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Thread: DIY vs Warranty

  1. #46
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    Quote Originally Posted by marcopolo View Post
    Just to underscore the point about getting the most up-to-date maintenance schedule from the dealer, if you follow the link posted earlier in this thread to A&S Cycles and click on the link for the R1200RT 20,000 km schedule, you'll find that it's a version that calls for the generator belt to be replaced every 60,000 km. That schedule on their website was superceded a while back. The maintenance interval for the generator belt is now every 40,000 km, or every six years. That's just one simple example of things you find on the net, even on BMW dealer websites, not necessarily being up to date.
    See post #26 the very first paragraph on the correct way to stay up to date. Providing the VIN will allow the dealer to go online and pull down the latest recommended maintenance schedule. Although a service writer may give you the proper information the chances of that happening is exceptionally small unless he/she does what I am saying. Do NOT accept anything less.

  2. #47
    Registered User mpmarty's Avatar
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    Having bought a 2004 RT new and had dealer servicing whenever needed I can say that I've never gotten out of the dealership for less than $600.00. I sold the 04 and bought an 06 in 07 and it had 8000 miles on it. I took it from the private party selling it and went directly to the dealer where I had it checked out and serviced as needed. Since then I've done all my own work and instead of giving the dealer $600 I spent it on an extended warranty which bought me a new alternator in 09 and paid a crazy tow bill to boot. I'll keep on doing my own until I need to break the bike in half to get to the clutch, at which point I think I'll take it back to the dealer and suffer the cost.
    Marty - in the western Oregon mountains.'06RT, (gone '04RT, '86 Venture Royal, '81 Yamaha Virago920, '82Suzuki GS1100GK, '76 Suzuki GT750, Triumph 750 Bonneville, BSA Road Rocket 650, 61" Harley knucklehead)

  3. #48
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    Quote Originally Posted by billy walker View Post
    Excellent comments and many dealers can be difficult to work with although that is not really different than the rest of the world. People tend to forget where they came from and most certainly forget where the very food on their table comes from; i.e. the customer feeds and clothes us not the dealer principal. Apparently there's something wrong with doing just what's right and that is true of dealer principals, employees and customers. It's called the human condition.
    Thanks for the heads up & adding some perspective. I'll throw in(even though it "sort of" has nothing to do with maintenance & warranties it does affect attitudes) that: the "lot lizard experience" also takes place where the "maintain & fix it" takes place, thus one of our cultures most detestable creatures works in the same business that keeps 'em running. That alone ought to be enough to cause many to learn some shop skills?
    "If I had my life to live over, I'd dare to make more mistakes next time...I'd relax,I'd limber up... I would take fewer things seriously...take more chances... take more trips...climb more mountains...swim more rivers...eat more ice cream." Jorge Luis Borges at age 85.

  4. #49
    Norm Norms 427's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by billy walker View Post
    Providing the VIN will allow the dealer to go online and pull down the latest recommended maintenance schedule.
    And wouldn't it be nice if owners could access a similar website with such information? Why do we need to spend the time and money to make the trip to a dealer and ask for it?
    Last edited by Norms 427; 04-13-2013 at 03:27 PM.
    Now: '12 R1200RT Midnight Blue Metallic / '11 Ural Patrol 2WD ridden to Alaska / '09 KLR 650 / '05 HD Heritage Softail / '08 Harley Sportster 1200C / '85 Yamaha VMax bought new. I wasn't ready to say goodbye: www.shaunlunt.typepad.com

  5. #50
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    Quote Originally Posted by kantuckid View Post
    Thanks for the heads up & adding some perspective. I'll throw in(even though it "sort of" has nothing to do with maintenance & warranties it does affect attitudes) that: the "lot lizard experience" also takes place where the "maintain & fix it" takes place, thus one of our cultures most detestable creatures works in the same business that keeps 'em running. That alone ought to be enough to cause many to learn some shop skills?
    Good point. Excellent technicians are extremely difficult to find. Excellent employees are difficult to find in all industries however. So much of the work force everywhere simply lacks get up and go and a desire to maintain excellence and motorcycles are no different. I've always maintained a revolving door policy on a new hire and it's a simple one. If you tell me you can do it all that's what I expect. A new hire needs to be truthful. If you moved across the USA to work with us and in a few days I can tell you misled me you will be gone. This policy can create difficulties within the store at times but over a period of time you build up a pretty darn good work force. It's critical that employees not only have the appropriate skills sets to do their work but actually care about the quality of what they do. In addition, you also need a couple of individuals who can be empowered to actually handle issues as they arise and avoid the stupid, idiotic answers we have all experienced from all kinds of stores. A tough combination to meet yet so important. Without good people it's difficult to move forward.

