Phoning Mercedes Breakdown Assist
It’s May 1st 2023 and a Bank Holiday Monday. Today, we’re leaving our home in Wales for a stop-gap drive before boarding the ferry tomorrow at Dover. Oh, why do we live so far from the Channel? These 7-hour drives are such a mundane part of our travels, but little do we know this Summer trip soon has us phoning Mercedes Breakdown Assist.
By the way, we were heading for a 3-month trip to Greece, which you may know didn’t materialise. That’s because, on the main coastal road to Dubrovnik in Croatia, we were on the receiving end of a “crash for cash” type accident.
This awful experience on that fateful day ended our trip. As I write, 14 weeks later, we are still waiting for our campervan. That’s after spending several weeks in the repairers after a lengthy repatriation back to the UK.
Feel free to read about our motorhome accident abroad on our other blog piece.
Engine Warning Light
Now, if you’re anything like us, we don’t like to do a long trip without first having a good service. So, just a couple of weeks before, we took our Sprinter campervan to the usual Mercedes commercial service centre in Deeside. Isn’t it just such peace of mind, knowing that everything’s tip top before the big journey?
Of course, that’s how it should be. Suddenly, we begin to get a problem with an oil engine warning light. Oh heck, it’s that dreaded moment when you realise all is not well, and you’re just hoping it’s something of nothing. Maybe, it will just go off, never to reappear, or perhaps a quick turning off the engine and re-starting will do the trick?
We’re only gone about 100 miles from home by the time the dreaded light appears. Trundling down the M6 and onto the M42, we’re ready to stop at Warwick Services for a break. This as it happens, is where we always stop en-route to the ferry or tunnel, so it’s familiar.
Phoning Mercedes Breakdown Assist
As we pull into a quiet section of Warwick services, Nigel gets straight on the phone to Mercedes breakdown Assist. It’s worth pointing out, that this comes included as standard when we get the annual service done at the Mercedes garage.
There’s a catch, because this only covers the UK, so we also have additional breakdown cover which includes Europe.
Other than driving the 45 minute journey from the Mercedes service centre to our home, this is the first drive after the service.
So, we’re already guessing, that this isn’t a coincidence.
Nigel’s on hold in a queue for 45 minutes, waiting for Mercedes Breakdown to answer. My goodness, isn’t everything just so difficult, long-winded and non-customer friendly recently?
The Mechanic Arrives – Phoning Mercedes Breakdown Assist
Eventually after getting through to a lady at Mercedes Breakdown, someone is sent to assist us. Another hour or so later, along comes the mechanic.
It’s not long before he duly informs us of what we already suspect. Yes, the Mercedes service dealer have put way too much oil in after doing the oil change.
He then drains off about half a bucket of thick black oil, as we look on just grateful it came to light now and not across the Channel.
So, by about 9pm and a couple of strong coffee’s later, we’re ready to hit the motorway again.
Trying to find a place to park
Eventually, just South of the M25, we feel ready to hit our bed for the night. The trouble is now, we’re far later than we thought we’d be, everything is closed and there’s no safe looking place to park up.
Soon, we realise this isn’t going to be easy. Oh goodness, Britain is such a pain in the backside when it comes to motorhome’s. We’re checking all the Apps and nothing, even Britstops fails to come up with a pub that’s open at this time of night. Although it isn’t exactly late!
After wasting time driving to two pubs which aren’t open and searching for a campsite, it’s now nearly midnight.
Ending up at Dover
By now, we’re not far from Dover, so more searching the Apps comes up with a wild camping spot. Driving up into the middle of the countryside, we find the undulating, pot-holed ridden rough parking area. Don’t get me wrong, this isn’t moaning, we’re just glad to get anything at this stage.
Oh, roll on being across the Channel, as vanlife in Britain is both shameful and stressful!
A sharp complaint
The next morning we awake after a really peaceful night in the rough parking area. Oh well, it did the job. So, the oil engine light was fine for the rest of the journey from Warwick to Dover and the oil levels were fine this morning.
Now, for a sharp complaint to the Mercedes service dealer in Deeside for making such a big error of judgement when re-filling our oil.
Nigel promptly gets on the phone and speaks to the Manager. Luckily, there’s an apology and offer of recompense in the form of a free service when it’s next due.
After asking for this in writing, they say their goodbye’s and we’re on our way towards Dover town centre.
As usual with most dealings in Britain nowadays, we end up having to chase the Manager for the confirmation of the free service. Yes, it didn’t arrive as promised. Then when Nigel chased, there was a moment when they said they hadn’t spoke to him.
Anyway, to cut a long story short, they did finally remember the call and did indeed follow up with the e-mail confirmation of a free service.
Crikey, modern life is complicated at times!
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