Showing posts with label Ford Escape. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Ford Escape. Show all posts

Thursday, February 7, 2013

Door repair completed

My wife dropped off the Escape Jim Keay on Monday evening for the door repair. We got a 2013 Ford Focus as a loaner. Not a bad car, but not very roomy. I've driven some of the older ones and they had more room. It was fairly comfortable, once I was able to squeeze in though. The heated seats were nice too.

Originally, the work was supposed to be completed by Wednesday. On Wednesday afternoon I received a call at work from a Jim Keay employee updating me on the repair. The door had been fixed, repainted, and the they were reassembling it. He said they wanted to let the paint dry over night and would wash the entire truck in the morning so we could pick it up on Thursday.

We drove there after work and arrived at around 5:30pm or so. We pulled up the the garage and an employee came out as we got out of the car and asked us if we were the Patersons. I handed him the Focus keys and he gave my wife the key to our Escape. He checked the gas in the Focus (we were to make sure it had a 1/4 tank), did a quick walk around to check for any damage and said that there wouldn't be any paperwork today because it hadn't been printed for him. Seems a little odd, but he said we could pick up on our next visit. I think it's pretty unlikely that we'll be going back. 15+ years as a loyal customer down the drain.

As I walked away, he apologized for the inconvenience. My usual instinct response to that is "No problem", but I held back and didn't say anything, because... well, it was a problem, and an inconvenience.

I did a quick check before we left and it seems like a good repair job. You'd never know the difference. However, the light wasn't the best as the sun was going down. I'll have to wait until there's more light (and it's not as cold) to have a better look.

Sunday, February 3, 2013

The repair process has begun

A rep from Jim Keay drove to my wife's work in the west end of Ottawa on Thursday morning and picked up our Escape to drive back to the east end so they could examine our door and determine if there's any additional damage.

It wasn't long before they called her back to give her an update. Apparently, the work required to fix it isn't as much as they thought it might be, so they did a temp fix and told her that we can drop it off on Monday for the repair. They will provide us with a loaner car and we can pick it back up on Wednesday.

She asked about any future problems, like rust, but they assured her it would be fine and said they were going to repaint the entire door.

So far, we're pretty happy with the responsiveness.

The temp fix. Basically flattening it out so there aren't any sharp edges.

Tuesday, January 29, 2013

Door Damage - taking responsibility

It looks like we won't have to fight for this after all.

I got a pleasant surprise yesterday when my wife called to say that the service manager called her and said that one of the employees who worked on our vehicle showed up for work early, with a guilty conscience, and admitted to accidentally damaging our door.

My wife said that the manager was the most pleasant he's ever been when talking to her too.

He said that they are still backlogged with repairs for the hail storm months ago, but he'd do his best to make sure we didn't have to wait long. He said they wanted to get our Escape in as soon as possible to make sure there was no structural damage and to prevent the damage from getting worse until they can repair it.

They're willing to drive from the east end, to the west end where my wife works, pick up our Escape, drive it back to the east end to do whatever they need to do, gas it up, and drive it back to her work when they're done.

While I'm really happy with the way this is going, the pessimist inside me is hesitant to heap praise on them. I'll give credit where credit is due once this is all over. But for now, this is a huge step in the right direction.

Monday, January 28, 2013

Body Damage Update 1

After I ranted a little on Twitter about the damage our Ford Escape received at Jim Keay Ford on Saturday, Ford Canada sent me a msg on Twitter apologizing and asked for our VIN, the dealer name, and our phone number.

Before I could send them the info, the service manager called my wife and asked her what he can do for her. She asked him if he was aware of what happened on Saturday and he asked her if she wanted to know what the message said that was left for him. She said sure. He read (going from my memory here):
Dear Mr. Carey, this customer wishes to speak with you regarding damage to her Ford Escape. She won't be calling you because she doesn't like you.
Now, my wife did mention to a couple of employees there that she didn't like him because of our past dealings with him. But to offer to read the message to her, instead of just confirming the details... that tells me he's trying to start a fire, rather than put one out.

She admitted to him that based on past dealings, she full expects that we'll have to go above him for satisfaction, but seeing as how they do have procedures to follow, we'll follow them.

