Never deal with Ford Credit

Never, ever, if you can at all avoid it, deal with Ford Credit (Canada), nor Dams Ford/Lincoln

So, as you may know, Leah and I used to have a blue Ford Focus. We leased it in 2001, and the lease expired in 2004. We should have guessed at the beginning of the lease, when it was overly complicated, and despite us reading through all the paperwork, we still ended up having to pay 50% more than we thought we had agreed on up front.

During the lease, all was fine, and using their website was, I’ll admit, pretty painless.

But the end, the end was terrible, and still ongoing. First, we never received any kind of end-of-lease communication. Not from Ford Credit, not from Dams Ford. They claimed, when we called, to have sent them, and then told us our old address, citing that as the reason that we didn’t get anything. Well, we had our mail forwarded. Also, we’d quite successfully received communication at our new address from both Ford Credit & Dams Ford. So that clearly, was a lie.

When returning our car, we knew that our car had some damage. Some scratches on the side, and a damaged windshield. So I called Dams and asked if we should go to ICBC to deal with this, or if they’d take it up with ICBC on our behalf when we returned it, seeing as the end-of-lease date was soon. And they said, no, just bring it in and it will get sorted at their end. So on the day the lease expired, I drove out to Surrey to return the car. Suddenly, during the walkthrough, I’m told that no, they won’t go to ICBC. I should have gone to ICBC before. The lease is expiring, and so there’s no time for me to go to ICBC now. So suddenly, instead of owing ICBC my $300 deductible, I owe Dams Ford $1000 (or so – it was actually a little more). And it’s not like I can argue or anything – the lease is up. So I agree to pay this, and after some finangling, worked out a payment plan (I didn’t have that much on hand, of course)

And then I tried to get through the actual paperwork, with some guy who clearly had no idea what he was doing, and who had to keep running out of the little office to ask questions, etc. And when all was said and done, I didn’t have a receipt or a copy of anything. Nothing to show I’d returned the car to Ford, or anything. I went home, but Leah called and made them fax us copies for our records.

And some time went by, and we received a cheque from Ford Credit Canada, the amount equal to a monthly payment. So we figured, apparently incorrectly, that we’d overpaid by a month (it wasn’t exactly clear in the lease when our last payment was – whether we made one more payment, or one less. So we made one more). It turns out now, many, many months later, that this cheque from Ford Credit was actually the damage deposit that they were to send directly to Dams, to help cover the costs of repairing the car. But we had no idea.

Now, Dams Ford is calling us demanding we pay back this damage deposit. And I understand their position – they’re out $500. But on the other hand, I really don’t think at this point it’s my problem. Ford Credit owes Dams $500, it’s true. I could see the argument that I might owe Ford Credit $500. Once Ford Credit pays Dam, I might be willing to work something out with Ford Credit. But I’m pretty damn sure that I don’t owe Dams Ford $500. But who do they harrass? Me. Why? Because it’s alot easier to harrass a customer for $500 than it is to harrass a monolithic corporation for $500.

Regardless of the outcome of this little disagreement, I’m pissed to all hell at Ford Credit & Dams Ford. So if you’re buying a new car. Don’t get a Ford at Dams. And no matter where you get it from, save yourself some headaches and don’t use Ford Credit.