First MB, not as expected

Jesters Tear

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My first proper post, after a month of lurking - I am 'digital cameraless' at this moment and am unable to post any pictures of our latest car, our first ever Merc, a W203 Avantgarde with Sport Pack.

This particular car is an ex demo, registered in September. Effectively, buying it meant that we could get a 200K with parktronic and Tracker for more or less the same price as a brand new 180K without. The car had done 4200 miles when I took it away two weeks ago yesterday.

Last Saturday I cleaned it for the first time. Sadly, a proper clean unveiled the paintwork to be in desperate condition, something I had just not noticed when viewing the car on grey January days, and collecting it under artificial light. Every panel is scratched, the roof, bonnet, bootlid - the alloys under close scrutiny appear to have been cleaned with a brillo pad. There is a small crack in the rear bumper, and sign of scuffage where something has tapped it.
I think the panel scratching is attributable to an automated car wash - only guessing mind you but the marks seem straight and uniform - vertical.

I returned to the dealer last night, spoke with the Sales Manager who implied that it was possible the bumper had been damaged whilst the vehicle was in my possession (he did not come straight out with it but tried the typical 'our word against yours' scenario), and further tried to convince me that the valeters may have damaged the paint with their plastic squeegee....(shakes head sadly).

Their bodyshop guy is coming to my office today to take a look. I am not convinced that this car will respond to mopping, I just think there are too many scratches, and some are too deep. I am angry with myself for not looking closely enough at purchase/pre delivery. There is a lesson to be learnt here - look very closely at the paintwork before taking the car away, if you are not happy, leave it.

I have the ability to reject the car and exchange it for another but the way I feel right now I might try and push for my money back. I cant see the dealer being very enthusiastic to find a like for like replacement, and I dont reckon there will be another instantly available with a similar specification - the terms of the exchange states that the dealer is not obliged to find one exactly the same - and now of course the prospect of downgrading is not palatable either. Another few hundred pounds wasted include a number plate transfer, Tracker subscription - the dealer is not responsible for these costs it seems.

I will post back progress but my first experience of Mercedes is not quite what I expected. Car looks and drives nice though.
 

glojo

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What a terrible, terrible shame. A car sales person can see scratches on a motor vehicle from 50 paces with their eyes shut. They must surely have been aware of the cars condition.?

Does the new 203 have the 'nano' paint technology? If so this vehicle has really been put through the 'mill'. The automatic car washer must have been pebble dashed?

Good luck with your dispute,
John
 

KLP 92

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A mop will not get rid of all the marks. Most of them maybe but certainly not the deep ones. If the paint is this bad i would personally swap the car for something else. I have had a fair few cars that have gone through the car wash. Majority of marks are swirl marks but they can be T CUT out. What i see chauffeurs doing is leather a dirty car when cleaning it without washing the car first.
If i was you i would ask for the car to be replaced.
 
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Jesters Tear

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Just drafting up letter of rejection now.

Neil, I will tell you later ;)

Mercedes Bent - mopping is simply polishing/buffing with a mechanical device rather than by hand - usually so called because a lambswool mop is attached to the device.
 

culpano

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Jesters Tear said:
..and I dont reckon there will be another instantly available with a similar specification - the terms of the exchange states that the dealer is not obliged to find one exactly the same.
This is a myth. There's loads of cars out there (even some that may be better spec). What spec is it that makes it so unique ? Parktronic ? That can be fitted (F+R) for £590 - it takes MB half a day to do it.
 

Alfie

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A word of caution - If you reject the car within the period allowed, you must return the car to the dealer almost immediately. This is one of their terms which isnt so clear. If you are unhappy with it, reject it and give them the opportunity to put it right or replace it.

I wish you luck.
 

glojo

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Alfie said:
A word of caution - If you reject the car within the period allowed, you must return the car to the dealer almost immediately. This is one of their terms which isnt so clear. If you are unhappy with it, reject it and give them the opportunity to put it right or replace it.
If memory serves me correctly one of our moderators 'swapped' his Mercedes-Benz, I cannot recall the reasons, and hopefully his previous car did not have the problems outlined in this post.

Regards again,
John
 
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Jesters Tear

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I have done the deed. Thanks all for your comments. I will of course keep you posted. Culpano, I hope you are right!

Incidentally have heard nothing yet from the dealer - in my correspondence I have offered them the car back tonight or tomorrow - whatever suits them. I have told them that my favoured course of action would be a replacement, and I have rejected the car both verbally and in writing. Lets see what they come up with. Have got Thrifty car rental on standby in case I need a Clio for a bit :(
 
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Jesters Tear

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Update - independent body shop appointed by MB been out to inspect, not aware of the background to the case - he was very helpful and shocked at the condition of this '12 week old' car - he backed me up nicely.

Culpano, thanks for the moral support, I want another for sure, it's just a bit disappointing and the 'gloss' has been knocked off the experience. I will bounce back, it is just so...unexpected.

Thanks
 

Alfie

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Jesters Tear said:
Update - independent body shop appointed by MB been out to inspect, not aware of the background to the case - he was very helpful and shocked at the condition of this '12 week old' car - he backed me up nicely.

Culpano, thanks for the moral support, I want another for sure, it's just a bit disappointing and the 'gloss' has been knocked off the experience. I will bounce back, it is just so...unexpected.

Thanks
I think the quality of your car is a function of the dealership rather than the build quality of the manufacturer. As we all know it is the stealerships wich greatly let down the marque. Do not be disheartend by MB themselves. Its not their fault. Good luck with a replacement.
 