He said the photos left for him were not that good and asked that we send him others. I sent him three via email this afternoon and included a link to more that are publicly available on Flickr. I also told him that Ford Canada had requested information, and that I sent it to them.

Saturday, January 26, 2013

Free body work, courtesy of Jim Keay Ford Lincoln

We have a bit of a history with Ford and Jim Keay Ford Lincoln. Click here to read if you're interested.

We've been dealing with them for about 15 years now. We've leased 4 vehicles and purchased one in that time. There's been good times, and there's been bad times. After today, regardless of the outcome, I think we'll be severing our ties with them.

My wife brought our 2008 Ford Escape in for an oil change, check-up and tire rotation. After the service and paying the bill, they mentioned to her that they "noted" there was some door damage. She didn't think too much of it. We have the odd minor door ding here and there, received from not-so-careful people who park beside us in mall parking lots. Who doesn't?

When she got to our Escape she saw this.

She walked back into the dealership and told them that this was not there before she brought it in.

The guy at the counter went to speak with the people who worked on our vehicle and, not so surprisingly, came back to say that nobody knows what happened.

They told her that the customer service manager would call her on Monday. She tried to get the name of someone higher because we've dealt with him before and he lacks customer service skills. She didn't get very far. Apparently, his boss is Jim Keay himself, and nobody there seems to have any contact information for him.

She also had to tell them to take photos of the damage for their own record. She had two photos taken with her cell phone, but they would have had none.

I'd like to think that they'll immediately own up to this and make good on it, but based on our history with them I fear this isn't going to be easy. Someone there already had the chance to come clean and chose to lie.

Sunday, December 4, 2011

Ford doesn't believe in preventative maintenance?

A couple of months ago we took our 2008 Ford Escape to the dealership to get some front end repairs done under the extended warranty. In that same visit, we reported another problem where it felt like either the brakes were slipping, or the automatic transmission wasn't dropping down a gear when braking. It's hard to describe unless you actually feel it happen.

Anyway, the front end work was done and the second problem could not be reproduced. Admittedly, it was somewhat intermittent. Our extended warranty repair cost us $100 deductible.

Over the last few weeks, the ABS light and traction control lights were coming on, and staying on for anywhere from a few minutes to half an hour.

My wife made an appointment with our Ford Dealership for last Friday and brought it in. I did a little searching on the web and found that this is actually a fairly common problem with the Ford Escape. Nearly all of the posts that mentioned this problem said it was due to a cracked "tone ring". 58,500 hits when searching for "Ford Escape" and "tone ring".

Sure enough, one of the tone rings was cracked. They replaced the tone ring and the ABS sensor. This visit also cost us $100 (plus other charges for an oil change that we had done in the same visit)

During my internet search, I found one posting that said if you experience a slipping feeling while braking, it was likely due to a cracked tone ring.

That got me wondering if the tone ring replacement might also fix the other problem that we reported.

In the last two days of driving since it was replaced, we have not experienced any of the "slipping". I'm very confident in saying that the tone replacement did in fact fix it.

Now, I'm a little disappointed that this could have been fixed in the first visit, saving us the $100 deductible. But, seeing as how it was somewhat intermittent, I guess that could be excusible.

However, there are two tone rings and only one was replaced. It was explained to my wife, when she asked if both were replaced, that they could only replace one because they have to send the damaged part back to Ford. Since the other is not (yet?) cracked, they couldn't replace it.

That's a bit upsetting. The fact that this problem seems so common, it's probably safe to assume that the other will eventually crack. If it happens while our extended warranty is still valid (until August) it will cost us another $100 deductible. If we're not lucky and it cracks after the warranty is up, who knows what it'll cost us?

Some say that they were told the entire front axle needed replaced at the same time, costing them $500-$600 for the repair.

It would have been nice if Ford and/or the dealership were a little proactive in preventing a future visit and expense.

Wednesday, January 28, 2009

More Ford Escape Fun -- a GOOD experience this time

Not all bad this time, but since I've whined complained in the past, it's only fair to mention when the experience is a good one.

A little history....

