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      03-21-2008, 06:54 PM   #1
gargoyal
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Disappointed in pricing and service

I' ve been to 2 dealer is So. California this week and I have to say I am disappointed in the BMW "experience". Unlike Lexus and Infinity, it seem that BMW dealers don't care about long term relationships or making their customers seem special. Instead they seem to have the attitude that we should feel privileged to be buying a BMW.
At both dealerships I needed to wait 15-20 min to be helped, I was not offered coffee, a snack or a beverage, once they found out I was there for a 1 series the sales person seemed to get even less interested. The real kicker was the amount of time I wasted to get out of them what they where selling the 135 for (about 25-35 min).
All this to find out $3000-$5000 over sticker for a 135 in stock or $1000-$3000 over sticker to order a 135. This is suppose to be a entry level car. This is the type of car that creates brand loyalty. Why is BMW letting the dealers fleece their long term customers? this is not good for a brand.
I still love the 135, but I am having serious doubts about BMW and its dealer network. Anyone know a SO CAL dealer that would restore my confidence ?


Update:

There are good dealers in So. Cal. Read this thread for some. I just ordered a red 135i from BMW Long Beach. Great service ,to the point, and didn't waste my time. test drove a 135 auto, a 335 manual and did all the paper work in less than 1 hour. Most of the time was spent test driving.
If you want a good CA who will respect your time and won't play stupit games ask for Robby Montinola.
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      03-21-2008, 07:01 PM   #2
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Quote:
Originally Posted by gargoyal View Post
I' ve been to 2 dealer is So. California this week and I have to say I am disappointed in the BMW "experience". Unlike Lexus and Infinity, it seem that BMW dealers don't care about long term relationships or making their customers seem special. Instead they seem to have the attitude that we should feel privileged to be buying a BMW.
At both dealerships I needed to wait 15-20 min to be helped, I was not offered coffee, a snack or a beverage, once they found out I was there for a 1 series the sales person seemed to get even less interested. The real kicker was the amount of time I wasted to get out of them what they where selling the 135 for (about 25-35 min).
All this to find out $3000-$5000 over sticker for a 135 in stock or $1000-$3000 over sticker to order a 135. This is suppose to be a entry level car. This is the type of car that creates brand loyalty. Why is BMW letting the dealers fleece their long term customers? this is not good for a brand.
I still love the 135, but I am having serious doubts about BMW and its dealer network. Anyone know a SO CAL dealer that would restore my confidence ?
I won't even buy at MSRP... i'll pay invoice and i'm paying CASH plus i'm in michigan where they'll be lucky to move 1 a month, if that

their loss.... i'll get a used one for much less in 6 mos
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      03-21-2008, 07:07 PM   #3
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if your close to san diego encinitas bmw is pretty good
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      03-21-2008, 07:11 PM   #4
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Gargoyal please let us know what dealers you went to. Trust me dealers don't like to get reports like this, especially when BMW hears too many complaints.
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      03-21-2008, 07:19 PM   #5
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you should not have to pay above MSRP.... No one has had to do that as far as I know.
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      03-21-2008, 07:23 PM   #6
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I live in San Diego.. I'd like to know which dealers tried to fleece you, so that I avoid them.
Thanks
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      03-21-2008, 07:27 PM   #7
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aww man the bad BMW dealership. at the dealerships ve been to there are good ppl and bad pl but it sounded like everyone there as bad. someone on here, might want to check regional forms, will hopefully point you to a good dealership. If you were n STL i would reccommend Plaza or Autohaus :wink:
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      03-21-2008, 07:29 PM   #8
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It was.....

It was McKenna BMW in Norwalk and Shelly BMW in Buena Park. This is not to say it was "bad service", just not what I am accustom to from a luxury car dealer trying to establish a long tem relationship. It was what I would expect from Nissan or Mitsubishi. To you first time buyers out there this may seem like a nit pick, but says a lot about how dealers handle maintenance and warranty issues.

UPDATE:

According to this post others has had issues with these dealers

http://www.1addicts.com/forums/showthread.php?t=3336
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      03-21-2008, 07:29 PM   #9
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Exactly the opposite experience.

Service, price, responsiveness .. even coffee: All excellent.

But that doesn't make a very interesting post, I guess.
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      03-21-2008, 07:31 PM   #10
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I'm not very happy with my dealer either (BMW of Tulsa).

I called a salesperson a few weeks ago inquiring about the 1 series. The salesman was helpful and told me he'd call when they got the first shipment. On monday he called and left a message and said they had arrived and to stop by. I called him back the following day, leaving another message asking him what cars they got in stock, as the dealership was well out of my way and I was really particular about what models I wanted to drive.

