Ford drops F-bomb on Focus RS owner (epic customer service 'fail')

In a shocking development, Ford has been charged with honesty, in the first degree. The F-bomb has finally landed... (Language warning.)

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HOW TO FUMBLE AN F-BOMB

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Social media moments don’t get much more deliciously awkward than this: It’s been alleged on Facebook that a Ford service manager called a Focus RS owner a very rude name indeed when the voicemail recording continued, inconveniently, after the service manager presumed he had ended the call.

Now, I’d be the first to admit that internet scams abound, and this could all be an elaborate fake. But if it’s not, I think most of us would agree that, like many aspects of inter-personal communication, letting the other party in on your true feelings is a speed hump n the road to achieving the resolution you want.

(Playing 'thinks & says' is better: Like when the boss reams you out over something that wasn’t your fault. 'Thinks': F-wit. 'Says': You’re absolutely right. I’ll ensure this never happens again. How can I work with you to make this right? This works because bullshit is the universal relationship spak-filler.)

WHAT DOES IT REALLY MEAN?

In case you were wondering, the term at the centre of this excrement sandwich actually means:

 
fuckwit
noun, vulgar slang
'a stupid or loathsome person'

When you put it like that, it could be half the population. Stupid or loathsome - OK. The customer here could be both, or either. How would we know? And it’s such an subjective determination. A mere matter of belief. Still, accuracy is hardly the issue. It’s just not a good look to refer to a customer in this way, is it? (If it’s true.)

MEET THE CUSTOMER

The customer is Xander Svetman, who posted the increasingly popular alleged recording on Facebook, where it earned 1200 likes, 800 comments and 500 shares. A tidy piece of Ford anti-marketing, any way you look at it.

I wonder if the dealer has a ‘bringing the brand into disrepute’ termination clause in its franchise agreement? Probably.

The dealership where the F-bomb exploded is allegedly Titan Ford in the beachside Sydney suburb of Brookvale. Mr Svetman claims he is the third person to purchase an RS from the dealership after an agonising nine-month wait. And he gets it serviced there, loyally enough.

Imagine Mr Svetman’s despair when he learned the base engine block for the RS has the dodgiest possible design for a high-performance engine: the floating deck, where the cylinders are unsupported at the top of the block, which allows them to move relative to the head, and destroy the head gasket, inconveniently.

Like me you might wonder why this was never picked up by Ford’s engineers in R&D. There’s no good answer to this question. Because all answers I can see are orbiting around planet Incompetence.

This floating deck accounts for the global epidemic of Focii RS emitting clouds of white water vapour on their way down the road - yet another example of Ford’s commitment to under-done engineering design.

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Rather than re-design the block, Ford has dodgy-ed up a more robust head-gasket, presumably with the intention of pushing the failure of the gasket into the post-warranty domain, where it’s easier to fob it off on the customer, and make more money. More information on the now infamous Focus RS head gasket failure mechanism >>

CUSTOMER 'DON'T CARE'. AGAIN.

 Bad design means blown head gaskets around the world for the Focus RS - an especially dodgy look for the blue oval's hot hatch halo car...   More info on this >>

Bad design means blown head gaskets around the world for the Focus RS - an especially dodgy look for the blue oval's hot hatch halo car... More info on this >>

I get the sense that the dealership basically brushed Mr Svetman when he wanted the fix implemented - it’s not really a ‘fix’; more like a ‘temporary repair’, a deferment of the inevitable - anyway, they brushed him until April, and I got a sense communications went south at this point.

That good, old fashioned Ford customer care. Yes!

And then this exquisite alleged voicemail. The icing on the bullshit birthday cake. A gift from social media heaven. (If it’s not a fake.)

Of course, I have no way to confirm that the post or the recording is authentic. It may be a misrepresentation of the truth. But adding weight to my impression that, on the balance of probabilities, it probably is genuine, is the fact that it’s been up for several days, and if it were fake there are probably solid grounds to coerce its removal.

 Teenage Rupert Ninja Turtle, yesterday. Hero in a half-shell.

Teenage Rupert Ninja Turtle, yesterday. Hero in a half-shell.

