Wednesday, January 05, 2011

A rant about Momentum MINI

If you don't feel like reading my customer service tirade, I'll go ahead and sum up the main point for you: Momentum BMW/MINI has horrible service and I will never, ever purchase a vehicle from them or have a car serviced there or in any way ever pay them another dollar and I will encourage everyone I know never to patronize their establishment either.

That being said, allow me to tell you the story of my car repairs.

Last week, my brake light came on in my car. I called my dealership to make an appointment and bring it in for repairs. My appointment was for Tuesday morning at 8am. I assumed that would give me ample time to have my brake pads replaced and get to work by 11 or 12 that day. Oh how wrong I was.

I dropped my car off and asked how long the service would take. I was told the car would be ready by midday or early afternoon. I said I definitely needed it by midday because I needed to be at work.

While I was there, the technician informed me that my service warranty had expired. I told him that was impossible because my warranty is good for 3 years or 36,000 miles, neither of which I have reached. He said his system showed it expired two days ago, on January 2nd. But he said if I could bring in my paperwork showing when I purchased my car, he could get the issue resolved. Ok, fine. He told me he would call me after the car went through diagnostics and let me know exactly what was wrong with the brakes. I told him that I wanted to have my car serviced one way or the other, regardless of what happened with the warranty. I need brakes.

A shuttle service took me home, where I immediately pulled out my paperwork and called the technician to verify that I had the documents showing my purchase date. He then informed me that my paperwork would not be sufficient after all and that I would need to contact the sales department of the dealership that sold me the car and get them to confirm the warranty.

So I called my original dealership and asked them to check my paperwork and confirm it. They assured me they would contact my service technician and authorize the service because my warranty should still be active. They said there was a mistake with the corporate office and they would get it cleared up.

So I sat at home and waited for notification that my car was ready for pick up. I waited. And waited. Four hours after dropping my car off, I still had received no phone call. So I called the technician and asked him what the status was on my car. He launched into a spiel about how my warranty still wasn't cleared up and he didn't know if the work would be covered. I reminded him that regardless of the warranty issue, I needed the service completed on my car. I then asked if the work was finished and he said they were just now getting it into diagnostics. I told him I needed to get to work and was astonished that after four hours of waiting they still had not even determined what kind of work needed to be done. "Oh, I didn't know you needed to go to work," he replied. "I told you this morning that I needed to be at work today. And now you're telling me that the car hasn't even made it into the shop yet? How do you expect me to get to the office?" He said he would have the technician "speed it up." He then told me he would call me after the diagnostics and confirm the repairs needed.

In frustration, I called my boss and explained the situation to him. My boss had to drive to my house to pick me up and bring me to work.

Once at work, I waited to hear the status of my car. No one called. Finally, at 4:40, nearly nine hours after dropping my car off, I called the technician to ask about my car. "Oh, we still haven't figured out the warranty issue, so we haven't done the work," he said. "WHAT? You mean you've had the car all day and haven't done any work on it?? Why not?" He then proceeded to tell me that my dealership had contacted him and told him to do the work on good faith while they worked to clear up my warranty issue, but that he couldn't do the work on good faith because if something went wrong he would be responsible and have to pay for it out of his own pocket. "I already authorized you to do the service," I said. "I told you I would pay for it if we couldn't get the warranty issue resolved. Now I am stuck at work with no transportation and I don't have a way to get home tonight or get back to work in the morning, not to mention that my car still isn't repaired which means you'll have to keep it for another day. You never bothered to call and tell me any of this or inform me that I would have no transportation for another day. This should have taken no more than a couple hours. You've now had my car an entire day without doing anything. This is ridiculous. I want to speak to your manager."

Of course, the moment I dropped the word "manager" he immediately began to apologize and asked me if I wanted a loaner car and told me he could have the work done on my vehicle by 10am the next morning. I said I wanted to talk to a manager immediately and wanted someone to answer my questions about why no service had been done on my car and no one took the time to notify me of that fact. He put me on hold, then a few minutes later came back and told me his manager wasn't immediately available and he would have him call me.