Monday morning:
  • Our 2008 Ford Escape started and ran rough. It felt like the transmission was slipping when pulling out of our parking spot. It had been very cold overnight, so I just assumed that might be why. Once it was warmed up, it seemed OK.
Tuesday morning:
  • Another rough start. More of that "slipping" feeling. Again, warmed up, it seemed fine, although sometimes when accelerating from a stop or a slow roll, something didn't feel quite right.
Tuesday afternoon:
  • After sitting for 9hrs in the underground parking at work -- where it's above freezing -- the truck started fine. While driving through the underground parking, I accelerated lightly and felt slippage, followed by a sudden grip of the transmission. This is probably what it would feel like if you were in neutral, revved the engine slightly and put it into drive. It made the tires chirp on the concrete. Not good.
  • While driving up the ramp to exit the underground parking, the transmission slipped again. I almost didn't make it all the way up. Not good at all.
  • It drove fine to my wife's work. I told her what happened. She called the dealership and was told the transmission guy went home already, but would be in at 7:30am Wednesday morning. She asked if he could take a look at it right away in the morning and they said he could.
Wednesday morning:
  • After leaving the block heater plugged in all night, the truck started fine. I felt a little slippage when we went to Timmy's for coffee.
  • We drove all the way to Orleans and arrived at the dealership at 7:30am and pulled into the service bay.
  • Jim, the "Senior Service Advisor", helped us. We explained the problem. He checked with the transmission guy and was told that he had 3 or 4 cars to do today. It probably wouldn't get looked at today.
  • We had a choice: if it was deemed not serious, he could schedule us in for tomorrow morning and we could take our truck home and back tomorrow. If it was a serious problem, they'd need to keep it.
  • The good: Because we have an ESP (Extended Service Plan), they'd cover a loaner/rental!
  • The bad: they had no loaner cars available, and the liklihood of getting us a rental was slim to none because of the never-ending OC Transpo strike in Ottawa. On top of that, Ford would only approve of FORD rentals -- they won't supply non-Ford rental cars to their customers. That would make it more difficult for Jim to find us a rental. WTF, Ford?
  • Jim told us about some nasty stories he had heard from the other dealerships in the area -- customers irate that they couldn't get loaners or rentals while their vehicles were being serviced. Apparently the cops had to be called to get one customer leave.
  • My wife said that she was told they could take a quick look and maybe take it for a spin if we brought it in first thing this morning. Jim seemed a little surprised, but went to talk with the transmission guy. He agreed to take a quick look.
  • The first thing the mechanic asked was to start the engine and pop the hood. He checked the transmission fluid. It was dry. O_o He put his hand under the bumper and something dripped on his hand. We had a coolant leak. He asked me if I had noticed any puddles under the truck when parked. I said I hadn't. Had it been summer, I surely would have noticed, but with all the snow lately, I hadn't seen anything.
  • The good: a coolant leak is a quicker repair, if the parts are available. The mechanic left and came back to tell us that they had the parts, and a guy who can do the repair immediately.
  • More good: the entire repair would be covered by the ESP.
  • Jim told us it would be a 2-3hr job, if the parts they had matched the truck. We could wait, or they could give us a shuttle ride to work or home. We decided to wait until they could do a more thorough check with the truck on the hoist.
  • A ½ hour or so later, Jim came to the waiting area to give us an update. Parts are confirmed in stock, they match, and the problem was as suspected.
  • An hour passed and Jim again gave us an update: repairs almost done. The mechanic would then take it for a spin to make sure the problem was fixed.
  • Another ½ later Jim came to tell us our truck was ready. The paper work would take another 20 minutes, but we could leave and they would mail them to us.
2 hours after arriving at Jim Keay, we were on our way to work with a working truck.

Needless to say, we were very pleased with the service we received this morning. Granted a little luck was involved that the repair wasn't as serious, but we left feeling that Jim -- the Service Advisor -- and the first mechanic put in additional effort to get us on our way quickly. I don't know what we would have done otherwise. Hopefully that's how they treat all of their customers.

Thanks, and kudos to the guys at Jim Keay Ford Lincoln!

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Monday, January 5, 2009

Trico Neoform wipers the clear winner!

