Go Back  MBWorld.org Forums > Mercedes-Benz Sedans > C-Class (W204)
Horrible Experience at N. Cali MB Dealer >

Horrible Experience at N. Cali MB Dealer

Notices
C-Class (W204) 2008 - 2014: C180K, C200K, C230, C280, C300, C350, C200CDI, C220CDI, C320CDI

Horrible Experience at N. Cali MB Dealer

 
Old 12-05-2008, 01:57 PM
  #1  
Super Member
Thread Starter
 
Devastator187's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2008
Location: California
Posts: 556
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
2008 Sport C-300, 2003 Accord Coupe V6
Horrible Experience at N. Cali MB Dealer

Hi all,

I finally got my first oil change yesterday and boy, I had the worst experience in my life at a car dealership. If you don't mind the read, below is a letter I wrote to the dealership's president expressing my anger. Also, I want everyone I know, to not ever go here to buy or have your car serviced.

Mercedes-Benz of Pleasanton
5885 Owens Drive
Pleasanton, CA 94588


Dear Uwe,

I purchased a silver 2008 C-300 (VIN# WDDGF54X38F05XXXX) at your Mercedes-Benz of Pleasanton dealership almost 1 year ago (12-15-07). Yesterday, Thursday, 12-04-08, was the 4th time I came to your dealership's service department and could be the last. Not only was I mistreated, I felt discriminated (maybe because my car is only a C-class or I'm Asian or both, I'm not sure) as well. It was the most horrible experience I have ever had in my life at a service dealership. I dropped off my car at noon, the time it was scheduled, for just an oil change and tire pressure inspection. I was promised that a service rep will call me when it's ready around 4-5pm. By 4:40pm, I left a voice message asking when the car will be available and that I also need a shuttle back to the dealership. My message was never returned, so I had to walk from the Hacienda Plaza.

Upon arrival at 5:15pm, a service rep told me that my car is being washed and should be done in minutes. By 6:00pm, still waiting in the service/parts department after paying, I discovered that my car hasn't even started the wash. Coming from Tracy, I was given a choice of coming back the next day just for a wash (another 50 miles to and from, not to mention the time waiting and driving), or have to wait for another 10-15 minutes I chose the latter. Finally by 6:20pm, my car was released to me. A total of over 1 hour of waiting time! Of course, with only a 15-minute wash, you can imagine the sloppiness. Still finger prints on glass and bugs/tar on front bumper. Coming from a prestigious dealership, the service I had was below par and beyond unacceptable. This was the 2nd time I had to wait longer than the time quoted, but that is another story.

However, there were two staff members that were very helpful, sincere and apologetic. They offered a gift certificate for a complete detail job for my next visit. This offer was very kind and generous, but I'm not here for the freebies. My time and convenience was more important and what matter. I'm more skeptical about using the gift certificate, fearing for poor communications and horrific waiting time. Since you're an owner and President of this prominent dealership, can you please tell me how long do you think is appropriate for a client to wait just for an oil change?

A disappointed customer
Devastator187 is offline  
Old 12-05-2008, 02:31 PM
  #2  
Senior Member
 
TheDarkSide's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2008
Location: Las Vegas, NV
Posts: 280
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
C300 4MATIC (w204)
I feel your pain, but its not the most professional sounding letter. I believe that making your letter as professional as possible has a larger effect on senior management, then a letter that complains the whole time.
TheDarkSide is offline  
Old 12-05-2008, 02:34 PM
  #3  
MBWorld Fanatic!
 
C300Kid's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2008
Location: Dallas
Posts: 1,160
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
2015 Carrara White Metallic Porsche Cayman
Oh I've had worse experiences that that with BMW...

-try calling ahead weeks in advance to be CERTAIN you get a loaner, then upon arrival having to wait THREE HOURS for them to locate an enterprise rental for you...then finally giving you a kia that smells like **** and has ZERO gas in the tank...it was on E.

-try dropping it off for an oil change and state inspection, and TWO days later having them tell you that you have a bubble in your tire, and the car won't pass...frustrating, especially when you know that bubble was NOT there when you dropped the off. they had filled the tires and obviously overfilled or something.

-try bringing your car in to correct a prominent shaking, three days later picking the car up while being charged $50 for wheel balancing, then noticing on the way home that the car STILL shakes. Frustratedly bring it to a local discount tire and have them diagnose and correct the problem within 15 minutes...."sir, your wheels were severely unbalanced." I just paid $50 for the dealer to do this!! Discount tire didnt even charge me.

THEN, I emailed the dealer explaining the situation and asked for my $50 back, and never got a response.

