Balaam Ford

Ranked #16 of 32 in Bromley

Services: MOT, Servicing, Tyres, Exhausts

Corkscrew Hill

WEST WICKHAM

Kent

BR4 9BA

Call 020 8777 1335

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"Dreadful customer service when caught scamming clients."

By Richard Wraith, 6 April 2022

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The staff at this dealership really need to get their processes and customer service training in check, because it's disgraceful. I've been using this garage for various repairs/MOTs for my cars for 14 years, without a problem, but never a service. I put my wife's new used car in here for a full service and what they did was disgraceful. The problems started as soon as we got the car back. £2000 worth of mostly false / poorly described "Advisories" with wordings and descriptions that were not even close to accurate. They wrote on the inspection sheet that one of the headlights was "full of water", when in fact there was a 2" patch of condensation. Not even close to "Full of water". £313 for a headlight. The brakes were 20% worn, so should be replaced, costing £231! Replaced is NOT an "Advisory" The disks have barely visible scoring, yet this was marked as "Pitted". The 2 are very different, neither meant the brakes needed replacing. They claimed the springs are all corroding and need replacing, costing approx £900, when they are not corroding at all. Some flakey paint on them is not a corroded spring! They went on to claim that the entire exhaust had to be replaced due to a rubber bracket not fitting and that the bracket was not available, so the whole exhaust had to be ordered at a cost of over £423! I found the exact part myself, for £2.10 within 5 minutes of looking. I had everything they had claimed double-checked by 2 separate garages, none of these faults were flagged up. NONE! The brakes were fine, the exhaust is fine, but just needed a rubber bracket to hold it up, the headlight is fine. The only thing that was found is that Balaam overtightened the living daylights out of the wheels when they put them back on. The Video walk around of the car was done at break-neck speed by a mechanic who clearly struggles to speak English or clearly, or both, as nothing he said could be understood in his video nor did he show the headlight being full of water. He does show the exhaust bracket not fitting, but again, to label this as "New Exhaust needed" is a scam. Very limited and poor choice of wording on the inspection report. All aimed to scare you into unnecessary work. I went back to Balaams to ask questions, and immediately, the receptionist Sally got into a proper mood and started taking it personally! I did explain calmly to her several times, "Don't take any of this personally, it wasn't you that serviced the car", but sadly, she seems to feel that every question was a personal attack and she got very defensive and rather loud at this point, to which she stormed off and got the parts guy to help. Again I asked, Why was the walk around done so fast that none of it can be understood? His response "There isn't time"... I asked "why they had labelled the headlight as being full of water?" to which he said "It had a patch of condensation inside it", so I asked, "Why wasn't that written instead of full of water?" His response "There isn't space on the form"... (This is a 1-page form, printed on 2 sheets of paper, leaving 3 empty sides...) I asked why they had advised an entirely new exhaust when it's just the bracket that needs replacing costing a few pounds, "Ford doesn't sell those, you have to buy the entire exhaust" (fALSE. Checked with other dealers) So I asked, why can't you just allocate the correct amount of time, to do it right? He just kept repeating himself at this point... There just isn't time... There isn't space on the form, and the items listed are just "Advisories" Overall, all of the staff here really are dreadfully lacking in customer service and their own procedures that THEY put iin place are not adequate to do provide the services they are mis-selling, and they truly do NOT want to listen to anything that might be helpful, like labelling things accurately, being factual on reports or allowing enough time to do the jobs correctly at all. I tried to book my own car in for a service, weeks in advance, arranged to have it collected on April 5th for a full service and MOT, and they never bothered to turn up, nor call. I rang them today to find out what happened, why didn't anybody collect the car or even call to confirm or ask why my car hadn't shown up and once again, Sulky Sally just blurts out "Well were busy"... This is how they treat customers with limited mobility, having just had a spinal operation a few days ago. You cannot depend on them at all and their "Service" is a con to upsell you work and parts that are not needed. Switched to Bristol Street Ford in Bromley and the difference is remarkable, it's night/day with professional customer service! Balaam could learn a lot...

Visited With

Partner's vehicle

Visited In

Jan 2022

Cost

£100-£500

Duration

5-9 hours

Visited For

MOT, Servicing, Repairs

Good Points

Nothing

Bad Points

Poor customer service and vehicle servicing slkills.

Expertise

Quality of Service

Speed

Helpfulness

Value for Money


"Suspicious"

By Stuart999, 24 June 2011

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I took my MK1 Ford Focus in for a cambelt change and service. A new pollen filter was recommended which I agreed to as it would only add £15 to the bill. I was called during the day to advise me that the pollen filter housing had 'deteriorated' and would need replacing. After doing some brief research on this it became apparent that when the housing seal fails, rain water will ingress into the passenger footwell. I can categorically state that no rain water was getting onto the the footwell before I took it in to Balaam Ford (and it has been raining quite a bit lately). The windows were not steaming up... no evidence of unwanted water ANYWHERE. I reluctantly agreed to a replacement housing after being told the car could now start leaking but asked the person I spoke to on the phone to keep the old part so I could have a look. When I went to collect the car, I had quite a lengthy discussion with the manager who explained that because the pollen filter housing is plastic and lives under the bonnet, it gets brittle and 'deteriorates' with age. Looking at the replaced part however it is not brittle at all... still very flexible infact. The top part has however been sheared away from the bottom... looks like the plastic rivets have been forced (when it was carelessly removed I imagine. I could quite happily have done without a new 15 GBP pollen filter... only got the flippin thing done because they suggested it... never mind the extra 38 GBP for a new housing that was doing its job very nicely before they touched it. I managed to get £10 off the 477 GBP bill but made it clear I would not be going back in future. Apparently I am the first person to take issue with this kind of thing... Balaam Ford apparently replace these parts 'all the time'. All a bit suspicious if you ask me.

Visited In

Jun 2011

Visited For

Servicing

Expertise

Quality of Service

Speed

Helpfulness

Value for Money

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