What have we been talking about?

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A brand is a promise. An expectation. To a great extent, it is also a reputation. As a company, you either deliver on this promise, or you get the boot from your customers. Plain and simple.

Years ago, Mercedes stood for quality. Wait, no... not just quality but superquality. Mercedes was a luxury brand, much like Cartier and Chanel and Hermes. To a great extent, this is still the company's stance. Mercedes, BMW and Porsche form the great German Luxury Automaking triumvirate. When it comes to status and image, they still rule over all other "affordable" luxury car brands including Jaguar, Cadillac and Lexus. (Rolls Royce, Bentley, Ferrari and the likes could be more accurately batched into a superluxury category.)

At any rate, the decision to purchase a Mercedes comes with a certain degree of expectation when it comes to the quality of the car, its design, comfort, performance, safety, etc. Along with that should come a certain level of service. After all, the experience of shopping for a luxury car (and owning it) should come with a few perks. You expect to be treated professionally. You expect to feel like you are receiving VIP treatment by a dealership's sales and service staff.

You expect friendly, able people to smile, nod, and say things like "yes Mr. Skipsquat, we'll take care of that for you right away. Would you like some coffee while you wait? Can I have one of our drivers take you back to your office? Would you like us to send a car to pick you up when we're done servicing your car?"

Okay, maybe that last part is too much to ask... but we're talking about Mercedes, aren't we? No offense to Toyota, Dodge or Citroen, but... the Mercedes experience (yes, it begins when you first drive up to the dealership) should be on a whole different level than that of other, more budget-friendly brands.

At the very least, even f you aren't taken care of like royalty, you should walk away from every Mercedes experience feeling really great about it. You should be wowed by the excelent level of service. You pay good money to be a part of the Mercedes world, and that world extends far beyond the confines of your car. If you wanted to buy a poorly-built car and get the runaround from the dealer and the corporate office, you could have bought a Ford, right?

Eh... Well... times, they're a-changin'.
Apparently, Mercedes may be dropping the ball. Read Francois Gossieaux's Mercedes horror story here, and find out for yourselves what might be wrong with what was once one of the most sought after luxury brands in the world. It's a great read.

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