Warning - Victoria MB Dealer Price Gouging - Mercedes Benz SLK Forum

SLK R170 General Discussion SLK 200, SLK 230K, SLK 320, SLK32 AMG

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#1 Old 08-05-2015
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Warning - Victoria MB Dealer Price Gouging

Just got a quote for $400 for a new key for my recently purchased 98... 6% of the value of the car for a key??? This is unconscionable gouging. The hard cost of the key might be $25... standard retail markup 100% gets you to $50... maybe another $25 because it's a Mercedes (which is apparently German for 'we have no soul') and you might get to $75, lets say we round to the nearest $100. OK fine. I'm not impressed, but it's still in the realm of imagination. But then to take that ridiculous price and QUADRUPLE it? That takes a rare kind of disregard for your customer... If they marked up groceries like that after a natural disaster they would be arrested.
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#2 Old 08-05-2015
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$400 is high. We usually see between $250-300 in USA


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#3 Old 08-05-2015
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Originally Posted by jbanks15 View Post
$400 is high. We usually see between $250-300 in USA

ya, just tripped over another post from a guy in a different part of Canada who got quoted $480, so perhaps it's all Canadian dealers who are gouging... Not that I don't think $250-300 is gouging also. There is just no relationship between the product cost and the selling price.
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#4 Old 08-05-2015
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Well there is a way. No one but MB can reproduce your keyfob. To get that type of security and piece of mind that someone can just supply your vin to some internet hack must be worth something.
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#5 Old 08-05-2015
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To be honest I'm not sure I'll bother keeping it under the circumstances. If one buys an older car one has to rely on the dealer for support and if this is how MB Canada treats it's customers I'm questioning my decision. I may just blow the car off to some other sucker who hasn't yet found out that MB is in the business of getting their old cars off the road rather than supporting them.


Also the security argument is spurious... the policies and procedures around ensuring that only a valid owner receives a replacement key are free to execute (ask for and peruse current ownership documents). The fact remains that they are asking $400 for a $25 part.


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Well there is a way. No one but MB can reproduce your keyfob. To get that type of security and piece of mind that someone can just supply your vin to some internet hack must be worth something.
On a more pleasant note. you said recently purchased?
Then congrats and I get to be the 1st to say
Vehicle: Looking
Please update your profile with your new baby, model and year and get your free datacatd if you haven't already
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#6 Old 08-05-2015
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Well I for one am sorry that you had a bad experience. Forums are the place where usually one hears about issues, etc with a car. We are a little bit different in that we, for the most part, are deliriously in love with our slks. Sure, there are the occasional issues like the oil consumption or the balance shaft sprocket issues, but overall, the majority of the posts and threads here are to share info and great pics and good times (like our picnics here in Floriduh)

So please take a breath, step back and check out the big picture, and if the slk is not for you, by all means, sell it and get another car you will enjoy. Please tell whomever you sell it to about our friendly and helpful forum.

The best of luck to you!
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#7 Old 08-05-2015
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Sadly, I really do like the car... which is why it's so bitterly disappointing to discover this kind of price gouging from the very people who you'd think would want to make you speak well of their product. For an extra $300 in undeserved profit MB has earned a lifetime of poor press from me, whether I keep the car or not. I will never miss a chance from here on to warn people of this. It's so shockingly unconscionable that it will make the rounds of every cocktail party and / or motor gathering I attend from here on!


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Well I for one am sorry that you had a bad experience. Forums are the place where usually one hears about issues, etc with a car. We are a little bit different in that we, for the most part, are deliriously in love with our slks. Sure, there are the occasional issues like the oil consumption or the balance shaft sprocket issues, but overall, the majority of the posts and threads here are to share info and great pics and good times (like our picnics here in Floriduh)

So please take a breath, step back and check out the big picture, and if the slk is not for you, by all means, sell it and get another car you will enjoy. Please tell whomever you sell it to about our friendly and helpful forum.

The best of luck to you!
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#8 Old 08-05-2015
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Did you try another dealer and see what they charge?
Did you contact MB of Canada to see what the average cost is?


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#9 Old 08-05-2015
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If you really like the car. do it and move on to an independent repair shop for any future repairs or do it yourself. It is a Mercedes.
You said it does have one key? Then don't get another extra key at this time
Love the car, learn the car and then invest in another key
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#10 Old 08-05-2015
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Thanks for the kind words by the way.
Although in terms of the big picture when getting an extra key adds 6% to the purchase price it's a material issue. I'm pretty much as outraged as someone who bought a used car for $50,000 and was told that a new key would be $3,000


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Well I for one am sorry that you had a bad experience. Forums are the place where usually one hears about issues, etc with a car. We are a little bit different in that we, for the most part, are deliriously in love with our slks. Sure, there are the occasional issues like the oil consumption or the balance shaft sprocket issues, but overall, the majority of the posts and threads here are to share info and great pics and good times (like our picnics here in Floriduh)

So please take a breath, step back and check out the big picture, and if the slk is not for you, by all means, sell it and get another car you will enjoy. Please tell whomever you sell it to about our friendly and helpful forum.

