2014 BMW i3: Spam Bot
March 5, 2015
I received the following email from our long-term 2014 BMW i3 recently:
Dear BMW ConnectedDrive Customer,
The state of charge of your V275231 is low!
We recommend recharging the battery.
It seemed like a helpful note at first. But then I received at least 25 of these emails in the two months that we've had the car.
That email is sent every time the battery is low on the i3. They're directed to me because I set up the account with BMW. I could see this being somewhat handy as a reminder to plug in the battery-only version of the i3. But since our i3 has the range extender, this warning doesn't seem as useful.
I'd venture to say that electric vehicle owners are more keenly aware that they're low on charge than are people who drive conventional cars. After all, they know there is a gas station on virtually every city corner. Electric car drivers can't gamble like that.
In any case, these emails were becoming a nuisance and I wanted to opt out of them. I didn't see an unsubscribe button so I clicked on the only link I saw. It took me to a dead page with this message:
BMW - New Installation. This project didn't deploy content yet.
Not very helpful. Next I went into the "i remote" app on my smartphone. This is the designated app to check on charge status, efficiency and remote access. I figured the opt-out setting would be buried somewhere in the app. It wasn't.
Finally, I Googled "bmw connecteddrive customer portal" and I found a login page that asked me to choose my country. I clicked on "Americas," which narrowed down my choices to Mexico and Brazil. There was no option to pick the United States. The only other options were Australia, Europe and Africa. BMW must really want you to get these emails.
The only option I didn't try was the BMW owner's site, because my Connected Drive username and password didn't work. I'd likely have to set up another account, way too much trouble than its worth.
I'll just send these emails to the spam folder.
What do you think? Annoyance or convenience?
Ronald Montoya, Consumer Advice Editor @ 2,700 miles