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Bad Customer Service From Ford Dealers

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A little back story to set the scene.

In the past whenever I’ve had my cars serviced or MOT’ed I’ve always used a reliable mobile mechanic who comes to my place of work during week which is very convenient to me.

In June 2016 I traded in my 2008 Ford Focus for a 2015 model, this is 3rd Focus I’ve owned and by far the newest. Because my family and I were away for a week’s holiday next month I rang my mechanic to book my car in for a service as well as inform him about me having a newer model. At first he congratulated me in my purchase but advised me to have my car service by a main dealer because ‘It’ll be covered by a warranty’

As soon as I ended the call I booked a service online via the Fords website, but because I was only available on a few Saturdays of the month the nearest dealer that had an appointment on my chosen date was about 15 miles drive from home, so I booked it. Within the hour I realised that I was meeting other members of my family in Brighton on that date and as I didn’t know how long a service takes ( the mechanic I use always comes to my work place), I sent an E-mail off cancelling my appointment. There was no reply sent back to me, but when I checked the website with my reference number, no details were found.

I booked my new appointment online was at my ‘local’ dealers about 8 miles from home, but when I went through the process of entering my details and choice of service, the price I was presented with was £0.00 where as my service at the other place would had been £149.00, I just assumed I had made some sort of error on their website and this was the service plan that my mechanic had been talking about, so as a precaution I printed off my online booking form.

The Day Of The Service.

I arrived at my local Fords good and early and while dropping off my spare keys off and signed some paperwork. I enquired with the assistant behind the desk ‘do you need my locking wheel nut?’ ‘Yes’ he said ‘just leave it on your passenger seat’. As I still had my main key to the car I got my locking wheel nut out of the tool box I keep in the boot along with my document wallet which carries all my cars paperwork on the passenger seat.

3 hours or so later I received a phone call informing me that my car was ready for collection, and at first I was verbally told by the same assistant I saw in the morning that the charge for the service would be £149.00 but when I presented my printed off booking form he said ‘Oh, it’s a service plan’ and after a few taps on his keyboard I was handed my spare keys and a ‘Vehicle inspection Checksheet’ which was priced at the bottom £0.00. Once I returned to my car and gave it a quick once over, I replaced the locking wheel nut in the boot, my document wallet back in the glove box and drove home.


On Monday morning I parked up at work and I thought crossed my mind my service book had been stamped, but it wasn’t in my document wallet, I did question myself whether or not I received one with the car when I purchased it, but I remembered looking through it at few stamps that the car had already acquired. So before I started work I sent an E-mail off to a Service Adviser who had previously Emailed me confirming my new service date:


I had my car serviced on Saturday but when I checked my document wallet in my glovebox this morning, I noticed that my service book was missing.
Would it be possible someone could have a look for it?


If it helps, it may have the cars old number plate of LM64 ... on the service stamps.


I sure you realise how important this book is to the resale value of the car.



The reply back I received was:

I have checked the paperwork and the technician has stated there was no service book in the vehicle. There is however an outstanding bill to pay for the service of £149.



I was slightly confused by both statements, I was 100% sure the service book was with the vehicle and the blunt request for payment. So I replied back on the same evening:

With reference to the service book:


I am 100% sure the service book was in the wallet because It’s been there since June of last year when I purchased the car, is it worth mentioning again the number plate would had been LM64 … before it was changed to K16 …. If this item cannot been located I will have to have to take this matter further.


 With reverence to the outstanding bill:


Please find attached a PDF file of the online booking E-mail I received shortly after booking which is priced at £.00. This question was also brought up on Saturday before I collected my car but was amended to £0.00 when I presented said document ( If needed I can send you a my ‘Vehicle Inspection Checksheet’ which shows a clean bill of health and a total of £0.00)




I also received a phone call from a Maggie on behalf of your franchise today asking me how the service went, I mentioned at the time about the missing service book, which she made a note of, but there was no mention of any outstanding balance.




