Ford Sends $50 Gift Card To Make Up For Delayed Fiesta

Leslie has been waiting for her Ford Fiesta for quite a while now. She’s been patient and not too sad, but was still delighted when the automaker sent her a letter apologizing for the delay, including a $50 Mastercard gift card. “Fifty dollars is no lottery win,” she writes, “but hey, it beats a poke in the eye with a sharp stick any day.” Very wise, Leslie.

Last April 26th I pre-ordered a new Fiesta from a local dealership. Since they went into production on May 1st, I understood that there would be a wait because of the backlog of previous pre-orders, but was expecting it to arrive somewhere near the end of June, first of July. As I am writing to Consumerist, you can guess how that panned out. It is currently August 11th, and still no car, because hurricanes and tropical storms took out roads and railroad tracks, putting a serious crimp in their ability to transport my car from Mexico to the USA.

Fortunately for me, I have not been carless in the meantime, and could afford to wait for the Fiesta to arrive. My patience has been rewarded with cold hard cash from Ford! (See attached letter.)


(I realize that fifty dollars is no lottery win, but hey, it beats a poke in the eye with a sharp stick any day.)

I appreciate that Ford is an automaker that didn’t take bailout money, and they appreciate my business in return! Just wanted to share a bit of good customer care with your readers to help offset all the stories of customer no-service.

Also, my car is now in Texas and headed my direction. Cross your fingers it arrives next week as planned!

We hope it does! In the meantime, you can comfort yourself by watching the semi-legendary Top Gear review of the European Fiesta from a few model years ago. This new U.S, version will be a little different, but will tear through a mall and handle a beach assault with the Marines just as well. We assume.


Edit Your Comment

  1. agent 47 says:

    I love that car. Makes me wish I had waited a year…not that I don’t love my Lancer…

  2. Loias supports harsher punishments against corporations says:

    That $50 gift card will be worth about $8 after fees.

  3. dbeahn says:

    Had it been GM, he’d have gotten a letter demanding he send THEM $50 for the delay =]

    • dbeahn says:

      Errrr. She. Dammit.

    • Destron says:

      Actually when I bought my car I wanted options, and a color that was not available on the models they had, and there was not one within 200 Miles. I waited 2 months for that car after they told me it would be 3 weeks. They gave me a $150 check and some free accessories, as well as a discount on the customizations I asked for. This was about 6 months ago, so I can’t say GM is that bad.

  4. Oranges w/ Cheese says:

    I’m kind of interested in the Fiesta but pissed off about the price. Plus the center console on the ’11 models looks ridiculous.

    • MeOhMy says:

      What’s wrong with the price? It’s pretty well in line with the other cars in the sub-compact hatch/sedan segment…

      • Oranges w/ Cheese says:

        I have a full-size sedan/hatchback/5-door. It cost me $15k. It’s pretty well equipped with power accessories but nothing crazy like aluminum wheels or anything like that.

        A fiesta is SMALLER, and base is cheaper, but if you want anything that makes the car worth owning, it balloons up to $17 or $18k which is a full size sedan price as far as I’m concerned. Especially considering they’re trying to get you into a 72 month loan and the payment is still above $250, that’s crazy.

        • GearheadGeek says:

          Full-size 5-door, for $15k? I can’t think of a car that qualifies as a full-size and is available in the US as a 5-door… there was a mid-sized Mazda6 hatchback, but they discontinued it a few years ago. There are crossovers like the Venza that are 4+hatch but nowhere near $15k. Do you perhaps have a compact, like a Lancer Sportback or an Elantra Touring?

          It’s true that many people look to the smaller end of the market with an eye only on price, but I think (and apparently Ford agrees) that there’s a market for small-sized premium cars as well. My ’05 Legacy (a mid-size) is the biggest daily driver I’ve ever had, and seems quite large enough for anything I’d really need. A smaller car would be fine as long as I can get the big dog’s carrier into it with at least 1 seat available in the back, and the Fiesta probably wouldn’t do that for me, but if I didn’t have a big dog (or she was well-behaved enough in the car not to need the carrier) it would meet 99% of my automotive needs.

        • MeOhMy says:

          I am pretty sure you cannot get a full-size hatch/wagon NEW for $15k in the US. I would be driving it right now if it exists.

    • GearheadGeek says:

      Your attitude is indicative of the problem car companies face trying to offer nice small cars in the US. For some reason, the MINI has gotten a pass but most companies offering a small car with premium equipment fail, because Americans associate small with cheap, and REALLY associate hatchback with cheap.

      It costs more than a Rio or a Yaris because it’s nicer than a Rio or a Yaris, it has better equipment than a Rio or Yaris, and it handles WAY better than a Rio or Yaris.

      • Buckus says:

        Agreed. We’ll never hit that magical 35MPG unless people want to buy small cars, and the only way to create demand is to make their attributes, like good fuel efficiency and lots of space in a small package, desirable. Gas tax anyone?

    • M-D says:

      The center console looks odd until you actually sit in the car, and you realize that the design actually puts the controls much closer to the driver than a flat center stack.

  5. buckeyegoose says:

    Hate to burst your bubble OP, that $50 CompCash Non Re-loadable Mastercard prepaid debit card, is the same card they hand out like candy during auto show week, where if u sign up to go to a dealer and take a test drive, they will give you that, don’t even have to like ford or want to buy a car. Its also the same card they use when you buy “The Works” or Get Tires when you bring you vehicle in for service.

