Mercedes of Daytona major problems...FYI - Mercedes-Benz Forum

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post #1 of 16 (permalink) Old 04-19-2008, 09:54 AM Thread Starter
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Mercedes of Daytona major problems...FYI

Just wanted to share my story and vent here...I don't think I've been treated this poorly in ages...

First let me say that I have personally done business with them forever, and in fact I bought my very first car from them when I was 16...a brand-spanking new 1998 C230 in black/tan. I loved that car. Anyway, I have continued to do business with them ever since, as has my father, but I personally don't plan on going back after this.

So I dropped my car off to have the spark plugs changed, and to have the two headlight lenses swapped out (one was cloudy, and the other one was broken by a rock from a truck). Simple stuff, right? Think again...

The service advisor was Mike Iafonte, who has been friends with my dad for years, but as for myself I won't be giving him any more business in the future, and wouldn't recommend him to anyone else either. He was a complete dick to me.

About 2 hours after I dropped the car off, I get a call back from him, telling me that one of the Xenon headlight assemblies has a tab cracked off of it, so the lens will no longer secure to it. He quotes me a price of $2,100 for a replacement (when the EPC shows list price is only $1700...so he's doing me a big 'favor' there, huh?), and asked what I wanted to do about it.

First, I asked how it got broken. He replied that, oh due to age, these things just randomly break. I called BS on that, and told him I thought his tech broke it when he was removing the assembly to replace the lens. He replied that their techs are just excellent and never break things.

I then told him that, quite the reverse, they have broken something on every one of our cars virtually every time we have taken one in to them. He asked for some examples, so I pointed out that while changing out the convertible-top latch cylinders in my dad's car, they managed to break:

-One sunvisor mounting arm
-Both visor mounting bracket trim pieces
-The map/reading light housing
-The rearview mirror
-Both visor mirror doors
-And (don't even ask me how they managed this one) the little plastic handle that is in the front interior of the soft-top.

And all of that was just in ONE visit!!!

So then he tries to call BS on me, and I told him "hey, Dad's at the office, why don't give him a ring and ask him?". So he says, "ya I'll DO that" with attitude just dripping off his voice. So he did, and my dad told him that ya, the techs have been breaking stuff on his car constantly, but he's just never bothered to complain about it. I guess I am less patient than my father, or more anal about my cars. Either way, this stuff shouldn't be happening.

So, after that, he calls back with this solution: They have jerry-rigged some bracket that one of their techs made from spare parts, to hold the lens on. He acted on the phone like I am supposed to be happy with this arrangement. I told him I wanted to see the jerry-rigged bracket and he told me I can't, because it was already installed back into the car. He then proceeded to start yet another argument with me over that his tech didn't break it, and I said "Look, the car has 25k miles on it, it has always been stored in a climate-controlled garage, and there is no front-end damage that would have caused anything like this...so what do you think is more likely? That it just randomly self-destructed, or that your tech broke it when he was removing the assembly?"

To that, he replied: "Well, it's fixed now, and if you have any problems with the bracket we put on, you can bring it back (Like I'd want to come back to them!) and I have to go now...your car will be ready around 4".

So I get my dad to run me out there to pick it up (oh ya...another gripe...no loaner), and he still won't admit his tech caused it...keeps trying to say how good they are. So I pointed to my dad's car, and said "Well, what about all of the stuff you broke on that one, then?" to which he replied "That's between me and your father, I'm not guna discuss that with you", when my father is standing 10ft away. Even my dad, normally critical of me (you know, typical parent thing), rolled his eyes at that comment.

Ugh. What an attitude.

So at this point I am furious. They broke my headlight, jerry-rigged it up and expect me to be happy with it, and then charged full price for the privilege of having them break my car! The bill was over $800 just for these minor items, and at NO point did they offer to comp a portion of it, or to replace the assembly that it's 99% likely that they broke. And the guy's attitude just plain sucks on top of it.

I am furious, and am debating what to do about it, and any input would be appreciated!

