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Mugged at MB dealer

Discussion in 'General Mercedes-Benz Related Discussion' started by Mikeinho, Nov 7, 2010.

  1. Mikeinho

    Mikeinho New Member

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    Hi folks! I'm looking for help finding a good indie merc specialist in the Glasgow area. If anyone can help with details and recommendations, I would be very appreciative.

    It would appear from looking through previous threads on the forum that many of you would be able to guess immediately why I'm looking to go indie as opposed to dealer for servicing in future... yip, because my local dealer is an out-and-out crook.

    Took my 2 year-old 14K miles E320 CDi Sport for the recommended 'B' service. All I got for a whopping £357 was an oil change. I like to think I'm a pretty smart consumer, but on this occasion, they really saw me coming!!

    My suspicions were raised when they called my mobile 5 mins before the workshop was due to close stating that the tyres were "very low" on tread, and that there were "issues" with the brake discs and would need refurbished or replaced, then asked did I want the work to be carried out? Hmmm…

    I look after a fleet of 8 cars in my family, and keep a regular eye on these sorts of things, so imagine my surprise when my immaculate Merc needed new tyres and brake discs? I honestly thought that they had somehow mixed up my car for someone else’s, so I asked them to leave the suggested work until I had had a look for myself.

    I returned to collect the car the following day and asked them to bring it round so that I could inspect the tyres and brakes (pre suggested work). While I was outside checking it over, I asked the customer service assistant to present a copy of the service report for review. Meanwhile inside, another member of staff hornswoggled my wife into paying for the service.

    The tyres and brakes were all in good condition, so I went back inside to look at the service report. The report showed that none of the tyre treads were under 4mm (with some as much as 6mm), and that the brake discs showed 'signs of pitting'.

    I put it to them that the tyres had plenty of life left in them, and that the discs would clean up the next time I held the brakes on down a long straight hill. They had no reply to this, so I asked to speak to the technician... who I was told was on holiday. So, I asked to speak to the customer service assistant who called me the previous evening to discuss these 'issues'... who was also strangely not working on a Friday.

    As I looked through the rest of the service report, I noticed that they had not carried out any of the listed ESS 'B' service work, other than an oil change and filter. No fuel filter, no combi filter, no air filter, no brake fluid change, etc. Actually, I tell a lie... they topped up the windscreen washer bottle and replaced the battery in the key fob, but managed to break the attached keyring in the process.

    I was somewhat baffled at that point, so I asked them to explain why they missed the all the other serviceable work, to which they replied that these were 'additional' elements of the service. Seriously?

    Then came the hilarious moment where I told them that I refused to pay £357 for 8 litres of oil, an oil filter, half a bottle of washer fluid, and a watch battery... only to feel the hand of my wife on my arm and a wincing smile on her beautiful little face as she whispered, "I've paid it already... I thought it would save us some time". Bless her, she meant well.

    In my naivety, I spent the next half hour arguing with the 'brick wall' that is the servicing manager. It dawned on me soon enough that he was way more than used to having this conversation with customers, and I suspected that he was being blatantly smug whilst toying with the latest fly to end up in his beautifully engineered web of deceit.

    Clearly, the two main issues I had with their service (or lack of therein) were that a) standard serviceable parts came at an extra, and b) many hundreds of pounds worth of unnecessary work were being suggested by a ‘qualified’ technician.

    In reply to my line of questioning that they had not been forthcoming with this information when I booked the car in for its service, he said that I had "not asked what was included in the service", and that, "the details of the service are available upon request". Virtually every other point I put to him was met with, "well... that's your opinion, and your perfectly entitled to that"... the mating call of the smarmy bas**** !!!

    Then an event from a previous visit to the dealer clicked in to place. I recalled a seemingly well-to-do gent sat next to me going from calm/assertive to ballistic/mental within a few minutes. I remember him shouting across a desk at this same servicing manager, stating in no uncertain terms that he had specifically NOT authorised any work done, and was demanding everything be put back on his car as he was taking it to another garage, and that he wouldn't be giving them a penny... to which the manager suggested they wouldn't give him the keys until he paid... to which the irate customer stood up, reached for his mobile and demanded the return of his car before he called the police.

    In Glasgow, professional negotiations and physical violence aren't mutually exclusive, and I did notice an increased number of mechanics enter the showroom at that point, so it's anyone’s guess how that ended. Perhaps the police were called, but not necessarily after the report of vehicle theft.

    Anyway, I've learned my lesson, and can assure you that I will never have my merc serviced at ANY main dealer in future, hence my original question: does anyone know of a GOOD indie merc specialist near Glasgow?
     
  2. 47p2

    47p2 Senior Member

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    Glasgow does have a reputation to live up to, so being mugged by the said company is par on of the joys of MB ownership

    There are a number of indies in the area, but may I suggest that if you can hang off for a month or so there will be one opening shortly in the Hillington area. The owner has over 30 years experience and his assistant 35 years experience working on these cars.
     
  3. Pontoneer

    Pontoneer Banned

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    The staff at MB Glasgow must enjoy excellent holiday allowances ! I remember Steve (ST4) telling us that the member of staff who worked on his car was also on holiday when he had occasion to make a complaint ( see his thread - Dealer swapped my wheels or something ) .

    Yes , there are other places to take your car .

    There is an authorised service centre , Glen Henderson , in Ayr who charges lower rates than the official dealers but still maintains full warranty cover , Mobilo etc and can do warranty work on your car if required . I buy parts from them , but friends have used them for servicing and are very happy with work done . They were formerly main dealers but lost the agency in the reshuffle a few years back , after which MB Ayr opened round the corner .

