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Woe betide you if you need an S550 windshield!

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Woe betide you if you need an S550 windshield!

 
Old 02-07-2019, 11:51 AM
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Angry Woe betide you if you need an S550 windshield!

I had a rock crack my 2015 S550 windshield last Nov, a couple weeks before Thanksgiving. Naturally it was near the bottom edge of the driver's side and based on past experience was unrepairable and had already formed a crack that was much longer than a dollar bill. So I figured I better get it replaced. I've used Safelite in the past so I booked an appt at the one I've always used in Bellevue WA. A day later or so I got a call from the main Safelite call center saying they couldn't get the glass that quickly (even the aftermarket) so they needed to push out the appt. That was fine so I told them to do so and just as the guy was going to hang up he said "great, we have you all set for an appt in Seattle on 6th.". I'm going no, no, no. Bellevue is a good distance from Seattle and going to the downtown area is hardly convenient. So he said he'd cancel the Seattle one and put it back in Bellevue. Herein begins the nightmare.

So I show up on the appointed day at 8AM and they look at me like I'm crazy. No appointment. No glass to use even if I had an appointment. So I talked with the manager for a few mins, he checked out the car and I decided to get the OEM glass rather than aftermarket (OK, I like the signature on the passenger side ;-) ). As I was going out of town on vacation and business trips for most of the rest of the year, I booked a new appointment with him for January 21, 2019 (3+ months later), figuring they should have no problem being ready by then. I got back right before Xmas and figured business might be slow so maybe I could get an appointment sooner and be done with it. With time and cold weather, the crack was well over a foot long now and very annoying. So I call Safelite. Of course they make it impossible to just all the store you are using but have to go thru the main call center. They looked up my account and said the glass was on "national backorder". WTF??!??!?? Nearly two months later and it was still not available? I called my local MB dealer (Bellevue) and their parts dept said that the glass was in short supply but they could get it in 5 biz days. I call Safelite back and tell them what I'd been told. They say they use MB of Seattle to get their glass (I'm thinking both dealers should be able to get glass at the same speed) and that their parts dept will look into it and call me back that day or the next. Never heard from Safelite again after that, parts dept or otherwise.

So I patiently wait for Jan 21 and even get a reminder email the day before that I have an appointment. I'm sick from a trip to Asia but drag myself out of bed for my 8AM appt in Bellevue. I arrive and at first all seems good. They know I have an appointment which is a nice start. I ask if they know they are putting in OEM glass. The guy looks at his work order and sure enough it says OEM on it. 2 for 2!! So he says take a seat, it will take a couple hrs to do the work. I sit down and he goes in the garage. He comes back 2 mins later and says they don't have the glass still and doesn't know why. My head is about to explode at this point. I ask him "do you realize this appointment has been booked for over 3 months and I even got a reminder to come in today?" He dopily says he doesn't know that (does he think this helps?!?!!??) and says he has to wait for the parts warehouse to open in a few mins to get the status. He does that and says "it's on backorder". Now seriously, I have a dealer telling me 5 biz days and 3 months have gone by and they STILL don't have the glass?!??!?!? This isn't a custom car right? It's an S550 with the Distronic system but the glass isn't THAT rare is it? And why is Safelite SO incompetent that they send me a reminder email for the appointment when they have to know they don't have the glass for the repair?!?!??

So he starts to tell me they will call me when they get the glass and I just grab my key and biz card for the manager from the counter and tell them to cancel the f'ing appt. I will just go to the dealer or someone else. It's not their fault if the glass is hard to get but screwing me twice on my appointment is more than I am willing to tolerate for anything. I send email to the "manager" that same day and he responds saying he hasn't been the manager there since May 2018. And yet they have a stack of his cards on the counter saying "Manager" on them. While Safelite isn't totally to blame in this situation, they really have gone downhill in my estimation and don't seem to give a crap about their customers. Why not call me and just say the glass isn't available yet and reschedule me? Why drag me out of bed (when I'm sick no less) to waste my time? Especially after waiting 3 months? I also emailed the Safelite main corporate offices with my story and have year to hear anything back from them, even an empty apology for my experience.

