BMW Sucks, Enterprise Doesn’t, and Other Stuff

Let’s start with the good: Enterprise Rent-A-Car. In a previous post I detailed the misery of the first car they gave me: two flat tires, faulty transmission, broken key, smelled like cigarettes, and was dirty as hell. When I complained they didn’t even care and was left on my own to deal with a crap car. I finally found another branch to help me out. When I turned in the replacement car — three weeks later — I got an apology and nothing else. I didn’t feel that was quite the right way to handle it, and I wrote their corporate office. I was expecting a refund for the first few days while I had the faulty car and an apology. Russ, the district manager, called me today. First, he apologized, sincerely, and said it was inexcusable. He said he had a meeting with the branch that rented the car. He also indicated he had actually checked out my facts and realized I was right. They are refunding most of the money I paid. Not for the first few days, but for the whole three weeks. He then apologized to me several more times, and gave me his mobile number in case I ever had trouble again. The moral of the story is: they care. My first contact with corporate produced a happy result without any threats, yelling, or anything. Good job Enterprise.

BMW, on the other hand, could care less about its customers. I have detailed the issues with my car, it being lost by the dealer, and so on and so forth. I will not recap most of it here. But the bottom line is for nearly a week my car was lost and no work was done. Even BMW can’t dispute that because I have it in writing. Yes, I do. Well over a dozen emails where the dealer couldn’t even find the car in their computer and asked me for my VIN despite the fact they sold me the car. Today, BMW calls me again. (They had called me before saying they were looking into it.) They told me the car wasn’t actually lost, it was just in the wrong lot, but they were really sorry for the inconvenience. I had asked for a written apology and a refund of one week’s rental (I did not know Enterprise was going to give me a credit, that happened just a couple hours ago.) BMW’s position is that since the car wasn’t lost, and I didn’t want to drive down to swap cars, it wasn’t their responsibility. They miss the fact that it was a one-day repair job for which no work was started for a week. The service manager never called, only Tina from corporate. I asked if they were going to do anything other than “make a note in the dealer’s record” to which she said, again, she was sorry. The fact is, BMW isn’t sorry. They have made no effort to satisfy me as a customer and what does that mean? I won’t get another one, all my friends will be told of my horrific experience — and the 230,000+ people who read here will all hear about it. I’m guessing at some point I might even hear from BMW again, but I’ve got nothing to say to them except sod off. My next vehicle will be a Rover or an Acura or maybe even a Lexus. It will be pretty much anything except a BMW. The customer is always right, especially when the customer IS right and has it all in writing and can prove it. Never, ever tell the customer “you’re sorry” and don’t offer to do anything. I do need to point out, I have to go back to the dealer Saturday because the car was returned to me with a nail in the tire (this is a warranty repair and the only reason I am going to the dealer to do it — it needs to be replaced). If you like service, don’t buy a BMW because they do not care about you.

Lastly, Mark Fischel posted this link on Facebook. It’s a fantastic article from the overly stodgy Wall Street Journal, and I just had to give it a heads-up in my blog. The OpEd piece by Peggy Noonan details everything that was wrong with Sarah Palin. And this quote made me smile, “ In television interviews she was out of her depth in a shallow pool. She was limited in her ability to explain and defend her positions, and sometimes in knowing them. She couldn’t say what she read because she didn’t read anything. She was utterly unconcerned by all this and seemed in fact rather proud of it ….” I think that sums it up nicely.

Shout out to Tara who’s getting her first tattoo today. While I think it’s a bad idea, I hope it makes her happy. Also to Erin whose poor foot still is making her miserable.

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