Complaint Category: Improper or inferior service
Complaint: Service Manager's son drove my Mercedes recklessly during car wash. Manager defended son's action by cussing me out & not allow. me future car washes.
On Aug. 31, 2013, I took my car to have it washed at the Mercedes Benz of Fresno as I routinely have done for nearly every Saturday for the past 22 years. However, this one Saturday, my 1991 Mercedes Benz 300E2.6 was driven by a young employee who usually works at the entrance of the service drive-up. This employee, whose name was later provided to me, is **** ****. **** drove my vehicle recklessly after it had been washed and dried by the car wash crew. (When I approached my vehicle, I noticed that all the books, supplies, and materials in my front seat, back seat, and in my trunk had been tossed all over the vehicle, including on the floor and across the opposite direction of where these items were originally located. I confronted **** **** about this matter and asked him why all my books & supplies had been tossed all over the place and why he had driven my vehicle so recklessly. **** provided the following explanation to me in an unapologetic manner, "I turned the corner fast. You shouldn't have all those things in your car. I talked to the other guys in the car wash who agreed that you shouldn't have all those books in your car. If you don't like it, why don't you bring your car to Jack's Car Wash down the street?" I couldn't believe how rude **** **** was responding to my concern. He walked off when I asked him again as to why he had driven my vehicle so fast and recklessly. So I asked for a manager to explain the matter to him. ******* (******) *********** approached me and had me explain the entire ordeal to him. He explained to me that he was one of the customer service managers who is a very close friend (for many years) with the owner of Mercedes Benz of Fresno, ***** *****. He took a look inside my vehicle and inside my trunk and apologized repeatedly for ****'s inappropriate behavior and comments to me. Mr. *********** asked me if there was anything he could do. I told him that he needed to relay this issue and concern to the owner, ***** *****, and have a serious talk with the employee, **** ****.
As I drove home, I later detected that the Mercedes emblem which I always remove prior to the car wash and which had been located under the bottom of a stack of books was damaged. The spring had been broken partially. So I contacted Mr. *********** who said that he talked to the owner, ***** *****. Mr. ***** had told him to order a brand new one and "do whatever it takes to please this customer."
However, approximately one month later, I drove up to service/car wash entrance for the service staff to issue a green tag to have my vehicle washed. An employee whom I had never met before identified himself as ***** ****, the service manager. He approached me in a mean and unfriendly manner and stated, "I heard that you treat my employees like "****". You don't have your vehicle serviced here any longer so I am telling you that you will not be allowed to come of the car wash again. Have a great day!" I was furious the way ***** **** treated me unprofessionally and cussed me out. I immediately called the owner, ***** *****, who was cold on the phone after I explained the situation to him and then asked him if he would like my phone number. He said he would have his assistant call me back and didn't need my phone number. So I then called ******* *********** who apologized again and said that he no longer had any control over the matter since **** **** was the son of ***** ****, the serv. manager. It was then that it became apparent that nepotism was occurring and that the serv.manager was protecting his son despite his negative actions/inappropr. behavior. So a few weeks later I contacted ***** *****, the co-owner, and explained the entire ordeal to her. She said that she would do a thorough investig. into the matter and call me back. Both ***** and her husband, *****, never returned my call until I had to call them back about a week later. I spoke to ***** who said that her husband would call me back.
Initial Business Response
Contact Name and Title: ***** *****
Contact Phone: (XXX)XXX-XXXX
Mr. ******* is unreasonable in all of his requests. According to our records we have not been able to verify any record of his purchase from any of the previous Fresno Mercedes-Benz dealerships and he he has not serviced his vehicle with the dealership since May 30, 1997 over 16 years ago and that and all previous service requests were under warranty at the time.The records indicate the car was purchased new on 6/29/1991 from dealer # XXXXX. We have no record of that dealer # being assigned to a Fresno Mercedes-Benz dealer. Mr. ******* claims he purchased the vehicle new from Herwaldt in 1991, however the Herwaldts did not own the dealership until 1993. There have been 4 ownership changes regarding the dealership in those 23 years as well. I have informed Mr. ******* that any disciplinary action with my employees is confidential and I will not be discussing it with him. He is also wrong in stating ownership percentages and I will also not be discussing that matter as well. He is upset becaue he has been asked to not come in to the dealership for "complimentary car washes" that we provide to our "customers" and is complaining of the quality and also the free service. At this time we respectfully have asked Mr.******* to not return to our dealership.
Final Consumer Response
TO: BETTER BUSINESS BUREAU FRESNO:
PLEASE MAKE SURE MY ENTIRE COMPLAINT AND RESPONSES IS MAILED ALSO TO THE CORPORATE OWNER OF MERCEDES BENZ IN FRESNO. PLEASE LOCATE THE OWNER'S NAME (located in another city) AND MAIL THE ENTIRE COMPLAINT & RESPONSES TO THIS PERSON/CORPORATE OFFICE ALSO! YOU HAVE THE ABILITY TO SEARCH AND LOCATE THIS INDIVIDUAL WHO HAS THE MAJOR SHARE OF THE BUSINESS, SINCE ***** ***** HAS ONLY A MINOR SHARE.
Mr. ***** *****'s response provided a lot of inaccurate information, spelling errors, and an irrational explanation. (Perhaps he needs to have his so-called "assistant" or wife proof-read all of his correspondences prior to sending them in the future.)
