At last, I thought. I have found someone in the organisation who understands my frustration, empathises and is willing to actually do something about it.
I had a good chat on Wednesday with the manager who explained that there were three options open to us (him).
- They would take my car back and write off the finance package
- They would take my car in part-exchange against a new one, for which they would do the very best deal open to them
- I can keep the car until I can hand it back next summer and they would pay me some compensation for my aggravation and the fact that they have broken it.
By Friday afternoon, only two options remained. MB refuse to consider me handing back the car now with no penalty – this I am not surprised at. The difference between the outstanding finance and the trade in value is too great. But, disappointing.
Saturday morning see us sitting with one of their top salesmen – for about two minutes – before he went to deal with other customers. This meeting was pre-arranged with the manager, and the salesman knew most of my history with my car. We were left with a very nice lady who knew the spec of the cars inside and out and we went for a decent test-drive in a saloon version of mine (I no longer need an estate), in a car that had the better spec sat-nav. There was a huge difference in its functionality, display and added benefits. The car also had stiffer suspension, which was an added bonus.
However, when we got back, she went off to the salesman who “ran some numbers” for me. Without leaving me with a quote to examine, their solution to my problem was for me to leave a deposit 3x the size of the one I used to buy my car 18 months ago, rent it for half the number of miles I do at the moment (a mileage which is just about right) and then for me to pay an extra £100 per month in PCP rental. Unfortunately, we were not able to see the actual salesman again as he was “very busy with other customers”. Jeez.
So, it looks like I am stuck with an unfixable faulty car for the next nine months, unless I can speak with the manager and convey my incredulity at what was offered. HE was the one who suggested the spec of the car that I drove. HE was the one who suggested that a deal was possible.
Today, I am going to head Liverpool, to a different MB dealer not in the same group as the first, armed with the spec of the car that was quoted for me yesterday and see what a new PCP would be, if MB were not sorting out my current contract. Somewhere in there, there must have been a hidden charge to deal with the finance shortfall, but without a print of the quote, I cannot tell where. We will see.
Will also pay the BMW dealer next door a call, to get a PCP quote on a similarly spec’d 3-Series saloon.
To add to what has been a highly frustrating weekend, I was texted on Friday to let me know that the flights I have booked for our trip to Milos next month, to take photographs for a friend, had been cancelled. I have had to re-arrange the flights for the following day out and the previous day back, so we have about a day and a half less time on the island. We also have to spend two nights at Athens airport – which does allow us time to visit the city itself, which we wouldn’t have been able to do otherwise – and I have had to re-arrange the flight back to London for a day earlier than planned.
Fortunately, the travel insurance with the bank will cover most if not all of the cost, but this airline has just cost someone about £500. They must have known at the time that we booked that they would be changing their timetable on the weekend before we were to fly.
Just sheer incompetence.