Wednesday, April 06, 2005

Ford Service. Ugh! One of those days.

I am afraid that I have not had the best of luck with my Zippy 2001 Ford Focus ZX3 S2 lately.

The chimes have not worked for a while. No big deal to me, I would just assume not hear them, but as there may come a day when I would want to trade/sell it, it would probably be a good idea to have it fixed. I missed my 3/36,000 bumper to bumper warranty timeframe to have it done. I was caught off guard. I am still under the 36,000 mile mark (27,000 miles at this point), but the time had past. I do have an extended warranty and needed to take it in for a squeaky suspension. Sounds about like squeaky old bed springs. I took it in a couple of weeks ago on a Monday. I had marked on the form asking that they give me a call and let me know how much it was going to be.

They said they had to order the chime module and a control arm and that the parts would be in on Thursday of that week. Thursday came and I dropped the car off before they opened. Once again I marked on the Early Bird form for them to call me and underlined it as I wanted to know what the cost would be. Did they call, no. They did replace the module (for the chimes) and replaced the control arm for the suspension. Cost: $25 (deductible on extended warranty).

Well it turns out the control arm did not fix the squeak problem. I called back, made an appointment, and today was the day. I took it in at 7:25am this morning. Asked to be called, the kid said that I would be. I called at 12:05pm as I had not received a call. I was told that the service guy was out test driving it to try to determine the problem and that he would be back shortly and they would give me a call back. At 2:15pm, I finally called back. I was told that my car would probably be done in about 15 minutes and they would call me back. Hmm, no call before the work, I didn't even sign anything this time, not sure if they figured they were covered from last time (I would doubt they keep the old early bird drop off form). My wife was off at 3:30pm today, so I took an hour and half of vacation and just left with her, figuring that I would simply go by and pick up my car.

When I got to the dealership I went to the window and said that I was there to pick up my car. She said that she didn't have a ticket on it, so I mentioned that when talking to them at 2:15pm they said it would be done in about 15 minutes. The service guy heard and said that after putting in the grommets that Ford recommended via a call they put in, they realized that did not actually fix the problem. They got busy trying to diagnose it further and didn't happen to call me back. He showed me where they found the problem and all they had to do was hook the suspension back up and I would be good to go. It wouldn't take very long. It is close to work and we got there about 3:40pm. As he said it wouldn't be long at all I had my wife go on to pick up my youngest son from school. It was about 4:00pm when the service department guy came out again, apologized for not calling and gave me a card for a free oil change and tire rotation (he said about a $40 value). Another 15 minutes and he said they would bring it around front momentarily. Well about 20 minutes later he came out and said that he was sorry, but they were going to have to keep my car overnight and that they would have it ready tomorrow. As they were putting it all back together they somehow messed up a bushing that the steering shaft runs through and they did not have a replacement on hand. I asked when it would be ready tomorrow and he guaranteed that it would be ready before noon. He stated that he had arranged a car for me at no charge and not to worry there would not be a charge on the service either. I told him that was fine, I just needed the car quickly as I had to pick my son up from track practice across town at 5pm.

He said the girl at their Enterprise Car Leasing area would have the car for me when I got over there. I got over there (across the street), and she asked what kind of car I had in for service and asked if an Alero would be okay (Ford dealership and you are giving me an Oldsmobile.). I said fine that I just needed it quickly as I needed to pick my son up at 5pm. She said it would be just a few minutes. About 10 minutes later I was about ready to say something when she told her boss that I needed to get out of there and she switched me to a vehicle sitting right in front of the place. Cool, it was better than an Alero. It is a 2005 Ford Explorer with 870 miles on it. That will work. As my wife drives a 2002 Ford Explorer I was able to jump in and take off without having to familiarize myself with the vehicle (finding the wipers, etc.. - it was raining). I wasn't sure what she was doing as the vehicle wasn't but 15 feet away from the door, but she asked her boss if there was an umbrella around, he gave her one and then she proceeded to walk me to the Explorer (I had an umbrella, but oh well). Much of the time that I was there she was trying to hold a conversation on her cell phone. As I walked in she simply sat it down having them wait for her, and then repeated this several times while I was there to answer the work phone, print some paperwork, etc..

I was a bit late getting my son, but they also had their pictures taken today, so he was running a bit late. He was surprised to see me in a new Explorer, I think he was hoping that I had bought it. The girl mentioned that I needed to fill it up with as much gas as it had when I took before I bring it back tomorrow and I politely said no. It had less than a quarter of a tank. She said if I chose not to put gas in it that was up to me.

Well, we'll see how tomorrow goes. I won't hold my breath, but the Explorer won't be going back until my car is ready either.

Update 4/6/05 12:27pm: Even though he guaranteed that it would be ready by noon, I figured a phone call confirming it was done would be in order. Did I receive one? No. I called on my walk out to the parking lot. I told the service agent that I was calling to check on my car that A.J. guaranteed would be done at noon. The service agent said that as far as he could tell on the computer that it was not done, but said that A.J., who is working my case was out to lunch until 12:30. He said that he would have him call. I said good and to let A.J. know that I would be keeping the rental. We'll see if I have a voicemail when I get back to work or not.

No comments: