Wednesday, May 15, 2013

Why I hate Ford

"Go Further." That's the new Ford Motor Car slogan. They should specify. Further than what? An inch?

Don't buy a Ford Fiesta. Ever.

Not that you planned to. It is kind of a kiddie-car. Something parents might buy their 16 year old daughter, but only if they didn't like her very much and had lost their life savings.

Still, I bought one, new. It seemed so uncomplicated, just one step above a Schwinn with training wheels. Because all I ask, all I've ever asked of a car is that it, you know, start, and the FM radio works. I'd even opt for roll-down windows over electric, as it's one less thing to go wrong.

But this car, this 2011 Ford Fiesta, couldn't even make it to 12,000 fucking miles without a total meltdown. I was taking it in for a service appointment -- where I bought the car, mind you -- (a 9:45 a.m. appointment; surely they must be efficient if booking on the quarter hour), and it died completely, at an intersection, one block from the destination, Star Ford. I coasted down a side street and it came to a complete stop in the middle of the driveway of another dealership.

I hoofed it over to Star Ford and said, "I've got a 9:45 appointment and my car just died one block away. Can you get me a tow?"

Well, no. "We're really busy," said my -- what's the title? -- oh yes, Service Adviser. "As you can see, I've got people waiting."

"But I'm blocking a driveway. You have my info, can't you call so I can get back to the car and make sure the city doesn't tow it away?"

Well, no. "I've got people waiting." And he pointed me to a phone so I could make my own arrangements.

Which I did. And ran back to the car. An hour later, me and my pumpkin arrived.

"I'm sorry I couldn't help you," said my Service Adviser. "But you understand..."

"I know, you had people waiting."

So he processed the paperwork and told me to wait with the other lost souls, under the red tarmac. I lasted about ten minutes and called for a ride.

It's six hours later and I haven't heard anything. I phoned. "We haven't gotten to your car yet. There were three that arrived before yours."

I pointed out that I had been on time, it was my car that died, one block away, and had to be towed, with no help from him. So technically, these three cars were not ahead of me.

"But now they are," my Service Adviser advised. "I can tell you, we won't get to it today."

Which I found interesting. Would he have left me waiting under the red tarmac all morning and afternoon, and then sent me home, car-less? Was that his plan of action? Is that what generally worked for him, under similar situations?

"Can you guarantee I'll have my car tomorrow?"

My Service Adviser scoffed. "I don't know if we even have the parts."

I'm no good at customer service arguments; some people manage to come out on the winning side, I never do.

I brought up the Ford Corporate Facebook page and posted a tantrum, next to the "Ford Does it Again!" and "Quality is Our Job" entries. I haven't heard back so they probably zapped it.

Yeah, I just checked, they zapped it. Replaced by: So You Think You Can Dance auditions head to Detroit tonight and we were fortunate to have host Cat Deeley film some scenes from the line of our very own Dearborn Truck Plant!

Take my advice, and don't buy a Ford. Or don't take my advice and buy a Ford -- then you can Go Further, but only if you're walking.

33 comments:

  1. At least my Yugo lasted twice that long.

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  2. Wow, that's dreadful customer service. Have they got a Yelp page for helpful suggestions on how to improve? Hope the repair's not going to cost an arm and a leg. You've only done 12,000 miles!!

    I'm sticking with Honda cars from Honda of Pasadena because of their exceptional customer service and excellent workshop. They'd have rescued you in a flash and given you a courtesy car. Has Ford ever wondered why Honda outsells them?

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  3. Did he know you're a blogger with a huge following? Apparently not. Don't take this post down until they give you Ford's Extreme Satisfaction.

    What I take from this: if you do buy a Ford, don't buy it at Star Ford.

    I got my (2009) Nissan Cube from Glendale Nissan. It's a bit of a trek but it was the car I wanted. The car's been great, and Glendale Nissan provides the same great service Honda of Pasadena does. (I know this not only because of what Bellis says, but because John drives a Honda.)

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  4. I am no help. I can only recommend an excellent Subaru dealer in Saco, Maine. I hope you continue up the chain until you get some satisfaction re: customer service. The people who can make things better need to know. A letter cc'd to many higher ups often works wonders.

