Mercedes servicing

Mercedes servicing

Author
Discussion

DickyC

38,917 posts

157 months

Sunday 18th October
quotequote all
W201_190e said:
What are they quoting for £611?
Don't now the details, sorry. They'd lost my custom by that point. The girl I spoke to first at the MB Service Bookings Team - not on site, miles away - could only say the B service included a coolant change.

I don't mean to be disrespectful to her but if someone on the service team at the garage had spoken to me and made a case for spending the money I would have listened.

Another thing that irritates me with MB is receiving a video of a technician walking around underneath the car telling me how rusty it is. Well, y'know, you've serviced it for eighteen years, why are you telling me now? The springs are rusty. Are they broken? No. The shock absorbers are rusty. Are they leaking? No. The exhaust is very rusty. Is it blowing? No. And it's original! Mercedes did a good job in 1998.

The car sails through MoTs with no advisories.

W201_190e

11,678 posts

172 months

Sunday 18th October
quotequote all
DickyC said:
W201_190e said:
What are they quoting for £611?
Don't now the details, sorry. They'd lost my custom by that point. The girl I spoke to first at the MB Service Bookings Team - not on site, miles away - could only say the B service included a coolant change.

I don't mean to be disrespectful to her but if someone on the service team at the garage had spoken to me and made a case for spending the money I would have listened.

Another thing that irritates me with MB is receiving a video of a technician walking around underneath the car telling me how rusty it is. Well, y'know, you've serviced it for eighteen years, why are you telling me now? The springs are rusty. Are they broken? No. The shock absorbers are rusty. Are they leaking? No. The exhaust is very rusty. Is it blowing? No. And it's original! Mercedes did a good job in 1998.

The car sails through MoTs with no advisories.
I hear you. B service could be a few different things, looks like they quoted you for everything.

Zippee

12,357 posts

193 months

Sunday 18th October
quotequote all
Got 2 years on my GTS for £1130 with the 20% off. Good deal as my next service will be an A service at £900 on its own.
Plus when I received the docs they state a 3 year service plan so going to keep quiet and see if they honour it whistle

DickyC

38,917 posts

157 months

Sunday 18th October
quotequote all
W201_190e said:
I hear you. B service could be a few different things, looks like they quoted you for everything.
Forgot to say, the car was asking for a one spanner service. I'd have mentioned it if someone had called to discuss it. Before anyone says why did you persevere with FMBSH on a car in its third decade, I occasionally see a pagoda roof SL in there. I just didn't know when to stop. But I've stopped now. Specialists from here on.

Sheepshanks

21,927 posts

78 months

Sunday 18th October
quotequote all
W201_190e said:
DickyC said:
W201_190e said:
What are they quoting for £611?
Don't now the details, sorry. They'd lost my custom by that point. The girl I spoke to first at the MB Service Bookings Team - not on site, miles away - could only say the B service included a coolant change.

I don't mean to be disrespectful to her but if someone on the service team at the garage had spoken to me and made a case for spending the money I would have listened.

Another thing that irritates me with MB is receiving a video of a technician walking around underneath the car telling me how rusty it is. Well, y'know, you've serviced it for eighteen years, why are you telling me now? The springs are rusty. Are they broken? No. The shock absorbers are rusty. Are they leaking? No. The exhaust is very rusty. Is it blowing? No. And it's original! Mercedes did a good job in 1998.

The car sails through MoTs with no advisories.
I hear you. B service could be a few different things, looks like they quoted you for everything.
The coolant change is about £275 on MyService.

To be honest, I'm gobsmacked by people who don't ask the scope of the work, but apparently many people don't even ask the price!

I might have already said it in this thread but I pushed taking my car to the dealer until it was 12yrs old. They used to do good pricing but it became increasingly difficult to get hold of anyone who was interested enough to quote. After it's last visit it was made pretty clear to me that they weren't really interested in seeing my car again. I guess they just want to do quick and easy services that they can do in 30-60 mins while billing for 1-3 hours.

It was always fraught at the dealer once the car was a few years old - they're used to dealing with newish cars so they're almost bound to pull anything older apart as they're looking with "new car" eyes.

I'm amazed your car gets a clean MOT - mine (it's a facelift S203 C Class Estate) is looked after by a well regarded indie who does MOTs now. It passed a couple of weeks ago but has a pretty substantial list of advisories, including a number that are to do with various parts (roll bars, springs etc) going rusty.

swisstoni

9,781 posts

238 months

Sunday 18th October
quotequote all
When I put my 13 y/o SL55 AMG in to the service app I get a quote for £21xx for 4 services. So 2 As and 2 Bs for an average of £500. Not too bad. (Not great either obviously).

So I'd really want to know what my £6xx service on a 1998 car comprised of.

