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Category: Shopping

My ‘Mercedes bad Experience’ has gotten worst

Since my last post on Mercedes almost a year ago, I am sorry to report that the experience with Mercedes not only didn’t improve but actually has gotten worst.

In late January 2017, we finally got the car we ordered in October 2016 and promised would be ready before Christmas 2016. Five months into the car’s young life, we noticed the car’s computer system was having some issues. At one time the car just died after we stopped at a traffic light and wouldn’t start again. Dealer informed us that a faulty switch causing the computer to shut down.  It was a safety concern and they fixed it a couple of days later while we waited at the shop.

Since December, we started noticing the car makes loud squeaking noise sometimes when we hit the brake or backing up.  It was close to the one year manufacturer recommended maintenance time, we decided to wait until after the New Year to take the car in to the dealer for service.

January 2018, called and scheduled the maintenance. We were told that for services such as maintenance, loaner car is not provided per Mercedes’ company policy. What? That’s news to us but alright we will just wait at the shop again then.

And, by the way, the manufacturer recommended maintenance service is NOT covered by Mercedes and we have to pay for it. No one mentioned that to us before we brought the car!  We are talking about just basic annual manufacturer recommended maintenance. One would think a premium luxury brand such as Mercedes should have that covered! Even the Honda Odyssey we brought provided 3 years basic service in 2003.

What about the loud squeaking noise the brake makes? Oh it happens when the weather gets cold and nothing can be done about it, according to Mercedes. What!! Really?? Our 13-year old ML-320 didn’t make that noise. Nor did the X3, Mini Copper, or the Honda. How can a not yet one year old Mercedes makes loud noise and it’s normal and nothing can be done about it. What happened to Mercedes’ high quality standards and customer experience??

We will be shopping for a new car soon and it will NOT be a Mercedes. In fact, it will NOT be a Mercedes for a long long time!!

 

My ‘Mercedes (bad) Experience’ continues

Many years ago, Mercedes Benz used to boast about ‘The Mercedes Experience’ to show customers/potential customers how good their products are and the superiority of their services. My husband and I used to joke about our ‘Mercedes Experience’ when we were owners of the 2000 ML320.

I still remember vividly the very nice salesman Roberto at the Silver Star dealer in Long Island City that sold us the car in 1999 (for the 2000 model). Our initial experience was very positive and we enjoyed driving the ML320.

As the car aged and we went to a different dealer that was closer to home, the experience changed. By year 5, we started to see issues with the car and had to visit the dealer more often than we liked. The Service Manager would say to us ‘well, it is still a car’. I guess that was their justification for why the car had to be serviced frequently. But it’s a Mercedes, NOT a Honda! See my 2007 post about the ‘Experience’.

So when we were looking for a new car in 2012, we decided to go with BMW, not Mercedes. We got the X3 in silver on a 3-year lease the way I liked it. We had never leased a car before. I loved the X3 but not the lease method. The Habberstad BMW dealer’s customer service is superior and unparalleled. They followed up with every appointments and survey after services.

A lease meant we have to shop for another car again last year. The X3 was a great car but the design has not been updated for 7 years so we wanted a different one. For reasons I can’t understand, my dear husband is also very adamant about NOT getting another BMW as a replacement. After much research and comparison, we decided to give Mercedes another try. The newly introduced 2nd year GLC300 seems like a very good crossover vehicle and perfect for our needs.

On October 10, 2016, we went to the local Mercedes dealership and ordered the 2017 GLC300. The salesman said it should take about 2 months and we would get the new car around the time our X3 lease ends on December 7. Great. Looking forward to the new car.

December 6, one day before I had to turn in the X3, I called Mercedes to confirm that they had or would soon have the car for me. I got the manager on the phone since the salesman was not in. The manager was surprised to learn that I had not gotten a call from the salesman because my new car was not ready. In fact, it hadn’t even been built yet! He said the salesman would work with me on a solution regarding the lease car that I had to turn in the next day. A loaner car could be the answer.

The next day, the sales guy called to say that I should extend the BMW lease and the new car would be ready 1st week of January. And he would call me before that to let me know the status.

Thanks to BMW’s financing group, I was able to extend the lease another month and didn’t have to go through extra steps. The lease would end on January 7, 2017.

