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      03-13-2020, 03:38 PM   #1
ggMalkavian
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Was I out of line for refusing the $8 key fob battery?

Hey guys!

Just got back from my BMW dealership for a oil change on my X3 2019.

It's all covered under warranty so I wasn't expecting to pay anything but the service guy told me he saw my car remote battery was weak so he installed a new one and it would be 8 CAD$+ tax.

I changed the battery about 3 weeks ago myself. I had not had any issues or message about the battery being weak. But it's a cheap battery at about 2$/ea. so I guess it's possible he got that "weak battery" warning. However, I got a big batch of these batteries at home so I'm really not interested in his battery especially at that price.

I told him thanks but I already have a few at home and I know how to install them. So I would rather use my own batteries. He said "So you would like me to take it out?? Cause I'm not even sure we kept your old one...". I said yeah if you don't mind.

He went away for like 3-4 minutes and told me he found an old one laying around and he put it in my remote. I thought that was a bit weird. Tell me if I'm wrong but I think if he couldn't find my battery, he should have at least let the new one in there. But I said fine, I'll just change it at home as soon as I get the weak battery message on my screen.

After we're all done I went back to my car. Turns out he put a dead battery in my remote cause it's not working at all. I guess I could have used my actual key and just change the battery when I got home but I had never used the key on this car and was afraid I would trigger the car alarm in the dealership parking lot. Plus, I was a bit annoyed he would take out my working battery and give me a dead one instead without me asking for anything.

So I went back him and told him the battery was dead. Please understand during the whole thing I was extremely polite and apologetic like the whole thing was my fault and I was sorry for being difficult.

He sighed loudly took the remote and went away for a few minutes. Came back and said "There - you've got a brand new battery now". I said thanks and I left.

I'm new to the world of BMW. Is this normal? Was I suppose to pay for the battery and stfu? Please let me know if you think I was in the wrong anywhere in the whole thing.

Thanks!

Last edited by ggMalkavian; 03-13-2020 at 03:57 PM..
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      03-13-2020, 03:47 PM   #2
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No, I think you did the right thing.

They were trying to make a quick buck and it didn't pan out for them this time. They could have called you to get approval for the new battery replacement if they did happen to get the low battery message.
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      03-13-2020, 03:47 PM   #3
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So I'm assuming the battery wasn't covered and you were asked to pay for it, which is why you declined? I think normally if anything were out of pocket, they would ask you first before performing the service
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      03-13-2020, 03:59 PM   #4
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How petty. He should have just comped it after you complained, nobody would have ever known. You didn't ask for a battery, and you asked him to give you your old one back. At that point it's easier to comp the $8 and move on. He made his own life miserable by going through all that, but apparently was too principled enough to be practical.
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      03-13-2020, 04:01 PM   #5
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Nope - you were 100% right. This is like the $25 windshield wipers. they can almost always get anyone to pay that if they put them on if they are even 75% - so a lot of places do. $ racket.

I call them on it all the time too. OK, play your games on someone that does not do there own maintenance or understands how this works. I find once I do this once or twice - it never happens again. I am sure my account is labeled with #asshole which is fine by me. I'm not here to be fleeced. If you asked in advance it would be one thing, but just blindly doing it in hopes I'll fork over the $ and shut up? FU

What are the chances that a battery you just changed weeks ago HAPPEN to go dead the moment you drove into the dealership? Less than winning the lottery.

I've done the same thing with a airfilter that I had changed out less than a month prior. "your air filter was very dirty, so we changed it out" "Really? I just changed it a month ago with a WIX filter part #XXXXX - can I see the look on their faces tells you they just got caught. I'm that guy that takes it further too and will ask to see it in front of them and ask them what is dirty about it.

Pisses me off when they pull this shit on my GF or her daughters.
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      03-13-2020, 04:07 PM   #6
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How did the battery on the key fob remote go out so quickly on a 2019 vehicle? Sounds like you've changed it at least once already. You may have a faulty key fob.

Anyhow, I don't think you overreacted at all. I would've refused to pay for a high margin key fob remote battery I didn't ask for and possibly didn't need.
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      03-13-2020, 04:26 PM   #7
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There's a word for what he did, extortion. You can't just do something and then force someone to pay for it. A lot of businesses, including dealerships, do this often. That's why a lot of dealerships are called Stealerships.
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      03-13-2020, 04:29 PM   #8
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The whole thing sounds fishy. I have never had to change a key battery. I usually keep my car for ten years or so.
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      03-13-2020, 04:46 PM   #9
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They didn't ask for approval before doing the job. Technically, you own anything that gets installed on your property, so they were wrong to remove the battery and swap in a random one.

Dunno if they were genuine but dumb or trying to take advantage of you for a quick bill padding, but it doesn't matter.
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      03-13-2020, 04:54 PM   #10
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Any unauthorized service performed will be refused. It would be their choice to either back out of the service or provide for free or an agreed upon price. That said, if it worked when you have it to them, it had better work when it's returned. Battery or anything else! Or they own it. $10 or $1,000... Is the same!

And yeah, I took my 20 year old E46 330Xi in for an AC fix, only because I didn't want to deal with it. Got an email with suggested services amounting to almost $7,000, lmao! I called and thanked them but made sure only the service I brought the car in for was performed. Some of the items, like the cabin air filter which I just changed a few weeks before was listed, at $130 to boot, for basically a $15 filter and 5 mins of work. Other items too that I'm thinking was in the computer from the previous owner because I fixed it all when I bought it a year earlier. Is what it is... I don't fault them for tryin to make money, just go make it on someone else (I do all my own work).
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      03-13-2020, 05:15 PM   #11
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It sounds like he just does this to all batteries that come in and he threw away your battery because he assumed could make a quick tiny sale that no one would say no to but then got emotionally defensive when he was unprepared to confront a no... You didn't do anything wrong and you didn't even need to be apologetic in any way.

