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Discussion Starter #1
I sent my dealer MINI representative my first e-mail, since my August 2001 signup, asking when the dealership expected to receive its dealership agreement and what position I was on their interest list. This was the return e-mail I received.:( (color and font reproduced as received)



From: Ray Velasquez
Subject: RE: MINI Cooper

Hi, sorry but I have to be really blunt:

YOU ARE ON THE LIST AND JUST NEED TO RELAX!!!!

I WILL CALL YOU WHEN IT IS TIME
TO GET YOUR DEPOSIT. PLEASE DO NOT SEND ME ANY MORE EMAILS OR PHONE CALLS

(except if your email or phone number
changes). I have 650 people on this waiting list
that are constantly contacting me and I simply
can not keep up.

Thank you for understanding,

Ray



Notice that I never received an answer to my original question nor any suggestion as to how or when it might be answered. I think that this shows that when MINI USA chose their MINI dealers, that the dealer's CSI (customer service index) did not figure very high in the selection process.
 

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karmuze said:
...This was the return e-mail I received....
Un-&%&*@#%-believeable! :eek:

Care to tell (warn) us which customer-focused MINI dealer that is from?
 

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That sort of behaviour from that dealer is not to be tolerated. BMW/MINI representatives should be able to communicate in a civilized professional manner that reflects the product that they are representing. The inappropriate use of internet technology by a servant of the public is a window to their soul, bad karma indeed.

Don't buy from this dealer - how do you think you would be treated if you had a problem.
 

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What an A-Hole

I trust you have forwarded this to BMWNA and MiniUSA. I would imagine no matter how long the list is for cars at this guy's particlar dealership they would want to have a word with him.

What dealership does old Ray work for anyway? We *should* be naming names here as our only protection against this type of attitude and other attributes of poor dealership performance is the pool of knowledge we have here at MINI2. If we are willing to bi*ch to MINI and they hear the same complaint enough, I trust they *will* act.
 

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Just fired off an email to MINIUSA with a pointer to this thread. Let us know if Ray (at Ralph Schomp MINI 5700 South Broadway, Denver, CO 80121) gives you an apology. Looks like ol' Ray is at the only MINI dealership within a few hundred miles and is feeling a bit full of himself.

I stand by my prior comments re: Ray being of professional interest to Proctologists.
 

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Discussion Starter #9
some observations

The dealer is Ralph Schomp MINI in Littleton, CO (Denver), the only dealer chosen for the state of Colorado. I think my experience shows that, as in GB, there will be good dealers and bad dealers with most of them falling somewhere in between. I believe that TimR, of Northwest MINI, who posts on this board is at the other extreme--ie helpful, and willing to answer questions even from MINI enthusiasts who are not his customers.

I don't see that one e-mail from me in a 6 mos. period shows any impatience on my behalf. I think the e-mail I received shows ignorance and laziness on the part of the writer. I would think that 90% of the 650 people 'constantly calling and e-mailing' him all have the same 10 questions on their mind, so why not send out a mass e-mailing of an f.a.q. of the most common questions? Would that not cut down drastically on the daily calls he receives?

Originally posted by eltel
Don't buy from this dealer-.....
Unfortunately, I am approx 120th on the list at this dealer. If I were to move to a different dealer, I would likely be much higher on the list and have an even longer wait.

Originally posted by Kinster
At least he said thank-you
And he also started out with "sorry"--I guess that a polite jerk is much better than having to deal with an impolite jerk.:rolleyes:

Originally posted by gromit
What an A-hole
That's a little strong a language I believe. I would rate him a little lower--such as g-hole or h-hole?.:)

Originally posted by gromit
I trust you have forwarded this to BMWNA and MiniUSA.
No and I wouldn't waste my time with BMWNA over such a minor issue, and as for MiniUSA, I think they periodically read this forum and probably already know.:p
 

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Thanks Karmuze, I appreciate that.

I did forward that thread to the Customer Experience Manager at MINIUSA. The client advisors at the dealership are the "face" of MINI in the US, and even on a frustrating day we need to stop and think before we react. I have gotten carried away in some posts here, so we are all guilty, but enthusiasts like everyone here on MINI2 are what will make MINI a success.

So for MINIUSA and all of the Motoring Advisors, I apologize for that email.

Be sure to spam us all with questions after March 16th, since we will be "licensed to Motor":D :D
 

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Sounds like old Ray is peed-off that he has at least 650 vehicles PRE-SOLD! This 5hit-head doesn't have to do any work except fill out sold receipts for the next 5 years and he's having a hissy fit!
A kick in the noogies to him and MINIUSA for choosing that dealership.
I think I'll email old Ray and see if he has any current news on the MINI!
Kudos to my reps at MINI of Peabody in Peabody, Massachusetts for understanding my obsession and handling my emails with care and concern.
 