I Hope this helps.






Sometime during the following morning their reply in my in box read:



Please see attached copy of service booking we received for your vehicle with the booking reference and vehicle registration. Also the job card which you have signed You would also of been presented with a proforma when dropping the vehicle off. We require payment of the outstanding balance of £149 within 24 hours. You have also signed the job card which states that you agree to pay for all work and parts required.




Again the request for payment was blunt and now there was a time limit with no mention of any consequence.

One of the attached documents had my signature on it but their version had a handwritten note of ‘No Service book’ added to it which I had no knowledge of, and was not mentioned when I collected my car, so in the evening I E-mailed back:


My original book was with Haywards Heath, but I had forgotten that I had to be in Brighton by the afternoon, so I cancelled it in case the car wasn’t ready by then. Yes the price was £149.00


When I rebooked my service at Portslade the service price was £0.00, all I did was followed the links to book a service and I just thought it was included on some sort of warranty set up by the previous owner and that I had booked it incorrectly in the first place. I usually get a private mobile mechanic to service my cars I’ve had in the past, but he advised me to get it done at a dealers because it will still be under warranty.


Whilst it’s clear that I signed the Job card, I only saw it when I dropped the car off, I did not see it when I collected it because I would had seen that an additional comment about the service book had been added.


This issue really needs to be resolved as soon as possible, but I need to know why did the assistant accept my confirmation and then present me with a repriced bill? and what happens after 24 hours?


I also work serving the public, and if I had a customer who had been told that something was £0.00 and then be chased by E-mail for payment afterwards is pretty poor customer service.



Since then I’ve had no further communication from anyone at Ford and many 24 hours has passed, I never did find out what would had happened, have they never heard of cause and effect?

There are still outstanding questions that I require to be answered and my service book, a vital part which shows that some care has be taken and adds value to car when sold, is still missing.



Maybe something will appear in my in box tomorrow, or have they 'dropped the charges' because they can't answer my questions?

The service book I can replace, but the services and inspection stamps are unfortunately lost along with some resale value of my car.

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your story is quite long winded and i'm having trouble identifying the issues beyond a lost service book.

all i would say is when booking repairs or servicing at a ford dealership its probably best to communicate directly with whichever garage you have chosen rather than use a national network online system , its just another layer of admin that will just get cocked up by someone somewhere

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Ford UK in my book have been entirely unreasonable in my own issue with my tailgate trim rubbing, even to the point of not providing gratis the vinyl repair stickers (£6!).

The individual Ford dealer I use are excellent however, and is a stark comparison to the actual Ford company CS.

With regards to the service price issue - can you post a redacted copy of the email saying it will be £0, and any other documents saying that? I wonder if you have signed something to say you are agreeing to said price - mis-pricing or a mistake on the website may not help (although i've always paid my bill before being allowed the keys back, so not sure).

The service book - if it's absolutely not anywhere else in the car (look in the boot, by the spare wheel, glove box, center console, etc) and you're sure you had one, it must be with the dealer. You could try emailing the previous dealer you bought it from to see if they have a full record of service history they can send you but it is a long shot. Maybe turning up in person at the dealer will provoke them into finding it? (Or if they have found it, are they keeping it until you pay the alleged bill?)

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i would be driving over there in person if i were you to get the matter resolved, i've had this before where the service book hasn't been put back in the car and also at times they hadn't even bothered to stamp it!

with the £149 do u have a service plan? sounds to me they have got confused but that's their mistake and they should treat customers better than that, they need recognise they made mistake and its now free on this occasion.

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Did you buy the car from a Ford dealer?if so do you remember anything about a service plan being sold to you? Ford dealers normally give you quite a hard sell on the service plans so I wouldn't be surprised if you had one when you got the the car- if so you should have a confirmation of the plan given at purchase. Certainly some mix up somewhere. 

Definitely chase them for the service book. Like you say it would have a massive affect on any resale value. 

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