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Advice Needed - Bad Service Experience

Discussion in 'General Discussion' started by Fam, Feb 4, 2017.

  1. Fam

    Fam New Member

    Messages:
    19
    Joined:
    Jan 29, 2017
    Location:
    Hornchurch
    Car:
    Mercedes C Class
    Hey Guys,

    I am new to this so apologies if i have posted in the wrong place.

    Let me start off by introducing myself i am Fam and i have owned a c220 w204 63 reg for the last 18 months. My daily commute is about 90 miles through what is the UK's largest car park better known as the M25.

    So my car was due to come out of warranty by the end of the month, and i had no issues with the car apart from a few weeks ago. On cold days i found that the handbrake would not release on the first or second go. Sometimes i would have to pull it 5 or 6 times before it would release.

    So i called up MB explained the situation and they said they could not get it into my usual place before the warranty ran out. They did say they could get it into another place and if it was under warranty they would replace it.

    I had a video recorded of the fault because it was temperamental and it doesn't always get stuck, so i wanted to make sure that they could see what the issue was when it faults.

    It was due to go in on Tuesday but i got a call from the dealership saying the courtesy car was still out and could they book me in for Friday. I obliged and dropped it off yesterday.

    I asked if he could call me to let me know what the fault was before going ahead and changing anything. If it was out of warranty then i would like to know the price of the job before going ahead.

    I mentioned that i work long hours and have to battle the M25 so i would try and pick up the car the same day if needed however if i couldn't i would be in at 8am Saturday Morning. He said thats not an issue but to let them know if i could not make it the same day.

    So i dropped the car off (8am) having explained the situation, it took me about an hour and half to get into work. I get in sit down and within maybe 20 minutes i get a phone phone call.

    I am informed that the job is not covered under warranty and i would have to pay for it.

    Having had my cars MOT done at an independent MB specialist the day before i had talked them through the symptoms. He went through the things that it might be and how much i would likely pay if it was through them.

    So i decline the work because i would get it done with the MB specialist who had 20 years experience and would save me a little bit of money.

    20 minutes later i get a phone call this time stating that he had spoken to his manager and wanted me to return the courtesy car today as if i returned it tomorrow i would be charged. He explains that he would be in till about 6.30 so i would have to make it before then.

    Bit annoyed but i said i would do my best to get in that day however i was in meetings most of the day so i could not guarantee it. Anyways i leave work early put fuel into the courtesy car as it was given to me on reserve and i had to battle the M25.

    I get back their for 4pm and the cars in the same place as i left it, but i didn't think much of it. i go through the handover procedure and i am told that we did look at it and if we could do it under warranty of course we would. Get my keys jump in my car and realise that all of my mirrors and seat is still as i left it.

    Again maybe a coincidence but curiosity gets the better of me. I have a dash cam fitted, as the likelihood of me being in an accident is far greater due to the sheer number of miles i do.

    So i am sat in the car park and i wind it back to 8am and hit play. Theres footage of me pulling in, parking up and getting out. I then expect to see footage of them driving the car into the workshop and having a look at the car. Well there isn't any the next clip is me getting back in the car at 4pm when i came to pick it up.

    So i am sat there trying to give them the benefit, but i cant help but think that they have just quoted me on a job without even bothering to look at the car. Now mechanics with years of experience could probably tell whats wrong with a car just by looking at it, but to not double check this or even get in the car and test the handbrake?

    Its fair to say i was fuming and tempted to go in and explain the whole situation, but i thought its probably best if i sleep on it as maybe i was blowing all out of proportion.

    So question to you guys after this long rabble do i take it further and raise my concerns with customer service. I mean they must have well over £250k of stock in the car park so i am sure they will have CCTV footage to prove me wrong and put my mind at rest. Or am i just overthinking the situation and do i leave it be.

    Thanks in advance
     
  2. whitenemesis

    whitenemesis Hardcore MB Enthusiast

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    Life is too short to get bogged down in this sort of thing. Just take it to your Indie and get on with your life.
     
    4 people like this.
  3. OP
    OP
    Fam

    Fam New Member

    Messages:
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    Joined:
    Jan 29, 2017
    Location:
    Hornchurch
    Car:
    Mercedes C Class
    lol very true and i suppose its a lesson learnt and they probably wont be getting my custom again.

    Thanks!
     
  4. markjay

    markjay Hardcore MB Enthusiast

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    Location:
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    Car:
    W204 C180 Executive SE 2013 Automatic / COMAND NTG4.7 Retrofitted by www.comandonline.co.uk
    By the sound of it, it's not an expensive repair. If so then I would forget the dealer, unfortunately (most) MB dealers have very poor reputation, and for a reason.

    If this is not the case, then you can first complain to the dealer stating you have dash-cam footage (though keep in mind they could have checked this while the car was still in the car park i.e. without moving it), and also complain to MBUK requesting an explanation as to why the fault is not covered by warranty (they might argue it's 'tear and wear'). If you are unhappy with the response, you can contact the SMMT Ombudsman: https://www.smmt.co.uk/about/consumer-advice/ .

    But as whitenemesis said, life is too short, so unless the repair cost is significant, I would just get it repaired
     
    1 person likes this.
  5. whitenemesis

    whitenemesis Hardcore MB Enthusiast

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    Yup, vote with your feet :thumb:
     
  6. OP
    OP
    Fam

    Fam New Member

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    Location:
    Hornchurch
    Car:
    Mercedes C Class
    Thanks Markjay! Sorry i dont think i can quote messages yet. Yeah it was not expensive, just a disappointing experience.
     