They prob just write me off as a bratty rich kid or something..its so unacceptable.

This is all the same dealer...NEVER going back

Not to make light of the horrible way you were treated, I agree its pathetic customer service, I just thought I'd share my own horror stories. lol
C300Kid is offline  
Old 12-05-2008, 02:39 PM
  #4  
Super Member
Thread Starter
 
Devastator187's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2008
Location: California
Posts: 556
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
2008 Sport C-300, 2003 Accord Coupe V6
Originally Posted by C300Kid View Post
Oh I've had worse experiences that that with BMW...

-try calling ahead weeks in advance to be CERTAIN you get a loaner, then upon arrival having to wait THREE HOURS for them to locate an enterprise rental for you...then finally giving you a kia that smells like **** and has ZERO gas in the tank...it was on E.

-try dropping it off for an oil change and state inspection, and TWO days later having them tell you that you have a bubble in your tire, and the car won't pass...frustrating, especially when you know that bubble was NOT there when you dropped the off. they had filled the tires and obviously overfilled or something.

-try bringing your car in to correct a prominent shaking, three days later picking the car up while being charged $50 for wheel balancing, then noticing on the way home that the car STILL shakes. Frustratedly bring it to a local discount tire and have them diagnose and correct the problem within 15 minutes...."sir, your wheels were severely unbalanced." I just paid $50 for the dealer to do this!! Discount tire didnt even charge me.

THEN, I emailed the dealer explaining the situation and asked for my $50 back, and never got a response.

They prob just write me off as a bratty rich kid or something..its so unacceptable.

This is all the same dealer...NEVER going back

Not to make light of the horrible way you were treated, I agree its pathetic customer service, I just thought I'd share my own horror stories. lol
Wow, that is pretty bad. I thought luxury car dealerships should have better customer service. Honda never treat their clients this way in my opinion.
Devastator187 is offline  
Old 12-05-2008, 02:41 PM
  #5  
Super Member
Thread Starter
 
Devastator187's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2008
Location: California
Posts: 556
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
2008 Sport C-300, 2003 Accord Coupe V6
Originally Posted by TheDarkSide View Post
I feel your pain, but its not the most professional sounding letter. I believe that making your letter as professional as possible has a larger effect on senior management, then a letter that complains the whole time.
Great point, but I have no patience for professionalism at this point. They weren't professional at first, so shouldn't deserve the return.
Devastator187 is offline  
Old 12-05-2008, 02:44 PM
  #6  
MBWorld Fanatic!
 
C300Kid's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2008
Location: Dallas
Posts: 1,160
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
2015 Carrara White Metallic Porsche Cayman
Originally Posted by Devastator187 View Post
Wow, that is pretty bad. I thought luxury car dealerships should have better customer service. Honda never treat their clients this way in my opinion.
When I was in high school I had a Saab 9-3 sedan. While not really "luxury" they always treated me really well.
C300Kid is offline  
Old 12-05-2008, 02:45 PM
  #7  
Member
 
C300PO's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2008
Location: North San Diego Coastal
Posts: 110
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
C300 Sport
Originally Posted by Devastator187 View Post
Wow, that is pretty bad. I thought luxury car dealerships should have better customer service. Honda never treat their clients this way in my opinion.
Lexus either in my experience. The Japanese realize how important CS really is to a car owner. I don't know if it is a cultural thing or not but my MB SA came from Lexus and he has been frustrated by the way MB handles CS. They are pretty much told that if the techs cannot "reproduce" the problem MB Germany won't reimburse them for warranty costs.
At Lexus in my longtime experience with them, they would fix ANYTHING you said was wrong (or at least try to) no matter what. They were outstanding.

My MB SA was told by the MB Dealership that they hired him from Lexus because they need more of the "Lexus CS" to come to MB...

At least they know they are lacking. That is a start...
C300PO is offline  
Old 12-05-2008, 02:48 PM
  #8  
Super Member
Thread Starter
 
Devastator187's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2008
Location: California
Posts: 556
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
2008 Sport C-300, 2003 Accord Coupe V6
Originally Posted by C300PO View Post
Lexus either in my experience. The Japanese realize how important CS really is to a car owner. I don't know if it is a cultural thing or not but my MB SA came from Lexus and he has been frustrated by the way MB handles CS. They are pretty much told that if the techs cannot "reproduce" the problem MB Germany won't reimburse them for warranty costs.
At Lexus in my longtime experience with them, they would fix ANYTHING you said was wrong (or at least try to) no matter what. They were outstanding.

My MB SA was told by the MB Dealership that they hired him from Lexus because they need more of the "Lexus CS" to come to MB...

