Thursday, 31 January 2008

BMW Dealers do not want my money

I'm looking for a new car. My accountant tells me that if I purchase one below 120 g/km CO2 emissions in this business year, I can write the whole lot off against tax. This meets my personal and business needs and so I started searching...

...actually, no I didn't. As I am not interested in cars very much, I asked a friend who was. He gave me a short list of ones to consider. On this list was the BMW 118d (snappy name?) and so I thought I would phone and get a test drive sorted:

BMW Bath
Phoned twice. Left messages - this was about 2 weeks ago. Still waiting for them to call me back.

BMW Bristol
I was working in the area and had 20 mins spare and so I dropped in. No 118d in the showroom, but they could get one for me to drive. Fantastic and so a date was booked.

2 days before the test drive I get a call. "Sorry, the 118d is on loan" they tell me as part of some promotion. "Would I be OK driving a 5 month old 118d with last years specification?" they asked. What choice did I have? "OK" I said.

On the test drive day I drove over to Bristol (about a 70min drive) at the agreed time. After waiting 20 minutes at reception the salesman ambled over and invited me to sit down whilst he "located the vehicle". Another 15 minutes passed while he decided that the vehicle had been sold earlier and that - actually - the only thing that could be offered was another car in the range which has automatic transmission. "How similar is this to the 118d?" I asked. "Not very", says the salesman. "But it's all I can do." I suggested that a better option of "what he could do" would be to source a 118d and get back to me with a definite date for a test drive. "Sure", he says "I'll do that on Monday". Today is Thursday and I still haven't heard from him.

So this month's award for Order Prevention goes to BMW a fine example of how to slow the customer down from parting with their hard earned cash.

Anyone else having similar experiences with the motor industry?