First of all, I DID PURCHASE a brand new Mercedes Benz from Premier Mercedes Benz which changed its name to Herwaldt Mercedes two years later and then changed its name to Mercedes Benz of Fresno (which is now located on Palm & Herndon).
If Mr. ***** ***** had accurate records in his files, he would have been able to locate the name of the salesman who sold a brand new Mercedes Benz to me. The salesman was the top sales person of Mercedes Benz when I purchased my car. His name was ***** ******* What is ironic about this matter is that Mr. ***** ***** should have this salesman's name on file, since he continued to work for Herwaldt Mercedes Benz (located at Blackstone & Sierra) and then at Mercedes Benz at Fresno (Palm & Herndon location). When he worked at the Mercedes Benz of Fresno, ***** ****** worked part-time due to health issues. He later retired from this same dealership.
The next issue of concern is that Mr. ***** ***** failed to mention that I paid quite a bit of additional money to include an additional five/six year warranty from Mercedes Benz. Because I paid for this additional warranty, the Mercedes Benz dealership in Fresno covered all major expenses when I brought my vehicle there to have it serviced. I even brought my vehicle to the Mercedes Benz dealership on Palm & Herndon when I had an oil leak (after the warranty expired). However, after discovering that the Mercedes Benz of Fresno's service staff drove my vehicle recklessly and charged two to five times the amount that HERNDON AUTO SERVICE (380 West Herndon: Corner of Herndon & Maroa) charged, I decided to stop bringing my vehicle to the Mercedes Benz of Fresno.
After getting numerous quotes on numerous occasions from both the Mercedes Benz of Fresno and Herndon Auto Service (Phone: ******** (located on the corner of Herndon and Maroa), I discovered that the Mercedes Benz of Fresno was charging in excess of two to fives times as much as Herndon Auto Service. Mercedes Benz of Fresno was charging hundreds and even over a thousand dollars more than Herndon Auto Service for the same service repair. (when I contacted each business for comparison purposes)
This huge discrepancy disturbed me and raised some red flags. I stopped trusting the service staff at the Mercedes Benz of Fresno and started to bring my vehicle for repair at Herndon Auto Service. Mr. ***** ******* the owner of Herndon Auto Service, treated me like "royalty" as I learned he did to ALL of his customers. He was very careful and meticulous when driving my vehicle. He always took my vehicle in for repair IMMEDIATELY without ever having to wait. His rates were very good for service repair compared to the Mercedes Benz of Fresno. Mr. ***** ****** would even allow me to drive his own vehicle (either his company truck or his personal Mercedes Benz) when I needed to leave my vehicle in for repair in excess of one day. He even allowed me to use his vehicle for 4 - 5 days at a time if he needed to complete major repairs. Herndon Auto Service would treat my vehicle like "gold" compared to Mercedes Benz of Fresno.
This is why I stopped bringing in my vehicle for repair at the Mercedes Benz of Fresno. I am sure that when the public finds out about the way customers have been treated in the service department at the Mercedes Benz of Fresno and how excessive their service/parts/repairs charges are in comparison to Herndon Auto Service, they will move their business down the street (about 1/2 mile) to ***** ****** instead.
Mr. ***** ***** doesn't want to discuss any disciplinary action with ***** ****, the service manager (who used profanity and cussed me out) and the service manager's son (**** ****), because he wants to protect his employees who should be reprimanded instead. This is not the quality of a good leader or owner. To this day, I never received an apology from either one of them. Instead, I was told by a Customer Service Associate that his hands are tied, since the two employees in question are related to each other. This proves the fact that Mr. ***** is showing partiality to his employees and treating his customers with disrespect and almost like "trash", contrary to the phony and misleading commercials he and his wife are seen as trying to portray on local television commercials.
Mr. ***** ***** doesn't realize that he will be losing a lot of customers once they find out how he, his service manager, ***** ****, and his son (who drives the vehicles to the car wash) treat customers like me and get away with it. It is unfortunate that he has lost so many customers to Herndon Auto Service (on the corner of Herndon & Maroa) just because of similar situations like this. It appears that ***** ***** and his wife, *****, have difficulty handling customer service complaints, tend to show favoritism towards their employees over the customer, and portray a "false/fake" ownership picture to the public. Perhaps both of them should reconsider their positions and go back to working as cars salesmen!
What is interesting about this entire ordeal is that there are other customers who purchased their vehicles from the Mercedes Benz of Fresno (or former owners) still bring their vehicle to the complimentary car wash but no longer bring their vehicle to them for service. This matter concerns me about the fairness of how Mercedes Benz of Fresno operates. They allow some customers to continue the complimentary car wash but not others. Is this based on who they like or dislike or based on who just happened to file a complaint against two of their employees for using vulgar language and driving my vehicle recklessly? Had I not filed a complaint against the service manager's son for driving my vehicle recklessly, telling me to remove all of office books/materials from my vehicle, because they were in the way, and telling me to go to "Jack's Car Wash" if I don't like it, I would have been allowed to continue getting my vehicle washed at the Mercedes Benz of Fresno. What lack of standards this business, Mercedes Benz of Fresno, has!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
Complaint Resolution: BBB determined that despite the company's reasonable effort to address complaint issues, the consumer remained dissatisfied.