Brecht BMW Tells Customer "Go Back To Volkswagon, You Don't Deserve To Own A BMW"

Poor Raquel. She only wanted to return her leased BMW. Following instructions to bring her car to any authorized dealership, she arrived at Brecht BMW in San Diego. Brecht’s manager refused to accept the car, a decision he conveyed by screaming in front of her kids, threatening to call the police, and telling her to “go back to Volkswagon” because she didn’t “deserve to own a BMW.” Raquel writes:

On July 19th, 2007 I drove my leased BMW in Escondido, Ca. (Brecht BMW). I was told by Chase (the lender) to take the car back to any dealership. That I should take a photo of the car in front of the dealership I am leaving it with and have the dealership verify the odometer reading, leave the keys with them and I would be done. If I did not turn the car into a dealership by the 19th, then I would be financially penalized.

I walked into Brecht BMW and the first sales person I met asked me if he could help me. I said yes I am here to turn in my lease. He asked if I had bought my car from them. I said no, I bought it from Irvine, but I was told by Chase that I could take it anywhere. He said no he couldn’t help me b/c Chase was closed and he needed the buyout amount. I said no, they told me that he wouldn’t need to do that b/c they aren’t buying the car. He then told me that he wouldn’t help me. I told him I would be penalized if I didnt’ turn it in today and that it was a fast transaction. I also told him that I lived 45 miles away and have little ones (who were with me) and it was hard for me to get down that way. He said he would talk to the manager. After a couple of minutes he came back and said no again, they couldn’t help me but could if I came back the next day. I again explained that I worked and lived 45 miles away. I asked why they couldn’t do it now — telling them that I am sure they would be able to help me if I was buying a car.

Next the manager came out and said, you need to leave or I am going to call the police. I asked for his name. He took out his business card and threw it at me. I said, I don’t understand why they are unwillinig to help me. I then started to explain all the problems I had had with the car over the 4 years. Based on my miles my car should have been in for maintenace 2 times — it was in about 10 times. Each time was 3 hours round trip of my time and gas for the extra diving. I was starting to tear up and he smiled. I told him that I was doing everything I was told to do and that they could provide me customer service, but were choosing not too. I said, I don’t understand why they won’t just sign the odomoter form. I said that I had better treatment from VW when I owned my BMW. He told me to go back to VW, because ‘I don’t deserve to own a BMW.’ He again said to leave or he was going to call the police. By this time my children were in tears because he was yelling at me and threatening me. We left without them ever assisting us.

The next day My brother spoke to the GM and explained the story. He never apologized and still refused to help us with the lease return. We also called BMW of north america. The rep on the phone said that they are a franchise and that corporate has no control over them. He said he would note it down, but ‘don’t expect a call back.’ Basically, corporate doesn’t care about customers being mistreated.

My brother took my car across the street from Brecht to Mercedes dealership. Who took the car, filled out the odometer form and took the keys. My brother was out the door in 5 minutes. Why did BMW refuse to help me with their own product??? I still to this day have not received any explanation. The only thing I can think of is that they were not going to make any money off of me that night so they didn’t want to help. Why is there no one in the entire corporation that cares about customer service. I have emailed my story to BMW North America, BMW WorldWide, and Brecht BMW — no attempt has been made to contact me or correct the abusive treatment I received.

Still to this day, the home page of Brecht BMW reads ‘we are an authorized lease return facility’…………….


Edit Your Comment

  1. cadillacman03 says:

    My history with BMW dealers is that they consider themselves purveyors of a very exclusive product, maybe less exclusive than they seem to realize since they are selling vehicles in the sub 40k range. It has happened several times in my short, (22 year) life, that I’ve walked on to the lot, only to be treated like trash and ignored. I was so miffed about their treatment the last time, while I was car shopping, that I went immediately accross the street and paid cash for a new Infiniti Coupe. If there is one thing I do not tolerate, its abusive treatment by sales people. This is just one more example of why their dealer system is flawed. You will never see a Lexus or Infiniti dealer do that. NEVER.

  2. scotters says:

    I’d suggest relaying your story to local consumer reporters–the bad press will do more than corporate ever would.

    Also, be persistent in your complaint, at every level from the dealership to corporate. Eventually it will reach the right person, or there will be a response because of the persistence alone.

  3. homerjay says:

    There is no such thing as an honest car dealer. I don’t understand how Mercedes was able to take back a BMW lease.

  4. timmus says:

    After being treated like that I’d be hard-pressed to not drive by there at night and fire a volley of paintballs into the air.

  5. mantari says:

    Does Brecht BMW actually say they’re an authorized BMW autorized lease return facility? Sure, I may be splitting hairs, but that’s what car dealerships do. Like “We finance everyone”… but if you look closely at the font and spacing, they’re really saying, “We finance every one”. LOL.

    You’re not a human being if you don’t hate car dealers.

  6. e-gadgetjunkie says:

    My father and I used to test drive cars on the weekend. My family was fairly well off, but my dad saw it as a waste of money to buy a really nice car. But he still liked really nice cars. We drove an Audi TT convertible, and Mini Cooper and a few others. We would always park a little bit away so that they wouldn’t see our old 1992 Oldsmobile. BMW was the only dealership that was short with us and wouldn’t let my dad take out the car he wanted. Funny cause the dealer nearest us is joined with the Audi dealer where we had no problems.

  7. coopjust says:

    My experience (and that of very close friends/relatives) is that BMW & Mercedes have a “our cars are perfect, it must be the driver” attitude.

    Even when it’s not that, I’ve seen very, very similar experiences at a Mercedes dealership. There is a problem with the tires in one of their cars (an SL) that was out for less than 1000 miles. It’s a common problem too- even with proper pressure in the tires, the car gets extremely out of whack, as if there was a flat spot on the tire (thumping).

    Having had the dealership try to resolve it three times, it was under the lemon law, but the dealer refused to service it. It sits in their garage. They said, “I know that there is a problem with your car, but I/my dealership won’t help you with it.”

    So, my relative has started court proceedings, and it still seems that the company does not care, even with lawyers involved.

    I’m not suprised in the least that this also happened at a BMW dealer too. Hopefully, Raquel won’t have to take the dealership to court.

    All I have to say is that Acuras dealers have much better attitudes. I had a friend whose suspension had major issues at 52,000. The Dealer could have said, “F*** you, you’re out of warranty.” Instead, they said “There was probably a problem in warranty. We’ll change your suspension for free, and give you the D (oil, tires, car wash, absolutely everything “premium service” too for the inconvenince. Here’s a cup of Starbucks coffee that you can take with your loaner TL.”

    Honda (yes, I know they own Acura) doesn’t have the same level of service. The wait is much, much longer and both times I took my cars there, I had problems getting service, and they made mistakes (all they could do is read off of the OBD-II screen). Independent Acura dealers are much, much better.

    Toyota dealerships also seem to be pretty nice, with quick service.

    I’m wondering what other people’s experiences are with other brands.

  8. tmanAg08 says:

    BBB, anyone?

  9. tadowguy says:

    Why didn’t you just show your receipt?

    (are we still saying that?)

  10. coopjust says:

    “BBB, anyone?”

    Unfortunately, the BBB doesn’t always work. As an independent group, all they can do is send strongly worded letters and hope someone listens. You could argue that it would reduce their BBB ratings, but other than Consumerist readers, who checks before they buy a car?

    Nah, the State Attorney general is a much better resource. You should still complain to the BBB (to show interest in resolving), but don’t expect it to work, especially on its own. The AG can put serious hurt on a bad dealership.

  11. coopjust says:

    After being treated like that I’d be hard-pressed to not drive by there at night and fire a volley of paintballs into the air.

    Paintballs are water soluble and all they’d have to do is take a garden hose. Heck, a wet sponge would wipe it off.

  12. Kurtz says:

    When did “b/c” become a word? What ever happened to “because”?

  13. SaveMeJeebus says:

    I wish corporate HQs would exhibit more willingness to deal with problems from franchises. Every time I have had an issue with a franchise, corporate just apologizes and says they will bring it to the franchisee’s attention and they (franchisee) will get with me. Never happened once. A car dealer in this situation doesn’t surprise me in the least bit. I am with Timmus about the volley of paintball guns. Or get a bag of gummi worms and place them in oddball places on the car for ants.

  14. nweaver says:

    Question: Was this a BMW lease or a 3rd party lease (Chase)? It sounds like the latter.

  15. Mario's Pants says:

    I’d like to know more about this specific story. While I believe that Brecht BMW acted reprehensively (“Brecht” is the kind of sound one should make upon turning their heels on them) the circumstances of the lease-return sound a little strange. It sounds like the lady in question was leasing a used vehicle – the point being that the Brecht jerks may not have wanted the responsibility of accepting the return of a used car they didn’t sell. Considering that this dealership was not affiliated with the others, this makes sense (it may result in extra effort and paper work for them). Anyway, there’s no excuse for their behavior. They could have easily called the original lease dealership to come pick up the damn car from their lot.

  16. SybilDisobedience says:

    Yeah, except paintballs are water-soluble. I’d use eggs.

    …Just kidding. (Sort of.)

  17. azntg says:

    @nweaver: It’s b/c “because” is passe now. Got it?

    With seriousness now, point taken. If I ever earn enough to be able to afford a new BMW or Benz, I’ll look elsewhere and stick to dealerships that aren’t so shady.

  18. not_seth_brundle says:

    @Kurtz: It went the way of “Volkswagen,” apparently. I shouldn’t gripe, though–at least Carey didn’t attempt to spell out “Bayerische Motoren Werke.”

  19. moorie679 says:

    well the terms of the lease or the condition of the vehicle shouldn’t be a problem for the car dealer… CONSIDERING THE CAR BELONGS TO CHASE….. the dip sh*t probably didn’t want to fill out a few pieces of paper work which guaranteed the a$$hole to lose future business.

    I drive an hour for a dealership that I like to get my maintenance and purchase cars considering the one that is 15 mins away is filled with a bunch of pricks…. guess what they lost out on 4 new car purchases…

    And yelling at a lady with her kids in front of her? that guy is asking for a beating….

  20. BuddyHinton says:

    Use an email blitz when buying a car. Assuming you have several dealerships w/in a 50 mile radius of you. Quite effective.

  21. dualityshift says:

    Having been raised in the Automotive Retail Sector, I can tell you 100% that the Manager was in the wrong. Most 3rd party lease companies “bird-dog” the dealer for taking care of their returns, i.e., they usually pay out $50-100 per return. That being said, most dealers only care about one thing; the number of cars going over the curb each month.

    The Dealerships pay most, if not all, of their fixed costs through the service department. The sales of new and used cars are supposed to represent pure profit.

    I have no idea how it works in the U.S., but in Canada, specifically Ontario, we have a governing body that hands out dealer licenses. The organization is called OMVIC (Ontario Motor Vehicle Industry Council) is responsible for handing out the permits allowing dealers to open their doors. Finding that governing body in your state is a good place to start. Forget BBB, as they don’t even confront dealers anymore. In Ontario, OMVIC has the authority to pull a dealer’s license for silliness such as this.

    After contacting whatever organization regulates your auto sector, the AG’s office is the next step.

    IF I were this lady, I would have told the manager to call the police. After hearing both sides, the police officer wouldn’t do anything to this lady and her kids, but the manager would get flagged and humped at every turn by every local police officer. Cops hate dealers too, you know.

  22. veterandem says:

    My wife had a BMW Z-4, the only time I enjoyed it was on our trips to the Outer Banks (NC). This year, the day before we were to leave, I had the flat tire signal (and heard it flopping). We had replaced three run flat tire over the two plus years we owned the thing. Anyway, when I got to the gas station to fill up the tire, I started pushing air in, and heard it coming out the other side of the tire. I looked at the offending tire, and happened to look at the other rear tire, and lo and behold, I could see the steel belts on it (this was the OTHER tire). Needless to say I was hacked, so I called my wife to find out who to call, etc. Long story short, we had to have it towed over 150 to Raleigh (where we bought it and the extended warranty) where they told us that this was normal wear on the tires based on the suspension of this particular model – bullshit – I’ve had roadsters before that did not wear the tires in that pattern, and if that was a design “feature” then it was flawed.

