My "shambles at MB Leicester" story.....

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ToeKnee

MB Enthusiast
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Joined
Aug 14, 2016
Messages
3,880
Location
leicestershire
Car
R230 SL500 in teal blue, R231 SL500 in black. (Vauxhall insignia diesel now sold) Black Ford Mondeo
Any long term member of this forum will have read that I normally praise Mercedes Leicester for their good work and service but that praise has now stopped since my last service in August. Intrigued? Then read on…..

I booked my car in for its 10 year service and MOT in March (I book in advance to ensure a courtesy car) and agreed a date suitable to me in August. Two days before the service I had a young woman call me to confirm everything and make sure I brought my driving licence with me etc. and I asked what was going to be involved in this 10 year “B” service and was told oil service, brake fluid change, fuel filter and coolant change and MOT. I asked about the transmission service which was due every 5 years so due this service and was told that as it hadn’t done the mileage it didn’t need to be done I asked if it could be done and, reluctantly, she agreed. I dropped the car off on the Monday morning on time and soon drove back home in a GLC. Just after lunch I got a message from my car app telling me that my car had passed its MOT but with the following advisory “nearside front hydraulic brake calliper slightly damaged but function not Impaired bleed nipple missing but no leaks”. Now this annoyed me no end as during my pre MOT checks both nipples were intact. I got a call from the same young woman who informed me that my car was ready for collection but they couldn’t do the fuel filter change as they didn’t have one in stock and they couldn’t do the brake fluid change as the calliper nipple was missing so they recommended I replace both callipers at a cost of over £1700. I politely explained that if the calliper was missing a nipple then their “technician” had broken it as it definitely had two nipples when I drove the car in, I asked her to investigate it while I drove there to collect the car. When I got there she told me that the tech guy had reluctantly admitted snapping off the bleed nipple and she told me that it probably hadn’t been touched in many years if it was seized. I explained to her that that was a big problem as it had a brake fluid service two years and 6000 miles ago by that very same dealership. She went away and returned later saying that they would replace the calliper when I returned the car for the fuel filter change in two days’ time. I asked if I could have a courtesy car again but was told no, but it should only take an hour or so to fit a new calliper and fuel filter, so I arranged to take the day off and brought the car back on the Wednesday. I’d handed the car over, just sat down with a coffee when she came out again and asked how much fuel was in the car, about ¾ of a tank I replied and she went off again, a few minutes later she came back with a tech guy who told me they couldn’t do the fuel filter change as there is too much fuel in the car, can I go off, drive around till the car is below ¼ tank and bring it back, oh and they wouldn’t be replacing the calliper but taking it off to go away and be fixed so I’d be without the car for a few days.

It was at this point I carefully asked if I could speak to someone senior as I wasn’t very happy and a senior service manager came out to speak to me. I asked him to turn to the main doors and read the strapline painted above them which read something like “at Mercedes Leicester satisfied just won’t do, only completely satisfied will do”, I asked him if that was just words painted on a wall or an ideal that Mercedes Leicester tried to achieve? I then explained how unhappy I was with them breaking a nipple and still sending it for a MOT in that condition, asked why they offered to replace it then changed to repairing the calliper, why didn’t they have a fuel filter in stock seeing how I booked the service many months in advance and I was even called up to agree what work was going to be done and finally why wasn’t I told that the fuel filter couldn’t be changed with more than a ¼ tank of fuel? He apologised and we came to the agreement that they would collect and drop the car off the following week once I had used up some fuel, they would do the work and return the car with an extra £50 of fuel in it. I told him I also wasn’t very happy with my MOT record having an advisory on it when it shouldn’t have and he offered to write me a zero cost invoice for the repair of the calliper stating that they had damaged it during the service just prior the MOT. All of which they did.

I’m still not happy, as if I hadn’t of noticed that the nipple was there prior to the work being done, or if someone less knowledgeable had the same done to their car, they may have paid MB £1700 for two new callipers (they wanted to replace both in case the other nipple was seized too)!



Sorry for the long post.
 
Any long term member of this forum will have read that I normally praise Mercedes Leicester for their good work and service but that praise has now stopped since my last service in August. Intrigued? Then read on…..

