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Terrible experience with BMW Southbank [VIC] Shame! Shame! Shame!

Discussion in 'Businesses and Service Providers' started by zenali, Jan 27, 2010.

  1. I had hoped not to need to post this, but I've just got off the phone with the manager at BMW Southbank and I am incensed. The story goes something like this:

    On Friday we went in to the BMW centre at Southbank and bought $1,300 worth of gear for touring in. One of the items was a vented textile jacket, for $800. Not a small amount, but we expected the gear to be worth the money.

    Only a few hours later, the jacket had its first test after a car driver didn't pay attention and bumped into the back of our bike while it was stopped at a red light. The bike went down - a stationary drop with no major damage - and the rider went down with it.

    The zip on the jacket burst open. It stayed clasped at the bottom and at the top, but the rest of the length of the zip just popped open. Imagine if it had happened at 110 kph on the freeway.

    Needless to say, I was very dissapointed. It was such a good jacket in all other respects that I was very sad to see it had such a dangerous flaw. We took it back to the BMW dealer and asked for a refund. The zip burst open after a stationary drop, so clearly it was not fit for purpose - where the purpose is providing safety for the rider.

    The guy who sold us the jacket said the couldn't give us a refund. He said it had to go through a warranty claim. I asked to speak to a manager, so I ended up speaking to the Service Manager. She also said that it needed to be a warranty claim, and that they couldn't deal with it until Monday at the earliest. I said that I didn't want a warranty claim, I wanted a refund because they had sold me something that was defective. She said that this was simply not in her power to provide, and so against my strong complaints we left the shop without satisfaction, but with the promise that I would be contacted on Wednesday.

    I just got the call. Not only are they refusing to give me a refund, they are refusing to process it as a warranty claim. On one hand, they say that they can't replicate the problem, implying that the jacket is fine. But on the other hand, they say that since the jacket was involved in an accident it should be claimed under my insurance.

    According to the Trade Practices Act we are entitled to a refund if they sell us something that is defective or unfit for the purpose for which it was sold. This jacket clearly falls under this category, but instead of keeping us happy and giving us a refund they have decided to completely screw us over.

    I had planned to buy a full textile suit from them in the next couple of months. Not anymore. I was also seriously thinking about an F800GS as my next bike. Again, not anymore.

    I would strongly advise against having anything at all to do with the BMW dealer in Southbank because of the terribly shoddy way we've been treated.
  2. Take them through small claims, it'll only cost about $50 and lawyers aren't represented.
  3. That sounds ridiculous Ali. You'd think they'd at least try to pass it off as a one-off problem and swap it for a new one while they sent the defective one away for processing.

    Where to from here? Can you try another dealer? Go straight to a distributor? VCAT or whatever it's now called? $800 is not an inconsiderable amount of money...
  4. Well now you know not to buy anything from them. Thank god for you it wasn't a big hit.
    But it should be the the driver who hit you that should pay for it. Get them before its too late.
  5. yep for 800 bucks and breaks on first crash :shock: yep i would be wanting a refund.....if only force still made jackets, expensive yes, crash proof yes (been down 4 times in it, waterproof (not anymore after 4 years of daily commuting), long lasting yes

    All jackets atm seem to be throw aways
  6. Call your ombudsman and get a claim number. You are exactly right about the rules regarding items sold not fit for purpose. After you have done that, go back into the shop, make sure they are busy as possible, present them with the claim number, and proceed to inform all the other customers of your problem, the legalities, and the shops indifference at operating within the law.
  7. consider the driver who crashed into you and now you are at a financial loss due to that persons negligence
  8. I was seriously looking at the F800GS too. We're talking $20,000 if I stuck some of the options onto it. No way I'd be doing that now. If they arc up over a faulty jacket, what would they do about a faulty bike?

    And if it had been a full on crash and the jacket was wrecked, I'd still be happy - so long as it did its job. But bursting open on a stationary drop? That is ridiculous.
  9. Send a letter/email to BMW (assuming it was one of their jackets).
  10. I've been on the phone to 'head office', who are looking into it and have promised to call me back by close of business today.

    We live close to the BMW dealer, so I'm also considering making signs and handing out flyers to people as they walk in.
  11. Call back and ask to speak to the dealer principal Chris Bussenchutts or similar.

    Tell him that you are not happy and see what he has to say.

    At worst, go see Mike at Walkalong in Camberwell, get the zip replaced and have BMW pay for the repair.

    They make a great bike boycotting a great bike for the sake of a broken zip is just silly.
    At the end of the day it's just a zip.

    But I agree, the treatment from accessories (Craig?) and service dept (Danielle) was pretty crap.
  12. Yeah, there is something wrong there. Aside from anything else, the fact that they are not interested in keeping good customer relations is surprising. The fact that there is an implication that they don't trust your version of the story is infuriating.

    This is not a case for small claims (yet), but for consumer affairs or whatever it's called.

  13. Save your energy, it's a waste.

    There is probably a really good reason as to why Aaron & Jadey went to Tasmania to buy their bikes :D
  14. It might be just a zip, but it is an $800 jacket that we can't use because of that zip. And if they are willing to shaft us over an $800 jacket, why wouldn't they shaft us over a $20,000 bike?

    Why should I reward such appalling service with further custom, no matter how good their bikes are? There are other manufacturers who deal with faulty products much more reasonably.
  15. A jacket... For $800....

  16. I'm sure that would have been hilarious, but the photobucket account is inactive. :/
  17. The next step is to talk to consumer affairs, they will almost definitely tell you to put your complaint in writing, which is likely to achieve nothing, but that is usually the next step you have to take. Where it goes from there is up to the outcome.

    You may have a hard fight against you though. I know it's not really adequate that the jacket got damaged under those conditions, but from an argument point of view there is a good chance they'll win it I'm sorry to say.

    As far as boycotting a bike from BMW goes. Well, seems foolish to me. At this stage you can't really say it is BMW that are refusing to replace/repair it, so far the complaint seems to be with the dealer, and there is no reason you can't get the bike from elsewhere.

    I'll be interested to see what BMW Australia have to say, and more so, interested to see what Southbank do afterwards...
  18. Do people actually do this stuff in real life, or just over the internet? It's kinda sad if you actually would I honestly don't think it would do anything and depressing to think you even entertain the thought.

    Follow it up with BMW Australia or even in the fatherland if you can get contact details try fair trading as well. But sometimes you've just got to walk away, tell everyone you know and get some sense of warm satisfaction from that.
  19. I went in to that dealership with every expectation that they would treat me fairly and with respect. Instead they have tried to shirk their responsibilities under the Trade Practices Act 1974 and Fair Trading Act 1999. I pointed out the relevant legislation to them, and their response was "Oh, that's not BMW policy. There's nothing we can do about it."

    It shows a disgraceful disregard for the rights of their customers. They are happy to be helpful when it comes to taking your money, but are equally happy to break the law when it comes to giving it back. As if $800 would make any difference either way to BMW.

    But I keep thinking - what if that jacket had failed during a real accident instead of a stationary drop? It is no laughing matter when you think what the consequences might have been.

    So, yes - I would be happy to spend a couple of hours next Saturday to let people know that BMW don't honour their own warranties, let alone the consumer rights laws of Victoria and Australia. They only treat people this way because most people won't stand up for themselves. That pisses me off enough to print out some consumer rights brochures from the Consumer Affairs Victoria website and hand them to people as they walk into the shop. And if they ask me why I'm doing it, I'll be more than happy to explain.
  20. Well, doing it in real life would give the company something to go after you for (possible although unlikely), so no, I doubt it.