How to deal with bad Ford service

Hello, I have been using Ford service at Hill and Sanders Ford in Wheaton Maryland. Everytime I have gone to them for routine maintainence I seem to come out with a pile of bills. Recently upon using Ford service I was told
that my brakes "must be replaced". Since they were unaware of a service special offering brakes at $89 per axle, they proceeded to charge $175 per axle. I was able to request the "old" parts before they threw them out. Usually they toss things immediately. I see now that is is to hide evidence. Upon overpaying for the service and oil change, I also got the old parts. The old brakes are all within specification for continued use. I was sold service and brakes that were not needed.
Contacting Ford Customer Service on the ford website so far has turned out to be useless. Appearantly they cannot read a legitimate concern of fraudulent work (Hill and Sanders tries to push alignments often as well, not that any alignment shops have mentioned it was needed either). So far Ford sends canned messages thanking me for "being a loyal customer."
Fuck Ford, lousy piece of German crap. Fuck Ford service, you are making Hyundai, Kia and even Range Rover look good.
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to find a good shop. It will usually be much cheaper. Another way to handle it it like you said, buy something else next time. I would also bad mouth the shit of of that dealer's service department to everyone I know and also give the service manager a good reaming.

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Badmouthing only goes so far. For the most part, most mechanics I have gone to or worked with seem to be straighforward and honest. It is this one dealarship, Hill and Sanders in Wheaton Maryland, that consistantly does this kind of underhanded stuff. Another example is where I have gone in for the oil change service and end up with them telling me I need an alignment and new tires even though I had an alignment performed at the last oil change. When brought to their attention that the alignment was done last service, they asked if I could show them a recipt.
Upon showing them a recipt, they indicated that there was no alignment on it but there was a timing belt change listed (somewhat cryptically) that I didn't request or need. I don't know if other Ford dealers are like this but considering the response from Ford Motor Company, I realize that unless they are being sued, they feel that having your money is all the effort they need to expend in keeping the customer happy.
I would not be suprized if Ford service checked and certified the pressure on every tire that ever delaminated on a Ford Explorer. Considering the quality behind Ford Headquarter's excellence, I am suprized that there aren't more class action lawsuits pending.
I did meet with the service manager, who was surprized that I kept the brake pads and shoes in question. When I came in, he measured and found all parts to be within safe operation specifications. Then he did something strange and measured the rear shoe linings with the gauge used for the front pads and "showed" me that one corner of one rear brake shoe was in the yellow (based on being measured with front pad tolerances). I should have force fed him the brake parts, but I decided to contact Ford Motor Compamy regarding this.
So far they consider this issue resolved, even though they haven't done anything.
"We appreciate the fact that you are a loyal Ford customer and we apologize if we are not able to give you a satisfactory answer."
How personal and such attention to detail!
"...we feel that every consideration has been given to this matter and was appropriately addressed in our prior response. At this time, our decision will not change. If any additional information regarding this matter should become available in the future, please let us know."
Seeing that Ford only sends canned responses, obviously nothing has been answered, much less addressed.
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I would call up the dealership service department and ask to make appointment to discuss your concern with the service manager. I would be very polite and respectful to the service manager. Perhaps he would be willing to refund the money or provide a free brake job later or something.
If I did not get satisfaction, I would say tell him politely that this is not adequate resolution and write a letter to the president of Ford explaining why you don't feel that the Ford dealer was not fair. Send a copy to the service manager and the president or owner of the Ford dealer.
I would not go back to the that dealer again for service, unless it was in warranty.

Then you need to go to a repair place where they will actually work to keep you happy. Some dealers are like that. Some are really good. I think you will get better service from dealers in small towns than big towns.
However, there is no need to take your car to the dealer except in warranty work.

I would be surprised. Besides, it is not Ford dealers who are responsible for hte air pressure, but the drivers.

That is a much better idea.

You might bring them to small claims court.
The other thing I would do is bring the car elsewhere for repairs.

