Date registered: Aug 2002
Vehicle: '85 2.3-16 '99 C280 '11 GLK350
Location: Scottsdale, Arizona, USA
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How a dealership runs and bills for their service operation varies, from gouging to worth the expense. Independents can beat them on overhead costs and hourly rates, so you will save, but get recommendations and I might suggest starting with an indy that only does Mercedes versus "all European" makes.
On the other hand, I have had excellent service and support from dealership service departments, and not just in the lounge. See if your local dealers have customer loyalty mailings, emails, etc. and see if they honor club discounts like MBCA.