I finally got around to dropping in at to pick up some Trico NeoForm wiper blades to replace the old OE blades on my 2008 Ford Escape. They were $24.99 each, and the guy at Partsource says I've got a one year warranty on them from today, and if there are any problems to bring them back with my receipt and they'll give me a new set of blades at no charge. A store that honours the manufacturer warranty? That's also $5 cheaper per blade than what Ford charges for the OE Motormaster blades -- the only wiper blades that Ford sells for the 2008 Escape (see below)

Although I haven't yet tried them under normal driving conditions, a quick check after installing them indicated that they do indeed make complete contact with the windshield and wipe it clean. No gaps or streaks, unlike the Armor All wiper blades I had tried.

It might be a bit early to say they're great, but I'm fairly confident that they will live up to my expectations. Hell, even the plastic packaging was easy to open and didn't require scissors!

If you own a 2008 Ford Escape, this is what you want: Trico Neoform Blade, part # 16-2013

Thanks again to Joe for the heads up.

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Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Windshield wiper solution

It looks like I may have a solution to my windshield wiper dilemma, thanks to a guy named Joe.

Yesterday I received an email from Joe. He also owns a 2008 Ford Escape and had the exact same troubles that I did in finding windshield wipers for the truck. In fact, he also had the same problem with the Armor All EDGE Silicone Wiper Blades that we both purchased as replacements.

Fortunately, he found a possible solution. He came across my blog and was kind enough to share the info with me: Trico NeoForm blade (part #16-2013)

I had read about them in a forum as I was searching for wiper blades, but didn't know where I could find them. Joe found them at Parts Source and said they seem to work fine. What's even better is that they are $24.99 each, compared to Ford's one and only replacement wipers -- the same as what came with the truck -- that cost $30 each.

My wife returned the Armor All wiper blades to Canadian Tire this evening. The girl at the Customer Service counter mentioned that they've had quite a few returns of the Armor All wiper blades. Not surprising.

Oddly enough, there are now two good reviews and two bad reviews of these wipers on the Canadian Tire web site. One of the bad ones is mine.

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Tuesday, December 9, 2008

Ford (Motorcraft) does NOT make winter wiper blades for the 2008 Ford Escape

I decided to see how the Armor All EDGE Silicone Wiper Blades performed for the snowy drive home. In one word: garbage.

I was a little surprised, considering there is one user review on the Canadian Tire web site that gave them a good rating. I suppose a different size for a different make and model of vehicle might be the difference.

While I was stuck in traffic on the highway, I called my wife and asked her if she could call our Ford Dealership and ask them if they had any winter blades for our 2008 Escape. If they did, I would remain on the highway and go buy some from them.

She called me back. According to the guy she spoke with, they don't make winter wiper blades for the 2008 Ford Escape. The only wiper blades they have for it are like the ones that came with it, for around $30 per blade.

I guess the Ford Parts and Service page is wrong. Listed under The Advantages of Motorcraft® Wiper Blades is "Components to fit every Ford, Lincoln vehicle". If there's tiny print anywhere on there that says "Except the 2008 Ford Escape", I couldn't find it.

I stopped for gas close to home and put the old OE blades back on the truck. They may not be the best at the moment, but they worked a hell of a lot better than the new Armor All ones.

When I got home, I had a closer look at the Armor All blades. These are a flex style blade. When I straightened them out, I could clearly see that the center, where the arm attaches, won't straighten out enough to make contact with a surface. It doesn't appear to be a defective blade, in this case, just a poor design.

So, two thumbs down: one to Armor All EDGE Silicon Wiper Blades and yet another for Ford. But, I will give a thumbs up to Scott Monty for taking notice of my original tweet on Twitter and not simply ignoring it. At least someone there is taking notice.

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Ranting at Ford -- again -- and crappy wiper blades

I had a terribly slow drive in to work this morning due to the snow coming down. My usual 20-30 minute drive turned into over 1½ hours.

Anyway, unless I had the heat cranked and directed at the windshield, the snow was building up on the wiper blades and then icing up. This didn't help to keep the visibility. I've been meaning to get winter wiper blades since last winter, and today I decided would be a good day to finally get around to that.

After sitting down at my desk, I did a quick Google on "winter wiper blades 2008 ford escape" to get an idea of what's available. I had plans to walk over to the nearby Canadian Tire at lunch and pick some up.

Much to my dismay, I found message threads that seemed to indicate that such a thing does not exist, for the 2008 Ford Escape.

What the hell? No winter wiper blades for an SUV sold in Canada?