So I set up an appt with MB of Bellevue to replace the glass. I put in the notes to make sure they have the glass before I come in as I will go postal if I get screwed again by anyone over this stupid windshield. They call me and say I have to work with some 3rd party glass repair guy they farm it out to to even order the glass if it is an insurance claim. Seriously? I have to do all the work here MB? So i call him and of course he has a message saying he's sick and slow to respond. Over a week later I hear from him and he says the glass is actually on backorder and best estimate from MB is Q1 of this year to get it. WTF is going on that MB doesn't have enough windshields available for repairs on a car that is at most 4 yrs old?!??!?! I have to wait for 5-6 months for a windshield? Even my Boxster glass was available in a couple days when it got cracked. He tells me to call my insurance and have the claim switched to him. That in and of itself is a bit of a runaround but when I talk to them they say "oh, Safelite handles that for us, let me transfer you to them." I yell "Nooooooooooooooooo!!!!! There's no way I'm dealing with those incompetent *****". So they assign an adjuster and eventually I find out I just go out of pocket for the repair and they reimburse me after if I want to go to someone other than Safelite.

So now I wait hoping that Q1 is a reasonable estimate. The repair guy said he had an order since 11/25 still pending. Who at MB is responsible for this clusterf*ck??!?! It's not like windshields don't need replacement, right? How hard is it to plan for this and why does it take MONTHS to get the supply where it should be?

Moral to the story (actually 2): 1) Drive carefully and don't get your windshield cracked unless you like driving with the bifocal experience for months and 2) avoid Safelite like the plague as they treat their customers like crap, don't bother to notify you when they aren't ready, don't call you back, …

Anyone else waiting in perpetual windshield replacement backorder hell? I can't be the only one.
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Old 02-07-2019, 02:40 PM
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Sorry to hear of your dilema. I often wonder how such huge corporations with thousands of highly paid employees and decades of experience can mismanage spare parts so badly.
I was in the nursery/farming business for over 40 years and was amused every Spring when some of the largest plastic container manufacturers on the planet were always back ordered on nursery containers always using the excuse the demand was so high. These were the same folks who ran discount sales on these same containers every Fall because sales were slow. Hey fellas.....this is a non perishable product. Produce excess during slow sales so you have enough for high demand sales coming up every year in 4 months!
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Old 02-07-2019, 02:56 PM
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I have had great experiences with safe lite. Replaced my 2007 s600, 2015 gl450, and 2015 sienna windshield and all were great. They schedule time and date and showed up to my home with the windshield and took care of everything.
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Old 02-07-2019, 04:05 PM
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Man, you really got hosed. I can feel your pain. Please keep us updated on this saga
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Old 02-07-2019, 04:55 PM
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Venom,

Up until now my experience with Safelite has also been good. Used them many times over the last 20 yrs and all has been smooth and easy, both in-shop and out. I suspect your and my experiences were fine because the glass we needed was readily available. And as I said not their fault that MB are total dolts for not being able to supply parts for their premium products.

But to screw me twice on appointments as they did (and even sending me a reminder to show up for an appointment they had to know they couldn't deliver on and from the "manager" that hadn't been there for 8 months) is just inexcusable in my book. How would their system not know they had no glass in stock and send me a notice to come in anyway? This can't be the first time they didn't have glass for a car.
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Old 02-07-2019, 04:57 PM
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Utopia, such a great comparison. And so true. Amazing how I buy a premium car and the repair process is so broken and I am asked by everyone involved to do their work for them.
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Old 02-07-2019, 05:06 PM
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Mine cracked a few months ago when a M4 passed me and picked up a rock. I want to say my dealer replaced it within 5 days. Went through the insurance, paid my deductible and they took care of the rest. I will say this however, install and finished product were fine. I do however notice a very small "heat wave look" within the glass in the bottom right hand corner (infront of front seat passenger) at times. Its not a terrible bother as it is not infront of me. With that said, the total cost of doing this thing is just madness.
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Old 02-07-2019, 05:23 PM
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i had to have mine replaced as well because of a rock that a truck kicked up. it took a month to get the oem windshield from mb-germany. state farm insisted i go with genuine mb windshield and not anyone else (i.e., safelite). good by me! the glass arrived, it was installed at the dealer, then the dealer had to ‘reprogram’ the windshield given all the cameras and such. i was responsible $500 as my deductible; state farm paid the rest: ~$3,000+/- including the reprogramming and the new pennsylvania inspection and emission window stickers.
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Old 02-07-2019, 06:12 PM
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I understand your frustration but I certainly would not expect safelite to sit on a few $K windshield for months on end, however they did drop the ball a number of other times with you.

