Humber Motors Ford in Corner Brook Doesn’t Want My Business

It seems that Humber Motors Ford in Corner Brook doesn’t want my business. According to their sales representative and their sales manager they had too many “issues” with me in the past and “Humber Motors Ford would prefer you purchase your Ford product elsewhere.”

I haven’t hidden the fact I wasn’t pleased with the service received at Humber Motors Ford in Corner Brook or with the quality of my 2008 Ford Ranger.

I ran into issues with my 2008 Ford Ranger. I complained and blogged about Humber Motors Ford’s customer service. I had actually vowed never to buy a North American auto again but decided to give both Humber Motors Ford and Ford Canada an opportunity to live up to their billing as being “service leaders” and a manufacturer of “quality vehicles”. Maybe the problems with both product and service I experienced at Humber Motors Ford in Corner Brook were the “exception”, not the rule.

That isn’t going to happen because Humber Motors Ford in Corner Brook doesn’t want to sell me a $40,000 truck.

The sales manager at Humber Motors Ford in Corner Brook was very vague as to why I was being refused an opportunity to purchase a new vehicle. He alluded to a problem that I had with other businesses and said something like “Haven’t you had problems with companies other than Humber Motors Ford like Canadian Tire?”

While I realize the sales manager is attempting to show that I am a difficult customer, I fail to see how this is relevant.

I am a demanding customer and when it comes to me spending my money, I want service. When I don’t receive service I complain. It has nothing to do with the name of the company or the product that I’m buying. It is about wanting a relationship with a company that can offer me what I feel is a balance between quality and price without sacrificing customer service.

Is it wrong for a customer who spends money at a business to demand quality products and customer service? Is it wrong for a customer who doesn’t receive a quality product or great customer service to complain?

I don’t think so.

It wasn’t like I hadn’t given Humber Motors Ford an opportunity to fix the issue with my vehicle. The fact they were unable to determine the problem initially and then took them several attempts to permanently fix the problem speaks volumes should provide enough indication about Humber Motors Ford’s service and the quality of products they sell.

Ford Motor Company’s stance on this when I contacted them – Humber Motors Ford is an independently owned and franchised dealership. They are responsible for their staff and the decisions it makes. There is nothing that prevents Humber Motors Ford from electing not to deal with certain customers. Humber Motors Ford has to provide warranty service as part of their dealership arrangement but the relationship with any customer ends there should the dealership wish to end it there.

Ford Canada was disappointed at Humber Motors Ford’s decision not to sell me a Ford vehicle. They wanted to find me another dealer other than Humber Motors Ford.

I quickly declined their offer.

It is obvious Humber Motors Ford in Corner Brook doesn’t understand what is meant to offer good customer service or what is required to establish and grow a relationship. Simply meeting “warranty obligations (I love how they use both Ford and Humber Motors Ford use this term) is not customer service.  Abandoning existing customers just because they complain when issues arise is no way to build a relationship.

Humber Motors Ford should have recognized the potential presented in this situation. Humber Motors Ford could have used this opportunity to demonstrate it truly did care about its customers and its relationships with them.

Throughout any business/consumer relationship, there will be times when the relationship becomes strained and disagreements will occur. What separates the good and bad companies is how they deal with issues when they arise. Humber Motors Ford elected to toss me aside as a customer and refused to sell me a $40,000 truck because I wanted service.

What does this say to customers? Don’t bother complaining or have any issues with your vehicles. We’ll honor “warranty obligations” but won’t sell to you or deal with you in the future.

I’m intelligent enough to know that a customer isn’t always right even though there are some customers that believe businesses owe them the moon. Businesses exist to make money and there are some customers who make unreasonable demands.

I don’t think this was the case in this incident.

I had an issue with my vehicle and felt Humber Motors Ford didn’t do enough to remedy the issue other than meet “warranty obligations”. I complained until the problem was corrected and raised my issues using mechanisms made available to me through Ford Canada’s customer relations centre. I voiced my displeasure with how things were handled and actively sought a resolution to my concerns. Any reasonable customer would have done the same. If I didn’t complain and utilize the mechanisms available to me how long would it have taken for Humber Motors Ford to repair the issue?

I admit, I am not a passive customer in any relationship. I acknowledge great service (as I did for TD Insurance) and complain when I feel I’m being treated as just “another “customer” or when issues are being ignored. I dislike the phrases like We have never had any problems like this before. and admire a company when they say “How can we make this right?”

Humber Motors Ford’s response is typical of a company who fails to understand customer service goes beyond those typical responses. Humber Motors Ford’s response is typical of a company who fails to understand the social aspect of the business-consumer relationship. Humber Motor Ford’s response is typical of a company who cares less about its customers and more about avoiding “issues” for its business.

