YouTube channel Get Energi, which is mostly about electric vehicles and deep dives into the latest EVs on the market, was created by an electrical test engineer whose passion is learning about EVs and sharing them with his audience. In the video below, he shared a horrible buying experience he had at a Ford dealership when he purchased his Ford Mustang Mach-E.
He’s had the car for around two months and had been planning to do the video for some time. He explained that the video is complaining about buying the Mach-E and what a horribly bad experience he endured, not about the vehicle itself. Ford, if you’re reading this, please take notes. We need you as an ally for EVs, but we also need the EV buying process to be easy, not horrible.
Get Energi created the video in order to share his experience and hopes that Ford will learn and create a better EV buying process for its EV customers.
“I think they should skip the dealership altogether because it’s just horrible.”
He shared 5 reasons why his experience buying the Mach-E was horrible
He explained that Ford was pretty much copying Tesla’s reservation procedure. You reserve the car online and then they send you information on when it’s being made, shipped, etc. He noted they would ship it to the dealership of his choice.
“When you reserve this, it’s anywhere from three to six months to get your car, and yeah, I understand right now that the chip shortage is causing a lot of issues and I strongly believe that’s the reason it’s taking so long.”
I also want to note that Tesla owners have complained about the same issue — having to wait on their reservations. However, to be fair, Ford has had its factories and been making cars for much longer than Tesla. And many of Tesla’s critics often claim that legacy auto will sell more EVs than Tesla due to them being around much longer.
Back to the video, he explained some details about the ending of his F-150 lease, which was why he didn’t want to wait so long. So he called up several dealerships. Some said they had the vehicle in stock but that they were selling it for $10,000 over MSRP.
After a week, he was contacted by a dealership in Denver which told him they had the exact Mustang Mach-E he wanted. The customer was unable to afford the monthly payment and rejected the delivery. They told him that if he could come that day, then he could have it.
“The issue was that it’s like — it’s kind of like a double-edged sword. You’re just waiting so long for this car to get delivered because of reasons and then the other issue is the availability at the dealership lot — there is none, which is kind of sad. And when they have Mach-Es on the dealership lots, they’re actually called mannequins. So Ford says, ‘hey, you can’t sell his vehicle within, I think, four months or four thousand miles,’ because Ford wants all these customers to come in, test drive, and then reserve it online, which I can understand.
“But the issue really was when you’re calling these dealerships that are saying ‘oh, yeah, we have this red Mach-E for you and it’s available.’ And I’m like, ‘hey, is this a mannequin?’ and they’re like, ‘no, no no, I don’t know what that is.”
That dealership insisted the vehicle wasn’t a mannequin, then later said it was a mannequin and that he could test drive the vehicle but he couldn’t reserve it. … Keep in mind he already had one reserved. He explained that you really just had to call around and get on their list of buyers to call when a Mach-E gets rejected if you are in a rush for your vehicle.
The second issue was the markup, which comes in part due to high demand for the Mach-E.
“We’re getting a crazy large amount of markups and it’s ridiculous. Ford needs to control that situation better because just comparing it to Tesla’s model, you buy the Tesla for $55K or whatever you reserved it for online. You’re not going to get markups once it’s delivered to the Tesla center and they’re handing you the key and are like, ‘oh, by the way, there’s a $10,000 markup.’ But for Ford, that’s actually the case.”
Some markups he’s seen were over $15,000. Imagine if Tesla did this.
3. You, not the dealer, need to be the expert on your EV
Usually, dealers know their cars. If you go into a dealership not knowing what you want, they will push you to their most expensive vehicle, and they are going to share their expertise on that vehicle and try to sell it to you. “They are selling you that product and they want to make a commission. That’s the problem, is the commission. So on the Mach-E, you buy it online — sorta. It’s a weird hybrid system. You reserve it online but you still have to pick it up and purchase it from the dealership.”
However, the dealership doesn’t get a huge commission from the sale of the Mach-E.
“They have zero incentive to sell you this car.”
He explained that the saleswoman knew nothing about the Mach-E or the new Synq4 system. The dealer didn’t even know how to open the car. His saleswoman even told him that she had no interest in learning about the Ford Mustang Mach-E.
“She didn’t know anything, and when I was doing the test drive, we were talking and she’s like, ‘you’re way more of an expert than me on this vehicle,’ and I was like, ‘yeah, I’ve been waiting for this for a while and I’ve read the owner’s manual and all this stuff,’ and she’s like, ‘I don’t know anything about this vehicle and we don’t really care to learn either.’ Which I thought was basically inappropriate.”
4. Hidden Fees & Maintenance Scams
Before going to get his Mach-E, he told the saleswoman to give him the total price, including fees, before he got there, and he noted that she sent over the paperwork with a list of fees, such as a paperwork fee. However, at the end, he wound up paying $2,000 extra in fees. … He asked her about the fees and one was a random dealership fee for $1,000.
