MB Dealer - True Colors

Well, it didn't take long for the local MB dealer to show their true colors. I purchased a used 2003 C230 in September and, as to be expected, there were
some minor problems. I took the car to my local dealer and they were over joyed to help me. They took care of the issues at a reasonable cost and even helped me with some of the bells and whistles that I didn't know existed or how to work. It has become apparent that they used this to suck me in. 3 weeks ago I took my son to school and by the time we got there, about 4 minutes, the car started running very roughly, bucking and lurching at idle. When the car was under acceleration or speed, it was smooth. I got the car home and connected my obdII reader and got multiple misfire codes on all 4 cylinders. I called the dealer, told service what was happening and they told me that it was probably just damp coils or plugs because we had had several days of drastic temp changes and high humidity and that they had had a ton of calls with the same problem. They said if it continued to bring the poor baby in and they would diagnose it. Needless to say, the problem did not go away. In fact, it sounded kind of fishy to begin with because, if it did go away wouldn't I be faced with the same thing with every change in season? After a week of this b.s., I took the car in at 8am on Friday morning and left it with them to diagnose. I received a phone call an hour and a half later telling me that my poor Benz had a leaking lower hose to the supercharger. Good news, the part cost approx. $40. Bad news, it was $750.00 to put it on. I freaked, politely told them that it wasn't going to happen and said I would pick up the car in a bit. I made immediate arrangements to take the car to a VERY reputable and well known auto shop and went to get my car. When I arrived at the dealership, I was treated with extreme rudeness and disrespect by a service rep. She told me not to even think about driving the car anywhere as I would definitely trash the converters on the car incurring thousands more in damage. I took the car anyway and babied it to the repair shop. The shop re-diagnosed the car and found that it was not a lower hose but two upper hoses. They properly introduced smoke into the system and traced the leaks. Something the MB dealer never did. In fact I doubt that they even hooked up the computer to the car at all. There just wasn't enough time elapsed between dropping it off at the dealer and when they called me, to do a thorough job. It took the shop the better part of Friday afternoon and Monday morning to do the job. I was told the two hoses together were about $30.00. Total cost of the repair, LESS THAN $400.00. Of course my poor baby has been fixed and runs perfectly now. I called the dealership after finding all this out and asked to speak with the service manager. I told him what had transpired and that I was not impressed or pleased with their service. He said that he would look into it and get back to me. Surprise..he never did. 2 days later I called and asked to speak with the General Manager and explained everything to him and that, at this point, I felt they needed to refund the fee they charged me for the diagnosis since it was incomplete, incorrect and shoddy. He told me he would investigate it and get back to me. Surprise, he didn't call me back, he had the "service manager" call me and tell me "we ain't refunding nothing, go ahead and sue us and OH By The Way Don't Bring Your Car Back Here, We Don't Want To Work On It". Like I would ever take my car back to them for anything. Nice way to handle it, huh? MBUSA has been notified about the whole thing and they aren't too pleased with it. BBB has been notified and I'm disputing the charge with my bank (who are very nice and happy to investigate the matter). I have always been told horror stories about MB dealers and their arrogance and incompetence. After my first experience with a dealer, I was beginning to think it was sour grapes. Well, I guess I got a full dose of it. Of course my decision to go elsewhere goes unquestioned but, you'd think that a dealer would want to build up a ton of good will, confidence and customer satisfaction in order to sell me my next car. Guess this one doesn't care. They'll bend over backwards to serve a customer who brings in an abused Aston Martin ($190,000), something they admittedly don't know how to work on, but they did it anyway (guess they charged a ton of bucks) and they always has the extremely expensive models in the shop being babied and pampered but, when it comes to the rest of us, its hit or miss and they seem to miss more often than not. Just wanted to add my experience and, oh yes, the name of the dealer involved.....Leiken Motors, MB, in Willoughby, Ohio. Stay away from them like the plague.
Kestrel
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"Impossible Madame, French justice today, doesn't make mistakes"

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On 20.01.2008 12:47, Kestrel wrote:
<snip>horror story about MB dealer</snip>
I'm sorry to hear that. My wife had a similar share of shop trouble - although not close as rude as you. IMHO this is always about communication - mistakes happen but how you deal with them makes the difference between a good and bad shop.

This is what I do not understand, too. It happens all the time - not only with car dealers. Why do they offend or disappoint customers? I don't know. Do they all have too many customers and need to get rid of those they cannot cash properly? You would believe that they think a minute about it and consider that customers talk to other customers or even potential customers and that it has an effect. But apparently most of them can survive that way...
Where I live we had a different make's dealer with awful service and two years ago the shop was taken over (or went bankrupt) and the new owners removed incompetent personnel. So, sometimes it _does_ seem to have an effect.
I have to say I am very satisfied with my repair shop so far. It's not an authorized MB shop but they do a lot of MB - cars and trucks and they even built custom trucks based on naked frames (is that the proper wording?). Funny thing is, the office is not new and shiny and they don't hack everything into a computer terminal. Instead they fill out a card, write your phone number on it and record all activities there. You get a bill even the first time you show up (instead of making you pay cash or by card). And if you see how they deal with cars you know they know their way around - very professional.
Kind regards
    robert
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.................................. but, when it comes to the rest of us,

Don't forget to contact the State Attorney Generals office. If you paid by credit card; dispute the charge. Contact your local consumer reporters and tell them your story. Take them to small claims court and make it public.
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I agree... it is a shame to hear how the dealer treat their customer like this... but I do see it too. Some dealer are super and some are just a bunch of dirt bags.
I am very fortunate to have some good dealer and service rep. It helps alot to know alot about car to make sure that they are not screwing you over... so most people who chat with me knows to be careful how they talk.
I never reveal how knowledgeble I am with cars... only little morsels at a time... to give them a chance to correct themself before they continue explaining...
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You have a C230 Kompressor right? That's the vehicle with the 1.8 Liter supercharged engine. The Kompressor is a dead technology, it has caused more headaches and more badwill than anything Mercedes has ever done. I'm sorry you made a poor purchase, but my humble recommendation is to resell/dump it soon. The next thing you'll find is that the Kompressor has caused cylinder damage. The Kompressor technology provides more horsepower and unfortunately cuts engine life IN HALF. Just a word of advice from someone's who's been there.

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