Rather than opting to work with its customers and strengthen the relationship, Humber Motors Ford elected to dismiss concerns and end the relationship. I was willing to give this dealership another opportunity.

I’m not upset with what’s occurred.  I find the whole situation hilarious.  It speaks volumes as to how Humber Motors Ford deals with issues and concerns and should be a red flag for any existing customers or potential customers of this dealership.

Do I harbour any ill-feelings towards Humber Motors Ford?  Not at all!

I feel for Humber Motors Ford’s existing customers with “issues”  because this may just be glimpse of what their futures hold.

I wish Humber Motors Ford in Corner Brook the best of luck in its future. Any company that can turn down a $40,000 sale is obviously not hurting for business and obviously doesn’t care about losing customers.

But it’s as I said before, Humber Motors Ford just doesn’t get it. It’s not about just this one sale they lost. It’s about destroying a relationship with a customer who could have potentially spent approximately $500,000 at the dealership through the course of the relationship.

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About Barry Wheeler

Barry Wheeler is a blogger, novice SEO, geek and passionate Newfoundlander. Operating several successful websites and online communities, Barry has started exploring the social internet and its impact on all facets of society including personal life and business relationships. Find Barry on Twitter @barrywheeler and FaceBook or on his website Barry Wheeler - Blogging for Success.
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23 Responses to Humber Motors Ford in Corner Brook Doesn’t Want My Business

  1. Rod Wilson says:

    Tom

    I have to be honest and say that I wouldn’t want your business.

    I understand your points about wanting good value for your dollar and expecting good customer service… I really do.

    That being said, I think you would be a tough customer. I could be wrong but I feel as though you post much more negative feedback then you do positive feedback.

    If you do have a negative experience you have the means to tell a lot of people about it. I’m not certain if I would want that if I were a business owner.

    I realize this may make a lot of people upset but it just my opinion.

    Many people don’t realize that businesses are not required to sell you anything. Obviously it may not be in their best interest to do so but non the less, they don’t have to if they don’t want to.

    Always enjoy your blog.

    • Rod,

      I appreciate the comments and the criticism.

      I guess I’m a little less diligent at posting good news stories and positive feedback. It doesn’t mean that I don’t thank companies or follow-up with them when I do get great service.

      I’ve called and written many companies to thank them for their customer service experience. Companies like TD Insurance, Wal-Mart (the paint guy there was super awesome but he’s now gone to Kent), Hyundai, Colemans, Zellers, Tim Hortons, McDonalds and many others.

      I’ve said it in my posts, I’m a demanding customer but is it wrong to want a balance between quality products and customer service? Maybe I am a tough customer as you put it. But I am also fair. I did think the dealership deserved another chance. That’s why I went back and asked them to give me a price on a new truck as a serious consumer.

      Thanks for the comments and I will make more of an effort to share some of my positive experiences in the future.

  2. Jenny says:

    Thanks for sharing your awful experience. I am looking for a new vehicle now. I won’t make the same mistake you did.
    Thanks again.

  3. Krissy says:

    As a person who works in customer service, some customers are demanding and they do expect a lot for the service they are receiving but I believe Barry is firmly within’ his rights to demand his truck be in working order. We’re not talking about if they put an extra sugar in his double double, we’re talking about the safety of himself and the people he carries in his truck. If the air bags failed to deploy, or in fact, deployed wrongly, that could mean the serious injury to his children who may ride with him or himself. For the money he paid for the truck and the service of the warranty, he deserved a company willing to stand behind the product, or even better yet, own a mistake. The first thing we learn in customer service is “own mistakes, apologize and sympathize.” Neither were done in this case.
    In fact, bad customer service or one bad experience can lead to failing sales for the company. Best case in point would be band Son of Maxwell, you can see the video here http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5YGc4zOqozo
    or in the case of film maker, Kevin Smith, who was refused a seat because of a weight issue. All in all, customer service means one thing, servicing the customer.

  4. Andrew says:

    I’m glad they wouldn’t sell you a truck. They obviously felt that selling you a vehicle is not worth the 40,000 that you were going to spend. That says a lot about you! I think more places should do the same thing! Then maybe people wouldn’t be the spoiled little brats that they are. Just my opinion

    • Andrew,

      Interesting opinion that you have here. How does waiting 18 months to get a problem finally solved qualify as being a “spoiled brat”? And what precisely does this say about me? I went back to give the dealership a second chance thinking maybe my experience was the exception, not the norm. I swallowed my pride after vowing never to buy there again and made the attempt to continue the business relationship.

      If you read the article without you “Ford Coloured Glasses” you would understand this post being about relationship building, customer service and the social aspect of business, not simply about not being able to purchase a vehicle at Humber Motors Ford.

