from a hardcore diy'er
Since starting to drive about 30 years ago I have taken a car in for service three times (excluding alignments). Two of these were for Honda timing belt changes (included cam seals and water pump) and the 300TD for track rod mounts. The Hondas went to the dealer and I took the TD to a local independent for the track rod mount change. This particular independent has been around MBs since the 60's so you can imagine what he thinks about the new MB's. He and his wife own/run the shop and I get the impression that both of them are good people and they have a pretty loyal following of customers. He drives an '85 300TD as his personal car and his wife drives a E500 or a new ML. The service manager at the local MB dealer is too arrogant for my taste although all the folks at the parts counter are good, down to earth type of people. The service manager at the local Honda dealer is as good as they get. When they replaced the cam seals/timing belt on the CRV within the past 6 months they messed up with the seal and it leaked. I took it back to him one time and told him it was leaking. Initially, they just cleaned it up and told me to "monitor" it. Then a couple weeks later I figured out it was coming from the cam seal and let it make a real mess. I took it back and told him it was one of the cam seals leaking and left it with him. He said they found the cam seal leaking almost like he did not believe what I had told him. They fixed it for free.
I hate to think how some of these service managers treat people that don't have a clue about their cars.