Ford Service – Appreciation

I have been a Ford Fiesta owner for 4 years now. I also have an older Hyundai Santro. Since Hyundai has been around in the Indian market much longer than Ford, I could see a clear difference in the quality of service between Hyundai and Ford. Hyundai was more organized and efficient. Ford on the other hand seemed to have teething trouble (at least my dealer Lathangi Ford did). Hyundai delivered exactly what they promised whereas Ford used to leave a few things hanging, despite their best efforts.

But my experience with Lathangi Ford Service took a very positive turn recently. For the last 6-9 months, I had noticed a noise from the rear of my Fiesta. It was as if someone was knocking something gently except that the noise was very sporadic. So it was difficult to guage when and where the noise was coming. When I directed the service center to investigate for the first time, they said that the noise was rectified. But clearly they had not done anything about it.

It is customary for Service centers to call the customer back and ask “were you satisfied with the service?”. And in reply I mumble a Yes most of the time. But this time, I went on the offensive and stated that I was unhappy. This was probably the game changer since it got registered somewhere as a complaint. Since then I got repeated calls from Lathangi Ford asking me when I was available for a check up. Since I was pretty busy, I had to postpone couple of times.

I was half-expecting Ford to stop the follow up. But I was pleasantly surprised when the called me again and said that the complaint is still open and they would really like to resolve the problem once and for all. And this time, they sent their engineers to my residence. What happened next was something that really took me by surprise.

The Ford engineers wanted to identify the source of the noise, so they sat in the back seat and asked me to drive around. Though they could make out that noise was coming from the rear half of the car, they could not narrow down the location. Then one of them locked himself into the boot and asked me to continue with the drive. Since the noise was sporadic, I had to drive around for at least 30 minutes before they could narrow down the source. And all this time the engineer (Abdul) was crammed into the Fiesta boot. I was expecting that they will ask for the car to be taken to the service center at that point. But Abdul said that they will fix it then and there. They removed the back seat and identified a loose speaker cable to be the cause of the problem. The speaker cables are clamped to the rear tray using plastic clamps. One of the clamps had become loose and used to knock against the tray. Once they fixed the problem, Abdul again got into the boot for a quick drive, just to make sure that the noise was indeed eliminated. Ford did not charge me anything for this service and I must say Abdul and his colleague were exemplary in their diligence. I signed off the service form saying that the problem was rectified and that I was happy.

Since the job was well and truly done, I was expecting the usual follow up call from Ford. And once again I was pleasantly surprised that they did not call back. To me this shows that there is a system in place which records customer feedback and if feedback is already given, there is no point to go back to the customer.

I thank Lathangi Ford and its Service center team (especially Abdul) for a commendable effort. And hope that they continue to delight me and scores of other Ford customers.

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