I don’t know whether or not it has anything to do with (as in “is a result of” or “caused”) the fact that Ford is now over $8 billion in debt, but their customer service is awful.
I thought I was getting a good deal when I found a 2-year-old Ford Focus (not far from 3) with only 8k miles on it. Suppose it was a good deal in terms of ticket price and loss of value… somebody else’s loss is my gain.
Then the tires wore out evenly.
Just after my warranty expired (remember, it goes to 36k or THREE YEARS, which is the key phrase in my scenario), the tires wore out. As they came to their end of life, I was able to see that they wore more on the inside than on the outside (on both rear tires). Not being one to be easily alarmed (and not having received any notice of a recall or TSB), I thought what anybody would think - that a car with 24,000 miles on it couldn’t possibly have suspension that worn out. This owner before me may have hauled heavy weight often (after all, he was a truck driver - which was the explanation I was given as to why the miles were so low in comparison with age).
So I put new tires on. And I crossed my fingers. Well, now those are worn out, and the problem with the rear has even worsened some (as illustrated by the increased difference between the tire inside and outside on this second set of tires). So I take it to the shop. Turns out there’s a TSB (Technical Service Bulletin - basically an acknowledgement that Ford screwed up with a part and is willing to replace it for free - if you’re under warranty, of course). So I get the local Ford dealer on the phone. I ask him straight-out if it’s his decision or Ford headquarters’ decision whether or not this will be replace for free since the car is out of warranty. Explain that I could not reasonably have identified the problem while it was under warranty. He is honest and explains that Ford has to make the call. Gives me the number.
So I call Ford customer service. This is where the story gets very sour. Milli was a bit impatient and was very eager to tell me early-on in the conversation that Ford unfortunately cannot make exceptions to the warranty period. I called her bluff and explained that I was already aware that it’s possible AND it’s Ford HQ’s decision.
She refuses to help me and goes further to tell me that it has to be diagnosed with the problem at a Ford dealer. It apparently doesn’t matter that the dealer told me he’d gladly fix the problem that was diagnosed by a technician in the area with whom his Ford dealership has been familiar for years. Needless to say, I eventually tired of the circle that Milli and I were running around, and I called the local dealer back up.
Now, for the sake of fairness I want to make one thing clear. FORD has disgusting customer service and service policies. My LOCAL FORD DEALER does not. In the 20 or so minutes I was on the phone with customer service, my local dealer’s technician had spoken with his senior manager. He was very honest and told me that although he would make the repair and felt that I was being punished for finding a good deal, the problem was that Ford itself would not reimburse him for the work his shop did, because they see things in black and white and simply wouldn’t cover me because I’m out of warranty.
Well, guess what. Now I’m out of Ford too. My wife’s Subaru is a modern marvel of glory. I think it’s about time I had some all wheel drive, lasting parts, and good service.
Oh, and one more thing about the local Ford dealer’s technician. He was also grateful that I explained to him about my Dodge Dakota with 185,000 miles (you read that correctly) that has NO suspension problems to date. Because he just bought his son one. That’s your pure and outright argument for Ford right their. Even their own technicians won’t drive Fords.