Setting the Stage
Before I get into this article I want to make it clear that I spend far more money upstairs at this dealership than I should. In fact, I asked the accessories Manager who is AMAZING (Thank you Isabelle!!!) to send me exactly how much I spend. I was hesitant to see the number since I have such a passion for quality and technical gear. Styles change, riding habits change and apparently my gear changes with it (that’s got to stop, lol).
So given then data below, I think that I would qualify as one of their “Excellent Customers“, wouldn’t you agree? A customer that you would go out of your way to be accomodating and always offer them the best deals?
- 2018 = $ 1,851.46 (to date)
- 2017 = $ 5,459.24
- 2016 = $ 2,190.60
- 2015 = 6,424.88
- 2014 = 3,659.74
- Total = $ 19,585.92
In 2013 my wife and I tried to purchase two F700GS bikes from this dealer but after we started the negotiations we ran into a brick wall with the lady in financing not to mention that they wanted $ 1,800.00 more than other BMW dealerships for the same bikes. We had two bikes (Honda’s) and it was the end of the season so we wanted to order a lowered F700GS for Chantal and to do that we had to purchase the bike. BMW Financing offers a loan with a balloon payment. It operates much like a lease yet it is a loan because you own the bike and not the dealer. In other words you cannot give it back after the term. This type of loan was exactly what we wanted. It lowered the payments and allowed us time to sell our bikes for a decent amount. Once sold, we simply pay the balloon payment early. In fact, Chantal’s bike was fully paid in 2-years while mine had a balance due this year of about $ 3,000.00.
So we tried to purchase them locally but their financing department insisted that there would be additional HST on the balloon payment. That is exactly how a lease works but not the BMW Financing. The cost of the bike plus the HST is totalled and then the balloon amount is taken out of the monthly payment (principle) amount which dramatically reduces the monthly payment., Therefore, when the Balloon payment is due, it is the final payment of the loan that includes HST. But no, this dealer argued for a week that this was not the case. After I decided to purchase both bikes at Endras BMW in Ajax, I sent a copy of the contract to their woman in financing who simply replied with the comment, “yes, I was wrong and that is correct.” Not even a sorry.
Started with Tires
Four years later I took my F700GS to the dealer for new tires. They had only the back tire and they had to order the front. Since the back tire was in immediate need of replacement I had them replace the back. I then went back for the front tire a week later. However, they could not book me in for two weeks so they said bring the wheel only and we can do it while you wait. One would think it would be less expensive to mount if I take the wheel off for them and put it on. You would be wrong.
Good Time Center Tires Total Cost = $568.20 (plus Tax)
So I phoned a local motorcycle shop and asked what their prices would be. They quoted me $ 160.00 for the front and $ 185.00 for the rear that includes installation but I would have to bring the wheels and leave them for two days (Total = $ 345.00).
I questioned the parts department and they said “if the other dealer is selling the tires at that price it is because they are bringing them in illegally from the United States and that they would not be covered under an insurance claim if they traced the tires origin“. Obviously that is one big scare tactic and “Fake News”.
That irked me so I went home and called every BMW Motorrad across Canada and they all sold the tires as follows:
So I confronted the Owner of the dealership and he said he would look into it. Now keep in mind the amount that I spend at this dealership as listed above.
He called me back and said that he called other BMW dealerships and that the tire issue is full of smoke and mirrors. He said that they charge more for the tires but only $ 40.00 installation while the other dealers charge less for the tires but charge $ 125.00 for installation. It all works out to be plus or minus a few dollars. Nothing to worry about.
Well, since I did not ask the installation fees at the other dealers I decided to call them back and confirm this story. The other dealers had two installation fees. One if you bring the bike and another if you bring the wheel. So below is the two prices and comparison to Good Time Center. Keep in mind that Good Time is booking 2-3 weeks out so if you need a tire, you must bring in the wheel.
Other Local Motorcycle Store $ 568.00 – $ 373.00 = $ 195.00 Savings
Other BMW Dealer: $ 568.00 – $ 453.00 = $ 115.00 Savings
So much for a few dollars difference?
Now the R1200R
I decided to trade or sell my F700GS for a R1200R after taking a test ride with BMW at the Good Time Center on June 13, 2018.
I called my previous dealer and asked for a quotation. He sent it by e-mail. However, I wanted to purchase the bike locally and support my local dealer. This proved to be an exhausting and frustrating experience full of twists and turns. I ended up purchasing a new R1200R in Ajax at Endras BMW and it was the most pleasurable experience, one that you would expect when purchasing such a motorcycle.
Here is why purchasing local was so frustrating:
Issue 1 – They had a 1-year old R1200R that was not fully equipped (missing quick shift and other features) and it had thousands of kilometers and they were selling it as a demo for a few thousand dollars off. The bottom line is that it is a used motorcycle, has 2 of the 3 year warranty left and I actually paid $ 1,500.00 more for a new R1200R that had all the same options but also had the quick shift and a few other additional options. In my opinion and the opinion of all other BMW dealerships that I spoke with, that was a used motorcycle and not a demo.