    We got it fixed (with a new water pump to boot, it had also ceased functioning properly), and went on our vacation. Upon our return, we looked at a variety of cars, settled on a 2007 Volvo S80 and could not be happier. BTW, we purchased the car using the NC State Employees Credit Union, financed in 15 minutes, and took the check to the dealer and picked up the car the next day (they wanted to detail it before we took it). So we’re happier with the Volvo (and now I have room for my gear now)!

  23. kalikidtx says:

    @BuddyHinton, from working at a car dealership, even though an “email blitz” may work for you, its actually very Uneffective. If you got an email or fax that stated I am shopping you and every other dealer w/in a 50-mi radius, whats the dealers motivation to sell you a car? They know every dealer you have contacted, they all buy the car at the same price, so why would they want to give you a rock bottom low price, what have you invested in them? Its a little insulting to be honest. What you should do is spend maybe 5-10 minutes calling each dealer. Get a fleet or internet sales manger on the phone, introduce yourself, build a lil rapport then ask for the best price. Once a sales manager gets to know you they have more incentive to help you and want to help you and its not as obvious you are shopping every dealer in town (which you should do) just go about it in a different manner, just my 2 cents…

  24. mconfoy says:

    @nweaver: Ok, do?

  25. My dad’s girlfriend sells Hondas, and she likes selling Hondas, she just hates her dealership, which is owned by the local ethnic mafia. While she tries to get customers good deals, she has stories of having the manager take her off the floor so he can complete the sale she’s started, and often loses sales because he tries to play hardball.

    Sometimes it’s who helms the ship, rather than what make they sell.

  26. cryrevolution says:

    According to the post, Chase had told the poster that she could return the vehicle to ANY BMW dealership that excepted leases. Now, on the website, it says thay would, but if theres any misinformation in this, it would be on Chase’s part. Granted, there was no reason to act like a complete douche and yell at this lady in front of her kids, but Chase probably misinformed his woman. Or the douche was misinformed. Who knows.

  27. mammalpants says:

    you dont deserve a BMW!

    you sound like a reasonable, undouchey lady.

  28. insomniac8400 says:

    Would the potential customer who sent out that email go to a dealer who didn’t respond with an email? A dealer should offer up any deals they have as well as a salesman’s name and number. As little time as an email takes, it would be a mistake for a salesman just to ignore it. The customer may end up with some deals, but at the very least should have a list of contact info for a salesman from each dealer.

  29. marsneedsrabbits says:

    We’ve had the same issue with Subaru here in Colorado. The car has only had a few minor-ish issues in the least few years, but the service at the dealership (which like to pride itself in ads on its service) has been uniformly horrendous. The customer service reps in the repairs department exude a lack of interest for their customer that is beyond the pale. They don’t carry commonly used parts, so you can expect your vehicle to be out of service for days while they order them. They will tell you that it’ll be done tomorrow, but you are more apt to get the car back 4 or 5 days later. They seem to bank on the fact that if they tell you “tomorrow”, you’ll suck it up & not use the lender. And of course, once you are home without a car, how are you going to justify driving across town to get the lender, once “overnight” magically morphs into 5 days? After the second time this happened, I told my DH to always take the lender.
    The last time we got the car back, the area fixed (it was an electric window issue) was covered in mechanic’s grease and goo.
    Calling Subaru does no good – they don’t control the dealership. But since we control who buys what & where, we’ve decided “no more Subarus”.
    And that’s a shame, since it was my 3rd Subaru in a row. Clearly, they have enough customers – they don’t need one who was previously happy to walk onto their lot, plunk down money, & buy another new car.

  30. Buran says:

    WTF does “you don’t deserve” have to do with anything? If you can afford the car, you “deserve” it as much as the next guy who is driving one.

    I’m a VW owner and I love my car but I don’t sneer at people who don’t drive VWs and I sure don’t walk around telling people they don’t “deserve” to own one!

    These people need to KEEP complaining to corporate. Get them to do something. And they surely can — including yanking the franchise and, I’m sure, charging penalties for putting a stain on the name.

  31. Rando says:

    The funny part about this story is corporate lying to you. Corporate controls everything franchise does because franchise is still leasing the name of the company. Everything franchise does has to be approved by corporate.

  32. morganlh85 says:

    Call your local news consumer reporter and have them do a smear story about them; if they won’t take care of you then everyone can hear about it and avoid them from now on.

  33. Anonymous says:


    You sound like you are describing a Phil Long dealership. They are horrible, the stories I could tell……….

    As far as the BMW dealership goes, I think this might be a EECB situation. Try that and if that does not work maybe go to the AG. Also, you may want to go to the local paper and tell them your story. Maybe they might run a story about it. Once you start hitting them where it hurts (in the pocketbook due to lost sales) maybe they might come around.

  34. gatopeligroso says:

    Where to begin?

    1. “I told him I would be penalized if I didnt’ turn it in today” Why would you wait until the last possible day to return the vehicle.

    2. “I again explained that I worked and lived 45 miles away” Why would you drive 45 minutes to drop the vehicle off. Were there no other dealerships closer to you?

    3. “He took out his business card and threw it at me.” This should have made it very clear that this guy is a prick. Why would you even stick around and try to plead your case. You could have saved your kids the emotional stress by just accepting the penalty for being late and gone to a different dealership.

  35. UnnamedUser says:

    In 1982 I had the terrible misfortune of believing the BMW “driving machine” advertizing. I bought a new BMW 320i. This turned out to be the worst buying decision of my entire life.

    The engine knocked miserably, even with premium fuel. BMW’s solution to it was to add spacers (extra gaskets) to the spark plugs, eventually they added a thicker head gasket. It still pinged.

    When the engine was hot, it would diesel (keep running) even when I turned the ignition off. BMW’s answer to that was “Put it in gear and let out the clutch. It’ll stop”.

    The engine would not idle cold. It would just die if you didn’t keep goosing the gas pedal. It was a stick shift, so trying to keep it running until it warmed up while commuting in Santa Clara (California) traffic. BMW denied there was a problem.

    On a hot August day in Santa Clara the freeze plugs on the engine block fell out leaving coolant all over the road and me stranded.

    The 1.8 liter 4-cylinder engine was so underpowered that it would not climb route 17 between Santa Clara and Santa Cruz in 5th gear, at all. At some points it required changing down to 3rd.

    The 4-way emergency flasher switch was a push-toggle kind of thing. Push it to turn it on; push it to turn it off. When you pushed it to turn it on, it poped out. The switch had a failure mode that it would pop out all by itself. Since the 4-way flasher was intended to be usable with or without the ignition on, several times if failed sitting in my driveway or in my employer’s parking lot, killing my battery. BMW’s answer to this was to simply replace the broken switch with another exactly like it. Broken as designed. They never in the 4 years I owned the car fixed the root cause of the problem. Their workaround was to advise me to “stick a toothpick in beside the switch to assure it does not pop out”.

    There were several other things wrong with the car. Mercifully, time and old age allows me to forget all but the above most miserable, inexcusable deficiencies of the car.

    I traded the BMW after a few years for a Nissan Maxima. The Maxima proved to be the best car I have ever owned. I drove the Nissan for 15 years before trading it. I’ll assure you it was not for a BMW.

    I never miss an opportunity to share my experience with that BMW whenever I get a chance. That was a god-awful car. In retrospect, I feel stupid at having fallen for the advertizing and I’ll never forgive BMW’s arrogance in dealing with me on all the problems with the car. Never, ever. I have been successful at convincing a number of colleagues from buying or leasing a BMW.

    In 2000, I actually turned down a job offer because, in part, the signing bonus was a new BMW Z3 roadster.

  36. Snakeophelia says:

    Bad attitudes by snooty expensive-car dealers is the reason I just bought my third Saturn. The treatment you get from Saturn dealers is great! I like having my car washed for free, all my repairs recorded in the computer, and my a$$ kissed even though I’m not driving that expensive a car. Good service should not be limited only to the rich.

  37. G-Dog says:

    Forget the BBB. They can’t do anything. Forget posting on this site, the readers already know not to trust anybody you give money to (as you shouldn’t).

    Go check out Unscrewed from your local library, there is a great section on how to deal with arse hole car dealers.

    Based on the book, I would print up a flyer stating “X Dealership Treated Me Poorly”, and make about 50 copies. Put these in a manila envelope, and go to the dealer. Ask to speak with the same guy you spoke to as well, and hand him the envelope. When they ask, tell him you are willing to practice your first amendment right to protest his dealership and that you will be handing the flyer to every customer that enters the property. Let them know that in just a few hours every Saturday for a couple weeks, you’re sure you will have discouraged enough business from the lot that you will be satisfied. Or, they can give you a written apology signed by his manager.

    Even if you don’t get the apology, if you discourage one sale, thats enought. Remember, you need to make it more expensive to ignore you than serve you.

  38. tcm22 says:

    I suspect there is more to the story than the original writer would have us believe.

    1) Has anyone confirmed that the original info she got was correct? Some Chase customer service rep on the phone says to do something and therefor the car dealer is somehow obligated to comply? She should have called ahead to the people she was dealing with.

    2) Why did she feel the need to unload on them about her maintenance problems? Seems to me that implies there was some rudeness and confrontation on both sides. This “kiss my ass, I’m a customer” attitude is the cause of half the problems on this site. Did they do any maintenance on the car? Why should they worry about it if they didn’t do the work?

    3) Typically when people start talking about calling the police, it’s when a customer has become belligerent and disruptive. Seems to me the dealership just wanted to get her out the door, making the likely accurate judgment that the faster they ended their relationship with this woman the better.

  39. ceejeemcbeegee is not here says:

    @nweaver: I shouldn’t matter who financed the car. You can’t turn to car into a Chase bank: it goes back to the BMW dealership.

    1. She’s got kids. Maybe this was the only time she had.
    2. Apparently.
    3. So, she should be financially penalized because the dealer was an asshole?

  40. Crazytree says:

    I’ve had better experiences at Masserati and Ferrari dealerships than I have had at BMW dealerships.

  41. Kurtz says:

    I’ve been treated quite well at Lamborghini and Bentley dealerships myself.

  42. BritBoy says:


    Good question. If this was a lease through Chase as a third party and not a BMW finanace lease, then the dealer has nothing to do with the transaction. While their reported attitude is not good, why would you even think that they are ?

    They don’t want Chase’s car; what are they going to do with it ?? !

  43. BritBoy says:


    Agreed. Theres more to this story and why on earth would the OP beleive that the dealer would want anything to do with her lease with Chase ?? Seems odd.

    The moment she started offloading her tales of repair woe, which presumably have NOTHING to do with the bizzare attempt to return the lease, the dealer is going to want to have nothing more to do with the situ.

    That said, SOME BMW dealers are very snooty. Brecht is one that I have had good & helpful experiences.

  44. Blind But Now I See says:

    As someone who has worked on the corporate side of the car business, I have a little bit of input.

    If this was a BMW Finance lease (a “branded” loan made through a BMW dealership on a BMW financial product), then the dealership would be obligated to complete Raquel’s paperwork and take possession of the vehicle. This is part of the dealership’s franchise agreement with the corporate entity.

    However, by her reference to both the financing being a Chase product and BMW’s corporate arm advising her that dealer was an independent franchise and that they could not offer any assistance in the matter, it leads me to believe that this was a third-party lease.

    Third-party leases can obtained through a BMW dealership. Most dealerships do not limit their financing options to those solely provided by the corporate financing arm as they simply do not address all of their customers’ needs. If Brecht BMW does not have some sort of pre-defined relationship with Chase Bank on its lease product, then they are under no obligation to take back the vehicle. Raquel’s reference to the dealer’s homepage stating that they are an “authorized lease return facility” is clearly referencing the BMW Finance lease product.