The best of luck to you!
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#11 Old 08-05-2015
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Did you buy a car from a dealer or private party?
If from a dealer, i would make them pay or no purchase
of course if paying $30000 for a used slk, it is not 6%, but still $250-300, just sayin


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#12 Old 08-05-2015
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private sale... I knew it only had one key but I thought what the heck, I can drop $50-100 and get a new one... little did I know about the soulless ghouls that are MB Canada... and it's my wife that insists on a second key not me, so I'm cornered. I think I bought it well enough that I can flip it for a profit but it's pretty effing sad that I'm even contemplating that over a key...kind of highlights how unreasonable the pricing is!
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My friend, please pop a brewski with me and go out and look at that beautiful SLK and think of all the things you can do with it. Car is 18 years old. other things will break on it.

Lube those seals:
https://www.slkworld.com/226839-post1.html

your brochure:
Mercedes Brochure Archive

mods you should do:
smarttop

https://www.slkworld.com/general-disc...ing-about.html

clear or tinted side markers
shorty antenna
led license plate bulbs
led parking lights
carbon fiber on the C pillars https://www.slkworld.com/general-modi...cf-plunge.html
oem windscreen or lighted/etched windscreen
Post your vin in the Vehicle Datacard Request section to get a free datacard (options on your car).

https://www.slkworld.com/vehicle-data...-datacard.html


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#14 Old 08-06-2015
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Have you ever hear what people are paying for replacement keys for other brands of cars. The old days of getting a key at a hardware store for a few dollars are long gone. Grandson just got a VW key here in the USA and paid $200 for it. Many others have talked about new keys are in the multi hundred price range. There are chips that are needed to start the car and the flop does many remote things such as locks and possible windows are all now build into the key flop. They are smart keys.

Smart Keys

A smart key's main form of security is its ability to use rolling security codes. The system randomizes the correct code and prevents thieves from hacking it through the use of a device called a code grabber. The vehicle's computer recognizes the code emitted by the smart key and verifies it before starting the engine. Mercedes-Benz was one of the first automakers to utilize this technology, and even coined the term "SmartKey." Every vehicle in its lineup now uses the SmartKey. And only dealers can replace them.

"The German brands use proprietary technology," says Mike Howell, owner of Santa Monica Lock & Safe Co. "We're not able to copy those."

With a smart key, there's no avoiding the dealership for a replacement. And while it's handy to carry smart keys in your purse or pocket, these are the very places you will feel the pain when you lose them. The cost of replacing and reprogramming a smart key can range from $220 on a Nissan Altima up to $400 on an Acura RL.

Finally, if you are someone who is tempting fate by only having one set of keys, consider this: If you lose all the keys to your car, you will need to get it towed to a dealership and it can potentially cost you close to $1,000 to replace the locks on your car


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#15 Old 08-06-2015
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Have you ever hear what people are paying for replacement keys for other brands of cars. The old days of getting a key at a hardware store for a few dollars are long gone. Grandson just got a VW key here in the USA and paid $200 for it. Many others have talked about new keys are in the multi hundred price range. There are chips that are needed to start the car and the flop does many remote things such as locks and possible windows are all now build into the key flop. They are smart keys.

Smart Keys

A smart key's main form of security is its ability to use rolling security codes. The system randomizes the correct code and prevents thieves from hacking it through the use of a device called a code grabber. The vehicle's computer recognizes the code emitted by the smart key and verifies it before starting the engine. Mercedes-Benz was one of the first automakers to utilize this technology, and even coined the term "SmartKey." Every vehicle in its lineup now uses the SmartKey. And only dealers can replace them.

"The German brands use proprietary technology," says Mike Howell, owner of Santa Monica Lock & Safe Co. "We're not able to copy those."

With a smart key, there's no avoiding the dealership for a replacement. And while it's handy to carry smart keys in your purse or pocket, these are the very places you will feel the pain when you lose them. The cost of replacing and reprogramming a smart key can range from $220 on a Nissan Altima up to $400 on an Acura RL.