Just because it's cheap doesn't mean you have to say yes. It's like feeling entitled to take advantage of someone because it's just a little bit of advantage taking.
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      03-13-2020, 05:18 PM   #12
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Your totally right and man you spent all that money on a nice 2019 x3 the least they could do is give you a free battery!! Also he should of called you and asked no matter how small of a cost it would be , you didnít consent that. I think you acted very professional and respectful.
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      03-13-2020, 05:43 PM   #13
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Ok I'm hoping this will be taken as just someone giving the opposite view but what if the battery wasn't changed then a short period later the battery low sign came on would it cross someone's mind that should have been done at a service. The battery is a service item in the keyless fobs due to no old school charging.

If I was the guy I would have said sorry sir if it's an issue please have the battery on us. This good will would be the peace keeper but I would remember the event if the perticular person came in again. I guess for a tech to report to service that a battery may be required, service to call up the customer and disturb him and then get back to the tech before the can sign off the job could maybe, possibly by some people be seen as unnecessary and they were trying to do a good job with out undue harassment.

Just trying to offer up some fat to chew!
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      03-13-2020, 06:09 PM   #14
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Same thing happened when my I had my wife's old Mazda CX-9 in for service. They said it's normally a $10 charge but you weren't here to approve the battery swap so it's on us. That's how it should have been handled. It's idiots like that service advisor that turn people away from a brand. It only takes one bad experience...
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      03-13-2020, 06:20 PM   #15
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You were not a ‘asshole’. But I like the response from MCollection the best.
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      03-13-2020, 06:24 PM   #16
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YOU.WERE.NOT.WRONG.
This is a perfect example of the term stealership.

Suggest going to Yelp and present this info re this stealership for public consumption.
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      03-13-2020, 06:56 PM   #17
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all that excitement for $8.... Sometimes you gotta get off the bandwagon and go with the flow...You really think, changing the battery made them that much richer....

To stay in good books with the SA, i would have brought it up but won't have gone that far...that's just me
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      03-13-2020, 07:29 PM   #18
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Quote:
Originally Posted by quick View Post
all that excitement for $8.... Sometimes you gotta get off the bandwagon and go with the flow...You really think, changing the battery made them that much richer....

To stay in good books with the SA, i would have brought it up but won't have gone that far...that's just me
Agree. Can always hammer the service writer after the fact.
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      03-13-2020, 07:43 PM   #19
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no, screw them. when i was leasing my last smart car, mercedes was absolutely brutal with dealer scams and markups. i had to service my car at the dealer and i hated it- number one was they topped off the windshield fluid to the tune of $7.99. i made them take it off every time. second, they always swapped the key battery whether i asked for it or not, and they sold it in a two pack at $14.99! i told him the other half of the two pack from last year's service was still in the glovebox. he took both of them off and didn't even bother to ask for the key battery back.

you have to watch these dealers- the dealer i went to also had a tire salesman roaming the service intake area trying to scare people into getting tires.
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      03-13-2020, 07:57 PM   #20
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Quote:
Originally Posted by quick View Post
all that excitement for $8.... Sometimes you gotta get off the bandwagon and go with the flow...You really think, changing the battery made them that much richer....

To stay in good books with the SA, i would have brought it up but won't have gone that far...that's just me
Why should he care about staying on good terms with the SA?!? It should be the other way around. Plenty of other service advisors or dealerships out there. It's not about the money it's the principal and it seems obnoxious to be nickel and dimed for something that should so easily be a courtesy from a luxury car dealership. Not to mention the most important thing which is the OP never asked for it to begin with.
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      03-13-2020, 08:02 PM   #21
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ggMalkavian View Post
Hey guys!

Just got back from my BMW dealership for a oil change on my X3 2019.

It's all covered under warranty so I wasn't expecting to pay anything but the service guy told me he saw my car remote battery was weak so he installed a new one and it would be 8 CAD$+ tax.

I changed the battery about 3 weeks ago myself. I had not had any issues or message about the battery being weak. But it's a cheap battery at about 2$/ea. so I guess it's possible he got that "weak battery" warning. However, I got a big batch of these batteries at home so I'm really not interested in his battery especially at that price.

I told him thanks but I already have a few at home and I know how to install them. So I would rather use my own batteries. He said "So you would like me to take it out?? Cause I'm not even sure we kept your old one...". I said yeah if you don't mind.

He went away for like 3-4 minutes and told me he found an old one laying around and he put it in my remote. I thought that was a bit weird. Tell me if I'm wrong but I think if he couldn't find my battery, he should have at least let the new one in there. But I said fine, I'll just change it at home as soon as I get the weak battery message on my screen.

After we're all done I went back to my car. Turns out he put a dead battery in my remote cause it's not working at all. I guess I could have used my actual key and just change the battery when I got home but I had never used the key on this car and was afraid I would trigger the car alarm in the dealership parking lot. Plus, I was a bit annoyed he would take out my working battery and give me a dead one instead without me asking for anything.

So I went back him and told him the battery was dead. Please understand during the whole thing I was extremely polite and apologetic like the whole thing was my fault and I was sorry for being difficult.

He sighed loudly took the remote and went away for a few minutes. Came back and said "There - you've got a brand new battery now". I said thanks and I left.

I'm new to the world of BMW. Is this normal? Was I suppose to pay for the battery and stfu? Please let me know if you think I was in the wrong anywhere in the whole thing.

Thanks!
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      03-13-2020, 09:12 PM   #22
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If you have the maintenance plan, battery replacement is free
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