At least they know they are lacking. That is a start...
Now, I regret for not buying the IS-300...
Devastator187 is offline  
Old 12-05-2008, 02:52 PM
  #9  
Member
 
C300PO's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2008
Location: North San Diego Coastal
Posts: 110
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
C300 Sport
Originally Posted by Devastator187 View Post
Now, I regret for not buying the IS-300...
or try and find an MB dealership with a former Lexus SA...
C300PO is offline  
Old 12-05-2008, 02:54 PM
  #10  
MBWorld Fanatic!
 
C300Kid's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2008
Location: Dallas
Posts: 1,160
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
2015 Carrara White Metallic Porsche Cayman
Speaking of Japanese automakers...I've had friends that were treated poorly by the sales staff at Infiniti dealers. It's comical to see car salesman try to talk down to younger customers as if they can't afford the car...especially when the kid has more money than they do.

And regarding Honda...when my brother turned 16 he went shopping with my dad for an inexpensive first car. He looked at the Scion tC and Civic coupe. The Scion dealer let them take a tC out by themselves for a good hour or so...the Honda salesman said they don't allow 16 year olds test drives, and said he could ride in the passenger seat while my dad drove. Uhh?...It was a cheap economy car...what a joke. Like he'd buy a brand new car they wont allow him to drive first. We just left.

When I was a teenager Saab let me take home a brand new 9-3 for 3 hours to try it out, and the salesman taught me to drive MT. And he got my business, so it worked out for him.
C300Kid is offline  
Old 12-05-2008, 03:01 PM
  #11  
Member
 
BENZ LIFER's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2008
Location: LAGUNA
Posts: 84
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
2009 C300 SPORT 1999 CLK320
learned a long time ago to introduce myself to the Service Manager on the day I purchase the car.
Then sometime before the first 1000 mile service I take the same gentleman a bottle of quality tequila or champagne. I can tell you the small investment has reaped many benefits over the years. We are always remembered by our name and the service has been impeccable.It may seem crazy to have to bribe the Service Manager, but it has paid off ten fold. I can feel confident that I can send my wife in and not have her taken advantage of . I always call and spend a few minutes with the dealership to discuss what they found and if there are any recommendations. This way they know I am on top of the service. I also want to thank the forum. On our "A" service the Manager told my wife , it looks like you husband has done his homework.(re: door pins, tranny, a/c smell, etc.) All addressed at time of service ....with a smile.
BENZ LIFER is offline  
Old 12-05-2008, 03:01 PM
  #12  
Member
 
C300PO's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2008
Location: North San Diego Coastal
Posts: 110
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
C300 Sport
Originally Posted by C300Kid View Post
Speaking of Japanese automakers...I've had friends that were treated poorly by the sales staff at Infiniti dealers. It's comical to see car salesman try to talk down to younger customers as if they can't afford the car...especially when the kid has more money than they do.

And regarding Honda...when my little brother turned 16 he went shopping with my dad for an inexpensive first car. He looked at the Scion tC and Civic Si. The Scion dealer let them take a tC out by themselves for a good hour or so...the Honda salesman said they don't allow 16 year olds test drives, and said he could ride in the passenger seat while my dad drove. Uhh?...It was a cheap economy car...what a joke. Like he'd buy a brand new car they wont allow him to drive first. We just left.

When I was a teenager Saab let me take home a brand new 9-3 for 3 hours to try it out, and the salesman taught me to drive MT. And he got my business, so it worked out for him.
I can only speak for Lexus, but they were truly outstanding...in fact even though I KNEW the C300 Sport was a better all around car and a better "bargain" for the price then the IS 250, I was STILL considering the Lexus (and don't get me wrong, the IS was a nice car to be sure. just not as nice as the C300 especially for the price) because of the outstanding CS I had experienced in the 15 years (and four cars) with them.
That is how much good CS means to buyers...

Last edited by C300PO; 12-05-2008 at 03:03 PM.
C300PO is offline  
Old 12-05-2008, 03:05 PM
  #13  
MBWorld Fanatic!
 
C300Kid's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2008
Location: Dallas
Posts: 1,160
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
2015 Carrara White Metallic Porsche Cayman
I've never really considered a Lexus, or had much experience with their CS, but I don't doubt you.

Obviously there's a reason behind Toyota's success.
C300Kid is offline  
Old 12-05-2008, 03:07 PM
  #14  
MBWorld Fanatic!
 
