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!