    It sounds as if Raquel either got some really bad information from Chase or maybe just misunderstood that she could return he car to ANY BMW dealer rather than just the dealer that she bought it from or just those BMW dealers offering Chase products. A simple phone call to the dealership prior to just showing up on the last possible day she could turn the vehicle in without penalty and requesting that they take it back would have saved her a lot of trouble.

    I’m not trying to defend the treatment she received at the dealership, obviously they were not as accommodating as she would have liked them to be. On the other hand, if someone walked into my place of business and demand I take back some widget that I did not sell them and that I had absolutely no responsibility for, I’m not so sure that my response would be much different. Especially if they persisted in insisting that I had to do this, when in fact, I did not.

    When you walk into the showroom of a dealership, you need to remember that everyone in that room is there for one purpose – to sell vehicles. They all work on commission and taking her lease back for her was not going to put food on their tables. If she walked in there with the intention of leasing another vehicle, I’m sure they would have been more than helpful, but it is very obvious from her statements that she was unhappy with her BMW and has no intention of ever getting another. So the dealership GM knew he could not even hope for a future purchase or lease from Raquel and thus had zero incentive to bow to her demands. Why would they agree to take her car when they had no way to find out what the payoff on it was so they could determine if they could re-sell it for a profit?

    I’m a single woman and I understand how intimidating automobile dealerships and buying/leasing a car can be. But in this case, it really sounds like Raquel was poorly informed, got out-of-line and overly-emotional at the dealership, and so much so that the dealership felt they needed to contact the police to get her off the premises. I’m really sorry her kids had to witness this big scene.

    I know I’ll probably get flamed for writing all this but I have little sympathy for Raquel – she entered into a legal agreement that she obviously did not understand. I suggest she pays cash for her next car.

  45. Anonymous says:

    @Blind But Now I See: well at least if they would have made an effort, they could have generated a future sale with raquel or had raquel possibly give some good referrals (leads). you catch more flys with honey they say. but now, instead of being able to tell her friends and family how wonderful her experience was even when she was NOT purchasing, she is now telling anyone and everyone she can to NEVER go there. thus the reason for the posting.

    i sell cars and i can tell you its NEVER a waste of time to talk to someone. you never know who they might know, that might want to do business. and those boys working there should be making good enough money to still help her. i make good money on comish, but i still have to clean a bathroom. its part of the job, and assisting a bmw owner/customer regaurdless of circumstance, should be part of their job also.

  46. SOhp101 says:

    I think the basic rule is that outside of exclusive dealerships, you should beware of shady dealerships/salesmen.

  47. FLConsumer says:

    @Snakeophelia: Sadly, even the “luxury” car marks have crappy dealers in their system. Great example, Infiniti of Tampa. Good sales department, terrible management, terrible service department. The fact that I see different people working there every time I show up is proof that something’s wrong, and that doesn’t include the countless times I’ve had to bring my car in because they didn’t fix the problem the first, second, third, or even fourth time. You’re right ‘though, that level of service is what EVERY dealer should be providing.

    Make NO mistake about it — the auto manufacturers see the DEALERS as their customers, not the actual consumers. I’ve only seen a few exceptions to this (Bentley, Rolls-Royce).

    Overall, it’s very short-sighted thinking on the automotive industry’s part to allow this type of behaviour to continue. There’s a 90%+ chance that everyone here is going to buy at least another 1-2 cars if not more. Those cars could be from their dealership, or from someone else. The consumer’s impression of the dealership WILL influence whether they buy another car of that make or not. It also will influence where that person’s willing to buy. They’d make far more money on making someone “a customer for life” rather than seeing how badly they can screw over the person at the current sale.

  48. Sudonum says:

    “You will never see a Lexus or Infiniti dealer do that. NEVER.”

    Wanna bet? My wife walked into a Lexus dealership alone. She was met by a very condescending sales man. When she started inquiring about price, lease options, etc. The sales man told her that it was obvious she couldn’t afford a Lexus and that perhaps she should come back with her husband. She went down the road to the Infiniti dealership and drove out with an M45 and right over to the Lexus dealership and waved at the salesman.

  49. Blind But Now I See says:


    I can guarantee you that the dealerships do NOT “have to get everything they do approved by corporate.” A BMW dealership is not a corporate entity, they are independent businesses and beyond their agreements to sell new BMW vehicles and service BMW vehicle under warranty, and many other requirements relating to the sales and servicing of BMW vehicles, they are pretty much free to do as they please.

  50. G-Dog says:


    I’ve been treated very well at “Crazy Joes 15 Year Old Cookie Cutter Mid Sized Sedans”, as it’s the only thing I’ve ever driven.

  51. smarty says:

    @Blind But Now I See: Yeah, calling up the various dealers to verify what Chase is saying would have been best. Chase Bank can’t speak for all BMW dealers. In no way does this excuse that dealership and hopefully she’ll hear back from them.

    Basically, don’t trust what one company says you can/can’t do at a separate company. Verify it first.

  52. ElizabethD says:



  53. Blind But Now I See says:


    they could have generated a future sale with raquel or had raquel possibly give some good referrals

    Maybe they could’ve, but Raquel was unwilling to return to the dealership on a day when they could get in touch with Chase to verify the vehicle details.

    For all the GM knew, that car could’ve been involved in multiple accidents, have a payoff value thousands of dollars more than it was worth, or have an unclear title. Would YOU be willing to personally sign off on that vehicle if you knew whatever loss the dealer took by taking it back came out of YOUR pocket?

    And let’s face it, Raquel was never going to tell people what a great experience she had with Brecht because:
    a) the transaction was never going to go the way she was expecting based on her conversation with the CSR at Chase – simply walk in, have them sign the odometer statement, take a picture, then walk away and
    b) even after all this, she has absolutely no idea what a HUGE risk the dealer would be taking by signing off on that car.

    It was a lose-lose proposition for the dealership. A simple phone call the the dealership before just showing up at the last minute or maybe actually reading her lease agreement rather than trusting the words of a CSR that makes $8/hr and whose main responsibility is giving out account balances all day could have saved a lot of trouble.

    Just because she was ignorant in how her lease worked gives her NO RIGHT to take this out on Brecht BMW. I think there’s a big part of this story that we are missing. Dealers usually work pretty hard to salvage relationships. Raquel herself states that they were willing to work with her if she could bring the car back during Chase’s business hours. The fact that they had to threaten to call the police to get her out of there indicates she had gotten fairly disruptive and/or hysterical. Raquel’s statement about the GM “throwing” his business card at her just doesn’t ring true to me either.

  54. Anonymous says:

    @Blind But Now I See: i don’t speculate on what happens. just because you think there is something about this story that is missing doesn’t automatically mean there is. i’m not saying she was innocent, buyers are liars, however i have seen business cards thrown at people, and i totally believe her statement that the guy said she doesn’t deserve a bmw.

    no matter who’s right, that, was wrong.

  55. Rusted says:

    @marsneedsrabbits: I’m happy with my Subaru but buying it wasn’t great. Plenty good independent shops out there. 60K and oil changes and maintenance and that’s it. I’ll get another when the time comes. @Blind But Now I See: He still blew it by screaming at her. It’s on Consumerist now. Rudeness is still rudeness.

  56. IRSistherootofallevil says:

    I don’t understand. Why the hell can’t we buy cars direct from the manufacturer in North America? We can buy computers, ipods, clothes, cellphones, even furniture, direct from the manufacturer, why not with cars? Puts all those sleazy dealerships out of business, especially if they had corporate-owned showrooms. You go to a corporate-owned showroom, test out the car you want, test out a few other cars that you’re considering, and then you sit down with the salesman and pick out the colors, options, and whatever else you want, and fax in the order to the nearest factory (or warehouse-shouldn’t be that hard for Toyota or even Lexus as they make most of their cars in the US or Canada). Put the salesmen on a decent salary so they don’t have an incentive to fuck you over. Car comes in in about a week, and in the meanwhile, you get a loaner. Is it THAT hard?

    And since they only have to store the loaners on their lots, cuts down on inventory costs, since they don’t actually have to MAKE the car until the order comes in. Dell and Apple can do this (and they let you buy premade ones if you don’t want to wait), why not Toyota, Lexus or Mercedes?

  57. ChaosMotor says:

    Nobody was trying to buy a BMW. Read the story before you comment on it. Very effective.

    Why would you NOT wait until the last day to turn it in? So you can pay them for a leased vehicle you’re not using? Same reason you occupy your leased apartment until the last day – because you fucking paid for it and have every right to gain the full extent of your lease!

    You sound like the landlord who prorated me a day’s rent for turning in the keys at the start of business the day after the lease ended – what, I should have been out before my lease was over? I wouldn’t have been pro-rated the credit on that day. If you pay for it, it’s entirely reasonable to use it until the very moment your lease is up.

    Why would she drive 45m? Because she wanted to? Dumbass, not everyone lives where there’s a BMW dealership next door.

    It sounds like your attitude in life is, do whatever you’re told, and eat shit. Why capitulate to the manager because he’s an asshole? It’s his job to uphold the duties of his position, one of which is accepting lease returns. Do you cave immediately if you determine the person you’re dealing with isn’t peaches and cream?

    What in the hell is it with this attitude that the person complaining is always wrong, they should have just put up with it, do as you’re told, deal with it, make the best of it, shut up and live with it? Where did this come from? Is it a symptom of the pro-capitalist, profit is everything, nothing if not for money, corporate Godhood attitude America has grown like a goiter or 200lb stomach tumor over the last few decades?

  58. Blind But Now I See says:

    @RUSTED:I don’t think the OP ever stated that anyone at the dealership screamed at her, only telling her that she “didn’t deserve driving a BMW.” Personally, I feel if she lacks the ability to read and fully comprehend the terms of her lease agreement, then she shouldn’t be driving at all.

    She screwed up and is now publicly denouncing the dealership. I think that’s wrong. Someone at the dealership probably made some snarky and inappropriate comments to a woman that refused to comprehend that Chase gave her some incorrect information. Unfortunately it escalated from there. But if she had turned her car in properly, to the right people, with the right notification, none of this would’ve happened.

    Believe it when I say that I’m not a fan of car dealerships whether they be Kia or Cadillac. I think they are a breeding ground and bastion for slimeballs and douchebags. But Raquel’s in the wrong in this particular situation.

  59. yg17 says:

    @IRSistherootofallevil: I don’t think it would be that easy, just due to the wait time. 10 days is very optomistic, and anything short of a couple months is impossible for anything built overseas. I have a Volkswagen GTI on order right now and will need to wait about 3 months for it to arrive. It will be about 1 month for sitting in the order queue and actual production, and another 2 for it to get from Germany to the dealer here in St. Louis. The loaner idea is good, but who’s going to pay for it? I don’t want to be making my payments on the GTI while driving a car that isn’t mine and is possibly a cheaper car. And since I’m under no obligation to buy the GTI once it arrives, I don’t think the dealer will want me to be driving a loaner the entire time, for free, when I can potentially drop off the loaner in a couple months and tell them I found a better deal somewhere else and to forget about the GTI. Hell, I can keep going around to different dealers doing that, and never make a car payment again in my life.

    I like the idea of cutting out the middle man, and all dealers are corporate owned and salesmen don’t make commission, but I prefer how things are done now when it comes to cars being in stock and being able to drive off with a new car the day you go in to buy one (of course, I ordered my GTI to get the options I wanted, but buying one in stock was always an option). But also, keep in mind, we see it all the time on consumerist, corporate owned stores, with salaried salesmen, can still fuck over customers.

  60. Blind But Now I See says:

    Why doesn’t anyone understand that this nothing to do with Brecht BMW or BMW North America? It has everything to do with Chase and whoever sold her the car!

    The dealership was under no obligation to take this car back any more so than they would be obligated to perform warranty work on an after-market sunroof installed by the local chop-shop.