The way to address it is to bring your car elsewhere for repairs.
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Dealers are independantly owned and operated. Don't blame Ford, blame the dealer.
And you should be doing your own brake jobs anyway.
Crystal Ford also has fairly incompetent mechanics. I took my Escort there 3 times under warranty for something that I later fixed myself in a few minutes. The dealer (or other non-dealer auto mechanics) are only interested in swapping parts, not actually fixing the problem.
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They are Blue Oval certified by Ford. So, Ford is guilty as well. They have some pretend sort of multipoint certification where as by achieving this supposed high level of profiency then the customer is to expect Ford's best, I guess. If they want to fix this and try to restore some level of professionalism, I think few things short of firing the service manager are going to be in any way satisfactory. I have no qualms about him getting tossed out on the street and unemployed for the holiday season. Pulling crap like he did is not acceptable. While some customers may not care, I cannot tolerate dishonest mechanics anymore than dishonest sales people. Personally, I am hoping the service manager gets cancer from inhaling too many unburnt hydrocarbons and asbestos from Canadian made brake linings (thanks NAFTA).
Seeing that Hill and Sanders Ford in Wheaton, MD is "Blue Oval Certified" I can only assume that this certification comes from a through and grueling inspection done over a couple of drinks and a game of darts. The customer service is trying to assure me that they care but since they have closed the issue, that it must be solved...
So aside from an extra flush in the can, does Ford Blue Oval certification mean anything more than the customer service reps can apologize real well? If this is the best Ford can do, then people need to be aware of this.
Anyone got the address for Pat Goss, isn't he at Crystal Ford?
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Wow! I live on the west side of DC out in the sticks and I've heard bad things about Hill and Sanders Ford. I believe they have a reputation for bait and switch internet only sales. You drive in from DC or Baltimore looking for that great buy you saw on the internet and "it just sold, but we have this vehicle over here"!!! Good to know they have a fine service department too!!!

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314 952-4601
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There is a process outlined in the owners manual that might help. Letters always seem to get a little more attention than emails, in my experience. You might also schedule a meeting with the owner of General Manager of the dealership. Sometimes, the guy at the top has no idea how his shop is doing without direct customer input.
I have had amazingly wonderful experiences as well as shoddy/dishonest ones from factory dealers. I am pleased with the local Ford dealer where I am now (so far) but I stayed far far away from the Ford shop where I used to live. Fortunately, there was an excellent Lincoln/Mercury dealer there. Good independent shops are hard to find, too. My suggestion is to stay away from the chains. They are even more interested in selling things than in doing just what is needed.
Good Luck!
PoD

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Ford is not doing that well financially. They want every costumer. If you write a kindly worded letter, that may get what you are asking for. Remember, you get more bees with honey than vinegar. And the person who reads the letter is just an employee who does not deserve to be cursed at or anything. Besides, if you were making decisions about whom to help, would you help the person with the kindly worded letter or the one who yells at you?
If they did service that you did not ask for or told you needed service that you did not need, then you may have a lawsuit. I would take them to small claims suit if the letter does not generate and adequate response. (keep copies of all correspondence).
Jeff
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If this is any example of quality control for Ford, I'd say that they should be in dire straights. With just about any product I have expectations on how a particular item or service is to be dealt with. While I have written to business heads regarding the quality and performance of their products and services, I have not gone down that particular path as of yet. I probably will soon. I have had good and bad products and some companies deal with things appropriately and others do not. I have had an excellent experience with Best Buy in dealing with returns, replacements and honoring competitive prices. I would almost say that they bend over backwards in some of the stranger and/or more difficult negotiations. On the otherhand, I have a poor opinion upon Honda. While their vehicles are rightfully highly rated and fairly well built, the short list of sales staff I have attempted to work with have left a bad impression, for this reason I don't put Honda very high on the list when I look for a new vehicle. I had a horrendously bad experience with Renault and a car which I thought was a good deal at the time. With the dealership refusing to adequately deal with a car that had great mileage, in that it was getting towed everywhere, expenses mounting and the car spending most of its life being garage kept (that is, in a year it had spent just under 200 days being "fixed"), I tried to get the dealer to address the problem by either replacing, refundung or giving me the loner/rental since I drove it more often and it was a much better vehicle (a Nissan). I did have to go to the president in written correspondence. After a few months of registered mail, Renault finally took the car back, refunded the full amount (after trying to base a refund on complely fictionalized idea of usage versus predicted service life and probably phase of the moon), paid some of the towing, paid for rental fees not covered (periods where I was out of state and needed transportation after another breakdown, also when the dealer was out of loner vehicles) and so on. Unfortunatly I had a lemon and getting it corrected was quite time consuming and painful. Several times it was the serpentine belt other times it was electrical issues like radio or lights being out or greatly disabled to the main wiring harness having to be replaced a few times and a few occasions where leakage off the windshield either entering the interior of the vehicle or saturating the electrical system causing all kinds of odd behavior. Needless to say after working up the chain of managers and regional people that I wrote to the top because of this nightmare.
I expect this kind of possible nightmare were I buying a used car for next to nothing without doing a vehicle check. With Ford, I decided to try them again since I have had a few Fords and have had little to complain about. Especially since I have rented many Ford on business trips, I kind of started liking them again.
This time is typical of a dishonest service department. Having spent much of my youth working on cars, I feel I have a reasonable amount of service knowledge. Having had a Cheverolt Eurosport, I feel my mechanical skills are very good when time isn't an issue. I think I can judge when service is within reason or not.

