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post #1 of 4 (permalink) Old 09-15-2006, 01:29 PM Thread Starter
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What do you think?

Hi all,

I have only been a Mercedes owner for 3 wks now and am very new to this whole experience. It seems to me, however, though the posts in this community (I love you all, I really do!) and my own experience in talking with the dealership, that MB's customer service employees are very unaware of their products and product issues and lack any wealth of knowledge that would be helpful to their customers in general. I specifically dislike the attitude I sense when offered a suggestion I know to be incorrect or insignificant at best, yet they seem to want me to be grateful that I have received this gracious gift. WTF! Why is this? Are we supposed to be too stupid to think because we bought MB? I find it greatly insulting. I have a Ph.D. in mechanical engineering from MIT. It is very difficult to continue smiling politely at someone who thought no more of me than to try justifying why it will cost me $2000 to integrate bluetooth with my W163. The equivalent bluetooth adapter for your computer will cost $27.99!

Chrysler has bluetooth. The option costs $300. Doesn't MB own Chrysler? Have they not compared against their own technology? It sounds to me like their engineers are stupid! (No offense meant, engineers. I know it's not your doing, but please don't further offend me by trying to justify this.) I know what it takes to integrate this technology. I am very surprised, however, that no one has leaked the software code onto the web. Then, perhaps, we would see some improved, open-ware solutions that would be less costly, easier to implement and more robust. Better. Didn't we buy MB because they were "better"? hmmm....

I'm not angry, but MB leaves a lot to be desired in the support of their products. Unless you replace all MB parts with aftermarket parts as they fail, it seems that you can start to feel not so good about your wonderful MB. I'm very happy with my ML500 and hope to stay that way, but face it. If my MCS fails, I'm getting a panasonic! I can have my bluetooth, DVD navigation and a rear view camera all for less that it would cost to upgrade my MCS for the phone alone. *smile*

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post #2 of 4 (permalink) Old 09-16-2006, 01:37 AM
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The MB parts may be costly but with your education, I'm sure you know that one cannot compare prices that simply. I understand you were upset from a high price and exaggerated a bit.

The PC BT dongle has an extremely minor part of the BT functionality compared to a BT car kit (mainly the radio and part of the layer 1 signal processing, the rest is handled by the computer, BT protocol, audio etc. and the combination is more than $30). The market for BT dongles is different, if one was solely made for certain MB cars, one could not produce it at $30.

The phone kit in Germany costs 515 euros plus VAT, it includes the wiring, microphones, PSE on MOST ring, antenna, antenna compensator, give or take a few items and you get integrated implementation with control from the steering wheel and Comand.

You do have to pay more than 525 euros for after market parts (from the dealer) but then again, why wouldn't MB set a different price if (sufficiently many) people are still willing to pay that. If it is $300 for a Chrysler, it may cost more than 300 or less than 300 for Chrysler but the right price may well still be that for a Chrysler (doesn't mean that from the customer's point of view, we all would prefer it being lower, also the Chrysler part an the PC BT dongle).

I had a third party installation on my latest sold car, an MB retrofit installation in the one before, and now on the newest one I again have the MB kit (from the factory this time). I find it worth the money especially now that BT is supported.

I'd suggest you search a bit this forum and find the least expensive, least painful way forward to enjoy integrated MB (BT) phone support in your car, I doubt it would have to be $2000.
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post #3 of 4 (permalink) Old 09-16-2006, 09:12 AM
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Install one yourslef or if you are lazy like me give it as a project to a local college. Supply the hardware after the students put a nice proposal together with a realistic time table and projet management. Help their prof's evaluation of the group in charge and help him/her grade the submitted reports, prototypes and final intall.
I think this would be a lot more fun, what do you think?
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post #4 of 4 (permalink) Old 09-19-2006, 06:29 AM Thread Starter
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Sure. You're both correct on all accounts. Mainly this was a major vent for me, but I do see issues and price gouging at work here. I don't see many MB's with the phone installed, which suggests to me that the market is under utilized. Maybe I should be looking at this as an opportunity.
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