I continued to read more threads from people who said they even contacted Ford, and were told that they don't exist. In fact, aftermarket wiper blades in general are difficult to find.

One thread did indicate that there was a Trico brand winter blade available. I checked out their web site and found that Canadian Tire sells that brand, but not the particular "winter blade" required for my truck.

So, I hopped onto Twitter and post a quick rant:

"How is it possible that winter wiper blades don't exist for a 2008 Ford Escape, or any vehicle for that matter, sold in Canada? Hello? Snow?"
A few minutes later, I get a reply on Twitter:
@twister65 Let me see if I can get an answer for you.
I was puzzled. Who was this guy?

I clicked his name. "Head of social media at Ford..."

Interesting. Whoodathunkit. Ford is actually involved in social media and monitoring it? I sent him a quick thanks. We'll see what he can find out -- but I'm not holding my breath.

I walked over to Canadian Tire at lunch to see if they had anything. I looked up Ford Escape 2008 in their little wiper blade catalog. Out of the eight or so brands that they carry, there was ONE for a 2008 Ford Escape. One. Armor All EDGE Silicone Wiper Blades. $25 per blade. Ouch. Although they weren't specifically "winter" wiper blades, they did indicate that they were good for snow and sleet, etc.

What other choice did I have? None. One of the workers there asked me if I was in a hurry for them. He said that they were going to go on sale next week or the week after. He couldn't tell me how much they were going to sell for though. I thanked him, but said I couldn't wait.

So back to work I walked, in this crappy weather, and down into the underground parking to put them on. It was easy enough. They included 3 different adapters.

I hopped into the truck and turned on the wipers, then sprayed the windshield with windshield wash.

Streaks. Two large, unwiped, streaks. Right in the center of the driver and passenger side windshield. WTF?

I took them off and double-checked to make sure I had them installed correctly. Yep, they were. Turned on the wipers again. They cleaned the unwiped part off. Sprayed the windshield again. Streaks... again.

I'm hoping that there's some kind of settling while they press against my windshield up until I leave to go home. I kept the old wipers just in case. I really don't want to have to pull over on my way home to switch them back.

At $25 per blade, you can bet that they'll be going back if they don't work.

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Thursday, September 11, 2008

The call

The dealership called this evening while I was making supper. Unfortunately, it was just their usual survey regarding the last visit -- in this case, the one where we took the truck to get its tires checked. It wasn't "Michael", so I don't know if this was the same call that we got yesterday.

I gave them a good review, although there really wasn't much for them to do other than to confirm that the OEM tires were crap.

I'll wait for Ford to mail us a survey and comment about the poor quality of the OEM tires since that's not the dealership's fault, it's Ford's.

Jim Keay breaks the silence

Someone named "Michael" from the Jim Keay Ford Lincoln dealership called yesterday and asked for me. But I wasn't home. They left a message with my mother inlaw saying that they would call back.

I assume that they'll try again today, after I get home from work. I'll be interesting to see what they have to say.

I did a search of "Jim Keay" and "FixAuto" on Google this afternoon and my complaint letter that I posted here shows up as the 3rd hit. If I just search for "Jim Keay", my more recent post about not hearing from them shows up 8th.
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Saturday, September 6, 2008

Why are OEM tires crap?

With our first Ford Escape, a leased 2005 FWD XLT, the tires that came with it (Continental ContiTrac?) lasted almost 3 years before needing replaced.

On our purchased 2008 4WD XLT, just over a year old and with less than 22,000kms on it, we had to replace all four tires this morning... ~$700. :(

For the last month or so, on mostly smooth roads, we could hear a light "thup" sound that would speed up or slow down, depending on how fast we were driving.

I suspected the tires. We took it to the dealership and they confirmed that it was indeed the tires and they openly admitted that it's not the first time they've seen that happen with the original tires. Unfortunately for us, there's no warranty on OEM tires.

I've always heard that OEM tires on all makes of cars are generally crap, but this is the first time that we actually encountered a problem.

The guy at Canadian Tire said that OEM tires generally have a lower quality rating than the exact same tires if they were bought new.

