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#1 (permalink) Old 07-30-2011, 03:36 PM
 
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Mercedes Benz of San Antonio

Just got back from my 20,000 mile maintenance.

Called at about 9 this morning, got an 11:30 appointment. Arrived at 11:15; guy outside was at the door before I got it open, then ran inside to get my paperwork when I told him I had an appointment. Got the rest of my info (address, etc), then brought me into the service area.

Introduced me to the service writer... then took me over to the MB Cafe (inside the sales area) and introduced me to the girl running *that*. She proceeded to offer me coffee/coke/smoothie/cookies/breakfast pastries... very impressive first experience.

Got a coffee and a cookie and sat down to watch one of the three screens they had active... one on news (with sound), one on a movie (closed captioned), and one with a camera overlooking the service bay. Off to the side was a console with multiple computer games, and another TV about three feet off the floor playing disney. Also free wireless internet, of course.

Every staff member walking by would give a friendly greeting, and not give a damn that I was there for smart service or to buy an incredibly overpriced MB SUV... they were just cool and relaxed. Really impressive staff.

Got bored after a while, so drifted down to check differences between my 2009 and the 2011s. Salesman came over and we started chatting... without being pushy, he let me know about the 1.9% interest deal and said he could get me a pretty good trade-in if I was interested. Nice looking red/black 2011 that I was looking over.

Drifted around the showroom a bit more, said hi to a couple of (again, non-pushy) salesmen, then went back over to service to avoid a coupla loudmouthed kids who had taken over the game area. More friendly hi's over there, and a different TV channel.

Came back over to the sales area... red/black smart gone. Salesman says, "you waited too long"... yup, they sold it. Looked outside and noticed another car, a white/black one I had noticed earlier... gone. Methinks MB of SA is doing just fine in the sales department...

Drifted back over to service... service guy saw me, eyes got wide, and he said he'd go out and check on my car. While waiting, another couple came in... to pick up their keys and manuals for the smart they just bought.

Total cost for my 20k service: a hair over $300. Car came back gleaming, with shiny tires. Total time: almost 5 hours, with a sincere apology and a ticket for half off my next service. They've only had smart for a month, and only have one guy trained... right now. More in training!

Overall impression: slow but very good.
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#2 (permalink) Old 07-30-2011, 03:45 PM
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Good to hear, sounds like a positive experience.
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#3 (permalink) Old 07-30-2011, 11:08 PM
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Very good news indeed!

I was going to buy a 2011 from MB San Antonio, but I ended up buying a 2008 used with 4000 miles on it. It is a 2nd place car show winner from 2009, and I love it. I changed my own oil (Mobil 1) and a Mobil 1 oil filter this week. Plan to have the 10,000 done by MB and was hoping for some good news about the quality of their work.
I am glad that the Smarts are selling, have already seen 5 different ones on the freeway already. I even have 3 around me in the Brooks Field area. Have really been enjoying it, and will enjoy it more when the weather gets a little cooler and I can put the top down fully.
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#4 (permalink) Old 07-31-2011, 06:12 AM
 
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300 dollars, and 5 hours to change, the oil, cabin filter, and a air filter! A little over 40 minutes, when I do the service my self. My wife makes good coffee, and honey buns.
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#5 (permalink) Old 07-31-2011, 09:54 AM
 
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I concur...

Your explanation of the dealership is spot on. I just took advantage of the sale they have going on and traded my 09 coupe for a 11 cabrio. No one was pushy and when I took it in yesterday (must of just missed you, I was there around 1) to get an alarm installed and the service technicians were great, especially the service manager. The alarm that was being installed was an aftermarket that was promised during the sale that the place across the street installed and during the install, they broke the clips holding the steering wheel trim on. MB is taking responsibility and have already ordered me a new one. They only thing that I would have to say wasn't a great experience was when the final deal was made and they initiated the transportation of my new cabrio (they had to ship it in from Tulsa), the sales guy had a dramatic attitude change with me and ignored me until I called him out on it. He then gave me daily updates with where the car was.

But yes, that snack bar area is great! Don't know if you used the restroom, but there were TV's on CNN located conviently for your viewing pleasure while you handle your business. LOL!
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#6 (permalink) Old 08-01-2011, 04:51 AM
 
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Oh yeah, I forgot to mention the little 7" or so TVs above the urinals... gave me a good laugh. If you saw a redheaded guy with a scrubby beard, and an obnoxious white hawaiian shirt with palm trees all over it wandering around looking bored... that was me. I got there at 11:15, left a little after 4. Agreed on the service manager, he seemed to really care... not just when I met him, but I had the chance to see him interact with several people during my stay. Actually, all the staff that I watched really seemed to care. I would imagine, being an MB dealership with plenty of competition in San Antonio (we are the 7th largest city in the US, with *zooks* of car dealerships), that the management can afford to pay well for good staff.. and can those who aren't.
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#7 (permalink) Old 08-02-2011, 01:38 PM
 
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Almost forgot... as I walked out to leave, the service manager was taking a picture of the back of the car. As I approached, he laughed and said he wanted to show his general manager my "occupant load: 19 clowns" sticker. Said he loves the way us smart owners have so much fun with them. Probably a big change for those guys... our quirky personalities compared with MB owners
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#8 (permalink) Old 08-02-2011, 01:48 PM
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I think you hit on an issue that we'll have to address eventually. The current M-B smart centers have had three years to adapt to the smart owner approach to the car. The new M-B dealers coming on board now are in for a big change from the typical Mercedes owner; I'm guessing they'll take some nudging in the right direction for a few months.
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#9 (permalink) Old 08-02-2011, 03:16 PM
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Where is the bathroom

I would agree. I was going to purchase a Smart, and when I went into the San Antonio MB dealer on San Pedro, the salesman treated me as if I was looking for the bathroom. After I came back the second day, he warmed up, as I think he realized I was there to actually buy a car. Now, I do dress casual, as I am a camera repair technician, and work in the back area where I do not meet customers, so I did not look like the typical MB customer. I ended up buying a 2008 Cabrio with 4000 miles, from another location, not MB.
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#10 (permalink) Old 08-23-2011, 10:46 AM
 
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Today on their Facebook page:
"Don't forget we are the new smart dealer in town - Come by and see our new addition!" with a nice pic of a little white smart. What? Advertising!
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