Azn_C300's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2008
Location: Chino Hills, CA
Posts: 3,808
Likes: 0
Received 1 Like on 1 Post
Mercedes C300 Sport, BMW 745Li, VW Mk6 Golf TDI
Lexus really is the gold standard from my experience regarding CS. They will bend over backwards to ensure the customer gets the most painless experience they can get. MB isn't like bad bad, but it's sadly the same as every other run in the mill car dealership.
Azn_C300 is offline  
Old 12-05-2008, 03:14 PM
  #15  
Member
 
C300PO's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2008
Location: North San Diego Coastal
Posts: 110
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
C300 Sport
Originally Posted by Azn_C300 View Post
Lexus really is the gold standard from my experience regarding CS. They will bend over backwards to ensure the customer gets the most painless experience they can get. MB isn't like bad bad, but it's sadly the same as every other run in the mill car dealership.
Agreed. My MB SA (the guy from Lexus) has been very frustrated by the way MB does things in the CS area.
When I brought my car in because of the tranny lag he had to fight with the service Team Leader that said they didn't think the "lag" was out fo the ordinary. He then talked with a 2nd Team Leader who agreed to "reflash" the software because he saw the service bulletin. Not many MB SA's would go around their team leader to another one to get something done...it took a former "Lexus" guy to do that
C300PO is offline  
Old 12-05-2008, 03:25 PM
  #16  
MBWorld Fanatic!
 
Diesel Benz's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2006
Location: Europe
Posts: 5,247
Received 32 Likes on 31 Posts
222.132 & 221.122 & 213.050 & 906.633
If I read correctly, the problem was with washing the car (the time it took and how well it was washed) and the call asking when the car was done was not answered?

I can tell you that a car is never late because of a car wash at my place. That is because washing the car is no part of the car service (if you read WIS, it isn't). This leaves the call not handled properly.

Of course they should do what is considered appropriate locally and the service then was not good at all but I don't see how your story shows this was because of you "only" having a C-class or because you are of Asian origin? For me this would have been good service.
Diesel Benz is offline  
Old 12-05-2008, 04:59 PM
  #17  
Super Member
Thread Starter
 
Devastator187's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2008
Location: California
Posts: 556
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
2008 Sport C-300, 2003 Accord Coupe V6
Originally Posted by Diesel Benz View Post
If I read correctly, the problem was with washing the car (the time it took and how well it was washed) and the call asking when the car was done was not answered?

I can tell you that a car is never late because of a car wash at my place. That is because washing the car is no part of the car service (if you read WIS, it isn't). This leaves the call not handled properly.

Of course they should do what is considered appropriate locally and the service then was not good at all but I don't see how your story shows this was because of you "only" having a C-class or because you are of Asian origin? For me this would have been good service.
Also the fact someone actually told me that it's being washed, when it really wasn't....so that's a lie. The reasone I'm saying it might be a C or I'm Asian is because these Caucasion folks with CLS or S class didn't have to wait like how I did during my whole time there observing.
Devastator187 is offline  
Old 12-05-2008, 05:47 PM
  #18  
Super Member
 
Join Date: Aug 2007
Location: Bellevue, WA
Posts: 632
Received 4 Likes on 3 Posts
2019 RR Sport - I Will Be Back
i think its car discrimination.... i went in to get something quick at the end of the day and was turned away to make an appointment... when they were making the appointment they saw i have a 07 cls under my name as well and said well lets just get in in really fast and did the work on the spot. to me thats BAD customer service. I think its fair to treat better customers better but when you can treat everyone the same do it, and i think they just didnt feel like making the effort until they saw customer loyalty and an actually expensive car in the records.
hutch300 is offline  
Old 12-05-2008, 06:00 PM
  #19  
Member
 
C300PO's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2008
Location: North San Diego Coastal
Posts: 110
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
C300 Sport
Originally Posted by hutch300 View Post
i think its car discrimination.... i went in to get something quick at the end of the day and was turned away to make an appointment... when they were making the appointment they saw i have a 07 cls under my name as well and said well lets just get in in really fast and did the work on the spot. to me thats BAD customer service. I think its fair to treat better customers better but when you can treat everyone the same do it, and i think they just didnt feel like making the effort until they saw customer loyalty and an actually expensive car in the records.
Good point. I'll make one more point about Lexus (before you all start telling me to go to a Lexus Forum)...
It didn't matter if you had a base ES300/350 or a TOL loaded LS460 they treated you the same. The CS Manager told me that every customer no matter which model you own (and whether you bought it from them or another dealer or even another customer, new or used) is treated the same because when you buy the car (any Lexus model) you are buying into the Lexus "commitment to total customer satisfaction"...
He was right! I have found their CS unparalleled in the industry (or any other industry for that matter)...it REALLY matters to them...
C300PO is offline  
Old 12-05-2008, 06:13 PM
  #20  
MBWorld Fanatic!
 
