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bulltrout

Charges for test drive damage

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So the Ford dealer finally called back about 5:15 p.m., not the service manager or service director I talked to, but the young lady who works at the service desk. They offered me employee pricing for the repair, about $468, rather than the $630+ they quoted me originally.

I told them I'd call back in the morning. I need to decide how I'm going to handle this. I can't see paying them another dime, but I've got to figure out how to get the radiator replaced. I can do it myself, but the shop is about 6-7 miles of often crowded SoCal roads and I don't want to damage my engine.

FYI, the Ford dealer in question is Fritts Ford in Riverside, CA. 

www.frittsford.com

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1 hour ago, bulltrout said:

So the Ford dealer finally called back about 5:15 p.m., not the service manager or service director I talked to, but the young lady who works at the service desk. They offered me employee pricing for the repair, about $468, rather than the $630+ they quoted me originally.

I told them I'd call back in the morning. I need to decide how I'm going to handle this. I can't see paying them another dime, but I've got to figure out how to get the radiator replaced. I can do it myself, but the shop is about 6-7 miles of often crowded SoCal roads and I don't want to damage my engine.

FYI, the Ford dealer in question is Fritts Ford in Riverside, CA. 

www.frittsford.com

Talk to the owner or dealership manager first thing in the morning, in person. Be done with the service department personal, especially that they couldn't even call you back. They know they are wrong and don't want to pay. Most likely when you will go in and ask for the owner and they will say he/she isn't here or in a meeting. They then will say if this is a service issue you need to talk to the service manager. Answer with something short but along the lines of "My vehicle was damaged while under your care, the service dept has admitted it was damaged under your care, yet they are demanding I pay for it. I have spoke to the manager who dodged me then had someone call me back giving me a deal to fix my vehicle that the dealership has damaged, this unacceptable, I will wait for the owners meeting to be done or is there someone else that can properly rectify the issue" The person will go find someone. Stay calm but be firm.

 

If after you meet with them they still want you to pay (I don't think this will happen)  call a TV station and have them do a story.  Out of Town person, just in town dealing with an ill mother, local dealership screwing them, they come to the rescue. Those stories get a lot of traction online and get the reporters/TV stations social media score up and you don't have to pay. Otherwise you're going to be in court and fronting a lot of money in a lawsuit, or paying for it and trying to collect from the garage keepers insurance policy. I suspect once you talk to the Owner/Dealership Manager it all goes away. 

Edited by jasonj80

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I would tow my car out of there before I let those vultures try to screw me like that. I actually once had to threaten a Chevy dealer that way once when they gave me a bad alternator and tried to charge me to replace said faulty, 2-week old alternator.  Then they threatened to charge me a diagnostic fee 😂

 

I eventually got my car back and working, and my door was scratched all to hell. Didn't notice it until I got home though 😩  Oh, I had also paid them to fix a door lock issue, that was not fucking corrected


Fuck stealerships.

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Finally resolved. No charge for the radiator work. I went in this morning, asked for the general manager, got his assistant to whom I described the situation. I waited in the showroom and the GM came down after about 5 minutes, said my truck was ready to go and there was no charge for the radiator. He also warned me there are rocks all over the frame and it will happen again. I suppressed the eye roll reflex but will look things over underneath to be sure.

The only debris near the engine bay was a thin layer of dirt on the suspension wishbones. There is a frame cross member below the radiator but a rock would have to levitate nearly a foot to reach the fan, which would have kicked it back toward the engine anyway.

I paid for the service I ordered, and drove away from Fritts Ford for the final time. There are other places in the area to get service if the need arises on a future visit.

FWIW, since I never authorized the radiator work that was already completed, it seems they knew they were on the hook for it. Their various offers were just attempts to get me to OK the work so they could bill me for something that was their responsibility. I understand mistakes happen, but a conscientious business person seeks to proactively make things right for the customer when it does. Instead, Fritts Ford seemed to treat their mistake as an opportunity to make more money. If I was the typical out-of-state traveller in a hurry to get somewhere else, it might have worked.

Thank you all for you feedback and support. Mom is stable for now, but her long-term prognosis isn't great. She beat terminal cancer 21 years ago but her body took a beating in the process. I've learned to not count her out, however. She's a feisty Irish/Sicilian fire cracker.

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