"Veni, Vidi, volo in domum redire." (I came, I saw, I want to go home.)
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post #2 of 16 (permalink) Old 04-20-2008, 07:42 AM
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Chris - sorry to hear about your problems. There is no excuse for techs being irresponsible and damaging your car while they work on it. However, I do have to say that after seven years or so, those plastic tabs can become brittle and break through no fault of anyone. It's like on the 210 chassis diesels when removing glow plugs. It's not uncommon for a glow plug to break off, causing the entire head to have to be removed to fix it to the tune of over two grand.

Len
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post #3 of 16 (permalink) Old 04-20-2008, 08:22 AM
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The second the car is sold, it's now your responsibility to watch what happens.(impossible to do)
For the dealership, your Benz is just a slab of meat.
It's not their own car and that special care and attention just won't happen.

So many items on our car are held with plastic snaps and clips and not screws anymore. Guaranteed to break somewhere down the line.
What a poor system but fast to assemble. Derek
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post #4 of 16 (permalink) Old 04-20-2008, 09:25 AM
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Quick question: why would you go to that dealership in the first place, what with them having "decimated" your Dad's car and all?

Felicita e un bicchiere di vino con un panino.
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post #5 of 16 (permalink) Old 04-20-2008, 09:44 AM Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by flyboyike View Post
Quick question: why would you go to that dealership in the first place, what with them having "decimated" your Dad's car and all?
It's very simple: They are the only game in town...

Daytona has grown a lot in recent years, but there is still only one Mercedes dealer there. The next closest ones are 100 miles away, in either Jacksonville or Orlando.

Should I really have to drive halfway across the state just to get decent service?

"Veni, Vidi, volo in domum redire." (I came, I saw, I want to go home.)
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post #6 of 16 (permalink) Old 04-20-2008, 09:47 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by chriswufgator View Post
Should I really have to drive halfway across the state just to get decent service?
Sounds like you may have to, unless you're willing to accept bad service. FWIW, MB of JAX has received some bad press on these pages also.

Felicita e un bicchiere di vino con un panino.
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post #7 of 16 (permalink) Old 04-20-2008, 10:31 AM
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Regular customers who buy cars there deverve better tretment than that. I would interpret your experience to mean that they don't appreiate your service business. I had a bad experience with a local dealer and started driving 50 miles to use a better one. 100 miles is certainly inconvenient but you and your SL600 deserve more than you're getting in Daytona. I assume you car is out of warranty so how about trying to find a good Indy close to you?

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post #8 of 16 (permalink) Old 04-20-2008, 12:07 PM
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Sorry to hear about your visit to Mercedes of Daytona. My last visit was the $700.00 oil change and I haven't been back since. While changing the oil filter, the Tech managed to crack the gasket that holds the filter assembly to the block. I figured no problem, MB of Daytona will stand behind it. WRONG ! They insisted that old age was the culprit and that I was responsible for the full bill. They fired the tech within 30 days due to other issues. Can anyone recommend a good independent MB repair shop in Daytona Beach area ?
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post #9 of 16 (permalink) Old 04-20-2008, 03:22 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by chriswufgator View Post
It's very simple: They are the only game in town...

Daytona has grown a lot in recent years, but there is still only one Mercedes dealer there. The next closest ones are 100 miles away, in either Jacksonville or Orlando.

Should I really have to drive halfway across the state just to get decent service?
You don't have to go to the dealer for every single thing! Find a good shop, buy your own parts, supply them, and then have the shop put them on the car. It makes car care a lot cheaper and things don't tend to get 'broken'.
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post #10 of 16 (permalink) Old 04-20-2008, 04:20 PM
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ova here in good ol canada, we go to Canadian Tire, and buy spark plugs and put them in ourselves. and we also know how to order parts from autohausaz.com

Sorry to hear about the crappy workshop manager. The manager for the MB dealer in town is the nicest old man you will ever meet. He is more interested in having tea and biscuits with you then worrying about nitty gritty things like this
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