMW Customer Service


Busby
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Strap yourself in for this because it's a bit of a saga......

 

A few Sundays ago I was out on my HP4 Carbon first thing in the morning.  On the way home at around 0730 I got a rear puncture.  Bummer.

 

I stopped the bike somewhere flat and level, placing it on the side stand whilst calling BMW Emergency Assistance.  Whilst I waited for them to call back to tell me how long recovery would take the bike fell over to the right - away from the side stand. Massive bummer!

 

Upon picking it up I realised that it had fell because once the rear tyre was completely devoid of any at all, the side stand will not hold the bike up.  It seems that the combination of a 200 section rear tyre and dynamic suspension (which has no play without the ignition switched on) mean that once the rear tyre is flat the bike tips past 90 degrees and falls.

 

So, BMW Emergency Assistance call back - recovery will be an hour.  I tell them what has happened and they log it.  I spend the next 80 minutes sitting on the bike at the roadside (not dangerous at all) and the recovery chap turns up.  He can't believe the bike won't stand up and says he has never seen anything like it.

 

I'm dropped home and the bike is put on my paddock stands in the garage.  I speak to BMW customer services a few times on Monday/Tuesday and on Friday of that week the bike is collected and taken to my local dealer (also the supplying dealer) - Clarks BMW.  The people that collect it that time also can't believe how the stand won't work with a flat rear and have to take my paddock stands so the bike can be left at Clarks safely!

 

Clarks call once they have the bike.  Add another to the list of people who can't believe that it won't stand up by itself with a flat rear tyre!  They are fantastic, really apologetic and say they will speak with BMW Tech Support and Customer Services to help get things sorted.

 

Repair Cost - £2500!  BMW Customer Services response - nothing to do with us, the bike isn't faulty and I should have parked it more safely!  Clarks get in touch with BMW HQ and a Customer Service Manager (Andy).  Andy is asked:

 

  1. Is it reasonable to think you might get a puncture at some point whilst owning the bike?
  2. Is it reasonable to expect the bike to stand up by itself if/when it does get a puncture?

Andy answers yes to both questions............ and then goes on to say there is no fault and I should claim on my insurance!

 

Clarks continue to argue that there is an issue with the bike but to no avail.  I call customer services to try and escalate things before seeking legal advice.  They escalate it to.........yes, you've guessed it.......Andy!  Clearly that ends going nowhere.

 

Thus I am forced to issue Small Claims Court papers against BMW to try and recover the repair costs as I consider the issue with the stand to be 100% responsible for the damage caused.  At the initial stage of a small claim you only get 1000 characters (not words, characters) to detail the claim so you have to be fairly brief and simply give an overview.  You also cannot attach additional information such as bills, receipts or photographs.

 

Today I received a response from BMW UK - see attached letter.  Very passive aggressive and also questioning why I have not included evidence of the loss or fault - see above for how the small claims process works.  Good work from the BMW legal team for not understanding that. I have just informed Clarks about this and have been met with disbelief.  (By the way, the bit about the company name annoyed me too as the original company details/address were provided by their staff!)

 

So, what do you lot think?  Am I being unreasonable?  Are BMW being unreasonable not accepting responsibility - even when one of their own dealers tells them there is an issue?

 

I have asked BMW countless times what I am meant to do at the roadside (especially the motorway) when the bikes gets a puncture.  They seem to think it's acceptable to have to stand on the hard shoulder holding the bike upright.  I disagree.  I also wonder what would happen if the bike (which weighs 440 lbs) was on the side stand in the garage with a slow puncture or leaking valve, gradually becoming more upright until it falls on my daughter or the cat?  Seemingly that's okay too as there is no design issue or fault with the bike.

 

This has spoiled the whole HP4 thing for me by the way.  It will be appearing in a classified section somewhere veery soon indeed.  Way to go BMW, thanks for turning the dream bike that I worked my ass off to save up for into a complete and utter nightmare.  As Derek D would say, "You're doing it wrong."

 

Thanks for sticking with this if you made it to the end! Oh and please feel free to link to this in as many places as you see fit  :)

 

post-2650-0-09390500-1402051543_thumb.jp

 

post-2650-0-65387600-1402051552_thumb.jp

Edited by Busby
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Doesn't sound like a very nice situation. It always amazes me when default responses to this type of thing is "It's not out fault" and they don't actually consider what it is they're saying.

 

Good luck, hopefully it will get sorted adequately +++

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Absolutely shocking!  I am literally about to put a deposit down on a S1000r.... If that's how they treat you when you buy a 20k superbike,  I will think again!!!

 

The dealer has been great and the customer service "bods on the phones" all agree with me too - unfortunately BMW themselves have been an utter nightmare.

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Doesn't sound like a very nice situation. It always amazes me when default responses to this type of thing is "It's not out fault" and they don't actually consider what it is they're saying.

