This Ford dealership really does value a customer

By | January 19th, 2016

What can be worse than needing car repairs? Perhaps relying on a high overhead dealer shop to get it done. But Amy Pollick took a chance.

She took her way-out-of-warranty 2009 Ford Focus to her local Ford dealer and it paid off in a big way. The AC compressor they put in – over two years ago – bit the big one.

With a little nudge, they picked up over half the tab.

While airline stories were my favorite column topic, the Good News Guy needed a change. This will not bring tears to many eyes (well, maybe fanatic gearheads), but the time was right.

My previous column about my very own car repair experience delightfully revealed the occasional and potential hidden benefits of a dealership.

Correctly or incorrectly, prevailing perceptions clearly favor mom-and-pop repair shops as the better bargain. Consumer Reports found the most common complaints about automobile repair shops are high prices and an inability to perform repairs properly. They also found that most car owners prefer taking their vehicles to independent shops rather than dealerships for repair work.

Time for a change

“I drive a 2009 Ford Focus, obviously long out of warranty,” said Pollick. “However, in 2012, I spent $1,200 for a new AC compressor at a Ford dealership, which actually worked in my favor.”

I am forced to agree.

“In February of this year, the replacement compressor failed. It had less than 20,000 miles on it,” Pollick continued. “I sent the main customer service address an email saying I thought a compressor should last longer and it would be nice if Ford would help with part of the costs of the repair. I got a nice little form letter saying, ‘thank you for your business, but nope,’ and kicked it upstairs. I honestly didn’t expect a reply.”

Related story:   Broken luggage, but the manufacturer is missing in action. What about my warranty?

Neither would I, as it was a stretch to entertain that possibility on a two-year-old compressor in a 2009 car.


“But about a week later, I got a call from Ford Corporate and a lady said they would talk to the dealership for the details and get back with me,” she says. “Two days later, she called me and said Ford would be willing to cover over half of the repair bill, since they could document the repair had been done at a Ford dealership.”

For icing on the cake, “Ford also covered a two-day rental,” concluded Pollick.

Wow – there is no way that would have happened at an independent repair shop.

Pollick also let us know she made sure to follow our advice. “My email was polite and to the point, and I didn’t give a laundry list or ask for the moon,” Pollick concluded.

We are glad to help.

Did Ford exceed expectations?

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  • NotThatBrooklynGuy

    You say “Wow – there is no way that would have happened at an independent repair shop.” Are you sure of that? I’ve had a transmission rebuilt at an independent place and it failed about a year later and they took care of it for no charge.

  • Kairho

    I once had a John Deere dealership try for several years to fix a chronic problem. With factory help they finally discovered a manufacturing fault … a month after the warranty expired. John Deere refused to do anything. The dealer was great, dropped their profit and split their costs 50-50 with me. I wasn’t happy, but was satisfied.

  • Patrica

    This is what dealerships would have done in years gone by. I remember my dad in the 1960’s sincerely and honestly working with dealerships in similar situations. I am so pleased when they (or anyone) do the “right thing”. It has always resulted in me and likely others to patronize those that show competence and caring towards customers.

  • LonnieC

    The problem is that today’s cars are so complex that repairs and maintenance require continuous training and very sophisticated, expensive tools and equipment. Dealerships generally work on a single line of vehicles and can afford the costs of such training and tools. Independent repair facilities have to be knowledgable about all kinds of cars and have to have testing equipment for many models of many brands – a standard that is nearly impossible to meet.
    For common work, independents are fine. For more unusual or difficult-to-diagnose problems, a dealer is the better choice. And the higher hourly cost of a dealership may well be offset by the shorter time required to diagnose and repair a problem.

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