Friday, February 16, 2018

Dear Ford Canada,

You win.

Despite being assured during numerous phone-calls by your several customer service line representatives that a supervisor would return my call in two business days (didn't happen), by 7:00 p.m. (also didn't happen), and to quote "I guarantee that my supervisor will call you in the morning" (nope), I no longer want to talk to your supervisor. Why? Because I am willing to concede in this big corporation tactic I like to call the-customer-will-eventually-give-up game.

I write this open letter because as I grow older, I vow not to become a grumpy, bitter old man. Let me rephrase: I hope to grow old but I am actively working on preventing the bitterness that sometimes comes with age. I seek not to be a complainer. I do not have grudges I wish to nurture. I do not get offended by everything I disagree with. I recognize and am grateful for my privileges. Perhaps I'm stereotyping, but I want to age intentionally mindful that life is too fantastic and too enjoyable to waste time on being angry. Plus, like all of life's experiences, despite the wrongs, this one had some 'rights' too.

If it mattered to you then you might be pleased that one of the 'rights' included how I was treated by my local Ford dealership. When my 2013 vehicle went into the shop over a month ago for a new block heater, I expected to have it back in a day or two like every other time my vehicle has needed service. Great local service is one of the reasons my wife and I have purchased for each other and our family--and this fact surprised me when I did the math--eight Ford vehicles from my local dealership in the past 25 years. So, when I was told that a hose broke during the installation, I authorized a replacement, and here I am a month later still waiting for that hose. During that time, our local dealership has provided a courtesy car to us, but mostly I have been using my wife's vehicle (also a Ford) for the 2 hour commute I take for work sometimes three days weekly. She has been using the courtesy vehicle. Our local dealership is also installing better tires on the courtesy vehicle because (and I quote) "at no point in time do we want our customers in a non safe vehicle." Fist bump.

Anyway, after a month of searching for a part--apparently there were none in North America--I am told it is slowly making its way to Alberta. Is that little hose-r driving itself? Is it being transported by a donkey? (Oops, bitter moment.) Now remember my vehicle, a very common Ford Escape, is just barely five years old. And consider that some people might not even own their 2013s yet. How then could this part be so rare? About 2.5 weeks into this, I called your service line to beg someone to find another parts source. Nada.

Ok. Patience, right? Exactly. We all need patience. But after a month, I needed one of your Ford Canada supervisor to do four things:

  1. given the timeline, determine if there was any possible way this part could expedited,  
  2. given my vehicle's relative newness, explain how this happened and hear what you might do to prevent it from happening to others/me again,
  3. and in doing so, apply the phrase customer service literally by acknowledging the situation deserves a little more finesse than just a patronizing first level phone interview,
  4. but first, RETURN THE PROMISED CALL. 
But nope. No one called back. This kind of crap, Ford Canada (O you mighty corporation interested mostly in sales not service), is why I declare my defeat. 

Sure, I explored other avenues. For example, I researched the woefully pitiful other contact information on your website essentially designed to undermine human contact. I took the surveys after I spoke to your customer service line operators but they informed me that the surveys were actually my opportunity to judge their phone skills, not assess the INCREDIBLE lack of follow up. (Oops, creeping into bitter again. Sorry.) And so I will continue to wait patiently and thus prevent the bitter-old-man-ness from clogging my veins. 

Or...I suppose there are a few other things I could try including social media or perhaps sharing my struggles with Chev or Honda or Dodge or Toyota? But is the competition any different? Maybe it's time to find out? Another avenue is to never buy another Ford vehicle. We can always vote with our pocketbooks right? That is a tempting option, but honestly, my local Ford dealership has always been good to us. Whatever I do or do not do next, this experience reinforced, at least for me, that customer service is alive at local businesses, yet quite cremated at the Ford Canada Corporation.

In closing, I'd wish you a good day, but you aren't listening anyway. So instead, a good day to my readers. Do what you will with this info, my friends. 


jenny_o said...

My mom had to wait a couple of weeks for one of the parts for her gas tank neck repair recently because it had to come from the USA. Apparently dealers don't keep most parts in stock anymore, to cut down on inventory costs. They can get parts from Canadian suppliers on a day-or-two basis, but the US ones take longer.

But jeepers, a month??? Somebody needs to explain, and grovel.

Would your dealer have better success at finding out the problem and getting an apology?

Pearson Report said...

Hi db, I don't know if it will help but I sent out an epic tweet. I'm so fed up with this kind of customer service. I was a Ford customer years ago - would have thought of getting another one until I read this distressing mess.

I'm sorry you feel you have to give in. Why they didn't take the part from one of the vehicles in their inventory is beyond me - that should have been the dealers first option when told of the delay.

Absolutely disgusting.

Debra She Who Seeks said...

I was always told that the name FORD was an acronym for "Fix Or Repair Daily," lol. Now it sounds like their customer service is crap too. My sympathies. I buy only Toyotas.

Pearson Report said...

I laughed at Debra's acronym for FORD. I will remember that. Back in the 80's I had a Ford Escort, four door, a sensible car as I had become a parent. Overall I was happy with it, and like you db, happy with the dealership. Issues back then didn't seem to be such a challenge, or at least so I remember.

My mother only ever had Toyotas too - and so do many of my clients and friends. They are considered very reliable. Then, there's my daughter and her man - Honda all the way. Theme? North American cars are not on most peoples car shopping list. Lesson learned!!!

DB Stewart said...

Jenny--my dealer already tried. I was step two. I hadn't thought about inventory. Smart. I will pursue that.
Thanks for the comments everyone. They also help me from becoming bitter.

Incognito said...

Parts are made in...C., so shipping is now by boat.

Incognito said...

I'm going with the latest version of this page was created in this case is that you can get a quote from the airport and also the option to change the world, but it would be great to see if you are looking for a couple of days ago.

Ha! The last sentence was typed by simply accepting auto predict. Ruled by algorithms.

michael.offworld said...

I love my Highlander. Still driving my 2001 Accord. Several colleagues drive RAV4s. Mazda's look pretty. Things to consider when you get your car back.

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