Why do tire manufacturers willingly sell poor quality tires to car manufacturers? As a consumer, I might now label all tires from that manufacturer as being crap, even if they're not, because they sold a sub-standard tire at a cheaper cost to the car manufacturer. They're only hurting themselves in the long run.
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Tuesday, August 26, 2008

The sound of silence from Jim Keay

It's been almost 2 weeks since I returned the call to Ford's Customer Service regarding the letter I wrote to them about our experience with our bumper repair and we haven't yet(?) heard anything from the dealership, Jim Keay Ford Lincoln.

The fact that Ford confirmed and condensed my letter into key points, and then "submitted it" as negative feedback to the dealership and the owner, lead me to believe this was done electronically. If I ran a dealership and received such negativity I'd be all over it.

It's their loss. There are at least two other dealerships, that are actually more convenient for us, that we can deal with in the future.

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Tuesday, August 12, 2008

Ford follows up on our complaint letter

While were on our vacation, Ford's Customer Service called us regarding the letter I had written and included with their feedback form.

I called them back today and spoke with one of their reps. He then read off our complaint in point form to ensure that they captured the details of our letter.

This took about 5 minutes to go through, and it sounds like the managed to get all the key points. He then said it would be submitted as negative feedback to the dealership and the owner.

Anyway, he apologized on behalf of Ford for our bad experience and said they hope it doesn't tarnish our view of Ford Motors... yada yada.

It was nice that they called, but I don't know why they don't just send a copy of the letter to the dealership. I guess sending paper via mail is too old school in this high tech age.

It'll be interesting to see if the dealership follows up now. Or maybe we'll be "flagged" as troublemakers? ;-)

If anyone is interested in reading the letter that I wrote, here it is. It's rather long. :)

To whom it may concern;

Please find the enclosed and completed feedback form regarding our recent service with Jim Keay, or more specifically, FixAuto, who repaired the defective paint job on the rear bumper of our 2008 Ford Escape XLT.

In late May, nine months after the purchase of our 2008 Ford Escape, I noticed a few paint chips on the rear passenger side bumper, along with a small bubble in the paint. See enclosed photo #1.

Around the last week of May, my wife called the Jim Keay Ford Lincoln dealership and explained the situation. She was advised that they would have to see the damage before they could assess whether it was covered under the warranty. In the first week of June, my wife drove our truck to FixAuto, located at the dealership, and also gave them a printed photo that I had taken – the same as the enclosed.

In the time that we waited to hear back from the FixAuto, we also discovered a few chips on the inside of the driver’s side rear bumper. My wife called them up so they could make a note that this would need repaired as well. Unfortunately, I do not have a photo of that particular defect.

On or around June 13th, we were called by Jamie at FixAuto and asked to bring the truck in for repair, covered under the warranty, on June 17th. My wife was advised that the time estimate for the repair would be three days. As this is our only vehicle, my wife inquired about “a loaner” vehicle. She was told that the body shop does not provide loaner vehicles and that she would have to speak with the dealership manager about one. She did, and was advised that one would be provided for $20 per day. Although we were already aware, based on past experience, that loaners are not free, we are still not pleased with having to pay for one for warranty repairs on our vehicle. However, that is not the main purpose of this letter.

My wife dropped our truck off at FixAuto on the morning of June 17th, 2008, and received a 2008 Ford Focus as a loaner from Jim Keay. We were quite pleased with the vehicle. It should be noted, however, that the interior could have used a good vacuuming and we found a pair of men’s work pants in the back seat.

Our truck was at the body shop for three days while we waited for the repair work to be completed. My wife called on the third day, June 19th, and was advised that the work was completed, but our truck was currently being washed and vacuumed so we could pick it up in an hour or two. That was unexpected and we were pleasantly surprised.

I drove the loaner vehicle to the dealership that afternoon, parked it near FixAuto and entered the customer entrance. The office was empty, so I sat there for five to ten minutes waiting for someone to assist me. As I was waiting, I noticed that the keys sitting on the counter, in plain view, were my wife’s keys for our truck along with the repair paperwork. Anyone could have walked into that office and taken them. Thinking that I could be waiting there for longer, I exited the office and walked into the garage bay to ask one of the body shop people if there was someone who could assist me. I then walked back to the office where I was greeted by Jamie, the gentleman with whom my wife had dealt with regarding the repair. He picked up the key and paperwork off the counter and asked me to follow him to the cashier inside the dealership to settle the bill for the loaner. The bill came to ~$67.

