I was a non-meeting attendee of River City Beemers, based in the Sacramento area, for many years. I was also a pretty committed client of A&S BMW, beginning in the early 90's. A&S offered 10% off of some pretty high prices to RCB members. Shopping them could still show a net benefit on some purchases.
I traveled to A&S for some strange buys for airheads and some expensive maint. on the '94 RS. I tried to buy a bike from them twice, butt couldn't come to terms and stayed with what I had. Then A&S startled me me on an unprofessional fuel filter change (don't ask) and they returned me a filthy bike after a $1500 back-room stint.
This was all, I believe brought on by the "Bigger is Better Business Syndrome" that A&S was chewing on...new building, showroom, staff, etc. Tony (Dad) and Randy (son), and Service Manager, Tim (S-I-L of Tony, I think) have become much less approachable.
I really don't give a ****. Its their business. They can do with it what they will.
When Fresno BMW got their act together, I was pleased and am now in their flock.
Butt I got an undated "Memo" from the Parts Manager Jeff Hanrahan pointed at all RCB Club Members.
"Re: Club discounting programs
"I would like to introduce myself as the Parts Manager of A&S BMW Motorcycles. I have been a riding enthusiast for 30+ years (I currently own a BMW R1100RT and a Yahama YZ400F dirt bike). Since June of 2003, I am (sic) responsible for assuring the best possible shopping experience for every rider coming into our dealership."
"I have recognized that it is not just the riders who happen to be affiliated as club members, but rather every person who chooses a lifestyle, who is in search of a dealership they feel they can be loyal to and enthusiastic about visiting. A dealership that will always provide superior service and support with an extensive selection of new and interesting products, great prices and a readily available supply of replacement parts. In and effort
to make it fair to every riding enthusiast coming through our doors, as of January 1st, 2004, we have eliminated all of the club discounting programs that were in effect. In its place, we have reduced practically all of our pricing across the board. I am committed to creating an enjoyable shopping experience to every rider in the country, for the right reasons, which includes:........remainder of memo purposely eliminated."
I see this type of memo all the time in the business world. Here's a good company that feels the need to be evasive with their long-term clients in favor of profit and fear of projecting bad news. The profit motive is not evil. Thinking that the client base is stupid an "spinning" is, I believe, a mistake.
I think all the RCB members would probably have better enjoyed a memo like this:
Hey, RCB Guys and Girls. You're killing us. Some of you come in for discounts on big ticket items that cut way into out gross profit. We're doing pretty well. But we'd do better without club discounts, what with the new shop, employees, and other fixed costs rising all the time. Sorry. We still like you and will treat you as well as we can. Butt this is a business decision we had to make. The coffee's still on.
Of course, they can write whatever they want. Makes little difference to me.