I have owned a number of Fords through the years and usually replace my vehicle before it rolls over 100k miles. I got a really great deal from Automax in Killeen, TX on my 2013 F150 4x4 SuperCrew and loved my truck and would defend Ford on just about any front. That was until I walked into the Ford service department of Covert in Hutto, TX. Having just purchased a GMC (for my wife who likes GMCs more than any other brand) from the Covert Family, I thought they would take care of me. But I feel like they just gave me answers I wanted to hear to get me out the door.
The issue my truck was having is a known issue (not known to me or anyone in my family) that the Ford F150 has a faulty fuel pump fuse that melts to the housing. If you want to know about the issue you can reference TSB-15-0137 – fuel filter fuse melting to housing. But Ford failed to notify me of this issue and they have not issued any recall. If they had, I could have saved $89 on a tow, $51 on a rental, and $294 on the service (which is robbery). The parts for the fix cost $24 directly from Ford and they keep them in stock. There are at least 2 videos online with my truck showing people how to fix the problem and the parts do come with a comprehensive instruction book that show step by step what to do… and many comment forums say they performed the conversion in under an hour and a certified mechanic can do the fix (while training how to do the xxxx fix) in under 20 minutes. That includes cleanup.
Now, the reason for my negative review is a mix of the customer service and the cost of labor. I accept that there is a cost for diagnostic… I do not accept that a diagnostic takes 1 hour of labor. I can get a Bluetooth diag tool on Amazon and hook my phone up and have the full system tested in under 10 minutes.
I was told that even though a this service takes 20 minutes to complete, Ford HQ mandates that the service department charge the ‘Book Time.’ Yes, the service manage used the term book time. Which seems like poppycock to me. Why would Ford implement a policy that would make customers angry? In my case the book time was 1.5 hours or more. But on the TSB issued directly by Ford the service time is .6 hours. Actually watching a certified mechanic do in under 20 minutes (when he is doing it for the first time ever) makes it feel like I am being lied to and cheated. To add to the mess one of the service people in the office with me tried to explain that before the TSB was issued by ford that the issue with my truck would take a lot longer to find and fix. So, the reason for the long labor time in the ‘book’ is to compensate for the time before the issue of the TSB. Essentially, I was told I am being charged extra labor because they need to make up for time lost on find an issue that was previously unknown. Even though they spend maybe 30 minutes to an hour (total) on my truck. I was also told the warranty time and ‘book time’ never match when looking at TSBs so the service department will charge the one with the highest price. This also makes no sense and feels like the customer is being cheated. It just gives me the feeling that this service department is trying to make more money and raise their own commissions.
The service manager did reduce my labor by $100 after my complaint, but that still meant I was way overcharged for labor. While reducing my charge they added a $30 shop supplies fee… I have no idea how they use $30 in shop supplies to change a xxxx fuse two spots over. Here is a breakdown of the charges for a simple fuse replacement/reroute:
Labor: $237.50 (I was told they charge $120 an hour)
Parts: $24.98 (for the fuse, wife, and shrink tubing)
Misc Charges: $30 (This is one that I called to clarify… apparently it’s for shop towels. No Joke.)
Now to the customer service… I was greeted and treated nicely during my whole time at Covert of Hutto. And the whole Covert Automotive group seems to want to resolve my issues… but the service department tech failed to keep me informed and actually left work without passing my information on. I had to call in and find out the status of my truck. Given that my fix takes only 20 minutes and that my truck was diagnosed early enough, I could have saved some money on my rental by having my issue fixed the same day. Because the whole issue can actually be fixed in under an hour. So this Ford Service Department potentially cost me even more money by failing to keep in communication with me. I should not, as a customer, have to call in at the end of the day and find out what is wrong with my truck only to find out that the mechanic knew what was wrong with my truck for a while. They wasted my time and my money!