Poor Quality of UK Ford Dealerships?

Am I uniquely unlucky in the poor quality of customer service at my nearest Ford dealerships? The smaller (and, when last used, competent!) Ford dealerships in my
immediate local area have closed or lost their Ford status, during the last few years. The 3 large dealerships in the 3 nearest large towns provide poor customer service (on the basis of my experience over the last few years). Two are owned by the same company. The last time I dealt with one of their sites (about 3 months ago) was on a warranty matter (oil leak). They did the job OK but left a tool in the engine compartment - wondered what the rattling was! - and didn't even bother to wipe up the leaked oil (which I did myself)! Doesn't inspire confidence (like the surgeon who leaves a swab inside the patient and doesn't sew up the wound properly)! Needing a 25,000 mile service for my Focus 1.6 TDi , I resolved to use the other large Ford dealership and completed the on-line service booking form on the Ford UK website, asking for a service appointment. Nothing had been heard a week later - so I concluded they must be a 'shower' as well, like the other big firm! I decided finally to try out a surviving small family-owned Ford dealership at a slightly greater distance - in the hope that, being a small firm, they might at least have a decent customer service standard. (Some hopes, as it turned out)! Took car to this small firm by appointment at approx. 9am one day last week and returned home by train (I live approx. 14 miles away and the firm knew this). They said they'd ring me on my mobile when finished and mentioned that they were closing at 5.30pm. I was out and about with my wife in her car and, having heard nothing from them by about 4.45pm assumed they must have forgotten to ring me - so and asked her to drop me at the garage. On arrival the car was in the place where I'd parked it 7+ hours previously, but I assumed the job must have been done. No such luck - the service, as they admitted, had not even commenced! Receptionist reminded me that he was going to ring me when the service was completed. (Pointed out that no way I could get there from home in under 1 hour - so I'd have been unable to collect that evening if he rang me when the car was ready)! Apologetically, they put two (very junior-looking) mechanics onto the job, in an open-doored workshop. I sat on a wall outside and watched them. The entire job took little more than 1/2 hour. The bill for labour was 102 + VAT (+ another large amount for over-priced oil, etc.) - a total bill of just under 170. Not bad for about 1 man-hour of work? Didn't see them open the boot, so they didn't check the spare wheel, incidentally. They didn't do a test-drive on the road (isn't this supposed to be done as a matter of course)? Bill paid and keys handed over, I asked where the service record book was. Was told it was in the car. Looked in the car and couldn't find it, so returned to reception office. Frantic search .. service book finally unearthed. Asked them to stamp it. Was given it and noticed that they had written in 23,000 miles - not 25,000 miles. They apologised and amended the mileage figure. The whole exercise smacked of slackness, inefficiency and lack of professionalism. Yet another Ford dealership to be avoided!!!
Next time I'll be using my local highly-competent (they service my wife's car and I've hired vans from them!) non-Ford garage, which tries very hard to be helpul/efficient - despite the theoretical benefits of using a Ford dealer for servicing.
Has anyone else suffered in this way? What's a fair price for a 25000 service on a Focus diesel?
Thanks.
--
Paul



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Essex Ford by any chance?
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Alan
news2006 amac f2s com
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wrote

No. I'm in Yorkshire, but sounds as though you have similar problems down there!?
Paul
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This must be Polar of York.
They charge you a fortune, want the car for a full day to do the smallest of jobs, are rude, un-helpful, and basically think they are doing you a great favour.
On top of this they will take your car for a good high speed thrash down the road, everything in the boot will look as if the car has been on a rally, and it will be returned with up to 26 extra miles on the clock.
You are also lucky if the car is not slightly damaged in any way, i.e. foot scrapes over the sills, on the inner door panels etc.
Very Unimpressed.

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Good guess Mike - Polar is the one which left a tool in my engine compartment and didn't even wipe up the leaked oil from around the engine! Not York however, but Barnsley. They also have the Wakefield franchise (sadly)! I'm delighted to know that some people have a decent Ford dealer within range - I did at one time but they've shut down!
Paul
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What's a fair price for a 25000

two weeks ago. I was going to use a local independent but I needed some warranty jobs doing. I presume you know that your warranty is still valid even if a non franchised garage does the work. They are supposed to use Ford parts.
Bob
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Similar problems over the years here in Northern Ireland with a Ford dealer who have taken over almost all the small local dealers. This is despite them winning the Ford Chairman's Award for Customer Service! I suspect they do this by only surveying happy customers, as I've never had a follow up survey any time I've had a problem. I certainly won't be buying another Ford, as the after sales customer service simply isn't up to scratch.
Gary.
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No problem for me with two different Ford garages in South Norfolk. (Bussey and Abbeygate)
Left my car, they told me specific time to pick up (usually 1 to 2 hours or so), came back and the car is ready for me.
If they made a mistake, they fix it immediately and doesn't charge me for any additional labour time.
I'm happy with both of them.
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- Tony Sutton
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Busseys in Attleborough are very good but that's because they have retained most of their staff after the buy out of Dingles.
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Paul Giverin

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Found Busseys in Attleborough to be very good.Especially Tony in the parts dept.
Smiffy

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I echo the comment.
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- Tony Sutton
- http://www.fordst170.co.uk
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It is nice to hear good reports about Ford dealerships, unfortunately Polar in York is not one of them.
They think they are doing you, the customer a favour. On top of this they are incompetent, resulting of return visits instead of a first time fix, they need the car for days for small jobs and usually damage the car in one way or another - from foot scrapes on the sills to actual bodywork damage.
I often travel 30 - 40 miles to another dealership just to avoid them. Their service department is enough to make you migrate away from Ford !
Mike

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Thanks Tony. Must be wonderful to have a decent Ford dealer near you! The two decent ones I've dealt with, up in Yorkshire, are now no longer available (sadly). I used to have Ford company cars, back in the 70s - 90s and remember dealing with a firm in Sheffield for company car servicing - Brook Shaw Ltd (now long gone). The arrogance of their staff was incredible - they were rude and offhand, probably knowing I had no choice but to use them. Once asked for warranty work on a Ford Escort - heater not turning off properly (so too hot on a summer day!) and doors not closing properly (resulting in wind noise around the door seals). Their response was effectively 'what do you expect with a cheap car like the Escort'. Think I ended up doing the heater control adjustment myself and continued to suffer the wind noise. They once did some work on the engine and I noticed an item on the bill for a replacement plastic cooling fan. Asked why this was needed and they commented that they'd accidentally broken it. They seemed surprised that I was querying the item in view the fact that I wasn't personally paying the bill!
I thought the 'bad old days' of Ford dealers were gone (having dealt with several Vauxhall dealers and found them OK) -- that is until I dealt with Polar and the other smaller dealership recently used.
Regards,
Paul
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Hendy Ford on the South coast is just as bad and contacting Ford Customer Service is a waste of time - they may act if they get enough complaints I suppose
The only option is to avoid Ford - shame really my Focus is a decent car
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On 28 Feb, 12:53, snipped-for-privacy@tesco.net wrote:

The ceed by Kia(crap name but a well made shed)
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snipped-for-privacy@tesco.net wrote:

If you think the standard of Ford dealers is poor, you should try some of the others! In particular, Citroen dealers are hopeless; of course, with a Focus you are much less likely to need a dealer's services :-)
Chris
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Paul wrote:

Makes me glad I have a good one here in the states, an oil change is ~$22, and takes less then an hour and I get a car if I want or need one, 170pounds (sorry don't know how to make the symbol) that's $332.80 USD.
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nice 1 -see what happens when your oil supply dries up/
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