Bravo Mercedes And Thank You

One month ago my workhorse of a vehicle, my Mercedes diesel GL SUV up and died in the middle of Yale Blvd. down in Albuquerque.  I had just dropped off friends at the airport (thank heaven it didn’t happen on I25 or during my drive back from L.A. with my cats on board.)  I called Triple A and got towed to the Mercedes dealership.  The provided me with a loaner and I headed home thinking this would be simple.

It was anything but.  For three weeks the techs were baffled.  They kept hooking the car up to the computer which told them the car was fine except the car wouldn’t start.  (Apparently there are no longer mechanics just guys who read computer printouts.)  Eventually they called Germany and found the answer.  The fuel pressure pump had blown apart.  Of course it’s a modular unit and has to be replaced and it was expensive.  I say okay because this is a diesel and they should be good for 300,000 miles.

A week later another call.  When the pump blew apart it sprayed metal shavings into all six fuel injectors and wrecked them too.  Now the cost of the repair had doubled to $10,000.  At this point it was time to think about a new car.

But I was bummed and annoyed.  This was the second Mercedes vehicle that had fallen apart at 100,000 miles.  I made a Tweet to that effect and got a Tweet back from Mercedes national headquarters saying to call them.  I did and they opened a file about my vehicle.  With the wonders of computers they could see that I had done ever scheduled maintenance and all of them at dealerships.

Long story short they discounted the repair by %50 so I could get the car fixed and wasn’t faced with buying a new car right now.  I also want to point out that sticking with the dealership for your repairs and doing the scheduled maintenance can pay off in the long run.  I should also mention that Mercedes traded the loaner sedan for a loaner SUV because I needed to take my trash to the dump.  Also great customer service.

I just want to say — Thank you Mercedes.  This is how customer relations are supposed to work, and I’m very grateful.

4 Responses to Bravo Mercedes And Thank You

  • Christopher Long says:

    I say this with caution, as I don’t want to jinx anything, but… well, over just the last year or so, I have noticed a definite improvement in customer service at most of the places I deal with.

    Amazon customer service has improved leaps and bounds, my local cable company has actually started taking notes like “this customer habitually does a hard restart of his modem before he calls us, if he’s calling that didn’t work, skip that step,” and even (GASP!) the Dreaded Wal-Mart has gotten better.

    I wonder if enough people started switching companies because of poor service, or if it’s just that people decided to treat us like they’d want to be treated…?

    Either way, I’m pleased, and I’m very pleased for you– I’ve had to give up a vehicle that was perfect for me when it just… reached the point of diminishing returns on repairs, and it sucks.

    (But let me second the “scheduled maintenance” and “done by a dealer” parts. My old Ford Taurus lasted me for *years,* and the dealer regularly gave me a “loyalty discount” so that things like oil changes and tire service [even the actual tires] were as cheap from the dealer as they were at things like “Jiffy Lube” and “Tire Kingdom”.)

    • Melinda Snodgrass says:

      I also have to credit social networking. People’s complaints can spread at light speed and start to effect how a company is viewed. I thought it was important to give a shout out and thank Mercedes for being good guys so my initial sad Tweet wasn’t the only thing floating out in the interwebs.

  • Christopher Long says:

    *blinks* I never thought about that as a customer service thing. Then again, I’m asocial and leaning towards antisocial, so I guess it wouldn’t be my first thought.

    (I suspect that there’s irony somewhere in my lack of sociability, and of not thinking of social networks as a tool, given that I use social networks to follow and engage in occasional conversation with my favorite authors, in addition to some old friends. But that’s okay, Irony is good for you.)

    (Still loving “the Edge of Reason.” I just read much more slowly, these days.)

    • Melinda Snodgrass says:

      Thank you. I’m glad you’re enjoying the book. I find social media very useful in dealing with corporate entities. If there is one thing they understand it’s bad press.

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