Issue 2 – I had asked for a price on the same 2017 Blue R1200R and they gave me a price that was $ 26,503.43 (taxes Included) for the same motorcycle that I was quoted $ 23,313.71 from a dealership that I have not spent one penny at in the last fours years. That is $ 3,200.00 more. I thought I could work with that so I shared with in confidence what I was quoted elsewhere and then they immediately dropped their price by $ 1,910.00. At this point there was a tiny difference and I was planning to purchase it locally. But remember, I still had a sour taste in my mouth from the tire issue a week prior.
Issue 3 – BMW Financing and this is where it all went down hill. I asked for the balloon payment option and they told me it does not exist any longer. However the other BMW dealer quoted me that option. They agreed to verify and check into it. I rode back (55 minutes from my house) four days later and spoke with the owner’s son who again said that there was no more balloon payments and then went on to explain to me that the other dealer could put anything he wanted into the computer quotation system but that when they would submit it to BMW Financing that it would not be honored and they would have to call me back and re-negotiate. He used an example that they could enter zero percent financing and that the quote would be printed and a contract could be made but not accepted when submitted to BMW. Re-negotiate a contract and quotation? What BMW dealer would do that?
I went home again and then decided to call BMW financing which is what you would have thought that Good Time Center would have already done a week ago. They told me that the balloon payment option is still available to every one in Canada except for the province of Quebec.
So, I went back one more time to Good Time Center and explained this to the owner’s son and suggested that he actually should read the e-mails more carefully. Their response was “well then, what ever the other dealer can offer, we can offer the same“.
At that point I realized that this dealership is all about themselves and not about the customer. They’re right, we are wrong. I did not even receive an apology. If at that point I received a sincere apology I would have considered purchasing my motorcycle at Good Time Center.
I came home and a week later decided to Call BMW Endras in Ajax on a Thursday and ask if they could have the R1200R ready for me if I left Russell at 6:00 AM the next day with an ETA of 10:30 and they said yes. I rode it home :).
The worst part is that the owner’s son actually called BMW Endras and gave them hell for offering me that motorcycle at that price. Thankfully they simply explained that it was in their show room and that it was a 2017. They had nine months to make a profit but now it must go. That simple and that is how business works. So in the future, I would never share information at Good Time again.
Issue 4 – The day after was a BMW Club Ride and at the end of it I had completed 920 kilometers and the bike absolutely requires the factory break in oil to be drained and the steering bearings re-torqued. So I called Ottawa Good Time Center and they said could not take me until 2.5 weeks from that day. Really I asked? The brand new R1200R should sit for 2.5 weeks in a garage in the middle of our riding season? They said unfortunately the BMW techs are in demand.
I called BMW International in Montreal who called me back and congratulated me on my new R1200R and went on to explain what a wonderful motorcycle it is. They told me to be there the next day at 2:30 and they would gladely get me on the road again. I said I would call back to confirm. I had also ordered fengine head protectors from BMW Endras in Ajax and a bag plus my Mom and family live nearby. I called them and they gave me an appointment the next day at 8:00 AM as well (planning and sceduling combined with a commitment to customer service!).
Both dealers explained to me that it is not BMW’s policy to keep a new bike off the road because of the 1000 Km service and also that it is their policy to always fit in a traveller from out of the city. In both instances, Good Time does not practice that policy.
Final Issue – I stopped in at Good Time to spend more money upstairs in their accessories department and the sales personnel completely ignored me. No pleasant greetings, hello or the usual discussions of the weather and such. Oh well…
Do you have a story to tell about Ottawa Good Time Center? I constantly hear from BMW owners in Ottawa either within the BMW club or meeting fellow riders on the road who always ask me if there is an alternative place near Ottawa for service. In order to initiate change, I think it is important that the local dealer really come to understand how the BMW riders feel about their service. Good comments and not so good comments are all welcome. Please leave your story below.
LEAVE YOUR STORY ! CLICK COMMENTS ON TOP RIGHT OF THIS ARTICLE
Alone and need help with your BMW in Ottawa?
Montreal – Motor International
Note: The Dealer in Montreal is highly recommended by many Ottawa BMW riders. I choose to go to Ajax because they are equally as great and I have family there. Additionally, I hate the road conditions on the way to Montreal (pot hole city and crazy drivers).
Ajax – Ajax BMW Motorrad
L Nesbitt said:
Thanks for the post.
My comment is I have always used motointer in Montreal purchased two bikes and service and buy their gear , they always have specials . as I find it easy to get to , not far and only occasionally run in to a bad driver. I must admit it’s Ottawa and the Queensway far worse and the potholes are worse here.
I have for the first time ordered a bike from the Owners son to support the local dealership but had to pay more here. Time will tell.