I hope you get your replacement expeditiously.
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Old 02-07-2019, 06:33 PM
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Originally Posted by sixstring09 View Post
I understand your frustration but I certainly would not expect safelite to sit on a few $K windshield for months on end, however they did drop the ball a number of other times with you.

I hope you get your replacement expeditiously.
Thanks sixstring.

I don't think they sat on it but every time I talked to them they acted like it was new information that it was backordered. You'd think they'd notice that something was backordered for months and perhaps manage their customer experience a bit better. Not their fault if MB is that idiotic but the fact they couldn't even tell me to not bother coming in because they had no glass to install is my real consternation here. And the total lack of concern by their store staff that they had wasted my time, twice. And that when I raise it to their corporate offices (which say they will respond in 48 hrs), they just never respond. Even a form letter apologizing would feel better than utter indifference.
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Old 02-07-2019, 06:40 PM
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Originally Posted by ajm0623 View Post
i had to have mine replaced as well because of a rock that a truck kicked up. it took a month to get the oem windshield from mb-germany. state farm insisted i go with genuine mb windshield and not anyone else (i.e., safelite). good by me! the glass arrived, it was installed at the dealer, then the dealer had to ‘reprogram’ the windshield given all the cameras and such. i was responsible $500 as my deductible; state farm paid the rest: ~$3,000+/- including the reprogramming and the new pennsylvania inspection and emission window stickers.
Yes, I will still have to take it to the dealer after the glass is installed to have them recalibrate all the sensors. The glass replacement guy I'm working with says this has happened before, mostly on S Class models but he's been waiting for months for a C class windshield as well. I'm guessing that there is a bean counter out of control somewhere in MB that thinks they are saving money without caring that they are screwing their customers by keeping the windshield spares supply tight. My company had a CFO a few years ago that thought it would be smart to tighten office occupancy rates a few percent. Problem was we had 2-3% of our offices open but they were in the wrong locations so the groups everywhere else were doubling, tripling and quadrupling people in offices to compensate. And we were behind in building/acquiring new buildings so it took 18 months to unhork the situation. It's the risk of letting people make decisions with spreadsheets rather than understanding what those decision mean in reality.
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Old 02-07-2019, 06:45 PM
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I have a lot of cars and am always shocked how difficult it has become to get a windshield repair. I find Safelite to be horrible! They are barely competent at anything including the install. I recently tried to use them because my insurance company promotes them and it was supposed to be easier??! NOT. I have a C6 Zo6 Zo7 one of 288 made. Its a special car and it new condition. Heads up display and Onstar module. Also has fragile trim along the windshield a pilar. Not an easy install. After the appointment I get a text regarding the technician that will be coming. I call that morning. He never did a corvette windshield, didn't have the glass, and told me it would be Chinese glass if he could find it. ?? Needless to say it never happened and I used a private local installer with the proper experience. Explained the specifics of the car and that it needed OEM glass. Took 2 weeks to get OEM after quite a battle, even though they didn't even have aftermarket glass! I was looking at the S yesterday and thought a windshield will be a problem if needed. My installer explained Safelite did a lot of lobbying and has most insurance companies in contract. They are pretty much a monopoly and use cheaper aftermarket glass setting market prices so that smaller companies cannot compete. Most insurance companies will not pay for OEM unless the aftermarket is unavailable. Not only is Safelite terrible, they are becoming a monopoly on glass if your using insurance.
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Old 02-07-2019, 06:55 PM
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Seamus,

They do seem to have gone downhill and as you say my insurance (Nationwide) is in bed with them. They did offer me the option of OEM glass (not that they could get it from MB) so I don't think they only use aftermarket. Fortunately my insurance covers OEM parts so it costs me nothing extra to get it. I did have them do a small repair on my S class windshield at my house and I was disappointed with the result. The spot where the damage was had a very visible white dot left over after the repair. It was actually more obvious than the original damage. I've had them do many repairs on many cars before and they were always very good at blending the repair into the glass so it was nearly invisible. Not that time. I think they are getting too big and not keeping their quality under control. Too many inexperienced people and trying to do repairs in less than optimal conditions (e.g., my garage).
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Old 02-07-2019, 09:39 PM
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Originally Posted by XboxMeister View Post
Venom,

Up until now my experience with Safelite has also been good. Used them many times over the last 20 yrs and all has been smooth and easy, both in-shop and out. I suspect your and my experiences were fine because the glass we needed was readily available. And as I said not their fault that MB are total dolts for not being able to supply parts for their premium products.

