When I was sold the car I was told about MiniCare coverage which gave me "free servicing and warranty" for three years for just £100. With the three years about to elapse I decided it was time to get the car serviced at MINI Battersea and, in particular, get a couple of irritating problems fixed:
(1) the in-built GPS system which hasn't been able to connect with a satellite for over two months and has become useless because it thinks the car is located about 3 miles from where it actually is. Presumably the GPS receiver tries to guess its position based on the last time it "spoke" to a satellite and the wheel turns and mileage that have been done since. Over the weeks it has got seriously out of wack!
(2) the air-conditioning (which has always been weak and ineffectual) had a light that started flashing a couple of weeks ago.
The car went in under warranty and I received a call to say that the flashing light problem was down to the need for regassing which was not covered under MiniCare and would cost TWO HUNDRED AND ELEVEN POUNDS.
Coincidentally I received a renewal notice for MiniCare - the renewal wants £560 for 12 months cover. And that £560 would not cover me for the £211 charge for air conditioning gas! Do you think I'll be renewing??!!!
When I queried the outrageous charge, pointing to a post on the Mini2 forums from February this year complaining at the 'rip off' £99 cost another owner had been charged, and asking why I was being charged more than double this I was advised that labour charges varied from one dealer to another!
I was then told the car should have been valeted but the rep had just noticed it hadn't been and they'd "do it next time it's in for servicing". How often is this car going to need servicing given that its first one was only due at three years or 10,000 miles, whichever happened first!
I asked how the problem with the GPS had been fixed and was told they'd upgraded the software. "How does that affect the fact it just suddenly stopped working?", I asked. "I don't really know. Software's very funny like that" the Service Manager replied.
I asked to book an MOT (they hadn't been able to do it while the car was in for servicing because "we can only do four MOTs a day and we're all booked up"). "I'll have to talk to Yvonne about that. I'll go and get her". A few minutes later I was given a date (next Wednesday) and said I'd prefer one a couple of weeks away. I waited for confirmation. And waited. And waited. 10 minutes later nobody had come back to me. Lots of staff around, no customers but no interest or action from anybody. I just decided I'd leave and make a phone booking at some other time which would be more convenient. Traffic was building up.
Of course I drive out the dealers and NOTHING has been fixed on the GPS at all. It still thinks I'm miles away from my real location, making it completely useless.
The air conditioning is as weak and ineffectual as it always has been - but at least the blinking light has stopped now!
My receipt for service tells me the car has done 2918 miles - no big deal, but yet another example of the sort of 'care and attention' BMW are always promoting but never delivering on
I wonder what it is they actually did for the "service" other than charge me £211!
I rang my "service manager" when I got home, just after 6pm (before 6.05pm) to complain that the GPS had NOT been fixed. The advertised opening hours of the servicing area are 7.30am-6.30pm. I know this because I got a phone answering machine reminding me of this and telling me that the service area was now closed!
Yuppie-fied entrance areas with "free drinks" are NOT recompense for charging the earth for doing a really shitty job. Needless to say, what with the constant problems I've had with the Mini (five callouts because if the car's left for more than two weeks it won't start) and now this, my next car WON'T be a Mini or a BMW. Or if it is it won't be one from BMW Park Lane (the company that took over my original sales shop) or BMW Battersea (who run Park Lane's servicing).