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Jesters Tear

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Alfie, for sure you are right. The car is beautiful, and of the highest quality - it is simply damaged, imperfect. The dealership has not been communicative at all today though - I haven't had a call following my fax at 11.30, not a peep.
 

pammy

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Sorry to hear of your bad experience - does tend to take the edge of something when it's not perfect and when on to of that the dealer isn't helpful. But as has been said - don't let it taint your view of Mercedes totally. My dealer has been wonderful and my car even better :D

I wasn't convinced the Diamondbrite had been properly applied(if at all) to mine - so had a wee word and they booked it in and redid it without any hassle - even though they assured me it had been done already, they did it again. The alloys were marking so within 3 days I had a full replacement set, always with a decent courtesy car too. :rock:

Hope you do get a satisfactory resolution - but don't throw the baby out with the bathwater - they are lovely cars ;) :D
 

portzy

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Got to echo whats been said already. Jesters, you dont say where you are?. Pammy and I know a cracking dealership so if you get a replacement we can tell you where to 'Cross the Floor of the House' so to speak.

Couple of things, what about the alloys?, whats been sugested re those. Is your car a pre-face lift?. If it is it wont have nano paint which in this instance might not be a bad thing as a refinish shouldnt be out of the question.

Nano?=yes, then its bad news I'm afraid as its the whole top coat because that is where the 'hardness' is so take a replacement. Get a replacement. Either like for like or close or, a new C180?. The C180 still flies you know, well sort of but its no weakling.

My twopenneth :D
 

GordonTarling

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If you hold out for a replacement, you may well end up with a better specced car if you make enough fuss!
 

glojo

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A number of months ago a member purchased a second-hand Mercedes-Benz under their warranty scheme and to be polite the vehicle was a 'dog'.

After receiving certain advice from this forum and getting and independant assessment of thevehicle he obtained a complete refund and £1500 'compensation'. Part of the deal however was that he did not discuss the case.

The thread was therefore removed. I am not saying your vehicle is as bad, but reading your comments so far it would appear your vehicle leaves a lot to be desired.

This is an exact quote from the Mercedes-Benz site:

**********A used car has to work particularly hard to get our seal of approval. Mechanics, electrics, bodywork, interior, tyres, wheels, vehicle history and mileage - all are checked and double-checked before the car even gets close to the showroom. So you enjoy the kind of reliability you´d expect from a new car.*******

http://www2.mercedes-benz.co.uk/con...oducts/used_cars/approved_used_programme.html

Has your paintwork been checked and double-checked before it was sold to you?

Regards,
John
 

Shude

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No such thing as a used or second-hand mercedes, apparently the term is "pre-loved". :)
 
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Jesters Tear

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Thanks all, what a great crowd.

I can give you a little more info. I started to hanker after a C during the Christmas break, we set ourselves a budget of £20k and I set to hunting down pre loved (ok Shude? ;)) specimens via the MB website. I visited our nearest dealer on New Years Eve, explained that I had been researching prices and spec, and asked him whether any 180s were about, with the Sport Pack, within our budget. He mentioned a couple that were dealer stock, due to arrive anytime soon and gave me a price for them, one had the phone kit, the other didn't, that sort of thing. He suggested also that I might consider their 200K, which had done 8000 miles he thinks, but is not on site today. £22.5k was the asking price, with parking sensors, Tracker and rain sensing wipers. September 2004 54 plate.

I priced up a new 200K from the RRP and that weighed in at £26.5K with Avantgarde etc so I thought, hmm reasonable price indeed and mulled it over. I went back on the 5th I think it was and actually saw the car, discovered it had done 3900 miles, liked it, arranged for Mrs Jesters Tear to take a look, she liked it, and we mulled it over until the Sunday following; after all it was well over budget, but worth it we felt. We ordered it. Later that night, the guy I work for, a Benzo nut with a 2000 V8 CLK sent me an MSN message with a hyperlink to..."MB offer free upgrade on all new C Class" - so effectively, free Avantgarde or Elegance.

First thing next morning, I fax MB and ask why, when they knew I was on a budget, did they not think to offer me this deal on a new car? I'm sorry but we weren't aware of it until you mentioned it. Great. Ok so how much for a new 180 with Avantgarde, Auto, Sport Pack? £400 less than the 12 week old 200K with the Parking, RSW and Tracker. The 200 was ideal, and at the price, it seemed unmissable.

I collected the car in the dark, under artificial light, checked the flanks for dings and parking dents, found none, thought that would suffice. Got home, put car in garage, checked again, found small parking dink in passenger door, damn, how did I miss that? Excitement and poor lighting probably. Immediately emailed the salesman, he was fine the following day, yes we can sort it out....

Car got dirty over the week, and it was only this Saturday (11 days on) that I cracked open the brand new bucket of Meguiars and set to with my little soft cleaning brushes and cotton buds. The rest you know.

The independent bodyshop guy was impartial today and sympathetic. He was shocked at the poor state of the paintwork to say the least. This car looks fine from one pace back. He said to me that polishing the car ready for collection would hide the marks, it would be the process of washing that would highlight their presence.

I also found out that this car was born in April according to the paperwork and as a facelift model, should have Nano paint. I wonder where it was between April and September when registered by the dealership? Nevertheless, the combination of the scratches to the entire car, the rear bumper with signs of impact, the alloys with the microscopic swirls all add up to not the right car for me. Mrs JT is upset too, she is envisaging all sorts of problems with hire cars, transfer of her cherished number and so forth....

Tomorrow I return the car for good. I do not know at this stage what the options are because no one at the dealer has deigned to fill me in. I will be dealing with the Sales Manager who was incredibly insulting to me, because my sales contact is on a days leave. I am not looking forward to it much but I will hold my ground. I will keep you posted as to how it goes.

Phew thanks for reading.

JT
 

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