  7. JohnEBoy

    JohnEBoy Hardcore MB Enthusiast

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    I would just move on and take it to the inde.

    However, I'd find it incredibly difficult not to speak to whoever did the handover again having not found any evidence on the dash cam!

    Feel free to name the dealer so that others can avoid them...
     
  8. Meldrew2

    Meldrew2 Hardcore MB Enthusiast

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    You certainly know where to not to go when it's time to buy your next car...

    In fact, it is the lousy, expensive, couldn't-care-less service by BOTH the MB dealerships within an hour of me (both of whom I had purchased cars from), coupled with previous experience of an excellent local BMW dealer that led me to decide that I would not buy another MB.
     
  9. ash59fifty-uk

    ash59fifty-uk Hardcore MB Enthusiast

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    I'd definitely call the employees bluff asking them about it in the lounge in front of customers

    Then when the lies stream out of their mouth, whip the dashcam out and watch the colour in their faces drown out
     
  10. markjay

    markjay Hardcore MB Enthusiast

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    It's not a problem as long as you buy a car that is 3 years old or more.

    The dealer never saw my car again after the new car warranty expired.
     
  11. OP
    OP
    Fam

    Fam New Member

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    So it was Mercedes in Orpington who are a service centre, now maybe they did look at the car from the outside or maybe they unplugged my dashcam and took a look. Maybe it was an off day and generally their service is very good i dont know all i know is they have lost my trust and its a lot of maybes.
     
    3 people like this.
  12. Rory

    Rory Hardcore MB Enthusiast

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    It's perhaps slightly odd that they didn't try and charge the usual diagnosis fee.

    Did they actually say something like "a technician has diagnosed the fault and it's not covered"? It's obvious they've just made a "clerical" assumption but it doesn't sound like they've pretended otherwise.
     
  13. Meldrew2

    Meldrew2 Hardcore MB Enthusiast

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    And my (now 12 year old) W163 which was bought ex-demo with less than 100 miles hasn't seen a main dealer since it was about 4 years old.

    I had a W204 from about 8 months old - but found it to be unreliable so soon after the warranty expired it had to go.

    Currently happy with main dealer BMW servicing - and they did a very good deal on a 5 year servicing package - a lot will depend on their prices after that.
     
  14. OP
    OP
    Fam

    Fam New Member

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    So he said we have taken a look and its a chargeable repair.. When i dropped it off he did say it could be that the cable has come loose or it needs adjusting etc. but he could not say for sure until someone had looked at it. So i would have assumed that they took a look at it before coming back to me.

    Again when i went to pick it up he made a point of saying that if we could do it under warranty we would have done so.. surely that means you have taken a look in order to understand the cause of the issue to determine whether the warranty covers it or not.
     
    1 person likes this.
  15. OP
    OP
    Fam

    Fam New Member

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    Car:
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    So far the W204 has been spot on apart from the niggle with the handbrake.It does 90miles a day although most of it is on the motorway and munches through the miles. I do have a Diesel Box fitted which made it much better but time will tell how reliable it is as it is now coming out of warranty.
     
  16. gr1nch

    gr1nch Hardcore MB Enthusiast

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    OP sounds like you were messed around whilst you acted in good faith throughout. No wonder you're fuming. I'd consider it a lesson that next time something similar happens, I'd go in, give an overview to whoever you're talking to, hears your side, then ask for an explanation, calmly. However, now you're out of there and time has passed, I'd put it down to experience and not waste any more time on that dealer. Best of luck with the next one!
     
    1 person likes this.
  17. lfckeeper

    lfckeeper Hardcore MB Enthusiast

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    Well personally I think you should do everything you can to get to the bottom of this. Im sick and tired of hearing about garages trying to do people over by not honoring their obligations or quoting on work thats unnecessary.

    I understand people saying lifes too short or yake your business elsewhere, but until garages start being held to account for trying to rip people off, it'll keep on happening.
     
    2 people like this.
  18. paul73mt

    paul73mt Hardcore MB Enthusiast

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    just hope you get an email asking for a review then you can tell them what you really think..
     
  19. markjay

    markjay Hardcore MB Enthusiast

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    I did that back in 2009 after appalling service from the dealer, and also ticked the box that said 'would you like a manager to contact you regarding the issues you raised', next time I heard from the dealer was a year later when they called me asking if I wanted to book the next service, needless to say they didn't get my custom again.
     
    1 person likes this.
  20. OP
    OP
    Fam

    Fam New Member

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    Location:
    Hornchurch
    Car:
    Mercedes C Class
    The only way business is won in my mind is through trust and the moment thats broken its near impossible to get it back. we pay a premium to expect a standard of service that is consistent through all the dealerships, but this has
    only brought into question whats the point in keeping a car within the MB dealer network.

    Going by the comments it sounds as though my expectations were not silly. All i wanted was a fair assessment.

    I am tempted to call them up tomorrow and ask exactly what the technician said needed doing when he drove it into the workshop and and took it apart/ did his diagnostics... The other side of me is tempted to drive down and ask him the question face to face... and then escalate it further up the chain based on his response.

    I think i am in agreement with lfckeeper if we all keep quiet about it nothing changes... ultimately we are paying for the service so should we not say something if it is bad?

    But at the same time i take on the point about leaving it be.. and taking it as a lesson learnt.

    Thanks for all the advice guys!
     

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