Very, very poor customer service and questionable tactics: - NOMINI
On Wednesday, May 24, I called a Mini Cooper dealership in Burlington, VT. “A mechanic I use down here in Southern Vermont told me I need new rotors and brake pads. Before I drive to Burlington, I want to be SURE these items are covered in the extended warranty I purchased.” After a pause, I was told “Yes they are - we’ll change your oil and get you new rotors and pads.” I wanted to be 100% sure. So after hearing this, I cancelled work on Thursday and left on the TWO HOUR drive to Burlington. This is the result:
I waited in the waiting room for an hour and a half while my car was being serviced, at which point someone from the Service Dept came out - and handed me an estimate for over $1000.00. “Your calipers are seeping” I said I didn’t want the new calipers. I didn’t hear anything else: “Okay” was the reply. He came back 30 minutes later and said “You’re all set”. But the funny thing was the lack of any indication of rotors and pads on the bill. I went out to my car, and saw ther was no work done. I was not informed of this - I could have driven off thinking I had new brakes. Instead I still had the dangerous situation I drove the two hours to Burlington to have fixed.
I went back into to Service dept and wanted to know why they had not replaced the rotors and pads. The reply was: “This is tricky” - just what you want to hear from an auto dealership.
“Your clalipers were seeping, and this voided the warranty.” Before I could go any further he then dropped another bomb: “And your warranty doesn’t cover the rotors and pads anyway”.
So that was three hundred miles and five hours of driving - for absolutely nothing.
I got a call from a guy in the Service Dept. He told me he would "do what he could" about this fiasco. His solution? "You buy the new calipers from us and we will honor the Warranty". The price? A thousand dollars. Now, I have been driving for 45 years - and have never even heard of a caliper going bad at 70,000 miles, let alone two!
I took the car to a certified BMW mechanic. And do you know what he told me: "There isn't a thing wrong with your calipers." I told my attorney this, and he said: "You have a fraud case here."
That BMW mechanic replaced my rotors and pads. I drove for several thousand miles with absolutley no issues. Then in disgust - I sold the car and bought a Subaru WRX.
I’m out of Mini Coopers as a result of this experience, and I have been driving them for years. They are certainly super fun to drive; but after 70,000 miles, these cars become incredibly unreliable and expensive to own: AT 70,000 miles, things started to go expensively wrong: another dealership, a Mini dealer in Albany, NY, told me I needed a new thermostat - and wanted $1000.00 ($975.00) for the repair. I said no thank you -and took it to a certified independent BMW mechanic, and got the exact same job done for under $500.00. I needn’t tell you - if you have the pockets and don’t mind being ripped off on a continuing basis - by all means keep using the Mini Cooper dealerships. They are more than happy to have your business. The dealership in Burlington will never get mine again.