  5. Bill says:

    Sounds like sour grapes to me. You know the expression “It’s not what you said, it’s how you said it”. I believe that you are a difficult customer. You expectations are impossible to meet. I too am a business owner, and I agree with Rod, I wouldn’t do business with you either. I’m sure to spend a great deal of time working with you, and you most probably won’t be happy. This would all be at the cost of my NOT servicing my other customers.

    I do agree that everyone should get what they pay for. But when problems arise with your vehicle, patience is the key. Some repairs take multiple times to correct. Not the fault of the dealership. Most likely the fault of the manufacturer. Why on earth you would go and buy another Ford product, at the same dealer, seems a bit antagonistic to me. It’s like, as soon a problem arises ( and it will ), you’ll pounce on the dealership. You are the epitome of “bad business”. I can’t fault Humber Motors for their decision.

    • Bill, thanks for your comments and your opinion.

      Personally, I think it goes beyond “sour grapes” as you put it. You said “patience is the key”. How much more patient does one have to be when you encounter a problem in November 2007 and it doesn’t get resolved and finally fixed until May 2009? 18 months isn’t enough patience?

      I’m far from “bad business”, difficult customer or being a customer a business has to spend a lot of time dealing with. I am a demanding customer as I’ve said and demand a balance between product quality and customer service. Don’t promise and/or advertise service if it’s not going to be delivered. Don’t sell me a product if you’re not going to stand behind or offer service.

      I also know the original problem probably did originate with the manufacturer. However, neither Ford Canada or Humber Motors did anything to see the problem finally resolved until I complained (November 2007 to May 2009 isn’t long enough to have a problem finally resolved?). As another person commented here, neither Ford Canada or Humber Motors took ownership of the original problem.

      As for being antagnostic with respect to going looking for a price from the dealership? Is it not only fair to give both Humber Motors Ford and Ford Canada a second chance? I was quite willing to look beyond the initial issues and continue the business relationship – clean slate so to speak. As a business owner myself, I would hope that customers would want to give my company a chance to make things right if something went wrong.

      Again, thanks for stopping by and sharing your thoughts.

  6. Mike Kehoe says:

    Barry:

    For some time I worked in a supervisor position at a Call Centre providing customer care to customers of a North American car manufacturer. When a dealer or local vehicle manufacturer rep could not or would not resolve a customer concern it got escalate to someone like me. I was good at my job. I have since moved on to another area but continue in customer care.

    I have read as much information as you make available on your problem with your Ford product.

    It is completely unacceptable for the vehicle manufacturer to provide you with anything less than 100% effort to resolve your issues. Unfortunately many manufacturers and their distributor/dealers hide behind the strict legal interpretation of the warranty to escape owning up to a situation which they could and should rectify.

    It is the last line of the excuse making defense for some that they take the attitude we don’t want your business any more and you should shop elsewhere. Usually the Dealer is a co participant in this process or is the directing mind in taking that direction. It provides a level of deniability and deflection to the manufacturer and the retailer/service provider. Both point the finger at each other as the source of the problem and are effectively adopting the attitude of ” if you don’t like it sue us”. Of course most ordinary people cannot afford to that.

    I wish I could share you with the number of times the squeaky wheels did indeed get the grease. It does pay to use the customer care telephone number for the manufacturer in the back of your owner’s manual.

    I suspect you have been-pigeon holed as a customer for Ford by their local representative and a Manager at the Dealer working in collusion. It’s much easier to do that than to own up to a screw up by either the manufacturer and/or the dealer.

    You raise an interesting circumstance and it will have a significant impact on my willingness to purchase or support the Ford product. However I want you to know you are not unique in the sense that other customers of North American vehicle manufacturers have also been blackballed for “pushing ” and demanding customer service at the level it should be. It is one of the major reasons the North American vehicle manufacturers have lost so much market share and have become so dependant on government subsidy. Ford too.

    It’s too bad others are not as versed in technology in sharing their experiences with poor customer service. It would be a great eye opener if they were.

    Barry, you have both my attention and support.

    Ford … you may have shut out one customer but you lost the game! You have failed. There should be no joy in that.

    As for those in business management or ownership who may find customers too hard to service. You should perhaps consider another product or service line or maybe even another line of work. You obviously have become too complacent. It’s only a matter of time before you fail if you don’t adjust your attitude.

  7. Andrew says:

    I would love to hear Humber Motors Ford’s side of this story.

  8. Chris says:

    As Mike alluded to above, the North American auto industry and its dealers are suffering. This one dealership may not be suffering but with business decisions such as this, it won’t be long but it does look like Humber Motors Ford is the only Ford dealer in the area so customers have little opportunity to shop elsewhere so it’s put up with sub-par service or be blacklisted.

