Ford dealership wins against forum community after scoring Bronco
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The drama surrounding Ford Bronco reservations and reservation holders to be hit with mark-ups is getting worse and worse. And sometimes it ends when the dealer gets what he wants while the customer gets fucked. A tip sent by the reader b4crimes details the drama that unfolded around a Bronco reservation holder on the Bronco owners forums, Bronco6G.com.
The original poster, a Sherminator, detailed when and how he placed his Bronco reservation.
I booked 7/13 in the first 45 minutes, ordered in January, built July 2, Dirt Mountain through September and delivered 10/14.
I was checking the pizza tracker yesterday and noticed it had been delivered to DCH Ford in Eatontown.
I’ve been in touch with my salesperson (who I’m a friend of) over the past few weeks and he’s acting a little differently.
I call him at 11 am today (off this week) so he tells me they are marking them at 10,000 now. I go to the dealership after the call, I talk to my salesperson, then I talk to the manager and he tries to fuck shit with that “value” talk and I basically cut the BS and ask them directly if they go take it on… that I get out of the doo and tell them to push the Bronco where the sun doesn’t shine and a bunch of four letter words.
Needless to say, I’m pissed off at this point.
As i pointed out before, Ford (supposedly) has price protection for Bronco reservation holders. Price protection covers bookings made before March 19 of this year. Ford also recommends a written document and sign purchase contract, something another forum member asked if Sherminator had. He responded with a picture.
This sheet you see here is a WBDO (Web Based Dealer Ordering) sheet. Something like this can only be printed by the reseller. As you can see at the bottom, Sherminator’s information has been withheld along with what appears to be an agreement signed by him. Two things, however, make this sheet of paper almost useless: Sherminator did not sign the dealer. His signature of “I Scott ____ agree that…” is essentially acknowledging him the command and the build. Nothing more. Additionally, and most blatantly many have pointed out, the sheet does not list the final sale price. It’s just the MSRP plus options.
After the forum got popular, things got really hot for the reseller. As has been shown before, consumers can pressure resellers through negative reviews online, especially in places such as Google, Bark, and negative comments on Facebook. The online community has come together to support Sherminator on the issue. Here is another dealer using the excuse of market conditions to be greedy. The dealership was hammered with one-star reviews. Critics referring to Bronco’s reservation situation have poured in amid the existing negative reviews about sales and service. It got so bad on Yelp that a disclaimer at the top of the business page reads, “This business is being watched by the Yelp support team for content related to media reports.” People were even reporting the dealership to local news networks.
Then all of a sudden things changed. People started to notice that some of the negative reviews and comments on Facebook, Yelp, and Google were changing. Some suspected the company of setting up fake accounts and countering negative reviews with positive reviews. Someone counted that there were 69 new five-star reviews in less than 24 hours. People started to ask how the dealership countered the negative comments. A user on the Bronco Owner’s Forums noticed that comments on the dealer’s Facebook page were being manipulated.
I no longer see new reviews on this item other than mine on the google page, but this reseller has changed the settings and used their admin privileges to combat negative reviews. On Facebook, they controlled the addition of new posts and also applied settings to either the most relevant posts or no posts. Someone had posted a screenshot of the 5 star reviews and I had seen one created earlier today that coincidentally had to comment on all of the 1 star reviews saying it was only a group of people trying to demolish this business for no reason and now I can’t find it.
Forum comments were a mess. Many have come after Sherminator himself about previous comments he had made about Bronco reservation holders getting their vehicles from another dealership called Granger Ford. Because of those comments, some were not on his side with one saying, “OP bagged everyone from Granger, calling them idiots, just a few days ago.” Now that he’s screwed, he can choke on a bag of cocks as far as I care.
The reviews and forum responses weren’t the only things that changed though. Sherminator’s responses have also changed by taking a middle-ground approach on both sides. For example, he pointed out that the dealer and the people defending him are using fake accounts to post reviews, which could mean both parties are wrong.
His tone changed again as he called out to forum members he asked for help for making the situation worse while saying he doesn’t blame them for what happened.
Some, including myself, believe the dealership threatened legal action against what was going on regarding the reviews, which might explain the sudden change in tone. But the last update Sherminator released practically confirmed the dealership won.
Not only does he not get his Bronco, but he has to pretty much apologize and ask people to take back the negative reviews they’ve posted to support him by trying to force the dealer to give him the Bronco at the MSRP. It all adds up to the fact that the dealership has another Bronco in their inventory to be greedy for someone else.
And tell him that they will help him get another reservation at another one dealer instead of doing the right thing and selling him what he ordered for the right price only adds insult to injury. The removal of negative reviews is exactly what happened. The negative reviews that were received on Yelp during the debacle are gone. Google’s negative reviews always live up to reseller responses.
All of this is a prime example of how and why the dealership model has to die and how Ford screwed up the Bronco rollout with its reservation system. Ford should have explained better to customers how reservations work. In a perfect world, Ford would have explained to dealers that the price reservation holders see online after specifying their vehicles is the price they will pay at the dealership. But this world is not perfect. The company virtually allows dealers to overcharge people who have waited more than a year for their vehicle at the last minute with an unnecessary price protection clause.
Update: Looks like Sherminator is getting his Bronco! Mike Levine, Product Communications Manager at Ford, and Sherminator himself contacted me to keep me updated.
“I made an agreement with the dealer to recommend a Bronco MY 2022 for me as they approached me in good faith after the incident. Ford expedites the order for me and I will receive a signed purchase contract at MSRP once the order has been placed. I currently need to get in touch with my sales rep (who I’m not sure he is today) to place the update order.