I strongly suspect Mercedes-Benz of Wappingers Falls attempted to defraud me of over $3,700 in unnecessary repairs over the last 2 weeks of August, 2020. The details are unimportant save to inform you, it's current, past or future customers of their likely intent to exploit me and their subsequent attempts to cover up their near or actual criminal activities. I am not alone. This is for you too:
PART I - PARTS SYSTEMIC PRICE GOUGING - You don't have to take my word for it. Simply pull out any of your past Service Invoices or Estimates and compare the price of the parts installed on or recommended for your vehicle and match them up with the prices listed for those identical parts on their parts website. In my case, attempts were made by MB of WF to recommend and sell me parts at prices an average of 72% higher than on the website and 21% more than LIST price.
How many times do you think a dealer tries to sell a vehicle for 21% over sticker. Probably not often, customers wouldn't tolerate it, however, the MB of WF Service and Parts Departments gets away with it over 1,000X EVERY MONTH!! Run the numbers and prove it to yourself. I have not found an exception to this pattern.
PART II - SERVICE RECOMMENDATIONS FOR BOGUS REPAIRS* -
I had to go through 3 layers of staff and management at the dealer, AND over an hour working with MB USA Customer Care to have the GM finally today apologize to me and offer to discount the ONLY work required to fix my stated concern to under $800 AND an offer to have one of the misrepresented recommendations, a $1,658 job, done free, (???) work that my Service Advisor, Shop Foreman and Service Director recommended be done to solve my primary concern. I gave them 4 individual chances over 10 days to retract their recommendation and/or refine the scope to the $800 repair. Everyone involved CHOSE to perpetuate the deception except the GM and then only when asked to look into it by MB USA at my insistence.
There was an additional recommendation to replace a Throttle Actuator for $2,110 that had a stored (not active) code only, dating back to 129 ignition cycles. Meaning that I had turned the car on and off 129 times since the fault occurred. The Service Director finally also admitted to me that they “dropped the ball” here too by recommending this “repair”, yet it was not important or necessary for any legitimate reason. suggesting to me that it may have been a deliberate attempt at fraud. I expect the County DA will help answer that.
The GM also reported to me that, only after discussing my car's issues with the lead technician, was he told that the $800 repair was THE ONLY REPAIR NEEDED TO SOLVE THE PROBLEM and that there was no chance the $1,658 recommendation could be the cause of the problem. Note: If I had agreed to their recommendations without challenging them exactly as I had to to get them too admit their “mistakes”, I would have paid over $5,500 for an $800 solution. This reminds me of the 60 minutes segments that started with a sting in Macon County, GA at some filling station. Maybe we'll see the CBS film crew in Wappingers someday.
My motivation here: Not the diagnostic charge. The Service Director refunded that (and I'm sure they'll mention that in a retort to this, thinking the refund somehow nullifies their suspected fraudulent intent), while simultaneously kicking me out of his office earlier today. Not the discounted or free work. None of that even entered my mind going into this despite my being unemployed throughout the pandemic and having limited resources.
I'm doing this to broadcast this dealerships' unethical business practices in an effort to get them motivated to change things for the better so customers who follow aren't victimized as I and others have. To help save you from being ripped-off. Nothing more, nothing less. If effective changes aren't made, there's always more that can be done by me and us.
*NOTE: All of my suspicions have since been validated by an independent MB Certified Technician