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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Well got in my car to head to work this morning and had an ice puddle of water in my back seat as well as water dripping in from the same location the dealer claimed to have fixed. This is crazy, I'm about ready to return this POS car.

Howard
 

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Dang

Oh wow,

Now I'm convinced someone has a voodoo doll of your car. You are having the worst luck...you should really try to get rid of that stinker and start over fresh.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
ya

I dunno I do got some bad luck. Well I've talked to the Mini USA cooperate office and they are going to call the dealership for me. So will see what happens.

Howard
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Oh boy!

Just got off the Phone with Mini USA. Turns out they are seeing a certain percentage of Convertibles leaking water in the same location my car is. He said during testing they never saw it, but now that there is a lot of cars in the US they are starting to see it more and more.
He also said when my car was at the dealer the first time they tried and did duplicate the issue, but they really didn't know what they could do about it. (great so they just told me it was fixed) I was also one of the head tech people was visting service department today and they were going to talk to him about it.

This can't be good.

Howard
 

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New Top?

That makes me think: what if my roof gets vandalized (ie slashed with a knife). Are they capable of replacing the whole roof? (you think they would have to be capable of that).

That said...they should completely replace your roof Howard...none of this bubble gum and tin foil fix that you got the last time.

Just tell them that you're growing very "disgruntled"...people don't like to hear angry people in this country use that phrase, and that should scare 'em :)
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
hmm

Ok just got off the phone with my service advisor and he informs me they do not have a fix for the leak, but Mini is working on it. So I was like could it take a week or could it take 6 months. But he couldn't really give me an answer, so I said what do I do when it rains. He told me to carry a towel in the car. Ok that seems like a bad answer.

Howard
 

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Oh my God...

He honestly told you to carry a towel in your car?? Man, how did you keep your cool with that one?? They need to replace that top of yours...what terrible customer service you're receiving.

I would tell MiniUSA about that towel comment. :mad:
 

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What's this red line for?
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I agree. Howard, you should put some pressure on your dealer and get some names and file a complaint with your state's consumer affairs division. Perhaphs your state has a lemon law and it could be applied here. I can't believe the towel comment. Ask for a district manager or something. You are definitely getting a raw deal :mad:
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
Not sure what else to do

Both MiniUSA and the dealer know there is a problem with the roof, though they both keep pawning it back to the other. Other then calling BMW, I seem to be out of options and I'm assuming the Mini Dealer won't want to hold the car because they know if they have it to long it falls under the Lemom law in Virginia.

Howard
 

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Benny the Yellow Cab
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MadisonMini said:
Well, I think to get the most answers, I would talk to a consumer affairs lawyer in your area and find out what your options are.
I'd find a good regional consumer protection radio or TV show....perhaps a local news outlet that does consumer protection segments.... see if they're interested...then go to the dealer and let them know that insufficient action will result in lots of publicity.

Here in Denver it's Tom Martino's radio show. My wife volunteers and is a sponsor... when people call from the Help Center to "discuss the problem" with a dealer they usually sit up and take notice right quick as an audience in the hundreds of thousands means something to them.


Peter...in Denver
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
great

just what I need to do, **** off the people who will be servicing my car for the new 3+ years. I'm sure that will make for a plesant run.


Howard
 

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We are lucky that there are three Mini dealers in the DC metro area plus Richmond which isn't too far away. Clearly driving to Towson or Annapolis is not what you want to do, but if you can't get St*rling to treat you with the respect you deserve, you can (thankfully) take your business elsewhere without too much inconvenience.

Barring that, you could adopt a pseduonym and carry an extra set of tags whenever you schedule your maintenance. (just kidding of course :D).

Have you had a chance to talk with the service guys in Richmond, Towson or Annapolis to see if they have more helpful guidance?
 

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howardpm said:
just what I need to do, **** off the people who will be servicing my car for the new 3+ years. I'm sure that will make for a plesant run.


Howard
I'm not sure who you are talking to at MiniUSA, but I would suggest staying internal a little bit more before going the public route.

1) You are mentioning the Service Advisor is the one you are talking to at the dealer. You should escalate above the service advisor and talk to the Service Manger.

How much water are you actually referring to? An ounce, 12 ounces?

2) If you are already speaking to the Service Manager, then you should also talk to your Sales Manager at the dealership. The Sales Manager has some lateral power in the dealership. If the Service Advisor or Sales Manager is making customers angry, then that will eventually translate into decreased sales for the dealership.

3) On the MiniUSA side, ask to speak with the manager of the person you've been talking to. If they are not able to give you a plan of action, then ask to speak to their manager.

Keep in mind that any organization lives and dies by its customers. When dealing with a sales based company such as Mini, there are going to be several rungs on the ladder. With an organization as large as Mini there will be some rungs that won't be as helpful as others; But if you work up the rungs you will get to someone who can solve the problem one way or another.

With each conversation make sure you write down:
Date/Time of your conversation
Who you were talking with
Rough notes of the conversation.

Make firm demands for follow up dates and actions. Even if it is as simple as I want an update in 5 days with what has occurred. Even you have to write down nothing happened.

When speaking with a new rung up the ladder, Explain your concern about spending so much money on a new car only to be experiencing the merry-go-round.

I would also document all of your conversations, concerns, and problems in a formal letter. Send the letter via Certified Mail, Signature required to

Tom Purves, Chairman
BMW of North America, LLC
300 Chestnut Ridge Road
Woodcliff Lake, NJ 07677

In your letter, you should also state what is an acceptable outcome for you.
For example,
"I think you would agree that having a pool of water in my back seat whenever it rains is not acceptable. Would you accept the proposed solution of placing a towel in your car, as a reasonable one? Since the Service Advisor at xxxxx Mini dealership is unable to determine how to fix the problem, I am asking for you to please intercede with repairing my car appropriately. In my estimation, since the dealer claims they are unable to repair the root source of the leak, then this means that BMW North America should either a) Replace the entire roof to correct the leak or b) provide me with a replacement Mini in the interest of using mine for engineering defect analysis.