A couple of years ago on the merc site they appeared to be offering reduced servicing rates for older cars. That doesn't seem to be there any more.

In any case, if you could find a really well regarded independent MB place, an enthusiast wouldn't turn their nose up at the car being serviced there.
There's an argument that the independents may be better with the older cars and the main dealers technicians are more familiar with the modern ones.

Ron240

603 posts

78 months

Sunday 18th October
quotequote all
DickyC said:
FMBSH gives way to FSH. Sigh.
Yes you received very poor customer service there, but I wouldnt worry about it because it will make absolutely no difference to the value or quality of your car.
Personally I would have changed to independent servicing many years ago and saved a shed load of money.
Main dealers are not interested in customer loyalty.

DickyC

38,917 posts

157 months

Sunday 18th October
quotequote all
Ron240 said:
DickyC said:
FMBSH gives way to FSH. Sigh.
Yes you received very poor customer service there, but I wouldnt worry about it because it will make absolutely no difference to the value or quality of your car.
Personally I would have changed to independent servicing many years ago and saved a shed load of money.
Main dealers are not interested in customer loyalty.
Yes, I know, but I got on really well with one of the Service Managers. He was friendly, knowledgeable and remembered my name. Y'know, old school. That had a lot to do with my loyalty. In the recent debacle I rang and asked to speak to him. He wasn't available at the time but did ring back just to say when he came back from furlough he found he'd been moved to new car preparation. In his place they've put a bloke who wouldn't speak to me.

My wife and I went back to a really nice hotel and the receptionist smiled and said, "Welcome back." Obviously she was alerted by her computer but it was a lot nicer than MB's, "Do we know this car?" after maintaining it for eighteen years.

DickyC

38,917 posts

157 months

Sunday 18th October
quotequote all
Sheepshanks said:
The coolant change is about £275 on MyService.

To be honest, I'm gobsmacked by people who don't ask the scope of the work, but apparently many people don't even ask the price!

I might have already said it in this thread but I pushed taking my car to the dealer until it was 12yrs old. They used to do good pricing but it became increasingly difficult to get hold of anyone who was interested enough to quote. After it's last visit it was made pretty clear to me that they weren't really interested in seeing my car again. I guess they just want to do quick and easy services that they can do in 30-60 mins while billing for 1-3 hours.

It was always fraught at the dealer once the car was a few years old - they're used to dealing with newish cars so they're almost bound to pull anything older apart as they're looking with "new car" eyes.

I'm amazed your car gets a clean MOT - mine (it's a facelift S203 C Class Estate) is looked after by a well regarded indie who does MOTs now. It passed a couple of weeks ago but has a pretty substantial list of advisories, including a number that are to do with various parts (roll bars, springs etc) going rusty.
It's my wife's car and has had a very easy life. I've kept on top of the rust on the body and clean its nooks and crannies every year. I think everything is original apart from the tyres and the manifold which cracked soon after we bought in 2002. It's on 87,000 miles; 2,500 miles since the last service 18 months ago. Now you point it out, it is a bit odd I don't know what I was going to receive for my £743 but it was one of the points I hoped to raise if anyone knowledgeable had bothered to call.

I genuinely don't understand the rusty springs advisory. Surface rust has no effect on a spring's ability to work. The garage I use for MoT on our cars and the family's cars have an interesting philosophy. The first time I took a car there for MoT I was a bit surprised it passed. When I mentioned this to the tester he said they didn't need the work. Consider the implications of that simple answer: go to a busy garage and your car might pass where it might not pass at a garage looking for work.

Sheepshanks

21,927 posts

78 months

Sunday 18th October
quotequote all
DickyC said:
Now you point it out, it is a bit odd I don't know what I was going to receive for my £743 but it was one of the points I hoped to raise if anyone knowledgeable had bothered to call.
I don't thnk cars of that age will work on MyService https://www.mymercedesservice.co.uk/#/your-vehicle but maybe it'll show on the Electronic Service Sheet: https://lite.servicemercedes.co.uk/ess/pc/

In any event, I guess it'll have a service book with the schedule information in it. It's odd that they'd say it needs coolant - mine is 15yrs and, while yours could well be different the age doesn't fit in with any obvious interval. It's worth figuring out what's needed and when otherwise stuff gets missed, or done more often than needed.

DickyC

38,917 posts

157 months

Sunday 18th October
quotequote all
Good idea; set up my own service plan. I'll do that.

Something that occurred to me this afternoon, as we've batted this backwards and forwards, is, if the car is asking for an A service and MB suggested a B service, there may have been a bit of creative service recommendation.

TarquinMX5

381 posts

39 months

Monday 19th October
quotequote all
DickyC said:
Last week MB estimated £743 to service my wife's FSH '98 SLK. The girl asked my name and the car's registration number.

"Do we know this car?"
"Yes. You've serviced it for eighteen years."

