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Discussion Starter #1
I want to preface my story with the fact that I am not advocating people to stop or not do business with Mini Mania. Each person must make up thier own mind after getting all the information they can. I provide this as one cog of information so that the community can make a wise and informed decision.

On the 16th of July I placed the following order with MM.

Stage 3 Street Kit for 91 Octane. This includes the stage 1 cylinder head, throttle body, cam shark injector, 3 piece Pulley Upgrade, CAI, Exhaust, Plugs and a gasket kit.

High Performance Suspension Upgrade. This includes springs, shocks, adjustable read control arms, strut brace and rear sway bar.

StopTech Front Big Brake Kit.

StopTech Rear Slotted Rotors.

Nology Wires.

I was told all was in stock and my order would go out the next day by my customer service guy, Rich. Well a couple days later I call to check up and I am now told that there are parts not in stock. OK, these things happen. Not the end of the world, though annoying. To make this part of the story shorter I will simply say that after 3 different stories They finally ship most of the order minus the rear shocks and strut brace.

Upon receipt of the order I open up and inspect each part and proceed to find that the cylinder head had a major damage that is as plain as day. The hole where the chain tensioner enters the head is both significantly out of round and the rim is raised so had it been used there would have certainly been an oil leak. I was told by a VERY experienced mechanic that this head came from a wreck in his opinion. I immediately called MM and was told to return it and they shot out a new head the same day. Wow, I thought, OK...sh*t happens and they made good. I 'll live.

Well, I get the second head and open it up and begin to inspect it and find that the caps are missing!!! I speak to a machinist friend and he warns me not to use the caps off of my original head as there is a chance of the cam binding. At this point you can imagine I am pretty upset and once again MM accomodates me and takes the second head back no questions asked. I had decided at that point to have my own head polished and ported rather than doing anything more with MM.

Another service issue I feel they let me down on is the fact that the website says that you must have 17" wheels to accomodate the Stoptech Big Brake Kit. Well, let me tell you that that is about 10% of the whole story. The amount of 17" wheels that are confirmed to fit are counted on less than one hand! I know the buyer should be careful about these things but you would think that they could disclose more than "A 17" wheel is required..." and would have said how few wheels firt without spacers. My Volk LE37's needed 5mm spacers to fit.

I have not mentioned the fact that they also sent a 2003 exhaust when they new I had a 2004 car and in my extreme frustration decided to modify the bracket so it would fit rather than packing up one more huge carton to ship back.

There is my story in a nutshell. Again, this is not about bashing but more about letting my fellow MINI owners know what happened to me. I feel MM charges top dollar and should deliver top quality service. I invite any representative of Mini Mania to respond and tell thier side of this story. I am more than happy to hear what they have to say.

All I can say is this. ALWAYS pay with American Express if possible when using mail order or internet ordering. They will wipe the whole bill if you are messed around and will really go to bat for you.

I am still owed my credit as far as I know (over $6700) at this point as they received the 2nd head back yesterday but because of Amex I feel safe posting this now.
 

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Don MINIo
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I have not yet made a purchase through Mini Mania, so I have nothing to compare your nightmare with. That being said, I've heard mixed sentiment about them, and given your experience (horrendous), I might think twice before transacting with them...

For a good number of folks, I doubt they could even discern a good head from a damaged one, so it makes me wonder if there have been others. Will you try to sort things out with them at this point, or just wipe the slate clean with a full refund? I really feel for you. There are some good heads out there, so I hear. Given that this is your first post, let me/us know if you want a list of other MINI tuners - there are several.
 

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Im sorry to hear this story. I bought minimania swaybar kit before. They took care of me well. I was told that the kit was out of stock, but somehow they got it in stock and sent it out the same day. because I told them that I needed the kit rush for the upcoming track day.
The cyclinder head part is pretty messed up! I really hope ur custom P/P work would be perfect.
I don't think you should blame the big brake kit fitment on minimania, tho. Everyone should know that you must have the correct offset + 17" wheels to fit the BBK. Thats why alot of people like to go w/ Wilwood kit, because they mostly fit more offset w/ their smaller caliper heads.
Good luck!
 

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Discussion Starter #5
Back2DTM said:
Im sorry to hear this story. I bought minimania swaybar kit before. They took care of me well. I was told that the kit was out of stock, but somehow they got it in stock and sent it out the same day. because I told them that I needed the kit rush for the upcoming track day.
The cyclinder head part is pretty messed up! I really hope ur custom P/P work would be perfect.
I don't think you should blame the big brake kit fitment on minimania, tho. Everyone should know that you must have the correct offset + 17" wheels to fit the BBK. Thats why alot of people like to go w/ Wilwood kit, because they mostly fit more offset w/ their smaller caliper heads.
Good luck!

