Landmark Ford / Service Department
Since the Ford dealer in Gladstone closed, I decided to try Landmark for an issue with my car. The car was making a strange noise and I had replaced the water pump and checked to see if I could figure out what was making the noise, but could not. It was making noise for about a month with no driveability issues, and it wasn't internal, so I took my time to get it to them. I took it to Landmark to have them diagnose it. I paid them 96.00 for the more complex diagnosis, hoping that I could complete the repairs on my own, but wanting to trust their expertise to tell me what to do. And I, of course, was willing to pay them.
They called me with an $1800.00 estimate and I told them thanks, please write it up and I'll come get it. My wife, being given a ride by my retired father, went to get the car. They gave it to her and sent her on the way, with no warnings about drivability or any other issues. This was Friday. The car sat at home over the weekend and my wife took it to her teaching job Monday and Tuesday. On the way home Tuesday, she stopped at the grocery store and the car wouldn't start. She called me and I left work to go rescue her. On the way to her, I called Landmark to find out if they had done anything that may have caused this problem.
The first person I talked to was a service advisor, who read to me the exact same information that Landmark had put on the receipt. I asked him if he could go and talk to the person who actually worked on the car, as I suspected that something had not been reconnected properly and my wife had been running the car (and the heater fan and the radio and the lights) for the last two days off of the battery. I suspected the alternator either wasn't connected electrically or the belt wasn't driving it. I was told that I couldn't talk to the mechanic and that they didn't leave anything disconnected that would cause the problem, even though he told me he would not talk to the mechanic. I asked to speak to his manager to see if the manager would talk to the mechanic. He said he wouldn't connect me with his manager.
So I hung up and called back. Got another service advisor. This one again read me the notes and also wouldn't connect me with the mechanic, but he said he would go and talk to him. He came back and told me the mechanic said that he had done nothing to cause the problem. I asked to talk to the manager again and this one connected me with the operator who connected me with the manager. The manager again read me the notes. Then confirmed that they had not done anything to cause the car to run off of the battery.
So, I got to my wife and had the car towed to a reputable repair shop. They fixed the car by the next day (and charged me about 30% less, although that isn't relevant to the issue) and told me that the serpentine belt was not connected at all when they started working on it. Just not connected. If you don't know, the belt drives the alternator and the car WAS driving off of the battery the entire time.
I re-contacted the service manager (Kurt) and told him about what they found. Kurt told me that was to be expected that they couldn't put it back together after the diagnosis. He wasn't surprised. I had called just to ask him to pay for the tow, which was $55 dollars, pretty cheap for a tow! And far less than they had charged me. He said he wouldn't do it. He said that when I picked it up, I should have known that it wouldn't function with the work they had done. Interestingly, this was exactly the opposite of what they had ALL told me when I had called a few days earlier.
So, I had a car that they had worked on strand my wife, they lied to me about what they had done, charged me for it, and didn't stand behind their work. Bad in all ways. They could have paid the 55.00 and I would have gone away. Never to be a customer again, but at least silent. But they chose to take my 96.00 and then cause another $55.00 charge, strand my wife and tell me to deal with it. And I didn't mention to this point how rude and condescending they were, at least the first service advisor and the manager Kurt. The operator was very nice. Oh well.