Diagnostic: £103 (+vat) !!!

PhilL

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2002 SL500; '54 E270 CDI Elegance Estate; 2001 C200K Coupe
Is this a record?

My E270 Estate has been telling me to "Visit Workshop", with a picture of my car with an arrow pointing upwards, since before Christmas. I had to go to the main dealers for some more bits for the car and thought I would have a quick word with the service department to find the likely cause. The team leader went out back to have a word with his technicians and told me it was probably a fault with the self levelling suspension. I had guessed this as it does not have the Airmatic suspension all round. I suggested it may be a level sensor and was told it would need to be put on Star to confirm and they would need to allow 1 hour for the diagnosis, costing £103 (+vat). I questioned the cost and was told that hopefully this would be long enough for them to diagnose the problem!

I was expecting about £40 for a quick plug in, so after a few cough's and splutters I excused myself saying I would think about it.

Is he trying to rip me off, or just preparing me for more bad news?

What should I expect to pay to diagnose the cause of the malfunction message?
 

Pontoneer

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Central Scotland
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'99 S320 W140 ; '93 300SL-24 R129
Those are main dealer prices : you have to pay for the fancy glass palace showrooms somehow .

A reputable Indy will do the same job for more like the £40 you had in mind .
 

highland lad

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lochcarron scotland
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A class A 250 ENG BY AMG
My main dealer charged £64.31 when they popped the vito on it , all it told them was there was a wiring fault some where!!
simon
 

A210AMG

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I would think thats almost std hr rate at a dealer.

Its not really 'free' that coffee you know...
 

Dryce

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..
Is he trying to rip me off, or just preparing me for more bad news?
He's trying to generate work for the local independents. But he can't do that directly as it's a secret MB policy. So he has to use a special code involving £ signs and 3 or 4 digit numbers.

What should I expect to pay to diagnose the cause of the malfunction message?
Our dealer suggested it would be a minimum of half an hour for SWMBO's R170 to be diagnosed. So £50-£60 quid + VAT for starters.

I think it's fair to charge - but if I was running a dealership I'd be offering customers to offset the basic diagnostic cost against the work undertaken as a result.

Doing it for free risks a customer coming in - getting advice as to what's wrong - and driving off to do the job themselves or get an independent to do it.

OTOH our indy hasn't charged us for doing a diagnostic.:thumb:

I guess they perceive that doing it for free means their customers don't think twice about coming straight in if they suspect something or see the dreaded dashboard light come on - and they get first shot at getting the work.
 

tazco

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Oct 15, 2011
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Swansea
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2012 Mercedes W212 E350CDi V6 Sport
Thats crazy.... My local MB dealer charges £58 incl VAT. That rate sounds like an hours labour.
 

John

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I wish.
I think it's fair to charge - but if I was running a dealership I'd be offering customers to offset the basic diagnostic cost against the work undertaken as a result.

Doing it for free risks a customer coming in - getting advice as to what's wrong - and driving off to do the job themselves or get an independent to do it.

OTOH our indy hasn't charged us for doing a diagnostic.:thumb:

I guess they perceive that doing it for free means their customers don't think twice about coming straight in if they suspect something or see the dreaded dashboard light come on - and they get first shot at getting the work.
I remember on another forum an inde asking the best way to deal with the situation of charging - people were coming in and diagnosing and then buggering off to get it repaired elsewhere.

I recommended charging a nominal fee and then deducting off the final bill as well - genuine customers wont mind that.

I think a lot depends on how long it takes to diagnose as well... you could end up making no money if you diagnosed many different issues but didn't charge.
 

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