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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
So I took my 2006 Mini in for it's first service today, an oil change basically. I also asked them to program a feature that is mentioned in the manual that lets you open the sunroof and windows with the key fob, and to activate the rear fog light that I installed myself. I get a call later in the day that they'll be charging me $160 labor for these two items. Without thinking I said over the phone, "get the F' out of here!." You can't expect me to pay for 2 hours labor to program 2 minor features. The service rep then tells me that the $160 is for 1 hour labor, I reply that is just ridiculous, and that he should speak to my sales person. I got a call back about 10 minutes later letting me know that they'll be no charge. I thanked him but let him know that there was no way he could look me in the eye with a straight face and tell me that it actually took an hour to activate these two minor features. Thing that kills me is that if I didn't know any better I'd be out $160 for essentially nothing, crooks!
 

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That's seriously messed up. Doesn't the fob on that car come pre-programmed so that you just hold down the lock button to roll down the windows?
 

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I would have done it for you for $150.
 

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Mini dealers charge $160/hour in labor? I should startup a Mini service center and charge $140/hour :p

Which stealership is this so i can tell some buddies to avoid it.
 

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Discussion Starter #5
It was South Bay Mini in Torrance. The window open feature wasn't the default when I bought the car it needed to be programed, I'm sure a 5 minute job if that. I mentioned it to my sales person shortly after I bought the car and she said they'll do one reprogram for free. Not finding myself with a lot of extra time to swing into the dealer I just waited until the first service. To be fare the purchase experience with South Bay was great but I certainly now have a different feeling toward the service department. $160 an hour is just insane.
 

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Hm. Maybe they have two rates: one for insurance claims and a higher one for customer payments.

Medical bills are like that. The insurance carriers work out deals. Without insurance, the charge is undiscounted and thus higher.

I have personal experience with this two stage billing. My Elise was in an accident, for which the other party gave me some compensation. The repair dept., who shall be called "X" quoted me $9000. for some body work. X gave me a written estimate to that effect. X told me the estimate includes __/hour, most insurance companies think that is excessive and knock it down to __/hr. X said he would do it for cash for $8,000.

Long story, I haven't had the work done yet.
 

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Aren't Mini dealers, by definition, BMW dealers?

I think the local BMW dealership in this area has shop rates of about $120/hr. This is in TX. I'm sure in CA or other higher-cost-of-living areas it would be appropriately higher. And they probably have a 1hr minimum.

xtn
 

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They tried to charge my friend $500 for an alignment @ Torrance.

And when he got his oil change, they gave him a loaner (no problem). But they never called him to say it was ready that day. And he indeed did call that day and no one could give a straight answer. Finally he called the next day and they said it was ready. When he got there, they said that he had to pay for an extra day for the loaner.

The service rep so that he called him but didn't leave a VM the previous day? Anyways, Torrance Mini is a no no.
 

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That's seriously messed up. Doesn't the fob on that car come pre-programmed so that you just hold down the lock button to roll down the windows?
When you buy a BMW or Mini, the salesman is supposed to give you a sheet where you specify your preferences for the electronic programming. There's about ten items (and some possible that aren't on the sheet, like the '06 Coopers without the trip computer activated even if the $200 option didn't appear on the window sticker) with various programming options.

I bought our Mini over the phone from the dealer in Southampton, NY. The guy did not send me the sheet so the only things that were programmed were the door locks (one click for everything) and no DRLs. I didn't know about the roof/window thing at the time.

The selling dealer told me they'd do it free since they slipped up, but I wasn't driving three hours and taking three ferry rides to have it done in March, and I couldn't wait until now when the car would be back in the Hamptons, so I had the local dealer do it. They charged me $50, and did the windows, activated the trip computer and rear fog, and flashed the ecu with the software for the Cooper Works kit I installed.

I'd be pissed if I was told $160, too. :panic:
 

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I bought my mini from South Bay and had it serviced there a few times but was frustrated with their service. The only reason I went there for service was because they said I could get a rental for free since I bought the car there, but lo and behold EVERY time I went in for service they were "out of rental cars." Since then I've got to Nick Alexander, where the service is MUCH better, they're more friendly, they don't care that my car has modified coilovers installed and I get a free loaner every time despite the fact that I didn't buy my car there. Oh, and they charge $130/hr for labor.
 

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Dirtbags, our Volvo radiator cap broke, found it online for $4.99, figured that at the dealer it couldn't too expensive and we could just pick one up quick...$25 at the dealer... so how fast can you say f-off...dicks.

Jim
 

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Discussion Starter #15
.... Oh, and they charge $130/hr for labor.
Thanks for the tip on Nick Alexander, $130.00 an hour is still really high but still better than $160.00. I need to find a good mini mechanic that isn't associated with a dealership.
 

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Isn't the instructions on how to program the thing in the Service Manuals?

I ran into a similar thing with my '96 Ranger pickup. One dealer wanted around $100 to add a new key fob to the system. I looked up the steps in the Factory Service Manual (although it was rather expensive) and did it my self. The programming consisted of sticking in the key and combinations of pushing buttons of the fob and turn the key specified number of times. Took about 5 minutes to figure it out and do the whole process.
 

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Discussion Starter #17
Isn't the instructions on how to program the thing in the Service Manuals?

I ran into a similar thing with my '96 Ranger pickup. One dealer wanted around $100 to add a new key fob to the system. I looked up the steps in the Factory Service Manual (although it was rather expensive) and did it my self. The programming consisted of sticking in the key and combinations of pushing buttons of the fob and turn the key specified number of times. Took about 5 minutes to figure it out and do the whole process.
I wish that were the case but as I understand it the dealer has a piece of hardware they plug into the car to allow them to program and activate features. They aren't available with out they're magic box, which is BS too. If someone knows differently please let me know as I'd love to not have to enter the dis-service department again.
 

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If mini dealers are charging $160 an hour, how do all the clowns fix their cars on a clown salary? :confused:

I would find another mechanic... wow that is alot of money...
 

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I wish that were the case but as I understand it the dealer has a piece of hardware they plug into the car to allow them to program and activate features. They aren't available with out they're magic box, which is BS too. If someone knows differently please let me know as I'd love to not have to enter the dis-service department again.
This is what's puzzling to me. When I got my X5 (new, in '05), it was preprogrammed for window/roof control. Why in the world would you build a feature like that one into the car and then leave it as an option to activate? As I'm reading it, the option for one programming is included in purchase, so why not just have it on? It's certainly not a safety concern. Bizarre.
 

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It used to be that anyone could program a key to the car with the BMW's but when BMW started to use i-Drive it started to get complicated even though you'd be able to program the key through this system.

Mini on the other hand has to use a piece of equipment to do this...no matter the affiliation with BMW...different system.

That being said, when you buy the car, you can always ask them to do it there and it eliminates this problem OR you can call your sales rep and tell him/her that you want to schedule an appt. for the programming of the key as promised in the initial sale and you'll see how easier it is as oppose to just calling out of the blue, showing up and expecting them to know not to charge you...Don't get me wrong now, I'm not defending them but, in the past when I sold Bimmers, I'd make sure that anything that I promised to a customer was handled right there and then if possible. If not, I'd tell them to please call me first as service will not know and customer was always happy.

Nick Alexander BMW/MINI is a GREAT dealership and I know all the staff there but the ONLY negative is that you literally have to drive thru the HOOD.
:eek: :crazyeyes -eek-
 
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