14 January 2019

South Africa: BMW Buyer, You're On Your Own


When Tanya Pampalone was told her car's warranty was up five months before it was due, she had a hard time finding out why. That's when she delved into the world of dodgy motor industry practices where it's almost impossible to get a straight answer. Unless you're willing to ask a lot of questions -- and put up a serious fight.

My BMW dealer is no longer speaking to me. I think it might have been something I said.

Our relationship started to fall apart when a plucky salesperson by the name of Danica phoned in early July and asked if I wanted to renew my motor plan. Yes, of course, I told Danica, but my warranty only comes due in April 2019 as I bought my car in April 2014 -- the whole standard five year, 100,000km thing. Oh, said Danica. I have here on my system that it comes due in November 2018. How many miles do you have on your car, she asked pleasantly. Well, I don't drive much, I said. It's only about 52,000km. Oh, that's strange, said Danica. She said she'd see what she could find out.

I didn't think about it much -- surely...

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