Today, 09:40 PM
Some tuners make big claims before a product is actually ready for prime time. You see it all the time on the forums and the hype builds to the point it is a runaway train. Responsible tuners temper these expectations by telling a potential customer it is not ready and some just act like it is ready to continue the illusion of product superiority.
It truly is fascinating and interesting how some of these companies leverage forums to not just sell products but buy minds. The idea is controlling what people think by getting them to parrot back the same lines over and over.
The danger with ESS-Tuning that a person who go buys by the name RingMeister01 found out the hard way is that they long ago bought and paid for the E9X M3 upgrade market by convincing everyone on the BMW forums they are the best based on sales volume. In turn, their fanboys outnumber the rest. This somehow has been perverted into BMW tuning superiority on every BMW platform that graces the earth.
ESS-Tuning may sell a lot of superchargers (the reasons for that we will not go into here) but that does not mean they are a turbo builder. Far from it as a matter of fact. AMS found this out on their own when they dropped ESS-Tuning from their F10 M5 S63TU turbo upgrade project and ESS-Tuning was supposed to provide just the tuning there and not even the turbo hardware. AMS Performance deciding to tune on their own tells you plenty regarding ESS BMW tuning and turbo expertise.
The simple fact is they don't have any and when AMS sought them out to tune they had no way to actually tune the ECU. It was BS. They source their turbo hardware from turbo builders but we do not know exactly which ones or if they are reliable. ESS-Tuning does not produce turbochargers themselves just as they do not produce superchargers themselves. They sell a complete 'kit' so to speak and this kit is what RingMeister01 thought he was getting. The problem is it was portrayed to him as ready to go and complete. Based on his experience, it was far from that.
After the fact our favorite forum spinmeister Roman@ESS-Tuning stated it was not a complete product but a beta product and Mr. RingMeister01 should have known better:
Clever, right? State the product is in beta and that the customer expectations are way out of proportion and he should not expect some complete product. It makes you wonder then why he was under the impression he was getting a complete product ready to go from ESS-Tuning. Is RingMeister01 just unreasonable? Perhaps he's just stupid? Or perhaps the product was misrepresented?
Here is what RingMesiter01 thinks:
"As if I had time for non-sense but I wouldn't want others to go through this as I did.
I initially spoke to Jesse from Pure turbos on getting their kit but as he knows I didn't want to run a JB4 with boost juice to reliable make gains. I wanted a flash tune/turbo package. Jesse was very helpful in educating me on what they were offering and what to expect from their kit. I must say he is extremely knowledgeable and professional.
IND working on their S63tu turbo upgrade with AMS was another option. Again this was in its early stages but I sent over a new set of turbos for them to look at for machining, etc. AMS at the time was so busy with whatever other monsters they are creating that they couldn't commit to a lead-time on developing the hardware for our cars. Ilia's plan was for AMS to upgrade the hardware and develop the tune with my turbos on IND's shop car.
IMG Motorsports informs me that ESS has a kit ready to go, tune and all. He asks me to get my turbos back from AMS and send them to him for the ESS upgrade if I was interested. Like anyone else here, say ESS and its a no brainer (mainly from their success with the superchargers).
The turbos are sent to IMG. I now email AJ for the upgrade details;
In the email he clearly states that the kit is ready and the tune I would be getting is specific to the turbos. He also promises that they will be the best solution available. No problems at all thus far and I was really getting excited to be apart of this first kit. I offered to post a review, dyno charts and pilot runs on the forum. AJ then said "We'll give you a really good deal if you would do that for us."
A few weeks pass and no word on the turbos (ecu was removed and sent within this period), so I email AJ. "Your turbos are with IMG, they were returned three weeks ago. He definitely has them." -AJ Hmm? Why wasn't I told? I send out a text message to find the turbos had arrived and that I was informed but most likely didn't receive the text from IMG because he was at Lime Rock Park and "there's no reception there, bro." Clearly that was the case as I see posts from him on Instagram all weekend from the track. Anyway... who cares, right? "AJ charged my credit card for your turbos, could you go make a cash deposit in my account for $5,000 tomorrow?" Ok now I'm a tad uncomfortable. AJ and I had spoken about pilot runs, dynos, reviews for the kit on the forum and now I'm being charged retail for the kit and I always thought I'd pay ESS directly. I ask IMG why I was being charged retail when I had already been offered a discount, "cause everything else out there is junk, bro. This is what he charged my card." Ok, I understand IMG would not be aware of my conversations with AJ, so I email AJ directly on the spot. "Your pricing is determined by the vendor, we have nothing to do with that on our end. You must go through one of our vendors." WTF. That awful feeling in my stomach comes over and I realize that this isn't going to be what I signed up for. See now Im in no control what so ever and Im at the mercy of a vendor I don't feel comfortable with and I have no choice but to pay whatever he wants me to, to get my turbos back. I emailed AJ again and bitched until IMG sent me a text "Bro, AJ refunded my card $500." Ok, lets just move forward...
The ECU comes back (I must had sent 10 emails asking whether the tune was specific to these turbos and if I could please have CEL, Vmax and cold start deletes, I was assured I would. I didn't want to have the ecu removed and installed multiple times due to the process) and everything comes together at which time I get a text from IMG "car is done, get ready for 550 whp, bro" EXCITED!!! I get to the techs place (who btw is so talented and genuine). I sit in the car and say to myself (knowing how irresponsible and nonchalant this "vendor" is) I fucking bet it goes through cold start. Hit the starter button and of course, its there. I'm sure Vmax isnt deleted either. So lets just drive and see how she performs. Very smooth operation at low speed driving through a residential neighborhood, like stock. The turbos are a little loader but that is probably due to downpipes and BMC filters. I make my way to the highway and WOT. More lag and not much else. Doesn't feel fast or powerful at all. I have been in a lot of M3/4's with ecu flashes and JB4's and this just didn't impress me. I text IMG on my feed back, "Bro, put some good gas in and let it adapt. It takes 80 miles to do so. The set up is so smooth its deceiving." EEERRR....really?