    Chase auto leases are not a BMW product. Brecht BMW did not provide her with this lease. Thus they are NOT obligated to take this vehicle back and should not have to withstand this woman disrupting their place of business demanding that they do.

  61. wesrubix says:

    @Blind But Now I See: THANK YOU. People lost the target here and you said what I was thinking the whole time skimming the comments.

    So and so should’ve called ahead of time and checked with the dealership(s). Not just Chase. BMW dealerships != Chase. Ugh.

    And as a 20-something year old that has been a good customer of a BMW Dealership (the one in Norwood, MA), I have to say garbage in garbage out. The one time I was there dressed like a schlub I was treated like one by a sales guy that didn’t know me (what do you expect? they don’t want some jerk going in there and breaking something on the showroom floor). THe same would’ve happened if I went to MicroCenter and was looking at the laptops as if I didn’t know what I was doing. Anyway, I’ve had great experiences at the BMW Gallery Group in Norwood, and I’m sorry to hear there are dealerships out there like this. It puts bad marks on BMW’s name, and it’s disheartening to know someone was treated that poorly.

  62. bohemian says:

    The dealership that is supposed to represent a high end product screwed up. Even if this woman was in the wrong and the dealership could not accept the lease.

    When it got to the point of getting a manager they should have pulled her into a conference or sales room for starters. They could have bothered to help point out where and why they could not accept the lease if that was the case, including calling Chase on speakerphone. I am sure they have some sort of CSR monkey working the phones after hours that could have at least looked this up.
    They allowed this to escalate into a nasty confrontation in the middle of the dealership.

    One of they differences between high end service and what the unwashed masses get is that their staff should be able to handle a problem or a person being a problem without acting like a jerk or making things worse.

    The local VW/Audi dealership gave us the snooty routine when we were shopping for a new car. They lost the sale new or used. We ended up buying one from a small car dealer we used to do work for.

  63. I leased my VW from Langan Volkswagen in Meriden, CT. They were helpful, courteous, polite, reasonable, fair, and did not pressure me in any way. This is my third VW; the first two dealers (another in Connecticut and one in Maine) were both acceptable, but Langan will get my buy, lease, and service business for ever and ever, amen.

  64. girly says:

    Obviously the OP went to a bmw dealership because of what Chase told her.

    If she could go to other dealers, they should have told her that instead of her feeling like that crummy dealership was her only option that day.

    Did she get penalized? Sounds like she did end up returning it the next day?

  65. overbysara says:

    I think screaming and throwing a business card at the woman was a bit of an overreaction on this crazy dude’s part.


  66. gatopeligroso says:

    @ChaosMotor: Why not return the car to the dealership where she originally leased it? As someone else said, it might have helped her to have called ahead just to make sure she wouldn’t have any issues. But hey, I guess she got her money’s worth by using the car up to the 19th. Save the “it’s my right speech”, you should use common sense.

  67. tcm22 says:

    I suspect the management made a judgment that another sale was not ever going to come from this woman. Having gotten just her side of the story, it seems to me she went rolling to the dealership with an ax to grind and got it. We can post all day in this thread how they could have acted, but that’s just second guessing. Those guys are the ones trying to sell cars. I suspect if they had any hope of generating sales from the woman they would have tried to appease her rather than call the cops. My guess is she was one huge pain in the ass who didn’t have her crap together to begin with and they wanted nothing to do with her or her car.

  68. Anonymous says:

    i guess people are just nicer in indiana because i’ve never had any problem like this at my dealership.

  69. Anonymous says:

    this thread has cycled 3 times. i’m not going to be reading this anymore as it just keeps going in circles from posters not reading previous posts.

  70. Groovymarlin says:

    No matter who was at fault, the dealer’s behavior was inexcusable. Raquel, you need to contact all your local TV stations and ask for their consumer affairs reporter. I bet your your story will be on the evening news the same night.

    Oh, and you know the difference between a porcupine and a BMW, right?

    Porcupines have pricks on the OUTSIDE.

  71. ltlbbynthn says:

    @e-gadgetjunkie: my ex used to tell me about his friend who leased a lot of bmws, and they always had to drive up in an expensive car or the salespeople wouldn’t talk to them. he also said you couldn’t test-drive a hummer without leaving a $15,000 deposit on your CC.

  72. TaddSanMarcos says:

    Brecht BMW is an absolute nightmare. Doesn’t suprise me to see this article. I was put through the ringer for months with our Brecht experience. I setup a few months back and tried to point some people elsewhere on google buying keywords and point to /brechtbmwsucks. They don’t deserve to be in business.

  73. Consumer007 says:

    I just sent them a nasty gram email via their website saying “how DARE you treat a lease customer liike this!” and link to this page :) good luck!


  74. Anonymous says:

    Raquel wrote:
    “The only thing I can think of is that they were not going to make any money off of me that night so they didn’t want to help. Why is there no one in the entire corporation that cares about customer service.”

    Sadly that’s Capitalism 101. All the talk about ‘customer service’ and ‘assistance’ is only if they can make bucks off of you. It’s a ruthless, dog-eat-dog mentality.

  75. Don Roberto says:

    Bimmers are for impractical sleazeballs. Get a Merceds.

  76. Blueskylaw says:

    Just for you “useless information buffs” BMW stands for

    Bayerische Motoren Werke or Bavarian Motor Works in english.

    Their neat logo is from the sweep of an airplane propeller, a Messerschmitt I believe.

  77. IRSistherootofallevil says:

    YG17: we’re not talking about withholding payment until it comes to your door or local showroom. We’re talking about a model where you plunk down a “deposit (or down payment)” when you walk out the door with the loaner vehicle (therefore, it’s in your interest for the car to come in ASAP, as well as the dealer’s, since he wants his loaner back, and you want your car because you invested a good chunk of money in it), and then starting payments when you accept delivery of the car. And, of course, this deal would put you under an obligation to take the car when it comes in. I think they can cut that time down to a month. For a company like Toyota that produces cars in the US, warehouses them in the US, and sells them here, it’s very possible. And I’m not talking about keeping NO inventory. I’m talking about keeping LESS inventory (i.e. making a few cars with the most popular options). No company can function without keeping ANY inventory.

  78. IRSistherootofallevil says:

    Tesla motor already does this. You buy the car and pick all your options, you put down a deposit and then pay the rest when the vehicle arrives at your house.

  79. D-Bo says:

    @Blind But Now I See:”Personally, I feel if she lacks the ability to read and fully comprehend the terms of her lease agreement, then she shouldn’t be driving at all.”

    Wow, so as part of the driving test, you should have to obtain a law degree to decipher all the mouse type and submit to a test of your comprehension?

    You’ve made a number of assumptions, both about the situation and the minutia of or dealerships, their relationships with the manufacturer and how they deal with different types of leases. Care to offer any facts to back up yuro assumptions?

    Even if she was completely in the wrong their is no reason she should have been treated like this. BMW corporate should care because it is heir brand being associated with the actions and attitude of their franchisee.

  80. Nytmare says:

    Your kids aren’t a shield, and they’re not a valid excuse after the fact. Towing them along doesn’t earn you special points nor does it save you from abusive business treatment, especially when you’re contributing to or even causing the problem.

  81. Sudonum says:

    @Blind But Now I See:
    What you don’t appear to understand is that it has everything to with Brecht BMW and the way they ALLEGEDLY treated her. All the manager had to do was patiently explain to her all the reasons you have, as to why she couldn’t return the car there. You don’t know that he did and we don’t know that he didn’t. However I have a feeling that if the manager had calmly and politely explained his reasons for not wanting, or being able, to accept the car we wouldn’t be here posting on this story today. But then we’ll never really know because only one party is here telling their side of the story.

  82. Anonymous says:

    Some BMW dealerships are made up of slimy jerks.
    It’s too bad she had to deal with this one.
    I would get the story out. I would also contact the leasing company and let them know. I assume this was bmw leasing, so they should know that some dealerships do not comply with the guidelines of their leasing agreement.
    Then I would call the BBB.
    And I would write a letter to the general manager. Try to find out who the owner is and let him know as well. Most of the time, the owners only hear the GM’s story, not the customers.
    And by god, never spend a dime with those condescending prigs….
    Of course, tell everyone you know so they’ll avoid them too.

  83. Anonymous says:

    @Blind But Now I See:
    Unless, of course, the leasing company has a preexisting business relationship with BMW, which they likely do, and is authorized by BMW USA to have any leased BMW’s be returned to any BMW authorized sales company.
    Which is probably the case. Some leasing companies have written contracts with car manufacturers that are supposed to be adhered to.

  84. XTC46 says:


    I agree that people will treat you differently depending on how you dress and how you appear in general. It sucks, but tis a fact of life. I work in the IT field, and have since before I was out of high school. It hard walking into a meeting with the CEO of a multi-million dollar company looking really young, and almost impossible to get any respect if you are in ratty jeans and a t-shirt. So I played dress up for the first year or two until my reputation was solid. Now I wonder around in jeans and a Hoodie and get job offers frequently. So appearance is what gets you the interview, but eventually you get the respect you deserve. Car dealerships see you only a couple of times so you need to dress the part.

  85. Bay State Darren says:

    Got any birdseed and a ladder?

  86. smarty says:

    BMW Financial Services web site has a lease turn in guide where some of the steps include making an appointment, review for repairs, and verify the odometer. Considering this is BMWs own leasing/financing company, why would they have many more steps to a lease turn in than Chase?

    And Raquel’s experience with Chase is not the first…
    “they said any Suzuki Dealer can take it. I called the closest Suzuki Dealer. They said no, they can’t take it. Called Bank One back, they said OK, we’ll come pick it up.”

  87. Jhonka says:

    A google search for Brecht BMW has this site come up 4th overall. 3rd is a ratings sites for car dealers.

  88. I then started to explain all the problems I had had with the car over the 4 years. Based on my miles my car should have been in for maintenace 2 times — it was in about 10 times.

    Welcome to the world of owning a BMW. Same will happen if you buy a Mercedes as well. As I always say, anyone can buy a BMW. Not everyone can maintain a BMW.

  89. peggynature says:

    @gatopeligroso: And, ladies and gentlemen, I believe we have a Blame the Victim Bingo!

  90. Anonymous says:

    I must also take exception to the Lexus dealer never doing that. About three years ago a friend and I dropped in to a Lexus dealership in the north west burbs of chicago. I was looking to trade in my four year old volvo. First, there was no one in the show room, when someone did show up he was not interested in selling me the car. In fact he went out of his way to tell me that he would not give me a trade in value on my existing car. Now, I don’t know if this guy was having a bad day, was about to quit, or was completely clueless, but needless to say one stupid comment like that made sure that I didn’t buy a lexus that year and most likely won’t be getting one any time soon. Do I blame the car manufacturer, yes, some, but I blame the training and management of the dealership more. If you’re taking my hard earned money, can I get at least some respect? I could have sworn they got paid based on selling me the car, I guess I must be mistaken. Oh, and I did buy a car that day, another new volvo, I guess I am not worthy of a Lexus.

  91. Blind But Now I See says:

    Wow, so as part of the driving test, you should have to obtain a law degree to decipher all the mouse type and submit to a test of your comprehension?

    In January 1998, the Federal Consumer Leasing Act, Regulation M, was revised to require that certain key information and figures are in every automobile lease contract. It also required that this information be displayed in a uniform way, and using standard terminology. Vehicle lease contracts are fairly easy to understand and lay out the terms and conditions of the lease and its termination that someone with the reading level of 7th grade or above can understand.

    You’ve made a number of assumptions, both about the situation and the minutia of or dealerships, their relationships with the manufacturer and how they deal with different types of leases. Care to offer any facts to back up yuro assumptions?

    I worked as what’s most commonly known as a sales division zone rep for Ford Motor Company for 5 years and then spent another 6 years working in corporate finance in Dearborn for Ford Motor Credit.