I booked my car in for its 10 year service and MOT in March (I book in advance to ensure a courtesy car) and agreed a date suitable to me in August. Two days before the service I had a young woman call me to confirm everything and make sure I brought my driving licence with me etc. and I asked what was going to be involved in this 10 year “B” service and was told oil service, brake fluid change, fuel filter and coolant change and MOT. I asked about the transmission service which was due every 5 years so due this service and was told that as it hadn’t done the mileage it didn’t need to be done I asked if it could be done and, reluctantly, she agreed. I dropped the car off on the Monday morning on time and soon drove back home in a GLC. Just after lunch I got a message from my car app telling me that my car had passed its MOT but with the following advisory “nearside front hydraulic brake calliper slightly damaged but function not Impaired bleed nipple missing but no leaks”. Now this annoyed me no end as during my pre MOT checks both nipples were intact. I got a call from the same young woman who informed me that my car was ready for collection but they couldn’t do the fuel filter change as they didn’t have one in stock and they couldn’t do the brake fluid change as the calliper nipple was missing so they recommended I replace both callipers at a cost of over £1700. I politely explained that if the calliper was missing a nipple then their “technician” had broken it as it definitely had two nipples when I drove the car in, I asked her to investigate it while I drove there to collect the car. When I got there she told me that the tech guy had reluctantly admitted snapping off the bleed nipple and she told me that it probably hadn’t been touched in many years if it was seized. I explained to her that that was a big problem as it had a brake fluid service two years and 6000 miles ago by that very same dealership. She went away and returned later saying that they would replace the calliper when I returned the car for the fuel filter change in two days’ time. I asked if I could have a courtesy car again but was told no, but it should only take an hour or so to fit a new calliper and fuel filter, so I arranged to take the day off and brought the car back on the Wednesday. I’d handed the car over, just sat down with a coffee when she came out again and asked how much fuel was in the car, about ¾ of a tank I replied and she went off again, a few minutes later she came back with a tech guy who told me they couldn’t do the fuel filter change as there is too much fuel in the car, can I go off, drive around till the car is below ¼ tank and bring it back, oh and they wouldn’t be replacing the calliper but taking it off to go away and be fixed so I’d be without the car for a few days.

It was at this point I carefully asked if I could speak to someone senior as I wasn’t very happy and a senior service manager came out to speak to me. I asked him to turn to the main doors and read the strapline painted above them which read something like “at Mercedes Leicester satisfied just won’t do, only completely satisfied will do”, I asked him if that was just words painted on a wall or an ideal that Mercedes Leicester tried to achieve? I then explained how unhappy I was with them breaking a nipple and still sending it for a MOT in that condition, asked why they offered to replace it then changed to repairing the calliper, why didn’t they have a fuel filter in stock seeing how I booked the service many months in advance and I was even called up to agree what work was going to be done and finally why wasn’t I told that the fuel filter couldn’t be changed with more than a ¼ tank of fuel? He apologised and we came to the agreement that they would collect and drop the car off the following week once I had used up some fuel, they would do the work and return the car with an extra £50 of fuel in it. I told him I also wasn’t very happy with my MOT record having an advisory on it when it shouldn’t have and he offered to write me a zero cost invoice for the repair of the calliper stating that they had damaged it during the service just prior the MOT. All of which they did.

I’m still not happy, as if I hadn’t of noticed that the nipple was there prior to the work being done, or if someone less knowledgeable had the same done to their car, they may have paid MB £1700 for two new callipers (they wanted to replace both in case the other nipple was seized too)!



Sorry for the long post.
Jesus buddy , what hit me was that last paragraph. People who know nothing about cars would have paid £1700 !!
The fact they lied at the start to make you pay does not really get round any future promises .
 
They made a error, and have offered a remedy to the wrong they have done you.

Id chalk it up as a annoying experience, then decide what feels right by you, and whether to use them again in the future.
 
They made a error, and have offered a remedy to the wrong they have done you.

Id chalk it up as a annoying experience, then decide what feels right by you, and whether to use them again in the future.

Annoying, for sure, but no reason not to use them again.

People make mistakes, mistakes should be challenged, but they do seem to have done you right in the end.
 
We all know stuff happens, but they chose to try and lie their way out of it rather than fessing up and were apparently happen to let the OP put his hand in his pocket for their mistake.
Not forgiven.
 
Without being fixated on nipples (!) I presume there was still some of it in the caliper as otherwise the fluid would have been depressurised and squirted out when you braked? I have never heard any such rubbish about only being able to change a fuel filter with 1/4 of a tank. It makes no sense as when you remove the supply pipe to the filter there should be no pressure or some kind of closing valve as you release the pipe to filter clamping mechanism. I also like the fact they "agreed" to change the transmission fluid - it's work for them so even if it is not strictly necessary, don't look a gift horse in the mouth and a chance to make some money...
 
Without being fixated on nipples (!) I presume there was still some of it in the caliper as otherwise the fluid would have been depressurised and squirted out when you braked? I have never heard any such rubbish about only being able to change a fuel filter with 1/4 of a tank. It makes no sense as when you remove the supply pipe to the filter there should be no pressure or some kind of closing valve as you release the pipe to filter clamping mechanism. I also like the fact they "agreed" to change the transmission fluid - it's work for them so even if it is not strictly necessary, don't look a gift horse in the mouth and a chance to make some money...
Apparently, the fuel filter on the R231 is in the tank, so they couldn't access it with too much fuel in there.
 
I think they resolved it ok, I kind of think they should have done this without you having to ask for it, if you went along with the original proposal you would be out of pocket.

well done on sticking to your guns and challenging them.
 
We all make mistakes, it's how they're dealt with that leaves a lasting impression. Unfortunately, the OP's experience doesn't surprise me and whilst they have resolved it, it would appear that it's only been satisfactorily resolved because the OP knows what he's talking about and challenged them and I have absolutely no doubt that a less-well-informed customer would have simply paid up.

Of course, it's difficult to know where the real fault lies, was it the technician who tried to cover up his error, or an internal issue in an attempt to 'reduce the garage's cost'. Either way, the reported circumstances would leave an issue of garage/customer trust for me and, having had a service several years where I left the main dealer feeling very annoyed at their approach (again, only because I insisted was a job, for which I'd pre-paid via a service contract, completed), it's left a long-lasting lack of confidence and trust.

Having said that, I've also experienced excellent service at (other) main dealers, so sweeping generalisations can be dangerous but my long-standing (30+ years) experience of MB dealers is that the true level of service and expertise has diminished at about the same rate as more and more staff become involved in the process, ie hosts, team leaders, experts etc and the 'customer experience' has focussed on lounges, wi-fi, coffee, biscuits, videos and customer surveys etc.. The basics seem to get lost in the glitter. Tellingly, if I look at the 'meet the team' (c40 people) for my local dealer, the technicians etc aren't even mentioned, yet they're the ones I'd really like to talk with when taking a car in for work to be done, not somebody three-times removed who doesn't really know what they're talking about.

The difficulty for the dealers is that it only takes one 'rogue' technician, sales person or manager to ruin a good reputation that's taken years to build. There are good and 'less-good' everywhere.
 
I wonder if this is the case with the R230?

NJSS
From memory of when I had the R230 the fuel filter is under the car above the diff.
 
To be honest I'm fairly surprised they agreed to cover the cost of replacing / refurbing the caliper - they can just snap / crumble and it's usually regarded as just one of those things, not that the technician was negligent.
 
When you pay through the nose for servicing at an MB dealer you have a more than reasonable expectation that they do it right. As the nipple was tightened at the previous fluid change at the same dealership then a technician was negligent by overtightening it or by not applying anti seize. They don't seize that easily on a regularly maintained car. I've never had a nipple seize that I've tightened and I'm just an amateur. The only nipples that I've struggled to release are ones that were tightened by a professional.
 
To be honest I'm fairly surprised they agreed to cover the cost of replacing / refurbing the caliper - they can just snap / crumble and it's usually regarded as just one of those things, not that the technician was negligent.
Any half knowlegeable home mechanic knows when its time to stop trying to release a nipple let alone a merc trained mechanic who should I presume be usinng the right tools as provided and not a normal spanner like the home mechanic.

Have to disagree with you there.
 
To the OP, well done. scoundrels. trying to bluff you and make you pay for the failing of their mechanic. A letter to MB UK wouldn't go amiss nor would a would a letter to the DP
 
Surelyits easy enough to drill out the remaining parts the broken nipple...re tap the thread...or helical if damaged...probably a £30 job at a small local engineering company...what's wrong with these people...
Yes it is, but the fact they first wanted the OP to shell out 1.7k for new calipers - until he confronted that they broke it - then they get it repaired at whats bussiness effective for them 30 quid or lets screw the customer for new calipers.
 
Thank you all for reading my post and answering.
 

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