Finally, if you are someone who is tempting fate by only having one set of keys, consider this: If you lose all the keys to your car, you will need to get it towed to a dealership and it can potentially cost you close to $1,000 to replace the locks on your car

blah blah blah... there is simply no way the tech in this key costs more than $20... I can by an iPhone for $600... this key has less functionality that the 'on' button of a phone. This is a deliberate choice by MB to make big money on a cheap item without any consideration for it's clients. I bought my car used... I'm not an entitled rich guy like you are if you think this is all reasonable... and it only came with one key. I agree it's foolhardy to only run one key... but now I'm forced to pay a price which is both unreasonable and makes the car significantly less affordable to me.
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#16 Old 08-06-2015
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blah blah blah... there is simply no way the tech in this key costs more than $20... I can by an iPhone for $600... this key has less functionality that the 'on' button of a phone. This is a deliberate choice by MB to make big money on a cheap item without any consideration for it's clients. I bought my car used... I'm not an entitled rich guy like you are if you think this is all reasonable... and it only came with one key. I agree it's foolhardy to only run one key... but now I'm forced to pay a price which is both unreasonable and makes the car significantly less affordable to me.
Entitled rich guy? If he were entitled I would think he would want it for $20 like you, no?
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#17 Old 08-06-2015
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haha! ya, maybe so! but my point remains... the price point is a money grab and MB could have chosen to be leaders and recognize that someone who has lost a key or has, like me, inadvertently bought a car with only one key, is already having a bad day, and price the thing reasonably, but instead they chose to prey on their customers.


that said, I didn't say I wanted it for $20. I understand that businesses have to make money, but there is reasonable mark up and there is gouging, and this is the latter.
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#18 Old 08-06-2015
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haha! ya, maybe so! but my point remains... the price point is a money grab and MB could have chosen to be leaders and recognize that someone who has lost a key or has, like me, inadvertently bought a car with only one key, is already having a bad day, and price the thing reasonably, but instead they chose to prey on their customers.


that said, I didn't say I wanted it for $20. I understand that businesses have to make money, but there is reasonable mark up and there is gouging, and this is the latter.
It was not inadvertent that you bought a car with one key.

Quote:
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I knew it only had one key
I really do not know what to tell you. Car dealers are in the business of making money off of service and parts, as you have learned, therefore they get the name of $tealership.

Though we may not be of much assistance in this manner. There are items that you will come across that we can help you do on your own which will help you stay away from the $tealership.
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#19 Old 08-07-2015
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no, it was inadvertent that i bought a car with one key .if had i known i would have reconsidered the purchase, and as a public service i am now being as vociferous as I can be in advising people what to expect from MB dealers.

Last edited by Seanhump; 08-07-2015 at 05:36 AM. Reason: Language ... keep it clean folks
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#20 Old 08-07-2015
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no, it was inadvertent that i bought a car with one key f. had i known i would have reconsidered the purchase, and as a public service i am now being as vociferous as I can be in advising people what to expect from MB dealers.
I understand your pain but to be honest with you you're preaching to the wrong choir. The proof is in the pudding by the type of responses you are getting to your complaint.

Personally, I don't think that MB is much different than anyone with regard to this. For instance, you can purchase a brand new iPhone 6 right now for $199.00 and even for as little as $99.00 if you sign a contract with a cell service provider. Yet the replacement battery for that very phone will run you about $70.00 or about 35% of the cost of the phone.

I am about to retire from a very successful retail business where we offer high end outdoor furnishings that last give most people as many as 20 years of service. Whenever those customer's that purchased their furniture over 15 years ago come in for items like replacement cushions they are always surprised that those very cushions can cost in excess of 50% of what they paid for the original purchase. The bottom line is the product they own has been discontinued for years. The fact that the replacement parts are still available is fantastic but the cost of manufacturing a "onesy" type item and feeding it into a production line that is setup to make thousands of the currently offered models is time consuming and expensive to the factory. In these cases, the old adage "economies of scale" holds true.

On the other hand it is really crazy to see how low the prices are on items where there have been no changes within models and those parts are mass manufactured.

Whether or not this is the case for your key is neither here nor there. My suggestion would be to accept it, get over it or be miserable for the rest of your life with regard to probably 50% of your long term products that you purchase. It's like trying to equate the price to gas. You own a 1998 SLK and at that time a gallon of gas in the USA averaged about $1.10. Today, here in California that same gallon is going to run over $4.00. Just my 2˘'s

Steven

Legends of the Autobahn 2014, Pebble Beach, Ca. - First in Class, Performance and Motorsports and sold to SimplySLK

Last edited by Seanhump; 08-07-2015 at 05:36 AM. Reason: Language ... keep it clean folks
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