    The age of the internet has introduced new issues with blogging in particular. A blogger is basically a reporter just as much as a newspaper journalist as the blogger is reporting facts (or supposed facts) to a potentially large audience. We have all seen consumer advocate reporters on the news who report on merchant issues. These folks will always attempt to speak with the merchant to get both sides of the story and hopefully a resolution. Most bloggers fail to do this as it typically becomes a post filled with anger and zero resolution was sought for with the offending merchant. Most intelligent adults will understand that not everything they read on the internet is true but you certainly have others who will be in agreement with the blogger despite the fact that no mention is made of a merchant contact. Therefore the merchant never has the opportunity to properly take care of the issue at hand and in all likelihood isn't even aware there was an issue. This creates the cycling of customers which really accomplishes nothing as we all end of with someone else's customer for no real reason. Given the fact these issues arise with every store in creation I guess we're not to supposed to deal with anyone on the planet. A bizarre statement for sure but that is what it ultimately comes down to.

  6. #51
    Ponch ponch1's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by billy walker View Post
    100% correct in everything you said here. The problem is you're dealing with imperfect humans. You will never be able to stamp out all problems.

    Given the power of the internet I believe bloggers have a responsibility to put out quality information. You happened to have a faulty repair. So you blogged about it. If every single dealer makes mistakes and every single dealer has negative comments about them just who are you supposed to deal with? People have an absolute right to blog. However, when you blog you are now the news source. With that should come the self-imposed responsibility of providing valid and accurate information. Would you want NBC just spouting off about different things without verifying sources and accuracy? You just hope the blog has been handled in a responsible intelligent manner. Part of that includes the dealer response and how they handled the error. This usually does not occur. What happens is you hear one-side of the story. If you're beginning to conduct business with a different dealer how are you verifying they have never committed a mistake?

    I'm sorry but I need to stand by my original comments as I believe them to be fair to both parties. The offending dealer needs to know about its mistakes. An ethical store will work to ensure future work hopefully doesn't include the exact same error by the same tech. Either through further training, a technician attitude adjustment or by the loss of employment. Very difficult to know about customer issues if the customer chooses to remain silent. Sounds like a reasonable stance to take and might prevent a customer from getting hurt in the future.

    How does your employer handle mistakes?
    It depends on what the mistake is.

    Like I said, if I paid for the repair, I would have going back, but the time it would take me to go back, deal with the service manager and get it made right, I could fix it myself. I don't think they are a horrible dealer, but I think they push their people to make time. I would have waited another 10 minutes for it to be done right. Anyway, there's nothing I wrote that isn't verifiable or untrue and to be honest, you are biased in that you work for a dealer or have. I have no dog in this hunt other than it's my bike on which I make payments.
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  7. #52
    Ponch ponch1's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by billy walker View Post
    It is true you may have some exceptional individuals that can do incredible things. But you can't base repair times on exceptional individuals as they are few and far between and most of the time unobtainable. Repair times need to be based on average technicians. Granted, not the ideal but how else would you handle it?

    In addition, if you have a tech that is that fast and can also produce the same level of quality, impossible for most folks, he deserves to get paid the 12 hours. Why? Why be that fast and that good in order to make less? It doesn't equate.
    I disagree. I should only be paying for the time spent working on MY bike or car. Paying to have a technician work on another paying job is unethical, IMO.
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  8. #53
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    Quote Originally Posted by ponch1 View Post
    I disagree. I should only be paying for the time spent working on MY bike or car. Paying to have a technician work on another paying job is unethical, IMO.
    I do understand what you're saying. But then what becomes the incentive for a tech to purchase more tools and train more in order to become better at his/her craft? They better he/she becomes the less money they make. Probably not what the tech wants to hear. He or she will actually earn less the better they become. And, will have to work harder and spend more in order to earn less.

    The other side of the coin: what happens if flat rate states 4 hours and the tech takes 5 hours. This is far more likely to occur than the opposite. Are you willing to pay more?

    It is hopefully obvious that the more tools a tech invests in and the more training the tech goes through he/she will become more proficient with the job at hand. Do they really deserve to earn less because they have become better?

  9. #54
    Ponch ponch1's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by billy walker View Post
    I do understand what you're saying. But then what becomes the incentive for a tech to purchase more tools and train more in order to become better at his/her craft? They better he/she becomes the less money they make. Probably not what the tech wants to hear. He or she will actually earn less the better they become. And, will have to work harder and spend more in order to earn less.

    The other side of the coin: what happens if flat rate states 4 hours and the tech takes 5 hours. This is far more likely to occur than the opposite. Are you willing to pay more?

    It is hopefully obvious that the more tools a tech invests in and the more training the tech goes through he/she will become more proficient with the job at hand. Do they really deserve to earn less because they have become better?
    It's the same way in IT. Employees get squeezed for everything. We are expected to pay for our own training and testing if we want to stay current. Almost no company pays for training or certs and they aren't cheap, so I feel the pain. I don't know what the right answer is. May be going flat rate and paying the tech a higher wage. Oops. That won't make sense to some...It's kind of incongruent if a business charges 85+ and hour and a tech gets 15 and hour. Overhead with a normal profit margin can't be that spread apart. Anyway, I understand I have worked both in auto and computer repair. Unfortunately, unless we work for ourselves, we are at someone else's idea of what fair is.
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  10. #55
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    Quote Originally Posted by ponch1 View Post
    It depends on what the mistake is.

    Like I said, if I paid for the repair, I would have going back, but the time it would take me to go back, deal with the service manager and get it made right, I could fix it myself. I don't think they are a horrible dealer, but I think they push their people to make time. I would have waited another 10 minutes for it to be done right. Anyway, there's nothing I wrote that isn't verifiable or untrue and to be honest, you are biased in that you work for a dealer or have. I have no dog in this hunt other than it's my bike on which I make payments.
    Hopefully I am not biased towards dealerships and/or the OEM. I can assure you BMW NA would disagree with that statement when it comes to me. I am more concerned with what is the right thing to do than you will ever know or believe.

    I am a consumer as well. And, I get to experience the mistakes of other industries just like you do. I will never badmouth someone until they have repeatedly proven to me they just don't care. A mistake here and there is essentially a non-issue as I really don't expect to get through life without mistakes occurring both by me and others. But I use that mistake as an opportunity to see if the folks I'm dealing with can be trusted and live up to the responsibility of taking care of their mistakes or do they just provide lip service? I use the mistakes of fellow employees as an opportunity for further training and the strengthening of skill sets and as an opportunity to show customers we actually care. I even put my personal cell phone on my business cards for after business hour issues. Hopefully that represents something to a customer who doesn't know if you can be trusted and relied upon. Asking customers who broke down on a Sunday when we are closed and I picked both their bike and them up at who knows where free of charge and I wasn't getting paid might provide a clue as to how we ran the store.

    Most dealers that I know are actually good people and care. If you never let them know you experienced a problem with them in all likelihood they will never find out. And, that is simply not fair to the store or the customer with the issue.

  11. #56
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    Quote Originally Posted by ponch1 View Post
    .....................May be going flat rate and paying the tech a higher wage. Oops. That won't make sense to some...It's kind of incongruent if a business charges 85+ and hour and a tech gets 15 and hour. Overhead with a normal profit margin can't be that spread apart. Anyway, I understand I have worked both in auto and computer repair. Unfortunately, unless we work for ourselves, we are at someone else's idea of what fair is.
    I realize you may not have knowledge of the financial dynamics in a modern motorcycle dealership. Most people don't as that is not their field of expertise. It would be fair to say you're understating a tech's pay at $15 per. Motorcycle schools cost approximately $20k to $30k to attend. And, when you get out you're pretty much useless until you get experience in the real world of repair. None of our technicians were paid anywhere near $15 per hour. Who can live on that? A proper tool investment over the course of a few years will easily be $30k, $40k, $50k. I was in the computer field for approximately 13 years and specialized in accounting system installations. I never met a computer tech who laid out $50k for the tools required in his/her trade.

    You might be shocked to find out how much it costs to keep the doors open in a motorcycle dealership today. This is not a biased statement, this is just being truthful.

  12. #57
    Ponch ponch1's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by billy walker View Post
    I realize you may not have knowledge of the financial dynamics in a modern motorcycle dealership. Most people don't as that is not their field of expertise. It would be fair to say you're understating a tech's pay at $15 per. Motorcycle schools cost approximately $20k to $30k to attend. And, when you get out you're pretty much useless until you get experience in the real world of repair. None of our technicians were paid anywhere near $15 per hour. Who can live on that? A proper tool investment over the course of a few years will easily be $30k, $40k, $50k. I was in the computer field for approximately 13 years and specialized in accounting system installations. I never met a computer tech who laid out $50k for the tools required in his/her trade.