Since we don’t live in the city, public transportation is not readily available and we rely on cars heavily. Without the X3, we are down to one car, a Mini Cooper, the ‘hockey puck’ as we call it. Not only is it inconvenient, when it snows we can’t drive the Mini.

On January 13th I called the sales guy for a status on the new car. Now I was told that the car had been made and was on a boat somewhere coming from Germany. It is expected to arrive on January 24th in Baltimore. I expressed my concern that the car had been delayed from early December to early January. And now it is changed to late January or more likely February. We need to have an alternative until the car gets here. The sales guy said to come in on Monday to discuss the car and he would speak to his manager about a loaner car.

Monday, January 16, we went to the dealership. From our discussion, it was crystal clear that the salesman had never intended to provide us a loaner car. And it was also clear that he didn’t really care about the sale since the GLC was a popular car and he would have no trouble selling it. That may explain why the guy had never initiated a call to provide update on the delays. As a customer, I had to call for an update every time!

I am once again very disappointed at the ‘Mercedes Experience’. I was hoping that things had changed since we last owned a car from them. What do we do now? The GLC300 received great reviews and seemed like a really good car. However, do I really want to go through this ‘experience’ again? I don’t even have the car yet and I am being treated like this already. Imagine what it would be like after I sign the dotted line? The Jaguar F-Pace is looking really good right now!

Day 8 in Mumbai

Today is Sunday and I don’t have to work…well almost.  I am staying at the Taj for the weekend and I planned to do some more shopping today.

Since I don’t have to go to work, my plan was to sleep until 7 or 8 in the morning and then breakfast and some fun activities.  Great plan but didn’t quite work out that way.  I was awakened at around 3 in the morning by my cell phone.  One of my colleagues was to leave NY and come join me in Mumbai on Monday.  He had trouble with his airline booking confirmation and they couldn’t find his reservation.  We went back and forth for a couple of hours.  It certainly didn’t help that the first guy behind the airline counter had no clue what he was doing.  My colleague had to get the manager after 45 minutes with no result.  At the end, my colleague had to take a later flight and a longer layover in London and will arrive in Mumbai 7-8 hours later than initially planned.

It was 6 by the time we were done and I went back to bed.  I forgot that I had a wake up call at 7 with hot tea deliver to my room.  Woke up at 7 but didn’t bother with drinking the tea and went back to bed.  I got up at 9:15 with great difficulty.  Couldn’t remember if Buffet breakfast open until 10 or 10:30 so I rushed to make sure I get there before 10.

I was planning to hangout with people from work today but since I didn’t get a call to confirm, I didn’t wait and set out on my own at 11am.  (Turned out the guy and his wife had some family emergency and didn’t call me until late afternoon).  I went to the Prince of Wales Museum.  The entry fee is 300 rupees for foreginers that includes an audio tour.  I didn’t take any pictures inside the museum but took a few outside.  The museum has very good selection of arts and historic artifacts and worth the visit.

Then I went to the Colaba Causeway market again for some shopping.  I stumbled upon an arts, crafts, and jewels store and spent many hours in there looking at so many different things.  I ended up spending quite a bit of money for some very nice looking semi precious stone jewelery and crafts.  The prices are not the cheapest but reasonable I believe.  This store usually closes on Sunday but kept it open today because there is a cruise ship docked at the bay and they expected many tourists to come.  My lucky day (or the store owners’ lucky day depending on how you look at it)!

Then, I went to McDonald’s for late lunch at 5pm.  There are many restaurants and street vendors selling foods but I am not sure how clean they are or if I may get sick so I stick to the familiar foods.  I saw McDonald’s and Subways, but have not seen Starbucks yet.  I ordered 9-piece chicken nuggets and one-scope sundae for 140 rupees, that’s less than $3 with current conversion rate of $1 to 50 rupees.

I love to bargain even thought the price on most everything is very cheap when converted to US dollar.  One vendor offers to sell me 1 pashamina or 1 large silk scarf for 500 rupees and 1 small silk scarf for 250 rupees.  I ended up getting 4 pashaminas, 1 large and 2 small silk scarfs for 1700 rupees, and I gave an extra 100 rupees for good measure.  That’s a total of $36!!  I spent at least 10 minutes trying to get him to lower the price by a few bucks then I gave him more than what we agreed to.  It’s the fun and satisfaction you get from what you want, not the money.

Now that I brought more stuff (although small in size), I have to figure out how to pack them all in my suitcase tomorrow because I am going home at last!!

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