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2010 2011 BMW 5 Series Forum F10 BMW 5-Series Gran Turismo GT (F07) Forums General 5-Series GT (Gran Turismo) (F07) Forum Software
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      03-18-2011, 01:17 PM   #1
Noodles23
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Angry Software

I had a chat with my new local dealer, Stratstone in Harrogate about software updates that left me fairly outraged.

First the navigation update. New maps are available at a cost of around 150, but the dealer told me that you also have to buy some kind of code to enable the maps to be updated, and that this costs around 350, giving a total of around 500 to get an updated set of maps. Petter outrageous IMHO.

Updating the software for the car is free, but they will charge for labour, in this case 118 per hour for the three hours that it will take for a mechanic to sit and watch a progress bar move from left to right.

I'm wondering if the service department in Harrogate have no idea what they are talking about, or if they do, would it be cheaper to get one of my lawyers to do the job?
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      03-18-2011, 01:28 PM   #2
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While I did order the nav in my car (to be picked up the end of April), I did look into map updates, and you're right, the price is pretty outrageous...you can buy a lifetime update for a handheld for much less than they are charging for one update (not counting the cost of the thing in the first place!). I'm not sure how often I'll spring for it. Around here, you can buy updated maps for about $100 US retail for a handheld (or less). The European mapset from Garmin costs about $130 US retail. But, unless someone tweaks things, these updates won't work on another's system, even though the mapset data may come from the same company. IOW, they've got you over a barrel. I got the impression that you could buy the upgrade and do it yourself, but that may not be true. In the US, it shows up on the accessories page, where you can buy things direct. You might need a laptop computer to hook up to do it, but the USB port is in the glovebox. I'd ask, and see if it works that way there as well, might save you the labor.
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      03-19-2011, 11:48 AM   #3
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Funny you should bring this up.

OK, my dealer in Gloucester, Cotswold, sounds better than the one you are talking to. For a start they say that a software update is about 100, although did say that a new s/w update is released about every 3 months. The usual routine is to plug in a diagnostic at service time, and computer says yes or no as to whether the car needs something addressed by the update.

Mine is a september 2010 car, and my understanding is that the latest software gives a very small increase in MPG.

When my dealer told me he might charge for an update, I told him, in almost medieval langueage, to do one. I told him that the declared MPG of the vehicle was 43 or thereabouts, and although you don't expect to get that, the 29/30mpg I get is very substandard, and that any update that might address this WILL be free or I would kick off with the dealer principle, and then, if necessary, BMW direct. He looked a little uncomfortable, and has booked it in on Monday to plug it in and see what the computer says. He will be updating it, and I won't be paying.

As far as I am concerned, a car should receive these updates free whilst in warranty. And if they want me to spend 50k on a car then be screwed over for a few quid for something like this, they will never get another bit of business from me again. I will update you after Monday with what happens!
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      03-19-2011, 12:34 PM   #4
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BMW (probably, at least) has its own programmers that come up with the software that runs the car...

With the maps, they pay for a license, and that's whatever the supplier of that map data has negotiated with BMW for. Configuring it to be able to load on your nav system can be amortized over potentially lots of vehicles, but a license for you to use the data is a separate thing. I, too, believe they should have negotiated a lifetime update license on the map data, but possibly charge a distribution fee. This is what many of the handheld devices do. I'll just have to wait and see if it is worth it to me to update the maps some time down the road.
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      03-19-2011, 12:49 PM   #5
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with regard the maps, I agree...the in house stuff should definitely be provided whilst our cars are new I think...
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      03-19-2011, 06:15 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Hooplescat View Post

As far as I am concerned, a car should receive these updates free whilst in warranty. And if they want me to spend 50k on a car then be screwed over for a few quid for something like this, they will never get another bit of business from me again. I will update you after Monday with what happens!
That was pretty much my reaction, especially as I was looking to buy a 1 series to X1 for my wife while I was there!!!

As a matter of principle, if I'm spending 70+ on a car and the dealer wants to gouge an extra few hundred then I'll go elsewhere, even Gloucester!
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      03-19-2011, 08:33 PM   #7
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BMW doesn't own the license to utilize the maps...they included one for the version that was in the car when you purchased it. The map company charges a license fee to BMW to enable the maps per user. Now, could they have negotiated a different license? Probably, but they didn't. The stuff is copyrighted material, and giving it to you without paying for it could put them in big trouble, just like the warnings on movies, books, music, etc...

I don't like it either, but the dealer isn't doing anything wrong, because the material costs him... most aren't in business to give things of value away for free. Him charging the labor to babysit the copying of files is a stretch, since you could start it, then (probably) go away, do other stuff, then come back to verify it was finished, so that's something that could be negotiated, but not the actual cost of the license and distribution fee. The actual hands-on time is probably more like 10-15 minutes, not hours it may take to transfer gigabytes of info. And, on a fast USB 2.0 or 3.0 port, even that amount of data should only take minutes, not hours, if the computer supplying it is as fast.