His saleswoman explained that it was just another paperwork fee. He pointed out that the other paperwork fee was $600-700 and she couldn’t answer the question as to what that fee was really for. She later called him back and said she would waive the $1000 random dealership fee. Another fee was for locking lugnuts — they wanted to charge him $1,000.
He wanted the dealership to remove them, and since locking lugnuts only come to around $50, he figured he could just buy them later on. He was informed by the dealership that the lugnuts were installed on the vehicle, which turned out to be a lie since they came in the mail a week prior to him doing the video.
“We had to go back and forth so many times because I said I do not want to pay $1,000 for that.”
In essence, they forced him to buy the lugnuts claiming they were already installed on the vehicle. However, they waived $900 of the $1,000 fee. To add insult to injury, the dealership sent a note with the lugnuts saying they would put them on his vehicle for a fee. …
“Technically, I had to pay $100 for you to install it and you refused to remove it from the vehicle.” And now they want more money to install the lugnuts that were supposedly already installed.
Next up he had to go and deal with a finance guy who tried to convince him that his EV would require maintenance. The guy also tried to sell him a $4,000 bumper-to-bumper warranty even though the battery is supposed to already have a 100K mile warranty for 8 years.
The finance guy basically went on a rant about how people who think EVs have less maintenance are wrong. When Get Energi explained what he needed for his EVs, the finance guy seemed to get angry. “He was getting pretty pissed.”
So, to calm the situation down, he let the finance salesman deliver his pitch: a $2,000 EV maintenance package that would “save customers $4,000 in maintenance fees.” His reaction to the price was natural and he explained that according to the Mach-E owner’s manual, maintenance would be very seldom.
“He was like, ‘what are you talking about?’ and I was like, ‘every 10,000 miles it’s a tire rotation and every 20,000 miles it’s a $10 cabin air filter. And he’s like, ‘no it’s not,’ and started getting mad again.”
The salesman, to prove a point, looked it up on the Ford website and realized that his customer was right. Then he moved on to the warranty. Now, although the Mach-E comes with a warranty on the battery, dealerships try to make a bit of change off of an extended warranty. The salesman said, “You’re going to want to get a warranty because if anything goes wrong, there’s no way you’re going to be able to pay out of pocket.”
The guy started getting angry again, so Get Energi just said to give him the price. “We’re gonna do bumper to bumper for 100,000 miles, so you don’t have to worry about anything.” The price for the extended warranty was $4,000, which made Get Energi laugh, thus enraging the salesman.
“He got really mad because I didn’t accept his $4,000 cost. And I was like, ‘well, what would it add to my monthly payment?’ and it was between — I don’t remember, but it was between $100 and $200 extra on top of the $700 I’m paying already.
“I’m like, ‘that’s ridiculous just for a warranty? So I respectfully said ‘no, I’m just gonna decline it and go from there,’ and he was not happy about it whatsoever. I think he’s used to getting his way with other customers and me shooting him down royally, he became very unprofessional at this point.”
5. Ford Dealership Didn’t Know Ford’s Own Options Plan
He noted that he thought Ford created this options plan specifically for the Mach-E. “All it is is a hybrid of a lease and finance plan.” He explained that you get the lease terms for 36–48 months and pay lower payments. In the end, you have a balloon payment, and for him, it was around $20,000.
“So you can either get rid of the car — give it back to Ford with no strings attached as long as you didn’t go over miles — or you can buy the car and just finance the $20K.”
However, the entire Ford dealership didn’t know anything about Ford’s options plan. He had to show them links to Ford’s actual homepage with details about the options plan. When the saleswoman understood the plan, he asked her to make sure that the finance guy knew about it.
The dealership kept sending the “final paperwork,” which said “lease” on it, but this was not a lease. The saleswoman verified that the finance guy knew about the options plan and that it should take 5 minutes to go through the options plan.
He got in there and, sadly, the finance guy put the leasing paperwork in front of him — not the options plan. When he asked if he spoke to the saleswoman, he replied, “She was really adamant that you wanted this options plan, and I was looking over it and it’s the same as everything on the lease, so I’m just going to draw up a lease.”
It took some more negotiations to convince the finance guy to get the right paperwork. The finance guy said he had to send Get Energi home, because he didn’t have the options plan paperwork. He had to return the next day to buy his car, and the finance guy was not only rude, but expected him to sign the paperwork without explaining it to him.
“I was reading through it because I want to read what I’m signing. He’s like, ‘Oh, don’t worry, it’s just this. Just sign at the bottom,’ with this attitude and this tone.”
Once he got his key, it was a wrap. They didn’t even show him where the car was located
“They just gave me the key and were like, ‘There you go. Bye.”
Some Quick Thoughts
That guy has more patience than me. I would have walked out when they hit me with those markups.