The Right Pedal

Sunday, August 06, 2006

iPanties in a wad

BMW of Norwell, you are dead to me.

A month ago, I called a service rep at BMW of Norwell, where I bought my car. In addition to my usual overpriced oil change, I asked about installing an aux audio jack, so I could listen to my iPod. (See earlier rant.) Well, Jared said that he'd order the part and I'd be all set when I brought the car in....

I slogged down to Norwell via our local autobahn, a.k.a., I-95. Which is not as direct as I-93, but shaving 30 minutes off my stereo fix is a crappy reason to spelunk in the Big Dig.

After I dropped off the car, Jared called me with unhappy news: in addition to the oil change, I also needed new window motor thingy, and a stomach-churningly expensive brake job. But whatever. As long as I get the aux jack, my car will be blessed with music and I could accept the molestation of my wallet as part of life with an aging uberwagen.

I returned home, plugged the iPod into the new jack, and discovered that it sounded like... NOTHING. Not a goddamn thing. The stereo didn't even acknowledge the existence of the aux input.

A week later, I said good-bye to my Saturday morning and headed back to scenic Norwell. After the service techs poked at my car for an hour, I learned the following.

1. The aux jack CANNOT be installed in my model car—it’s not compatible.
2. Jared, the original service rep, didn’t check whether it would work in this car.
3. The parts department, who are supposed to double-check this stuff, didn't double-check.
4. The service techs didn't test it after they installed it.


To get my refund, they had to remove the equipment, which took another hour out of my Saturday morning.

For my trouble, BMW of Norwell gave me half a tank of gas. A nice gesture, sure. Though I wasn't surprised to see, as I pulled out of the lot, that they left the gas cap open.

Two weeks later, I took the car to Circuit City in Manchester NH. After 60 minutes and less money than BMW charged, the job was done. It sounds awesome, and BMW of Norwell will never touch my car again.