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Withdrawing a recommendation

 
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Charles
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PostPosted: Sun Sep 28, 2014 1:39 pm    Post subject: Withdrawing a recommendation Reply with quote

For many years I have been both a customer and recommender of North Oxford Garage. This started 18 years ago this week when I moved to Oxfordshire and had a trusty E36 316i automatic which I took to NOG for its first "Oxfordshire service".

Despite moving to a new and shiny location a mile down the road, the service I received from all areas of the dealership was exemplary and made me feel special. To that end, I have for many years recommended NOG to ALPINA owners here as they clearly understood that an ALPINA is NOT an M car, and treated it correctly in terms of work done and prices charged.

A couple of years ago, the owner/DP decided to retire and ownership transferred to Wollaston. Almost immediately I noticed that the old ways of doing things were being eliminated rapidly as the dealership chased margin and corporate customers. Given that this is where they were coming from in Northampton, it wasn't (perhaps) surprising. However, the customer base in Oxford has traditionally been private owners who have paid for their vehicle with their own hard-earned cash.

Over the last two years I have tried very hard to keep an open mind to the changes and have been able to rely on goodwill from staff who have been at NOG for eons and know what the old customers were used to and expected - even if it put them at risk of not following the new corporate line.

Unfortunately, these staff are now voting with their feet and moving on as it is no longer the place they used to know and love. I regret to inform you that I am now following them out of the door.

The last straw came yesterday when I took the car in for an airbag recall. Earlier in the day the car had thrown up an engine management light - which cancelled itself when I switched off and restarted a bit later. As the car was going to be in the workshop at BMW's request and I was having to waste 90 minutes of my valuable time, I asked if they could plug in the diagnostics and tell me the fault code - given that they would be in the system as part of the airbag control module replacement. "That'll be £45 + vat, sir" was the reply.

Gone are the days when customers were treated as names and not VIN numbers.

Gone are the days when staff had the flexibility to look after customers and manage expectations by exercising their own judgement

Gone is my recommendation for ALPINA and BMW owners in the area to use North Oxford Garage. Crying or Very sad
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Charles
Teacher of Chemistry and driver of ALPINAs - not necessarily in that order Wink
B3S Touring (49/116) - been to the moon and now on the way back!
Renault Grand Espace - not mine but the wife's!
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jamesa
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Joined: 22 Jan 2012
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Location: Aberdeenshire

PostPosted: Sun Sep 28, 2014 5:12 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

That`s disappointing Sad

Given that they `were in` the system anyway is there a case for complaint to BMW UK ?
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Charles
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PostPosted: Sun Sep 28, 2014 5:50 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

jamesa wrote:
Given that they `were in` the system anyway is there a case for complaint to BMW UK ?

Not sure what that would achieve as they are doing nothing wrong - just that they have dropped what made the dealership a cut above the standard expected from a BMW dealership.

I do intend to write to the DP at NOG to explain my feelings in an objective manner and see what the response is. Beyond that, it's down to them. If they value what they are throwing away then they'll react - otherwise they'll stick to type.
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Charles
Teacher of Chemistry and driver of ALPINAs - not necessarily in that order Wink
B3S Touring (49/116) - been to the moon and now on the way back!
Renault Grand Espace - not mine but the wife's!
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rcshott
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Joined: 01 Jan 2007
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Location: West Ukraine

PostPosted: Tue Sep 30, 2014 12:57 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Over the years I've had problems with one business or another and if it's for customer service (whether well below par or is exceptional) I find that writing to the 'head rat' or the board does get a response, mostly positive. Mind you…it pays to be firm, to the point and seemingly professional and genuine for best results.

Recently I wrote to the National Rugby League board in Oz covering a number of issues. I got immediate response which stated they will consider my suggestions, recommendations and concerns. I've also recently written positive letters to The new President of Ukraine as well as the PM of Oz, separate issues of course. Response in both cases quick and positive. Maybe I've got too much time on my hands….

In my own businesses, way back when, I always took all correspondence as personal and serious. Conduct an inquiry and return my findings. It was rare that I lost a customer.

Really though, Writing objectively and positively will get more and better response rather that rant on and become abusive. Similar for employes, to get the best from them DO NOT abuse them like a dog. Waste of energy and defeats the purpose of what you are trying to achieve.

With your talent I've learned of Charles…I am sure you will succeed. Very Happy Very Happy
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Last edited by rcshott on Tue Sep 30, 2014 1:01 pm; edited 1 time in total
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pete
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Joined: 22 Jan 2008
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PostPosted: Sat Mar 31, 2018 9:43 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Bumping this Charles Hi.have you found another dealer that you go to your happy with? I am still punting up there from Chiswick .I refuse to use Berry which I could long walk to ,there is something wrong attitude wise with that company

Good Luck, Pete
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Charles
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PostPosted: Sun Apr 01, 2018 7:10 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

pete wrote:
have you found another dealer that you go to your happy with?

Hi Pete,

I have been using Phil Crouch at CPC in Amersham exclusively for maintenance work since he first rebuilt my engine back in in 2011. Cannot fault the work - just be patient making contact as it's worth it.

The only time I go near NOG is to buy parts, deal with recall work and the occasional MOT - but even that was cocked up as they used the BMW VIN!!!
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Charles
Teacher of Chemistry and driver of ALPINAs - not necessarily in that order Wink
B3S Touring (49/116) - been to the moon and now on the way back!
Renault Grand Espace - not mine but the wife's!
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pete
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Joined: 22 Jan 2008
Posts: 629
Location: london

PostPosted: Tue Apr 03, 2018 2:36 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Thanks Charles
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