MB needs to seriously re-think its relationship with smart

MB/smart USA is out of touch with smart owners.

MB of Seattle / smart center Seattle: $182 got me a Battery Charger update and a Shifter Unit update. Why is there a charge for a s/w update? Seems to me that MB/smart didn't get it right the first time around so an update should be free. Even Microsoft recognizes this. Imagine the uproar if MS or any other S/W company charged for a S/W update.

All told, my wife's 20K service and s/w updates came to $792 and that's only because I refused the $120 cabin filter. (a filter I can buy for $12 and install myself). $630 labor, $92 parts, $69 tax. This is for an oil change, an air filter change and a brake fluid change. I've owned more cars than I can remember now but I've never owned one that needed a brake fluid change.

I took the car in because I thought it might need s/w updates. Something the former sc Seattle would have done gratis.

Phil Smart MB / smart had a different perspective on this and they've  seen the last of my hard-earned dollars.

I did get a bird's eye view into the ultra-rich, money's no object MB clientele during my time there. Wow is all I can say.

smart and MB should never be collocated, conjugated or co-anything'ed ... ever.

Does corporate MB even have a policy on this?

While many have excoriated the Penske Auto Group on many levels, few could quibble with their consumer focused support of their customers. They held the line on profit-takers when the car was introduced. They couldn't do anything about those dealers in states that allowed/encouraged $500+ doc fees but that was beyond their control.

In my 70+ years on this planet and 50+ years of buying cars, motorcycles, RVs and ORVs, I can unequivocally state that my buying and post-buying experiences have never been better than with the original sc Seattle.

Thank you Ethan and BJ

No thanks to Phil Smart in Seattle.

Regards,

Dan

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I have to agree. The 'attitude' of the Majority of MB dealers seem to only 'endure' having the smart in their showrooms. When it comes to 'service' we get 'equality' in the form of paying high labor and parts costs of MB/Daimler. 

There are some 'smart centers' that treat us better, but the 'link' to MB still hurts us on cost. The only way a smart center/ MB dealer would help us is if MBUSA/smartUSA reimbursed the dealers the difference in cost. I don't see that happening especially since Daimler charges them a small fortune (on a yearly basis) for the STAR computer system.

The dealer could help us by doing the software diagnoses/updates without charging smart owners, no car dealer will do that (unless they are the type that believes in real customer service).

I assume the $182.00 was all labor since the 'computer' did the update. Did they show you the 'time' for the tech to plug/unplug the machine? How many 'hours'?

I can guarantee the tech earns a small fraction of the 'labor' charge.

Car dealers are like Las Vegas...the house always wins.

MJB

 

This whole issue may be related to the way Mercedes is perceived in the rest of the world vs. in the U.S.  In this country, M-B USA has worked extremely hard to portray Mercedes as exclusively a luxury (with a capital L) brand, while in Europe Mercedes sells an entire range of cars, including the smart, A-Class and B-Class before you get to what is currently the entry level Mercedes here, the C-Class. In Europe it's common to see Mercedes diesel sedans in the taxi ranks as well as the mighty S-Class on the Autobahns or Autoroutes, etc. As of July 2011, Mercedes-Benz USA has had to deal with the smart as part of their portfolio, while seemingly playing down the fact that it's engineered and built by Mercedes (not the right move IMHO).  Shortly they will start selling a small (A-Class) sedan, followed by the all electric B-Class.  At some point M-B USA needs to embrace the smart as part of their family and provide the same level of attention as the "big" M-B cars get, including a fair share of the advertising budget.   Just my .02.

When you get your Smart serviced, it is welcome to the lifestyles of the rich and famous...As you lounge around the waiting room in Mercedes stuffed leather furniture and drink their upscale coffee, you will inevitably be jolted by their high priced maintenance bill...The old Rolls Royce required changing brake fluid, which was pure mineral oil...Although we bought a beer budget car, we have ascended to new heights in the socio-economic scale...However , my Smart has not miraculously transformed into a Mercedes...It remains a beloved circus clown toy...

