My Review Of Koons Silver Spring Ford / Lincoln:
The ABSOLUTE WORST customer service and quality work in my 31 years as a Ford owner. Based on positive reviews on this website, I took my Explorer in to have numerous standard and/or minor maintenance issues addressed in May 2012. In July, I went in because the driver's side window was stuck in the down position--unrelated to my May visit, of course.
In the dismal July visit, they replaced my power window assembly for nearly $600. Upon picking up my car, I discovered the door panel's trim had been broken and window/door lock switches' plastic cover/housing was grossly crooked. [BTW, the stuck window repair required door panel removal and cover/housing.] Chris Austin (service manager on duty at 5:00 PM) queried the tech (within my view but not within my hearing distance) and the tech reportedly told Mr. Austin the trim was already broken when I had brought in the car. Mr. Austin said the tech was among his most experienced and that techs are not penalized if they come clean on damages they cause--the dealership just eats the cost. [However, too many oops breakages by a single tech surely raise Koons corporate eyebrows.] Whatever the policy was and the tech claimed, I knew with 100% certainty the trim was intact when I took in the car. Moreover, that "pre-existing" damage was never documented in the service paperwork; the tech reportedly had never mentioned it to the service adviser; and of course nobody had called to tell me there was supposed "pre-existing" damage to the immediate area they worked on and/or to ask if I wanted it repaired. Additionally, I had been overcharged/double charged to the tune of approx $50. Chris Austin was an arrogant, unprofessional manager on duty who treated me with the utmost disrespect. He refused to accept responsibility for the damage, told me he would not get replacement trim or a door panel, said he'd glue the trim back on, and grossly misspelled his boss' name ("Ruppert" instead of Ruprecht) when I requested his supervisor's name. The supervisor/Fixed Operations Director (Todd Ruprecht) was courteous and more professional. However, he gave me the run-around in several e-mails over a two week period. Knowing I wanted my trim replaced rather than glued, he would not specify how they would repair my car and he repeatedly ignored my requests for contact information for Koons' senior-most official and Ford's regional honcho. Finally, I took the car in to have the damage repaired and waited for my car. Pursuant to my questioning, Mr. Ruprecht candidly agreed that his tech broke my door trim, had done a shoddy install job on the switch housing/cover, and had clearly been untruthful for unknown reasons about the supposed pre-existing damage. I appreciated such candor after so many denials by others. Russell Pentz (shop manager) took my car into shop, applied "epoxy" (i.e., glue) to the broken door trim on (which was not my desired solution, but the only one Koons Ford offered me despite my insistence) and replaced crooked switch housing/cover (whose plastic tabs had been broken off by the same tech who broke the trim). To his credit, Russel Pentz was apologetic and very professional. Mr Ruprecht reimbursed me the approx $50 I had been over-charged/double charged and off I went. During that corrective visit, Mr. Chris Austin walked right by me multiple times and never apologized or even acknowledged my presence--although he clearly knew who I was and why I was there. Mr. Ruprecht was an adept and politically correct politician who knew from the beginning they would merely glue my trim, never gave me the contact info I requested (only providing me Alex Perdikis' info), and never righted the matter. In my view, only Russell Pentz seemed genuinely concerned over the series of errors and my resultant angst and time wasted.
On my May 2012 first ever visit to this dealership I had multiple minor items addressed (including radiator hose replacement) totaling $3300, I THOUGHT at the time I was satisfied with the work. However, the first time I drove the car after getting it back home, it leaked coolant. The service adviser told me to take the car in right away. Add to the previous $3300 just over $500 more for a new intake manifold which they easily convinced me was unrelated to the previous $3300 of work performed. Considering the gross dishonesty displayed in the July 2012 incident, I wonder if they didn't crack my intake manifold in and subsequently charge me to fix what they had broken.
All involved at Koons surely knew they had permanently lost a customer. Sadly, despite my decades of brand loyalty, I will probably never again buy another Ford. Koons knows very well who I am. If they make good-faith amends, I will update this posting and others on the web. However, I'd bet they really don't care that they lost a customer because they have my $4,000+ in their pocket and a large DC-metro area customer base on which to pull-off similar shenanigans.
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Koons Silver Spring Ford / LincolnAdded:
12/27/2012 12:25:44 PM
Mr. Gales account of what happened with his Explorer is mostly true - we did treat him poorly on the first noticing of the problem, however once I got involved I kept in contact to meet when it was convenient for him, we were ready for his arrival, Russell Pentz repaired the vehicle to his satisfaction at the time - not sure if something has changed since we fixed the broken door panel in September - I also have attached an email from myself to Mr. Gales on 9/4 providing all the information he requested for Koons and Ford Motor Co. contact info that I am allowed to supply - again, I never missled Mr. Gales, I told him we would fix, not replace, and to my knowledege he was satisfied with the repair. We converesed in my office on all his concerns and I agreed with him that the visit in July was not the way it should have been handled - below is the body of the email from 9/4.
Mr. Gales - thanks for the opportunity - I think the best day is the 18th as next week I am in and out at meetings - Russ and I will meet with you upon arrival to discuss the repair, I will also have the previous billing gone over with you - as far as your request for contacts, our stores are individually operated by the GM - ours is Alex Perdikis, who also happens to be part owner. You can reach him at 301-890-6100 ext 19101 or at firstname.lastname@example.org - anything reffered to our managemant company comes right back to him. As far as a contact with Ford, you can call the Customer Assistance Center at 800-392-3673 they can take your information and supply you with address information and whom to contact. I am not at liberty per Ford to give out direct contact information - look forward to meeting you on the 18th. Please confirm
Todd Ruprecht Fixed Operations Director
Koons of Silver Spring