We are witnessing extensive Mercedes commercial on Radio and TV these days unlike ever before in Ontario. When I was leasing mine, there was almost none. Demand was so high they probably didnt need it. Today, 39 month later (common lease term in 2009), MB is flooded with returns and not so many renewing. The question is why?
In Germany, every other taxi cab there is a MB. Being an average brand in Europe, MB was always positioning itself as a luxury brand in America. I was driving one back there but here it is simply out of rich for the majority, too expensive. First service $500 + tax, second service $700+ tax, third service $500+ tax. Thats the minimum you are going to pay over the term of your lease. One would assume great service for the money, right? Here is my story. Sit back, there is a lot to say.
In November 2009, I was looking for a decent car for my wife and found a demo B200 at MB Maple dealership in Concord, Ontario. At the time the new B200 was advertised at 2.5%APR. Since the dealer was 50 miles away from my place, I specifically asked the used car sales rep what interest rate would apply is I lease the demo. He confirmed the rate would be the same as for the new. (LIE #1) When I got there, however, the rate went up to 4.9%APR. He lied. He just wanted to drag me there and sell me whatever in case I dont like the demo.
I brought my wife and didnt want to waste time and go back empty handed. We ended up negotiating a deal on a new vehicle. After signing and making a deposit however, it turned out the car we were buying was sold to someone else. (LIE #2) Some woman paid more for it and the dealer took it from the done deal. We were told it would take a month to get a new vehicle. It was very disappointing and I wasnt sure after what happened I even wanted to do business with that dealer. It was on Saturday. On Monday next week I requested my deposit back. The dealer refused to return the deposit, $500. I went to a Mississauga dealer, which is much closer for me and found the vehicle I was looking for there. I was still unable to get my deposit. After a month of fighting and involving the MB head office, I was able to move the money to my account to be used for future purchases from Mercedes.
I when for a first service it was also Saturday. I had a first appointment on that day. When I arrived, the dealership was closed, every single door. I took a quick walk around, nothing. Since it was my first visit ever, I was patiently waiting outside and noticed cars were moving around the corner. It turned out the small service door there was opened. Half an hour were wasted. I made a comment to the Asian woman at the service desk that another access door wouldnt hurt because Im not a mind reader and it is not obvious for someone new where to go. Needless to say what I got in response. To show me one more time, she gave nice loud welcome and a big smile to the next customer, an Asian man. Yes, I want to point out their common nationality and that she was totally disrespectful to me. Thats what you get for your first service and $500+ tax at the Mercedes Benz Mississauga dealership.
In a few short months my front brake pads got blocked and worn down to the plates. I had sparkles coming out of my front wheels leaving permanent marks on the rims. This is an important note. This is how I could easily distinguish later where these rims were. The brakes were a warranty repair and obviously they had to take the front wheels off to repair the brakes. Any courteous service man that cares about his customers would point out other noticeable defects or needs for repair along the way. Not Mercedes. I will explain shortly. That was half way to my Second service.
The second service cost me $700+ tax. The dealer is supposed to list the work performed on the vehicle. Among others there was tire rotation. I never rotated tires before that service. That means, my front damaged rims (remember the break damage?) were supposed to be moved to the back. Shortly we went on a family trip to Charlotte, North Carolina. Half way, at the middle of nowhere, my wife noticed the car was pooling off road.
Something was wrong with front wheels. There happened to be a tire service just a few miles away. There we discovered that our front tires are worn to the ground and need immediate replacement. Just a few short months ago I was at my Second service and a few month before that had my brakes fixed. I didnt hear a single word of warning from the dealer AND my damaged rims were still on the front!!! That means LIE #3. That means Mercedes Benz Mississauga is charging customers for service it does not provide. That means MB Mississauga is a fraud.
From that middle of nowhere tire service, I called MB emergency number on my MB customer card. No answer, no return calls, no follow ups, not on that day, not ever. I ended up replacing all 4 tires because didnt want to have any other problems. These guys, however, couldnt touch warranty parts. 500 miles later I had to go to MB in Charlotte to complete what could not be fixed at the tire place. Man, this is where I realised how Mercedes customers should be treated.
Imagine someone who knows that you will never come there again and yet, treats you like you are their #1 customer. They were literally dusting my shoulders. And told me they get quite a few of B200 there for service. B200 is not sold in the US. And if they happen to get quite a few means, quite a few require the service. Think for a second, what are the chances for your car to break while you travel in another country and what are the chances you would go for the long trip before making sure your car doesnt need any service. That tells me once again, Mercedes Benz reliability is a myth. It is simply an expired concept many used to believe.
Another important note, majority of MB dealers in the US are privately owned. Here in GTA, they are
mostly corporate. The result is Mercedes service here is a mockery at service or a simple fraud. All that is on top of higher lease and purchase prices, interest and service fees Ontarians have to put up with.
During the lease term I had to replace head light bulbs every two or three month, $13 apiece. First time that happened, I went to get one. Sanding at the service window I requested the part and looked away for a second. When I looked back, the bulb was in front of me like a magic. Surprised I asked the sales man whether he had it in his pocket. He opened up the drawer. It was full of light bulbs. He said, You can imagine how many of these we sell. (Lie#4) Apparently, these bulbs go very quick and Mercedes is well aware of the defect. Do they care? Not a chance. They just keep making money and ripping customers off.
Recently, my lease expired. Needless to say, I couldnt wait to get rid of this B200 junk and never deal with Mercedes Benz Canada again. The night before the due date, I dropped the car. Because it was Monday, I was running late and didnt have a chance to stop by at home and grab the second key. I asked the receptionist, who apparently was in charge of accepting returned vehicles, whether it would be a problem if I dropped the second key later. The answer was that absolutely not. I dropped the key next week. It was accepted and I was rest assured that everything was in order. (LIE #5)
Sure enough it wasnt. I received a bill with a $250 charge for the missing key I returned. Mercedes Corporate is refusing to reverse the charge. Cheats and liars that breached the contract times and times long ago, are pointing me into that contract now and saying that everything was supposed to be returned along with the car. At this point, I dont care how much it would be. I want them to pay for all the lies, cheats and fraud they committed. For those reading this, my advice, DO NOT EVER LEASE OR BUY FROM MERCEDES BENZ in Canada. I caught them on lying so many times, there is no question my experience is not unique and it happens to every customer one way or another. That is why MB is flooded with used vehicles they cant sell. That is why they are all over TV and radio these days. That is a result of terrible service and faulty business practises on ALL levels, from dealers to MB corporate. Do not repeat my mistake. Stay away from Mercedes Benz Canada.