I am not blaming MM for the BBK issue. Simply saying that they could have easily mentioned on thier site about the Stoptech kit having so few 17" wheels that would fit giving me the opportunity to petentially choose another kit.
 

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Discussion Starter #6
TonyB said:
I have not yet made a purchase through Mini Mania, so I have nothing to compare your nightmare with. That being said, I've heard mixed sentiment about them, and given your experience (horrendous), I might think twice before transacting with them...

For a good number of folks, I doubt they could even discern a good head from a damaged one, so it makes me wonder if there have been others. Will you try to sort things out with them at this point, or just wipe the slate clean with a full refund? I really feel for you. There are some good heads out there, so I hear. Given that this is your first post, let me/us know if you want a list of other MINI tuners - there are several.

I have returned the heads and will keep the other parts. I think that I will not be able, in good faith, to buy from them again.
 

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Discussion Starter #7
If anyone would like to speak to me about this please PM me and I will give you my phone number. I would not want anyone to think I made ANY of this up.
 

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Mini Mod
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Sorry to hear that,
I think any of us that have done mods in the past have some horror stories to tell. I know I do but I gotta admit your's is worse than any I have.
Sounds like you'll have a nice car when you're done.
Give us an update.

That'll also keep you from looking like someone going to every MINI site posting this story for a little negative PR.
 

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i doubt anybody think that you made this up. sh*t happens buying parts online all the time. I lately tried to intsall a front strut bar from promini. the fitment was impossible to install. I called promini and they said that they know it happens to some mini and thats the way it is. I was told that I have to figure it out to make it fit. I had to do some custom cutting and it wasnt fun. well, now the retailer who sold me the strut bar will not sell it anymore.
So I totally understand your pain, especially those huge packages u had to ship back!
 

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Rondorr said:
I know the buyer should be careful about these things but you would think that they could disclose more than "A 17" wheel is required..." and would have said how few wheels firt without spacers. My Volk LE37's needed 5mm spacers to fit.
I'm sorry to hear about your experience. As others have stated, there is always the chance of such problems when you purchase online - I too have had my issues.

As I am planning on getting the stoptechs, I was just wondering what is the offset of your existing Volks?

Hope you get it all finished to your satisfaction :)
 

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Yikes! I placed an order with them shortly after the purchase of our PW/B '04 MCS. My first MINI aftermarket purchase. Couldn't have been simpler: one leather key fob. After a month went by without delivery I e-mailed to check the order status via their online "Contact Us" link. Two weeks later with no response I telephoned in to cancel the order. The explanation that I got was something along the lines of, "I thought [name] e-mailed you back to find out which one you wanted?". It would take a powerful incentive for me to consider doing business with them in the future.

Chris
 

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I feel your pain, and I really appreciate the fact that you are sharing your experience with us. Now I know there's another store I should avoid!!!
 

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Sorry to hear your story, i know how frustrating it is when you have these kind of problems when purchasing modifications from companys. I doubt anyone would think you made this up.

Sorry to see you have lost faith in this company, thanks for sharing your story.
 

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Discussion Starter #14
Amigo said:
I'm sorry to hear about your experience. As others have stated, there is always the chance of such problems when you purchase online - I too have had my issues.

As I am planning on getting the stoptechs, I was just wondering what is the offset of your existing Volks?

Hope you get it all finished to your satisfaction :)

The Volks are offset 42mm. However, offset isnt the only issue you must consider...spoke shape plays a big roll in this equation as the calipers are so large.

Stoptech makes excellent brales but I would probably look elsewhere for 17" wheels simply because of the limited choices.
 

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All I can say is this. ALWAYS pay with American Express if possible when using mail order or internet ordering. They will wipe the whole bill if you are messed around and will really go to bat for you.
The sense of security with Amex is illusory. They so badly mis-handled a returned item (120 days for them to even completely read my original complaint) that I ended up losing ~$1,800. Their negligence was only contributory, though, and not the principal reason I ended up getting stiffed.

After months of letters, e-mails and long phone calls I gave up on ever getting resolution. You are by no means 'protected' by them if the vendor wants to fight you. Caveat Emptor.

Jeff
 

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Sorry to hear about the MM problems. I have purchased a few things from them and no problems. Great customer service and smooth transaction. As others have said... buying parts online can be hit and miss. I had some problems with Moss MINI on one purchase and the others have been smooth. These things happen. I understand your frustration... you spend a lot of money with any company and you expect to get what you pay for. Good luck. Please post and update with your progress.

Sounds like you're going to have a screamin' MINI when you are done though!!!!
 

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Rondorr said:
The Volks are offset 42mm. However, offset isnt the only issue you must consider...spoke shape plays a big roll in this equation as the calipers are so large.

Stoptech makes excellent brales but I would probably look elsewhere for 17" wheels simply because of the limited choices.

you actually need +48 offset to fit StopTech and Rotora, just like wrxs.
 
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