Berge Ford - Mesa, Arizona — Ford dealer rip-offs!
On March 7, 2007, I took my 1993 Ford Probe into the Berge Ford Service Department in Mesa, Arizona (Phoenix area) to have the leaking valve cover gaskets replaced, and to get my recently refurbished air conditioning system functioning again. The written estimate I received for this work was $608. On March 14, I picked up the car and the billed amount was for $2713.79 (more than the car is worth).
The Service Advisor had called me the day after I left the car to tell me that the A/C compressor needed replacing (it had already been replaced 20,000 miles ago when the system was converted to the newer R138 refrigerant from R12). He said the cost for a rebuilt compressor would be $540. In fact, without any further notice until I picked up the car one week later, I was charged $914 for this part plus another $148 for a new accumulator. (I had authorized the $688 additional quoted cost, but when I picked up the car I was stunned to find that the cost for the A/C work came to $1154.)
The Service Advisor had also recommended the replacement of the (expensive) spark plug wires, which he informed me were oil-soaked. I knew that the long internal plastic/ceramic spark plug connectors were impermeable to any such soaking and declined that part of the job.
The Service Advisor also used scare tactics to try to get me to authorize CV shaft replacement because of the loss of one CV joint grease boot (he said my wheel would fall off while driving). His quoted cost to replace both of these CV half-shafts was $1700. I declined, and had this exact replacement work done (with new shafts) at another shop (Network Alignment in Mesa) the following week for a total cost of $413. The Berge Ford service department wanted to charge me four times the cost that the other shop charged me for this work.
Included in my final bill was a water pump and drive belt replacement (which I had verbally authorized on the telephone). But the mechanic broke several parts when working on the engine -- including a listed vacuum selenoid pack which he reportedly replaced. But when I picked up the car the ABS (antilock braking system) warning light was lit-up on the dashboard -- which was not illuminated when I left the car with the dealer.
Because it was obvious that the mechanic did something to the ABS control system module while working near it in the engine compartment, I asked to have this fixed at no charge, was refused, and so asked speak with the Service Manager. Both the Service Manager and Advisor refused to even look into the problem that their mechanic caused unless I paid an additional fee to find the cause. I refused -- not wishing to repeat my earlier mistake of trusting these people.
Now I am driving a car with a potentially serious safety flaw which this Ford dealer service department caused. I have been a loyal Ford customer for more than 50 years, but never before have felt so blatantly cheated by greedy businessmen. As a consequence I have sworn to sell our two Fords (we also own a recent model Ford truck) and never again buy a Ford vehicle or patronize one of their dealers.