An hour later, at 5:30pm, no one had called. So I called back and told the receptionist that I needed to talk to a manager immediately about the fact that my car was still there and I was without transportation. She took all my information, put me on hold, and then came back and told me the manager was in a meeting and would call me within 30 minutes.

An hour later, at 6:30pm, no one had called. So I called back again and demanded to speak to a manager. I was told they were all in a meeting, at which point I demanded someone interrupt the meeting and pull the manager out to talk to me.

Finally the manager, Andrew, got on the phone. I explained the situation to him. He never apologized. He just said "well I guess we need to figure out your transportation situation. We can call a cab for you to take you home tonight." I told him that I had already contacted a friend for a ride home because he hadn't returned my phone calls for hours and I wasn't going to sit around and wait for him.

He said he would have a shuttle at my house at 7:30 the next morning to bring me to the dealership and give me a loaner and get my service issue resolved.

At 7:05 this morning, the dealership called me and informed me their shuttle service doesn't start that early and they wouldn't be at my house until 8am.

I finally got to the dealership. The manager didn't bother to meet me there until I specifically requested to talk to him. I had to wait 15 minutes for him to show up. I explained the whole story to him and told him how appalled I was at the horrible customer service. His explanation was "obviously there were multiple breakdowns in communication." He then authorized a loaner vehicle for me and promptly walked off. I was at the dealership for nearly an hour, waiting to process the loaner.

More than two hours later, he called to tell me my warranty was approved and they would begin the brake repairs on my car. More than 24 hours after dropping it off, they are finally working on my car. And because of how long it has taken, I will not be able to pick up my car until tomorrow morning. Which means 48 hours after dropping it off for brake pads, I will have my car back.

Let me reiterate: no one from the company ever returned any of my calls. I had to call them. Every single time. No one informed me of any progress, or lack thereof, on my car. I had to ask for updates. Every single time. No one contacted me with regard to my warranty issues. No one confirmed my transportation needs after leaving me without a vehicle. No one apologized. And no one offered any sort of compensation or service or in any way attempted to redeem the situation.

Never, ever do business with Momentum MINI/BMW. I plan to tell everyone I know not to do business there. And I can't wait to fill out my customer "satisfaction" survey.


Ulovebeth said...

I am so sorry that you were put through that craziness. Car repair stinks. The only good thing this does is take away my lust for a Mini! :)
A few years back, I had a horrible call with a mechanic and I came out $2,500 poorer--and still didn't have a working AC (in Houston--that is a crime!). I was so distraught. And poor. I prayed. God does fight for us. I pray God fights for you. And that you are protected. He has purposes that we can't understand in the messes. I do hate it that you had to be this frustrated. That is not fun. Hope things go smoother. Your car is super cute. :) I was praying for you everytime I saw one. I will start again.

Shanna said...

One word: Lexus. They're pricey, but the customer service is AMAZING.

Sorry for your troubles. I do think you should read your blog post aloud on the radio. That might get a response out of them.

Deanna said...

I feel your pain!
Let me add to never doing business with David McDavid Nissan... when I bought by "certified" 350Z... they had never even put it in their shop to certify it and there where multiple things wrong with it. When you buy a "certified" used car the process states they check it over for a large list of problems and they didn't even put a current inspection sticker on the thing. It took me threatening calling Marvin Z. for them to fix it.

O.M.G. said...

unbelievable. reading that makes MY blood boil and leaves me feeling stressed and anxious, i can't imagine how YOU must have felt! unbelievable.

Carissa said...

Yuck Laurie! I have had some similar experiences with other dealerships, but thankfully none that were to that extent. I hope your car stays well for a long, long time so you don't have to take it in for any kind of service anywhere! But in the meantime, definitely keep spreading the bad press for that dealership - when they treat their customers like that, they deserve to suffer in business for it!