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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
A friend and I got up early Saturday morning and drove 250 miles to BMW of Atlanta, where I left my bike to have the ECU replaced. Upon arrival I met with the service manager, Billy ( I think). Although I didn't expect to be greeted with hugs and kisses, Billy was far less than welcoming. He seemed to be annoyed while writing my service order, and was very "matter-of-fact" with his responses to my questions, almost to the point of being rather terse. It was the kind of situation where you could tell the other person has no interest in talking to you and could care less about your concerns. On the other hand, Paul, another service writer, was very friendly and quite cordial. I guess I was just wondering if some of you have experienced he same type of treatment from BMW of Atlanta, specifically, Billy. Made me a bit apprehensive about leaving my bike. We'll see, I suppose. I'll keep you guys posted on this.

OkeefenokeeJoe
 

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Please do keep us posted. Service is very important and comments made here will influence many members.
Maybe Billy just got up on the wrong side of the bed.
 

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I've always been treated pleasantly at BMW of Atlanta. I bought my bike there and they get all of my service business. I've had a couple of minor warranty claims and they've never blinked an eye. I am surprised to hear your experience as BMWMA is usually a really fun place as they are all riders and very active in the BMW community, from the owners on down. I hope things are different when you pick your bike up.
 

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form or function?

true dat! i have had experience with 3 bmw dealerships. 2 very unfriendly, 1 very friendly. generally speaking, bmw dealers have that arrogant asshole reputation. only friendly guys were in daytona. neither dealer in tampa or missoula, montana will give u the time of day. keep in mind, this aint got nothing to do with quality of service. also, bmw hasnt exactly set the world on fire in the states with motorcycles. they might sell 15,000 bikes a yr over here, harley will sell 350,000 per/yr. part of the problem may be that insular arrogance...............
 

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Don't worry. Bill has the personality of a wet mop but he is really OK. You have to push yourself on him to get much of a response. I had a real problem with him personally when I first went there but got the issues settled (very fairly and proactively) by Bill and the owners. Since that time, it has been just fine. Paul, the service writer is a good guy and does his best to satisfy you.

Regarding service, I get two bikes serviced there and have been more than satisfied. I'll bet you'll be satisfied with the service. Take a minute to introduce yourself to Bob and Linda, the owners or their son, Bobby. All good folks!
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Thanks, guys, for your response. I am hoping that Bill's behavior was due to all the activity going on at the dealership. The place was packed with people who were attending "open house." There were numerous others there congregating for a toy run. In addition, several people were milling about in the service department where employees were cooking sausages on the grill, and making chili for open house attendees. Maybe all the commotion had Bill's nerves a little frayed. Nevertheless, you'd think when a person arrives at the service department, after spending several hours on the road with two bikes in tow, one would at least be made to feel welcome. I am, however, hoping to be pleasantly suprised. Again, I'll give the board a follow-up after I return home in a few days with my bike.
 

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Everyone and I mean everyone at Cycle Werks of Barrington (IL) has been an exceptional person to deal with. The owner paid for the tank part after I tried to remove the warning stickers and BMW said "no way". The parts department guy always has a smile and the service guys are professional and know what they are doing. When, I bought my GT in Oct. I left the dealership to go to another Chicago dealer and check prices. We drove 10 minutes and my wife convinced me to turn around and go back. Like she said service and attitude lasts a lot longer than a cheap price.
It is 90 miles for me to get there, but I am glad I did.
 

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My dealer, Main Line BMW, in Devon, PA is a great place to deal with. Best attitudes and service. I look forward to going into the place.
 

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OkeefenokeeJoe said:
Billy was far less than welcoming. He seemed to be annoyed while writing my service order, and was very "matter-of-fact" with his responses to my questions, almost to the point of being rather terse. OkeefenokeeJoe
Ok, so it's not just me then.

I was there the week before to have my ECU replaced and had already decided that it would be the last time I took the bike there because I had grown to hate dealing with Bill. In fact, they had the part in for about 3 weeks before I even called back to schedule the replacement just because I didn't want to deal with Bill.

Surprisingly, he seemed to be a bit friendlier than usual and after talking to a friend who knows him fairly well, it seems that it just takes time for him to warm up to folks.

I think he's probably an ok guy once he gets to know you a little but it does make for an uncomfortable relationship up front. I think he is most comfortable with the sort of biker that drives up, tosses the key and a credit card on the service desk and says 'Fix it'.

I have absolutely no complaints with the workmanship though. Everything that I've had done there was top notch. And the owners, Bob and Linda, are both great people and a hoot to talk to.
 

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Dealer Service

My dealer is Hermy's in Port Clinton, PA. A great shop and friendly staff - they really go out of their way to help their customers. Have had a couple of issues with my bike and they really helped me out and looked out for my interests. I would recommend Hermy's to anyone - its worth the ride.
 

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Service Managers

I have had some great service managers and some poor service managers in my time. Some of this has been helped by establishing a relationship with the dealership.

In the end, service is the engine what provides the dealership with the most lifetime revenue per bike. The first part of Service Manager is "Service". They have to be people people, they have to be a little sales person. they have to have the right personallity and they have to be organized. Being a great technican does not make one a great service manager. Thoses dealerships with great service managers will always be great dealerships. We do not have to talk about the others.

Howard
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
Well said, Howard. I agree. Service appears to be the common "missing link" with service managers. Certainly, being able to relate to customers, understand their needs, offer advice and approach to the problem(s) at hand and, finally, building trust is an essential quality. You'd think dealerships would understand this and hire/promote accordingly. I can't believe the labor market for service managers is so thin that just anyone is placed in such a responsible position.

Thanks, Howard, for your insight.

OkeefenokeeJoe
 

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Service Manager

I bought my bike (04 K1200RS) over the phone from Max's in Hampton, NH, 100 miles away. They have two locations: Southern NH and outside Troy, NY. They will pick your bike up, free of charge, for service, do the work, and bring it back to your door.

Their service manager, Butch has been a real pleasure to work with. I discovered yesterday, thanks in part to the posts here, that my ECU is part of the TSB and I'm getting it replaced. Butch is doing all he can to get it in and get the paperwork going before year end to ensure BMWNA covers it under warranty, which will cease in two weeks.

These guys rock. I can't say enough good things about them. EVERYONE associated with this dealership that I've worked with has been great.

Flashback to 1989. A little dealer in Greensburg, PA. I was living in Pittsburgh at the time. My first bike, an '88 K75c. I can't remember the guy's name. A little hole in the wall shop. But these guys were also great.

I'm not usually an easy person to deal with when it comes to vehicle maintanence. I have a fairly good idea when someone's blowing smoke. I guess I've been really lucky in my delership dealings.
 
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