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  #1  
Old 09-10-2001, 09:15 PM
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Starmark Warranty: Decreasing Coverage????

just got news from my Service Advisor that Starmark Warranty is a sliding coverage.....meaning that it covers less and less as the warranty matures...

...any news to verify or contradict this???

already contacted MB USA and they are not aware of this "sliding decreasing coverage"...

I'm here in SF at European Motors LTD (factory authorized service) for a speedo that jitters between 0 to 20mph and upon decel jitters from 20mph to 0mph... Service Advisor indicates that the speedo needs to come out and be rebuilt (sub'd out) at a tune of $450...

tks-fad
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  #2  
Old 09-10-2001, 11:06 PM
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Question

What does your original contract say? If it is in black and white, they can not change it later just because...
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  #3  
Old 09-11-2001, 01:24 AM
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the contract does not reference a "sliding" or "decreasing" level of coverage based upon time- - - that I can locate

I've authorized to have the speedo removed and fixed (I'd opt to to it anyways without Starmark covering it), but will have an intimate chat with the SA and higher ups at the shop regarding this matter

I'll share how this eventually is resolved for our Starmark patrons on board for future reference

tks-fad
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  #4  
Old 09-11-2001, 03:09 PM
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apparent "sliding/ decreasing coverage" issue became a non-issue today (before any opportunity to discuss the matter with SA or upper ups)

jittery speedo needle was sourced to a bad speedo cable= covered under Starmark

had aux fan operation checked too, OK per SA- within spec- on at 105-110 degrees

...interesting happening on retrospect, appears that the shop may have been trying to "manage" Starmark warranty claims (I still have until 11/27/01 till expiration on the E320 Coupe and a full 34 mos remaining on the E500)


-fad

Last edited by -fad; 09-13-2001 at 12:46 PM.
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  #5  
Old 09-12-2001, 09:10 PM
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fad:

I'm becoming very skeptical about the Starmark warranty and dealers. I'm not surprised a dealer tried the "sliding" coverage b.s., but that is a pretty slimy move even for a dealer.

On those items that are truly covered, the warranty does pick it up, but then you still have to contend with the dealer's service department--not always a pleasant experience. I will not use my local dealer any more because of inappropriate comments, poor workmanship, damage to the car, and extraordinary pricing. My next nearest dealer will very pleasantly arrange the service then put me in a loaner car (last time, for the first time, it was at least a c-class but it was extraordinarily filthy and had been used by several heavy smokers in a row judging by the thickness of the nicotine film on the windshield) while they take days to perform the simplest tasks. Last visit it took them 9 working days to find and fix a broken wire in the driver's electric seat adjustment system. 9 working days! Consequently I took my car to the dealer from which I had purchased the car (very inconvenient to me but I thought it might be worth the effort). I found out that the only sunroof components covered by the Starmark warranty are the cables. They did give me a loaner 2001 e-class (but only after I had rather aggresively asked for it even though their advertising had promised it). The work was done on time (to the tune of $1000) but the interior of my car was littered with debris (grease on the console, cigarette wrapper under the front floor mat--and I don't smoke, broken plastic parts from the sunroof tucked under the back side of the front seat, a greasy piece of something from the sunroof between the seat cushion and the seatback on the passenger side, a piece of grey foam under the front passenger seat, and the radio tuned loudly to a rap station).

I have a trusted mechanic I take my non-warranty stuff to and he is such a pleasant change from dealer's service departments!

Dealers are cutting their own throats.

Bill
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92 300E (Black/Grey interior: wife's car)
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  #6  
Old 09-12-2001, 11:07 PM
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If I have to go to the dealer for anything, I would take a camera, and document with pictures and a date stamp the condition of my car to coincide with the service dept service slip, or estimate or invoice dates and times. I would then have the pictures ready at return of vehicle time, and I would go over the car, sighting out pictures to the service advisor, manager or whoever it is, to show them the condition of the car when brought in and the condition upon return, which I would also document.

After that, I would take this Evidence to the Owner of the Dealership, with my complaints. I would also keep it in case contact with MBUSA is required.

I would think that if you did it like this, you would not be able to have the dealer give you any lip about anything, and it would make for a good case against the dealership if the need ever came about.

It might seem like a tedious thing to do, but I think in the long run, you will only benefit from it. You will probably hear remarks like "that guy has his car here, better do the job right and keep the car clean, he documents everything." Or you might get a we don't want to servic eyou anymore, thats when MBUSA comes to mind, and possibly an attorney for a lawsuit.

I would have your attorney go over the warranty, and explain to you everything that is covered and everything that is not, then you can hold it over the dealerships heads everytime they do a repair or wont do one under the warranty.

What good is a starmark warranty if you can't use it for any problems with the car? I thought it was starmarked because the car would need nothing and was like new or as close to it as a used car can get to new.

