Last month I recounted how a potential Ford customer had a problem with a Ford dealership and later said he was told to buy a Tesla. Note, however, that we never connected directly with this person and they ended up deleting their first Reddit post sharing the story. However, someone who read this post just emailed us with their own story.
This person wishes to remain anonymous and is still considering purchasing the Mustang Mach-E. This is what they want and they care about it. So if any Ford executives are reading this please take into consideration that this is more constructive comment than anything else. I may be actively supporting Tesla and his online mission, but Tesla needs his allies, and Ford can be such an ally for this mission. Tesla CEO Elon Musk and Ford CEO Jim Farley have certainly agreed on this point several times in their own tweets and statements. Let’s go!
The Mustang Mach-E ordering experience
So this customer, we’ll call him Joe, ordered a Ford Mustang Mach-E online, picked their dealership, and things went downhill from there. Here’s what Joe told me in an email:
“So here’s what happened. I ordered a Mustang Mach-E from the Ford site. You need to select a dealership so I have selected the one closest to me. I immediately received a call from the dealership advising me that my order was not going to be processed due to a recall and that someone else would call me with more information. Since this is a 2022, I thought it was wrong. I called another dealer and they confirmed this to me.
“I called back and asked to speak to someone about it. They put me in touch with a manager on duty who searched and found nothing. I asked who called me and why they were saying something like that, but for some reason he didn’t understand what I was saying. I asked to be transferred to someone else. I then spoke to a sales manager who told me they had a separate company handling these calls and they didn’t know what they were doing. He said he was sorry.
“Then I got an email from someone else saying they saw that I was interested in ordering a Mach E and needed to call them. I called him and told him I had already ordered it. He can’t find my order, so he needed me to send the information to Ford. So I forwarded the email with the order number.
“The next day someone else at the dealership called me, but I was in line and didn’t want to be rude, so I asked them to call me back in 5 minutes. They never did. I still don’t know who it was or what they wanted. I just know they were from the dealership.
“The next day the guy I emailed called me and said he still couldn’t find my order so they had to do a whole new build. I was concerned about having two different orders and why this dealership was not communicating properly with Ford.
“I called Ford customer service and had to be referred to a number of different people. It took about 40 minutes to get to the right person. She didn’t want to help me. No matter what I said, his response was that everything needs to be handled with the dealership and because of franchise law they can’t even call the dealership.
“I informed her that the dealership is claiming Ford is not communicating with them, so how can I resolve this issue with the dealership? Isn’t there someone at Ford who can figure out why this process is happening. Order not working? She asked for my order number which I gave her.
“She said it was incorrect. I told him that I could literally take a screenshot of the website and send it to him. It indicates the order number. She said there should be something else. Well, where would I find that? She does not know. I looked everywhere and there was nothing else. She said she couldn’t do anything else if she couldn’t find the order. I said how can I find something if you don’t know where it is? She said she should find out and put me on hold. Instead of music on hold, it was a looped investigation. After 5 minutes, the line stopped.
“Then I called the dealership back and spoke to someone new. They wanted my order number and again couldn’t find the order. I asked for the deposit back because it was a nightmare. Again I had to transfer, but eventually spoke to an inventory control manager. She was very nice. She explained that this is a common problem, so people have to go to the dealership to build the car. A few hours later, I received an email confirming my refund.
“At this point I’m going to go to another dealership and try to build it there to see if the process is a lot smoother. “
Constructive comments for Ford
I asked Joe if he had any advice and feedback for Ford regarding how this dealership handled their Mustang Mach-E order. Joe told me:
“I ran a small business and I understand they’re apples and oranges in a way, but a business of any size needs to cut the bureaucracies. You can’t make something like that happen and then just put it on the “that’s exactly what’s happening” account.
“There seems to be a huge disconnect between Ford and their dealers. Literally, no one in customer service showed the slightest motivation to understand the problem let alone try to solve it. No one at the dealership told me that they were even trying to fix this with Ford. Their attitude was simply ‘don’t use the website because it usually doesn’t work’.
“I understand that there are going to be some growing pains when you try to completely change the way some cars are bought, so things won’t be perfect, but Ford doesn’t seem to have anything in place to identify these. problems and solve them. It can’t be that hard to transfer data from one place to another.
A few days ago, Bloomberg Ford CEO Jim Farley has reported that he predicts Ford will eventually overtake Tesla in electric vehicle sales in America, after overtaking GM. He said that Ford is fortunate to reach the top spot and that Ford and Tesla are competitors. He thinks the runner-up is the first loser, so they’re going to go for it.
These are big goals for any business that wants to be successful in an industry where things change at an extremely fast pace, but if Ford is to do that, the company needs to fix the dealership disconnect issue. You can’t sell a car – even one as good as the Mustang Mach-E – if your sellers have no motive or incentive to sell those cars. And if the sole motives or incentives are raising prices to points where it’s more affordable to buy a Tesla, the Ford company wants to overtake, then I don’t see how Ford will beat Tesla.
Maybe Farley should engage with Ford customers on Twitter in a positive way, like Elon does with Tesla customers. Ask for feedback and truly engage with them. If anyone can help Ford survive the electric vehicle transition, it’s the company’s loyal customers.
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