Seven times I called to try to speak to someone about a discount - or something - for a loyal customer with a car they had last serviced 2,500 miles ago. The eighth phone call I made was to cancel.

"Oh, it says here the service has been discounted, 20% off the labour and 10% off parts. Brings it down to £611. Do you still wish to cancel?"
"Yes, actually I do."

Why was it so difficult for someone to call and speak to me?

"Ring up that pain in the arse and tell him we've discounted the price."
"No, I think we should keep him in the dark."
"Yeah, whatever."

At £611 the discounted price was almost exactly double the estimate from the Mercedes specialist three hundred yards away.

FMBSH gives way to FSH. Sigh.

The thousands of pounds I've spent there. Gee whiz. Funnily enough, I've just bought another one as a retirement project, an SLK32. They won't be tinkering with that one either.

"Your call is very important to us."

It's not really, is it?
It's probably fair to say that MB main dealers, in the main, are geared up for (prefer?) new cars, just running through 'computer says' servicing. If it's not on the e.s.s., it doesn't get done. Generally. In my experience, too many of the 'customer satisfaction centre' operators, workshop loaders, or whatever term they use, have no idea what they're talking about. I once queried a very high quote, 'Oh, it's a major service sir, they take the wheels off'. Wow, big deal, I do that on a regular basis. What else do they do? Oil & filter change pollen filter and brake fluid. That's about it.

When they were the old-school locally (or family) owned, you could usually discuss individual pricing, talk to the 'technician' who was going to or had worked on your car, actually look at it, rather than have a video sent to you even whilst you're waiting in the 'vip lounge' etc etc.. My view is that the push is very much towards moving as much of the service 'custom' onto service plans, partly why, IMHO, pay-as-you-go servicing prices have risen so much in recent years, making the service-plan appear to be better value.

I'm not sure whether it's your call that's so important to them or the top marks you might award on the follow up customer service.

Clearly, not all dealers are the same and as with everything, you get good and 'less-good' wink. The problem is when there are too many layers , ie 'front of house, team leaders, service managers etc. that you can't talk to the person who actually knows. Years ago you could simply go to the Parts Dept counter, now you are met by front of house, asked if you have an appointment (what, to buy parts?), details taken, asked to wait in the lounge, offered coffee and biscuits and eventually somebody from parts comes out. All for a stick of paint touch-up. Naturally, the parts chap or gal) is fine, friendly helpful etc, much as they used to be. It's just the 'value added' layers that irritate sometimes.

Perhaps it's the way the market is going; £x per month to buy, £y per month to service. Repeat ad infinitum. The old way is 'soooo last century'

Just my thoughts biggrin



sanguinary

894 posts

170 months

Monday 19th October
quotequote all
I’ve built a good relationship with a local, well respected small garage. I’ve used them over the years, mainly on older, lower value cars, but see no reason not to use them on my C63. It’s 9 years old anyway, so depreciation has took most of its value and I’ve no real plans to sell. It’s not an investment anyway, so if I don’t quite get top price for it, I’m not going to be too concerned.

The mentioning of videos above reminded me of when I bought my X5 a few years ago. I took it to the local dealer, as it needed some work on the GPS. Whilst there I asked them to service it. Later that morning I got an estimate for over £9k!

Thinking I’d bought a lemon, I rang the dealer to query why the service was so much and what problems they’d found, to be told the car was in great condition for its age (10 years) and the estimate covers everything to get it to A1 condition.... needless to say, I didn’t go ahead with the work as I was happy with my 10 year old car.

Gulf7

271 posts

17 months

Monday 19th October
quotequote all
We bought an approved GLC from a Mercedes dealer but baulked at the eye-watering service prices.

We take ours to a specialist now: https://www.avantgarde-automotive.co.uk/

DickyC

38,917 posts

157 months

Sunday 25th October
quotequote all
Bullet bitten, car taken to specialist. Their check revealed things that should have done over the course of MB's custodianship of the car. New fuel filter, for example, recommended every three years, last one in 2008. The video of the MB tech walking beneath the car complaining about rust - which I cheerfully ignored - did not mention the external oil pipe on the gearbox which the specialist pointed out on Friday is in a very poor state. Worst case: oil leak, no oil, ruined gearbox. Yes, I know now, I should have checked. But my thinking was that to have the job done properly over many years I should entrust it to MB. I was wrong.

And another thing... When the service book was almost full I ordered a continuation book from MB. It's not like that apparently;there is no continuation, you get a replacement.





The book arrives and it has DUPLICATE stamped right through it, each page perforated, because clearly your intention is not to continue the car's history, it is to rewrite the history.

Grr.

Welshbeef

42,330 posts

157 months

Sunday 25th October
quotequote all
Well had mine serviced last week and extremely pleased with the Reading Merc team.