Stopped by the Mercedes Classic Center in Irvine, CA this morning. Man, what a disappointment. They had some nice cars and all, but the attitude of the staff, especially the manager of the place was appalling. Yes we were properly dressed.
We went in, asked the receptionist to look around, and were basically ignored the whole time. I even tried to chat the manager up a bit and he was aloof, condescending, and borderline rude. Get this...they wouldn't let us open the hood of a car on the showroom floor they had for sale!
As an owner of 10 Mercedes and a brand zealot, I was really let down. They are not building the brand with the attitude of the people there...they don't get it. Wouldn't you like to chat a bit with a customer who loves your brand, and foster his/her enthusiasm? Maybe sell them another addition to the collection?
They seem to do a good job with folks on the phone, but as for stopping by (unless you're with a MBCA group on a scheduled tour) forget it. The guy running the place is an ass.
This is utterly at odds with my several unannounced visit to the place.
The first time, in 2007, Scott Olsen, at the parts department, actually gave up his lunch hour so I could interview him about the parts Department operation!! He was very forthcoming.
In January we had a Mercedes get together at the Classic Center, and even though they were closed, they opened up the Center for just for us that Saturday and let our group in there even though they were officially closed.
The other gentleman at the parts department, Tom Hansen, is so committed to helping Benzwold members that he has actually joined Benzworld and posted on model specific forums here to help with questions and orders.
In one particularly difficult situation involving a Mercedes Benz VISA card discount I used when ordering parts, Scot Olsen actually suggested I hold off taking him until the accountant/receptionist figured out how it couold be applied and promised to ship everything to my house later FOR FREE.
WHICH HE DID !!!
I have been given full run of the Classic Center every time I was there, and treated like a prince every time, a valued customer.
They offer an automatic 15% discount to MBCA members, so having joined, my membership had paid for it times over for buying parts from the Classic Center.
I would buy parts there even before from a Mercedes Benz dealer, they are that good, they ship lightning fast.
The customer service is so good they even telephoned me to apprise me of progress in tracking difficult to get parts.
I proudly display their license plate frame on my car!! Great place, super helpful and forthcoming staff!!
Every LA trip I always make time to go there.