Monday, April 30, 2012

Why Royal Oak Ford Can Eat A Dick!

Background: I'd never had a new car until 2000 when, in the aftermath of a ghetto mechanic puncturing the fuel tank of my old (but paid-off) GMC Jimmy, I took on a lease for a Ford Explorer. When that was up a couple years later, I leased another for three years and another for two years after that. Rising fuel prices made me switch to a 2007 Fusion for a couple of years then a 2010 four-banger for the past three. My lease is up in a few months.

Every time I did a deal with the dealership, which has been my default go-to because it's literally a five-minute walk from my home, I felt slightly screwed-over as if I ended up paying too much or something. Every time I swore it'd be the last time I'd lease from this dealership, even when they changed ownership and switched from McLaughlin Ford to Royal Oak Ford some years back. As much as I disliked them, the sheer convenience of the location and the fact it was a once every two or three year pain kept me coming back.

No longer. F*ck Royal Oak Ford in their f*cking ears. They can eat a dick.

The fun begins three weeks ago when I took my car in on Good Friday for an oil change and a recall involving my wheels. When I called to schedule the recall look-see, they said it involved the wheel studs. My sunroof had also stopped retracting, but they wanted $105 to just examine it (applicable to the repair) and since it was going back in a few months, I passed on the opportunity to hand them another C-note. They called me several hours later to say that there was a small leak from the transmission boot that was covered by the power train warranty, but they didn't have time and people to do it that day, even though it was only noon. It wasn't a pressing emergency, so it could wait.

When I picked up the car, they asked if I'd like it washed for free and then sent me on my way after paying for the oil change, which for a dealership is actually cheaper and better-quality than what I get at the local Valvoline quick change place. Wheels fixed, oil changed, car washed, life was good.

Or so I thought.

The next day, while pulling into a diner lot to get some breakfast, I noticed that there were lug nuts in my cup holder. Huh? Closer examination showed they were the locking lugs that I'd purchased in the aftermath of my previous Fusion's wheels being ripped off. Um, why were these here and not on my wheels? I got out and checked my wheels and they had five lugs on them, so WTF? I have a four-way lug wrench in the trunk, so I went to make the switch and discovered that the locking lugs weren't tightening up. Huh a second time? What gives? It was then I realized that they simply didn't fit - they were spinning freely because the posts were too small. How the heck did this happen? Aren't wheel studs pretty much the same size?I called the dealership immediately, but since it was a Saturday and nearing 3 pm, there was no one around to ask about this. I put it on my list of things to do, but kept putting it off for one reason or another; I figured I'd stop in sometime.

Last week, a survey request was emailed to me and having a little spare time at work I completed it, blasting them in the comments for not telling me about the wheel locks being left off. Someone from the dealership left a voicemail on my home phone the other day asking for a callback and I was going to give them a jingle, but some asstackler managed to call my work phone first. This is when it all went to hell.

This jackass - I think his name was Jerry, but let's go with Jackass - basically came out of the gate like a shrill little bitch, whining that I had not called to complain to them before dinging them on the survey. Oh, so the problem is that you were content being jerks until Ford corporate types got tipped off? Oh, it's on, muthaf*cka!!! In the course of a five minute long conversation, he managed to be sporadically insincere about my concerns before lapsing back into whimpering about his butthurt over my not calling and talking to them before ratting them out to daddy Ford.

Now, what was the purpose of Jackass's call? To address customer concerns or make me backtrack from my offending his honor? I pointed out that no one mentioned the lugs to me either on the phone or and he nearly screamed that it was on the paperwork and so I can just shut up my stupid mouth! (I don't have the papers handy, but it's irrelevant for this discussion.) When I asked what the deal was with the differing stud sizes and he claimed that only the lugs had been changed. Between his hysterical squealing and demands someone apply Tucks to his inflamed hemorrhoids, I realized there was no talking to the clown and wrapped things up by telling him that he'd sealed Royal Oak's Ford hopes of ever getting my business again.

What's exceptionally stupid about this jerk's call was that it presumed that he was the only Ford dealership I could get my next car from. Um, no. He's the only Ford dealer ON MY BLOCK, but there are other dealers, all of whom haven't had their a-hole service manager call me up at work to bitch about my temerity in complaining about their crap service.

Last Labor Day, Dean Sellers Jr. himself of Dean Sellers Ford called me up at home and arranged an Arts, Beats and Eats ticket package for me and really put himself out to help this total stranger who'd left a voicemail in his box. I'd never leased a car - much less FIVE cars - from them, but they were willing to help. What did Royal Oak Ford do but be bullies? I pay the same price for cars wherever I go due to my work, so the ONLY thing that Royal Oak Ford offers me is locality. NOTHING MORE and that was before they pulled this stunt. Anyone have a good reason why I shouldn't give Dean Sellers a call?

It didn't occur to me until I started pounding out this rant that Jackass the Service Manager was flat out lying about the locks being the wrong size because not only did they transfer the locks from my old ride to this one, but I've had the oil changed - WHICH INCLUDES TIRE ROTATION - at least twice at the dealership and NO ONE MENTIONED THE LOCKS BEING THE WRONG SIZE before. I'd also had a flat that needed plugging and had changed the tire, not to mention that if they didn't fit as claimed, they would've fallen off sometime in the previous 45,000 miles. (I had mentioned that to him and he started screaming again.)

Royal Oak Ford can eat a dick and so will Jackass. I'm going to check the paperwork, clean up this post's language and trim it down, and send it to the general manager of the dealership under the title, "Why I Am Not Buying My Sixth Car From Royal Oak Ford. (And You Can Eat A Dick!)" (OK, the last part won't be on there.) I specialize in the Wrath of God Complaint Letter® and when you're as militantly stupid as Jackass was, you are profoundly inviting an air strike onto your position.

It's raining dicks, Royal Oak Ford and Jackass! Eat them!


UPDATE: 2/11/2015 - I never bothered sending the GM the note, but last summer I spent over THREE HOURS trapped there on a Saturday morning to get a freaking OIL CHANGE. They had the waiting room TV set to MSNBC which was a treat for the customers who may've been lacking hours of extreme liberals one-upping their horror stories about Republicans. (Stuff like, "The reason Republicans oppose abortion is because they like to eat babies." This is barely an exaggeration.) Hoo boy, now they'll never get my service business either, though I did have them do the repairs on my last car when it sustained $13,000 in damages when it was stolen for its wheels. There was a recall on the car too, so as much as I hate ROF, I needed things fixed someplace close.

Since this post originally went up, I leased a Fusion from Fairlane Ford in Dearborn because it was close to my work and after a job change put me on the other side of town, got another Fusion from Roy O'Brien Ford in St. Clair Shores. The only reason I didn't patronize Dean Sellers is because it was too inconvenient to work and home.

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