The drama that’s surrounding Ford Bronco reservations and reservation holders being hit with markups is getting worse. And sometimes it ends with the dealer getting what they want while the customer gets screwed. A tip sent to us by reader b4crimes details the drama that played out surrounding a Bronco reservation holder on the Bronco owner forums, Bronco6G.com.
The original poster, one Sherminator, detailed when and how he placed his Bronco reservation.
Reserved 7/13 within the first 45 minutes, placed my order in January, built July 2nd, Dirt Mountain till September, and delivered 10/14.
Was checking the pizza tracker yesterday and noticed that it was delivered to DCH Ford of Eatontown.
I’ve been reaching out to my sales guy (who I’m friends with) the past few weeks and he’s been acting slightly different.
I give him a call at 11 today (have off this week), so he proceeds to tell me that they are marking them up 10k now. I drive up to the dealership after the call, talk to my sales guy and then I talk to the manager and he trying bullshitting with this “value” talk and I basically cut through the BS and straight up ask them if they are going to take it off….which I proceed out the doo and tell them to shove the Bronco where the sun doesn’t shine and a bunch of four letter words.
Needless to say I’m furious at this point.
As I highlighted before, Ford (supposedly) has price protection for Bronco reservation holders. The price protection covers reservations made before March 19th of this year. Ford also recommends a written and signed purchase agreement, something another forum member asked if Sherminator had. He responded with an image.
That sheet that you see here is a WBDO (Web Based Dealer Ordering) sheet. Something like this can only be printed out by the dealer. As you can see at the bottom, Sherminator’s info has been blacked out as well as what looks to be a signed agreement by him. Two things however make this sheet of paper nearly useless: Sherminator didn’t get the dealer to sign it. His signing of “I Scott ____ agree that…” is essentially him acknowledging the order and build. Nothing more. Also, and this is the most glaring one that many pointed out, the sheet doesn’t list the final sales price. It’s just the MSRP plus options.
After the forum got popular, things heated up for the dealer. As has been shown before, consumers can apply pressure to dealers through negative comments online specifically places like Google, Yelp, and negative comments on Facebook. The online community came together to back Sherminator over the issue. Here was another dealer using the excuse of market conditions to be greedy. The dealership was getting hammered with one-star reviews. Reviews referencing the Bronco reservation situation poured in among existing negative reviews of sales and service. It got so bad on Yelp that a disclaimer at the top of the business page reads “This business is being monitored by Yelp’s Support team for content related to media reports.” People were even reporting the dealer 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 that the company had created fake accounts and were going around countering the negative reviews with positive ones. Someone counted that there had been 69 new five-star reviews in less than 24 hours. People started to ask how the dealer was countering the negative comments. One user on the Bronco owner forums noticed that comments on the dealer’s Facebook page were being manipulated.
I don’t see the newer reviews on this item anymore other than mine on the google page, but this dealer has been changing the settings and using their admin privileges to combat the negative reviews. On Facebook, they have controlled adding newer posts and also applied settings to either most relevant or no post being shown. Someone had posted a screenshot of the 5-star reviews and I had seen earlier today one created which coincidently had to comment on all the 1-star reviews saying that this was just a group of people trying to tear down this company without reason and now I can’t find it.
The forum comments were a mess. Many came after Sherminator himself over previous comments he made about Bronco reservation holders getting their vehicles at another dealership called Granger Ford. Because of those comments, some didn’t have his side with one saying “OP was bagging all over Granger people, calling them idiots, just a few days ago. Now that he is getting screwed over he can choke on a bag of dicks for all I care.”
The reviews and forum responses weren’t the only things that changed though. Sherminator’s responses changed as well taking on a middle ground both sides approach. For instance, he pointed out that both the dealer and people defending him were using fake accounts to post reviews and that could mean both sides are wrong.
His tone changed further pretty much calling out the forum members he approached for help for making the situation worse while saying he’s not blaming them for what happened.
Some, myself included, think that the dealer threatened legal action against what was happening regarding the reviews which could explain the sudden change in tone. But the final update that Sherminator posted all but confirmed that the dealer won.
Not only does he not get his Bronco, he pretty much has to apologize and request that people take down the negative reviews that they put up in support of him trying to force the dealer into giving him the Bronco at MSRP. This is all on top of the dealer having one more Bronco in their inventory to be greedy with someone else over.
And telling him that they’ll help him get another reservation at another dealer instead of doing the right thing and selling him what he ordered at the right price just adds insult to injury. Removal of the negative reviews is exactly what happened though. The negative reviews that went up on Yelp during the debacle are gone. Google’s negative reviews are still up with dealer responses.
All of this is a prime example of both how and why the dealer model needs to die and how Ford screwed up the Bronco’s rollout with its reservation system. Ford should have done a better job of explaining to customers how reservations work. In a perfect world, Ford would’ve explained to dealers that the price that reservation holders see online after they spec’d their vehicles is the price they’ll pay at the dealer. But this world isn’t perfect. The company almost enables dealers to overcharge people that have waited over a year for their vehicle at the last minute with a useless price protection clause.
Update: It looks like Sherminator is getting his Bronco! Both Mike Levine, head of product communications at Ford, and Sherminator himself reached out to me to update me on the situation.
“I have come to an agreement with the dealership that they are reordering a 2022 MY Bronco for me, since they approached me in good faith after the incident. Ford is expediting the order for me and I will be receiving a signed purchase agreement at MSRP once the order is placed. I currently need to get in contact with my Sales guy (who I’m not sure is in today) to place the updated order.”