We then walked back to the body shop office where Jamie handed me my copy of the paper work, along with the key to the truck. Before entering my truck, I made a quick visual inspection of the repair work and it appeared satisfactory.

After arriving home 20 minutes later, I made a closer visual inspection and noticed that there was a small paint bubble on the driver’s side, rear bumper, that was not there prior to the repair. The following day, my wife called Jamie at FixAuto to advise him about our discovery. He explained to my wife that they did not inspect the entire bumper. They only repair what has been reported. She asked about getting this new defect repaired. Jamie didn’t seem too pleased and explained to my wife that they can’t keep billing Ford for repairs on the same parts and would have to get approval.

On June 26th, I received a phone call from Jamie asking me to bring our truck to the body shop so that they could photograph the defect and submit to Ford for approval. Within the hour, I drove the truck to the body shop, Jamie took a few photographs and told me that they would be in touch once they heard back from Ford. See enclosed photo #2.

On Monday, June 30th, Jamie called my wife to ask us to bring our truck in on the morning of July 2nd. At the same time, my wife inquired about a free loaner, as we did not feel that it was fair that we should have to pay for one a second time for the same repair work. Jamie advised my wife that he could not make this decision, and suggested that she call the dealership Manager. My wife called the dealership Manager, but had to leave a message for him to call back. We never did receive a return call.

In the meantime, we discovered a few more paint bubbles (photo #3) as well as what we can only describe as a build-up of paint between the bumper and the truck’s body (photo #4). Clearly, the repair job was not done properly.

On the morning of July 2nd, my wife dropped our truck off at the body shop at 8:00am. She told Jamie about the additional defects that we discovered. He dismissed the “build-up” as “the way the bumper was designed”. It is rather strange that we did not discover this “design” prior to the first repair. My wife also mentioned to me later that Jamie’s demeanor was not as polite and friendly as during her first visit. She felt that he thought she was being too picky or a nuisance.

Once again, we received a 2008 Ford Focus as the loaner vehicle. This is where the customer service begins a fast decline.

Not only was the interior of this vehicle more dirty than the first one, the passenger side of the windshield had a large crack. Photos of the filthy interior (#5 & #6) and windshield crack (#7) are also enclosed.

Safety and legalities aside, you wouldn’t be able to sell a vehicle in that condition, yet we were expected to pay for its use? We found it ironic that the rental form is stamped with large, red, words stating that smoking in the vehicle is forbidden, and that there will be a cleaning charge as a result. Is that the only time a loaner vehicle is cleaned?

The following day, Jamie at FixAuto called us to advise us that our truck repair was completed. My wife asked if the repair had been inspected so we would not have to return again for any further repairs. She was assured that it had been inspected.

As we would not be able to pick up the truck before FixAuto closed at 5:00pm, we were advised that the paperwork and our key would be left with the cashier inside the dealership. Later that evening, my wife and I dropped off the loaner car at the dealership, paid the ~$45 fee for the loaner, and received the key for our truck. Again, we made a quick visual inspection before leaving for home.

Later that evening, while there was still daylight available, my wife and I inspected the bumper again. The small areas that were repaired looked great! However, larger areas of the corner of the bumper – on both the driver and passenger side – did not look so great. They were dull, and slightly rough to the touch. (Photos #8, #9, & #10) If you stepped back, you could see clearly that these areas looked as if they had been sanded with a fine grade of sandpaper, removing the smooth, shiny finish that the rest of the vehicle had. They were not like that before the last visit. It was clearly evident that the repair work had NOT been inspected, as my wife was assured earlier in the day. A quick visual inspection perhaps, but one would assume that when you are making the same repair for the second time, there would be a little more attention to detail given to ensure that a third visit would not occur.

The following morning, my wife and I drove our truck to the body shop before work. We asked to speak with Jamie. He was sitting in his office and said he would be with us shortly. We waited outside near our truck and about 10 minutes later, Jamie came to ask us how he could help us. My wife explained that the bumper now felt rough, and didn’t have the same shine as the rest of the vehicle – as if it had been sanded.

