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View Full Version : RANT WARNING: Anyone Try to use the roadside assistance?



GREGFUESS
10-31-2009, 06:04 PM
One the way back from NM and Arizona last month, on a Saturday afternoon my new K12S developed what was latter determined to be a bad battery cell. So I pulled out the trusty roadside assistance for the 800 number, and since I did not know why the bike was having troubles, had it towed from Ft Stockton to San Antonio, TX using the service arranged by the Motorrad assistance program. Inconvenient, but got the job done.

The woman said that BMW would reimburse up to $500 in onward travel, but that I was on my own in getting the bike from San Antonio back to Houston. So OK, not great, but better than a poke in the eye with a sharp stick, anyway. The roadside assist person made taxi, hotel and rental car reservations for me and promised reimbursement with receipts, with a $500 limit. While the total expenses were over $600 (without any meals) using only the reservations, the receipts were submitted.

So when the receipts were submitted to BMW for reimbursement, I received a check for $60 saying that they needed the repair receipt for the bike. BMW directly reimbursed the dealer for the repair! BMW gave me a receipt number, which was referenced in the letter submitting the receipts! I was ballistic and called BMW customer service, and they are looking into it, for over a week now.

OK, so any bike can have an issue. Roadside assist can be a pain, but this has been going on for over a month, BMW received the receipts over 3 weeks ago (thanks for tracking numbers and return receipts, USPS!). But there are other reliable bike manufactures (this is my first BMW, though I have owned several rice burners without regrets. The cache of the brand leaves me a little cold, though I do appreciate some of the unique qualities that go into a BMW.

But BMW's customer service SUCKS!!! The roadside assistance program is no more than a sales gimmick! BMW seems to dump its customers, seemingly slamming the door in your butt on the way out! Then again, the MOA is great. Go figure.

Greg

MAYLETT
10-31-2009, 09:03 PM
I used BMW's roadside assistance last spring when I had a rear tire blowout. The tow truck arrived within 25 minutes, and they were paid directly, which was great.

Of course, the tow company was obliged to take me to a BMW dealer that subsequently charged me considerably more for both parts and labor than if I had been taken to my preferred, and closer, independent shop. Still, I was happy to have the service available on a Sunday afternoon ÔÇö even though it probably ultimately cost me more than if I had called and paid the tow company myself.

I think you're right, though, it's largely a pre-sales marketing device, and also a way to drive business to BMW dealerships. It's only my anecdotal observation, but BMW, at least in North America, seems clueless when it comes to fostering good customer relations, brand loyalty or instilling a sense of confidence and trust.

I like my RT very much, but BMW's business model doesn't seem to include putting the customer first unless he or she comes with large sums of money in hand. Consequently, I'm quite likely only a one-time BMW customer, and my future money will go somewhere else. Again, though, I am liking my RT, and that does make up for some company squirreliness.

rvb1019
10-31-2009, 10:08 PM
Progressive has an EXCELLENT Roadside Assistance program. A mere 8 dollars (or something crazy like that) per year.

Well worth it! 150 miles towing to the shop of your choosing.

PGlaves
11-01-2009, 12:38 AM
Progressive has an EXCELLENT Roadside Assistance program. A mere 8 dollars (or something crazy like that) per year.

Well worth it! 150 miles towing to the shop of your choosing.

Where we tour, mostly in the west but some all over North America, 150 miles will get me from the middle of nowhere to smewhere over by the edge of nowhere. The nearest BMW dealerships are about 400 miles away, and spaced a few hundred miles apart.

So for peace of mind I want a service that will tow to the "nearest qualified repair shop." For a tire that might be fairly close. For a mechanical problem it is a BMW dealership.

We have Allstate RV which covers all of the bikes, the car and the truck - whatever we are riding/driving. It covers both of us. $99 a year and a bargain at that - what with towing companies now quoting $2 a mile to deadhead to you and $4 a mile with vehicle in tow - or more. Geezers can get it with an AARP discount and we got a KOA card with it too.

Nocanpickem
11-01-2009, 04:26 PM
Anyone tried the MOA assist that comes free with the membership?

Karl

GREGFUESS
11-01-2009, 05:15 PM
Anyone tried the MOA assist that comes free with the membership?

Karl

I have used the Anonymous Book with excellent results. The Executive Auto in Santa Fe, with a BMW certified mechanic is excellent. When we were there on a previous trip another bike had issues with the altitude difference, they came recommended over the BMW dealer there. They were wonderful about taking care of the problem immediately so that the vacation could continue. Highly recommend them.

Greg

dwhitlock
11-02-2009, 01:37 AM
When I renewed my AMA membership earlier this year, I signed up for automatic credit-card renewal and thereby got the free roadside assistance. I had occasion to use it last month when I returned home from a ride and found oil in the coolant of my K100LT. Anyway, the truck arrived promptly and took the bike to the nearest dealer (fortunately, less than 2 miles away). The cost? Zero.

basketcase
11-02-2009, 02:37 AM
I like my RT very much, but BMW's business model doesn't seem to include putting the customer first unless he or she comes with large sums of money in hand.
That sentence from your post expresses my sentiments perfectly.

As long as I don't need, have to rely upon, or even think about BMW corporate and their business plan (especially since they started forcing out the mom and pop shops) I am a happy beemer owner.

jforgo
11-02-2009, 04:09 PM
My ignition trigger took a dump at 3AM on a weekend. The tow driver arrived within 30 minutes, and took my bike to my home. I certainly cannot complain.