Tag Archives: Customer service

Mercedes – the story continues

This time last year, and in December, I had a mighty whinge about my car and how disappointed I was with it. Twelve months on, it’s still with me – I can’t get rid of it until June 2017 – but the nonsense just keeps on coming.

One of my principle gripes was the performance of the satnav. Now, in the context of most things in the world, this is a trivial matter and there are many who might consider that I should just put up with it. I am after all, driving round in a Mercedes. That is a perfectly valid argument, of course, but somewhat misses the point.

Yes, I am driving round in a Mercedes, but one which is faulty and neither Mercedes nor my dealer can do anything about it. I have a car that does not do what I was promised when I paid for it and I am getting pretty short shrift from those that are supposed to be helping.

The car went to the dealer for its 46,000 mile service two weeks ago. As usual, in addition to the service itself, the dealer always asks whether there is anything else that I would like sorting. I advised that I would like the satnav voice turned off properly, but that I knew that there would be nothing that they could do about the traffic data arriving at the satnav in anything like a useful time frame.

On one of the previous occasions that they had reinstalled the software into the dashboard (getting close to double figures now) they had managed to introduce a bug whereby the woman’s voice that tells you to “Turn left in 300m” could not be turned off permanently. Each and every time the car was started, the voice would come back on, leading to the convoluted procedure via the stupid trackpad thing where the hand brake lever would be, just to silence her for that journey. Stop and buy some diesel, and she’s back. By removing the sound files from the SD card that drives the satnav, they seem to have cured the problem. Hoorah!

Or so I thought.

On putting in my home destination from the dealer, I was stuck in slow M6 southbound traffic. I looked to see whether Herr Benz had managed to let me know what was going on, and there was no traffic there at all. The dealer had, in his infinite wisdom, disabled the whole of the traffic function completely. I returned the car the next day, to an apology and a promise that it would only be a 30 minute fix. 45 minutes later, I was told that they had broken the computer that controls these things and that they would need to order a new one.

They fitted the computer last Monday. When I went to collect the car, I was told that it hadn’t fixed the problem and that they would need yet more software written for my car (unique – one of a million C-Classes sold, yet mine needs unique software apparently). By Friday, they still hadn’t got any fix from Germany, so I now have the car back with me, but still not functioning properly.

This has been the most expensive car I have ever owned. This has also been one of the worst cars I have ever owned, if frustration, annoyance, aggravation and irritation are taken as judging criteria. It’s just one below a Fiat Panda that used to require a can of WD40 per journey squirting on the electrics on the engine to keep it going. But that only cost me about £1500.

I have written to the CEO of Mercedes Benz UK. Not unexpectedly, but very disappointingly, he has just passed the buck back to the dealer, but at least I am now making arrangements to see the Dealer Principal and hope to see him on Tuesday.

Apparently, they want to do everything that they can to “keep me in the Mercedes family“. Really? Why should I give them a second chance, when I have had the car 18 months, driven 46,000 miles, had a dozen or more dealer visits, but they still can’t fix a problem that’s been there from day 1, and have now broken my car, potentially irrevocably?

We have gone way, way beyond that.

What I want is to leave the paperwork and the keys on his desk and walk away with my finance agreement cancelled, but I know that’s not going to happen. Maybe I should seek legal advice?

I should never have left the BMW family. I never had any of this kind of crap from them.

Oh, and the brakes needed doing again. 23,000 miles is obviously the standard life of pads these days. In Mercedes World.

<And relax>

And paint the fence at the bottom of the garden…

I should mention of course, that this fence is only in a position to be painted because Ann previously cleared out the border of all the weeds and bushes so that the dog could see the rabbit.

The final word on the BA flight issue

As expected, there was, apparently, “nothing wrong with the service” we received from BA back in March (it took 2 months to get a resolution from the CAA). Of course there was nothing wrong – I have gone to all this effort to bring this to the authorities’ attention because there is nothing wrong.

Here is the email that I received from them recently.

Further to my email of 14 April 2014, we are now in a position to respond to your concerns about your flight with British Airways (BA), having now received a response back from BA in relation to this flight and the seating allocation.   The matters you raise in points 1 and 2 of your letter, as I am sure you can appreciate, are customer service issues for BA to respond to separately.

Turning to your matter 3 and our response from BA, notwithstanding your concerns about your safety in terms of being ‘trapped’ in your seats by what you describe as a ‘severely disabled’ and ‘large’ lady, the crew on this particular flight were satisfied with the passenger’s ability to evacuate the aircraft, as required in accordance with BA’s Standard Operating Procedures. As such, whilst the Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) do appreciate that having persons with reduced mobility (PRM’s) on flights can have an impact on other passengers, it does not therefore believe the safety of this flight, or the passengers was compromised.

BA, along with all UK operators, takes their responsibility towards the carriage of persons with reduced mobility seriously.  Operators in general cannot discriminate towards those who are not fully mobile, but do have provisions based upon the individual’s ability to evacuate themselves from an aircraft, either aided by someone who is accompanying them or unaided if they are able to do so. 

The CAA is therefore satisfied with BA’s response to this enquiry, but does understand your need to look into this matter.  I do apologise that is has taken longer than expected for us to be in a position to respond fully to your concerns on this occasion. 

Yours sincerely

Now, I didn’t expect anything more than this, to be honest. A lesson learned.