Jamie bent down and had a look at one of the corners. He then stood up and said something to the effect of “I don’t know... we could try to buff it out, or it would have to be repainted.” My wife said that this was his speciality, so they should do whatever he felt was necessary to return it to its proper condition. Jamie said that they would try to buff it out first, since it was the “quickest and cheapest”. My wife asked if they could do it immediately, Jamie said he would have to check and left us. He returned about 5 minutes later, asked us for our keys and drove our truck inside the bay.

Approximately 30 minutes later, our truck was backed out of the bay. My wife and I walked over and inspected the rear bumper. It was a 100% improvement. It was smooth, and shiny, like the rest of the bumper. There were no paint bubbles or other visible defects. We told Jamie that it looked good, he apologized for the problem, and we were on our way.

After three repair visits over the course of a month, over $100 for dirty and potentially unsafe loaner vehicles, and time off work for what we consider a simple repair, we are now satisfied with how our bumper looks. A simple, yet thorough, inspection of the completed work the first time could have prevented this unpleasant experience.

We have been customers of Jim Keay since around 1997 when we leased our first vehicle. We returned to Jim Keay for additional leases in the later years, as well as the purchase of our 2008 Escape last year. It’s certainly not the nearest dealership to our home, but we believe that good customer service earns customer loyalty, and up until recently we have always received good customer service. It’s a shame that this one bad experience paints a pretty bleak picture of what we can expect in the future. Perhaps it’s time to start shopping around.
That's it, that's all.
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Monday, June 23, 2008

Paint Chips - the saga continues

I picked up the truck last Thursday... and paid $60 for the 3 "calendar days" of the loaner car. I tried to argue that it was only two days -- Tue > Wed and Wed > Thu, but he said "we count calendar days". Yeh, ok. I tried. :)

I took a quick look at the bumper before leaving the dealership and it looked pretty good. The truck was washed and the inside was even vacuumed. I was happy.

I got home and looked closer at the bumper. The passenger side was beautiful. No complaints. On the driver side, where there were two lower chips (I didn't take photos of that side) I discovered a new paint bubble, almost in the exact same spot that there used to be one on the passenger side. I gave it a light poke with my finger nail and it was indeed a bubble. Not just a build-up of paint.

My wife called the dealership back on Friday and left a message with a brief explanation. No return call. So she called them again this morning and explained what the problem was. "Jamie" said he wasn't aware of this new problem. He said that they don't inspect anything other than what is reported and repaired. My wife told him that we were sure it wasn't there before, so this was likely new due to the repainting. But regardless, since there's a 3 year warranty on the paint, it doesn't matter if it's new or old. He said something to the effect that if they fixed every little thing like this, they could be doing this 5 or 6 times. My wife said if that's the way it has to be, then perhaps the bumper should be replaced? And we're not going to keep paying for a loaner car every time when it should be fixed right the first time.

He said he would have to speak with the service manager.

Now, I can understand that time is limited and maybe they don't have time to inspect the entire bumper, but realistically, how long would that possibly take? I'm not a body repair expert, but it took me all of 10 seconds to spot the bubble when I got home. This new bubble is like a foot higher from where the chips were that they repaired. How could they not see it? It's not like it's on the back of the bumper where they wouldn't have been looking during any preparation or repainting. It's 12" above it!

Now we wait....

(Original post here)

Saturday, June 7, 2008

Paint Chips Follow-up

A quick update to my Paint Chips posting.

My wife took the truck to the For dealerership during the week. The warranty on the paint is 3yr/60,000kms. They have to order some part(?) first and will call us to set up a service appointment once it's in.

No definite word on exactly what they're going to do.

Monday, May 26, 2008

Weekends and Paint Chips

Once again, a weekend is over before ya know it. I’ll be taking two weeks off work in about 3 weeks. I’m soooo looking forward to it.

After washing our truck yesterday afternoon, I discovered two chips in the paint on the plastic bumper near the rear wheel well. There also appears to be a small bubble that hasn’t yet chipped off.

Our truck is less than a year old, so I’m assuming that something like this would be covered by the warranty. My wife called the dealership this morning asking what we can get done about it and they told her that the service manager would have to see it. Hopefully we’ll be able to bring it in this week.

It certainly doesn’t seem like something that can be “touched up”, since it’ll more than likely continue to get worse over time, which leaves repainting the entire bumper. Or could they replace the bumper with an already-painted bumper? I’d be happy with either of those options. I just won’t settled for a “touch up”.