Join Date: Sep 2007
Location: Southeast
Posts: 1,484
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
2008 C300 Sport, RWD, US
What's ironic is the C300 owner of today is the higher end MB owner of tomorrow. Seems that they'd be taking extra care of those to keep them.
JimPap is offline  
Old 12-05-2008, 06:18 PM
  #21  
Member
 
C300PO's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2008
Location: North San Diego Coastal
Posts: 110
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
C300 Sport
Originally Posted by JimPap View Post
What's ironic is the C300 owner of today is the higher end MB owner of tomorrow. Seems that they'd be taking extra care of those to keep them.
That is actually the feeling I get from my dealer. They are VERY aware that MB is pretty much staking their reputation on this new C-Class. There are and will be elements of this design and the technology used in the C-Class on every new Mercedes model. In a sense this is the companies most important model right now (the C Class since it's inception has always been BY FAR MB's best selling model as most entry level priced cars are in the luxury/near luxury segment but THIS new C-Class was developed to have MB regain it's stature as the world leader in automotive design, technology, build and reliability).
At least the dealer I bought mine from seems to understand the importance of the new C-Class customer...

Last edited by C300PO; 12-05-2008 at 06:22 PM.
C300PO is offline  
Old 12-05-2008, 07:37 PM
  #22  
Super Member
Thread Starter
 
Devastator187's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2008
Location: California
Posts: 556
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
2008 Sport C-300, 2003 Accord Coupe V6
Originally Posted by C300PO View Post
Good point. I'll make one more point about Lexus (before you all start telling me to go to a Lexus Forum)...
It didn't matter if you had a base ES300/350 or a TOL loaded LS460 they treated you the same. The CS Manager told me that every customer no matter which model you own (and whether you bought it from them or another dealer or even another customer, new or used) is treated the same because when you buy the car (any Lexus model) you are buying into the Lexus "commitment to total customer satisfaction"...
He was right! I have found their CS unparalleled in the industry (or any other industry for that matter)...it REALLY matters to them...
You really sold your story. I feel like trading in my C for an IS right now...LOL
Devastator187 is offline  
Old 12-05-2008, 08:11 PM
  #23  
Member
 
C300PO's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2008
Location: North San Diego Coastal
Posts: 110
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
C300 Sport
Originally Posted by Devastator187 View Post
You really sold your story. I feel like trading in my C for an IS right now...LOL
LOL
Well, the service is certainly as someone put it "the gold standard" but IMO the C-Class is a better car than the IS.
C300PO is offline  
Old 12-05-2008, 11:27 PM
  #24  
Member
 
drevil2k2's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2008
Location: GTA North
Posts: 150
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
2011 BMW 335xi titanium silver.
Based on the hierarchy of the MB cars, be thankful you don't drive a B class then (no offense).

With Audi, I only had an A4, which is perhaps analogous to the W204, and always had good service at the dealership. However, I knew which service rep to go to and in the end, I thanked him with a small envelop.

Hopefully, these are dealership specific so we can avoid them. If the service is consistently good, then I will consider buying cars from MB in the future.
drevil2k2 is offline  
Old 12-06-2008, 01:15 AM
  #25  
MBWorld Fanatic!
 
Dema's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2002
Location: California
Posts: 2,677
Likes: 0
Received 2 Likes on 2 Posts
i535
Service it at Oakland. It is small dealership, but I alwasy got a good service. If you like something bigger, then you can check autobahn motors at Belmont. They give outstanding service. Thanks for headup for Pleasanton, I was going there tomorrow to see if any good deal, but it looks I should avoid the dealer.

If you think that you got bad service becasue you are Asian, then you should certainly go to Belmont. All SA are Asian there, and owners of high end models are Asain too, for example CEO of Nvidia.

Last edited by Dema; 12-06-2008 at 01:20 AM.
Dema is offline  

Thread Tools
Search this Thread
Rate This Thread
Rate This Thread:
You have already rated this thread Rating: Thread Rating: 0 votes,  average.

Quick Reply: Horrible Experience at N. Cali MB Dealer


Contact Us - About Us - Archive - Advertising - Cookie Policy - Privacy Statement - Terms of Service

© 2019 MH Sub I, LLC dba Internet Brands

We are a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for us to earn fees by linking to Amazon.com and affiliated sites.
 
  • Ask a Question
    Get answers from community experts
Question Title:
Description:
Your question will be posted in: