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Old 21.05.2021, 18:43
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Zbinden BMW Hagendorf - Poor Service

Just a warning that if you're in the market for a Beemer then avoid this outfit in the Solothurn area, the customer service has a lot to be desired.

I will keep it brief and factual since the issue is still ongoing. However if its not adequately resolved soon I will be handing this over to my legal insurance to manage and writing a letter of complaint to BMW Schweiz.

I ordered a 1 series BMW late last year. Instead of the silver-chrome kidney grill I asked that they order and fit a black one instead since it could not be configured at the factory. The salesman was more than happy to oblige and said it would be swapped out by their mechanics as soon as the car was delivered.

The car arrived in Feb and the grill swap was duly done. Unfortunately unbeknownst to me and the garage, the grill they ordered is not compatible with my model since my model has an active grill (flaps that open and close depending on the ambient temp etc..).


The correct part for my car


The one I currently have fitted

I realised the error when I started to notice screeching noises from the grill when the flaps were opening and closing and fouling with the black plastic grill. I took the car to my local dealer (Binelli BMW in Zug) and they immediately diagnosed the wrong grill as having been fitted and told me to swap it out ASAP because it could lead to overheating.

So a fortnight ago I made the 200km round trip to Zbinden to inform them of 'their' error. The manager I spoke to there seemed completely unbothered and even asked me why I was coming to see them a couple of months after I got the car? He then told me that the salesman who sold me the car has since left the garage so he couldn't do anything until he speaks with him.

This all sounded odd and I wasn't expecting it, but I said fine please call me once you've done that. 2 weeks and nothing, so I pass by again today. The same manager looked annoyed and tells me that their ex-salesman is on holiday so they will see once he's back.

This is when I lose it. I explain that I bought the car from their garage, the contract is with 'Zbinden AG' not 'Salesman X'. Here is my order sheet with the part clearly labelled as having been ordered and fitted by you. The manager explains that if the mistake was made by the salesman he has to pay from his pocket. This sounds completely nuts, I ask whether the mechanic should also chip in since he should have known better before fitting it?

It all sounds very blame gamey and is completely unprofessional given that I am the customer. They should fix the damn issue and then sort out who's to blame amongst themselves later, if they are indeed that petty.

Anyway he sent me away again today promising to call me as soon as he hears back from the salesman. In terms of scope of work, the plastic grill only costs CHF 150 but its the labour (2-3 hours) which seems to be the issue since they need to remove the entire bumper to swap it out.

Anyway, I would avoid this garage since they seem to lack professionalism and any semblance of customer care. Perhaps its because I'm a lowly 1 series customer or a foreigner, I really don't know
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Old 21.05.2021, 19:16
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Re: Zbinden BMW Hagendorf - Poor Service

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Just a warning that if you're in the market for a Beemer then avoid this outfit in the Solothurn area, the customer service has a lot to be desired.

I will keep it brief and factual since the issue is still ongoing. However if its not adequately resolved soon I will be handing this over to my legal insurance to manage and writing a letter of complaint to BMW Schweiz.

I ordered a 1 series BMW late last year. Instead of the silver-chrome kidney grill I asked that they order and fit a black one instead since it could not be configured at the factory. The salesman was more than happy to oblige and said it would be swapped out by their mechanics as soon as the car was delivered.

The car arrived in Feb and the grill swap was duly done. Unfortunately unbeknownst to me and the garage, the grill they ordered is not compatible with my model since my model has an active grill (flaps that open and close depending on the ambient temp etc..).


The correct part for my car


The one I currently have fitted

I realised the error when I started to notice screeching noises from the grill when the flaps were opening and closing and fouling with the black plastic grill. I took the car to my local dealer (Binelli BMW in Zug) and they immediately diagnosed the wrong grill as having been fitted and told me to swap it out ASAP because it could lead to overheating.

So a fortnight ago I made the 200km round trip to Zbinden to inform them of 'their' error. The manager I spoke to there seemed completely unbothered and even asked me why I was coming to see them a couple of months after I got the car? He then told me that the salesman who sold me the car has since left the garage so he couldn't do anything until he speaks with him.

This all sounded odd and I wasn't expecting it, but I said fine please call me once you've done that. 2 weeks and nothing, so I pass by again today. The same manager looked annoyed and tells me that their ex-salesman is on holiday so they will see once he's back.

This is when I lose it. I explain that I bought the car from their garage, the contract is with 'Zbinden AG' not 'Salesman X'. Here is my order sheet with the part clearly labelled as having been ordered and fitted by you. The manager explains that if the mistake was made by the salesman he has to pay from his pocket. This sounds completely nuts, I ask whether the mechanic should also chip in since he should have known better before fitting it?