But to screw me twice on appointments as they did (and even sending me a reminder to show up for an appointment they had to know they couldn't deliver on and from the "manager" that hadn't been there for 8 months) is just inexcusable in my book. How would their system not know they had no glass in stock and send me a notice to come in anyway? This can't be the first time they didn't have glass for a car.
why not have them schedule time to come to you? I think that would eliminate the no windshield problem and waste of your time.
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Old 02-08-2019, 12:15 AM
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They don't have the glass whether they come to me or not. It's on national backorder. It would avoid me wasting my time going to a pointless appointment but until they get the glass it doesn't matter.

And after screwing me twice they don't get a third chance. I'd dump MB for how they handle their spares honestly but that isn't so simple.
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Old 03-06-2019, 02:48 PM
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No change yet. Still "by end of Q1" is the only answer. I sent an email to MBUSA (got the name of one of their execs from another thread) to let them know how disappointed I am that the flagship model of the MB brand has a 5+ month wait time to get a part that has to be something that gets replaced frequently (windshield glass). They called me back the next day but so far we've been playing phone tag so I don't know what they will have to say about it other than "we apologize for the inconvenience". If that is the answer I get I will understand what they mean when they say "The Best or Nothing" and it won't be a positive interpretation....
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Old 03-07-2019, 11:21 AM
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Angry

Heard back from auto glass replacement guy late last night that what was "by the end of Q1" is now "by mid to late April". That puts me squarely at 6 months (at best!) to replace my windshield with a 2ft crack in it with MB OEM glass.

MBUSA also got back to me after a lot of phone tag and they said "sorry, it is disappointing but there's nothing we can do and we can't even tell you why we have this problem". Perfect! I guess it is "nothing" for me when it comes to "the best or nothing". I love my S550 but I expect a far better experience from one of the world's top automakers.
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Old 03-07-2019, 11:47 AM
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Wow! At least you followed through and got a response from Mercedes. Although not an acceptable one. If they can't tell you why, then thats what they need to look into! Ridiculous, this car has been out since 2013?? There is so much going on with this windshield I could not imagine not using OEM. Keep us posted as to the root cause of this if you ever get that answer. Good luck
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Old 03-07-2019, 02:23 PM
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Thanks Seamus. I agree, totally ridiculous for a car that has been in service for many years and for a part that clearly will need replacement. And as I told the MBUSA person, I can go get the aftermarket glass today so it can't be rocket science to get it. I'm sure MB may have some more/tighter specs but fundamentally it is a windshield they already have made for years. They can't have problems reproducing it now. I work in the manufacturing world (high tech though) so I know what is possible and this is not a challenge for a company like MB with 100+ years of experience in making cars....





I will keep the thread posted on the ongoing saga.

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Old 03-08-2019, 03:52 PM
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Totally ridiculous.

I got a replacement pane for my 20 year old Ferrari direct from Italy in 4 days.
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Old 03-08-2019, 04:39 PM
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Since going through this nightmare, have you thought of Windshield Protection such as a Film Rock Shield? I always wondered how good these applications were and whether they interfered with distronic systems, etc.
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Old 03-08-2019, 05:08 PM
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I hadn't considered it as I didn't think getting a windshield would be such an ordeal. I've had plenty of chips and cracks repaired over the years and a couple full replacements (including on a Porsche) and never dealt with this level of issue before.

It might be a good option to consider but I suspect it will be like the whole house generator I had installed. The moment it was operational the power outages in my area went way down in frequency lol.
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Old 03-08-2019, 05:44 PM
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I have a 2015 S-550 with a crack in the w/s after something it hit on I-75. Been calling several MB dealers and other windshield installers and nobody has a windshield in stock. They are on back order and nobody knows when they will arrive. Talked with MBUSA. They were of no help whatsoever. This is my 7 th MB and 3rd S-Class and this is not what I would expect from a brand like MB. Totally unacceptable. Then, an aftermarket w/s installed is about $800, an MB OE w/s is about $3000. I've been told that some of the sensors behind the w/s need to be recalibrated with a replacement w/s. Anyway, not to have spare w/s and not knowing when tehy will arrive is totally unacceptable. Reason enough to give up on MB!
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