    You might be shocked to find out how much it costs to keep the doors open in a motorcycle dealership today. This is not a biased statement, this is just being truthful.
    And I am too. IT people have to pay thousands every couple years to keep up their certs. DId you you have cisco certs? microsoft? Novell at one time or even Apple? It all cost money and salaries have flattened or gone down in the last 10 years.

    In my own experience with working on cars and being a customer, I have seen things that shops and dealers do that would turn a normal person's stomach. This includes charging for work that was never done and charging for work that didn't need to be done and I am not talking about making mistakes. One shop I worked for was so bad I turned him into the state when I left. People are only as good as their options and moral compass. In my opinion, in these cases, they preyed on people's ignorance. Then there are the service managers and techs that try to upsell unnecessary stuff. There are honest and good shops, but they are in the minority, IMO.
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  13. #58
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    Quote Originally Posted by ponch1 View Post
    It depends on what the mistake is.

    Like I said, if I paid for the repair, I would have going back, but the time it would take me to go back, deal with the service manager and get it made right, I could fix it myself. I don't think they are a horrible dealer, but I think they push their people to make time. I would have waited another 10 minutes for it to be done right. Anyway, there's nothing I wrote that isn't verifiable or untrue and to be honest, you are biased in that you work for a dealer or have. I have no dog in this hunt other than it's my bike on which I make payments.
    Ponch, I need to say one more thing and then I'm letting sleeping dogs lie.

    I am not a dealer principal. I have been involved in dealer management for decades at this point. I respect the investment and more often then not the sacrifice the dealer principal has made in order to get and keep their store open. The vast majority care about their customer. Given the complexity of a dealership it is far easier to lose money than make it. Witness all the folks who have gone out of business over the last 4 years. And, yes some deservedly.

    In my case we performed over 4,000 repair orders a year. You automatically know mistakes were in that batch. You can safely assume that neither the dealer principal or the service manager was aware of every single mistake that occurred. I love my work but I need to know about those mistakes because if the bike owner doesn't tell me about the mistake he/she may just decide to tell the world via the internet how we suck. The entire store sucks because one technician made a mistake.

    Not only do I love my work I need my job to live. Even though I don't own the store the dealer principal deserves a fair shot at staying in business. I deserve a fair shot at keeping the job I love. The customer deserves a quality repair. If the customer never let's me know of the problem and decides to tell others that has the potential to cause harm to everyone in the chain of events. If we have a tech who all of a sudden decides to let the quality take a dip we need to get it rectified as quickly as possible. Or, perhaps provide additional training. Or, maybe a good ol' firing is called for.

    You most certainly have the right to post your story. But is it really fair to deny the store the opportunity to rectify the issue? And, then bad mouth them on the internet?

  14. #59
    Ponch ponch1's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by billy walker View Post
    Ponch, I need to say one more thing and then I'm letting sleeping dogs lie.

    I am not a dealer principal. I have been involved in dealer management for decades at this point. I respect the investment and more often then not the sacrifice the dealer principal has made in order to get and keep their store open. The vast majority care about their customer. Given the complexity of a dealership it is far easier to lose money than make it. Witness all the folks who have gone out of business over the last 4 years. And, yes some deservedly.

    In my case we performed over 4,000 repair orders a year. You automatically know mistakes were in that batch. You can safely assume that neither the dealer principal or the service manager was aware of every single mistake that occurred. I love my work but I need to know about those mistakes because if the bike owner doesn't tell me about the mistake he/she may just decide to tell the world via the internet how we suck. The entire store sucks because one technician made a mistake.

    Not only do I love my work I need my job to live. Even though I don't own the store the dealer principal deserves a fair shot at staying in business. I deserve a fair shot at keeping the job I love. The customer deserves a quality repair. If the customer never let's me know of the problem and decides to tell others that has the potential to cause harm to everyone in the chain of events. If we have a tech who all of a sudden decides to let the quality take a dip we need to get it rectified as quickly as possible. Or, perhaps provide additional training. Or, maybe a good ol' firing is called for.

    You most certainly have the right to post your story. But is it really fair to deny the store the opportunity to rectify the issue? And, then bad mouth them on the internet?
    Changing the premise to that I am the bad guy won't work. Sorry, but it is what it is. If they want to respond they can at this point, but the issue is behind me and the real point of my blog post wasn't so much the mistake, but that if you can fix things yourself, do so. In fact I think I was pretty understanding of why it happened and sympathized with the tech. I find no error.
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  15. #60
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    Quote Originally Posted by ponch1 View Post
    ............. I find no error.
    Certainly within your rights.

    Consider the subject dropped.

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