No matter the vehicle you purchase, you'd like to be treated fairly. Human nature dictates that if your purchase is on the high end, then certainly your expectations will reside at the high end. But let me stress that no matter where a person resides on that line, you deserve to have the product you purchased serviced properly.
This sad saga, which Lisa saved, started in Ohio. My wife was so impressed with the layout of the facility and how the staff treated us as customers. It was a lengthy process, even though I came with cash. That evening, we rode home in a used, late model sedan. It was everything we expected of this model. In fact, this was my third S550. There was an imperfection in the windshield and the dealer provided an IOU. They'd cover the cost - no problem. And of course, you've got to get tags from the dealer along with the purchase. But we made the purchase in Ohio and we live in Maryland. No big deal, right?
Well, to make an incredibly long story short, after four months of the Ohio dealer not being able to schedule the windshield replacement in Maryland, I happened to explain my situation to Lisa. Now mind you, I am cutting a whole lot of drama out of this situation. It had gotten so bad that the dealer would no longer (it seemed) to take my calls and the windshield replacement representative just said the heck with it and went on vacation. When I called them again, the next representative answering the phone said, 'well, she's on vacation, I'll see if I can contact her.'
Throughout the many, many phone calls, it seemed as if I were the bad guy because I was merely attempting to get the darn windshield replaced, as the dealer in Ohio promised. Not to mention all this time, I still do not have a valid title. First they transferred the plate from the vehicle I traded-in. Then after 30 days, my salesman calls to ask what's the number on the temp plate so they can replace it. I told them, we took the plates from my old vehicle. In addition, the registration on that vehicle is good until November so why do I need a temporary plate - at that point, not knowing it was going to take four months to get my title and registration. Besides, I'm not going to take off a regular plate and replace it with a cardboard temp plate!!!
All these things are weighing heavy. Not to mention how would I explain to the police, if I got pulled over (for speeding ... lol), why I was driving this car that had the plates registered to another vehicle. So I'm carrying the burden of the windshield, the plates and registration, the thought in the back of my mind about being pulled over (believe me I did NOT speed during this period of time); and nothing seeming to happen as it was supposed to. Previously, I asked the Hagerstown dealership if they did windshield replacements. No. They use an external company. So I'm thinking there's no need to ask them that question again.
Anyway, after it's all said and done, my compressor gives out. Great. Not only does it give out, it gives out while I'm driving. So the dash board lights up all in Red and says, PULL OVER NOW! I was 12 miles away from the Hagerstown dealership. I had the choice, do I pull over now or can I chance making it another 12 miles. Everything felt ok. No shakes. In fact, there was no change in the ride. I took the chance and I made it. I drove directly into the service bay. Alex was there to greet me.
I warned you this was a long story. I'm making it as short as I can. Anyway, the car is now in for service because the compressor is shot. I think the cost was in the nature of $2,300. Thank goodness for the warrantee. No matter what, you can't drive it without a compressor, right? Nonetheless, after reaching out to the Ohio dealership and finally getting the sales manager to reply to me, he sends a note and says, work through your local dealership. We will pay for it. I'm thinking great! Hagerstown has already told me they don't do windshields. So here I am stuck in an impossible situation. Frustration. Defeat. These words are floating in my thoughts. But I decide to call the Hagerstown dealership to see if I could get the general manager there to call the Ohio general manager to solve my problem.
In the meantime, my wife's opinion of the Ohio dealership completely changed. I agreed. It was nice and shiny while we were there. After we left, we felt less than one of those numbers on a piece of paper that had fallen to the floor and were walked on and now stuck to the bottom of someone's boots. It was still snowing in Ohio and if you've ever been there in the winter, you know how much brine they use on their roads. We were stuck on the bottom of someone's boot and secured there with brine. That's how we felt.
So I decided to see if we could get some general manager-to-general manager negotiation working. Now, why would the Hagerstown dealership do anything for me? Yeah, I serviced my other vehicles there, but I’m certainly not a known customer. Honestly, I didn’t expect much. I figured I’d be left out on my own, but I did read a few reviews and the reviews were good. So I had absolutely nothing to lose. I had dealt with Lisa when I dropped the vehicle off. They arranged to have a rental car there for me and then a loaner a day or so later while my compressor was being replaced. That’s also how I met Elizabeth. Nevertheless, I sent Lisa the email the sales manager from Ohio sent me and I explained my frustration. At this point, I’m practically at my wits end.
Like magic, Lisa contacted me and said, “We got it. No worries. We will order the windshield and once it comes in, we will install it.” It was like going to Charlestown and hitting a jackpot.
It was amazing how simple it seemed that Lisa solved my problem that I could not, for the life of me, resolve over the course of four months. For that, Lisa gets FIVE STARS. Elizabeth gets four stars because she was incredibly nice and kind too – even after I was double charged a significant amount of money. We straightened that out and now all is well. Now - the actual details of this story are a little different, but to protect and preserve the integrity of the overall experience, that's why there a change. Ultimately, this is essentially what happened. The bottle line is Hagerstown came through in a big way.
To the Hagerstown Mercedes Benz crew and management, thank you. What may have seemed like something routine for you was an incredible obstacle for me. No matter how I tried, I could not get this done. Often, when customers come in, we don’t give all the details. We go straight to the challenge or the problem. Thank you for listening and for hiring someone who listens (although she's been there 15 years). I appreciate you guys taking care of my problem and getting me back on the road. Undoubtedly, there are people I haven’t mentioned. This is already a 1,200 word story. And that’s really not long enough to express my thanks. Please pass along my gratitude to Lisa, Elizabeth, Alex and Marty.