It comes with a heavy heart that I have decided to re-evaluate my future purchases of Ford products.
I did not come to this decision lightly and it is hugely impacted by my recent experiences with Crossroads Ford of Cary. Although I am not a fleet or business customer, I have been a very active residential customer, not only with my personal vehicles, but also the hand full of friends that I have referred. I have been an avid buyer of Ford trucks since October 2010.
Over 80% of my purchases in the last 4 years have been Ford and at Crossroads Ford of Cary (5 Trucks). Until December 2013, ALL of my purchases have been nothing less than exceptional experiences, in fact, I completed a survey to both the dealership and Ford referencing the dealership making me feel like a million dollar customer.
While I waited on my pre-ordered 2014 SVT Raptor Special Edition to arrive, in November 2013, I traded in my 2012 SVT Raptor for a new 2014 SVT Raptor to serve as my daily driver. Even though it was expected to be months, someone at Ford made a wish come true and put forth an effort to ensure that I would get mine earlier than expected. The last week of December 2013, I was advised that my pre-ordered Raptor was on its way. I was so excited, that I immediately began the paperwork in trading in my 2014 SVT Raptor to ensure that there were no delays in receiving my new 2014 Special Edition SVT Raptor. Although I only owned it for 43 days putting only 993 miles on it, I was happy with the experience of owning it and was overjoyed knowing that nothing would be better than to get one of the first Special Edition SVT Raptors on the east coast and could not wait for it arrive.
It was at this point that the relationship began to sour between me and the Dealership.
These incidents are best described as follows;
I completed the banking portion of the loan and did not have my checkbook with me that night for the $500 down payment that I wanted to put down. I asked if it would be ok to come in and pay it later especially since my new Raptor had not arrived and the fact that they already took in my 2014 SVT Raptor in on trade and secured indoors and they agreed. There were some minor delays in getting the vehicle in from the rail-yard to the dealership being a holiday, which was completely understandable. I received a call from the Finance person on a Saturday requesting that I bring in the $500 down payment check that day. I asked if my new Raptor had arrived and he indicated that it would be a few days yet. I informed him that I had planned to be in the Dealership on Monday to check the status of my pending delivery and asked if that would be ok if I could bring in the check then and he replied no, it had to be that day.
I left a family outing to bring in the check to the dealership. I had to drive my wife’s car because at this point, I owned a Raptor that had not arrived yet and my trade-in was in the hands of the dealership. I did express my disappointment with this when I arrived at the dealership and felt that what was more important to them to receive the $500 check for a truck that they have not been able to deliver yet. It left such a bad taste in my mouth that I almost cancelled the deal altogether. If I did not want what I ordered so badly, I would have.
I did receive an apology from the finance person and later got my Special Edition SVT Raptor. It was even more than I had hoped. However, my relationship with the dealership was changed. I started visiting the dealership less frequently and the place seemed to be like all other dealerships that I have visited recently. At this point, I couldn’t quite put my finger on what it was but still visited to at least keep good relations with my favorite sales person, Mark Royakkers. Mark has served me well over the years and hands down continues to do what is best for his customers (even beyond the incidents listed herein). In my opinion, Mark is just as much as a victim as I was.
My most recent experience at the dealership definitely showed me that it is not me that is important to this dealership, it is solely my money. I derived this understanding from the events that occurred this past week.
On Saturday, September 20th, I arrived at Crossroads Ford of Cary to see if any of the 2015 Ford trucks have arrived yet. Upon walking into the facility, I saw a 2014 Ford SVT Raptor Special Edition (Ruby Red) exactly equipped as the one I currently own just a different color and fell in love with it immediately. My personal sales person, Mark approached me and we commenced just as we always do. I saw that the price of the vehicle was 5,000 over list price and advised that the previous 4 Raptors were at list and I would not pay over list for this one.
At this point we engaged the manager of the dealership and we negotiated the price to list price and at this point it was a deal. This was going to be my stow-away vehicle. I was approved for the loan and while in the finance office I remembered that I had $500 in earned customer loyalty bonus that I wanted to apply. The $500 loyalty bonus was earned in $100 increments for each Ford that I purchased during the past 4 years. $500 was the cap so it was time for me to use it. I informed the finance manager that I wanted to apply it and he advised that he was not sure how to apply it. We discussed it and he asked if it would be ok if we complete the deal and get the loan paperwork sent to the bank and determine Monday how to apply the $500 loyalty bonus. I agreed. At this point I got the key to the truck and the dealership manager got approval for them to store my Raptor in the dealership for 45 days while I look for a place to store it.
On Monday, I went to work just like a normal day but this day, I was the proud owner of TWO special edition SVT Raptors; a feat that I guess not many residential customers achieve. I displayed utter happiness to all my coworkers and provided positive feedback regarding the dealership and my fifth Raptor. After work, I went to the dealership to determine what the result was on my loyalty bonus.
