BMW - Boleh Makan Wang


Written on 1/23/2007 01:31:00 am by sikapitan

It’s been a weird weekend for me. It started off with a bang, and then ended with a whimper. Chelsea’s lost to Liverpool set up a possible title decider game for Manchester United against Arsenal, and I was really looking forward to United opening an almost decisive 9 points gap. Unfortunately, United failed to win at the Emirates Stadium, and crestfallen that I was, I actually thought it was an entertaining game and could swing either way. But the bitter taste of defeat lasted this whole Monday, added with the almost inept attitude of AutoBavaria.

I mean, I don’t really like to talk about cars and such, because some narrow minded souls might misinterpret them as signs of showing-off, but I must tell my readers to think twice before investing in a Continental car. Their sales team is excellent, and my family can attest to that having bought two Beemers from the same dealer over the course of a few years. They will pamper you, coax you and treat you like a king for you to part with your money.

But things are not as rosy as it seems. I sent my E46 for Inspection 1 (that’s around 40000KM) to AutoBavaria Glenmarie and was disappointed that I had to wait more than an hour before a Customer Service Officer can come and collect the car from me. He was pleasant enough, and in fact I have no qualms over their manners, but still when you have made an appointment you expect nothing less than minimum waiting. As some of you might know, I am currently working (though that term connotes doing something, which I’m actually not) and I wonder how top-level executives deal with the fact that they have to wait, because time means everything now doesn’t it?

Maybe because they have drivers, and I guess that’s one of the problems isn’t it. In a lot filled with E90s and E60s, my chilli red darling perhaps isn’t the most important car to be worked on. Nevertheless, the CSO said that he’ll try to get the car ready by Thursday afternoon, but most likely it will be done before Friday prayers. He promised to give me a call. It was already close to 10AM. Thankfully, I had someone to pick me up from the service centre.

So I waited like a fool on Thursday, but nobody called. And when I called that afternoon, I was told that my CSO was away attending to another client. As I had already expected this to happen, I gamely waited for a cab (I do know how to take a cab, or a bus for that matter) which wasn’t as easy as I thought. 12 ringgit and a pleasant conversation with the cab driver later, I was back at home, thinking if I have to spend another 12 ringgit on Friday.

I went to work with my parents, and I had to make sure my driver dropped me off far from my office, because I’m already kind of embarrassed to be driving a Beemer while my boss prefers Kancil (he’s loaded, but kind of quirky – the Kancil has a driver!) without aggravating the staffs any further by arriving in another Continental car and Chauffeur-driven nonetheless. I called AutoBavaria 5 times the whole day, and suffice to say, my previous day CSO was on leave, and the Service Supervisor can simply tell me that “Siap Isnin la bang, esok cuti!”. I made a small fuss, he promised to call that afternoon, but of course he didn’t.

When I went out with Dan and Fredo the next day (that’s Saturday), I related my story to Dan because he’s currently serving his practical at another continental service outlet. He told me that that is quite typical of all authorized service centers. Behind the posh exterior and friendly CSOs is a group of overworked technician who must be cajoled by the CSOs to take on just another car while the technician is busy fixing up his 10th car of the day. It seems ridiculous isn’t it that for the amount of money you pay that these 3S centers (that’s Sales, Service and Showroom) cannot handle the cars that they proclaimed would receive special attention from AUTHORIZED SERVICE CENTERS.

I finally got my car Monday afternoon, and guess how much they charged me? Close to RM2,000.00, which would be alright if was for parts, but they’re charging close to RM600 for labor, and I find THAT amusing, considering how slow the whole system is towards achieving customer satisfaction.

In truth, I don’t mind the fact that it took so long. I can understand their predicament. Understaffed, overwhelmed. But I DO mind that they don’t bother calling me up as early as Thursday afternoon or even Friday morning to tell me that I won’t be having my car until Monday. People make plans, and people like me REALLY make plans. I’m kind of a nerd when it comes to that, and I get extremely upset when my plans are messed up by external factors. I mean, I’ve got appointments on Friday afternoon, dates to go, places to visit, things to do – all of which requires me to have a car. At least that was the plan. I can think that this problem is simple an indication of our nation’s general customer service attitude – TIDAK APA.

They can hold me at ransom because honestly, I don’t trust going to normal workshops. These Continental brands ingrain in the minds of its customers that anything less that Authorized Service Centers would result in your coolant be filled with urine and your tires with farts. I don’t even want to think about the exorbitant amount of money it takes to maintain what already is an expensive purchase. Isn’t it ironic that the more expensive the thing is, the harder it is to maintain? Just like dating a supermodel then…not that I know anything of that…

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