Never got a response.

I checked out the dealerships website and noticed they had a 135 manual in stock, so I took off from work early this afternoon, drove out of my way to the dealer. After meandering in the lobby for a couple of minutes (no receptonist?), I was approached by a salesperson (looked like he was in a hurry) who asked who I was here to see. I told them the name of my salesperson, and he said he was busy with a customer. I told him that it was no big deal and I can wait for a few minutes or I don't mind using another salesperson.

I said I was going to go outside and look at the 1-series and he said that either Tom or some other salesperson would be out to assist me.

I strolled around the are for a good twenty minutes. Nobody else said anything to me. I finally left, as the only cars I saw on the lot were a 128i and a 128ci both with automatics (yawn).

Granted they were busy, but I've never been to a car dealership where I've struggled to find a salesperson. And I was dressed very professionally, so it's not like I rolled in like a bum and got pissed because they didn't take me seriously.

Since it's the only dealership in town, if I am serious about getting a 1-series I'll have to pay them a visit. Depending on the level of service next time, I'll decide if I want to purchase from them or purchase from a Dallas dealership.

BoostFrenzy has a good point, can probably pick a 1-series up pretty cheap up in some of the recessionary foreclosure ground zero areas. That's a friggin good idea.
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      03-21-2008, 07:33 PM   #11
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When I owned a Saturn years ago the dealer would have donuts, coffee, chocolate in the morning, Subway subs at lunch, and Jakes pizza around dinner time, free all the time. I used to stop in when I was in the area to checkout new parts, etc to eat for free.

The BMW dealer by me always has somebody come up to me and ask if I need help. But I look rich, even though I live in a gaylord and eat out of their garbage cans at night.
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      03-21-2008, 07:40 PM   #12
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I just can not even imagine finding a good deal on a used 135i any time soon. Supposed to hold 79% of there value after 3 years. Good luck though! YOMV
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      03-21-2008, 07:47 PM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by WhiteOne View Post
I just can not even imagine finding a good deal on a used 135i any time soon. Supposed to hold 79% of there value after 3 years. Good luck though! YOMV
you might want to get that crystal ball calibrated... 79% in 36 months with ~36k miles? not a chance in hell

look at fuel costs, economy as a whole (not just my state of michigan), election year, plummeting us dollar and probably the most important fact... the ONLY people that want this car is US, your typical BMW buyer thinks it's a stripped down entry level POS 3 series for kids!
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      03-21-2008, 09:33 PM   #14
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I just can not even imagine finding a good deal on a used 135i any time soon. Supposed to hold 79% of there value after 3 years. Good luck though! YOMV
I don't really buy that estimated depreciation value. Would really be nice if I decide to purchase one though.

This is an aspirational car and it is catering to a younger audience, who is more likely to have to sell due to financial difficulties. Not that I am wishing that on anyone, but it always happens... If a person is patient they are bound to come across these opportunities.

I have ran with the Mustang crowd for years and I've seen it time and time again. Younger kid, fresh out of high school / college gets his first real paycheck and wants a nice car, something to make others envious. About a year later he finds out the car payment is killing him, and it goes up for sale.

I don't think invoice is possible on this car, but I think halfway between MSRP & invoice is. I'll happily pay that amount, if I have to wait six months to a year for the newness to wear off and the dealer to have them in inventory, so be it.
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      03-21-2008, 09:55 PM   #15
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Except for a POS Audi A4 I bought new in 1998, this is my first 'upscale' car buying experience. I am paying MSRP for my 135i coupe. While I have had a very good experience here at my dealership in Houston, the attitude of the BMW salesperson is certainly different from that I found when I considered buying a G37 a few weeks ago. THERE IS A REASON! Over the years I have read many reviews from Car and Driver, Automobile, etc, etc. I have also read the numerous letters to the editor about BMW bias. I went in to my shopping experience with an open mind. I read all the reviews how Infiniti has either hit the bull's eye or at least has come up with a comparable car to the 3series. Before a 1 was available, I went and test drove the 335 to get a feel what the 1 will be like. All those years of reading those reviews and letters suddenly rushed through my head and I immediately sided with all good that has been said about BMW and rejected all the naysayers that other cars are 'just as good.' These guys may come across as arrogant, but for a very good reason. They know there is no comparison. Go make your deal on an Acura or Lexus. They NEED to be at your feet. There is no comparison in these cars. I got to test a 135i (sadly an automatic) today and I can either have many, many words, or simply realize that there are no words to describe. I will post my experience driving the car elsewhere.

