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Ford Alabang boss issues statement on misconduct by service technicians

A customer complains about a couple of technicians who test-drove their vehicle

Very admirable on the part of Ford Alabang’s leadership to come forward and issue a statement. PHOTO FROM FORD ALABANG

Last Tuesday, we posted a message from a reader who had a grievance against Ford Alabang. In a nutshell, the person had a beef against the dealer after discovering the audio recording on the dashcam of their Ford Ranger Raptor, which they had brought to the dealer for repairs.

“On May 7, we brought our unit to you for a fuel injector replacement,” the message said. “Our dashcam automatically records any activity each time the vehicle is turned on. So here goes our story.”

If you’re not inclined to check the post (assuming you didn’t already see it when we shared it), here’s the summary: Two technicians from Ford Alabang test-drove the pickup and were shown and heard to be a little inconsiderate in the way they were “testing” the Raptor—including not slowing down for a speed bump.

The main issue of the video sender was the technicians’ behavior in carrying out their task, which was “highly unprofessional and unacceptable, as it shows a lack of care for our vehicle’s condition.” And as the message pointed out, the “truck was not brought in for testing its shocks. It is evident that the mechanic drove over the speed bump recklessly, with no regard for the impact on the vehicle’s shocks.”

Dealers should not remove or disconnect dashcams inside vehicles. SCREENSHOT FROM MIA CRUZ CARIN

Obviously, readers were disappointed with Ford Alabang, with many demanding a statement from the dealer. Well, we got exactly that from chief operation officer and dealer principal Paolo Borromeo. We want to make it clear that we didn’t have to seek him out for this statement—he voluntarily contacted us to give it on his own. Which is admirable on his part, to be honest.

Here is the statement:

In light of the recent video circulating on social media, we at Ford Alabang have taken action on the matter immediately and have implemented additional measures to prevent any recurrence. We would like to assure all our present and potential customers that this is an isolated incident. We have communicated with the customer directly. We encourage and value feedback from all our customers whether it is positive or negative. It is through feedback that helps us improve our service to you, our customers.

We asked him this question: “Moving forward, how can you assure your customers that this incident will no longer occur?”

He replied: “I believe it will be lying to say it will never happen again. The best we could do is put systems and processes that will safeguard the interest of the customer and that of the company. For example, (1) only have a few authorized test drive personnel; (2) create more awareness amongst our team members of respect for property of others; and (3) make the team understand that this business is about trust.”

You might say that this is just a PR move to regain the trust of customers, but you have to give the dealer executive his due props for having the balls to give a statement through us. He didn’t have to. The usual reaction from car dealers that are being publicly criticized is…no reaction. Dedma. Many companies play by this craven rule: “Don’t mind criticism; all gripes eventually die down.”

The fact that Mr. Borromeo stepped forward—even at the risk of being ridiculed on social media—is enough to convince us that he truly wants to do right by his customers. Let’s give Ford Alabang a chance to rectify the matter. After all, no car dealer is perfect.

Vernon B. Sarne

Vernon is the founder and editor-in-chief of VISOR. He has been an automotive journalist since July 1995. He became one by serendipity, walking into the office of a small publishing company and applying for a position he had no idea was for a local car magazine. God has watched over him throughout his humble journey. He writes the ‘Spoiler’ column.