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Old 07-14-2001, 08:54 AM
Lance Allison Lance Allison is offline
Senior Member
Join Date: Nov 2000
Location: SW Chicago Suburbs, IL
Posts: 250
I made a post awhile back regarding some work that needed to be done on my 87 300SDL. Well, 8 weeks later, I finally got the car back.

Originally, I was under the impression the Aux cooling pump and a resistor for the secondary cooling fan needed to be replaced at a cost of $500. Then they found the head gasket bad and finally found the head to be cracked.

Turns out, I had a top end rebuild done (new head, new valves, gaskets, etc) since the car has about 230k miles on it. The head was replaced at 165k at a Mercedes dealer, but I believe a recycled part was used at that time (the head was only $750), much less than a rebuilt or new one.

My gripe is not with the work itself, as it appears to be running great. I have a problem with the rest of the dealership experience. The service manager made a half-ditch effort to compensate for taking so long by promising a full car detail.

Total cost of the above job was almost $5200 or about $800 over the original quote. I was not made aware of this until the job was complete. Labor-wise, instead of the quoted 26 hrs, I was billed for 34hrs (8 hrs @ $70/hr = $560 extra). Not certain what the extra parts were, but about they were about $200 over the quote.

*****And they had the audacity to charge $50 for "Repair Order Creation"*****

Obviously, I made quite a few calls to the dealer's service department in the 8 weeks it was there. Every time I called, there was a new excuse as to why the car was not done. Originally, it was supposed to be done in 2 weeks. Then, they pleaded a hard luck story about being short on mechanics, etc. Toward the end, one woman in particular took a tone with me like "how DARE you keep calling us...when we're done, we'll call YOU"

They assured me it would be done at the end of last week. When I called, I reached the service advisor that had been so nasty. She said the part didn't get ordered and it would be here the following Wednesday. She also said normally the parts order gets submitted on Tuesdays and could consider myself lucky the parts manager approved the "special order request".

Finally, I received a message Wednesday morning at the office saying by the time I checked this message, the car should be done. Interesting, since there were well aware of me not working on Wednesdays. I called them back only to be told "well, it may be done on the end of the week"...

About 2:00 on Friday afternoon, I talked to my original service advisor (he was pleasant from the start). He confirmed the car was being cleaned up and would be ready for me when I arrived after work.

I got hung up for about an extra 1/2 hour at the office and ended up getting to the dealership at about 5:05. Since I was uncertain what any of the service advisors looked like, I wasn't sure which ones I worked with. Went over to the cashier counter where the invoice was. Apparently, the advisors didn't want to talk with me. The girl behind the counter simply had me sign the service order and swiped my AMEX for the $5000+ charge without incident. I asked to talk with a service advisor, but they had "all already left for the day" (considering there were no fewer than 4 service writers in the bays.)

There was also no detail job done. The inside was VERY dusty and the outside was hosed down, not sponged off and not dried. All the windows have the big water spots on them representative of what happens when its not dried off.

I need to get my old cylinder head back because I have someone that will pay a core on it. Doesn't look like this will happen.

Thanks for letting me rant. I feel somewhat better now. (Until the AMEX bill arrives)...
Lance Allison

Sold: 1987 MB 300SDL, 320k miles, Astral Silver, Blue Leather, all books and records from day one.

Totalled: 1998 VW Jetta TDI, 488k miles, Classic Green/Gray Leather, loaded, E-Codes, "Slightly" modded, "Slightly" faster than stock, arrived 11/07/1997.

MBCA Member, Chicago Region
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