Ford Motor Company / deceitful practices and horrible customer service
My wife and I bought our 2018 ford explorer from davidson ford of watertown, ny in september of 2018. I am currently active duty military, and was at that time stationed at fort drum. I had just recently (within the week) been relocated. I have had three issues with this dealership:
Issue 1: my wife and I were starting to look for a 2018 ford explorer around july/august 2018 where we first went to davidson ford. We dealt with frank the salesman. He was at first friendly and nice until we realized some deceitful intentions. First, there were no window stickers in any of the explorers. I found this very odd and was instantly upset to even ask how much the price of each vehicle was. I have bought many cars and this was a first experience that I have seen, and I have seen many off practices. The second is as follows. My wife and I chose two cars that we liked and would have been happy with. One was an explorer sport and the other was either an xlt or a limited (this happened about 5-6 months ago). We had asked frank of both the prices where he went inside to ask. Upon return, he claimed the price of the sport to be $45, 000 (and change) but also that he could not locate the other vehicle in their system. He went on to saying that he was fairly certain they were about the same price and asked if we were okay with that. He did mention the sport engine being of no importance and tried nonchalantly persuading us to get the other model for $45, 000. My wife and I went online and found the exact car he claimed to not be able to find; it was $39, 000 and of course some change. Right away I called frank out on the price discrepancy. I said that it was weird he could not find the car in their system and that there were absolutely no window stickers for prices and vehicle specifications. I mentioned their website and that we found their car for $39, 000 and change, and not $45, 000. I expressed by distrust for him and davidson ford. I also expressed my disturbance that he was trying to persuade me to getting a car of $6, 000 less for the equivalence of a car realistically $6, 000 more.in the end, my wife and I walked off the lot.
One month later we were about to close on a 2018 ford explorer with burke ford of syracuse. Davidson ford just so happened to call the day before we signed the contract with burke, asking us if we were still in the market for a car. I explained the to woman on the phone our previous experience with their dealership and that we were about to sign a contract with burke. She asked to place me on hold so she can talk to her manager. She came back and expressed her apologies and mentioned her sharing of the story with her manager. They insisted that we come down for a second look and promised that they would "impress" us. We became curious and decided to check it out.
Our next meeting with this dealership included a manager apologizing to us upon our arrival and then introducing us to josh, another salesman. This occurred in september. This is the only good thing that I will say about this dealership: josh was amazing! He was incredibly accommodating, apologetic, and genuinely cared to help us get the car we wanted for a great price. We left in a brand new explorer xlt that night. He was patient, and appreciative of my military service. He felt terrible of our previous mal-experience with his dealership and made strides to better this dealerships reputation. I will never recommend this dealership to anyone. I will say that if anyone disregards this complaint, then I will all day recommend josh as his or her salesman.
Issue 2: I came down on orders for a permanent change of station down to north carolina. One day I happened to notice a nail in one of my tires, two weeks before my move. I called davidson ford and they had me bring the car right in. A mechanic came out and looked at the tire. With my own knowledge of cars I knew the nail was in just the right place to where it could be fixed but might not be able to be patched; it was directly on the line and I knew it would come down to opinion. The mechanic who came out immediately said it could not be fixed and mentioned that since it is an awd vehicle that I needed to buy 4, four, new tires. Keep in mind I had only had the car for three months and barely drove 4, 500 miles since getting the vehicle. I proceeded to say I knew this was the wrong answer and requested to speak to a manager where I explained the short time with the vehicle. He agreed that I did not need to buy four new tires. He mentioned the nail was super close to where they could patch it but mentioned that he would not feel comfortable. The tire was almost $300 that I did not at the time have since it was mid pay period. He said since it was so close, he would do me a favor to buy me more time with the tire and even get me down to north carolina. He did say since it was a favor that he would not be charging me for the patch and will not being writing up paperwork on the job. I agreed and was appreciative of the favor. He said he put a plug patch in the tire, which will be better in the end. I then got my vehicle back where I inspected the work. I was so bothered to see that they nearly destroyed my tire and made the tired even more dangerous than it already was with a nail in it.in fact, I would have been better off driving 800miles to north carolina with a nail. They gouged a big piece out of the tire leaving missing rubber (empty space) on both sides of the plug. They also made the indent big enough to end up on the sidewall. I asked the opinion of some friends who are good with cars and they agreed with me. I surely would have had a blowout if I drove on the tire, so I got the service manager brian involved. He deflected saying, "well we shouldn't have done the work in the first place," "we aren't supposed to do favors," and claimed that all the missing rubber was a "rubber flap" that they removed. I showed brian pictures and said there is no way there is a rubber flap and that he cannot possibly justify the work given the pictures of the before and after views. I maintained my appreciativeness for the favor that did and stated that their favor in good faith turned into a $0 quality job and work that was done without good faith. It was unjustifiable.in the end brian replaced the tired for free.
