For the past few months, on colder mornings, my car has been experiencing an identity crisis. It thinks its a diesel. The noisy, vibrating sound that comes from the engine is enough to make people stop and stare. After a little Googling, it turns out that, this is a chronic problem on my model and there is even a technical service bulletin that was released on the matter.
Check out how bad the timing chain rattles on a cold startup;
So I began, what I presumed would be a long, up-hill battle with the dealership to get the thing fixed under what little warranty remains. I made an appointment but the soonest I could get in (and be given a courtesy car) was two weeks out. I took it, hoping two things. (a) the issue would not exacerbate over the coming weeks and (b) that the reason they were so busy, was because they were so good.
When I arrived at MINI Richmond, I was greeted by Jonathan in the service department. He politely explained that they would look at the issue and verify if it need work or if it was just the oil not reaching the component in a timely manner. He also, (and this is really cool) checked the car's diagnostic information - that was stored in the key-fob and noted that there was a problem with my rear brakes. While this is incredibly cool to see, I was a little concerned as I had just had the brake pads replaced at a local dealership in town.
Anyway, I left my little car in their hands and sped off* in a funky MINI Convertable... just in time for the rain storm. Oh well.
The next day I got a call, that they had found the problem and would have it fixed by 5pm, so I made arrangements to collect the car the next morning.
The following day, I returned to the dealership. On my arrival, I was greeted by name (!) by an employee that I hadn't met yet (!) who explained that they didn't get time to check the brakes and that they were doing it right now. I am paraphrasing this a little, as the conversation was full of apology and concern to get me on my way.
I took a seat in their lounge. Within a few minutes, I am approached by another service employee, who was again, very apologetic about the delay. He explained that the other company that replaced the brakes, didn't replace the sensors and simply glued the old ones back on.
He quickly got me the price for updating them and I gave them a go ahead. A few moments later, another apologetic conversation that they would have to replace a $1.65 plastic clip.
Another ten minutes and I am getting back into my car.
From start to finish, I was amazed at the level of service and professionalism I received from all the staff at MINI Richmond. Not only did they solve my problem (which was a warranty issue), they helped me with another concern on the vehicle and happily answered a bucket of other questions I had about the car.
Im glad that there are still companies that rate after-sales customer care as a priority.
Jonathan & Steve - Thanks for your help guys!
MINI Richmond's Website
(* Observing all locally posted speed limits and traffic conditions)