Alon
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  #7  
Old 09-13-2001, 01:52 PM
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Hi Bill and and Alon- thanks for sharing.... unfortunately we are challenged by this situation in our current point in time

that being the case, ...these are my tools-

>communication skills
>people skills: persuasion & influence
>positive attitude and posture: setting realistic expectations, common sense
>emotional control: logic based discussions & communication
>understanding and employing all appropriate protocol: within the business organization itself, outside the business, legal

>>empathy (understanding):
>the service department is a business and all businesses have ongoing and daily challenges to work with: staff calling in sick, inconsistent performance, parts unavailability, flat out errors, under-skilled staff, etc.
>MB reality: the law of supply and demand- oversupply of MBs to work on (flooded market of low end and leased vehicles), over-scheduled appointments, unscheduled vehicles dropping in
>repairing a car often is not accomplished using an add water and stir recipe & therefore more craftsmanship/time (this is applicable to my car or the car in front of me)
>techs and staff are individuals with their own habits and scruples- some habits=good and some= not so good...and people have good days and bad days

...oh, and it helps to be a charismatic person as well-

notwithstanding,
>repair issues, inappropriate condition of a returned vehicle, damages caused to a subject vehicle while in the shop, etc. all have established remedies whether service is provided by a factory authorized dealer or a private shop

...and one of the ultimate satisfactions in life is to achieve the most desired outcome- using your skills, but not necessarily doing the work yourself

-fad
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  #8  
Old 09-14-2001, 11:08 AM
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fad and Alon:

First, sorry about the anti-dealer rant. I would truly like to find a dealer I can rave about. So far no luck.

fad, all your points are good ones. I try to go in to a dealership in a positive mood and giving them the benefit of the doubt. My discussions with the service reps are friendly and upbeat. Unfortunately, the results of the service have almost always left a bit to be desired. I understand that the service reps are not responsible for the irresponsible actions of the technicians so I take that into account when dealing with the reps.

When I provide feedback to the dealer about my service experience I highlight the highs as well as the lows. But I do give them feedback.

One of my major objections is that I need to pay for the service before I can get into my car and inspect it. I'm going to try to get a look at the car first from now on.

I am just about at the point where I am going to do as Alon suggests, that is, photo document the car in the as-delivered (to the dealer) condition, inside and out. I've had brake parts cleaner sprayed on paint adjacent to the wheel wells requiring a strip and repaint, and a large scuff in the forward right corner under the bumper that I know was inflicted by the dealer's service technicians--but I couldn't prove it. Also, sometimes the damage or the litter isn't evident until a couple of days after getting the car back. So I am afraid that I am going to have to take several of the steps Alon has suggested, including a very thorough pre- and post-service inspection of the car with the service rep present.

Anyway, I'll be out of warranty in another year and won't have to see a dealer again until I buy a new Merc or BMW or Audi.

Cheers

Bill
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92 300E (Black/Grey interior: wife's car)
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  #9  
Old 09-14-2001, 01:02 PM
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Hi Bill- sounds like you've got all the bases covered

...and I feel for you- I've been there and risk being there- it is truly unfortunate when the service experience fails to be consistent with the high quality motoring enjoyment/ ownership experience provided by these types of vehicles

...when retrieving my vehicle from factory authorized service, I customarily visit the cashier first to view the final RO/billing invoice- specifically to see details (not necessarily to pay- - but as a primary step before my inspection)

meanwhile, the car is valet'd around and if no questions arise, I proceeed to pay then do my inspection/ if however- questions arise as to billing or repair/service work, or condition of the car, etc- - the SA is immediately involved

...oh, and I do go over the car with a fine tooth comb when I pick it up- - even to the point of car duster, Quick Detailer, and a soft white cotton towel to the OE 8-hole Chromies (not to mention interior inspection); if anything is not correct- again I speak to my SA; (I believe that my SA now monitors the entire service/ repair process just ensure that we have a happy and fruitful relationhip)

the good news is that after almost 3 years of forging this relationship with the SAs, techs, shop foreman- - a good 90% of the time the service experience goes according to plan

-fad
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  #10  
Old 09-14-2001, 01:07 PM
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Hi Bill- sounds like you've got all the bases covered

...and I feel for you- I've been there and risk being there- it is truly unfortunate when the service experience fails to be consistent with the high quality motoring enjoyment/ ownership experience provided by these types of vehicles

...when retrieving my vehicle from factory authorized service, I customarily visit the cashier first to view the final RO/billing invoice- specifically to see details (not necessarily to pay- - but as a primary step before my inspection)

meanwhile, the car is valet'd around and if no questions arise, I proceeed to pay then do my inspection/ if however- questions arise as to billing or repair/service work, or condition of the car, etc- - the SA is immediately involved

...oh, and I do go over the car with a fine tooth comb when I pick it up- - even to the point of car duster, Quick Detailer, and a soft white cotton towel to the OE 8-hole Chromies (not to mention interior inspection); if anything is not correct- again I speak to my SA; (I believe that my SA now monitors the entire service/ repair process to insure that we have a happy and fruitful relationhip)

the good news is that after almost 3 years of forging this relationship with the SAs, techs, shop foreman- - a good 90% of the time the service experience goes according to plan

-fad
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