It all sounds very blame gamey and is completely unprofessional given that I am the customer. They should fix the damn issue and then sort out who's to blame amongst themselves later, if they are indeed that petty.

Anyway he sent me away again today promising to call me as soon as he hears back from the salesman. In terms of scope of work, the plastic grill only costs CHF 150 but its the labour (2-3 hours) which seems to be the issue since they need to remove the entire bumper to swap it out.

Anyway, I would avoid this garage since they seem to lack professionalism and any semblance of customer care. Perhaps its because I'm a lowly 1 series customer or a foreigner, I really don't know
I feel sorry for you and indeed it's not professional . However NICE ride !

I only wonder why did you make 100km one way to purchase in this particular outfit ?

and I do know the shop - got once one for spin - nothing special from garage side, regular blocks with pretty good score on google or other fk-portal

- have you written a letter with the problem description to them that be registered letter , with timeline of expected problem resolution and claim cost of demages should any arise of their fault ?
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Old 21.05.2021, 19:29
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Re: Zbinden BMW Hagendorf - Poor Service

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I feel sorry for you and indeed it's not professional . However NICE ride !

I only wonder why did you make 100km one way to purchase in this particular outfit ?
Thanks
They were one of the first garages in this part of the country to have a demo of the 128ti. After the test drive I could have ordered from any dealer but thought I would give them my business since it only seemed fair. Most things like servicing and warranty issues can be done at any BMW dealer so I didn't think it mattered where I bought it in CH.

In hindsight I should probably have gone with one of the bigger chains in this part of the world e.g. Binelli Group or Hedin Automotive
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Old 21.05.2021, 20:07
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Re: Zbinden BMW Hagendorf - Poor Service

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This is when I lose it. I explain that I bought the car from their garage, the contract is with 'Zbinden AG' not 'Salesman X'. Here is my order sheet with the part clearly labelled as having been ordered and fitted by you. The manager explains that if the mistake was made by the salesman he has to pay from his pocket. This sounds completely nuts, I ask whether the mechanic should also chip in since he should have known better before fitting it?
Absolutely right.

I just ordered new winter wheels from my local BMW dealership. I went with the guy who sold me the car because he speaks French. All he did was take me to the repair shop because the fitting of parts is 100% responsibility of repair shop. From there I continued on my comical German and had a long talk if the wheels I wanted were homologated for winter. They are, but I ordered something out of the box: winter wheels same size as summer ones.

The point is there is a list of parts that can be fitted in the car. This is responsibility of the repairs/mechanics. Parts and repair has nothing to deal with car sales people. Therefore, it's a lame excuse to blame the car sales guy. It's a failure from the mechanics and therefore the dealership.

I'm also sure your ▄bergabe-Protokol says Zbinden AG. If they had any sense of responsibility, Zbinden AG would have already offered to fix the issue.

Next time ask for test drive in the BMW Experience Center in Dielsdorf. That way you don't make the mistake of feeling obliged to buy to backwater dealership.

But, did you pay in cash or is it a leasing? If it's a leasing, the car owner is BMW Schweiz AG in Dieldsdorf. They're looking forward to know more about the phuck ups of locals dealers.
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Old 21.05.2021, 20:42
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Re: Zbinden BMW Hagendorf - Poor Service

and I think you done right thing and same time I guess better would be to order locally as it's always easier to drop by for anything rather than going for 200km round -

Just few years back you could have got a good meal @ 2-star Michelin Lampat's restaurant but now it's gone.

To me it looks more like commission issue that current shop manager try to get as mechanics are on payroll so there be no cost for the garage at all.

Anyway - I would have written letter sent with copy to BMW CH - that should push the case forwrd
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Old 21.05.2021, 21:11
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I'm also sure your ▄bergabe-Protokol says Zbinden AG. If they had any sense of responsibility, Zbinden AG would have already offered to fix the issue.
The person I spoke to is one of the owners, so ultimately the buck stops with him. He's letting his anger at the salesman cloud the fact that he should do right by the customer in the first instance. Its a very small minded and parochial frame of mind.

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Next time ask for test drive in the BMW Experience Center in Dielsdorf. That way you don't make the mistake of feeling obliged to buy to backwater dealership.

But, did you pay in cash or is it a leasing? If it's a leasing, the car owner is BMW Schweiz AG in Dieldsdorf. They're looking forward to know more about the phuck ups of locals dealers.
Its a lease, so I will escalate to BMW if I don't get any joy by next week. It would actually be preferable if they sort it out at my local dealer so I don't have to drive all the way back to Olten (the Garden of Eden that it is )
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Old 21.05.2021, 22:11
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Re: Zbinden BMW Hagendorf - Poor Service

Somehow, "the shiney black grill doesn't fit on my car" sounds a bit like a first world problem
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Old 22.05.2021, 00:41
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Re: Zbinden BMW Hagendorf - Poor Service

If the dealer is worth their salt, they know these things

my dealer pinged me as an order on a car for delivery mid-year could not be made with adaptive cruise control. Let's just say that he had an acceptable story lined up whereby the impact to me was removal of the option PLUS a significant discount for the inconvenience.