MB charges around $10,000 plus a huge yearly "subscription" for the Star computer, basically an XP laptop running DOS programs that talk to the car.  It's incredibly stupid but the cars are LOCKED to the system and proprietary so you're at their mercy.  At these revenue levels, don't expect any miracles, or anything for free.  It's way past time when I should be able to park ANY car outside McDonalds or my wifi-enabled house, the car's wifi autoconnects and does any necessary "updates" to its firmware/software and reports any deficiencies up the wifi to the manufacturer so an automatic resolution to common problems can be quickly implemented.  You'd get an email that your car updated itself via wifi at lunch correcting the company's defective code, just like it does this Win7 laptop.  Pfat chance as long as the stealers can get $180 to plug in the secret computer....



spicejax said:

I have to agree. The 'attitude' of the Majority of MB dealers seem to only 'endure' having the smart in their showrooms. When it comes to 'service' we get 'equality' in the form of paying high labor and parts costs of MB/Daimler. 

There are some 'smart centers' that treat us better, but the 'link' to MB still hurts us on cost. The only way a smart center/ MB dealer would help us is if MBUSA/smartUSA reimbursed the dealers the difference in cost. I don't see that happening especially since Daimler charges them a small fortune (on a yearly basis) for the STAR computer system.

The dealer could help us by doing the software diagnoses/updates without charging smart owners, no car dealer will do that (unless they are the type that believes in real customer service).

I assume the $182.00 was all labor since the 'computer' did the update. Did they show you the 'time' for the tech to plug/unplug the machine? How many 'hours'?

I can guarantee the tech earns a small fraction of the 'labor' charge.

Car dealers are like Las Vegas...the house always wins.

MJB

 

try pep bys changed oil and brake fluid for 168

oh the horrors of future repair bills and service hope i did not make an error getting the car but was told once a year service.  I am hoping our group will better service our cars so the costs will not empty our wallets i love my car and asked about repair costs and was told only once a year and will not be so bad. now i am seeing differently. asked many questions that was not answered now I see why.

I bought my service through 50k up front for a huge discount. You do have the option of doing your own maintenance. True, I haven't been back for service yet, but it just seems to me that all the complaints revolve around money, and not really how they "treat" their customers.  

I bought my car from Alan Keith at the Seattle MB dealership, and I felt that I was treated very well. I was picky about the color, and he took the time to drive me to a warehouse near their, then under construction, new location to find me a silver on silver cabrio. I was willing to accept the white with a silver cell cabrio we had talked about on the phone, and it was right out front waiting for me. He didn't have to go to all the trouble, and the car he sold me didn't cost any more. They treated me fairly on my trade. I really felt like I was treated as well as a person buying a Benz, and I showed up in carpenter jeans, boots, a white t-shirt, and a worn ball cap.

i understand how u feel they should have lower prices for smarts than mb because they do not have as much in the car the answer is simple service your car yourself or have someelse  do it u can trust do it because we all  love our smarts.and do not want to give them up because mb prices are to high 

That's pretty impressive. You never once touched the shift key, and your sole punctuation was a single period, mid-sentence. 

Dan, I too had to endure the uncomfortable experience of talking to MB dealerships, I felt they "looked down" on me as well, I questioned changing my brake fluid as well, my local mechanic had not heard of the aquaponic fluid and the salesman I got my car from could not shed light on it either. My local mechanic changed it for just over $100 and suggested I do it every 50,000 miles instead.

I drove 120 miles (one way) to buy my smart and the dealership in Louisville was pretty much indifferent as to if I bought the car or not. I maintain my and my wife's smart car myself to save money, I get stuff from auto zone and rock auto, except the oil filter plug washer which I have to swallow my pride and call the dealer.

For what it's worth, the people at smart madness were, in my opinion,  just as indifferent to me on the phone when I tried to buy parts from them.

I hope you can still enjoy your car despite the rude people at the dealer, I really enjoy mine and am glad I got it. 

You're that guy.

Derek Sweeney said:

That's pretty impressive. You never once touched the shift key, and your sole punctuation was a single period, mid-sentence.

Every forum has one. Stick to the topic you supercilious twit.

Dan

Thanks Sweeney :)



Daniel Coté said:

You're that guy.

Derek Sweeney said:

That's pretty impressive. You never once touched the shift key, and your sole punctuation was a single period, mid-sentence.

Every forum has one. Stick to the topic you supercilious twit.

Dan

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