An Open Letter to Ford

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Dear Ford Foray Dealership in Taunton

Nine months ago my friend started the process to get a car on the Motability scheme.  A Ford C-Max – which has a fabulously tall boot which is perfect for fitting the hoist in for her wheelchair. Her current car is much smaller, and she has to break her electric wheelchair up into six pieces to fit it in, which is an exhausting process when you have multiple chronic conditions including Juvenile Idiopathic Arthritis, Fibromyalgia and Hypermobility.

Motability decided to be awkward when approving her application, and she had to fight with them for seven months before they agreed that the C-Max was the right car for her needs, but finally she was given the go-ahead, the order was placed and she began counting down the days!

Not only would it have a hoist, but Motability (through their charitable grant-giving scheme) paid for some optional extras to make her life easier including an automatic boot opener, parking sensors and keyless entry.  These extras are essential to someone living in chronic pain, and can make a world of difference. As luck would have it, the car was already built with the optional extras she required, so it was reserved for her.

Having the C-Max also brought about other exciting possibilities for her, such as being able to arrange visits to friends and a short break away, that she’d been restricted from doing in her current car, which due to its size has to have the back seats down in order to fit her wheelchair in.

The car was brought down from the north to Taunton ready for my friend to collect.  She then received a call from the dealership to say they were having problems registering the car, so the pick-up would have to be delayed for a couple of days.  She agreed, but then received a second call on Monday to say that they’d realised why they couldn’t register it – another dealership had sold her car.

Her car.

That she’d waited months for, with all the extras Motability had paid extra for.

She was very upset, as you can imagine – and then Ford stuck the boot in even further, and informed her that because the C-Max is being relaunched, there is only one other car in the country available.  She was told she’d have to wait another month for it – and it wouldn’t have any of the extras she needed included. This also meant all her plans for having a holiday, and visiting friends suddenly couldn’t happen either, as they were all planned for this month and aren’t possible in her current car.

How could this have happened?  How could a dealership have sold a car that was ordered through the Motability Scheme, with lots of extras to make a disabled person’s life easier?

And how can the dealership think offering a car without all those extras be okay?  That’s NOT what was ordered, and not what Motability have paid for.

The Motability scheme has been around since 1978 and 3.5 million cars have been leased through it – surely Ford should know what they’re doing by now?

Would a customer who was purchasing directly be treated this way?

How are you going to put this right, Ford?

Yours sincerely

Jade at The Chronic Chronicles

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