I still find him salesmany but he protected my interests plus his sales interests.

BMW just to balance it out.

Everyone has this supply chain issue at the moment
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Old 22.05.2021, 07:06
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Re: Zbinden BMW Hagendorf - Poor Service

What a crappy situation! (especially for something so seemingly insignificant)


Here are some thoughts:


- In effect, could the part be considered defective, thus triggering a warranty claim, resolvable at any BMW garage? (I know it's a bit of a stretch)
- I know the guys in Zug well, as I've bought a few cars from them and I have found all the departments there excellent. Could they not help you get in contact with BMW Switzerland? I know you didn't buy the car there, but I can only imagine that they would want to be helpful to a prospective new client
- I really wouldn't delay contacting BMW Switzerland. You only need the dealership to sort the problem and then you can move all the other requirements to Binelli moving forwards


Good luck
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Old 22.05.2021, 12:10
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- In effect, could the part be considered defective, thus triggering a warranty claim, resolvable at any BMW garage? (I know it's a bit of a stretch)
Cheers NickGB, thats actually a very good idea. The car is faulty in the state that it was handed over to me, so BMW AG should fix it and sort out the liabilities behind the scenes. I'll write them an email this weekend.
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Old 22.05.2021, 18:38
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Cheers NickGB, thats actually a very good idea. The car is faulty in the state that it was handed over to me, so BMW AG should fix it and sort out the liabilities behind the scenes. I'll write them an email this weekend.
I was thinking the same but than - wasn't that your agreement post-sales with garage to alter/change the car at 0$ - as such that is just now you responsible for it..

not saying it was the way - all I am thinking is it could be spon that way and it be legal matter of who on which order done what and was it remediation of worng item installed or post-sales change (0$) that you both agreed on.

Until there is safety concerns it be legal to install parts that do now work well with rest of the car I guess ..

just playing here devil's advocate.

I think any garage should just say "we really sorry - it was a honest mistake - here is how we going to fix it ..." and nothing more to add.
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Old 23.05.2021, 20:36
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In terms of scope of work, the plastic grill only costs CHF 150 but its the labour (2-3 hours) which seems to be the issue since they need to remove the entire bumper to swap it out.

Are you sure about this. I know this is a different car, but this video is of the current generation 3 series and also with 'flaps'
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Wgj6qX7Lgt0&t=222s
Did they give you the original grill? (When I specced one of my BMWs with a black grill, they fitted it, but left the original grill, in packaging, in the boot)
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Old 23.05.2021, 21:00
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Are you sure about this. I know this is a different car, but this video is of the current generation 3 series and also with 'flaps'
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Wgj6qX7Lgt0&t=222s
Its a much bigger job on the current 1-series (F40) which is why the dealer is baulking at having to re-do it.. Here is the step-by-step guide which shows how you have to remove the bumper to access the grill retainer clips.

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Did they give you the original grill? (When I specced one of my BMWs with a black grill, they fitted it, but left the original grill, in packaging, in the boot)
Yup, I have the original silver grill in a box.
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Old 01.06.2021, 15:58
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Re: Zbinden BMW Hagendorf - Poor Service

Just to square the circle. I contacted BMW Switzerland last week and they conducted a thorough investigation including speaking with Zbinden. They concluded that Zbinden should replace the grill at their expense, and that this could also be done at my local dealership (Binelli in Zug).

So a plus point to BMW CH for coming to the rescue, but my opinion of Zbinden remains unchanged.
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Old 01.06.2021, 17:08
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Re: Zbinden BMW Hagendorf - Poor Service

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Just to square the circle. I contacted BMW Switzerland last week and they conducted a thorough investigation including speaking with Zbinden. They concluded that Zbinden should replace the grill at their expense, and that this could also be done at my local dealership (Binelli in Zug).

So a plus point to BMW CH for coming to the rescue, but my opinion of Zbinden remains unchanged.
It was a strange story since the beginning. The manager that denied responsibility was going to be caught anyway, so why lie in first place? People are strange.
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Old 01.06.2021, 17:24
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It was a strange story since the beginning. The manager that denied responsibility was going to be caught anyway, so why lie in first place? People are strange.
To be clear he didn't lie or even deny responsibility, he just expected me to wait more than a month to conduct a convoluted investigation to establish who in the garage was responsible before he would correct it.
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