Am I uniquely unlucky in the poor quality of customer service at my nearest
The smaller (and, when last used, competent!) Ford dealerships in my
immediate local area have closed or lost their Ford status, during the last
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
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
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
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?