Sat in a luxurious Mercedes Service Centre (they are not called garages anymore) as my daughter’s disabled converted V-Class gets repaired, drinking coffee and eating biscuits!
The service was completed with the commensurate linked video by email, and done very well so the title is probably a tad off to be fair but it covered a whole experience of being in a Mercedes garage.
Walking around the showroom you get a sense of class and then you realise where in that class ladder you are, and to be honest your kinda glad! £38,000 base model but the model shown here is £78,000, the next model is £35,000 base model, model shown here is £55,000. It seems the base models are shit but if you want to look good your going to have to spend some extra. It goes on and and on all around the showroom. Thats the only conclusion you can come up with. The actual base model is a pile of dog crap! You get nothing. You can count luck on your side if you get the wheels that day. There is not a cold day in hell going to appear before they sell you a base model, I can guarantee it.
I walk over to a jeep type parked in the corner with elegant ropes around it at £92,000 and think that’s nice. The actual model here is £162,000. Bollocks! A chap walks over to me and says “can I help you” and I ask to have a look. He doesn’t answer my question (alarm bells), asks me if I’m looking for a vehicle. I stupidly say no my van is in for recall. He then escorts me away from the “exquisite corner” and suggests I would get a better idea on their website! He signals to a minion to escort me to the service waiting area. I think thats the first time (my daughters may disagree) I mentioned the word ‘prick’ quite loudly in a public place.
It’s not hard to be nice is it?
Not withstanding my daughters V-Class is the first conversion for a disabled person on that model in the UK, it’s been updated and AMG’d and cost the same as the damn jeep! But because I’m in my shorts and not a sharp suit, they assume it’s a mobility purchase and he hasn’t bothered to look at the vehicle in the back (sharp) – I’ve been pigeon holed!
It’s almost like they have had some huge agency run a profile on who they want to drive their cars and who not. You are certainly judged.
Furthermore all the people awaiting their vehicles are getting served their coffee, I had to make my own. It’s not hard to be nice is it?
Assumption is the key here and with the quality of the vehicle we have it is very likely I’ll replace this in 4 years time for her, as she absolutely loves it as do I driving it! My mate convinced me to try one as he had just bought himself a E-class I think it is. It wasn’t a difficult sell. I used to own a company whereby all our fleet cars were Audi’s and I used to have an RS6 which I loved and drove like a nutcase.. Those were the days. Now I’d be counting down the months before my licence was due back to me..
The Audi’s build quality is tremendous (or it was back then) and this is represented in the Mercedes. We had difficulty getting to the point of owning one due to it being rear-wheel drive. This doesn’t allow a tremendous amount of variability when it comes to adapting for a wheelchair with the commensurate headroom that is required. Despite this we were invited to be one of the first people to have this newly adapted vehicle from the Brotherwood company, and boy did they deliver.
Red Stripe an essential add-on
Its unfortunate they can’t service it! You can read my full review of to here.
So getting back to the service aspect. I know its not a GT Roadster or an SL Coupé, but its the top of the range van with all the extra’s, so it fits in the pricing example I gave above. Its base model is £43,000 but if you want this model its £82,000. So its up there and pretty much unique as WAV’s go (Wheelchair Accessible Vehicles).
With this in mind I would think I commanded a bit more respect from a salesman whose half my age. Its not snobbery but if I had their smallest model I am still a Mercedes customer.
So next time your in one of these ‘Super Showrooms’ walk right up to their top model in this case the AMG GT Roadster and sit in it, enjoy watching the salesman run over to you and then rant, very loudly – they will soon get the picture. I intend to do just that.