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  #1  
Old 09-21-2002, 04:32 PM
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VON HOUSEN MOTOR Sacramento- STAY AWAY

Very Very Bad Service from Von Housen Sacramento,

I took my 1999, C280 to Von Housen Motors in Sacramento to have an wheel alignment done about a week ago. I made the appointment approx. one week earlier and let the Service Writer know the car was lowered one inch and that I had the adjustable castor/camber bolts.

The Service writter was nice and assured me that Von Housen was the place to take my Mercedes for the wheel alignment as they had the most experienced Tech's who would do a great, professional job and that it took about 1 to 1.5 hours. I asked if I could wait the the Service writter thought that would be OK.

When I showed up for my appointment at 9:15am the Service Writter, a different guy told me that the car would be done about 12pm to 1pm. Although I did not want to wait that long I figured if I get a great job it would be worth it.


So 2pm rolls around and I have not heard from the dealer, so I call and they tell me my car has not been on the rack yet and it would now be 4pm to have it done.

Again at 4pm I hear nothing form the dealer, I call and they tell me it won't be done today and they will come pick me up now. Another 1.5 hours, no driver, I call the dealer the the driver says He may not come because it is late. I am not happy. I don't have a ride, the cars not done and I am not sure what to do. I finally bum a ride from a coworker that takes them 25 miles out of there way.

The next day I wait till 10am, call the dealer, they have not called me yet, and they tell me the cars not done, call in a couple of hours. At 2pm I call again and the car is not done and they tell me it won't until 4:30pm. So I show up at 4:45pm and they don't have the car done and tell me it won't be done today.

I try to talk to the service manager and he won't talk to me after 3 attemps. I finally talk to the shop foreman and tell him I just want to take the car as is, NO ALIGNMENT. The shop foreman is professional but the Sevice Writter tells me I need to pay the 3hours it took for them to put in 3 bolts.

I tell the Service Writter I am not going to pay because nothing was done and it has taken 2 days for a 1 hour job. The Shop Foreman agrees and I take my car.

It drives like crap, the wheels are way out and they did not tighten the shock bolts down so the whole front rattled.

I have called to speak to the Store Manager twice in the last week and to date have not recieved a return phone call.

In my opinion - DO NOT DO BUSINESS WITH VON HOUSEN MOTORS of SACRAMENTO.

Jeff

Last edited by speedybenz; 09-23-2002 at 07:06 PM.
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  #2  
Old 09-21-2002, 05:48 PM
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Call the Mercedes-Benz USA Client Assistance Center 800-367-6372. Or email them at: CACINTERNET@MBUSA.COM

Call the N. California Mercedes-Benz region office (650-548-5000 I believe that is the tel #). Ask for the Regional Service Manager. Tell him you have contacted the Mercedes-Benz USA Client Assistance Center. Tell him this kind of service doesn't meet your expectations. Tell him you belong to an Mercedes-Benz owner's forum of over 14,000 members and they will all be watching closely as to how this situation is handled. Ask him what they are going to do about it, and when. Ask to be updated.

Call the dealership and ask to speak to the dealer or the GM. Tell him you have contacted Mercedes-Benz USA Client Assistance Center and the Region Service Manager. Tell him this kind of service doesn't meet your expectations. Tell him you belong to an Mercedes-Benz owner's forum of over 14,000 members and they will all be watching closely as to how this situation is handled. Ask him what they are going to do about it, and when. Ask to be updated.

Part of the reason we do business with Mercedes-Benz, in my humble opinion, is because of our expectations of product AND service. You had a very reasonable expectation. They did not meet even the smallest part of service that a customer should reasonably expect from an authorized & franchised Mercedes-Benz dealership.

Truly pathetic service, authorized dealer or not.

Haasman
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  #3  
Old 09-21-2002, 06:18 PM
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Excellent advice. I'd add that you follow with letters(very brief and businesslike) to the above and be sure and put a few "cc's" at the bottom of the letters, whether you "cc" it or not. [CA Dept. of Consumer Affairs (auto repair division), BBB and the like]. Paper still carries a lot of weight at MBUSA and it goes in their "permanent file".
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Old 09-21-2002, 06:28 PM
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Good suggestion. Depending how aggressive one wants to be, it would be a good idea to write down the sequence of events in a log. That way whoever is contacted wil be impressed by the thoroughness of the record of the events.