    Even if she was completely in the wrong their is no reason she should have been treated like this

    I’m not saying the dealer did not make any mistakes or that the situation could not have been handled better because I really don’t know. What I AM saying is that she has no right to demand the dealership do as she wanted – which was to have them sign off on that car to them on that day. It’s obvious the dealer was willing to work with her if she returned during Chase’s business hours and she was not willing to do that. It’s obvious that she was not even willing to leave the premises until the GM threatened to call the police. I would definitely be interested in hearing the dealership’s side of the story – I suspect she threw a hissy-fit when the dealer refused to take her car that day.

    BMW corporate should care because it is heir brand being associated with the actions and attitude of their franchisee

    In reality, there is nothing that BMW North America can force the dealership to do. This is, in effect, a used vehicle transaction. BMW NA could not tell the dealer what to do any more than if this was the return of a Honda or Hummer.

    BMW should be glad that most of the people that drive their vehicles are not as ignorant as this one. Even after all that has transpired, Raquel still does not “get” it. She has a legal agreement with Chase Bank. Brecht BMW is not Chase Bank nor do I see that they have any sort of agreement with Chase bank to act as a return center for vehicles leased through Chase and thus are not obligated to accept her vehicle. The dealer was willing to consider the return of the vehicle given the ability to get in touch with her lender. The dealer could not contact her lender that day. Raquel was unwilling to accept these facts.

    What you don’t appear to understand is that it has everything to with Brecht BMW and the way they ALLEGEDLY treated her. All the manager had to do was patiently explain to her all the reasons you have, as to why she couldn’t return the car there. You don’t know that he did and we don’t know that he didn’t.

    A beg to differ. If you read Raquel’s own words, she states that the dealership DID explain to her why they could not take the vehicle back that day and she was unwilling to accept that answer. I have spent a lot of time in a lot of car dealerships. Most of them had a great customer service oriented attitude. But even the worst of the worst would NEVER alienate a potential customer that was standing on their showroom floor in such a way as Raquel describes without some serious provocation from said customer.

    Unless, of course, the leasing company has a preexisting business relationship with BMW, which they likely do, and is authorized by BMW USA to have any leased BMW’s be returned to any BMW authorized sales company.Which is probably the case.

    No they don’t. BMW has it own vehicle finance product and it is not affiliated with Chase Bank in any way. Dealers are free to offer loan products from entities other than BMW Finance.

    Some leasing companies have written contracts with car manufacturers that are supposed to be adhered to

    That is possibly one of the most ignorant statements I have read on this thread today. Every major automobile manufacturer has their own vehicle finance unit that is not affiliated with any leasing company, bank, or credit union. There are only a handful of financial institutions that would even be able to deal with the number of transactions that occur in the dealer network within the US and Canada on any given day.

    It is possible that the dealership could have a written agreement with Chase to offer Chase brand financing on their vehicle and accept Chase lease returns. In that case, Chase would be paying them X number of dollars to complete that transaction and there would be no reason for the dealer not to accept the vehicle. If the dealer does have a contract with Chase then Raquel needs to complain to Chase, not BMW NA.

  92. tcm22 says:

    I doubt the confrontation was started by the manager. Sounds she went in there with a chip on her shoulder and unloaded on the guy when she didn’t get her way. She didn’t want to here no for an answer and immediately went into beligerant victim mode. The giveaway is here whining about the maintenance record. WTF does that have to do with the lease turn in? The woman has some issues.

  93. ooolam says:

    I used to have a BMW and I never have a problem with them. I guess it is because they were making money out of me?! However, I definitely have much better experience from Toyota. Three years ago when I was shopping for a Toyota Sienna, a salesperson at a Toyota dealer tear up the paperwork and asked me to leave when I pointed out the extra $200 window etching on the invoice that I didn’t agree to have. So we left and my 8 month pregnant wife called Toyota and complained about the poor treatment from that dealer. Toyota took the whole situation very seriously. The lady on the phone offered us $500 if we buy a Sienna from any Toyota dealer. The GM from that Dealers called us to apologize two days later, and asked us to return and promised to give us a good deal. Of course we didn’t go back there, but we did buy a Sienna from another Toyota dealer. A week later, the same lady from Toyota called my wife to make sure the GM from that Toyota Dealer has called to apologize and she also mailed us a $500 check right away. She called us again a month later to make sure we were happy with our Sienna, and to see how our new born baby girl was doing, which is a nice personal touch. I was so amazed that I told myself that my next car will either be Toyota or Lexus. I really have to thank that salesperson for tearing up the paperwork, otherwise we wouldn’t be able to get a better price from another dealer and with extra $500 from Toyota.

  94. JPropaganda says:

    – Look, I’m not going to get into the whole “it sounds like she was a bad consumer” argument. Frankly, I could care less.

    – EVEN IF the woman had a chip on her shoulder, her experience with Brecht wasn’t just ‘far from ideal.’ It was terrible. The manager could have reacted in a better way.

    – BMW is a lifestyle brand. It advertises itself based on the luxury of owning a BMW; the amount of pampering you get. The most recent commercial I saw related DIRECTLY to the excellent service you receive from BMW: mercedes and other luxury car owners trying to take their cars in for service at the BMW stations. When you are trying to give your brand an identity, you have to live up to it. In the minds of some consumers (i.e. this particular woman,) your brand is only the story you have told.

    You have to try as hard as possible to make everything into a positive. When Apple screws up, Steve Jobs (and exec customer service) step in. Where was BMW’s executive customer service, to turn this horror story into a positive tale?

  95. gatopeligroso says:

    @peggynature: When a victim decides not to use common sense, yes. Just for a moment, lets say that she had called the dealer before she went there. She remembered to write down the name of the person she spoke with and verified that they in fact could accommodate her. In a situation like that, yes I would side with the consumer (victim?). Was what the dealership allegedly did wrong. Without a doubt. Should she have been treated that way. Absolutely not.

  96. Sudonum says:

    @Blind But Now I See:
    Once again you are assuming things that we don’t know. The only “reason” that she was given, according to her post, was that they needed to verify the pay off. None of the other reasons that you stated regarding the condition of the vehicle and the liability the dealer would be assuming. You are basing your position on the theory that Raquel MUST have done something to provoke the manager. According to her post, the manager came out and immediately told her to leave or he would call the police. He never gave her any reasons, the salesperson was the one who told her they needed to call Chase for the payoff.

    My brother has worked in the auto sales industry for many years as The Finance Guy at a mega-plex. I hear the comments all the time about the “mooches” that come in. I can assume that the GM didn’t want to waste his time with her and tried to blow her off just as easily as you can assume that she was some dumb ass customer from hell who wouldn’t take no for an answer.

    I also find it hard to believe that she would make up the line about “….driving a VW”. Since we are stereotyping I can see someone in a dealership telling her that. My brothers favorite line is “There’s an ass for every seat”.

    Could/should she have called the dealership before showing up? Absolutely. But the dealership, specifically the manger who should know better, should not have threatened her with the first words out of his mouth being to tell her he was going to call the police if she didn’t leave. That’s why, in my opinion, the dealership is at fault. As someone who works in the industry, I can see why you’d have a different opinion.

  97. Doc Benway says:

    @cadillacman03: I call bullshit on you. I had a really bad experience at an Infiniti dealer in Manhattan. When I filled out the customer satisfaction survey reporting the bad service I was later told by the service manager to never bring my car in again.

    The Infiniti dealer not only mislead me by stating that they were a Corporate store, i.e., owned by Nissan North America but the sales person who sold me on the lease lied about certain features.

    Contrast that with my POSITIVE experience with BMW. They always bent over backwards to ensure I was happy.

    So end this comment the way I think it should be ended. Mileage may vary. I have had bad experiences with many dealers and then I have good experiences with other dealers. On a case by case basis is the best way to deal with this type of behavior. Generalizing that BMW service stinks doesn’t get you anywhere. And as for your generalization regarding Infiniti – I just provided you with an example the disproves your rule.

  98. Doc Benway says:

    @smarty: So wouldn’t you blame Chase then?

  99. Mojosan says:

    I’ve owned 3 BMWs.

    Never had an issue.

    2 of them had zero unsceduled maintenance.

    Dealer was great.

  100. jvette says:

    You really need to be upset with Chase. They are the finance company for the car and owned the car that you rented from them. It is their responsibility to send you to a location or auto auction that they have contracted to except their lease returns. The BMW dealer owed you nothing on this transaction. Just because it was a BMW doesn’t make them responsible for the car. Chase did you wrong not the dealer.

  101. StevieD says:

    @Blind But Now I See:

    WELL DONE !!!!

  102. StevieD says:

    The consumer spends 1,2,10 maybe 30 minutes with the sales dude and then the manager steps in.

    Obviously we are only hearing the consumer’s side of the story. And the manager could have been very aware of her conversation with the sales dude (like no car dealership is quilty of listening in to customer conversations).

    That said, there is one great fact which is not evidence, but can be deduced….. the time of day. Oh, and a couple other facts …. bank business hours, service department hours, and bank versus dealership relations.

    The supporting evidence is the “fact” that her bro completed the transaction quickly at another dealership.

    Maybe the service department at that dealership was open and able to perform the required inspection. A photograph and reading the odometer is all that is required? Yea, right. I strongly suspect a real inspection is required. Maybe something along the lines of a 25 point visual inspection to insure all 4 rims match, the leather seats are not ripped, there is oil in the crankshaft and the car’s engine will start, and verifying the VIN numbers in at least two hard to access locations in the car just to make sure somebody didn’t glue two cars together to make one. Might take 5 or 10 minutes to perform. Protects the dealership handling the transaction and of course protects the leasing bank.

    Oh, and since the service department was open, the bank was also open to complete the necessary paperwork.

    Which returns us to the original dealership. I am quite sure the bank’s rules are return the car to any dealership that is on our approved list. Approved list consists of dealerships that do loans or leases with the bank. Not just any slob or car dealership.

    A call to the dealership will be quite helpful in showing the OP to be a spoiled brat that was trying to pull a fast one.

  103. Blueskylaw says:


  104. Buran says:

    @tcm22: I’m amazed it took this long for someone to blame the victim.

  105. Blueskylaw says:

    I went to a Lexus dealership dressed in casual shorts and a t-shirt (both clean but something you would wear to the beach) and the guy didn’t take me seriously, he asked me what kind of car I had now and I said it didn’t matter. Another salesman overheard the other asking me and he went to the car parkers and asked them what I was driving. A few minutes later I overheard the second guy whisper to him “he has a Mercedes”.
    Well, Well, Well, now I was an honored guest. Would you like some coffee, spring water, something to eat? I ended up leaving him and coming back about a week later. This time I got somebody else who treated me right the first time (probably needed the money) and I ended up buying from him.
    Who said Lexus treats you like a King from the second you walk in?

  106. Blueskylaw says:

    Post ate my comment, let’s hope this post gets it back.

  107. Blueskylaw says:

    I went to a Lexus dealership dressed in casual shorts and a t-shirt (both clean but something you would wear to the beach) and the guy didn’t take me seriously, he asked me what kind of car I had now and I said it didn’t matter.
    Another salesman overheard the other asking me and he went to the car parkers and asked them what I was driving. A few minutes later I overheard the second guy whisper to him “he has a Mercedes”.
    Well, Well, Well, now I was an honored guest. Would you like some coffee, spring water, something to eat? I ended up leaving him and coming back about a week later. This time I got somebody else who treated me right the first time (probably needed the money) and I ended up buying from him.
    Who said Lexus treats you like a King from the second you walk in?

  108. bdslack says:

    This is why I really can’t and don’t believe posts on this website. Is everyone really to believe that this manager threw his business card and acted like an asshole to you un-provoked?

    I REALLY highly doubt it. What I do know about people that LEASE BMW’s are that they are the types that DEMAND respect because of what they drive. Respect is earned. People are people, and lies are lies. This dealership has no option to dispute this posting and they are at an unfair disadvantage. I am really sure that they were so bad to you in their public showroom that you burst into tears.

