Mercedes Benz: Continuing Saga Of Horrid Customer Service And A Broken Car. Installment #2

Since my last blog (see below), there has been slight movement in customer service response. But only slight, and what it took for me to get that tiny level of service from them is mind boggling.

I originally attempted to speak with the customer service department at the Mercedes Benz Headquarters in Montvale NJ. All I ended up getting was a company mouth (Mariano) who would only refer back to the dealership and would do nothing on my behalf (his words) because they were an autonomous franchise and didn’t answer to anyone in Headquarters (?!). Not to mention that he refused to hand me over to a supervisor as “Supervisors aren’t allowed to take calls from customers (amazing).”

I then called my dealership and spoke with the owner, Harvey  Dyer, who said nothing while I railed on about my problem. He ended the call by saying “I’ll look into it” and hung up. That was the last time I heard from Harvey. I guess if he hires the sort of people here in Austin that would say/do what is being done, he must have the same outlook: money first, customer last ,and no need to speak with an unhappy customer.

Folks: do NOT buy a car from this dealership.

Given I was not happy with the status quo – no work on my car until I gave them more money to fix the problem that they didn’t fix but said they had fixed but wasn’t fixed (did  you get that?) –  and no one would help me, no one would call me back from my local dealership owner, the dealership Service Manager, or from the US customer service folks, I called the main Daimler offices in Stuttgart Germany to try to get SOMEONE to stand behind the Mercedes brand  and get my car fixed. I had to call three times before I got a responsive person (what is going on with this company??), but finally was given the direct line of Ralph Fisher, the US Director of Customer Service.  (201 476 6210 ). I also had to call there 3 times before someone, other than Mr. Fisher’s assistant, spoke to me to me – and this was at 4:57 on Friday afternoon when I was becoming a pain in the butt and demanding.

Interestingly, someone from Ralph’s office had spoken with my dealership to get the facts (!?!?!?) before they spoke with me (and the ‘facts’ according to who?) and I had to call three times to get someone to speak with me at all, even as an unhappy customer. How interesting that every action this company takes – from my dealership, to the US
National Headquarters for Mercedes, to the Daimler office in Stuttgart – is done to protect themselves and show NO care for the customer! Fascinating… and a good sign that it’s imperative not to purchase a Mercedes because no one stands behind it and there is NO customer advocacy. None.

Eventually I spoke with Louis  Garillo,  who placated me by typing my factual complaints and offering a seemingly rehearsed or scripted apology that had no personal care and was quite formal. I learned that my dealership was indeed going ahead to at least diagnose the car. That’s all I know. That’s all I’ve been told.

It is now a week since the second breakdown of the car. The dealership has it and I still have a loaner. Other than a call from my service team manager (Ron, the one nice guy), no one has called me back. Not the customer service manager Jim McGuane, not the dealership owner, Harvey  Dyer , not the customer service woman in Montvale , Louis Garillo,  or the promised people from Stuttgart. I have no idea what is going on with my car. None. Of course I’ve reported this to the State regulatory commission in Texas, and have put a hold on my $3000 credit card payment , and have a Mercedes expert ready to look at the original parts that were taken out (that might indeed not be broken since that ‘fix’ didn’t fix the problem) . But no one should have to go through this. Not when there are many good cars that come with service.

Stay tuned for the next installment.

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