RE bad experiences at dealers service department: if you stop and think, you may come to the realization that no dealer has it in their interest to hack off customers. Their customers are how they make a living. A new vehicle is a delivery or life support system for years or maintenance. This is NOT to say that dealers donít do their share (perhaps more than their share) of stupid things, at the customers expense. To help avoid problems, I suggest the following:
1) Ask the service department manager who the top or most senior technicians are.
2) Ask to meet with one. When you do, ask if they would be interested in working on your vehicle. He probably will be happy to.
3) Once youíve started this relationship, call ahead, a little before a service appointment, ask the service advisor to meet with you and the technician for a few minutes.
4) When you meet, bring written notes about the nature of the problem(s), and go over the notes with them. If youíve received any comments from this site or anywhere else, bring them along. Ask the technician to call you with what he finds.
5) When you pick up the vehicle, ask to see the technician briefly to go over what the findings and outcome are.
By taking an active role in the maintenance of your car, you will help yourself substantially. Many, but certainly not all problems are mitigated if the work done is not an anonymous process. If the technician has a relationship with you, they are more likely to double check their work. The relationship serves to, in effect, help make them work for you as well as working for the company.
If and when you have a problem, first talk with the technician, then if necessary the service department manager, and, if necessary, the general manager. If that doesnít solve it, contact MBUSA by phone (they are sucky about answering email), also donít hesitate to contact the local BBB, the local Attorney Generalís office, and any and all consumer protection agencies you can. Also, ALWAYS PAY BY CREDIT CARD. You have the ability to reverse or refuse payment when you use a credit card. If you donít use a credit card your money is gone.
As a last note, if you are happy with a technician, it is a good idea to remember these folks around X-mas time. Being kind to the folks you work with never hurts!
- a few notes from someone who has spent a lot of time and $$$ at the service center.