    Here’s what I am sure happened:

    You were in a hurry and just wanted to drop it off.
    They didn’t want to take the liability for your car without contacting the owner CHASE. If they would have they would have become responsible for the vehicle. But you were in a HUGE hurry and protested with this “don’t you know how important I am – I LEASE a BMW!” schlep. So then the topic ranges from how far into the boonies you live to how many times you brought your car back into the repair shop because you were unhappy with the free car wash you got for taking it in.

    Never fear – the customer is always right and you will show them – ON THE INTERWEB! Just to prove how important you are to the entire world because you LEASE A BMW!

    Next the manager came out and said, you need to leave or I am going to call the police. Right lady, I am really sure that they call the cops right away on sane people that buy their cars and don’t cause scenes in their showrooms. Right let me guess you were doe eyed and in the corner crying the entire time.

    “The next day My brother spoke to the GM and explained the story. He never apologized and still refused to help us with the lease return” (because he didn’t believe your story and stands behind his employees and their judgement)

    It’s letters like this that make me question the statement “the customer is always right” – into “the customer is always an asshole”.

  109. Blind But Now I See says:

    I LOVE YOU – Please come to Texas and marry me!

  110. Padriac says:

    @Blind But Now I See:

    Anybody who worked in sales in any fashion for any car dealer automatically has all credibility revoked. Sorry.

    Lady: I want to return my car leased from Chase. They told me any BMW dealer

    BMW sales guy: Actually, we’re an indpendent dealer who doesn’t work with Chase. You need to return your car to a Chase-approved BMW dealer. The nearest one is…..

    Lady: Oh, okay. Thanks.

    THAT is how this should have went down. If the lady was misinformed that’s unfortunate but not her fault. Both Chase, BMW corporate, and BMW independent dealers need to clarify these things to people but you *know* they don’t bother in the rush and lies they use to lease the car in the first place. The Lady was obviously confused and misinformed: all the sales person needed to do was take 10 seconds to explain the situation. And being an asshole is not justified. As a customer, I don’t care what your relationship is with all the various entities. You put that BMW logo on your dealership and you automatically accept certain responsibilites regarding the brand.

    It’s like when car salesmen refuse to leave me alone when I try to browse cars even though I tell them up front have no intention of purchasing a car and that their time will be better spent elsewhere. Invariably they keep harassing me and then I try to leave. They scream “Thanks for wasting my time!” and I just smile and say “My pleasure.” Car salesemen: it’s not my fault your job sucks. I don’t care what your manager told you, how competitive it is, or whatever. It’s not my problem. Treat me with respect and I’ll respect you back and give you my business when the time is right… simple as that.

    This lady was obviously not treated with respect: being right or wrong has nothing to do with it. I mean, if I happened to be shopping at this dealer when all this went down I would simply leave as it would be quite obvious what kind of people I was dealing with.

  111. yg17 says:

    Ehhh….not to nitpick, but it’s Volkswagen

    Considering how almost every BMW driver I know is a prick, it sounds like the salesman was trying to be just like his customers. It’s actually a pretty good sales tactic, try to be like your customers, find some common ground and like what they like. If the salesman is the type of person they can sit down and have a beer and shoot the shit with (or in the case of BMW drivers, sit down, have some expensive, fine wine and talk about how people driving Toyotas, Hondas, Volkswagens, Chevys, Hyundais, Fords and Kias and such are peons and are less than human because of what they drive), they’re more likely to buy from them.

    Seriously though…it’s hard to take any sides without hearing both sides of the story. The dealer should have never have acted they way they did, and at the same time, the customer should’ve made a simple phone call to the dealer before going to drop the car off. I know, even if Chase reassured me I could take it to any dealer, I’d want to hear it straight from the horse’s mouth (Or in the case of BMW, the horse’s arse)

  112. zaq2g says:

    I’ve been to many BMW and MB dealerships in the Chicago area and have never suffered rude service even though I’ve never bought a car at any of them. Most of the time it was just warranty repairs or parts.

    I even had one salesman who kept his eyes open for a 1990 M3 for almost a year, and called me whenever he found one, though they were never in good condition. That was more than I expected for car that was 24 years old and only worth about $10-15,000 at the time.

    Even for someone who spent relatively little money at a BMW dealership, they always seemed to bend over backwards so that I would give them a perfect score on thier customer satisfaction survey.

    Whenever I went in for service, I dealt with one person. If there was ever a problem which that person couldn’t solve, the service manager or even sales manager would make sure I was satisfied before I left. When I got my first BMW, I used to take it in for “Service Inspections” in the beginning. They always let me bring my own parts to lower the cost.

    When I ordered parts, if there was a problem, I was notified as soon as posible so I wouldn’t have to find out after I drove down to pick them up.

    It’s not that I never had a problem there, I just never had a problem that wasn’t solved quickly.

  113. dandd says:

    I worked at a dealership for a while:

    1) Autozone will do an ODB1/2 diagnostic test for free! Don’t pay the dealership 50+ for a simple diagnostic test. And if your car is a newer one, be prepared to buy some sort of overpriced sensor.

    2) 99.9% of dealership mechanics do side work for a much lower rate. Unless it has to be done at the dealership for warranty purposes, you can get the same guy to do the job much cheaper.

    3) All that scotch guarding and extra sound proofing, etc. that they try to package at the end of the deal is pure bullshit. It is literally $10-20 dollars worth of junk that that takes an hour to put on. The only thing worth anything is the scotch guarding and that is just sprayed on and can be done by anyone with an arm. If you must have it remember the price is totally negotiable. Its funny when you see two customers with the same vehicle and same extras pakage and one pays $400 and the other pays $900 for the exact same thing.

    All brands have good and bad dealerships. My experience has been that small town dealerships and Mega Malls are the worst places to shop. (Of course there are exceptions) I’ve always gotten the best deals at medium/large dealerships that were in high traffic areas.

    The nicer the car you drive, the better the service you will receive at any dealership. Two guys come in, one driving a Corvette and one driving a Cavalier. The Corvette owner will get better service as well as a better quality repair on his vehicle. That’s just the way it is.

  114. Ben Popken says:

    Someone call Mother Courage!

  115. s35flyer says:

    We bought a new BMW in 1999, it now has 70k+ miles, every thing has been done via the dealer and they have provided exceptional service, I couldnt have been more impressed.

  116. guymandude says:

    Paintballs? You guys are rank beginers at this. Put some used cat
    litter down the grill on the front of the car where the air intake is
    for the blower/heater/AC. They’ll NEVER get it out and the smell will
    NEVER go away. Mmmmmm…. heat with used cat litter…. a winning

  117. guymandude says:

    @dandd: Good luck trying to find an autozone
    that has a generic OBD1 reader. While I think you are right on the
    money suggesting to people that they try and find an AZ with a generic
    OBD1 reader they have a snowballs chance in hell of actually finding
    one. NEVER have I found an AZ that could do OBD1 simply b/c every car
    (prior to 1996) has it’s own OBD hookup. After 1996 they were
    standardized but prior to that everyone had their own.

  118. mark_hartig says:

    BMW sems to think they’re all that and more. I was looking to buy new and with cash. One I wished to test drive was BMW 5 Series. Even went so far as to set up test drive times and appointments with several dealers. BMW dealer in Austin, Texas, said they didn’t have any to drive, but call when I’m in town. Said they had a 5 Series wagon, and wanted me to test drive it…that’s not what I was looking for. Again contacted them the week of scheduled test drives, and was told they still didn’t have any and to call when I arrived in town. I replied to the salesman that he still wasn’t getting it…I’m a buyer and you are supposed to call me and be interested in my business. Needless to say, I didn’t even bother and bought a Lexus instead. Will never consider BMW ever again.

  119. MikeHerbst says:

    Count me among the people who would *LOVE* to know why anyone would think that they could terminate a loan contract by just dropping off a car and taking a picture of the car in front of a dealership.

    Why, why, WHY would you not call the dealership where you planned to make this transaction and make an appointment? For that matter, if you were planning a “drop-in” for this activity, why would you wait until the end of the day? (Customer’s statement indicates “chase was closed”)

    And for anyone whining about the “penalty” for turning in a lease-car late: Remember that the penalties are written as finance charges for extra days or extra milage. Turning in the car the next day (when Chase was open), would have likely resulted in a “penalty” on the order of 1/30 of her regular lease payment, maybe with a little extra. Certainly less than $50, which doesn’t seem too high of a price to pay if you wait until the end of the last day of your lease contract to drop off a car without making an appointment.

  120. Leiterfluid says:

    I’m probably being nitpicky, but when you lease a car, you don’t own doodlysquat.

    Personally, I’ve become a Toyota fan. My wife’s family has been buying cars from the same dealership for over 20 years. I get exemplary service from them.

  121. RottNDude says:

    This story is now the 3rd result when one searches for Brecht BMW on Google. Nice work!

  122. pdxguy says:

    @MARSNEEDSRABBITS: Care to specify what part of Colorado has the Subaru dealer that you experienced?

  123. Leofan7 says:

    BMW’s are overrated shitcans, anyway. Why do they give free maintenance on just about anything? Because just about everything on a Beemer is total crap. Shoulda’ bought a Lexus. Oh, and maybe you shouldn’t have gotten a lease, either. Everybody I know who has a lease hates them. Just buy the damn thing, with or w/o financing. At least it’s kinda yours.

  124. Buran says:

    OK. It’s been several days and I have said nothing. But how hard is it to change one letter?


    Why can’t people spell this right?

  125. Buran says:

    @yg17: Whoa. Are you the one I saw in the “Ask a Salesman” Vortex thread? If not, small world, and I point you to

    You will love your GTI!

  126. Buran says:

    @Blueskylaw: Wow, someone else who knows about the prop logo. I’m an aviation buff and I’ve met BMW people at Euro car shows who don’t know about that!

    BMW branched out into cars after the war when there was not enough business amyore for their aircraft engines. They also built some of the earliest jet engines, including those powering the first operational jet fighter (the Me-262). And the Me-109 is my favorite fighter of WWII. I prefer the ‘Emil’ model which is a mix of square stoutness and sleek lines.

  127. yg17 says:

    @Buran: Yep, that would be me. I’ve been meaning to post over at stlvw, hell, I even registered there, just haven’t posted yet due to laziness. Suppose I should do that, eh? And yeah, I knew I would love my GTI the second I test drove one :D

  128. Anonymous says:

    Since everyone seems to be hell-bent on crucifying Brecht BMW, I have to put in my 2 jellybeans on this one.

    I leased a new BMW 3 Series from Brecht BMW in February 2007. The very first day I went into the show room I sweaty and dressed in a tshirt and jeans.

    None of the people I talked to that day (3 of them) said a single word about my attire. They were very polite, chatty and helpful. They let me test drive cars and then worked up numbers for me, and were still polite when I said I wanted to think about it for awhile.

    I had to factory order the car, and they were helpful about periodically volunteering (via email) tracking info about where the car was and when I could expect it.

    About six months later I needed a software upgrade on my navigation system, and their service department was likewise very pleasant and accommodating.

    My experience with Brecht has been nothing but positive. I will happily buy or lease another new car from them after my lease term ends.

    Given my experiences, and without Brecht’s side of the story, I’m inclined to believe that this Raquel person had bad information (from Chase) and likely gave them attitude and caused a scene when they refused to take her car.

    If the GM’s conduct is actually true and unembellished, I’m willing to assume that they lost patience with her after she wouldn’t accept that they couldn’t help her, and just wanted her to leave as quickly as possible. It still doesn’t completely excuse their behavior (again, if actually true and unembellished) and I’d be interested in hearing their side of this.

  129. Crazytree says:

    I don’t dislike BMWs…

    just the people that drive them.

    That’s why I refused to buy my wife one despite her pleas. It’s the #1 car choice for golddiggers and hookers in my area.

