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Jul 14

Apple Ford “Customer For Life” program–Epic Fail

Cindy’s Fusion

Customer For Life?

I’m a Ford guy.  From my first car in 1973, everything has been either a Ford, Lincoln, or a Mercury.  When Cindy and I were relocated to the Baltimore area we spent some time trying to find a dealer with a sales staff that we could work with and a service department that we had confidence in.

We bought a new 2009 Fusion from Apple Ford Lincoln (http://www.appleford.com) in February 2009 wooed by Apple’s promise of stellar customer service and fast and efficient customer service department centered around their ‘QUICK LANE’ service where regularly scheduled maintenance was performed in under an hour.  The fusion has been through the ‘QUICK LANE’ five times for routine scheduled maintenance.  Every one of these service trips took more than FOUR HOURS!!  An oil change and tire rotation takes four hours??

We mentioned each time that this was not the service level that we were lead to believe we would receive by the salesman.  The first excuse is that they are really busy on Mondays, but if you bring the car in before 10:00 on Tuesdays that we would be right in and out.  On the next service (on a Tuesday before 10:00) we were told that Tuesdays were a bad day and that we should really bring it in on Thursday afternoons.  Each time the problem was in our seeming inability to pick a day that was convenient for them and some other bizarre ‘best time’ was recommended.

I’m willing to accept the reality that service departments have to deal with the unexpected and that sometimes things just don’t work out too well.  Last June I bought a new Mustang from Apple thinking that it would be convenient to do all of my car maintenance at one place.  The first time that we took both the Fusion and the Mustang in for (normal recommended scheduled maintenance) we were at the dealership for nearly SIX HOURS!!

Last December, Cindy called the service department and asked how we could better schedule normal maintenance without having to piss away an entire day at the dealership.  Apple’s recommendation was to schedule the maintenance using the Apple Web site.  Last Monday (7/9/2012), Cindy logged onto Apple’s web site to schedule a regular scheduled maintenance appointment.  After waiting a day to hear when she might be able to get the car in, she called the service department to follow up on when she could be scheduled.   The service department representative rather gruffly told her that she should not schedule on-line and that she should instead call for an appointment.  She told the representative that ‘she was on the phone now’ and asked when she could have an appointment.  His answer was that there were no appointments available for THREE WEEKS!

We will most likely be trading both of these cars in the next year or so.  We have decided that there is no way that we will buy from Apple again.  In fact, the new Camero’s are looking real sweet to me right about now.  Good job Apple.  Way to keep a Customer For Life.

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