I look forward to hearing your expeditious response for repairing my waterlogged Mini."

Be sure to include the VIN at the top of your letter. This type of letter should, hopefully, elicit an immediate response from the organization. I would also send a CC of the letter to the General Manager of your Mini Dealership.

Be nice, but be FIRM in your dealings with the individuals; it will probably get you more in the long run. You need to get the people involved who have leverage organizationally and financially, and that won't be the Service Advisor for a problem like this.

Good Luck and Let us know how it goes!

MacGuruTx
 

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Discussion Starter · #16 ·
thanks

Thanks for the info. I'll give MiniUSA a final call on Monday and see what they say. So far I've talked to 1 person at MiniUSA and my service advisor at the dealership. For some reason the BMW/Mini Service Manager will not call me. Even though he told the MiniUSA rep he would. He keeps having the service advisor call me. Calling my dealership really won't do me any good since I'm not going to the day dealer for service I bought it and all they tell me is bring it in and they will look at it, but since driving my car back 100+ miles to the dealer I bought it, isn't going to happen.

I'm really not sure how many ounces it is, but when the car is moving and its raing its close to a steady stream coming in the back window. Doesn't seem to be an issue when the car is stationary. But its enough water that its leaving water stains on my rear passenger seat.

Howard
 

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Benny the Yellow Cab
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howardpm said:
just what I need to do, **** off the people who will be servicing my car for the new 3+ years. I'm sure that will make for a plesant run.


Howard
Ok..so MacGuruTx presents a more logical approach in contrast to my media bomb ;) but..just as with the 2 x 4 and the mule..the idea is to get the attention of the people in the organization and let them know that you're through playing around with this.

At the Martino show...most problems go away when the help center person calls the dealer...they never get to the "on air" stage or if they do it's because the problem was fixed and then the dealer gets a glowing thanks for being on top of it.

If it were me...and God knows it might be since I haven't had mine outside in the rain yet... that towel deal would have run me right off the rails.

Whichever path you choose...pi**ing off the dealership would be the last thing on my list of concerns....if they haven't fallen over themselves to fix this properly by now they aren't sufficiently concerned about you and that's probably how they run the shop in general....so...becoming the baddest son of a b*tch in the valley..so to speak...will insure that they don't mess with you any longer..and that would seem to be the way you have to do things with this dealer.

I,too, await further updates!


Peter..in Denver
 

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The fact that the Service Manger is supposed to call you, but the SA keeps doing it is one of the things to highlight in a letter. I'm confident that the top of the organization believes in Customer Service and will respond to failures. As an executive manager there is nothing worse then getting the news that someone at a management level in your organization is not following through with your business creed.

Ok, so since you didn't buy the car from this dealership, then leave the Sales manager out. But I would still copy the GM of the dealership.

If you can get a picture of the water stains, then I'd send those as well. It illustrates to the Chairman (or probably his exec assistant who will read the letter and then assign it to someone's hotbox) that you aren't talking about some drops of water on your rear seat. You're talking about something that is damaging your vehicle due to a defect. This highlights that you are a reasonable person.

Reasonable is part of the key here. You want to come across as I'm just this nice guy getting screwed by the System and a Service Manager's failure to follow up on HIS responsibilities. "Help Me!" The service advisors and dealerships are competively rated internally on service satisfaction so the machine will be on your side once you get to the right cog.

Now if you haven't heard from anyone within 5 working days of getting your delivery receipt back from BMW via the USPS, then you should proceed down Peter's route. This sets you up even better with the expose type organization. Theme they like is little guy vs the behometh/Bad guy. Geez, you've gone all the way to contacting the top of the organization and they are ignoring you, my gosh, we do need to teach them a lesson.

I"m with Peter though for sure. Telling me to put a towel in the back seat would have been my last straw. If I wasn't at the dealership, I'd have gone over there and said I want to see the service manger now. If the SM isn't there, then who is his boss and bring me to him. That comment was condescending and minimizing the seriousness of the problem. It's even worse that your car can't be more then 3 months old at this point.

The other option here, although I understand the distance (my dealer is 90 miles from me) is to suck it up and schedule the car into them. Then you can use the Sales Manger to help advocate for you.

I feel your pain though... I took my car to the dealer on Friday for a paint repair on my aero kit and a windsheild replacement. The replacement windshield was defective and they didn't have another so they put me in a loaner car till they get one in (Mine being completely topless now!). I don't think they would have done the loaner without some prior relationship building on another problem I had. But in the meantime, I'm driving a loaner back home and have a car until they fix the problem. So this may help you also... Doesn't hurt to call your MA/Sales Manager and ask for their help.

MacGuruTX
 

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Another thing that may be helpful is to actually video the rain coming into your car...that may be tough to due for technical reasons, but the more evidence you can muster the better.
 

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Discussion Starter · #20 ·
Ok guess its time for a letter

Called MiniUSA today again. Basically I told the rep who I've been working with that the servi ce advisor telling me to bring a towel when it rains is unacceptable. And that I bought a brand new car and I feel like I'm their ginni pig for issues with it. All he could basically say was they are working on the issue, they don't have a time frame. When I mentioned the Lemon Law issue, he basically said its not a safety issue. And when I mentioned about replacing the roof or the car itself he said they would never do that. So I guess I'm out of options to call and write BMW.


Howard
 
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