Great Customer Service - 2012 Mercedes-Benz SLS AMG Roadster Long-Term Road Test

2012 Mercedes-Benz SLS AMG Roadster Long-Term Road Test

2012 Mercedes-Benz SLS AMG Roadster: Great Customer Service

July 30, 2013

2012 Mercedes-Benz SLS AMG Roadster

When I pulled into the service area of W.I. Simonson Mercedes-Benz my hair was on fire. Thirty minutes earlier the SLS's top had broken for the third time and I was over it.

With steam pouring from my ears I cycled the top for the first dealer employee that appeared. Between the look on my face and the busted piece of trim slapping against the red quarter panel, he quickly assessed the situation and ran off to get someone with some power. He returned with Babs Hamilton.

Babs is a service adviser and one of my new favorite people. I was clearly frustrated, but Babs calmly listened to my rant about this being the third time and how I was not leaving the car and how hard can it be to make a convertible top that works and this being the third time and Jeter is still on the DL and...

And when I was done she said, "Let me get someone to have a look at it. Maybe it's an easy fix."

She returned with a tech. The problem was obvious. A small piece of trim that fills a gap alongside the folded top was hung up. Jammed. The piece is purely aesthetic and essentially unnecessary. In fact, I realized I would never miss it.

So I said, "Can you just remove the broken piece? Without it everything will function perfectly."

"I'll try," he said. "Might take some time."

Then Babs chimed back in, "How about a cup of coffee?" I handed over the key to the SLS and was escorted over to a finely appointed lounge, where I feared I would be spending the rest of the day.

I poured myself some java, reached for the packet of Splenda and looked up when I heard my name. Babs was back.

"Scott, you're all set."

"All set?" I said. "He fixed it? That quickly?" Only a few minutes had passed.

"Yup, you're good to go." Babs returned my key, walked me to my car, which was now missing that small meaningless piece of trim, and sent me on my way. Top down. Big smile on my face.

Thanks, Babs.

And that, my friends, is customer service.

Scott Oldham, Editor in Chief


  • duck87 duck87 Posts:

    I don't even know what to say about this car at this point. But it's refreshing to see good customer service (kind of sad that's not guaranteed even at a MB dealership).

  • fordson1 fordson1 Posts:

    She stroked you and you went for it. Old story. The car? I agree with duck87 - don't even know what to say, except it's a low-volume car in the even lower-volume cabriolet version, and in that situation unfortunately the end user is often the last 50 feet of the assembly line.

  • benson12 benson12 Posts:

    Are they still gonna replace that piece eventually? I predict that "purely aesthetic" piece actually serves a purpose like keeping dust or water out of wherever and it's going to cause more trouble down the road. MB's don't react well to quick fixes and short-cuts, they always get you in the end. I love em still though.

  • banhugh banhugh Posts:

    You should have asked for a refund. Get your money back!

  • quadricycle quadricycle Posts:

    Well Babs did a good job, I'll give her that. Whoever designed that convertible top, hard to know. The techs who have been trying to fix it since I can't remember when, certainly not. I really do hope that this whole story is actually over now.

  • Haha, love the last sentence on the last paragraph! Now, I know the Lemon Law in CA doesn't apply to this case, since it is not a defect that can cause death or serious bodily injury, but something more has to be done. C'mon, 3 times!? If i had to visit the dealership 3 times for the same reason, no amount of great customer service would do for me. I understand that Babs seems great but this is too much, specially on a car of this caliber. For God's sakes my little sisters 1995 VW Cabrio top still works perfectly!

  • greenpony greenpony Posts:

    Is it possible that this car was in a collision that might have misaligned something that, later, a repair shop might have overlooked or not properly repaired? Automotive tolerances are pretty tight -- we're not talking eighths of an inch, here, but probably thousandths or ten-thousandths of an inch. A small bump might be enough to set something out of whack.

  • Points for the name "Babs", but while positive (for once), the service strikes me as too little, too late.

  • noburgers noburgers Posts:

    thanks for making the car let the top work yet no longer intact. I think after these posts I will swear off buying a used Mercedes... I know, one bad AMG don't spoil the whole bunch, girl....

  • vq356mt vq356mt Posts:

    Something tells me their response was affected by you driving a $200k+ car. I wonder what would have happened if you had pulled in with a 2-year-old SLK broken in the same manner?

  • mercedesfan mercedesfan Posts:

    I have been defending this car's top all along assuming a fluke failure that was followed by a poor-quality repair. At this point I don't think even I believe that line anymore. This is unacceptable. However, I don't understand why you didn't leave the car?! If this was my car I would absolutely have made them keep the car and fix it properly! Well, actually, I would have gone to a different dealer and demanded that they fix it. Clearly WI Simonson can't get the job done here. If this was truly a design defect you would hear about it on owner forums. This is a defect with this particular car and they aren't doing anything to resolve it. I would also escalate the issue by contacting MBUSA directly. I might even involve legal counsel.

  • stovt001_ stovt001_ Posts:

    Scott, you know I like you. But fixing a problem that's been "fixed" two more times previously by hacking off a trim piece on a $100,000-plus car counts as outstanding customer service? That's a rather sad commentary on the state of "service" these days.

  • zumajay zumajay Posts:

    Sure... would you get the same service if you pulled up in an 190E from the 90's? Doubtful...

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