 

Good luck, hopefully it will get sorted adequately +++

 

Thanks mate.

 

It has amazed me too.  I was shocked when BMW management got involved that it wasn't sorted quickly and after sending the court papers I expected I might get a call apologising but they decided to send a threatening letter instead.

 

I guess this is what big companies do - they really don't give a toss!

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That's a not surprising response from a firm of solicitors, simply using technicalities, but it's a disgusting representation of the way BMW treats customers.

As far as i'm concerned, if I were to buy a BMW bike from a BMW dealer, then BMW are responsible for it, saying they aren't because the dealers are 'independant' and that BMW UK don't build them is frankly ridiculous.

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I am no legal eagle, but this is what I would be doing. (after seeking proper legal advice)

 

Firstly cancel the original claim on the basis that you were given the wrong details.

 

Secondly re claim on the correct company details on the basis that they have sold a product that is not fit for purpose (the trading standards will probably be interested too) in that it is not capable of doing something that it could reasonably be expected to do. It therefore is not of merchantable quality.

 

Aside of this the response & design is shocking in the least!

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I am no legal eagle, but this is what I would be doing. (after seeking proper legal advice)

 

Firstly cancel the original claim on the basis that you were given the wrong details.

 

Secondly re claim on the correct company details on the basis that they have sold a product that is not fit for purpose (the trading standards will probably be interested too) in that it is not capable of doing something that it could reasonably be expected to do. It therefore is not of merchantable quality.

 

Aside of this the response & design is shocking in the least!

 

 

+++

 

RoSPA were quite interested too as stats for being killed on the hard shoulder are quite alarming.

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BMW (and probably all major brands to be fair) are like this.

 

Anything 'design related' isn't their fault and so it's your fault for 'doing soemthing wrong'.

Same with the gearbox issue in the early 3.0d X5's/Jag S-Types.

 

Good luck and stick with it.  Be prepared for lots of wrangles and time wasting on BMW's part.  They will try to drag it out at a cost of £x000s to you in the hope you give up.

Afterall, they don't want to have to 'fix' all these stands at a cost of £xxx000s to them.

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Latest news - I sent details to Tim Abbott (the UK MD) who responded within a few hours so that's fantastic.

 

He has asked a customer services manager to investigate and provided me a number to speak directly to that person.  I spoke with him and guess what......... it's still nothing to do with BMW!

 

AAARRRRRRFFFFFGGGGHHHHH!!!

 

They have acknowledged that the bike fell from the stand because the tyre was flat.  They have acknowledged that it should stand up under those circumstances.  They have acknowledged that the dealer and bike removal people also saw that it wouldn't stand by itself.  They have acknowledged that the dealer needed my paddock stands to hold the bike up at the showroom.  And yet, there is no fault!

 

The customer services chap is going to have another chat with the dealer so we'll see if that goes anywhere.  I don't expect much as the dealer has already told them 100 times that the bike wouldn't stand up and they needed my stand.

 

Meanwhile from a legal standpoint the wife (who happens to be a member of the bar and hails from Glasgow) is on the case.  She's gone out to colleagues who handled contract/consumer law (as she mainly dealt with criminal) so I will let them handle the response back to the paralegal at BMW.

 

Panigale R next maybe? 

 

Happy days.

Edited by Busby
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As far as i'm concerned, if I were to buy a BMW bike from a BMW dealer, then BMW are responsible for it, saying they aren't because the dealers are 'independant' and that BMW UK don't build them is frankly ridiculous.

 

Whether you think it's ridiculous is irrelevant to the supplying contract law. You need to work out who is responsible in contract I would have thought? I'd have been raising the claim against the dealer I purchased from, not the manufacturer. The manufacturer is the dealer's issue, not the end users.

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Just a minor, but probably quite important point.

 

BMW UK, or whatever they call themselves today, are right in that you don't / didn't have a contract with them.

 

Your dealer may have been nice and helpful - but they haven't faced up to their responsibilities.

 

Your contract is with the dealer - and UK consumer law would expect you to take action against the dealer, not the importer or manufacturer.

 

drpellypo... BMW UK don't make motorbikes. BMW Motorrad are the bike manufacturers. A technicality, maybe - but most legal process relies on getting the technicalities correct.

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Just a minor, but probably quite important point.

 

BMW UK, or whatever they call themselves today, are right in that you don't / didn't have a contract with them.

 

Your dealer may have been nice and helpful - but they haven't faced up to their responsibilities.

 

Your contract is with the dealer - and UK consumer law would expect you to take action against the dealer, not the importer or manufacturer.

 

drpellypo... BMW UK don't make motorbikes. BMW Motorrad are the bike manufacturers. A technicality, maybe - but most legal process relies on getting the technicalities correct.

 

I'll let the wife's contacts handle this side of things.

 

Their initial reaction to the letter from BMW was, "That's utter horseshit" so I'm sure the response they are going to pen will position things very clearly for them.

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