Just visited a BMW dealership. Very unsatisfied!

Discussion in 'Community Discussion' started by anubis, May 10, 2006.

  1. anubis macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Feb 7, 2003
    #1
    Hey all. You might remember me as the guy who's about to start a new job and is looking to spend about $45,000 on a new car. The cars I'm considering are the Lexus ES350, IS350, and GS300, the BMW Z4 and 330i, the Acura TL, the Infiniti G35, and the Mercedes C350.

    Well, I went out today and spend some time at two dealerships: Hoy-Fox Lexus of El Paso and BMW of El Paso.


    I'll start off with the good. First off, let me just say that I do look very young. I'm only 22 and probably look 20. I don't have Franklins falling out of every pocket. So, I think it would be really easy for any salesperson to look at me and think, "This clown's a GS-1 and is just going to waste my time." But from the moment I stepped foot inside the Lexus dealership, they treated me like royalty. The salesperson I had made an appointment with wasn't immediately available, but they repeatedly appologized and offered me and the friend I was with free water and sodas.

    Then the salesman came out and he was an all-around classy guy. I explained to him that I was just graduating and that I wasn't going to buy a new car for at least a couple of months. He assured me that would be no problem. I told him I wanted to look at an ES350. He spent several minutes asking me detailed questions about what I'm looking for in a car. Then, we went out to the car. He got in the driver's seat and started the car to get the air conditioner going. Then we sat there for half an hour and showed me EVERYTHING in the car. He gave me a tutorial on the navigation system and pointed out and showed me every last detail about every function and gadget inside the car. He made sure I didn't have any questions. Then he drove it for about 15 minutes, letting me really feel what the car was like as far as smoothness and quietness. Then he pulled over and let me drive it for about 15 minutes. He encouraged me to floor it and really test the vehicle out. Then when we got back, he showed me many consumer reports magazines which rated Lexus as a brand much higher than other luxury brands. He also pointed out that the ES350 was a "recommended buy" according to Consumer Reports, while Mercedes had no "recommended buys". He also pointed out that BMW and Mercedes were much worse in terms of reliability and maintainence costs. In fact, he showed me a Consumer Reports chart which had Mercedes listed DEAD LAST in terms of "Number of problems per 100 vehicles that needed service". Lexus was of course rated first. Then, he let me leave the dealership without any pressure to buy the vehicle. All in all, I've decided Lexus is a classy outfit that makes a quality product. The things I liked about the ES350 were the smoothness, quietness, and perfection of the interior design. The things I didn't like about the ES350 were relatively low power (275hp V6, but automatic transmission and the car is huge anyway), the sluggish handling (it felt like I was driving an elephant), and the fact that it looks like they glued 800 pounds of useless trim on the outside.

    Then I went to the BMW dealership. As soon as I walked in, a "service" man asked me what I was doing. I told him I had made an appointment over the phone to test drive a Z4. He asked me who I talked to. I told him I didn't remember. He gave me a REALLY DIRTY look and was like "OOOK, you don't remember. whatever." and rolled his eyes. Then he was like "OK, i'll find you someone" in a really demeaning and negative tone. Then he came back (with no salesperson) and asked what I had in my hand. I told him I had printed out a checklist of attributes so that I could write down details about each car for later reference and to remind me about the details of each car. Again, he gave me a really dirty look and was like "OOOOOOK". So, I turned to my friend and was like "dude, that guy's being a dick" and he agreed with me. Then the salesman finally came out. You know "honest Gil" on the Simpsons? This dude looked AND ACTED exactly like him. He said it was his second day on the job. He literally knew nothing about the Z4. I had to explain to him what the premium package was, and he had no idea how to operate anything on the interior of the car. A very short 5 minute test drive later, I was back at the dealership.