Good luck!
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  #5  
Old 09-22-2002, 12:11 AM
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Thanks for the advise and I will follow through with your suggestions.

I have a Mercedes because it is an excellant car and when it goes in for service you pay top dollar and expect a little professional service.

Jeff
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  #6  
Old 09-22-2002, 01:22 AM
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Exactly!
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  #7  
Old 09-23-2002, 12:26 PM
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I'm sorry to hear about your troubles and glad you posted here to avoid having others fall in the same pit. BUT, not a good idea to post the specific subject line you used, as well as your closing comment. Let others draw their own conclusion, rather than letting yourself be liable for a possible restraint of business charge civil suit. You've suffered enough from these folks, and you've documented your experience. That speaks for itself.

Steve
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  #8  
Old 09-23-2002, 11:03 PM
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Having done business with Von Housen a few times. I think that they are not as customer orientated as they should be since they are the only game in town (dealership). On a related point two times that I have been at a indie called Autostat there were parts vans from a bay area dealership.
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  #9  
Old 09-24-2002, 10:01 AM
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I received the same type of treatment at Chapman BMW in Scottsdale when I took the 735i in for A/C work. The service writer Tavas treated me like total crap when I brought the car back after the repairs were done and there was debris and grease on the carpets. Oh yeah the A/C still had the same problem....
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  #10  
Old 09-24-2002, 12:26 PM
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Your experience takes the cake. I agree with your general assessment about their inadequate service. For that reason, whenever I have dealer-related matters to tend to, I ONLY deal with Smythe European in San Jose. Entirely different understanding of service.
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  #11  
Old 09-24-2002, 02:58 PM
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There are a number of independents in town who might be convenient to you depending on where you live/work. You might search the forum, or send me an email offline and I'll tell you my experiences with a couple of independents.

Silver Star Motors (Carmichael) and Stephens Service Center (East Sac) are the best. Tom Stephens used to be the service manager at VH, but no longer. You can let him tell you the story, and he will if you ask him.

I haven't had a similar experience with VH - but then, I've never taken any of my cars there for service. I'd heard horror stories and simply avoided taking the chance. I will sometimes drop in for the random part - the parts counter folks are always helpful to me and I usually get a discount which makes the cost close to the Fastlane price.

Goldenbear - do you have any experience/thoughts about Stead Motors? Just curious, since it was they who were responsible for the maintenance on my TE during prior ownership.

Thanks.

dtanesq@msn.com
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  #12  
Old 09-27-2002, 02:05 PM
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Well, I have made my phone calls to the MB client relations people and they tell me that Von Housen is an independant shop and as such they do not have any real pull over them.

They did offer to call Von Housen and speak to thier Service Manager and try to get them to complete the service on my car.

So I guess I wait and see what develops. Two and a half weeks and counting.

Jeff
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  #13  
Old 09-27-2002, 02:19 PM
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Silver Star

I've had excellent results with Silver Star. John is knowledgable and honest. They do sometimes take a little longer to get the job done, but it get's done right. I had a transmission issue and Mercedes wanted them to buy a whole assembly when all John wanted was one valve. He found the valve and just charged me for that. The job took them longer to do than they originally planned but I was only charged for the original estimate of time.

My .02
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  #14  
Old 09-27-2002, 02:20 PM
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I just got a phone call from Jackie at MB Client relations and she had talked to the Service Writer who had worked with me.

Von Housen claimed that my car has a special case because it had Eibach springs on it and aftermarket shocks.

So the alignment work was harder, more technical. Von Housen said they had to install the camber/castor bolts and that I wanted the bushings replaced. And that I had special spec's to align the car to that were very special.

Well, I brought the Castor/Camber bolts with me and told them to install them; and I never asked Von Housen to replace the bushings, (they wanted $600). I just wanted an alignment.


Regardless of the springs and shocks on the car the adjusters for an alignment still operate in the same way. So I do not see any reason why doing my car would be so difficult.

I am right on these issues?

Jeff
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  #15  
Old 09-27-2002, 02:23 PM
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How can any of these issues (Eibach springs, etc.) be a defense for Von Housen if the initial service writer had assured you there would be no problems?
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If I'd known then what I know now...

Hell, I'd probably still have done it anyways.
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