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Discussion Starter #14
DEALER RESPONSE

TimR: Thanks for your help. No apologies necessary from you, my man.
__________________________________________________ From: [email protected]
Subject: MINI Email Update

Hello future MINI owner,

Thank you for your patience during this exciting wait for the new MINIs to arrive. I want to apologize for not doing this sooner (many of you have complained about not hearing from us and I hope this helps). I also want to apologize if you were on the receiving end of a "snippy" email or phone call from me. With 650+ people on our waiting list and the barrage of emails and phone calls to go with them, I am sorry this took so long to come out.

Now, with that off of my chest, let's get down to MINI business...

1) What is going on with this "Dealer Agreement"? To start, let me once again say that we have no idea when MINI will send us our dealer agreement hence, we do not know when we will be taking deposits. Rest assured, once we get it, we will call everyone on our list and let you know.

2) Where am I on the list? Until we have our list firmly established and everyone has left a $500 non-refundable deposit, we will not assign a number to anyone. If you have been told a number in the past, it is no longer applicable. Our official list will be populated in the order that we received you initial inquiry.

3) When will we get to see the MINI? In March we are officially opening our doors and we will be hosting a "Grand Opening Celebration" that you will not want to miss. We do not have a date for it yet but you will know as soon as we do. Once we open our new showroom we will have literature and a host of great things for you to see and do.

4) When will I need to order my MINI? The first 10 or 20 MINIs are being reserved by the dealership for test drivers, promotions, and for our showroom. They will be pre-configured but beyond those, everyone on the list should be able to customize their own MINI to their liking (visit miniusa.com to see specs. pricing, colors, and options).

5) If I live outside of Colorado will I still be able to buy a MINI at Ralph Schomp? We were selected by MINI to represent Colorado as the only dealer in the State. Many states do not have MINI dealers and with a car in such short supply, many people are calling from around the Nation and getting on multiple lists. We are currently considering our options to restrict MINI sales to Residents of Colorado only. If you are not a Colorado resident and are already on our list, we will be contacting you in the future. Everyone will know when we make our final decision but I wanted you to be forewarned that this may happen.

I hope this information helps out in your long wait. Please refrain from calling or emailing until we contact you next. When the contract is here, everything will move much faster. We have 3 new MINI client Advisors that are in training and will be helping you once our showroom opens and they will be more that happy to answer all of your questions. I will introduce you to them in another email.

Thank you for your patience and understanding.
________________________________________________
 

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MINIUSA's response:

Fired off an quick email to MINIUSA yesterday. I've gotta say they are becoming much more responsive. Here's their reply, followed by my original email. Note they DO read this forum.

Hello Mr. Germain, (Gromit)

I noticed this yesterday, and I have been looking into it. You may be surprised to know we have dedicated specialists who actively read all web forum postings.

Thanks for the heads up though. I really appreciate it.

Let's MOTOR!

Wayne
MINI USA
Customer Relations


--Original Message--

First name: Rick
Last name: Germain

question/comment:
You guys might want to check out MINI2.com today:
http://www.mini2.com/forum/showthread.php?s=&threadid=4308
Apparently Ray at the Denver dealership has been under way too much pressure.
 

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much better response than I had with BMWNA a couple years ago.... At the time I owned 2 BMW motorcycles, and was shopping for a 3rd. Had nothing but bad experiences with the BMW Motorcycle dealer here in Nashville but loved the bikes so put up with it. Anyway, went in to pick up one of the bikes after being serviced and after being told that it was (their words) a piece of junk, that they wouldn't take it for service in the future, as parts were nolonger available for it (1971 R75/5. Not only are parts still available, if you had the money you could order 100% of the parts and build a brand new one.)

Before leaving, my girlfriend asked to use the bathroom. She is black and they started stammering that the bathroom was out of order and she couldn't use it. At that moment another customer walked out of it and we could hear the toilet flushing, I went in and checked and everything was in perfect order. They followed her around from the moment she walked in with me to the second we left, always intruding any time she looked like she might (god forbid) touch something.

I wrote BMW NA complaining 3 times over the course of a year, asking for at least an apology from corporate and some mention that they would look into it. I received one response, thanking me for supporting BMW Motorsports and stating that dealerships are privately owned and they have no control over them. No apology, no explanation, nothing.

I am now the proud owner of a Triumph Sprint ST. I'll never buy a new BMW motorcycle in Nashville again as long as this dealership is involved.

sigh.

Sorry, brought up old emotions and I needed to vent.

BMW of Nashville has been great so far, except for slow service when visiting in person sometimes. No complaints otherwise.
 

