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Joe Marconi

Must Read! New Car Dealer Tactic

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I have always been a firm believer of taking care of my customers as if they were family members. If my customer comes to me with a problem on their car and the car is still under factory warranty or needs reprogramming, we will take the car to the local dealer and handle the transaction. I don’t want my customer to make a separate appointment with the dealer; I want to remove that burden, if at all possible. What happened this week opened my eyes to a tactic I was not completely aware of. Please read on, I must share this with you.

 

A longtime customer brought his Mercedes to us for a noise in the dash when operating the heater. We found a faulty blend door motor, a very extensive job. The customer authorized the job and everything was fine, except that the car needed to be reprogramed after the repair. We set up an appointment and shuttled the car to the local Mercedes dealer for the reprograming. Two days later after numerous calls and no return phone call, we finally reached someone in service and the advisor told us they had to remove part of the dash to repair a broken wire. No call to let us know, no authorization, no consult…..nothing!

 

My shop foremen and lead tech worked on this car and took digital photos thru every step. They are both master techs. Both of them are outraged and said the dealership is lying.

 

But wait, it gets better. After we picked up the car, an email and phone call went out to my customer! The email was a satisfaction survey and the phone call was to inform the car owner the reason why the car was at the dealer: The Reason: TO REPAIR A BROKEN WIRE IN THE DASH! The customer immediately called us to let us know.

 

At this point I was furious and called the dealer. You have to leave a message whenever you call this dealer and I left four messages. It took another day for someone to get back to me. The service advisor told me that they are obligated under the terms of their Mercedes franchise agreement to call all of their Mercedes customers. THEIR CUSTOMER! I had to remind him of two very important facts: First, this is MY customer, not yours, and any obligation you may think you have does not include fabricating the truth.

 

I don’t want to condemn or prejudge all new car dealers. We have great relationships with the local Chevrolet dealer, Nissan Dealer, Ford Dealer, Hyundai dealer, etc. I just thought it was important to share this story with other shop owners. I am not one to draw a line in the sand; I feel we should all get along. I will never know the truth about the broken wire, but this Mercedes dealership tactic has left me with suspicion.

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