Issue 3: one week before I moved I took my explorer in for a tow hitch installation. I was quoted on the phone $354 for the parts and wiring. Parts gave me it all for $274 in a quote. Service quoted me $99.95 for labor per hour, for a 2, two, hour job. Awesome, $598 total down to $512; I was fine with this. I took my car in for my appointment. I asked if they would be willing to do a little better on the price of labor. They came back and said yes they would drop the labor to $67 an hour.in the next conversation she said that the labor price of accessory installations is a standard $67, where they originally tried to charge me $99.95. Now all of a sudden this is supposed to be a 4-hour job bringing my total to $602. I brought my car into the shop based on a falsity that the labor was 2 hours, not 4, and they tried charging me $334 for parts instead of the quoted $274. I also did the math and they were charging me for 5, five, hours of labor. Unbelievable!! I should have been charged what I was quoted, because what I was quoted prompted me to bring the car into their dealership and not use u-haul for an installation. They seemed very annoyed with me, when it should have been me annoyed with them. I got them to honor the original $512 in the end including 4 hours of labor, now taxes, $542 total. "by some miracle" the girl said she got me my original quote. I found out from a customer, a woman who was a friend of brian's (the service manager), that she overheard our conversations and went into brian telling him that they are not doing right by me and to fix it. That is terrible that another customer had to help. Terrible customer service!
Next, picking up my car. I left the dealership in a courtesy vehicle at 4:15pm where I witnessed them bring my car into the shop at that time. At 6:25pm my wife received a call on her cell phone that my car was ready and they had not been able to reach my cell for a few minutes. I did not receive any calls from them but it was safe to say that the car was done at 6:15, which is 2 hours worth of labor. I arrived back at the dealership to pick the car up. They tried charging me 4 hours worth of labor still. I brought it to chandler's attention and she said I would have to leave with the courtesy car and come back tomorrow if I did not pay. I asked the woman, chandler, to call brian since he was not there. She said "you know he has a life outside of here." I said "well if he wants a life outside of this dealership then he should hire more honest and competent workers" and I told chandler I was not leaving without my car as I had a lot to do for the move and I requested again that she call brian. Chandler slammed her pen down on the table and said "its always something with you!" and walked away from me. This is my first conversation ever with this woman, therefore she does not know me, let alone the fact that I bought a $42, 000 car from them and she decided to talk to me like this. When she came back I said that I am not trying to start a problem, that I was originally quoted for 2 hours in the first place, and that it was 2nd grade math that I should not pay for 4 hours of labor when only 2 hours of work was done on my vehicle. That is an unethical practice! Next, chris a mechanic came out from the back. He walked over to chandler and I as we were discussing this. First he asked chandler if she was good and chandler replied "don't worry chris, I got this." honestly, all she had was a big mouth and horrible customer service skills! Then chris started cursing at me saying, "what the [censored] is going on, what the [censored] is the problem" as he looked right at me. I asked him who he thought he was talking to and that he had no business getting involved. He proceeded to confront me about the tire situation, which was completely irrelevant at the moment. I told chris to go away and get out of my face. He did. Finally I paid $440, my rightful price for the work they did on my vehicle.
Now, I reported the incident to brian. I also spoke to josh who was once again great in helping me make a connection with eric davidson the general manager. Eric instead, called brian to get my side of the story. Brian apologized and agreed that his workers were out of line. From the start I requested that eric davidson call me to discuss this matter. Brian claims to have spoken to him and assured me of internal repercussions for his employees. I highly doubt eric was notified and still request he call me back! I want to ensure that internal repercussions were pursued and that these workers, nor this dealership will ever treat another customer the way they have treated myself and my wife over the last three visits! I have been telling brian I would hold off on submitting this complaint until I talk to eric davidson, but according to brian, eric will not call me back. So here is the complaint. I would still like to speak with eric davidson for assurances that these employees have been reprimanded. I want this dealership to be honest, keep their word, and refrain from deceitful practices. I want to assure that customer service is priority for this dealership. Lastly, I would like a formal apology. Apologies should not have to be forced or only given when confronted about the treatment or issue at hand. This behavior was unwarranted and terrible to do to any customer. I gave this dealership a second chance, bought a car, and they turned around to treat my wife and I in such a terrible way.
I will also be contacting ford corporation as well. I will also never refer anyone to this dealership. Thank you for your time.
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