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MAXI apology from Ol Ray

Thank you for all of your comments and for passing this up-stream. I let the stress of many different areas culminate into a FLAMETHROWER response that I will regret forever. I am very sorry for treating ANYONE the way I did Karmuze and can only hope that he will forgive me :(

The Friday that I sent that email to Karmuze (and I am embarrassed to say, 1 other person) was my first day vertical after a tonsillectomy and it was very poor judgment for this workaholic to even check my email. I could easily blame it on the medication that I was on but it was more brought on by the frustration that I felt with the barrage of emails and phone calls that I had been receiving. Although Karmuze may have only sent me a few emails and phone calls, he ended up being the poor chap who triggered the avalanche. I can truly say that I am not mean, evil, nasty, or an a-hole, and hope you all will give me a second chance to prove it.

The dealership that I work at is the absolute best company that anyone could work for or buy a car at. We have consistently been ranked with one of the highest CSI rankings in Colorado for both our BMW store and our Honda store. With that email and the way I blew up, I am not an accurate reflection of it. Lisa Schomp and the rest of the Ralph Schomp Automotive staff have been working hard to undo the wrongs of generations of SLIMEY car guys and I am afraid I have set us back with my explosion. We are not charging a penny over MSRP on the MINI and are making our $500 deposit refundable up to the point of the actual factory order.

I am immeasurably sorry for not only the short fuse that I showed but for the damage that I have caused to 60 years of hard work establishing our reputation in the community and for offending Karmuze and the rest of you. MINI chose us to be the only dealer in Colorado for many reasons and my response may have caused many of you to question that decision. Please do not let Ralph Schomp MINI suffer for my actions. We truly are a fantastic place to get a vehicle, have it serviced, or just visit (ask anyone who knows us or has bought a car here).

Those of you on our list in Colorado may know that I am no longer handling our MINI stuff and am back to doing my primary job. We now have a full time team of people that will take fantastic care of you. They are John Angel (MINI Manager), Aaron Heggen and Logan Richins (MINI Motoring Advisors). With the help of Bob Zusman from MINI Corporate, they are getting a first class immersion into all things MINI.

This is the hardest letter that I have had to write because I do take everything personally, especially when I make mistakes. I screwed up and hope that you can all forgive me. I am embarrassed that this came out but sort of glad that it did so that I can make this public apology. Please do not hold this against MINI or Ralph Schomp MINI.

I met with Karmuze just over a week ago when we had a Cooper here at the dealership (what fun it was) and apologized in person but hopefully the printed apology will help as well.

Thank you all for whacking me upside the head and for your forgiveness.

Ray Velasquez aka "Ol Ray" by Gromit
:(
 

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well done...

As a formerly P****d off MINI owner may I say thankyou for that apology (even though it does not directly affect me). A very brave thing to do on here. If my dealer/MINI had had the guts and good manners to do the same I would be very happy.
Col.
 

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Discussion Starter #19
CLASS ACT!

Wow! I am speechless. I never expected to see such a heartfelt, sincere apology from Ray Velasquez @ Ralph Schomp, nor did I expect any response from MINI USA either. Anyone with the courage to come on this forum and make a public apology and explaination of the situation, has my admiration. I have also been in that same position at work recently, and know firsthand what a difficult, gut-wrenching experience it is to stand up in front of 100 people and make a public apology (or in Ray's case 2000+). Anyhow, in my case, the outcome was unfortunate, but the peace-of-mind afterwards made it worthwhile. Kudos to you, Ray, for your response!

I have never been a customer of Ralph Schomp, and have no experience as to their usual level of customer service. The last BMW I was fond of, was the 1974-1976 Tii, and I was hoping that the MINI would be close to a modernized version of that car. I always give any dealership three chances to prove that they deserve my business, before I will abandon them. But as an auto enthusiast, I am demanding in the level of expectation I have regarding service and knowledge from all the dealer's employees. By example, for the past two years, I have been driving 60 miles to Denver for service and to buy parts for my car, even though there is a dealership just 5 miles from my house, because I get much better service at the Denver dealer. I am not put off by my one bad encounter with a Ralph Schomp employee, but I do expect a more pleasant response the next time I contact someone there.

Also, it was not I, who labeled Ray an A-hole, for I reserve that term only for people I know and despise, and I have never met Ray. I believe I used the term jerk--a 'polite jerk' at that.

And to clear up a slight misunderstanding Ray--I am the "1 other person", since I have never been to the Ralph Schomp dealership. I accept your apology fully, and will stop by to introduce myself, when I come down for a MINI test drive, hopefully sometime in April. I expect my next Ralph Schomp experience to be a more pleasureable one for both of us.:)

Regards,

Karmuze aka "the Avalanche Trigger"
 

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Ol (stand up guy) Ray

Ray-
Following recipt of your recent post the National Association of Proctologists have called and indicated their "professional interest" in you has been misplaced.
:D

All kidding aside, your post is an example of exactly the type of courage I would hope to have in a similar situation. I would also like to offer my apology to you for jumping to such a quick conclusion with regards to your character based on a single email.

I really like your screen name though....;)
 
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