You may think I am being a snob. I say I have simply had my eyes open and I'm being realistic.

Having said that, I hope you don't have to pay over MSRP, but I hope you have really compared the driving experience between these cars and have an appreciation for what the BMW provides. Absolute THRILL!

Cheers!
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      03-21-2008, 10:06 PM   #16
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Simple answer? Piss on them. Go to another dealer!!! First of all you are in So Cal, I grew up in Glendora/San Dimas so I know what i speak. Most dealerships there are arrogant pricks. In Houston where I now live I had a glorious experience. I bought from a full blood German saleswomen who not only speaks fluent German, but has a *real* passion for the brand. Lovely lady. Fact is that in Houston, the 135i Verts are going for MSRP. I never even tried to haggle because it was useless and honestly? I'm fine with it. She did throw in 4 full BMW floor mats, BMW key chains and a few other goodies. She didn't have to, but she did and I appreciate it. Fact is, I would not let ANY Asshole salesperson or crappy dealer stand between me and this once every 20 year car.

The car is worth fighting for friend, and for goodness sakes don't let some disgruntled arrogant salesperson or poor dealer sway you from what is going to be the most fun car you will ever own. Read a few of the reviews again and take their advice, RUN don't walk to a good dealer and get this car ordered before they are all gone. Remember, there will only be ONE...year one of the 1. :
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      03-21-2008, 10:18 PM   #17
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BoostFrenzy View Post
... the ONLY people that want this car is US, your typical BMW buyer thinks it's a stripped down entry level POS 3 series for kids!
Let see, I have two BMW's in my garage and had a couple more before that. I've been a CCA member for a decade and plan on getting a 135. I guess I'm not the typical BMW buyer.

And for the OP, are you seriously upset about not being offered coffee or a donut??? Get real. As for the dealers, they're definitely pretty low on the dealer totum pole in LA/OC. Try making contact with the internet sales person, who is usually the fleet sales person and make an appointment and meet them. You save yourself the sales person's commission. Crevier seems to do pretty good, while Irvine tends to suck. You'll get very good service at Nick Alexander, because they know they're in the sh!ts part of town. They also tend to give good deals.

This isn't rocket science.
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      03-21-2008, 10:28 PM   #18
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Center BMW
5201 Van Nuys Blvd.
Sherman Oaks, CA 91401

Michael Kellison is the internet sales manager
818-468-0753
mkellison@centerbmw.com

I got it from him for less than msrp

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Results will vary..see Mike..my advice
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      03-21-2008, 10:37 PM   #19
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I've had good experiences with
Valencia BMW in Valencia/Stevenson's Ranch
Talk to the Internet sales manager Robert Grass and his associate Rishi.

Also, Great service at Bob Smith BMW in Calabasas.

I'm currently dealing with South Bay BMW in Torrance, just came back as a matter of fact and service was superb. Walked it and drove off in a 135 in less then 10 minutes.
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      03-21-2008, 11:30 PM   #20
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Quote:
Originally Posted by gargoyal View Post
It was McKenna BMW in Norwalk and Shelly BMW in Buena Park.
Quote:
Originally Posted by gargoyal View Post
Instead they seem to have the attitude that we should feel privileged to be buying a BMW.
Exactly the same way I felt when I visited both dealerships back in Jan. McKenna was telling me their 1 series would be $5K over sticker.
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      03-21-2008, 11:33 PM   #21
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Thanks all for the PMs and post of good dealers. I will try this again on Sunday. I have to admit I am surprised how may poster don't mind being pissed on. I understand why some of the dealers act the way they do, because there are idiots in the BMW community that let them.
Most dealers want a good customer relationship with you so that they get your maintenance business, return business and referrals. how you are treated when you go to buy a car is as good as it gets when you deal with a dealership. God help you when you have maintenance or warranty issues if your dealer sux at sales time.
To get customer loyalty they should be giving GREAT customer service not just good. So yes I want my espresso and croissant and expect my sales person to respect my time (be prompt and to the point). No argument that BMW makes great cars, but they are not the only game in town for <$50,000.

The 135 is a great little car, but Im not going to let anyone piss on me so I can have the “privilege” of owning a $35-40,000 car:bs:
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      03-21-2008, 11:34 PM   #22
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Quote:
Originally Posted by gargoyal View Post
To you first time buyers out there this may seem like a nit pick, but says a lot about how dealers handle maintenance and warranty issues.
I wouldn't say that.

Having a pompous sales team, doesn't mean the service manager runs his department the same way.
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