    In addition to the one mentioned in the post above ,

    'Indies' include Merparts in Ashgrove Lane , Port Glasgow - the staff there are ex MB and Paul Mazzoni is technical advisor to the MBOC . As I do most of my own work , again I have only bought parts from them , but have heard good reports from others .

    HK Autotec in Ardrossan similarly enjoy a good reputation .

    I have heard of a place in Govan , another in Carluke and one in Clydebank but have not visited any of these ones myself .
     
  4. television

    television Always remembered RIP

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    Not good is it,, and again the owner being told that he needs new disc way before, and tyres as well, are things getting worse
     
  5. teddycatkin

    teddycatkin Senior Member

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    I do hope the person doing the MA degree reads all this and takes note---!
    as I have said before many times the B service is only an oil and filtre change and check over everything else---(a do it youself for £50 ish)
     
  6. Developer

    Developer Senior Member

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    Sorry to hear about your experience.

    With regard to the service items and extras, I always visited the dealer/service manager with my service book and got a computer printout of entire scope/cost of the service before booking. It took more time and meant a double visit but it gave me the clarity I needed come service day.

    I must say their quotes eventually pushed me towards the indie guys (though my car is now older and out of warranty).

    I know this is cold comfort for you but might help others from getting caught in a similar position.
     
  7. bobceeuk

    bobceeuk Guest

    Precisely the words spoken to me by Gordon at S.M.A.R.T. Merc at Woolhampton when I first enquired about the cost of a B service.
     
  8. robertjrt

    robertjrt Senior Member

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    This is an appaling situation. Why should you have too clarify what a numbered service consist off and NO work should be carried out without notice and explanation to the customer;

    If it looks like a duck; walks like a duck, swims like a duck the odds are it's a Mercedes-Benz authorised dealer taking the duck:shock:

    I would argue that .... no... I better not...:(:(
     
  9. Developer

    Developer Senior Member

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    Alas what should be and what is are regularly two different things - ask Mikeinho.
     
  10. Marco Polo

    Marco Polo Senior Member

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    From what I've seen in other threads, Robert doesn't need to ask anyone. His first hand experience is second to none.
     
  11. robertjrt

    robertjrt Senior Member

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    As you are all aware, I know that; what should be and what is.

    We are not reading about a "back street used car lot" but, Mercedes-Benz,
    a multi-national, billions of euros turn over, world leading motor/truck/bus world wide manufacturer who made the first "motor carrage".


    Reading Mikeinho post and other recent similar posts from different parts of the country it would seem that, perhaps, there is a Corporate policy at work here as I cannot imagine that Head Office are not aware of these complaints.

    I would remind you that my "welcoming" letter to the new MD of MB produced a solicitors letter informing me of an application for a General Restraint Order, which to my way of thinking does not bode well for the future.
     
  12. Developer

    Developer Senior Member

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    Yes, I'm sure, but the purpose of the forum is to share views and experiences and as you will recall, the OP was Mikenho, to whom my reply was directed.

    Robert is right when he says we shouldn't need to, but in practice - we do.
     
  13. Pontoneer

    Pontoneer Banned

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    To be fair , most of my dealings with MB Glasgow have been with the parts department ( I do most of my own work on my cars ) and I have found the guys in there to be friendly , helpful and efficient with no cause for complaint whatsoever .

    My only dealing with the service dept was in obtaining a service history for my 300TE-24 , which had originally been supplied by them to its one previous owner and maintained by them until about a month before I bought it . I did have to go back for it ( I suspect they were checking with the original owner that he did not mind them supplying this information - but it was he who directed me there after I contacted him ) , nevertheless , it was printed out over many A4 pages listing everything that had been done to the car from the PDI until it was put out to auction at about 16 years old . All this was done with a smile and at no cost to myself .
     
  14. The Pan Man

    The Pan Man Senior Member

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    MIKEINHO, I would without delay ring Milton Keynes speak to a service director or similar explaining that you will be writing to him and send a strongly worded letter "To be signed for" enclose all your contact details and put a date when you expect a response by and stronly suggest that you are going to speak to your solicitor in the meantime with a view to a building a fraud case. I was mugged simarly by my local on Two occasions firstly like you naieve second time in an emergency and much wiser by then got a full refund and an apology, but I have never been back that was almost 4 years ago.
     
  15. jasonyw

    jasonyw Banned

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    Move out of Glasgow to be somewhere sensible.

    Reg Vardy is more interested in your money than providing a service.:rolleyes:
     
  16. Thincat

    Thincat Senior Member

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    I think the OP got off lightly. If they had done the "advisory" work the cost would have been more than double what he paid. I took my SLK320 into Exeter for an A service and was charged over £700 - most of it advisory work. And as the guy said to me "I don't like to say this but if you don't get the advisory work done we don't stamp your book".
     
  17. Dave Brooker

    Dave Brooker Senior Member

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    The moral of the story is to ask *first* what a service is going to cost and what exactly is included, it's too late arguing afterwards, they'll only keep hold of the car until the bill is paid.
     
  18. 47p2

    47p2 Senior Member

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    You need to get your facts right before slating companies. Vardy sold MB Glasgow to Pendragon a few years ago and has nothing to do with them now
     
  19. Parrot of Doom

    Parrot of Doom Senior Member

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    I hope your wife paid on her credit card, because I'd be calling the credit card company to dispute the transaction. You were clearly ripped off.
     
  20. Rory

    Rory Senior Member

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    Go back a few years and a B service was typically £450.

    To be honest, OK, the servicing regime is a bit of a complicated mish-mash of time and mileage releated items, but is it any different from, say, Audi & BMW?

    I really don't get why people would buy a "prestige" car and not make some enquiries about the servicing regime & costs.

    Mercedes runs a monthly payment scheme which, for the E Class, costs £30/mth for 3 services over 3 years. So your £357 is spot on.
     

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