Originally Posted by M5Ranger
It is my opinion that the dealer concept unfortunately is flawed. Reason being when you never see (for the most part) who did the work on your car, nor show you what they did and then one pays at a window to someone who knows nothing about what was done nor cares. This has always not sat well in my mind. Frankly the dealer imo truly doesn't care whether you're happy. They get their money from the manufacturer and if you never come back they really do not care.
This system can and does promote crap work and loss of honesty. No one really has to face up to the customer.
When the guy who does the work has to look at you in the face and take the money from your hand, this has to promote honesty and integrity (unless he's totally pathologic). The private owner of a shop has to care because it's his business to protect. He needs you happy he wants you back and tell others.
A good indy shop is invalueable.
My 2 cents
My dealer (which oddly has a BMW monopoly in my state) feels a competitive threat from Mercedes Benz, Lexus, Ferrari, Lamborghini, Lotus, and Maserati which are all literally across the street from them. The SAs also want their incentive money, so they try to keep you happy.
When I need service, I call and schedule an appoint with my regular SA. I've tried a few guys at my dealership and I've got one that works very well for me.
They know me by name as I have been buying and servicing cars from them for 10 years (and my M6 is rather distinctive I will admit)
When the car is done, I again deal with my SA (I rarely see the mechanic but that's OK) and he takes my credit car on the rare occasions when it was not fully warranty work. I never have to go to the cashier. I just wait at the SA's desk which he runs the card, etc.
While they rarely offer loaner cars, they do have a complimentary shuttle which takes me to my work location while the car is in the shop. Picks me up later that same day when the work is done.
So, not all dealership are uncaring cut-throats who only seek to take advantage of their customers. But there are plenty of those out here too, just not BMW of Honolulu. I realize I have a better experience with them than some friends of mine have had with them. But my expectations are reasonable and I have built up a relationship of trust with the folks there.
Sadly the OP of this thread does not have that going on with the "crash dealership". Every SNAFU affords a dealership an opportunity to either make a more loyal customer by going the extra mile to make things right, or they can make a bad situation worse as they have done in this case.
Sorry to ramble on so long...