I think my recent Merc garage experience was not too bad.
The grille over the air vent in the driver's footwell had been falling off
more or less since new (May 2001 - yes, 3rd anniversary). As it was
non-essential I never really got round to doing anything serious, as one
dealer had seemingly clipped it back and applied some glue.
At some stage a couple of dealers (one on London and the one in Germany from
whom I had bought the car) told me that they would need the car in for a
few hours for examination. The job did not look straightforward, as a clip
appeared to be broken. The London one said that it would cost at least
sixty pounds and if Merc were not prepared to fund it under
warranty/goodwill, I would have to pay even that, even if I decided not to
Anyway, this week I thought I would bite the bullet and on Tuesday took it
into the Park Royal garage under the Mecedes-Benz London arrangements.
In short, to do the fix 'properly' it would about 15 hours work and a lot of
hassle to get acceptance under goodwill (cars bought in Germany get only one
year's manufacturer's warranty, UK-supplied ones get longer ones, supported
by the dealerships), which was not a certainty at all. The service adviser
(a techie who spent 9 years in Merc's workshops in South Africa and the UK)
offered me a deal whereby I would get what I wanted (a vent cover that
didn't fall off) but achieved by another method taking up maybe 90 min work.
He would not apply for an FOC job but only charge me for half an hour plus
part (GBP 1.49 plus tax, hardly a fortune). And that's what happened.
And the car was washed.
As it happens when I checked the work on collecting the car today I found
that a panel screw that didn't grip just above the vent. The service
adviser said he would order a new clip and I could come in for fixing while
That's not bad service, is it?
For direct contact replace nospam with schmetterling