Author Topic: $150 Charge for Data Cards - Update - Your help is needed  (Read 115 times)

Cole

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$150 Charge for Data Cards - Update - Your help is needed
« on: January 12, 2019, 09:05:19 »
Hello All,

The following is an exchange that I had with Michael Kuemmerle at MB over in Germany regarding their recent, new policy of charging $150 for data cards. If you disagree with this policy, I encourage you to write to him about it as soon as possible. The more of us to speak up on this matter, the better.

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From: michael.kuemmerle@daimler.com <michael.kuemmerle@daimler.com>
Sent: Wednesday, January 2, 2019 5:30 AM
To: ...
Subject: Datenkarten
 
Dear ...

The charge we put on the data cards was well considered. We are currently administering 10 million data cards from the end forties to the eighties. To cover some of the cost e.g. manpower, and IT systems, development and maintenance, we came up with this small fee. You also need to consider that this data needs to be handled very careful. Behind each VIN number you find detailed information which is very sensible, for example the key and lock numbers. In a very detailed process we are ensuring, that unauthorized people get access to this Information. This is in the interest of all Mercedes-Benz owners and causes a lot off efforts on our side. So we also contribute to reach the value of Mercedes classic cars.

I hope this gives a little insight and count on your understanding.

Best regards

Michael K├╝mmerle

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From: ...
Sent: Wednesday, January 2, 2019 10:49 PM
To: michael.kuemmerle@daimler.com
Subject: Re: Datenkarten
 
Hello Michael,

Thanks for your reply.
...

There are a  few related points here that are worth considering:

* There's obviously many, many Mercedes collectors and lovers all around the world who regularly buy various cars,  parts and services from MB and/or its associates. While this is probably not at the top of MB's revenue list, I would expect it is, nonetheless, a substantial income source for MB and alone defrays or could be seen to defray any lesser expenses in maintaining your archive of data cards and satisfying collectors with them.

* While your archive of ten million data cards is certainly a lot of data cards, such a database with today's technology, as we both know, is fairly minimal considering that it's likely a simple database indexed and accessed by VIN; and once the data was loaded, its use has probably been mainly a matter of retrieval for data cards or similar purposes.

* To fulfill a data card request, it is likely just a matter of verifying the validity of the request, retrieving the  data card from the database and emailing a copy to the requester --the main point being that it's not a terribly complicated or expensive proposition.

* The reasons for needing and wanting a data card can vary, but one scenario is to help a buyer confirm the specs of a given car before actually buying it. And it can obviously happen that the data card discloses something that disqualifies the purchase leaving the buyer with a $150 data card and no car. It's clear that the simplest solution is for the data card to be free, the way it's been for years.

* In short, with all the intelligence, resources and affluence that Mercedes Benz possesses, as well as the fact that many or most MB collectors around the world are already paying well for Mercedes cars, parts and services, MB does not need to resort to this $150 charge. To do so is inappropriate and cheapens Mercedes image. It can easily assimilate the minimal database and organizational expenses and if necessary, comfortably defray these costs elsewhere in the company.

The simple and clear solution is return to the earlier policy of offering data cards for free.
...

I probably speak for many other MB collectors in appreciating your consideration and help with this.

Thanks.
...

Cole

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  • USA, CA, Los Angeles
  • Posts: 25
Re: $150 Charge for Data Cards - Update - Your help is needed
« Reply #1 on: January 17, 2019, 22:54:43 »
Update:

    I haven't heard back from Michael Kuemmerle at MB regarding my last email to him on Jan 2, 2019 despite two nudges to him since then. It's possible that this policy is under review or he/they have more or less just dismissed my arguments against their arbitrary $150 data card charge.
    But so far, this policy is still in place so more emails from us collectors will help get it cancelled. Again, his email address is michael.kuemmerle@daimler.com.

Thanks.