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Thread: Tire Etiquette

  1. #61
    It is what it is. Bud's Avatar
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    Customer service. A real simple concept that is very hard to put into practice.

    I recently contested a $8 long distance information call on my AT&T bill. Long story short, poor customer service (stick it, we will never remove the charge) resulted in them losing all my business. Ported over the number to Verizon wireless.

    Now I'm getting "Come Back" letters from AT&T and offering me $200 to switch back.

    What would have been better customer service? Waive the bad $8 charge or lose a customer for life?

    I would still be an AT&T customer if someone would have looked at my history, seen that I never had contested a charge in decades, had spent thousand of $ with them. BTW we have had the same phone number since 1974.

    One dealer I have taken tires to charges $60/pair to mount and balance tires bought elsewhere (off the bike) and charge $30/pair on the bike if you buy the tires there. Seemed fair to me.

    However, I have decided to do my own. Oak wedge to break the bead. Two tire irons to dismount and mount. Then balance them.

    Making no judgment on the OP's motive when he posted. Taking it at face value, the answer to the question is "It Depends". On what? The dealer.

    I believe in voting with my money.
    Ride Well, Ride Often, Ride to

    Charter Member "High Town" crew.

  2. #62
    Alps Adventurer GlobalRider's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by rideoregon View Post
    The question is whether it's inappropriate to buy tires online and pay normal shop rates to have them installed at the local BMW shop.
    They service BMW motorcycles bought at other dealers, don't they, so what is the difference?

    If they refuse to install your tires, take your business and all of it including future business, elsewhere.

  3. #63
    Alps Adventurer GlobalRider's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by SIBUD View Post
    Customer service. A real simple concept that is very hard to put into practice.

    I recently contested a $8 long distance information call on my AT&T bill. Long story short, poor customer service (stick it, we will never remove the charge) resulted in them losing all my business. Ported over the number to Verizon wireless.

    Now I'm getting "Come Back" letters from AT&T and offering me $200 to switch back.

    What would have been better customer service? Waive the bad $8 charge or lose a customer for life?
    You have to remember, you're dealing with the North American mentality of business...and that is short term thinking. Its even worse up here.

    No wonder companies are having a tough time. They'd sooner give $200 away than $8.

    BTW, now you know why I have an unlocked cell phone. I can decide who will be my provider within a minute.

  4. #64
    Registered User 88bmwjeff's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by rideoregon View Post
    The question is whether it's inappropriate to buy tires online and pay normal shop rates to have them installed at the local BMW shop.
    I think that depends on the business model the dealer has chosen. I personally think it's rude to show up to a place of business and expect them to use your parts UNLESS you've talked to them about it first. But, if I did talk to them about it first, I would not expect any lip service from them.

    Bringing in your own parts for them to install does provide for a possible sticky situation that I choose to avoid. If something goes wrong in the installation, they could argue the part was defective. The place you purchased it from could claim installation was incorrect. In essence, putting you in the middle of a lose-lose situation. I've been there done that with this situation.

    Another downside of bringing in our parts for the dealer to install is that they may chose to stock less parts. As an example.....before purchasing my BMW, I had a 750 Nighthawk. The Honda dealer did not stock tires or much in the line of parts. I had to pre-order the parts and pay for them prior to dropping my bike off for service. If the parts weren't in, they wouldn't take your bike in for service. I didn't ask them if it would be OK to buy parts online and have them install them, since I had the bike for less than a year.

    Keep in mind that the rent the dealer pays for his space is a lot higher than the rent paid for the space for some online dealers. Cycle Gear's warehouse in Benicia, CA is in an industrial district which has a fraction of the cost for automotive/repair retail space.

    Lastly, I find it interesting that some people here complain of the lack of dealers, and others complain of being over charged for items. They are NOT mutually exclusive. If people don't support the dealers, then they won't be there plain and simple.
    Jeff in W.C.
    1988 R100 RT (the other woman)
    "I got my motorcycle jacket but I'm walking all the time." Joe Strummer

  5. #65
    Lost in America MrGrocer's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by rideoregon View Post
    If this has been covered, I apologize. I did a search and didn't turn it up.

    The question is whether it's inappropriate to buy tires online and pay normal shop rates to have them installed at the local BMW shop.

    My two beemers are regulars at the local shop, and I've given that shop a fair amount of business, with a couple expensive Level II services and various things in the past few years. This time, I bought a pair of tires on line for a smoking-good price and took them down to the dealer last Saturday to schedule an installation appointment. All went well, appointment scheduled, tires dropped off.