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  5. I guess Ford still stands for Found On Roadside Dead. Keep making a stink, and who knows, something good might come of it. If I ever have to buy another car I'll get another Honda, but since I'm channeling the proverbial little old lady from Pasadena by only driving to Trader Joe's on Sunday, I think my 92 Civic will last forever.

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  6. This is the kind of thing that makes my blood boil. Don't give up and keep complaining!! That whole squeaky wheel thing (although I'm sure if your wheels were really squeaking, you'd have to wait a few more days).

    I once had an Audi that had all sorts of weird issues but the dealer and service advisor bent over backwards - great customer service. And I'd buy another one for that reason.

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  7. What a joke. Apparently Ford's been taken over by a hostile competitor intent on doing it in by alienating its own customers.

    I've driven Hondas and Toyotas for years. Never, ever have had a problem.

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  8. Buy Ford and:
    Fuck
    Our
    Ridiculous
    Decision

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  9. I checked out Star Ford on Yelp and there were a lot of bad reviews as well as some good ones. Then I checked out Honda of Pasadena and it was the same. Lots of dissatisfied and even angry customers. Weird.
    Hope you get to like your Ford again.

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  10. Yes, the customer service was bad, really bad. But a car that can't wheeze its way to 12,000 miles? That's what really grinds my gears.

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  11. When my dad passed away, I had an opportunity to take over his car...a Ford Escort. It had 80 something thousand miles on it. My Honda Accord had 126 thousand miles on it. I went to a mechanic and asked which was the better bet...I didn't have money to replace either one...he hemmed and hawed...then said...well...I'd bet on the Honda...the worst that can happen is you'd need a new engine...not having the funds to replace my engine if the current one died, I opted for the Ford Escort............BIG MISTAKE!!!!

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  12. The last time ( several years ago) I had an issue w/a car I wrote to corporate... boy did that get things moving...lol.. seriously, write to corporate and things will happen... btw send it certified mail, and that really raises red flags on their end... I was told FORD stood for: Figure On Repairs Daily......and that came from a friend w/the last name of Ford.

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  13. The concept of "customer service" has been effectively lobotomized out of Dealership' brains. I'll never go back to a dealership with a vehicle of mine, as long as I have breath left. They've sucked enough of my life's blood out of me. I can so relate. Sorry.

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  14. Karin,

    The old jokes from high school come to mind:
    FORD - Fix or repair daily

    Speed kills, buy a Ford and live.....

    FORD - Found on roadside dead....

    Cheers!

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  15. This just goes to prove you guys are much smarter than I am.

    Still no word -- maybe those three cars ahead of me multiplied during the night.

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  16. I think you should email the Ford Motor Company, link them to this post, and just sort of let them know how many thousands of hits you get per day.

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  17. I had a Ford station wagon. I bought it used from Hertz for $3000, because I wasn't buying no stinkin' new station wagon to haul around 4 kids; no sirree, I drive a nice new Cadillac. My brother-in-law said it had "lower engine noise" and death was imminent. 150,000 miles later, I sold it to a friend for his son to go to college; said son drove it for 4 years, and sold it to another friend (god knows why a 22 year old wanted a station wagon).

    As to my nice new Cadillac, when I'd had it a month, my brakes stopped functioning properly on the way to work. I drove it really slowly to the dealership, parked it in front of the door to the service area - the roll up door, not the puny people door - and went in to tell them that my brakes were gone after only 400 miles. The dipshit bimbo at the desk told me I was mistaken, and that the brakes were just fine, so I told her I'd just go inside and see the owner's son, who had sold me the car, with my voice getting progressively louder: "Are you telling me that I don't know when my brakes don't work? Do you think that because I have big hair and big t**s that I'm so stupid I can't tell whether or not my car is stopping? You're lucky that Sedan de Ville didn't just roll straight through that glass roll up door there...." Walter the service manager came to test drive it (about 50 feet) immediately, and they gave me a loaner car so I could go to work, while they replaced the hanging caliper and brake lines, and then Walter himself delivered my car to me at my office less than 2 hours later.

    I hope they honor the warranty on your Kiddie Car and fix it before you get to be old and gray.

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  18. Ugh. What a hassle. My Mazda has been good to me so far, even after 100,000 miles. Let me know if you need any rides. It smells like dog, but it will get you where you need to go.

