I have owned my loved Ford “All New” Focus for nearly a year now (since 26/10/2012). All in all, it has been an ALMOST hassle free ownership, but that’s basically because I did not need Ford Assistance for anything more serious. Which is good. No, great. Because they DO NOT CARE about their customers or their image or their dealer’s attitudes or anything really. Ford Thailand is happy in selling you the cars and stepping away so you can “have all the fun in the world” dealing with its own carelessness.
Just recapitulating what happened less than a month after I bought the car:
– plastic lever which controls the “up/down” from the driver’s seat broke down
– I went to Ford Srinagarindra to get it changed
– they said they didn’t have it in stock (it’s a 40g $1 item)
– they said they would order… and… and… and…
– 2 months later, nothing there yet. They blamed Ford Thailand in not delivering the part.
– I then got in touch with @FordThailand via Twitter, and they were actually quite responsive. Told me the part had been requested from Singapore and would be there shortly.
– ONE MONTH later, the small plastic lever arrived, Ford dealer blaming FORD for the delay, Ford Thailand saying the lever haven’t even been requested when I contacted them
After that, there was a small altercation between me and @FordThailand (twitter) to know why Ford wasn’t providing the correct information about oil changes to their costumers. But only in Thailand. The US manual of the car (same car, same engine) has all the details, however Ford dealer kept saying “no need to change oil ever with less than 15,000km” and Ford Thailand kept saying “just follow the dealer’s instructions”. Well, not so easy considering Ford USA recommends oil change every 6000km in more tough conditions (INCLUDING heavy stop-and-go traffic jams, which is exactly what we do here in Bangkok). Anyway, after a long discussion they just said “no problem if you change more than the manual” – which I knew already, but my fight was to have this information PUBLICLY available, to all customers. I change every 10,000km, which is enough for my use (lots of city driving but lots of major highway driving as well).
And on to October 17, 2013 – 356 days after I bought the car. (11 months, 2 weeks and 5 days)
As usual I was driving in Bangkok, buying a few things, meeting some friends, and finally done with it all, I decided to stop and drink an iced coffee. I parked the car, went to the coffee shop, back to the car 30min later and “all hell broke loose”. I opened the car (don’t know how, since the battery was dead and it’s keyless entry…), sat down, pressed the Power button and… ALL THE LIGHTS in the dashboard, in the doors, in front and back of the car, absolutely everything started blinking like a horrible christmas tree, the dashboard LCD was showing all kinds of errors, such as “ENGINE FAILURE” – “TRANSMISSION FAILURE” – “FRONT LIGHTS FAILURE” – “FIT-YOUR-EQUIPMENT-HERE FAILURE”. I thought “the end was near” and the blue bastard was going to explode there and then, so many problems I got to see… battery then died slowly, lights would blink less frequestly, dashboard was totally dead…
Oh well, call Ford Roadside Assistance… they said support was on the way, good. I also contacted @FordThailand by twitter, who advised me to leave the car until the mechanic arrives – problem is, battery was totally dead and I couldn’t close the car. Did I mention it’s a keyless entry system? Yeah… turns out all doors were open and only the driver’s door has a key-hole for emergencies. How do I CLOSE THE CAR??? No way, right? So I had to wait for around 1h in a closed parking lot with no air conditioning… :\
And then arrives the very well equipped mechanic from “Ford Roadside Assistance”, in the huge assistance vehicle above! Well, not really, it was just a well intentioned mechanic from Mondial Assistance with a spare battery and a jumper cable. It just turns out his knowledge of the car was smaller than mine… I had to show him where to open the hood, where the ODB2 connection was, where the power button was, where to connect the (+) and (-) for the jumper cable… and the dashboard was alive! And the errors were there! AND THE ENGINE WAS STILL DEAD!!! We would press the button and not a noise, nothing at all. Mechanic blamed the car not recognizing the encrypted key, and we were left with the option of towing the car to *the nearest Ford dealership* or pay to have it sent to the one of my choice. Turns out FORD only pays to tow your car up to 15km, and my dealer of choice is Ford Suvarnabhumi, which, despite from all Ford’s efforts in stain their image, still has a great customer support level. Maybe because they mainly do Mazda…? Who knows. Ok, I complained a bit then agreed, I’d pay the 200 baht fee for the tow truck to get the car to “my” dealer.
I checked the car, got all I needed, left the nice mechanic waiting for the tow truck, with 600 baht for the parking fees and tow-truck fees, and left. Later that night I was told the car was at the dealer and they would get right onto it the next day. Hooray! Humm…
Next day, the diagnostic. DEAD BATTERY. With ELEVEN MONTHS AND THREE WEEKS of good use. The car has no non-original equipment, it’s totally and completely original, and the Ford Motor Company stock battery DIED with less than a year usage. And it turns out Ford gives you one year warranty on the battery, up to 20,000km. Nice. Very nice. They provide sub-standard customer care, sub-standard “original parts”, and all they know how to say is “it’s like this, deal with it. I told you already it’s like this, deal with it.” Nice. Very nice.
After a few days of headaches, I stopped by the dealer today (21/10) and told them I didn’t want shitty FoMoCo battery in my car, if that’s all they had. Not surprisingly they do not use FoMoCo batteries, but another Japanese brand. Guarantee is the same though, 1 year with up to 20,000km. Ok, gave it a go to get it changed, was told I could get the car tomorrow. A few hours later I got in contact with them asking if there was a chance I could get the car today instead of tomorrow, and they told me no, new battery has to be fitted and THEN they will test the electric systems and check the computer errors. Ahn?! Well… I am now worried, but more than that, I’m frustrated and disappointed. I will not buy a Ford in Thailand anymore, since the laws here protect no one. I will not buy a Ford in Brazil, since I know the horrible customer care they have over there. I will not buy a Ford in America, after lots of problems I read, all similar to what I go through with them here. I do not recommend anyone to buy Ford. Anywhere. Great cars, horrible post-sales. Shame really. Let’s see what tomorrow reserves to me. 😐
Ah, found a great list with meanings for “FORD”. The one I like the most is this one:
Fix Or Recycle Dilemma