Saturday, March 27, 2010

Car Dealerships and Women

At this stage of my life I figure I have bought about...10 new vehicles. Maybe more - I've lost count.  I have always bought Ford (thanks Dad!) and have hated every single solitary dealership experience.  But what I hate worse than dealing with the sales people to purchase a vehicle is having to take it in for warranty work at the dealer service centers. When will these dealerships figure out that WOMEN purchase and get service on at least half the new cars in this country?  I am 100% positive that a huge majority of women would happily pay extra to have their car serviced in a dealership service center that was female-friendly and would never go anywhere else if they have a good experience.

Three days ago I dropped my F350 truck off at Brighton Ford for some warranty work and an oil change.  I had a few minor issues that needed to be fixed:  the truck idles too fast, it takes an usually long time to warm up, the seat memory only works when it feels like it, and the heated seat didn't work.  Oh, and the rubber trim on one door was loose.  I left it there at 9:30 on Wednesday morning after speaking with a man who, while clean cut and polite, really didn't think I knew what I was talking about, and even seemed to doubt my husband who has owned and driven Ford trucks for 20+ years.

The next morning he calls to tell me they can't find anything wrong with the idle or fan and the engine heaters work just fine but they'll fix the other stuff.  On Friday morning he calls and tells me my truck is ready.  I ask what they fixed.  The heated seat and the rubber trim.  Two full days and they didn't even have to "order parts" though they sure had a list of stuff I should do to my truck that would be about $400 if I would like to bring it back there or leave it a few more days.  But the thing is, I would have had them replace those parts and done the work if I got warm and fuzzies from the place!  No, instead I am told 3 of the problems I told them about were imaginary and it takes 2 days to fix the other problems.

I don't have a problem with Ford.  I have been super happy with just about every single Ford product I've ever owned (okay, I hated the mini-van but not because it wasn't a quality product).  I admire that their management had the foresight to make some tough decisions before the economy crashed and were able to avoid taking government bail out money.  I have a problem with dealerships.  When will someone come up with a place to buy and service your car that is a pleasant experience?  I have bought cars from at least 6 different area Ford dealerships that I can think of - and they're all the same.  I'd happily sit on a panel of consumers to tell Ford what works and what doesn't in their dealerships...

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