    Well, because the Z4 is a two-seater, I couldn't take my friend with me, so he went and sat in a couch in the dealership to watch some TV. Well, I guess the "service" guy who was so rude to me earlier must have overheard me calling him a dick. So he must not have seen my friend sitting in the couch and my friend actually told me he overheard the following: "Can you believe that guy called me a dick? He's the dick! Who does he think he is coming in here with a checklist? That's what I'm here for! He's supposed to ask me questions! I ****ing hate these college pricks who come in here looking for a new car. They think they're hot ****. And what's the deal with his little buddy? He had to bring his little friend along?". At that point, my friend stood up and was like "WHO, YOU MEAN ME?". Then the guy was like "ooh, well, yeah. Where do you get off calling me a dick? You should tell your little buddy that he's ****ing stupid for bringing a checklist into a car dealership." Then, according to my friend, the guy started approaching him like he wanted to start a fight! All of this trash talking actually happened in front of other customers too, who apparently also walked out. Then finally, a manager must have seen the commotion and took the "service" guy by the shoulders and escorted him out of the building. At that moment, I walked in from my brief test drive. I talked to the sales person and the manager about colors for about 2 minutes, and that was it. They didn't tell me ANYTHING about the reliability of the car, or how it compared to other vehicles, or ask me if I was satisfied with the car. Furthermore, they didn't once offer me or my friend an appology for the behavior of the service guy.

    Overall, I am EXTREMELY disappointed in the service at BMW. When I go into a luxury car dealership, I expect to be treated like royalty. I might expect that kind of behavior out of a Hyundai dealership, but not a premium brand. I'm the customer; if I want to bring in a checklist, that's my business! If I want to call a service guy a dick because he was treating me like trash, that's also my business! It reeks of unprofessionalism for them to treat a customer that way, whether he's 20 or 50. They're smoking dope if they think I'm going to spend $45k on a new car after the way they treated me and my friend. If today was any indication of how they treat their customers, I want nothing to do with BMW. It's a shame too, because I really liked the Z4.

    So, ignoring the cars, let's compare service. The Lexus dealership treated me like a king. The salesman was very knowledgeable, professional, and courteous. He took the time to really get to know me and to let me get to know him and the vehicle. The BMW dealership treated me like trash, like the lowest form of life on Earth. The salesman was clueless, and the service department was utterly rude, disrespectful, and unprofessional. If I had to pick a car based on how they treat their customers, BMW would be lower than Hyundai.
     
  2. mkrishnan Moderator emeritus

    mkrishnan

    Joined:
    Jan 9, 2004
    Location:
    Grand Rapids, MI, USA
    #2
    I'd suggest it's good to not over-generalize, but it sounds like you had a really awful experience at that BMW dealer.... :( I have actually been to fair BMW dealers. Lexus does a fairly nice job with their dealerships, though, in all fairness.
     
  3. 2nyRiggz macrumors 603

    2nyRiggz

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    Thank you Jah...I'm so Blessed
  4. jsw Moderator emeritus

    jsw

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    Mar 16, 2004
    Location:
    Andover, MA
    #4
    Keep in mind that, while it's nice to be treated well, you'll never see the sales guy again and will work only with the service department. If you're graduating and moving out of town, it'll be a different service department than the one there. On the other hand, you'll be in the car you buy more or less every single day. Buy the car you want, not the dealership (but check out the service departments).
     
  5. atszyman macrumors 68020

    atszyman

    Joined:
    Sep 16, 2003
    Location:
    The Dallas 'burbs
    #5
    Beware of that situation with BMWs though. One of my coworker's wives got an X5. They've been in and out for service roughly every month since they've had it. They've complained to BMW corporate who won't do anything since dealerships are independently owned, the service department makes excuses since the car wasn't bought at that dealership, and the original dealership claims that the problems wouldn't be happening if they had been bringing it there for service (they live approximately 4 hours away). After watching this for the past couple years I've convinced myself that we will never buy a BMW. I'd stick to Acura or Lexus.
     
  6. imac9556 macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Jul 12, 2004
    #6
    Yeah, Lexus dealership in Kansas City (Superior Lexus) treats everyone with respect and like a king. The salesman and service people are extremely helpful and nice. I would recommend Lexus for reliablity and service. My family has a 1999 Lexus RX300 and drive 100,000miles+ on it. It still works perfectly and no problems.
     