Peter Sanderson said:
Key word…. Pay More Here
David Masse said:
Peter as you know I am not a BMW owner, BUT when I lived in Montreal I often shopped at Moto Internationale (http://www.motointer.com). Excellent customer service, knowledgeable advice, and easy to find top-flight gear at reasonable prices including my gloves, armored pants, Nolan N102 helmet (since replaced with an N104), a Sena headset, twelve volt outlets, and a bunch of other stuff. I came in looking to buy a Cardo Scala and they suggested the Sena instead. I asked why, and the guy said they were basically the same price, but the Sena was easier to use, had better sound quality, and most importantly, more riders had Senas all of which was excellent advice. Good Time Centre may learn that there is a limit to what people will pay for convenience, especially when the service is backlogged.
A Phinney said:
Very good summary. My husband and I have purchased 3 bikes from OGTC and although our issues were resolved in the end, our purchases were not without problems…serious enough to make me question whether they actually ride the bikes before they sell them and complete a safety certificate on them 😕 I too have spent quite a bit of money upstairs and the staff have always treated me well when purchasing various gear. I’ve heard they are working on making their service department better no doubt because of the issues people have experienced but there is definitely room for improvement.
I’ve had a few encounters with the Good Times Center, a prime example is: I purchased a pre-owned motorcycle from an individual. When I purchased it, the person told me there was a problem with the left saddle bag. After riding for approximately 200 km it would rest on the muffler. Her remedy was to give it a kick every time she stopped. As I was pretty sure BMW wouldn’t build anything that required kicking your bike, I decided to take it to GTC and have them diagnose and fix it. When I picked it up they had put a whack of fire retardant tape on my bag (anyone looking at this tape job would have thought my mechanic graduated from the Red Green school of repair) and told me they cut/adjusted the muffler. This cost me over $200.00! The day after I picked up my bike, I twisted my left knee and wasn’t allowed to ride for the rest of the season.
The next spring when I took my bike out the “fix” didn’t fix the problem in fact it was worse. So… I called them and they said: bring it in! I decided to remove the bags and have a good looksy for myself… what I found was a bent bolt. I called the Service Manager to discuss it, he scheduled an appointment for me to bring it in. I showed them the bent bolt and then they tried to charge me another $100 bucks. Like really? For a new bolt? I asked to speak with the owner, and when I did he started giving me what seemed like a father/daughter lecture which went like this… Well, if it were my motorcycle, I wouldn’t have waited so long to bring it back. I explained to him that I’d twisted my knee the day after I had the “fix” done, wasn’t capable of riding the motorcycle for the remainder of the season and had proof of this. But still there was no caring or acknowledgment whatsoever. Basically I diagnosed the problem myself, told them how to fix it and I was being charged again? Personally, I thought I should be reimbursed for them cutting up my muffler and grossly defacing my motorcycle.
Another incident involved them “fixing” my gas gauge under warranty. When I drove away it wasn’t registering the gas and was told that it would take using a full tank of gas before it registered in the end, both the insurance and I got shafted cause the gauge never worked 😦
Not long after I found Jesse McGrath and he was dreamy :-). When he left for Australia, just the thought of having to deal with GTC made me want to sell my motorcycle.
My ABS sensor has been faulty for a few years. Rolf replaced the sensor but now the fault code needs to be cleared from the computer in order for the ABS to actually work. I’ve called around to try and find another shop that has the tool to clear the code but am not having much luck. I did talk with Bytown Motorcycle repair and he has a lot of BMW clients and is considering getting the tool. That said, someone should open a reputable motorcycle shop like Moto Internationale here in Ottawa and put the boots to GTC!!!!!!!
Peter Sanderson said:
I hear you…
Jim Bourgeois said:
I purchased a 2017 F700GS demo in May 2018 at OGC. It had 1300 kms. Basically a new bike at a reasonable demo price. I was very excited and eager to pick up the bike. However, I was extremely disappointed when I picked up the bike for a couple of reasons: the bike was very dirty, gas was not full, and the left handlebar control switch was broken and loose. Of course, their lack of attention in detailing the bike was very upsetting to me. I confronted the owners son and explained my extreme disappointment. I vehemently questioned whether they even safetied the bike or whether they did any prep at all. I was told that the safety check was completed; however, I do not believe for second that it was properly done. How could a broken control switch not been seen? To verify signal light operation and high beam the mechanic would have to push the buttons on this switch. If he had of done so, it would have been immediately obvious that the control was broken. Luckily, I noticed it before I left OGC. Frankly, I was and still am upset that the joy I should have felt when picking up my new ride was shattered. And the response I received was less than satisfactory and was complete window dressing. Customer service and satisfaction is very weak when it should be their number one priority.
Peter Sanderson said:
Thank you for your input
Peter Hobday said:
I was given a set of new Michelin Pilot 4s for my F800 and asked the GTS how much it would cost to have them mounted. The tires were direct from Michelin.
The GTS said they wouldn’t do it for “liability reasons”. They only mount tires you buy from them $$$$$$. Grrrrrrrr.