I ordered a C Class sport coupé while living in Germany in April 2001.
Shortly after ordering it and paying a 10% deposit, I got sent to France by
my company. As I couldn't cancel my order without losing the deposit, I was
forced to import my new MB to France shortly after delivery in August 2001.
I had to pay the VAT difference (19.6%-17.5%) then a whole load of other
That was just the start of the hassle!
Almost two years down the line, I have given up on this car. Endless
nightmare hassles which I can't be bothered to write out here.
If I had still been in Germany, I would have qualified for an exchange car
(Wendelwagon) long ago. But because I cross-border imported, I have no
chance. I have even got a fax from the factory confirming this. They won't
give any form of lemon-law compensation because I cross-border imported.
Anyway, I'm entirely fed up with Daimler Chrysler, so have just decided to
accept that I made a mistake buying MB and sell the car. But if there are
any EU lawyers here, I would be happy to forward the fax from MB because I'm
fairly sure it would be illegal to penalise EU citizens like this. Any body
know for sure?
Good for you. Most people are too lemming like to
question what everybody else does without thinking.
It is the same way here in the "Land of the Free".
In both work and medical environments it is
commonplace to foist prewritten agreements
upon people and explain them away as
"standard procedure - just sign it".
Never just sign it. Read it thoroughly. Edit it
if there are any things you do not like.
Some time ago when drug testing had just entered
into vogue due to the hysteria du jour there was
a document that was passed down to all the
employees at my company that we were asked to
sign. This document effectively gave the company the
right to conduct tests at any time on its
employees for banned drugs.
I just edited out the permission and added some
things about constitutional rights. My boss was
surprised, his boss just said send it on up
and that was the last I heard of it.
Of course nowadays with the economy so slow
the prospective employee cannot be so bold.
The government can guarantee your rights but
if you need work or services you may have
no choice but to give them up. The distinction
is that the government must respect your rights
but nobody else has to if you agree to give them
up. That should not be allowed.
By the way, does anybody yet have a summary of the
2004 model changes? I just read in Forbes that the
SLR production version will be unveiled in
Frankfurt in September. Is it going to be
significantly different than the show car version?
Back on topic!
Thanks for the reminder, Howard. Too often, I forget to take issue with the
important things that would make me feel better, if not be beneficial to
others for the effort. Like standing my ground, my small, mostly
insignificant piece of ground, over my lawful right to be treated with
These days when I pay a telephone bill so marketers can interrupt me day and
night, and maintain an Internet account so my email gets flooded with
unwanted spam, or check my postal mailbox to see who's making a marketing
target out of me now, and then the millions of dollars of advertising spent
to get me into a particular store to buy any particular product, only to be
insulted, ignored, blown off and ripped off with poor service and crappy
attitudes for doing so, you'd think I'd be more aware of the many piece of
important legal papers we sign in getting things going quickly.
I knew on some level that we can always modify, think about, reject, adjust,
any language of any boilerplate form that's shoved in front of us, and yet
so often I just don't take the time to stand my important ground in knowing
what I'm agreeing to, and modifying the agreement to be what I want to agree
My gripe is slightly off angle to yours, but it's the same principle of
self-respect, automony, and living a life with a certain dignity and
strength. Thanks for the reminder.
On-topic, I ordered a car from an authorised Merc dealer in Germany with the
specific intent of bringing it into the UK. It was a fairly painless
There was one paperwork difficulty, if I remember rightly, but a call to the
DC HQ in Stuttgart soon put that right. I don't remember the details but
some Merc employee was declining to issue a document that would save me some
hassles with the UK Customs & Excise (VAT).
I would do it again if circumstances were appropriate, e.g. to save pots of
NB: To reply directly replace "nospam" with "schmetterling"
Based on your other
posts as well as this
post I think it is fair
to say that you have a superior
talent when it comes to dealing
with organizations that fail
to deliver adequate or promised
Is there a secret to this or do
you just naturally know when to
yell or call superiors?
Thank you for that vote of confidence...
I don't always succeed, but sometimes it's obvious that someone is being a
blockhead so an appeal to the superior yields results. In the docs case I
mentioned here the person I called couldn't understand why I wasn't getting
what I wanted as it wasn't unreasonable. It was a fairly short, friendly
Yesterday morning I had another, small example of this. I had spent the
previous night in an Inter-Continental hotel in another country (i.e. not a
In the morning I brought down to reception a postcard and asked the
receptionist to post it for me, charging the postage to my room.
"Impossible" he said (literally!), I had to pay cash.
Whilst it is true that many reputable hotels will not charge postage to the
room, some do. Furthermore, as I was staying only one night I had no local
currency on me and wasn't prepared to change money for the sake of a 50-cent
postage stamp as I wasn't sure when/if I would be back, and the currency is
weak. (A colleague who was always with me when we were out and about had
cash, so I didn't even need any for emergencies. But he wasn't at the
reception during the incident.)
So, voice rising slightly I asked for the manager, saying that I was sure he
would post it for nothing...another receptionist standing alongside reached
over, swept up my postcard and said "Of course we can post it, Sir"....
Well, let's hope they haven't chucked my card into the bin...
Mr Greek_Philosophizer, are you really telling me that you have never
resorted to this technique???
NB: To reply directly replace "nospam" with "schmetterling"
I think so but not often enough for me to actually
remember an instance.
From what I have observed, some people are just
good at dealing with bureaucracies and other
people are not. It seems to be a combination
of personal presence as well as knowing what
buttons to push.
Well in this country one can commonly get a very short legal advise session
for little outlay. Can't remember the figures off hand but it's something
like 30 minutes for 20GBP - cheaper than a MB mechanic! Also our government
Trading Standards Department has offices in almost every town from whom
advice can be sought. I would check and see if these facilities are
available where you are, if I were you.
I'd advise you seek legal advice at this stage and would also add that under
some countries legal systems, discussions such as this could harm your case
in any eventual litigation. Check that with the legal advisor too.
There are similar consumer protection bodies here in France. But I've
already had so much hassle from this car I've just lost all energy to argue
with DC any more. I'd rather just sell the car. I'll obviously never buy
another of their products though.
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