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Posted March 20, 2008 8:00 PM | Permalink
I bought a Mercury in 1989 and had nothing but problems with the car and the dealership.
The only advantage I can see to a factory installed navigation system is that the screen is larger. The advantages to a portable GPS (live the Garmin Nuvi series) is that it can be used in any car, it can be easily updated or replaced, it costs far less, and Garmin has good customer service (I've only had to contact them once, but they were great).
The advantages I see to a factory installed navigation system are: larger screen, difficult to steal, doesn't require separate power, integration with vehicle's sound system (so you can hear the voice prompts when the stereo is on), and mounting it in view of the sky is not an issue because of its external satellite antenna. There could be more, but that's what I can think of off the top of my head. -rc
Lyle in Virginia Beach, VA |
Mar 22, 2008
I understand the disappointment. I sell Garmins and I know that NONE of the systems are perfect. My Garmins won't get me to my house, but I would take my Garmin over the other guys any day of the week!
Nikki, Louisiana |
Mar 22, 2008
I noticed that no one seemed to respond to Cam in Baltimore. If you were told that they have no control over a francise, that is incorrect; they can always threaten to cancel the franchise license, which would effectively put that dealer out of business. Any company that cares about reputation will be very interested in ensuring that franchises behave.
Scott, in Killeen, TX |
Mar 22, 2008
I have had three Lincoln Navigators - a 2001, a 2004, and a 2008. All three have had Factory-installed Navigation Displays and computers. The 2008 is by far the best of the three. I own a real estate company and manage a mortgage office so I am on the road to unfamiliar locations frequently. Once I learned the peculiarities of each system, I found each of them to be extremely useful. And the 2008 navigation unit is fast. I have noticed, in areas that have not been verified, that the display shows all the correct roads and gives good guidance. It just warns me that it can't be certain.
I really like my Navigators, their navigation units, and the privilege of having a top-quality, extremely comfortable and reliable, American-made vehicle.
Matthew Falls Church, VA |
Mar 22, 2008
When I bought my car GPS was a $2000 option. In some cars, it is still a $2000 option, even though the Garmin Nuvi 660 that I bought was $350. I am happy with my nuvi. Then again, I live in an urbanized area that is well researched.
My father went down to Florida using the GPS with no problems except that it couldn't find the road to the trailer park where my Uncle has his trailer. The road has been there for over 6 years.
I guess that the point is that Nav units are not 100% accurate. I only trust them to get me close to the location that I am trying to find. I understand that a first responder has to have a system that is much more accurate and detailed. But Nav units just are not there yet.
As another poster noted, if your GPS is well off the mark then it may not have been calibrated properly. Check with the manufacturer.
David in Boston |
Mar 22, 2008
The best way to get a solution to a problem like this is to elevate to head office, or a regional office of the manufacturer. Make sure you're explicit in all your customer service surveys because as another poster mentioned manufacturers like Ford Motor Company are heavily tied into CSI (Customer Satisfaction Index).
Be civil always, especially when dealing with dealership staff. Don't go in angry, don't give them an excuse. I see irate customers from time to time with any number of problems, including "I ran over a nail and now you must replace my tire!". Yes, we've removed more than one customer from our dealership with the threat of police intervention because they were unreasonable and loud to the point where they were jeopardizing our business. Remember that no matter how upset you are or wronged you feel you have no right to cost us our livelihood.
Remember also that the salesman in particular has roughly 30 vehicle models to deal with (if he's in a combined Ford/Lincoln/Mercury dealership), each with their own features, options and packages. He knows what the company marketing literature has told him and his experience with the navigation system will be very limited. If he has one in his demo, it gets used to navigate to and from home and for errands. If not, he's demonstrated it a few times on test drives and played with it on the lot. The sales manager knows figures such as rates and residuals and has a statistical overview of what models in which colours sell well in his area. He probably doesn't even have a firm grasp of which vehicles come with navigation in the first place. The salesman should be able to show you how the navigation system works, but that's about the extent of it. Beyond that you should be dealing with the service department. Period, full-stop.
If you get people from head office involved you're best to explain in detail what the problems are, who tried to help you and who was unable to help you and the reasons given. Perhaps the manufacturer (which in this case appears to be reselling a product; very common in the automotive industry) may already be aware of the problem but don't have enough hard, specific evidence to bring to the makers of the actual unit.
As to the posters complaining of unusually high dealer markups, well, that's a whole 'nother kettle of fish. The $300 profit margin in the loan insurance policy was likely the entire profit margin - not the amount remaining in the last year. Aftermarket products sold in the Finance and Insurance office will often carry between 10-20% profit margins. Accessories and rust packages, eg; tangible items may carry a larger margin because the F&I manager has a fixed cost for the item and all the room in the world to up-sell. If your insurance policy cost $4000, $400-800 was likely the entire profit to the dealership. Keeping in mind that the insurance companies are more heavily regulated by law so the dealer rarely if ever has flexibility in pricing. The dealer margin is paid out up-front, so by the time you got to the final year of your policy coverage believe me the refund came entirely out of the coffers of the insurance company. Factory installed accessory packages rarely crest above the 10-12% profit margin marker so the OP is likely only looking in the range of $120-140 profit to the dealership for something that's almost completely out of their control.
Fierce competition has driven profit margins sharply downwards over the last couple decades and I must remind everyone out there that profit is not a dirty word. Just because it only costs you $18/day to commute to and from work doesn't mean you're only worth $20/day. Much as you don't live to work, neither to car dealership and manufacturer employees.
Stewart in Ontario, Canada |
Mar 23, 2008
I have the Pharos gps with Ostia software. Two years ago we were on a trip in southern Indiana and it insisted I take this one road to the B&B we were going to stay at. What it didn't tell me is that there had been a lake there for 40 years and that the road did not go through. Every on-line map I've looked at except the geological survey maps show that road going through. Navteq finally updated their map to show that the paved road does not go through, but they still show an unimproved road going through, even though I contacted them two years ago with the correction.
Same gps trying to head to a lake we like to fish tries to take me west to the center of town, then south, then back east instead of straight south. That road has been there for as long as I've lived here. Once I get past that point it takes me straight in.
James Lindley, Fairview Heights, IL |
Mar 23, 2008
Take it back and get a Volkswagen. Can you say "Mercury" and "quality" in the same breath without laughing? I choked when you said you got it for luxury!
I'm sorry you had a problem, but I'm not surprised at all.
Michael in Texas |
Mar 23, 2008
The Honda GPS works great (this is in 05 Odyssey - No real-time traffic). You have to 'agree' each time you turn the car on, but you have no limitations on when you can enter data.
Yes, sometimes the route chosen is a bit funky, but 99% of the time its awesome.
If we need to make a quick food stop, just select a restaurant as a waypoint (while co-piloting) and away you go.
Jim, MA |
Mar 24, 2008
Try calling the 800 number for customer service found in your owners manual. they might not do anything either, but the people at the dealer will get reprimanded from Ford and you never know, they might have a better response than ignoring you. if the person you talk to tries to blow you off, ask to talk to a supervisor. I used to work at a Ford dealer and told customers this all the time. probably one reason I no longer work there.
Paul, North East Pa. |
Mar 24, 2008
(Read the article that everyone's commenting on.)