    Today, I took the bike in for the appointed service, and I was treated like a pariah, which has never happened before. The owner happened to be there, saw the service tech writing it up, and said in a snide voice: "You get these at ____?" I said, "No, I got them at [name of internet site]." He rolled his eyes and looked away. But I know the tires would have cost more if I'd had him order them, because I asked before I ordered them.

    I know it's not cool to use a store to look and fondle merchandise, then buy it online (at least to most of us), but did I do wrong by just having them install tires I'd bought elsewhere? Times are tough for them; but times are tough for everyone. Am I wrong to seek the lowest price at no disadvantage to him? I'm paying full price for the labor, and isn't that a benefit to him?
    SAve the money. My local BMW dealer even has two different rates, one for on the bike and one for off. If they'll do it (some shops won't.) They'll welcome the work. I have a winter season, so I can bring in two wheels and the rubber and they thank me for bringing them the business.
    "The Road is life"
    Jack Kerouac

  6. #66
    Registered User mistercindy's Avatar
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    The first time I called my dealer to get an appointment to ride in for a tire change his first question was if I were buying the tires or bringing them with me. He says they do it all the time. No big deal, but he'd like the opportunity to match the price.

    BTW, I'm treated well at my dealership in Plano/North Dallas. I bought my bike there. I've bought a couple of helmets there. Gloves. A winter jacket. Two pair of boots. Etc... Every time they lob of a fair amount from the retail price. Once I bought a battery that died leaving me stranded. I couldn't get it started and called for a tow. The dealer took care of the tow. When I need an appointment for service I get it fast. They even give me a short ride (three or four minutes) to the train station so I can take the train to work in downtown Dallas. Then they'll pick me up at the train station that afternoon. In short, I'm treated great. In return, I take my bike to the dealer for every 6,000 service, and when I have a problem I go to them first. When I replace my shocks (Ohlins, probably) later next month, I'll go to them first.

    But, to answer your question, I got the impression that at my dealership the etiquette is to give them a shot to match or come closer to the internet price. But frankly, saving $20 on a tire every 8,000 miles is not worth damaging an excellent working relationship where everyone's doing well. Just my $0.02.




    Quote Originally Posted by RTRandy View Post
    Just picked up my RT this afternoon after having some work done on the electronics. Another story another day. Anyhow, the service manager at my dealer in Plano, Texas has his desk right next to where the dealer stores all their tires. While waiting for him to finish my paperwork and looking at all the tires stacked to the ceiling, I asked him what the deal would be if I purchased tires on line and brought them to the dealer to mount. His reply: "No a problem at all in fact we do it all the time". "Only thing I would suggest is to give us a chance to match the price. If we can't, it's understandable to get them elsewhere". He also admittedly said our mounting price isn't the cheapest,but not over the top. I forgot to ask, but I believe they charge $30 to $40 per tire.

    My reply to him was even if the the dealer's price were about $15 to $20 higher per tire, I would probably still buy them from the dealer to support them. I live about 12 miles away from my dealer and rely heavily on these guys to keep my bike running well so I like to maintain a good relationship. They have bent over backwards for me over the years so it all seems to work out well for me. On the other hand, if the difference is significant, it would make sense to take the significant savings.
    No hard feelings as they are happy to charge for the labor.
    Randy, we have the same dealer, and I had the identical conversation several years ago before he moved his office into the room full of tires!
    Grant
    '05 R1200GS
    Former owner of an '03 R1150R
    BMWMOA #113847

  7. #67
    brez DMR's Avatar
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    lucky

    After reading many of these, I guess I'm very lucky. I have a local shop that specializes in trials bikes. When I need a helmet, he looks up the price, discounts it, and orders it for me. Last time he discounted 50%. When I need tires, I call him on the phone. He will tell me the most expensive and the least expensive, what many put on the same kind of bike, charges exactly what I have found elsewhere, and mounts and balances them for free. I take the wheel off and bring it in, otherwise he does charge for removing the wheel. I usually get the wheel back the next day. I doubt if he's the only one operating this way, but I'm glad he's in my town.

  8. #68
    taller than wide GRANTMACEACHERN's Avatar
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    Isn't there a balance to be had somewhere?
    OK, the dealer makes some money on selling tires. Good!
    OK, mounting tires takes time and there should be charge. Good!
    Wouldn't it just be pretty simple to have two rates? (I think this was mentioned earlier).
    Say, $30 per wheel if tires purchased through dealer and $60 per wheel if tires purchased elsewhere.