    There’s no doubt in my mind this dealer rolled the dice here hoping it wouldn’t come back to bite them in the ass. They are independent franchises and Ford can do very little other than enforce warranty service as part of their agreements with such dealers.

    More people should be like Barry and voice their concern or even choose to go elsewhere to shop. It will send a message.

    I admire Barry for stepping up and at least giving the dealer an opportunity. Many would have said Screw it and went elsewhere.

    • Chris,

      Thanks for your comments.

      You do pose some of the same questions I have regarding the dealer’s relationship to Ford. Interesting that the manufacturer has no say in that aspect.

  9. DOUG says:

    Ford Canada has got to have the most obnoxious irritating TV ads I’ve ever experienced..If they think by blowing peoples eardrums out they’ll sell cars they are sadly mistaken..I won’t even watch thier ads never mind buy one of thier cars..They finally found a way of turning people off..If they think by catering to the youth with blaring music they’ll sell more cars maybe they should consider this ..The people with the bucks today are not the youth but the baby boomers and older people !! When you cut that part of the market off you’re losing big bucks and potential customers..
    But if Ford doesn’t care well ” keep on truckin ”
    Until you tone it down you’ve lost me..

  10. Fred Perry says:

    I had the same happen to me at Dennis GM, I bought a used car from Dennis GM With extended Warrenty (2 years old) After 2 weeks of owning it i had to replace the front pads and rotors which cost me over $350.00. After talking to Dennis GM several times I called GM all they did was cancel my warrenty and sent back my money for the warrenty. A friend of mine bought a truck from them a couple of months ago and the same thing happen to him. I didn’t go back to buy anything from them.. some dont deserve a second chance to screw you.

  11. joe k says:

    Get over it!!!!! 5000 words about a flickering light? For the average person, an airbag goes off once every 300 years. So unless you are 6 months old and plan on eating nothing but bean sprouts and mineral water for the next 300 years, I think you’re safe.

    • It’s actually more than a “flickering light” – it’s about customer service, it’s about building relationships, it’s about trust – the “flickering light” is but a symptom of a much larger failure of a company.

  12. Jim says:

    I think the situation is much like an All you can eat Buffet.
    Some customers eat a lot and some very little, It appears that
    Humber Motors only wants the customers that eat very little.

  13. Vicki says:

    I just picked up my 2008 Ford Focus from Humber Motors Ford 2 Days ago and had to bring the f-ing thing back today. After 3 service people told me I had no warrenty left, I had a local garage fix the problems that Humber Motor’s said wasn’t a problem (sway bar links, tie rod end, etc.) and replace my wheel bearings. The bearings lasted all of 2-6 days because they weren’t FORD parts.

    I was told by another Ford dealership that I had 2 years left on my power train warrenty but Ford wouldn’t touch the car because there was after market products on it.

    I wouldn’t have got them replaced at a local garage if I knew they were covered. Anyway I was told that nobody there every told me I had no warrenty on the car. Had to pay $850.00 to fix the bearings. The car is still not fixed and I was called a lier by Humber Motor’s.

    I think Ford Canada should check out the dealers they let us their name before they talk about the excellent Custumer Service provided by Ford.

    And for those people saying that they are in business and wouldn’t deal with a customer like Barry, I just have one question ” what kind of business are you in where you can pick and choose your customers”? I don’t think any business can survive if they only cater to certain types of people.

    • Vicki,

      Thank’s for your comments. It is very frustrating when you deal with a company that obviously doesn’t care about their customers and about the relationships they build with their customers. They are forgetting we now have a voice and can make our feelings known about their company.

      This article gets read 10 – 12 times each day on a slow day. If you google “Humber Motors Ford” it shows up in the list.

      I only hope more people would become vocal and speak out on poor service. It isn’t being a demanding customer, it’s about being treated with respect as a customer.

      Hope you get your problems solved. I would fight them. Look at Phil Edmunstun’s book “The Lemonaide Guide” I think it’s called. He gives great pointers in how to sue for your money back.

      Barry

  14. Jerry says:

    Humber Motors Ford is famous for selling a product and not standing behind it. You waited 18 months before kicking up a stink? I would not have given this company that much time.

    This isn’t the first time this company has refused to sell someone a vehicle, so you weren’t the first and you won’t be the last.

    Good for you for standing up to them. If more people do it then this company wouldn’t be around much longer. But like everything in Corner Brook, there’s usually only 1 and you have no where else to go.

    • Jerry,

      Thanks for sharing your story. Yes, I waited 18 months. Gave them the opportunity to sell me another vehicle. Both things I think were more reasonable than anyone else would have done.

      Stop by again!

      Barry

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