Poor competitor experience

Discussion in 'MB Defectors to Other Marques Forum' started by spinaltap, Feb 5, 2020.

  1. spinaltap

    spinaltap Active Member

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    I’ve owned my W169 for 8 years. I don’t like the current A-Class, so decided to go car window shopping elsewhere.

    I chose to visit my local Audi and then BMW dealership to check out the A1 and i3. My experience at both dealerships was identical: first, neither model was available to view in the showroom. Second, there was a used example of both models outside, but both dealerships had great difficulty in locating the keys.

    I wasn’t impressed.

    Next. Audi doesn’t do printed brochures for any model. Neither to do they provide online brochures. Your only option is to configure a model online - but this still doesn’t provide the kind of detail that I require for dropping £30k on a new car.
     
  2. saff

    saff MB Enthusiast

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    That's poor. I've never bought a car from an MB dealer but do they fare any better?
     
  3. Bobby Dazzler

    Bobby Dazzler MB Club Veteran

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    I suspect the experience is more to do with the specific dealer than the manufacturer brand.

    Unfortunately my experience of buying cars is that too many sales people in most “posh” main dealerships aren’t interested in selling cars, they wait for someone to buy it inspite of the obstacles they create.

    My experience is that with the exception of proper top-end dealerships, the cheaper the value of the average car sold by the dealership then the better the service tends to be, ie actually wanting to engage with customers.

    Usually if a salesperson speaks to me then I end up buying a car. For someone so into cars I have become a very transactional buyer, and typically it’s with minimal interaction, sometimes without even speaking to someone.
     
  4. whitenemesis

    whitenemesis MB Club Veteran

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    My experience with Lexus Swindon was first class. Always returned calls, emails answered within the hour. Nothing seemed too much for them.
    From dealer principal to receptionist, all had time to chat and I never feel rushed.
    Obviously Lexus has a much smaller customer base but there's definitely a zen like atmosphere in the showroom.....
     
  5. John

    John Hardcore MB Enthusiast

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    It's probably complacency for a lot of dealerships and sales people.

    They may well assume their brand is "lifestyle" and sells itself to people with more money than sense or those who purely don't care and just buy anything as it's "only a car".

    I found Lexus to be incredibly helpful and tried really hard in many aspects but their customer base is a lot smaller as said so in some ways they do have to try harder.

    But also, they aren't so busy either not that the sales people I've seen in most MB showrooms appear very busy.
     
  6. Doodle

    Doodle MB Enthusiast

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    Dealing with VW salespeople has always been a waste of time IME. For example when looking for a 3door GTI last year:

    I want make sure I can fit comfortably and get in and out.
    Dealer 1 - Certainly sir, have a seat in this 5 door base model, with its not at all similar seats and B-pillar in a completely different place.
    Dealer 2 - No, we don't have one in stock that you could sit in. End of conversation

    Test drive.
    Dealer 2 - I'm afraid not sir, we sold our demo allocation as soon as it came in.
    Dealer 3 - We might be able to get one for you to test drive once you've placed your order.

    Sorry, I must have made a mistake and wandered into the Ferrari dealership by accident, I didn't realise. o_O
     
  7. knighterrant

    knighterrant MB Enthusiast

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    I’ll confess that my most recent new car purchase was from MB eight years ago, so hardly an example of current practice. I found the whole experience a delight, with the salesman dealing with me being attentive and very helpful throughout. Not only was I able to have a good look over a similar C-Class in the showroom, I was even able to take diesel and petrol versions in the engine size I was considering each for 24 hour test drives to compare them fully. Bearing in mind I was looking at less popular models, that was a considerable achievement. Even when it came down to decisions on colours they were able to show me real examples on real cars, outside in natural lighting. Nothing was too much trouble, including price negotiations. That’s why I spent over £40k with them, and still have all the services carried out there.
     
  8. CaptainChaos

    CaptainChaos Active Member

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    Lexus are meant to be great, but I've never had the pleasure. Would love an LC V8 though!