A day or two pass and I see this thread and comment that this kit isnt all that. I have every right to post an honest option and review, I always do and without any agenda or with any intention of hurting someone. I always valued the opinion of the members here and considered their experiences when purchasing a product. I wanted to do the same. This is when the truth unfolded. I get a message from Roman, "You aren't allowed to comment on a development project until its completed." Development project? What? Back and forth with Roman I find out that my brand new M4 with 250 miles is a guinea pig for ESS' S55 turbo upgrade. Not a fully develop system as promised but something they were trying to test out. Now I'm furious and text and email all parties. Roman says to me "IMG and Aj said you were aware of this." Motherfookers. Im texting back and forth and clearly I'm upset and Roman offers to refund me and IMG offers to remove turbos put in stock set and refresh car to stock as long as I delete all posts on this thread. I deleted what I could on the spot and emailed Jason (admin) to remove/clean up anything else. Only a few minutes turned and Roman sends me a lengthily message on how I did recieve what i payed for; upgraded ecu and turbo kit and at a significant discount... $500.. really? If I cooperate I'd get free tune upgrades and if not then ESS will sever all ties with me and stop communication. I send him a text back..."You are so fucked"
I did try to suppress my disappointment and the distrust I felt and continue to just get this kit to work. IMG takes my car to the dyno and puts down what you see on the thread BUT when I asked about the dyno and a picture of the dyno, I got a half ass cell phone pic of a 1/4 of the graph and blurry to the point it was hard to make out the numbers. I asked and asked for a full picture so I could see the curves and the crossing point...ect. I just wanted to stay on top of this if I was going to use my car for development. On and on and on I get a dyno file in a format I have no idea to do with (i guess its the dynojet software) wtf am I supposed to do with that?
At the end I asked about the new tune I was getting and what was different about it from the Beta file I have now. I was concerned that they were just going to crank up the boost to make numbers on the dyno. I was then insulted by IMG through texts and I just called it quits. I just don't care anymore, $4000 for new turbos, $4500 for the upgrade, $1800 for tune and priceless lies.
I would had been fine with everything but just don't lie to me and twist things to make me look stupid. Judge me I don't care, I have nothing else to share here. This is for anyone as a warning- know who you are dealing with, know what you are getting into because if it goes wrong you will be left for dead."
This sounds like a guy who thought he was getting a product that works. ESS stating after all of this on the forums it was a 'development project' is obviously to affect public perception of the gigantic mistake of selling a product that isn't ready. Yes, ESS never told him that and told him the exact opposite according to his own words and the e-mail records.
Apparently he has the e-mails showing this and I'm sure we would all love to see them but thus far he has not published them. If it were BimmerBoost, we would and we actually have to expose deception. Hopefully ESS doesn't push him around but he seems like a guy so far that isn't responding well to ESS demands.
This guy thought he would be getting turbos and a discount to post reviews, dynos, runs, etc., on the forum. A pretty standard marketing practice on forums to get supposedly 'independent' reviews. Unfortunately, a certain ESS cheerleader serving as the middle-man here decided to charge full retail. Why? To line his own pockets of course. Who cares if it works, right? Well, reputable vendors care. Nobody cared here. Get the money and oh well too bad say it's 'beta' if it doesn't work.
ESS tried to keep this off the forums but it didn't work:
"This is when the truth unfolded. I get a message from Roman, "You aren't allowed to comment on a development project until its completed." Development project? What? Back and forth with Roman I find out that my brand new M4 with 250 miles is a guinea pig for ESS' S55 turbo upgrade. Not a fully develop system as promised but something they were trying to test out. Now I'm furious and text and email all parties. Roman says to me "IMG and Aj said you were aware of this." Motherfookers."
RingMeister01 has every reason to be angry. Not only did he not get what he paid for, not only did he pay more than he was supposed to, he is now supposed to shut up about the problems. He finally realizes he is a guinea pig. It's just that he never signed up to be one.
It is somewhat interesting as well that Roman@ESS commands him not to speak. Do you see now how certain forums work now? Anything negative is kept off. If you do not shut your mouth you will not get further support. It's not about having the best products. It's about making people think that you do. That is why he was offered a refund and a return to stock if he deleted all his posts. You would think that offer would be on the table regardless as it should be instead of being conditional.
This customer chose not to bend over but how many have bent over for ESS? How much has been swept under the rug? BimmerBoost is aware of much of it and some of what gets deleted is hosted here for specifically this reason. You as a potential customer deserve to know the truth, don't you? You are not a vendor's pawn, are you? Shouldn't the customers have the power in this relationship?
This is the same old story with ESS-Tuning as always but trying to get it out there is the problem. They use their power to pull posts, edit threads, close threads, etc., if they are not portrayed in the best light. It's arrogance, pure and simple.
What they should have done is make it a priority to fix the guys car (another tuner offered to fly out to fix it), provide what he paid for, and not charge him a dime for any of it. That would require them going out of pocket. It's simply the easier (cowardly) way out to get this all deleted, spin it, and go about business as usual.
They won't be able to delete this though. If they try, the blowback will be bigger than it already is: