I am scared to take SL500 to local dealer

I have a 2005 Mercedes SL500 which I recently had the satellite radio and hands free communication system (phone) added. I have been totally unimpressed with the local dealer, and indeed am quite
confident they will possibly damage my car if I take it back. Firstly, after being charged for six hours of labor, the telephone was not correctly wired the first time I brought it in, and had to take it back. Secondly, they left numerous grease stains in the car, on the carpet, on the door panels on the door frames. Lastly, I had left about 7 dollars in the center compartment for emergencies which I know was there before service, but after getting the car back, only a single dollar was there.
Today, the retractable hard top got stuck, and the local dealer (as part of the national roadside assistance program) sent out a mechanic. One of the side small panels appeared to be stuck so he proceeded to muscle it till it broke. Then he asked me to lower the top, but that broken side panel was hanging in the trunk, so he asked for a stick to hold it up inside the trunk. I refused since I told him it will scratch the car once the trunk does close and the stick is pulled out. There is no way that I am putting a stick in there and scratching a 100K car. What are my options for getting service, when I have no confidence in my local dealer?
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Timothy Tom wrote: Then he asked me to lower the top, but that

to
out.
You are talking about a car, not a baby. It has been built by man from base metal and petrochemicals. Its cost is not a factor, it is still a piece of engineering which needs spanners and occassionaly hammers and sticks to get it to work properly. The fact that you have such a sophisticated lump makes it more likely to go wrong and more difficult/expensive to repair. Teathing troubles are common with cutting edge technology, they don't charge extra ;-)
Huw
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Since you're not satisfied with the local dealer, isn't there another one that is within reasonable distance? If so, I'd take it there.
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The "overhead" of owning a very complicated car is that the vehicle is too far advanced for its service component, making YOUR "ownership experience" a disappointment,a common complaint with luxury goods. WE want cutting edge (some say bleeding edge) goods, but like many "hot" goods their manufacturer, software writer, government etc. pushes the product out the door and has US do their product testing.
As to the roadside "mechanic", he was no mechanic, but a guy who could jump a dead battery or put some gas into an empty tank. Don't judge the entire shop by his crudity. Suggest you quickly establish who broke what so that YOU don't have to pay for the broken part(s) and their installation labor.
If you pay an independent shop out of your own pocket YOUR risk is having MBUSA claim that YOU voided THEIR new car warranty. In short, you're trapped in their system so work with the local dealer, and the MBUSA zone manager if necessary.
Suggest you e-mail the Service Manager, relate your three experiences and your concern about the impending repair. If he doesn't respond well then call the MBUSA zone manager.
M-B isn't unreasonable, they pay dealers for doing warranty work so the dealer shouldn't be reluctant - if the dealer knows MBUSA will pay their claim. It always comes down to money; who will pay?
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Talk to MBUSA regarding your situation. Then proceed to your next local dealer if possible. You bought a $100,000 car, you deserve respect at the dealer... if not recieved, then complain to MBUSA. They know you spent your hard earned money... so hopefully they will assist you all the way.
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If worse comes to worst:
DaimlerChrysler HQ, Stuttgart, telephone number +49 711-170.
DAS
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That's bad news. I would suggest you write/email or fax MB direct and explain what has happened.
You've seen some stories (and replies) on here which suggest it's your fault for buying a complicated car, I don't buy that at all. I bought a new E class in 98, not a 100k USD car, more like a 60k USD car (over here in UK). The service was exemplary, and yes it was also a "complicated" car.
There are those saying for such a car maybe you shouldnt expect a roadside repair, and yes they're probably right. For 100K I wouldn't expect to need a roadside repair to start with :-)
Get in touch with MB direct. This side of the pond they have been pushing their customer service very hard. I once had reason to contact MB direct and they almost broke their own backs trying to please and be helpfull.
Hth Bill
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Pesonally I would make a BIG fuss with the owner of the dealership and then service manager, and let them know what you rexperience has been.
If they don't give you any satisfaction, then I would proceed to complain loudly to MB directly.
Sheesh, Marty
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