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  19. OK, here's the deal. I've now been told the problem is with the transmission (duh), and they'll have to keep my car for a week because, yes of course, "There are other people ahead of you." Proving all the internet posts about crappy Fiesta transmissions are true. Plus, I found a lot of other internet info regarding how cars under warranty move to the back of the line. More on that later.

    I'll contact Ford headquarters, tell them the whole story and how the dealership will not pick up the entire tab on my rental. I'll also tell them I'm doing a blog on my experience, and will be providing two new posts next week with updates, including their response, if any.

    I realize this won't make the most fascinating reading for you. But perhaps my lemon-learning experience may help you or someone else out someday.

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  20. They should pick up the tab for your rental... I will never buy American.. Last one I had was a Dodge, they had the worst customer service.. I had a notebook full of warranty work done and thensome.. Petrea is right, send a link to Ford Corporate .. too bad u didn't include the dealership name in your post, that would get some action at Ford...

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  21. Thai Amathura beat me to it:
    Fix Or Repair Daily

    I drive a used Ford F-150 Heritage with roll up windows. So far, so good. But when your warranty expires, make sure you have a regular mechanic on hand to take their place because they will drop you so fast...

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  22. Thai Amathura's a pip, isn't he? Right on all counts.

    My friend Doris called to offer errand service today. She just got her 1999 car (not a Ford) back, after major work -- first major work it ever required.

    "How long did they keep it?" I asked.
    "A day and a half."

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  23. The problem with American car manufacturers is that they signed deals with the devil to ensure that certain car parts break down after a predetermined amount of miles. Transmissions go out at 80,000 - 100,000 miles. Most (running) cars on the road now are the products of foreign countries. A decade or more ago, I started taking note on what cars where broken down on the side of the freeways. 99 out of a 100 were American made.

    The only thing worse then a Ford is a Chevrolet. Buicks are decent.

    Toyotas are a girls best friend

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  24. I'm especially proud of you not being afraid to be a hater in this PC new world order.

    Btw, were you a loyal Ford owner prior to this breaking news? Just wondering if you had also bought a Ford Model P in the last century?

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  25. Didn't you know that FORD is an acronym for Fix Or Repair Daily? My Dad told me that years ago!! So sorry to hear of your aggravation! Good luck ---- try posting on their facebook page......I did that to Bank of America and someone called me the next morning at 8:30 in the morning!!

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  26. 70's Ford station wagons were great.

    Any '60's ride with a straight six is good. Damn things only had about half a dozen moving parts. What could go wrong?

    Mazda pick-ups, pre-1994. They have the JP production motor, and they run forever. The only real flaw might have been an aluminum head. After that, Ford got a hold of it and put in 8 spark plugs - but for only four cylinders.

    Love my '74 Jeep J-10 pick-up. It has a flat bed installed and one bad-ass grill. That thing will climb a tree if the bark would stay on.

    Who can afford a new car, anyway?

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  27. 70's Ford station wagons were great.

    Any '60's ride with a straight six is good. Damn things only had about half a dozen moving parts. What could go wrong?

    Mazda pick-ups, pre-1994. They have the JP production motor, and they run forever. The only real flaw might have been an aluminum head. After that, Ford got a hold of it and put in 8 spark plugs - but for only four cylinders.

    Love my '74 Jeep J-10 pick-up. It has a flat bed installed and one bad-ass grill. That thing will climb a tree if the bark would stay on.

    Who can afford a new car, anyway?

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  28. What sh*tty customer service! And the transmission blows at 12,000? That's also sh*tty.
    Yes, by all means contact Ford HQ -- and keep us posted. Good luck.

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  29. This scares me to death. I almost bought my daughter a Ford Fiesta. Before you say anything, we love our daughter very much and we have money in the bank, enough money for a Honda.

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  30. Well, stay tuned, because we're going to take a virtual corporate joy ride.

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  31. Shouldn't it be "Go Farther"? First red flag.







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  32. Back in the 80s, I bought my first (and last) Ford, an EXP. Never heard of it? I wish I was as lucky.
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ford_EXP

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  33. I will never ever buy a new Ford again. 2011 Ford Fiesta 69,000 miles new clutch, transmission, etc. (thank goodness for extended warranty); 106,000 miles new transmission control module $872; 109,000 miles new clutch!!!??! $2500.

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