  7. yg17 macrumors G5

    yg17

    Joined:
    Aug 1, 2004
    Location:
    St. Louis, MO
    #7
    Hey, now don't stereotype, my Hyundai dealership treats me like royalty....maybe it's because we've bought 3 cars from them in less than 2 years, but even before buying the second car, I was treated very well :p


    Anyways, I wouldn't neccesarily blame BMW, I would blame the dealer (as they're independently owned and operated). It's like blaming Sony because the guy at Best Buy who sold you a Sony TV was a prick. Although contacting BMW certainly wouldn't hurt, as they have the final say as to whether or not the dealer can sell BMWs in the first place, and if they get enough complaints, I'm sure BMW would do something. If you're still interested in the Z4 (which you should be, it's a freaking Z4 :D), you should try another BMW dealer in the area, maybe you'll have better luck.
     
  8. anubis thread starter macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Feb 7, 2003
    #8
    You bring up a very good point. I'm probably going to try the BMW dealership in Tucson to see if it's any better. I'm also going to call the managment at the El Paso dealership tomorrow to tell them that they need to get their service personel under control because it cost them a sale today. Nothing will probably be done about it, but that's ok, I'm never going back there ever again.

    And, sorry for stereotyping Hyundai. The new Sonata V6 is actually quite a respectable vehicle and I know they're reliable. It's just easiest to pick on Hyundai. Or maybe I should have gone for Kia. ;)
     
  9. yg17 macrumors G5

    yg17

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    Aug 1, 2004
    Location:
    St. Louis, MO
    #9
    Haha, don't worry....I'm used to taking **** for driving a Hyundai :D
     
  10. anubis thread starter macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Feb 7, 2003
    #10
    We all know the important part is that you have a Powermac. Everything else is tertiary.
     
  11. yg17 macrumors G5

    yg17

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    Aug 1, 2004
    Location:
    St. Louis, MO
    #11
    Also, if you don't mind me asking, and feel free to not answer, but what sort of job do you have and what kind of salary are you making to be able to afford such a nice car right out of college?

    I'm graduating in 2 years and the average starting salary for my major (MIS/IT) is in the mid 40k range, and there's nothing I want to do more than buy a nice car (I'm thinkin A4) once I graduate, but I have no idea if a mid 40 salary will allow me to buy a $35k car (i'd finance of course). Just kinda curious to see if my ideal graduation present to myself is a reality or a dream.
     
  12. anubis thread starter macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Feb 7, 2003
    #12

    I started another thread a few days ago asking for peoples' inputs on various models of cars, and I explained it there. But because I don't feel like searching for it, and i'm not a jerk who would just tell you to find it yourself, i'll go ahead and retype it ;)

    This saturday I'm graduating from New Mexico State with a bachelor's degree in electrical engineering. After many, many unsuccessful interviews, I got two job offers. One was with the government and it paid $50,449/yr. The second was with Raytheon in Tucson and it pays $61k/year starting base salary plus $3k signing bonus with yearly salary increases. I calculated that after state and federal taxes, rent, utilities, insurance, gas, groceries, parking tolls, health insurance, clothes, and 401(k) contribution, my extra spendable cash each month will be $1,566. A $45k car with $4k down payment would cost less than $800/month with a standard 60-month loan at 7%. That's half of my extra spendable cash each month. I figure I could spend half of the remaining half on going out, electronics, etc. and the other half of the remaining half would go into a savings account for an eventual down payment on a house.
     
  13. jsw Moderator emeritus

    jsw

    Joined:
    Mar 16, 2004
    Location:
    Andover, MA
    #13
    Best of luck with it all!

    My brother works in Tucson as a thermal engineer for Raytheon and likes it - he's been there almost 10 years.

    Edit: and in Tucson, you do not want a black car. White, silver, something reflective.
     
  14. yg17 macrumors G5

    yg17

    Joined:
    Aug 1, 2004
    Location:
    St. Louis, MO
    #14
    Congrats on the job. I figure if I'm making less than you, but buying a cheaper car, I should be able to do it :D. Granted, I don't know any actual figures, where I'd be living, and taxes.


    May 2008 can't get here soon enough.
     