    In my experience the last two cars I've bought have been over the phone/email so never met the salesman or visited the showroom. I like to do my own research, browse the forums and play with the online configurators. Having said that my wife's car came from a Suzuki dealership in Leeds and they were absolutely fantastic from start to finish, so it can be done!
     
  9. bob6600

    bob6600 MB Enthusiast

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  10. theworkerb

    theworkerb Active Member

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    I bought my current E63 from Mercedes Benz Exeter which is the first time I have used a main dealer. It was an approved used car and they were absolutely brilliant to deal with. Wouldn't hesitate to purchase a car from them again
     
  11. OP
    OP
    spinaltap

    spinaltap Active Member

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    bob6600 likes this.
  12. SPX

    SPX MB Club Veteran

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    What once were “premium” marques like Mercedes with tailored customer service and sales are now little other than volume sellers and it shows - if you find attentive sales folk it tends to be the exception rather than the norm sadly.
     
  13. Smart320

    Smart320 MB Enthusiast

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    I bought my 2012 SLK 55 from them last year as an approved used AMG and I must say other than a bit of a c*ck up over the service and MOT before collection and the wrong name on the V5 they were actually very good to deal with. Despite the problems I would happily deal with them again as they were very proactive in sorting out the the issues and the car near perfect.
     
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  14. Bobby Dazzler

    Bobby Dazzler MB Club Veteran

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    The thing I really don’t like in some “posh” shops and car showrooms is the tendency for too many sales people to come across as if they’re better than their customer in some way, which usually ends up in them not serving a customer when they don’t actually appear to be busy - just talking to each other.

    I understand that they need to choose with whom they need to spend their time at busy periods, and this may have to be a judgement based upon most likely sale, however I’m fairly sure that talking to the person who walked into the shop or showroom is more likely to lead to sale than talking to their colleagues.

    Quite why this is I have no idea, as I’ve never seen it not-posh shops and showrooms. Luckily I don’t give a monkey whether someone looks down their nose at me, but it can really intimidate some people, and ends up in them losing business.

    Rant over!
     
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  15. DrFeelgood

    DrFeelgood MB Enthusiast

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    I think that they are more likely sussing out who will buy on finance.

    I've never used dealer finance but also never struggled to attract attention in a car showroom.
     
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  16. OP
    OP
    spinaltap

    spinaltap Active Member

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    When my initial Mercedes Agility agreement ended, I had about £2k equity on the car. I chose to buy it outright.

    My previous VW, by comparison, didn’t even achieve the Guaranteed Future Minimum Value at the end its PCP. I handed the car back and went with Mercedes.

    This week, I asked the Audi rep to indicate how good the equity was likely to be at the end of any PCP agreement with Audi. I was alarmed to be informed that there would be no remaining equity at the end of any PCP with them.
     
  17. DrFeelgood

    DrFeelgood MB Enthusiast

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    What were you expecting them to say?

    'Yeah mate, you'll have loads of equity and if anybody says otherwise send them to me, Darren at Audi, sniff, cheers'.
     
  18. SPX

    SPX MB Club Veteran

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    Insert pun :D
     
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  19. SPX

    SPX MB Club Veteran

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    From a business perspective it annoys me because they’re effectively refusing money!

    If anyone of my salesmen had that attitude they’d be down the road sharpish!
     
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  20. John

    John Hardcore MB Enthusiast

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    I can remember going to a VW dealer in Amersham and standing in there looking at the 2005 onwards shape Passat for 20 minutes.

    I planned to buy quite a high model with a few options which I'd already researched.

    I looked around to see who I could engage with and there were sales people milling around but they "hadn't seen me".

    So I walked out and spent a bit more money (£30k) on a 3 year old 2001 Alpina B10 V8 instead.

    Much better choice! :D

    Yeah exactly.

    If you don't my cash, fine by me.

    Surprising they turn sales down in this climate.
     
    Bobby Dazzler likes this.

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