    Here's my recent experience:
    This past summer I had just moved and had no idea about the local bike shop service providers in my area. Well, I needed two new Tourances pronto. I called around and found a guy who could get them in next day. I was pressed as I was heading out on a trip that weekend too. The tire guy also said he could arrange for mounting. Well, you know where this story is going....
    Show up, pay for tires, but the guy to mount them is swamped with HDs heading to Sturgis. OK, some more last minute calling around and I find a shop who will mount them if I go over there immediately. He did tell me on the phone that he will charge more as the tires did not go through him. No problem I thought. (Turns out the shop owner had a longstanding beef with these tire guys).
    I show up, he removes the wheels, mounts and balances the tires and then reinstalls.
    He seems like a very decent and knowledgeable fellow. So, to do the work he charged me $75 CDN per tire. That's $150. It hurt but I was in a bind.

    He had explained that when I buy my next set from him the install will be free. Also, subsequent to the free install, he only charges $30 per tire when you buy tires from him.
    Sure, the 150 hurt at the time, but a few months later I was back with some worn out Tourances. He ordered new ones in at a very good rate and installed for free. I had absolutely no complaints.

    Conclusions:
    1. work with your dealer and hope they work with you (or maybe you need another dealer)
    2. two different rates for tire mounting would be more than fair.

    Cheers.
    g r a n t

  9. #69
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    Cycle Gear will mount and balance tires bought elsewhere for $30 per tire. $20 if bought from Cycle Gear.

    Ralph Sims

  10. #70
    Registered User lionheart33's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by pffog View Post
    Every time I see these posts, the out come is the same it is a LOse-Lose situation all around.

    Dealer policy restricts installation of outside tires= He is a SOB
    Dealer tries to make a small profit on his tire sales= Dealer is a rip off
    Dealer installs tires= Dealer looses $, closes doors and customers bitch because they have to drive xxx miles for service.
    Dealer charges shop rate to install customers tires= Read above.................

    Lose-Lose

    Sorry it turned out that way for you, but live and learn I guess.
    I just had a tire installation performed at my BMW dealer for a tire I purchased elsewhere. Here is what happened and how the dealer could have made it a win-win.

    At about my first 7,000 miles ( my first BMW with a 10 year gap of not owning a motorcycle and I did not know what to expect) I went to the dealer to get a quote on tires, my front needed replacement and the rear still had some tread life. I rode to my local BMW dealer, the parts guy, did not share or know much about the characteristics of my tire options and I got a quote for "what most people get". I thought the quote was high and I went to a few other sources. I learned that if I remove the tire I can save a few bucks an option the dealer did not tell me about. I went into a Cycle Gear Store and they happened to have a person working in the store who had owned BMW's. We talk about tires, various options for instillation, equipment/tools needed to remove the wheels, what to expect, where we liked to ride, etc. I was still not certain about what to do, so I called my dealer to get a new quote on different tires and installation if I removed the wheels and brought them in. Apparently they were busy, and said they would call back, but never did. I bought the front tire from the guy at Cycle Gear and decided to remove the front tire and take it to his store for installation. Everything went as planned. A couple of months later I buy the rear tire at Cycle Gear on sale and decide to remove the rear wheel and have it installed. For the rear tire Cycle Gear did not have the correct adapter to balance the wheel. I thought no problem, I will just go to the BMW Dealer and ask them to install the tire. When I arrive I get the questioning about where I got the tire, how much it cost, how they could have come close to the price, rolling eyes, etc. then they tell me if you had bought the tire from us it would have cost about $20 for installation and since you didn't it will cost about $40. I am not really worried about the difference, but they make a comment about how I really did not save any money. After disposal and materials it was $63.63.

    First, if I can save a few dollars, I will. However, I am willing to pay a premium for good service and good products. I never buy the cheapest anything, but I am aware of costs and focus on value. Given, this was going to be my first tire change if the dealer had someone who spent 10 or 15 minutes talking to me about tires, costs, options, I never would have "shopped" outside the dealer. Even if I decided to remove the wheels myself, I would have purchased everything I needed including the tires at the dealer if they had taken the time or showed interest. If the dealer acted like they cared and that they were on my side, they would have earned unyielding loyalty from me. As it stands now, I feel no loyalty to the BMW Dealer. I am not saying this was such a big deal that I am bitter or that I won't use the dealer in the future, but it was a big enough deal that I am taking the time to write this. And if a representative from a dealer reads this, perhaps they can see opportunity to turn a situation like this into a win-win. I am not the enemy and I was not trying to nickle and dime the dealership's profit margins

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