  130. shini says:

    I used to do surveys for BMW of North America, both for post service and post purchase/visit. At least once an hour (maybe one in ten calls on a busy day) I’d get an upset customer. Either they’d have gotten screwed by the service center, or their salesman/manager was a huge douche. If it was service, you had sure as hell better be taking it to where you bought it. I had a guy who’s 750i died on the freeway. It sat for a month waiting for a ‘tech’ to pop the hood and look at it. Not too big a deal, the dealer he bought from provided him a loaner. Problem? Ground wire had come off the battery. Good times.

    I’m not even going to get into their customers.

  131. JanetCarol says:

    Volkswagen not Volkswagon

    I’ll take my Jetta over a BMW from some asshole any day. What a F – er (the BMW dealership)

  132. ScramDiggyBooBoo says:

    I dont really feel for this lady. She waits until the DAY it is due to find out she is screwed? I would have been on the phone 2 weeks out making an appointment to turn it in. Procrastination will get you nowhere!

  133. tcm22 says:

    Blame the victim? Why is she all of a sudden a victim? She sounds like another selfish, self-centered, greedy consumer who thinks that businesses should kiss their ass regardless of the situation. The more I read the letter — one sided from her perspective — the more I’m convinced she went in there and threw a tantrum when they didn’t do exactly what she asked. I suspect her description of the incident contains a lot of hyperbole and that she selectively left out some of her own choice comments.

    Think about it — a woman walks in to a car dealer at the end of the business day and demands they accept a lease return they are unable to verify. She won’t take no for an answer so the manager gets involved. She starts unloading on them about the car’s maintenance record (WTF is that? Like they care) and then won’t leave when it’s obvious they don’t want to deal with her. I’d probably call the cops too.

  134. foghat81 says:

    psst…i know it was mentioned, but it’s “Volkswagen”. No “o”. Might want to fix the headline.

  135. ViperBorg says:

    @jvette: So… forget the way they treated her and her kids, right? The guy snaps, but it’s Chase’s fault for his behavior. I see what your doing here…

    That dealership is crap. Period.

  136. ViperBorg says:

    And they don’t exactly get high reviews either…


  137. Flackette Goes Retro says:

    So here’s a point. The OP says that Chase told her to take it to “any dealership.” Not “any BMW dealership.” Perhaps they meant any dealership partnering with Chase?
    Poor communication by Chase.
    Poor crisis management by the dealer.
    Poor job being informed by the consumer.

  138. Saboth says:


    Still, it is a hassle. Not sure what to say about the situation that occurred. I have a hard time believing a devil-horned manager laughed as woman with kids started to cry though…reminds me of Peter’s explanation of when he went to Chuck E Cheese on Family Guy, and the evil guy wouldn’t let him make reservations.

  139. Anonymous says:


    Not sure how many decades ago you had “history” with BMW’s, but the only car they sell in the “sub 40k range” is the entry level 3-Series. Everything else is considerably higher than 40k.

  140. apfaffman says:

    But… in what condition did she leave the car?

  141. Eric Lai says:

    @IRSistherootofallevil: Yes, this would be the best way to buy a car: go to a corporate-owned showroom, test drive a car and order one from the manufacturer and go pick it up a few weeks later. I remember reading that this is actually what carmakers do in Japan (Toyota’s showrooms resemble theme parks and are a place you actually want to go to). Unfortunately, state franchise laws don’t allow the same practice in the U.S., and the massive political contributions by car dealers have kept the broken dealership model in place while we buy any other consumer good differently today than we did 60 years ago.

    And the CSI (cust. satisfaction index) scores are a big scam as well; if a customer fills out anything less than the top score for any question, it’s a failing score. 100% across the board is pretty unrealistic, so most dealers will ask customers to bring their responses back in person and bribe them with a gas card or something and alter the forms before submitting them. Carmax seems to be most consistent in how they sell cars, but the markups are massive.

    It’s too bad BMW drivers are seen the way they are. To me, they definitely live up to their “Ultimate Driving Machine” tagline; guess that just means I’ll have to buy a first-generation M5 or something without the whole “hey, I’m a rich BMW owner” stigma attached to it.

  142. royal72 says:

    it’s an expensive car, there are banks, dealerships, and surely some sort of red tape bureaucracy involved, so regardless if the people at the dealership were being jackasses, why would you wait till the absolute last day to turn in your car?

  143. gas says:

    @Blind But Now I See wrote
    Every major automobile manufacturer has their own vehicle finance unit that is not affiliated with any leasing company, bank, or credit union.

    Nonsense. Subaru, for example, has used Chase as its leasing financier for a number of years; they haven’t had their own vehicle finance unit for a number of years.

  144. Cary says:

    5 years ago I was in immediate need to trade in my Audi on a new car that ran (anyone who’s owned an Audi knows the urgency in getting rid of it… farfegnugen my ass).

    I visited two different BMW dealerships, both of whom gave me the impression I wasn’t good enough to drive a BMW. The first (Universal City BMW) quoted me a price and then said “no” AFTER I accepted it; they raised the price several thousand dollars to get rid of me. The second (Center BMW) wouldn’t let me test drive a car on a Saturday without an appoinment.

    Longo Lexus was happy to take my check (paid in full) for one of their cars, no haggling.

  145. ahnj says:

    Lexus of Serramonte gave me similarly indifferent treatment during my lease termination process.

    Auto dealerships by definition add no value. There’s no reason for them to exist for an educated consumer.

  146. Trackback says:

    Filed under: Car Buying, Etc., BMWAccording to a woman named Raquel, Brecht BMW in Escondido, Ca. may be one of those dealerships that considers customer service a necessary evil.

  147. pestie says:

    @Kurtz: Probably right around the same time “atleast” became a single word.

    I always read “b/c” as “bee slash see” in my head. I swear, some people are proud of their illiteracy these days.

  148. viewsource says:

    Well, searching on Google brings up similiar instances of this by Brecht BMW, unless it’s the same lady, looks like this one happened back in July:


  149. PatrickIs2Smart says:

    BWM leases through their finance division, FSRI, who is backed financially by Chase NA, much like Honda is HVT, through Vaul Trust.

    At least that’s how I understand it… And kudos to Mercedes Benz of Escondido!

  150. magus_melchior says:

    @Buran: A Japanese “word” for Volkswagen (ボロクソワゴン) roughly translates to “Rotting wagon of crap”.

    I’m sure one of their auto companies’ dealers came up with it.

  151. Anonymous says:

    Dealerships aren’t required to take a car back that didn’t lease to you, especially if you leased the car through Chase, I can guarantee they aren’t willing to help out, they could care less how the dealer treats you. Once the dealer takes back that car, they have to arrange the transport with the finance company and deal with the whole thing, and I’m guessing your car was in less than great shape or they would have been willing to take it back. Of course they don’t want to accept the car when the bank isn’t even open to get a payoff quote on it. Sounds like it’s your own fault for not being prepared and leasing through chase.

  152. hvaltierra says:

    First I would like to apoligize on behalf of the whole Car business. They had no right to treat you that way. You finaced with a secondary bank so you should have been able to take it anywhere. Thats prob right they werent making any money so they could careless. I was with BMW for a few months and i saw it alot. Ive since moved to nissan and am a Fleet/ Internet manager and i havent seen anything like that at this dealership. I wouldnt just let this go write anyone and everyone about your bad experience especially about your kids crying beacuse there mother was getting verbaly assaulted. And thats why i own an infiniti and not a BMW. They think there shit dont stink.

  153. TrinityLast says:

    You should see a lawyer, actually. What he did, because it was done in public, and in front of your children, was criminal in nature, slander, and traumatizing to your children. A lawsuit is not out of the realm of possibilities.

  154. dealersone says:

    most large dealerships will accept lease returns even if the lease did not start there, i have always felt that is is good business if you treat the consumer fairly, it may result in another sale later because of the way they were treated, there are some other issues, when the customer drops the car off they normally drop there insurance on that date, if the dealer signs the milage and termination papers he assumes the liability(pissing contest if the car gets stolen or damaged),the consumer will also argue if the dealer writes up the actual damage on the car, the leasing companies usually take 1 to 2 weeks to pickup the car(creates space and key problems),dealers are not compensated for the storage, just another day in paradise!

  155. billgknapp says:

    I don’t blame the customer for being upset. No excuse for that kind of treatment. To blame Chase (even though there may be elements of truth in that), misses the point. The M-B dealer could help her, possibly because they have a relationship w/ Chase, or possibly because they knew they could work it out for the customer. I have to disagree with comments that all car dealers are crooks. I have worked with many over the years (e.g., Lupient Buick in Minneapolis, Williams Autoworld in Lansing MI) and have met some of the finest, honest people. I have also met some real terrible people. I have also had the pleasure to work with people at BMW North America, and there are some outstanding, amazing people. It sounds like certain parts of their organization need to be “re-focused” on customers, but for the most part, they are very professional. Treatment at dealerships really starts with the Dealer Principal and what she/he puts up with. Shame on the people at Brecht for playing in to a stereotype that kills automotive retail.

  156. Anonymous says:

    “Not sure how many decades ago you had “history” with BMW’s, but the only car they sell in the “sub 40k range” is the entry level 3-Series. Everything else is considerably higher than 40k”


    The 3 series, X3, and Z4 all start at under 40K. That’s 3 out of 7 lineups in BMW’s stable.

    The new 1 series will add to that list of cheap BMW’s, making it 4 out of 8 BMW’s selling for under 40K.

    That’s half of the lineup.

  157. Anonymous says:

    It’s totally fitting that the strongest defendents of the dealer are people who were dealers themselves (big surprise there, dickwads sticking up for their fellow dickwads), or people who own BMW’s (who are treated nicely as long as they continue to let BMW rip them off.)

    Seriously does any woman wake up and think “hey I’m gonna get myself into a massive hassle with a dickwad dealership, and get myself so agitated and hurt that I feel the need to warn others against this dealer, because I’m obviously not busy enough with my job and kids?”

    Those trying to shift blame from the dealer to the woman who’s doing a service to warn the rest of us are just retards.

    This dickwad Brecht BMW dealer deserves to get their name plastered across the internet for their douchebaggery. Good thing this article is getting spread around all the automotive forums (which is where I read it).

    Seriously people, consumers are supposed to band together, instead you are letting car dealers hiding behind screennames try to talk you into believing that it was all the woman’s fault.

  158. Consumerist Moderator - ACAMBRAS says:

    Good thing this article is getting spread around all the automotive forums (which is where I read it).

    Cool. Welcome to Consumerist. And you might be interested in checking out, one of our sister blogs.

  159. ImmeNurnot says:

    @ KALIKIDTX It’s not the customer’s responsibility to earn a dealer’s business. If you are waiting to get respect from a customer before dealing with them, you are in for a slow week. It is the professional salesperson who is able to build rapport in minutes and give a competetive price (doesn’t always have to be the lowest) while showing genuine appreciation for the opportunity of a sale who is going to win the email blitz. It is important to “sell” the facility in these cases and confirmation that your doing something right is when they call you and explain your price was beaten by a few hundred dollars. First explain the reasons your worth $300 more and ask for the business right there and if they say no then you can explore the avenues of either taking or leaving the deal. Assume the competition is not as professional as you are and wait patiently for the customer to come around.

  160. ImmeNurnot says:

    @ DOC BENWAY LOL!! about infiniti svc mgr.

  161. rocky3883 says:

    In response to some of the questions that have come up:

    1) The lease that I got was not a third party lease. I leased my BMW brand new, from BMW. I was told that the best rate was through Chase so that is who THEY used. I was not given a choice.

    2) Brecht does work with Chase for their leases. After being told by the Sales Manager at Brecht that they did not work with Chase, I called the next morning as was told that yes, Chase did work with this dealer and that no only could I return the car to any BMW dealership. I could have taken it to ANY dealership (hence the reason Mercedes took the car back and processed it in 5 minutes).

