Festival Ford Red Deer Alberta

Complaint: On March 1, 2009 I took my car to Festival Ford in Red Deer to have some warranty work done. The warranty was due to expire on March 15, 2009. The problems I listed were: A loud noise on start up that only happened when it was cold (-15 C or colder) and seemed to be related to the accessories belt as the belt moved from side to side when this happened. A cold start problem that happened at zero degrees C or colder where the car would turn over for a long time before starting if it started at all on the first attempt. If the ignition was cycled on and off 2 or 3 times and then turned to the start position, the car would start immediately. The power steering fluid level had gone down, although it was still in acceptable range. I dropped the car off in the morning and asked the service advisor if these issues would be covered by warranty. The service advisor told me these issues would be covered by warranty. To avoid any confusion I also gave the service advisor a letter that described the above issues I wanted addressed along with a note at the bottom saying: BEFORE DOING ANY WORK PLEASE CALL ME TO LET ME KNOW WHAT WILL BE COVERED BY THE WARRANTY. I WILL NOT PAY FOR ANYTHING THAT WAS NOT AUTHORISED BY ME. The service advisor read the letter and placed it with their other paperwork about the car. Since it was a cold start problem that would probably not occur with a warm engine, the service advisor asked me if they could park it outside overnight and start it in the morning to see if they could replicate the problems. I agreed. On Thursday the Service advisor called me saying they could not replicate the cold start issue where the engine did not start properly. I asked him when the parts for the other problem would come in and he told me they would probably come in Friday. He said he would leave the car out overnight and start it in the morning to see if he could replicate the problem. I called the dealer on Monday to find out the status of the car. I talked to the mechanic who told me he was still unable to reproduce the problem and he had not replaced the belt and tensioner because he was busy with other things. On Tuesday March 16, 2010, the service advisor called me to ask if I wanted to come in and discuss the cold start problem with herself and the mechanic. I told her I didnt think that would be of any value since I had already told both of them everything I could about it. They told me the other repair had been made, so I told her I would pick up the car in the afternoon. The service advisor called me back about 10 minutes later to tell that they where charging me $104.95 as a diagnostic fee since they could not find the cold start problem. When I went to the dealership I told the service advisor that I did not think the $104.95 charge was fair because: No one had told me that there would be a diagnostic fee if no problem was found. I had verbally asked her to call me for approval if anything was to be charged to me BEFOREHAND. I had written her that I would pay for nothing unless it was approved by me first. When I pointed out what I had wrote on the letter the service advisor took me to her manager. The service advisor then told me that by taking the car there to get serviced I had authorized them to charge me the diagnostic fee. After arguing with the manager and the service advisor for 10 minutes it was obvious they would not give me the car with out me paying the $104.95, so I paid and tried to leave. However the battery was dead so I had to get them to give me aboost. When I went back inside and asked the service advisor why the battery was dead she said I dont know we started it everyday. I hope they did not wreck the battery. I will charge it and test it later. Although if they did damage it, I have no recourse. I dont agree with Fords policy of charging diagnostic time to the customer if they cant find a problem. All it does is reward them for intermittent problems. Basically they are charging the customer for problems he has with his vehicle. I thought the whole idea of a warranty was not to pay for repairs. For all I know they never did any diagnostics on my car, they could have just started it once and when it didnt exhibit the problem they may have never looked at it again. The more times a customer comes in for the same problem the more money they make. Even if I did agree with this policy it doesnt matter. I clearly told them (verbally and in writing) to call me first BEFORE I was to be charged with anything. If I knew they would charge me diagnostics to find the cold start problem I wouldnt bother to get them to look at it. I would have looked at it myself when the car was off warranty. I called Ford Warranty and they basically were no help and took the side of the dealer. I am very disappointed with Festival Ford and I will no longer buy ANYTHING from their dealership and I will encourage my friends and family to do the same.<!–[if !supportLineBreakNewLine]–><!–[endif]–>

Tags: Auto Repair Service

Address: 421 37400 Highway 2 Red Deer, Alberta United States of America

Website: www.festivalford.com/

Phone: 403-343-3673

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