In the case of my last service call with Hill and Sanders Ford, the brakes were at issue. Being rather important, I didn't scrutinize the decision to replace the pads and shoes, however this time I managed to keep the old parts. I am keeping these parts to show to Ford representatives when that time comes around, either that or they'll refund the whole thing provided they want to attempt to rectify the situation. Court is always a possibility as well, I'd rather not go there if I don't have to.
Regards.
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(...)

I am glad to see such a mature attitude.
Actually, Ford is an American company with HQ in Dearborn, MI. They have operations in Germany, but most of the cars are made in the US. Perhaps you are confusing Ford with Chrysler which became Diamler-Chrysler after a "merger of equals."
Range Rover is a Land Rover vehicle. Land Rover is owned by Ford.
You make less of a fool of yourself if act maturely, use appropriate lanquage and get your facts right before you start bashing.
Jeff
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If I may be the devil's advocate, I believe Mr. Hernandez was venting his frustration. Been there, done that.
I cannot begin to count the number of level-headed letters of consternation as well as letters of praise I have written over the years. Some letters of complaint received favorable resolution while others have not. A few letters of praise have incited unexpected but welcome results.
Then there are the few letters I have written which clearly portrayed myself as foaming at the mouth. The mere thought of the word 'Maytag' has me spitting nails. Ptoooey! Ptoooey! Ptoooey!
Have all my letters been mature. Nah! There are couple that, years later, still embarrass me when I reflect on them. But, I've got emotions and sometimes I act upon them irrationally. I would be very surprised if Jeff conducts himself with absolute maturity.
That being said, I have found one particular means of complaint that I have employed very rarely but has proven to be rather effective. When I have a severe issue with a service department of a major company, franchise or otherwise, I use whatever means available (library, internet) to find the name and address of the offending company's CEO. I then take the part relevant to the dispute, package it up, and mail it off personally to the CEO, accompanied by a factual explanation devoid as much as possible of emotion. Apparently CEO's do not like unexpected packages on their desks. The results tend to be immediate and favorable.
As to Ford service, years ago I was a service manager in an industry unrelated to automotive. I was given by my boss marching orders of which I was expected to comply. I dismally failed to assimilate the philosophy that ethics must be subordinate to profit. I subsequently changed jobs. However, owing to my experience, there is not, in any industry, an established service manager that I don't suspect capable of pulling any and every stunt imaginable. I am equally suspicious of the technicians. My shields are perennially up.
Jeff wrote:

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Farley @nonymous opined in

That is exactly right. Many years ago, while on a seasonal layoff from GM plant in Dayton, I took a job at a shop owned by a deacon in my church.
I did not last long... We were shown how to find and point out "the problem of the month", In my case - a worn idler arm assembly.
About three cars later, I found one... it had about an inch and a half of play, well over the supposed limit of one inch. I mentioned it needed replacement to the customer when I picked him up at work and he thought that was odd... he went directly into the office and it seems that he was charged for the idler arm repair two months prior.
Well, I was just a kid but I knew the thing HADNT been changed. But I shut up while the service manager took the customer to the ford dealer and THEY assurred him the idler arm was fine.
Two days later, I was "laid off".
This was the first of several experiences I had in the world of "tradesmen"... leading to me doing ALL repair work myself, including automotive, plumbing heating, A/C and electrical.
However I HAVE found several good shops when I didnt feel like doing it or it was covered by insurance... though these are probably subject to constant change.. depending on the previous years net revenue.
But NEXT time I have a house that needs new windows, I will do THAT myself, too!!
But it IS just business.
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And you would feel differently if you had to deal with a company representative over a similar issue and get nothing but hassles or dealing with service managers that believe that aside from the customer being wrong, also believe they can flash a few tools and try to convince you that by some miracle that they have done some sort of great service? I don't know about you but I know the difference between a gauge to measure the specifications of a front pad and a guage to measure the specifications of a rear shoe. Using a front gauge to try and show me a low spot on the rear doesn't fly with me.

While Ford is an American company, several of their top passenger lines owes its success to German and Japanese enginering. In my car's case, Euro-Ford (Germany) is the primary designer and where it's engine was introduced before mass sales in the US. Whereas I am not confusing anything with Daimler-Chrysler and all the other companies Chrysler has worked with. I mention Land Rover simply for the reason that for a while there (if not still there) Land Rover was rated 43rd out of 43 car manufacturers for service.

Whether or not you find my use of this venue to vent, versus using the front brake gauge to see if the service manager's pulmonary arteries are within specification is appropriate, really isn't that much of a major issue. Reading what you and others have to say is more to the point of what I am looking after. That said, what facts do you feel are incorrect?
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I have had to deal with incompetent service too.

So it is still an American car. And probably made in America by Americans.

Gee, more maturity.

See above.
Jeff
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