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Old 11-28-2004, 12:29 PM   #1
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Ford Customer Service / That key thing

I had my ignition lock up in January of this year. The dealer where I happened to be that day repaired it. $300.00

In October I was in the mid-Cities and it did it again. ($450) I had it dragged to a different dealership. Basically it was over 12K miles. I tried to contact the "Customer satisfaction line." They were curt and pointed. The Indian csr (I am told she was in Toronto, but...) was pointed almost like she was annoyed that I was so stupid to ask her for anything. HER COMPUTER SAID TOUGH!

Eight days later, it happened again. THis time I was at home. The dealership nearest me tried to fix it, but had to call the HOTLINE and replaced the next higher assembly. Since they changed a different part, no warranty on the repairs. ($300) The dealership suggested I call the Customer Satisfaction Center.

This time, I got a north American CSR. He put it in the computer it again said "I have nothing to offer you today." He repeated this SEVERAL TIMES. When I questioned the EIGHT DAYS, he repeated it. He never said WHY or much else. When I asked to speak to a supervisor, he FIRST told me it would make no difference. Then when I insisted, he puts me on hold and tells me his supervisor is not available. Actually he said " NO ACTUALLY YOU CANNOT TALK TO HER. " THEN he told me she was not at her desk. When querrid he said she could call me back within the next 24 to 72 hours. I said OK.

Meanwhile the dealership here in town is trying to help. (as an aside, they only sell Ford Trucks and likely will stop that once the current inventory is sold.) I have no idea on that before Monday.

Back to the customer Satisfaction Center: Today she did call me back. She explained it was a PART warranty. I understand this, but at the same time... It is exactly the same proplem. She was much more professional than ANYONE I had spoken to at that number previously. She was courteous. SHe was as direct as the others I spoke to . Her answer was still EXACTLY the same as before, but at least she did listen. She did not act like I was some sort of IDIOT she had to listen to.

The bottom line is that while I was FINALLY treated courteously, it was still deemed tough.

AS a suggestion (actually from the guy who was so pointed and rude). The dealership needs to ascertain if warranty exists. If you have work done, do not pay for the rework until you have AT LEAST talked to the service manager (NOT the service advisor) if not the warranty clerk. If they deny warranty on the repairs make them tell you in writing why and who decided. The bottom line is that the dealership who does the rework has the best shot at getting you warranty. In the current environment absent a satisfaction PROGRAM (which evidently there is not one for the ignition switch on my car) there is no one you can ever hope to talk to who has the discretion to do anything for you. It is purely a business decision.

This takes away one of the biggest reasons for going to Ford Authorized Service dealers; the idea Ford will stand behind the repairs and the dealership will do it right the first time. Evidently this was not done right the first time and when they muffed it since they changed a different part,........

I will add one thing. If everyone who has this problem complains to NTSB, they perhaps will try to help us out. I am going to wait until the Monday thing is done, but....


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Old 11-28-2004, 07:27 PM   #2
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So there are no other Ford dealers in your area? Sucks that you had to deal with some bad CSR...I've called Ford a few times and was treated very courteous. Keep us posted on the fix.
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Old 11-30-2004, 01:17 AM   #3
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Curteous, but....

They were curteous until you refused to accept the finality of their decree. It is not so much the way they treated me, but the finality of the computer generated decision. A person has yet to consider any of it.

By the way if you have this problem and get no satisfaction from Ford complain to NTSB. If you complain make sure you have the VIN as well as the other info. Without the VIN, they can easily say they cannot identify the complaint.

There are several complaints about this on the NTSB site, but none have the VIN.
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Old 11-30-2004, 09:01 AM   #4
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I've had my fare share of problems with Ford dealers and the Customer Satisfaction Center. I love my Focus and my Expedition but some of these dealers really suck and when I called Ford they tell me the dealers are privately owned so I have to take my problem up with the dealer. Pretty pointless to call when all they do is send me back to the dealer that I'm already frustrated with.

I must admit the dealer near my office has gotten better. I think I wasn't the only one they were pissing off. Now every time you go they ask you to feel out a little satisfaction survey and the service reps are pretty concerned about how you fill it out.
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Old 12-02-2004, 04:02 AM   #5
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My problem is more with the Customer Satisfaction Center than the dealership. While the dealership may have muffed this issue, they did follow the letter of the law.

This said, Ford has gotten away from having people making COMMON SENSE decisions to having a very rigid and strictly enforced computer decision making system.

I guess I will complain to NTSB even though this is not a SAFETY issue.
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Old 12-02-2004, 05:00 AM   #6
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Sounds like a job for US Postal?
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Old 12-02-2004, 10:20 AM   #7
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How can the lock go bad so many times?
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Old 12-02-2004, 09:54 PM   #8
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If the ignition lock was replaced with a new one, I don't believe it would fail right away. IMO They probably just tried to fix it.

ALWAYS ask to get your old parts back in advance when having your car serviced!
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Old 12-03-2004, 03:07 PM   #9
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Did the repair

The second dealer did the repair that he did correctly. The problem is thta while the part they replaced fixed the problem for the short term, the real problem was deeper.

It is kind of like you have mold on your wall. You clean it up and it looks all good. Months later it returns. At some point you realize the problem is moisture INSIDE the wall.

In this case the part was poorly engineered.

In the original shop manual, there was not a proceedure for this repair. The dealership had to remove the steering column and ship it back to the the factory to be remanufactured. Then after the problem started happing over and over, they wrote a TSB on how to repair it. Now as these cars are aging (my DOM is in April 1999.) even that fix is no longer working.


So to answer your question this was unanticipated by even Ford. They were as shocked as you seem to be. They were shocked enough that they used a different part by the late production 2001. In spite of the shock, their decision is to let us hang out.

My biggest problem with all of this is that NOONE has any discretion to do anything except say tough!
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Old 12-31-2004, 02:11 AM   #10
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Welol it is all final

Tough, Tough, Tough

The local dealership is as perplexed by Ford's decision as I am> She thinks there may be some sort of decision that they are not gonna fix anything else on those early Foci unless they are forced to.

I can tell you that just the recalls and customer satisfaction programs on mine have cost in excess of 50 manhours plus the parts. If you figure that Ford gives the dealerships from $35 to $50 per manhour for these repairs that puts the cost on my car at at least $1800 dollars. As I remember I gave below dealer invoice on it (after the rebates). (Sticker was ~17,500 I gave just over $13K for it after the rebates. I had paid $350.00 for the tradein and driven it for a year so while it looked good on paper, it was functionally ZERO.) Mine was an expensive model. The bottom line is that every penny of profit they made on these cars has gone into the recalls. While I believe the sunk costs are negligible and the PR of making these cars right should be a good business decision, I can see why they are doing what they are doing.

I have just two complaints. Why did they engineer these cars so poorly and why have they struggled with this problem as long as they have.
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