    3) There was no need for any banks to be open at the time of the car being taken back — I checked on this too. There was no buyout or any inspection needed at that time. Chase explained to me that I was to take pictures of the car in front of the dealership, a picture of the odometer reading and the condition of the car. Then the dealershhip (ANY dealership) takes the keys, signs the Odometer verficiation form and I would be done. The car is then picked up by Chase, insepcted at a secondary location and a statement would be sendt to me. The dealership had to do nothing but sign the Odometer verfication form. This was confirmed by Merecedes when we took the car into them. They signed the Odometer verfication form and we were done in 5 minutes. What I don’t understand is why BMW couldn’t have just taken the car back and avoided all of this. There was nothing that I did to them to deserve the treatment that I received. I just keep going back to the fact that the attitude was “you are lucky to have one of our cars” vs. “We are lucky to have you as a customer”.

    I know there are people out there that feel that this incident has been embellished, I guess there is nothing I can do about that. Those managers that were there that night know that I was treated poorly. They also know that I did not do anything to deserve it. They knew they weren’t going to be making money and so they didn’t feel like providing any customer service — isIf I had even received aan apology from the GM the next day and hge chose to help us, this would have been all over. They have had so many chances to make this sutiation right and have not. My husband had a BMW as well. He works near this dealership and is not going to be near any others because he travels so much that okay? That is like a bank saying we have your moeny — now we don’t want to deal with you. Or because you walked into a restaurant 20 minutes before they close gives them the right to turn you away. Serving a meal would take longer then filling out the paperwork t retun a car. I have been in customer service my whole — whether from direct customer support while in college, to internal corporate support after graduation. I have always, gone out of my way to assist “customers” and treat people with dignity and respect.

    And to address the comments made about my timing of it all. I contacted chase 1 month prior to my lease ending and again the week before. I told them that I was trying to sell the car in hopes of re-couping some of the money I put down on the car, which I ended up putting down on a new BMW (1 month before all this happened). They assured me that I could wait until the last day — that it was not any problem — a 5 minute transaction. As a matter of fact I had a buyer come look at the car that afternoon and that was one reason I turned it in on that day.

  162. raquelhusband says:

    Ok, here’s an update:
    I’m Raquel’s husband. MY lease is due on my BMW 325i tomorrow. I’ve read all your comments this evening, and while most of you seem to be siding with the dealership, I feel you should know what happened to me this afternoon.
    I leased my 2005 BMW 325i from Harloff BMW in Encinitas. I work all over Southern California, and today I knew I would be down in the San Diego area, so I called first thing in the morning to Brecht BMW. I told them my lease was due tomorrow, and that I understand they take in lease returns by appointment only, and I wanted to make an appointment. “John” took some information from me over the phone, including my first and last name, my VIN #, and how many miles I had on my car. He then asked what time I’d be over, and I said “as soon as I finish with work, but I could try to be there by 6pm”. I actually made it to their dealership by 5pm. I had asked a co-worker of mine as a favor, to come over with me, so I had a ride home. I met with Rick Hilton, and he was very friendly to me. We talked about cars, drag racing at Qualcomm, all kinds of stuff as he proceeded to do the inspection on the vehicle. Then he asked me to go into the waiting room while he “had someone appraise the car, since I didn’t purchase it from their dealership”. I didn’t understand that part, but I waited….and waited…and then waited further. Finally, he came over and said “I just need you to sign the mileage validation” or whatever it’s called, and I went to his computer. I signed my name on the little electronic pad, and he asked me “Is this car in your name, your wife’s, or both?” I said I wasn’t sure, but I thought it was both. He then canceled the signature that I did on his electronic pad and excused himself for a moment, saying “I need to check on something.” I never saw Rick again. Instead, some other guy came out, introduced himself briefly, and said “what relationship are you to Raquel?” I said “that’s my wife.” He then said “We are allowed to choose who we do business with, and our business here has ended. You need to take your lease return to Encinitas where you purchased it.” I was floored. They KNEW the entire time that I was married to Raquel, and wasted an hour and 20 minutes of MY time AND my co-worker before telling me they wouldn’t take the car back. Now, before you go siding with the dealership again, here’s the answers to your questions:
    1. This was NOT with Chase. It was through BMW Financial Services
    2. I turned in the lease a day EARLY, not 30 minutes before they closed.
    3. I called first thing in the morning and scheduled an appointment, so it wasn’t a “drop and run” like I think one of you accused my wife.
    4. The reason I took it back to the SAME dealership that we had problems with before is two-fold: a) It was the closest dealership to me and where I was working that day, and b) I wanted to see if after that first fiasco, they’d change their tune and take my lease return, since there were some differences in the scenario (as numbered above)
    I think one of you mentioned earlier on that one of the contractual agreements that BMW dealerships make is that they are required to take ANY lease return of a BMW, regardless of whether it was purchased at their dealership or not.
    Just wanted to let you guys know Brecht BMW hasn’t changed at all in 6 months.
    I would like to go on record by saying not only will I never buy from Brecht BMW, and will make sure none of my friends or clients I do business with do either, but I will never recommend nor purchase a BMW again. It’s just not worth the hassle. I know some of you will say “you were asking for it by going back there again”. You’re right. I was “asking” for them to have changed. I like to think people change, and I give the benefit of the doubt. Well, I was wrong this afternoon.
    OH, one more thing: My wife’s account really happened. I know some of you think she poured on the waterworks or whatever, but my kids were and still are traumatized by the event, and we will be seeking legal representation regarding her incident, and now mine. Any lawyers out there want to take this one on?
    Thanks for allowing me the opportunity to get my voice heard.

  163. rocky3883 says:

    I apologize for the typos in the previous post. I wanted to go back and edit my comment, however, my computer crashed and inadvertantly sent the posting out before I was ready…..

    Yesterday was the first day that my husband and I saw this article on the web. I want to state that I went to BMW by phone and letter several times trying to resolve this situation internally before I ever even considered going outside like this.

    I know that I have been made out to be a bad person by complaining, but I was raised from my first job at the Marriott to the businesses my family owned that you provide exemplary customer service, no matter what. I guess I do walk into every situation expecting that. I don’t think there is anything wrong with a customer expecting good treatment especially when it is on a big ticket item.

    I am not a consumer snob by any means. I appreciate all service that I receive and don’t “demand” anything. I was just horrified by the treatment I received I felt I couldn’t just walk away from it and have them think it is okay to do that.

    As for my behavior. I do take responsibility for the fact I was turning the car in on the last day and in the evening. I was trying to sell the car and had a buyer looking at it that afternoon. That is the only reason I waited. I did, however, contact Chase on more then one ocassion prior to that day to confirm that I could wait until the day before. I even asked them specifically if they needed to be contacted and what was the process. They, again as I have said many times before, said all the dealer needs to do is verify the miles, call us the next day and we do the rest. They could have helped me that evening, they chose not to. I should have contacted the dealer, but this was my first lease and it didn’t ocurr to me.

    As for the “water works”. I didn’t cry, although my kids did, because they thought I was going to jail. I teared up in frustration and john the sales manager seemed to get pleasure from that. The only reason I brought up my past frustrations is I was hoping that this guy would think, here is an opportunity to make a bad situation right. He could have handled it in so many ways. And yes I was upset because I wanted help and he wouldn’t give it to me. But the only reason I persisted was because I knew he could help me and had no reason why he wasn’t other than, there was nothing in it for him so he was going to turn me away.

    The worse thing I said through the whole situation was, (after being told no 3 times), “this is bullshit.” After that the only thing they could focus on was that I “cussed on the sales floor” — which had no other customers on it at the time. He even proceeded to personally attack me and say that I was a bad mother because I said BS in front of my kids. Believe me he did more damage scaring them and threatening to put me in jail then hearing the BS word.

    The following day with the GM when asked why they wouldn’t help me, the only thing he could say was that I said a cuss word on the sales floor. So what was their excuse for not helping me the first 3 times I asked? — before I ever said a cuss word.

    I walked into the whole situation on a positive note. The first sales guy that came up, I said, hello, I am here to turn in my car. He said we can’t do that. I then explained to him the two different conversations I had with Chase and what they told me ther process would be. I did get more and more frustrated as they continued to aruge, but I never got personal and only continued to focus on the process and my expereinces as a customers.

    Needless to say, I know that all dealers are not bad and I do like the BMW product. I have just been so underwhelmed with the level of service provided & appalled at the treatment I received that evening and the lack of concern by the higher ups.

    If this had happened at the marriott or any other organization that strives for excellent customer service, regardless of who they felt is right or wrong — a manager would have been on the phone finding out what they could do to salvaege that customer relationship. Why is that not a priority for BMW????

    This was my first big purchase in the car world and unortunately not a fun one.

  164. GregwhoknowsRaquel says:

    Hi everyone. I thought I’d leave you with a little info on this incident. Raquel didn’t “go off” into any bitchy mode. The dealership wasn’t cooperative once she got there. Also, she asked the man she was working with to ask her manager who then also told her No because she didn’t buy her car at Brecht. She said it was “bullshit”, which is what made them get personal with her. I have video of the incident, but I haven’t released it because I will leave that for legal review.
    As far as Raquel mentioning her prior unsatisfactory service experience, it has everything to do with BMW only because she is evaluating her enitre BMW experience up to it’s end with this lease return. The experience wasn’t good most of the time. There was a consistent problem with the car that Irvine BMW couldn’t repair right. Then when she was denied the lease return -exactly opposite of what Chase Bank said would take place- she attributed this as another BMW let down.
    A lease return isn’t a big deal. All the dealership needs to do is 5 minutes of paperwork. I don’t care if you are a finance rep for Ford or wherever, this is not rocket science. Chase bank takes care of their lease returns themselves. they just need any dealer to take the paperwork from their internet site and document the information. After the customer signs the paperwork, then the customer goes on their way and the lender picks the car up later for damage evaluation and later closes the lease. Simple, 5 minutes of paperwork at the dealership.
    What took place at Brecht BMW was completely unnecessary.
    Just so everyone knows, I went to the dealer the next day with a police escort and talked to the manager Chip Pallid (because the men there got aggressive towards Raquel, Ii felt unsafe without the Police there). He told me he would not do the paperwork and kicked us off the property. I took the car to Mercedes up the hill and they did the paperwork in 4 minutes. I am not exaggerating. Anyway, there is a police report to support this and I plan to post it.

    Anyone who has an opinion or question regarding Raquel’s experience I will be glad to tell you or have Raquel tell you as well.

  165. TexDude says:

    Dang, what a shame and BMW NA should be furious..though I love BMW’s, BMW NA needs to stop hiding behind their “they are a franchise and we can do nothing” line of BS, which is crap….McDonald’s can yank franchises and so can MANY other companies!!!

    However, despite the horrendous behavior of the staff, please do not lump all BMW dealerships in the same pile…there ARE great dealerships out there who DO care about people…

  166. JodyDFB says:

    I’m just reacting to the idea that anyone does or does not “deserve” to own a BMW.





    I have ALWAYS thought BMW’s were boring and unattractive. It’s not that I wouldn’t “allow” my husband to buy one, but I was dead set against it, with threats of never riding in it.

    Don’t even get me started on the reality that if some as*-clown is pulling some kind of as*-clown move in traffic, that as*-clown driver is most likely driving a BMW.

    Well, I finally (grudgingly) acquiesced, and my husband bought an M3. I will say the performance of that car is excellent. We also receive excellent service from our local BMW dealer. But the styling? Bleeaach! Plus, the sheer volume of BMW’s on the road makes them anything but exclusive.

    I’ll never forget many years ago, when a (racist) dealer took me aside while my husband was wistfully shopping. (I was biting my lip with impatience to get outta there.) I’m not sure what offends me more: the racist comment the dealer made about people who (purportedly) can’t afford a BMW, or his presumption that I was like-minded. I grimaced at him and called to my husband that it was time to leave.

    I think BMW enthusiasts believe they’re special, while the rest of us are laughing at their sheep-like behavior and ugly cars.