  15. Counterfit macrumors G3

    Counterfit

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    #15
    Well, I'm pretty sure the same kind of disparity wouldn't exist at the Lexus and BMW dealerships in RI.
     
  16. yg17 macrumors G5

    yg17

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    #16

    Or at Plaza in St. Louis.
     
  17. aquajet macrumors 68020

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    Feb 12, 2005
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    VA
    #17
    You shouldn't expect this from any dealership, Hyundai, BMW or Lambo. It's simply bad business.

    If you're serious about the BMW, venture out a bit further and look for a better dealership.

    I would have written a letter to the local paper myself... :mad:
     
  18. 4God macrumors 68020

    4God

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    #18

    Wish I had a Lexus :(
     
  19. savar macrumors 68000

    savar

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    Jun 6, 2003
    Location:
    District of Columbia
    #19
    you can't blame the dealer's shortcomings on the manufacturer.

    but out of those cars i'd go with the acura or infiniti. i really like bmw but those two cars are really nice, and the acura is extremely reliable. if you want a sportier car than the TL acura has the rsx and tsx which are kinda cool.
     
  20. Mike Teezie macrumors 68020

    Mike Teezie

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    Nov 20, 2002
    #20
    That's a shame.

    For what it's worth, the best customer service I've ever had in my life was from the local BMW dealership.

    The guy who sold me my car called me every couple of months at home to make sure I was still enjoying it. He had the same car, and would ask me if I liked this or that, was impressed with the handling, etc.
     
  21. devilot Moderator emeritus

    devilot

    Joined:
    May 1, 2005
    #21
    I drive a 2004 MINI cooper S. So I get treated like a second class citizen any time I need to go into a certain BMW dealership *cough*allisonbmw*cough*. Yup. I made an appointment 9 weeks in advance (they were all booked :rolleyes: ), brought my car in before they even opened, and by 4PM still hadn't received a phone call. Mind you, this was to figure out why my hatch would close, but the light would still say it was open. I phone in at 4:30PM and they tell me that they haven't even looked at my car yet and they'd keep it over night and check it out the next day. WTF. Why did I bother making an appointment and bringing it in so early, then? Hmph. So I just said I'd pick my car up.

    That's why, instead of a mere 20 minute drive, I go wayyyyy out of my way, about a 45 minute drive to a different, and much better dealership *EastBay MINI/BMW*. It's a heck of a drive, but honestly, the service is so much better.
     
  22. calyxman macrumors 6502a

    calyxman

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    Apr 17, 2005
    #22
    Don't take it personally, but to come fresh out of college and purchase a luxury automobile, even if you could afford the monthly payment, would not seem the prudent thing to do. But hey, it's your money so all the power to you.
     
  23. pseudobrit macrumors 68040

    pseudobrit

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    Jul 23, 2002
    Location:
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    #23
    Ignore the cars?

    You buying the car or a salesman?

    Of course you got treated like a king at the Lexus dealer and of course they showed you nice reviews of their product. That's their job. The BMW dealer didn't do their job. Well, that's part of their job. First they sell you on the product and then they go about trying to separate you from as much of your money as they can.

    I still say 330 or G35 are your best bets, especially because you can row your own gears. Slushbox saps the fun out of driving. If you can afford a $45k car you can afford to take care of it. If you can't budget $1500/yr for repairs and maintenance once it's out of warranty get a cheaper car.
     
  24. iGary Guest

    iGary

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    Randy's House
    #24
    While I'll admit that people with Consumer Reports magazines, checklists and things of that sort tucked under their arm used to really get on my tits when I sold cars in a previous life, I never led on to the fact...you should write a letter to BMW USA in regards to how you were treated.

    Definitely mention the silver platter service you got at Lexus, too.
     
  25. Dont Hurt Me macrumors 603

    Dont Hurt Me

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    Location:
    Yahooville S.C.
    #25
    Your Hyundai remarks is hard for me to fathom, my wife just bought a new Elanatra and it was the best new car experience we have ever had. Hyundai was terrific,no hard sales push,knowledgeable and gave us a great deal and my wife just loves her Elantra. 10 yr powertrain warranty, Had to say this. Plus iI love the car.
     

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