I arrived at the dealership and everyone was busy, so I patiently waited. While I waited, I struck up a conversation with an employee that I did not know, I inquired if he was able to see my loyalty bonus in the system and he advised that he was able to see it. I brought him up to speed that this was the final step in completing my purchase and he advised that since the paperwork was already sent to the bank that the dealership would most likely just send me a check for the loyalty bonus. I advised that if that was the case that would be acceptable cause I would just apply it to the first payment.
The employee went to speak to the manager regarding the situation and I was not there for that conversation. When the employee returned he informed me of the following…
The manager indicated that he took the loyalty bonus in consideration when he made the deal at list price. I immediately responded that that was not true because I would not have agreed to that and no-one knew about my loyalty bonus till I had mentioned it. In fact, no-one knew how to look it up on Saturday when I purchased the vehicle, I had to log on the website to show the dealership that it was in fact there and available for me to use.
At this point I advised the employee that he should go get the manager and that this was unacceptable and I was not happy. The employee advised that he was clear on this and that he just came from the manager and that he was doing what he was told. At this point, I went from not happy to angry. I advised the employee to get the manager again and that he should be careful what he says from this point because what he might say next might cancel this deal and it might have an impact on all my future business. The employee did not go get the manager and continued to handle me in such a way that made me feel like they had me on the hook like a fish out of water.
It was at this point that my patience ran out…
I immediately advised the employee that I was done and this relationship was over. I ended the conversation and marched directly to the finance office. I entered the finance office and advised that I was cancelling the deal. I was not cordial, I was direct and frank at this point. The finance employee pulled out my paperwork and advised that it had already been sent to the bank. I advised that if it were not cancelled I would escalate it all the way up, whatever it takes. He complied and went through the process of cancelling my loan. I returned the key to the truck that I never drove nor took possession of and at that moment the manager entered the room.
I advised the manager what happened up to this point and he was immediate to state that he treated me right. Although we were in disagreement on this, I continued to cancel the deal until it was complete. The manager asked me to think it over and take a few minutes to calm down. Knowing that I was emotionally impacted, I did take that few minutes. I sat in the customer area for 15 minutes and reviewed the events that occurred that got me to this point.
When my 15 minutes were completed, I went to the manager and advised him that I was done. I advised him that every angle that I looked at it, I was the victim. I was treated poorly, and I did not get the truck. At this point, I left the dealership. Later that evening, I got a text message from the manager apologizing for the events that occurred and advising that he would hold the truck for 48 hours if I changed my mind. I took the 48 hours to think it over and there was no scenario that made sense that rewarding the dealership for bad behavior would be the right thing to do. So, I reluctantly did the following.
I went to the dealership Wednesday evening after work and when I arrived, my personal sales person greeted me as he always does, I took him aside and first apologized to him for him losing out on the sale. We still maintain a strong relationship that I find value in. I then advised him that I wanted to talk to the manager. He retrieved the manager and I began the conversation apologizing to him regarding my behavior. I advised that I let the poor behavior of the dealership bring out unprofessionalism in me and I responded with a harsh reaction to a few employees. I also advised him that I would this last time extent my time to answer any question that he had before I left. He had some questions and I answered all of them. One of his questions were; was there anything that he could do to fix this situation. I advised him that there was no reasonable amount money that would fix this situation. He also advised that he was thrown off guard when it came to the loyalty bonus and he was not sure how to handle it. He also stated that he was not aware that I was a “red carpet customer” which I was not sure how to take since two days ago that he stated that my name is constantly talked about around the dealership.
When the conversation was coming to a close, I advised him that I wanted to apologize to the finance employee because he received the brunt of my unprofessionalism and none of it was his fault. The manager advised that that employee was not working that day. I was advised that he would be working on Saturday. I told the manager that this would be an end to my business with Crossroads Ford of Cary, and left the dealership.
I returned to the dealership on Saturday and found the finance employee and extended my apology to him.
The weeks following, I have had sufficient time to think about the incident and reflect on the events that occurred. Since that time I assisted one employee at work in purchasing a new vehicle and I purchased a new vehicle myself. I no longer recommend Crossroads Ford of Cary and definitely have a bad experience to share with everyone. I shy away from negative tendencies because I believe that they create negative situations; in this case however, I will apply the same energy towards expressing my experience to all that I can just as I did when my experiences were exceptional.
I hope that this letter does not fall on deaf ears; I was truly disappointed in the Ford Experience. It is truly amazing that my value in the eyes of Crossroads Ford of Cary went from feeling like a Million Dollar Customer to a customer not worth $500.
Please be aware, if you are a customer of Crossroads Ford of Cary and it is not your first purchase with them, make sure your customer loyalty bank means something.
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