MAINSTREAM MEDIA

And then there’s Alexis Carey, a journalist who works for media magnate and founding member of the teenage mutant ninja turtles, Rupert Murdoch.

(One of the original heroes in a half shell. Turtle power!)

When Ms Carey reported on this for the Daily Telegraph (which is not quite the UK’s awesome Sunday Sport tabloid) … but it is close.

Anyway when Ms Carey reported on this incident for Uncle Rupey, she said:

 
“Mr Svetman confirmed the dealer principal visited him yesterday, and he would not be commenting further until the situation was resolved” - Alexis Carey, reporting in the Daily Telegraph newspaper
 

At the time I recorded this episode, Mr Svetman’s post and the alleged voicemail recording were still live on Facebook. Ms Carey also reported that Ford Australia communications chick Jasmine Mobarek claimed the company was aware of the situation:

 
“We have apologised to the customer and we are working with them to address their recall repair.” - Ford Australia spin doctor Jasmine Mobarek
 

To me at least it would seem strange to apologise to somebody when the circumstances of the alleged offence are materially in dispute. Ms Mobarek went on, allegedly:

 
“The actions of the staff member were disappointing and are not in line with Ford Australia’s values or expectations.” - Ford Australia spin doctor Jasmine Mobarek
 

This leads me to conclude that there’s most probably no real dispute about the unfortunate F-bomb voicemail. I mean, it’s hardly disappointing if it didn’t actually happen, right?

FORD'S TRUE VALUES & EXPECTATIONS

Still, more than anywhere else, this statement by Ms Mobarek is where I have to disagree vehemently with Ford’s 2IC of spin doctoring the facts. In my opinion, calling us all fuckwits (at least implicitly) is exactly in line with Ford’s values and expectations. Ford has been F-bombing us all, for decades.

Ford dropped the F-bomb on the Australian taxpayer when it took all those government grants - billions of our cash - and still failed to honour its moral obligation to support Australian manufacturing jobs.

The company deployed another epic F-bomb with its outrageous party at Fox Studios to celebrate the rosy post-manufacturing future.

There has been carpet F-bombing over the infamous PowerShit Transmission, with the dodgiest clutch pack design ever.

Anyone who cares about road safety was F-bombed when Ford deployed ‘Any F-wit Can Drift’ mode in the Focus RS, and anyone who bought one was F-bombed in the manner of Mr Svetman over the spectacularly under-engineered engine block in that high-performance shitheap.

The Mustang - an F-bomb as a safety disgrace. Full story >> Might as well be a Proton in a crash, plus the disgracefully cynical strip-out of safety assistance features for Australia and Europe. Another brick in the F-bomb wall. You should not do that to the halo car. You Muppets.

Ford is even waiting patiently to F-bomb you right now - with one of the world’s worst DPF designs in the Ranger, which opens the door to burning you to death in screaming, brutal agony as you commune with nature and enjoy the great outdoors. It’s like the resurrection of the Pinto - good times. Full story >>

Official ACCC Ranger recall notice >>

They’re still selling the Ranger with this known life-threatening safety defect - and they have been all bushfire season - tell me that’s not yet another spectacular Ford F-bomb, right up in yo’ face.

CONCLUSION

I don’t know about you, but I would rather be called an F-wit, authentically, face-to-voicemail, like a man. Because then I would be in no doubt as to exactly where I stand. And because, you know, sticks and stones…

This implicit, under the table F-bomb blitzkrieg, which seems increasingly Ford’s forte, in line with its core values and expectations, despite spin central’s protestations to the contrary: I hate that. I mean, with Ford, you don’t even get a reach-around. And your intelligence is insulted. It’s disgraceful and undignified.

Let me know in the comments feed below if you have been F-bombed by our blue oval friends.

Subscribe to my YouTube channel >> I dare you.

And a quick shout-out to Uncle Rupey’s reporter Alexis Carey. Very brave. Respect. Because Ford was probably an advertiser, and I can hear the conversation in the boardroom right now. It's never pleasant... Which is why the conventional mediums are dying. To them I’d say:

Just get on with it. We don’t need you any more.

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