View Full Version : AVOID BMW Fairfax!!!

04-26-2011, 07:09 PM
first of all i have been going to this dealer for almost 10 years and bought several cars including 2 m3's and a x5m recently in addition to the cars my company has purchased.
Short version:
i go in for a 15k oil change and walk out w/ 9 extra miles and a gashed up front rim.
Long version:
400 miles left before the oil service due i take my car to bmw ffx. I get there around 9am the service advisor has NO idea that i made an appointment or why i was there. I explain im there for a oil change. The service manager says i don't need an oil change! So being polite i tell them the i-Drive and dash is indicating an oil service required. He then proceeds to open my hood all my doors and is practically giving me a warranty inspection. As i had a friend follow me i told him to contact me if he needed anything else. At this point the service manager said i couldn't leave until he thoroughly inspected the car. So i wait wait wait 15 min rolls by, he writes down my odometer and i leave. fast fwd to 6:30pm where i try to call and see if they can get my car ready. I call no less than 7 times before someone picks up and they claim they have no information on my car or if its even there. I kindly request they check again w/ my phone number, name, company name etc and they finally say they have located the car. I get there in less than 5 min from hanging up.
The service ticket says the air filter has been replaced when i told them EXPLICITLY NOT to, a bmw service comes by and confirms they only wrote that in the ticket so my warranty wont' be affected. I get in the car and notice my passenger side seat has been moved esp the thigh support. I drive away and notice the fuel reserve light and also noticed the mileage and oil level light. I snapped this pic in disbelief!
I then get home walk around the car and notice this :mad0260:
Fresh gashed up wheels!
This wasn't the first time i heard of bad service here as another coworker took his 335 there and they scratched his trunk .
Now i'm waiting for the service director who won't return my calls!

John in VA
04-26-2011, 07:24 PM
You're now a member of the club! My only experience was for an E30 factory recall (heater valve bypass). Took the car down the night before service, as they told me if the car was hot they couldn't/wouldn't work on it. Car was vandalized that night. The service mgr said there was nothing they could do - that was why I had insurance. On top of that the car wasn't ready when they said it would be - had to wait an add'l 1.5 hours, and after all that the coolant level wasn't correct. My last trip there for service...

04-27-2011, 11:14 PM
Let me fill everybody in on the internal workings of a dealership. I've been a BMW technician in the DC area for the past 10 years, and have worked for two different dealers in that time. I am one of the good guys in the dealer, and a BMW enthusiast. I was directed to this post by one of my good friends, and customer whom I met about eight years ago while servicing his car.
In any large dealership it is hard to receive consistently good service. Due to the number of people involved in any transaction there are many possibilities for things to go wrong . There are good associates and bad associates at every dealership, and it's almost impossible to get only the good ones every visit. Trust me when I say that it would be nice to have a huge pool of over qualified employees beating the doors down to be hired, but there's not, so the dealers have a hard time filling positions with only grade A quality personal.
Your best chance at receiving good service is to find a good knowledgable contact at the dealer you frequent. I would recommend a technician, or an advisor for this contact because they will be able to monitor your car throughout the entire service process.

Many problems occur when communication breaks down between the customer, the advisor, and the technician. I see examples of communication break down in both posts above.
Another problem is product training/ knowledge of the service staff that is in direct contact with you. The people that communicate with customers in a dealer likely have very little, or no knowledge of the product that they are working with, and therefore have difficulty setting expectation for their customers, and are unable to assist with problems that may just require a simple fix. The personal turn over rate in a dealer is huge, and BMW is a very difficult brand to learn! There is no way to teach everybody everything about the brand overnight, yet another example why you need a good contact at your dealer.
To make a long story short, by going to another dealer doesn't ensure that you will receive better service there every visit either. As for the problems with the service visit in this post please PM me novablackm3, and I will do my best to take care of you! I do work for BMW of Fairfax, and I can help you. I want you to know that I have nothing to gain, or loose personally by responding to your post. I just want you, and everybody else to know that we're not all bad.
As for the bad things that have happened I can only apologize, and help with fixing what has been done

