View Poll Results: what you you do?

9. You may not vote on this poll
  • Pay nothing, let Classic eat the rest. Clearly their mistake.

    2 22.22%
  • Pay for the parts, but not labor since it was their mistake.

    4 44.44%
  • Be a nice guy and Pay half the remaining balance ($900)?

    3 33.33%
  • Do something different -- please post what you would do.

    0 0%
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Thread: AC Repair with Latent costs -- your opinion please

  1. #1
    Z8 Addict Z8doc's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2004

    AC Repair with Latent costs -- your opinion please

    After the fantastic time in Monterey in August, my Z8 returned to Classic BMW in Dallas as planned. Since I was unable to come down to Dallas from Oklahoma until a few weeks later to pick the car up, I decided to get a few repairs done while the car was there, especially considering how well Classic had treat the Texas 8 and their overall service had an exceptional reputation.

    There were several little things that needed but a couple more major problems that actually developed while in Monterey, namely, the AC began leaking in the passenger foot well for the first time, and one of the convertible top strings broke on the passenger side.

    The repairs commenced shortly after the car arrived in late August but due to waiting for parts (I was told), the repair work was not completed till nearly the end of September and I could not get down to Dallas until the first week of October to pick the car up.

    Before the work on the AC leak and Convertible top was authorized by me, I asked for an estimate of repairs since the Z8 was well beyond the factory 48 month warranty, but, I do have an extended aftermarket warranty and I gave the information to Classic. BEFORE the repairs were completed, the service advisor at Classic informed be that BMW was going to fully warranty the cost of repairing the AC leak AND the Convertible Top repair. I thought --GREAT! What a great company BMW is!!

    When I picked the car up, the bill was just that, fully covered and I only paid for some other minor repairs to the glove box, etc totaling about $350.

    The problem now is this: I received an email from the service advisor at Classic on November 29th, telling me that the warranty work was not covered by BMW as planned, in particular, the AC leak work. He further stated that after some wrangling with BMW, he got BMW to cover 50% of the repair costs but was now asking me to pay the balance or he, the service advisor, would have to pay Classic the balance, since it was his mistake. The balance after BMW covered 50% -- $1,851.20!!

    I asked for an itemized statement showing what was paid by BMW but he states that since the bill is closed out, he can not give it to me or change it to show the itemized amount but did send me a list of parts and a separate breakdown of how much was labor.

    The repair is very similar to what is posted in the previous post on AC leaks on our board. Total Parts: -- $33.91 which consists of a Grommet, $31.91, 2 Gaskets, one @ $.92 and the other @ $1.46. Labor -- 33.75 HOURS @ $3,688.20!!!

    My first reaction is as anyone would be, shock. But always a skeptic, I contacted Bill Stuart to try and get some validation to the whole deal. He verified that BMW did in fact warranty in good faith the 50%. I then preliminarily agreed to pay 50% of the remaining balance ($900) toward the repair provided I could get documentation of who paid what including that the service advisor was going to pay the other 50% of the balance ($900) and copies of the warranty ticket showing the repairs. What I got was just a hand written note attached to the bottom of an internal email at Classic stating the service advisor agreed to pay the balance but no documentation as to the amount of actual warranty work done or any documentation of what BMW paid.

    As of yet, I have not sent any money to them. My feelings on this are mixed. On one had, I did benefit from the repair for sure but, IMHO, had I known in advance that this was NOT going to be covered and I would be asked to pay the original balance of $3600, I probably would not have opted to do that AC repair at that time but we will never know as I was denied that opportunity. Bill Stuart could not verify through BWM the labor time Classic said was necessary (33.75 hours) as many of the repairs on a Z8 have no predetermined labor costs / codes to refer too and this is no different.

    In the one post on our website, one repair was 5 hours but was just blowing out the clogged drain. The service advisor told me in order to effect the repair, they even had to drop the transmission , and take apart the dash and hence, the excessive labor costs. I have talked to some BMW independent mechanics who are familiar with my Z8 and they consider this labor to be excessive. Also, I know another Alpina owner locally whose car was flooded and had to have the entire interior replaced and mud cleaned out from everywhere and the total labor including swapping out most of the interior parts, electrical circuits, etc was only 39 hours labor for the whole clean up.

    Not that I feel I should not have to pay anything, but clearly this is their mistake. As a consumer, I do not feel compelled to pay a dime since I was denied the opportunity to determine whether I wanted to spend money on the repair or not. Since BMW paid 50% ($1,851), that more than likely has covered the dealer costs including the parts for the whole thing. The parts were only $33.91. Even if the actual Tech time was 33.75 hours, the tech 'cost' (i.e., what the tech was paid) were probably in the ballpark of no more than $30 / hour which brings Classic BMW actual 'costs" to $1,046.41. That leaves Classic and the service advisor with roughly $800 dollars of relative profit already so they clearly are not 'in the hole' in reality. After thinking about it, I am not sure I should pay for anything other than maybe the actual parts. I feel as though they are preying on me being a nice guy, a Z8 owner (he can afford it) and laying out the guilt by saying the service advisor is going to have to cover half the cost if I do not pay (something that is unusual considering BMW paid what they did).

