The Ideal Woman Versus Ford’s Dickhead Steve

At what point does horrific misogynism become absolutely hysterical? When a mustachioed ape at a Ford dealership, while talking to a deaf woman over the phone via a Relay Service, makes an offhand background comment to his coworkers that he’s “talking to the ideal woman — deaf, dumb and blonde.” And then the Relay Service worker types that sentence back verbatim to the customer.

Who’s the ape? It’s Steve Davis, Assistant Service Manager of the Ford Dealership at 13401 Balt-Wash Boulevard in Laurel, Maryland (unbelievably, our tipster supplied us with photos!). The ideal woman in question — whom, by virtue of her moxie, we have no doubt would be ideal even if she weren’t a blonde — was naturally outraged. And one of the perks of the Relay Service is you have a text transcript of all your conversations! So she went on the warpath, supplying the transcript to Steve’s manager. For her trouble, she got $100 off, which she seems happy with. Of course, she has no idea if the manager intends to do anything about it: a bit of sensitivity training might be in order, here.

The ideal woman speaks out against Steve, after the jump, by proxy of her friend, Sophia.

My friend, a Deaf Woman had to take her car to a local Ford Dealership to get it check out because it’s that time again. She call the place using Relay Service and was hung up on by a man named Steve. Now she dealt with Steve before and always does business with him.

So why is it now that when she called back the second time using Relay Service to make an appointment that he told his coworkers that he was talking to a “Ideal Typical Woman Deaf Dumb Blond”?

She was extremely pissed off and called back the next day to speak to the manager. Don, the manager told her that he couldn’t do anything about it without proof. She has the transcript of the whole conversation.

So today, we both went to the Dealership and she gave Don a copy of the transcript while she was getting her car taken care of. Don told us that he will discuss this with Steve.

He was really nice to her and gave her $100 off. Now we don’t know if he’s really going to do anything about this.

That comment was ignorant and unprofessional.

Steve Davis
Assistant Service Manager
Ford Dealership
13401 Balt-Wash Blvd.
Laurel, MD 20707


Edit Your Comment

  1. LafinJack says:

    “talking to the ideal woman – dead, dumb and blonde”

    Necrophilia for the win?

  2. factotum says:

    I assume you meant to type “deaf, dumb and blonde”? Otherwise, Steve truly is sick.

  3. homerjay says:

    Looks like we know where Fran ended up after Target! She changed her name to Steve!

  4. Xkeeper says:

    Or perhaps they’ll merge into one giant entity of consumer hate… named Stefran.

  5. RandomHookup says:

    I’m sure the dealership owners will be especially happy to appear on Consumerist… with actual evidence to backup the claim. Perhaps you should add a “Consumerist Body Count” ticker on the front page.

  6. Ran Kailie says:

    Honestly I would send that to Ford Corporate, because its highly possible the manager won’t do anything. Hell I live no far from that dealership, maybe I’ll give Don a call and let him know that I’ll never use his dealership and will make sure to spread the word locally unless he does something about his insensitive staff.

    But definitely send that to Ford Corporate, they have enough bad press nowadays as it is.

  7. Joe Hass says:

    “‘Send wire . . . main office . . . tell them I said ow.’ Gotcha.”

  8. ElizabethD says:

    I know this is bad, but I actually found this funny. Yeah, I’m a blonde who can laugh at blonde jokes. It’s not funny, though, that the comment was relayed to the deaf woman. Still… maybe give poor Steve a pass on this one? Just this once?

    • tongsy says:

      @ElizabethD: It’s the relayers job to write down everything that the person on the other end says. They aren’t supposed to choose what to write and what not to write.

  9. ckilgore says:

    She only got $100 off?! I would expect a lot more than that. And sending to Ford corporate is a good idea.

  10. Lyn Never says:

    I agree – this should go to corporate, but for Don’s file. Accusing your customer of inventing a complaint is really crappy business.

    Relay operators have to transcribe everything they hear. It works remakably like a telephone in that way, what with information being carried from one end to the other. Steve might need a refresher course on how that works along with his sensitivity training.

  11. North of 49 says:

    I agree about corporate. After all, they don’t like hearing from customers. She should get her entire bill compt, not just 100$.

  12. RandomHookup says:

    Don wouldn’t really have a “corporate” file, because undoubtedly he’s an employee of the dealership, not Ford.

  13. Laz says:

    I’ve gotten two of those relay calls before. They are extremely awkward and confusing. I only got the calls because the CSR’s were so confused, they forwarded the call to IT. I was never able to help the caller completely. It would have been so much easier for the person to just email us.

  14. adamondi says:

    I hate to break it to you, but I doubt there is a ton that Ford Corporate can do. After all, dealerships are not part of the Ford Corporation. The dealers are independent business owners who pay Ford a fee to use the branding and all of that. The victim of the rude comment should find out who owns the dealership and take her complaint (with the proof) straight to the top of that little food chain. She will get a lot further with that tactic than by complaining to Ford Corporation.

  15. Smoking Pope says:

    I have a friend who used to work as a relay service operator, and their attitude is that they help deaf people live lives like the rest of the world. That includes passing along ALL things they hear, and not editing in any way.

    What that means is my friend had to assist in setting up thinly veiled drug deals, phone sex, etc. What a fun job, eh?

  16. homerjay says:

    What if a crime is being comitted? What level of confidentially are these people required to have.

  17. mactbone says:

    How can phone sex be “thinly veiled?”

    OK, baby, now insert rod A into slot B. We’re really working hard on this plumbing installation.

  18. clarity says:

    As a frequent former Academy Ford customer I am SO not surprised – the average employee there is very lacking in the customer service area – their service department is a nightmare. I’ve deal with a lot of dealership service departments in the area and they are far worse than average. In more than a decade of owning multiple Fords – every time we take a vehicle there, it’s a mistake.

    Lying, losing vehicles, not doing work, careless, misdiagnosing problems consistently – I can’t decide if it’s fraud or morons.

    This incident speaks volumes about their general attitude towards customers.

  19. FLConsumer says:

    Good ‘ol deaf relay service — glad to hear they’re still around and still transcribing everything they hear.

    Definitely forward to Ford Corporate (or even CBS/NBC/CNN). The auto biz is in terrible need of an overhaul.

  20. FLConsumer says:

    homerjay: They’re supposed to transcribe everything, confidentially, as some of these calls are to Dr’s offices, etc. I have heard stories of friends using the deaf relay service with some rather strange conversations and the relay-er(?) was most professional an dutifully did their job.

  21. laurenl842 says:

    She would probably get the best results if she contacted the Service Manager and then the General Manager immediately after that.

    From the website it looks as if Thomas Woods is the Parts and Service Director and Michael Lynch is the General Manager.

    I know that at my dealership our GM takes complaints like this VERY seriously, and chances are that action will be taken quickly. They do not want a media nightmare on their hands and the General Manager will do his best to protect the company for the owner.

    Ford corporate probably won’t be of much help. I can’t find any evidence of this dealership being owned by a large corportation (like AutoNation or something), so basically the “food chain” that was mentioned would be under that roof.

    Good luck!