04-28-2011, 05:43 AM
Just as an FYI the message displayed on your instrument cluster is not an oil level warning. That is just the oil level display function of the Board Computer that can be cued up by pressing the BC button on the turn signal stalk. As you may already know there are no oil dipsticks on any new BMWs, so the only way to check the oil levels in these cars is with oil level sensor via this display. The oil level in your display is good. The arrows in the display represent the Max, and Min oil levels. The dash in the middle represents Full. Your oil level is above full, but below Max which is what we aim for during a service. If the oil level is too close to the max mark when filled it is possible that in some cases an oil level too high message could be displayed, so we try to stay a little below the max level. The reason that this was displayed after your service is because that is how the technician will reset the oil level readings following a service. The oil level sensor can only detect oil level when the engine oil is at operating temp. The oil level is stored after the engine is shut down so that it can be displayed immediately upon start up for the driver to see, so it must be reset manually to ensure that the display is accurate when checked by the technician after a service. The engine oil has to reach operating temp before oil measurements can be made, so many times the vehicles are driven to bring the oil up to operating temp following a service to speed up the warming of the oil. The vehicles are also driven before a service to get the oil enough to drain properly. Now, this does not warrant 9 miles, but 4-5 is not uncommon.

04-28-2011, 08:24 AM
Nice to see a response to this situation and hopefully it all works out.

04-29-2011, 08:22 PM
I too have recently been to this dealer. I have to say...the Service Advisor has been horrible. Terrible communication does not come close to describing this person's M.O. No return of calls or emails. Turning in the car with no idea of when it will be ready...and no call at the end of the day. Car in for three days and then on the 4th day, when the car should be ready, he's off and leaves no note of who to call. Really? I have a loaner, but I miss my car!

The only saving grace has been that the tech (wonder if it's the same person posting above) has been amazing. IN fact, the first time I brought the car in, he called me and spent 45 minutes (really, 45 minutes!) on the phone with me explaining what they had done and going over some of the ins and outs of the new systems of the car. IN fact, HE has called me more times than my Service Advisor!

I truly believe this is a good dealership as they seem to want to make things right. But good luck depending on which S.A. you get!

04-30-2011, 10:11 PM
I do spend a lot of time on the phone! I like for all of my clients to understand the systems that I am servicing on their vehicles, and how that effects my diagnosis. If my clients better understand how their vehicles operate, they may be able to provide me with important diagnostic information.

I hope that we are able resolve our communication issues at BFF. Our management does recognize that there is a serious problem with communication that has to be corrected immediately. We are currently
Pin the process of training 6 new service advisors, so that we can lower our client to service advisor ratio allowing the advisors to spend more time assisting each client.

We are also working on an in-house call answering center that should launch within the next few weeks. This new call center will be located in the service department, and should greatly improve communications by phone. We currently use an off-site phone answering service that has a reputation for providing poor service to our clients which is unacceptable.

I apologize for the inconveniences to some, but I assure you that our new manager is very focused on improving our customer satisfaction.

2007 335i
05-01-2011, 07:32 PM
This is great information. The damage and extra mileage is certainly unacceptable. I'm a relatively new owner. I bought my car with some time left on the warranty and took my car to Fairfax BMW. Although I initially had an issue with responsiveness, the experience has generally been favorable. The service advisor and I spent a bit of time communicating my requirements and his client load. The point made by BMWtech22006 is characteristic of the explanations I got from one of he techs at Fairfax. Detailed and professional. I am interested in knowing what makes the car tick and he took takes the time to explain it. Whether it is part of the operating procedures or not, there is only one tech that works on my car. I like that. He's a knowedgable and professional tech. The post by Needsdecafe was similar to my experience with the tech at Fairfax. I like that one tech works on my car. The other thing to consider is the sheer volume at the shop and the level of experience of both the tech and the advisor...and how well the tech and advisor work together. in any event, I just stumbled on this site and I appreciate the information...both good and bad.

Indy Red M3
05-03-2011, 04:35 PM
Rich Eccard @<hidden> Fairfax is an amazing mechanic, smart, through and quick. Attends all the NA schools, so up on latest bullitins. Frankie is a great service writer. Never get your car washed at any dealership. Ask for Rich, espicicially if you're haven't diagnostic problems, others can't solve.

Rich healed Doug Bonner's M5 and Robin Sparrow's new M3 when no one else could firure out the problem.

05-09-2011, 08:38 AM
Rich Eccard @<hidden> Fairfax is an amazing mechanic, smart, through and quick. Attends all the NA schools, so up on latest bullitins. Frankie is a great service writer. Never get your car washed at any dealership. Ask for Rich, espicicially if you're haven't diagnostic problems, others can't solve.

Rich healed Doug Bonner's M5 and Robin Sparrow's new M3 when no one else could firure out the problem.

I agree, Rich is awesome.