There's an aftermarket marketing opportunity here for someone to figure out how to move generic maps to a device that were obtained and repurpose them for specific applications. Dont know if it will ever happen.
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      03-20-2011, 04:21 AM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jadnashuanh View Post
BMW doesn't own the license to utilize the maps...they included one for the version that was in the car when you purchased it. The map company charges a license fee to BMW to enable the maps per user. Now, could they have negotiated a different license? Probably, but they didn't. The stuff is copyrighted material, and giving it to you without paying for it could put them in big trouble, just like the warnings on movies, books, music, etc...
They need to sort this licencing out, or at least ask the dealers to stop mis informing people about the cost of updates - it's almost 2k for the Professional Nav system, 150 for an updated map and, oh, here's another charge we just discovered.

This BMW dealer makes no mention of additional licence fees
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      03-20-2011, 07:11 PM   #9
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The license fee is built into the price, it is rarely a separate line-item purchase, unless you have a system that can update itself, say over the internet. Even if BMW didn't charge for the actual media and distribution, or configuring it to work on their nav system, they'd still owe the outside company a license fee to authorize them to enable it to work on your system. Think about it like the operating system for a computer...you get a license to run WINDOWS, on the machine, but that doesn't mean you can legally make a copy and load it onto multiple computers without paying Microsoft a license fee...same as for the nav and the maps. You bought the nav hardware, BMW provided the software that integrates it into the car, but they bought a license for the map software itself on your behalf. Want to update that portion, new license required...and therefore, a cost. As I said, some hand-held devices are sold with a lifetime update license...it would have been nice if we had that, but we don't, so it costs to update.
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      03-21-2011, 07:02 AM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jadnashuanh View Post
The license fee is built into the price, it is rarely a separate line-item purchase, unless you have a system that can update itself, say over the internet. Even if BMW didn't charge for the actual media and distribution, or configuring it to work on their nav system, they'd still owe the outside company a license fee to authorize them to enable it to work on your system. Think about it like the operating system for a computer...you get a license to run WINDOWS, on the machine, but that doesn't mean you can legally make a copy and load it onto multiple computers without paying Microsoft a license fee...same as for the nav and the maps. You bought the nav hardware, BMW provided the software that integrates it into the car, but they bought a license for the map software itself on your behalf. Want to update that portion, new license required...and therefore, a cost. As I said, some hand-held devices are sold with a lifetime update license...it would have been nice if we had that, but we don't, so it costs to update.
Understood.
I'm not quibbling about the cost of the new map set, it's the additional charge simply to allow me to purchase and use the update that is annoying. That's like buying a new copy of MS Office and then finding that you need an additional software licence to enable your existing copy to be updated by the version you just bought.
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      03-21-2011, 05:19 PM   #11
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See if you can find the installation instructions. If all you need are the disks and a pc with a USB cable, you may be able to do it yourself and save all the labor charges. I'll check the BMW website again...in the US, it shows up on the accessories page, and I don't remember if it states it must be dealer installed...so, my guess is you could do it.
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      03-22-2011, 09:52 AM   #12
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Site for maps

http://www.bmw-maps.co.uk/

As for the software, yes it's free to obtain at service but if you go outside of service then you have to pay labour even if the mechanic is standing there looking at the screen move from left to right the dealer can't use him for anything else as your basically deleting and reloading the software that controls all the cars functions and if something or someone touches the diagnostic kit and it stops/freezes then you have to start again.

In a Mini Cooper software updates take about 3 hours. (1 hour to check system and 2 for uploading and testing).
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      03-22-2011, 05:00 PM   #13
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I checked the US site, and it's about $350 for the maps, and $400 installed, so they only charge about $50, or 1/2-hour labor. There's no good reason to stand over the thing for three hours waiting on the progress bar IMHO. DOes a mechanic stare at the oil draining from the sump and not go do something else?
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      03-23-2011, 02:12 AM   #14
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I'm equidistant from four dealers, so I'll see if I can get any sense from the others. Stratstone Harrogate just lost a sale though.
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      03-29-2011, 06:37 AM   #15
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Yes, UK prices are unbelievable.

I've found this one: http://www.fscmap.com/

So much cheaper ))
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      03-30-2011, 02:46 PM   #16
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Map update should not cost more than 150, the dealer has to purchase the activation code from BMW they will already have 2011 Prem maps europe on their system. When I purchased my pre-reg GT they did it and s/w update as part of the deal but told me the map activation code would cost them about 110.

If you want to do it yourself....
See http://www.bimmerretrofit.com/forums...331b5442126655
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2010 F07 5GT SE Sapphire Black with Ivory White/black interior & fineline unlacquerd trim: Dynamic, Visability and Prof Media Packs. DAB radio, Elec front seats with driver memory, Rear seat heating, Auto tailgate,, Sun Protection Glass. ISTA/P 40.1.0.1 Road maps prem 2011
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      03-31-2011, 05:39 AM   #17
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I got a quote for 190 all included (maps, activation code, labour) from Rybrook Warwick
FSCmaps quotes $100 to generate the code, you download the maps you want from their FTP link. But i'd be very careful.
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