Working with the dealership for an online purchase, however, was a frustrating and unpleasant experience. My children and I have purchased seven vehicles in the past few years online; three Land Rovers, a Kia, a Volkswagon, a Nissan and a GLK-250. The GLK was the latest purchase. It was destroyed in a flood in OK and this purchase was a replacement of it for my wife.
All of the sales were uneventful, and we have been happy with the cars and the process.
I found the the vehicle online on a Friday and talked to the internet sales person. Over the weekend, I continued to look and decided to buy this car as it was the closest match to the car that we lost in the flood. On Monday, I called the dealership and told them that I wanted to buy the car. I was aware that they were not willing to negotiate on the price. The person that I talked to on Friday had told me the price was firm, but sharing the shipping cost would "probably be no problem."
The deal was suddenly required to be completed by Friday. I explained that my insurance check wasn't due until Thursday and that could be a problem. I offered a $5K non-refundable deposit to hold the car for ten days so that I could wait for the insurance check. They refused any deal that was not closed by Friday. I had my bank prepare to wire them the money, and asked for a Bill of Sale so that the bank could proceed. Instead, they wasted two days sending an invoice for $1K to hold the car until Friday. I finally demanded that they send the Bill of Sale or cancel the sale, and it was sent. Then, they required that I come and inspect the car before they would ship it. I am in Tulsa, Oklahoma, which is about 1500 miles from Burlington . After a couple of "animated" conversations, they salesman told me that Mercedes required all customers to personally view the car before shipment to avoid possible disappointment when it was received. I pointed out that this was either an error or a lie, as the last Mercedes that I bought, also from a Mercedes dealer in the East, did not have that requirement. I also volunteered to send an affidavit agreeing that I would not complain about any defect in the car that was not revealed in pictures that they could take and send me. Finally, they agreed that I would have a personal representative come to view the car, but would not recommend any local person or company who could provide the service. Their idea of help was to recommend that I "Google it" and I would certainly be able to find someone. Fortunately, a mechanic's shop across the street from the dealership was more helpful and they helped me find Scott the Car Guy, who told me that the car was as close to perfect as he had seen at that age. He was right, BTW, the car is in excellent condition.
I told the sales person about my conversation concerning sharing the shipping expense, and he said that he would talk to the sales manager. When the paperwork was sent to finalize the deal, the shipping cost was not mentioned in it. I asked how they wanted to handle the split in price. He said that he had talked to the first sales person, who denied having said anything about the shipping. And, how could they know how much to share when they didn't know the cost of shipping. I recommended that he could Google it, but he seemed to miss the humor.
On several occasions when I called, the salesman was busy, so I asked for the sales manager, Mark. He was also busy in every case. However, when I asked for the general manager, the salesman was on the phone within 30 seconds. It was like buying a car in the 70's or 80's.
After a significantly frustrating purchase experience, we received the car and it is an excellent vehicle. If I need another vehicle and have the opportunity to deal with Mercedes Benz of Burlington, I will definitely go back to driving Land Rover.