    Therefore, now turning to you for a concensus of opinion. What would you do?
    Best Regards,

    61995 Silver /// Rot - Original Owner
    Z8 Club of Germany e.V. #102

  2. #2
    Well the best reason to pay is to be done with it, and also to have some recourse if there is any kind of fault with the job. If you take a very tough stance with them, and then there is any part of the work that is not correct, neither of you will want to have them work on your car again. Since the job does require dropping the transmission and pulling out the dash there is the opportunity for error in reassembly. Myself I'd simply keep it sweet and make sure everyone loves me and the car, especially as Bill did his magic.
    Andrew Macpherson

    Expert Z8 Inspections, with full support for both Z8 sale and purchases.

  3. #3
    Z8 Ate My Homework! Norcal's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2002
    Seems like if you could get off only paying $900, that would be a fantastic deal considering the amount of work that went into it. As for the lack of a detailed invoice, absolutely inexcusable (legal?). With the Z8s many repairs are not "standard" shouldn't BMW have a database or other system whereby service depts can submit the repair costs/times etc for future reference by other dealers? How do we know if dropping the transmission was required, or if the service dept. just didn't know a more efficient way? We should not have to pay for the learning curve.

    Still.....900 is fair for sure, perhaps more.

  4. #4
    Team Z8 KenZ8's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2004
    What about your extended aftermarket policy? Since this is now a chargeable repair, did they attempt to bill them? These policies often require preauthorization before the repair is started, so their mis-information in the beginning could have cost you the aftermarket participation.
    I am surprised by several factors; I did not think it was possible to "close out" a work order unless the balance was paid by someone, whether it is the customer, BMW, or a third party insurer. If it was authorized to close out with BMW picking up the tab, then it would be important to understand what changed and made you liable. If your extended policy would have paid towards the repair, but will not pay now, then that would be a reasonable amount to withhold. Most of all, I am surprised that they came back to you for payment that you were told you would not be responsible for. In my thirty years of running a service company,there have been similar "errors" over the years, and I would not dream of going back to a customer after my employee told them that the invoice was paid. We just ate it as a cost of doing business. It never tasted very good, but there was always something that we learned by it, and changed the SOP to avoid it happening again. And it always did, for a different reason. That's just part of the fun of having employees and not doing everything yourself.
    I would want to know a lot more about the circumstances from the service manager and possibly the dealership management before paying anything. I was very impressed with the dealership and would not want to "get away" with anything and leave them hanging, but I would want to be comfortable with the details and not feel "taken".

  5. #5
    Z8 Novice
    Join Date
    Nov 2008
    33 hours to fix an AC leak!? That means that their mechanic spent almost the entire week on your car. I bet Bill was shocked by the bill when he saw it. 50% was all he could cover.

  6. #6
    Z8 Addict Scott Pettit's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2008
    I agree with Ken. I own a service business and on the few times that we made a mistake with a quote, we ate the difference.

    30 whatever hours???? They are charging for the time that it took them to learn how to do the repair and that is not right. When a a/c drain on a Z3 plugs, (and water enters the passenger footwell) it is a very simple matter to unplug it.

    I don't know what BMW's agreement for reimbursement is with their dealers but I would imagine that the dealer in this case is not happy with the reimbursement and is trying to get $$$ out of you.

    As far as the dealer making the service writer pay the difference. In California, the dealer / employer would be hung out to dry by the Department of Labor Standards Enforcement. Even though, in this case, it appears that the SW is the root of the problem.

  7. #7
    Beyond the Valley of Z8 Madness
    Join Date
    Sep 2005
    When it comes to a large establishment (dealer) backed by an even larger company (BMW) v.s. an individual, I think the dealer should pay for their mistakes.

    A side note, we, as a group, should consider pressuring BMW NA to establish labor times for common issues (Vanos, Carbon Buildup, AC, etc.) on the Z8.
    2003 Z8 Black/Red

  8. #8
    Sport Button On - DSC Off gutMD's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2008
    Seems to me that the dealer has already made some profit as they've already collected $1851.00 that more than covered their estimated cost's. It is inexcusable for a corporation to forward the cost of internal errors to a consumer after a given service is provided. You made an informed decision to agree to have your car serviced based on information provided to you by the dealer.

    Furthermore they have the nerve to ask you for more money but cannot account for those expenses with an itemized bill for services rendered. As my daughters would say "sure sounds sketchy".
    Lastly, although I could be wrong I find it hard to believe that state law would allow an employer to withhold wages for errors made on the job that did not have any malicious intent.

    I'd make them eat the cost at this point pointing out my reasoning for doing so, let Bill know what has happened as behavior such as this reflects poorly on BMW corporate, and avoid doing business with them in the future.
    2002 Topaz // Crema

  9. #9
    Team Z8 RRZ8's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2006
    Jeff, correct me if I am wrong, Classic BMW spent 33 hours on an AC leak and a string repair? The string repair is a 30 minute job. What did they do 32,5 hours? Did they completely took the interior and engine out?? It sounds like they might have added some (....) hours.....