    The only thing unique that they did was treated your delayed car as a test drive redemption and kicked u that $50.

    Would of been news if they had offered some free accessories.

  6. JMILLER says:

    People need to realize the ONLY reason Ford did not take government money is because they had mortgaged EVERYTHING the year before the crash. IT was not based on a solid business plan or smart planning. IT was because their situation was so dire at that time they needed the cash a year before the others. GM and/or Chrysler would not have needed government help if they decided to do the same thing when banks were still loaning money. The problem was, once the banks stopped giving credit to anybody, they were SOL.
    By the way, EVERY car company takes government subsidized loans. There are currently 5% loans for all of them to meet increased CAFE standards. Ford has enjoyed this governmental subsidy as well.
    The part that people do not understand either, is Honda, Toyota and Nissan have an advantage since they have no US retirees yet (not in massive numbers). Their Japanese retirees are taken care of by the government for health care. The auto industry is a prime example why we need single payer health insurance in this country. Many of the companies choose to build in Ontario(which is not some low tax, cheap labor province) because the health care costs are so much lower. Hundreds of thousands of manufacturing jobs woudl come back to the US if there were single-payer health insurance.

    • photoguy622 says:

      At least Ford had assets worth mortgaging and did so before the credit crash.

      • JMILLER says:

        So did GM, and Chrysler. They had MORE assets. The problem was there were no banks loaning ANYBODY money. All heavy manufacturing businesses rely heavily on credit facilities during downturns. All other downturns never dried up this source of funding. Check the FMC balance sheet. It is not as strong as its Income statement. If the economy went into a double dip recession, they would not be able to pay back their loans to their creditors either. GM paid off its loans. BTW, when Chrysler took bailout money in the 70’s, they paid them back in full with interest early.

        • photoguy622 says:

          Yes, I realize that if the economy tanked even more that Ford would be screwed, the balance sheet is out of whack. They owe everybody. They made some money selling Volvo, but ultimately lost money on the deal. They never should have bought Volvo, Land Rover, or Jaguar in the first place.

          I don’t know if Ford was smart, or just lucky, when they mortgaged everything and hit it at the right time.

          That’s true about Chrysler, and the K-Car and Lee Iacocca can be thanked for that. Meanwhile, they go and muck it up again in the 90’s, no loans this time but pretty bad profits only to be “saved” again by the Neon and Intrepid. Now they are in trouble yet again.

          Unfortunately the auto market is even more competitive now than it was just a few decades ago. This is not an easy time for any auto manufacturer.

          At the end of the day it’s all about good products and good customer relations.

    • jnads says:

      Well, that’s not the ONLY reason.

      Ford is still sizeably owned by the Ford Family. I’m sure they didn’t want that changing.

      That’s why they felt confident in the company to bet the brand itself. They put the FORD name as collateral, quite literally.

  7. Bakergirl says:

    ……But it’s a Fiesta…..Well, I guess $50 is appropriate enough…..Um, for a Fiesta.

  8. DariusC says:

    Anyone else think the tag is incorrect? Top gear is cool in the UK, but many of the cars are not available in the US… so it’s for entertainment only.

    • GearheadGeek says:

      Top Gear is cool for car nuts in general, but even in the UK it’s mostly for entertainment. Their competitions are typically rigged and their tests aren’t exactly rigorous from a scientific point of view, but if you like cars it’s sure fun to watch.

  9. BoredOOMM says:

    She must be happy at all those Fiestas sent to Rental Car Fleets.

    • Chmeeee says:

      Top Gear is in fact a badass show. Also, there is a US version coming.

    • photoguy622 says:

      Ford’s fleet numbers are lowest of the big three, and a good portion of Ford’s fleet sales go to government and business fleets.

      GM is especially guilty of fleet dumping. Besides most subcompacts at the rental agencies are Chevy Aveos and Nissan Versas.

    • GearheadGeek says:

      The Fiesta isn’t going to be a rental-fleet darling because it’s not cheap and basic enough for their tastes, and because it actually has some retail demand. Rental fleets will still be heavy with Aveos and Accents.

  10. redrover189 says:

    I got the same thing – preordered my Fiesta in April, actually received my Fiesta in early July and got the letter and the refund anyway! I know a lot of people have been commenting that the card will be worthless, that they give them out anyway for test drives, but I was impressed that Ford proactively did this for their Fiesta owners – I appreciated the gesture. I certainly wasn’t expecting anything.

    And I LOVE my Fiesta! I didn’t think the price was unreasonable for what I got. The interior with leather and the metallic actually looks surprisingly high quality and stylish. Plus the thing just sips on gas – I’ve already driven 1300 miles on 3.5 tanks of gas.

    • M-D says:

      I second everything redrover189 said – my Fiesta arrived on time, one month ago, but I still got the letter. $50 is, at current gas prices, two nearly-full tanks of gas in the Fiesta – so I count that as a WIN.

      I LOVE my Fiesta. I’m so glad I waited and didn’t pull the trigger on a Honda Fit last year. And to Ford’s credit, even before the $50 MC came into play, they’ve done a great job keeping everyone who reserved or preordered a car informed. One of the four reservations counselors – Matthew – spent the better part of 45 minutes on the phone with me answering questions (like ‘why no heated windshield or auto climate control in the US?’). I can’t see GM or Chrysler doing that.

  11. brianisthegreatest says:

    Thank you for the small dose of Clarkson, it was much appreciated. I’m not a big Ford fan, but grats OP.

  12. smo0 says:

    I want one.. only because I knew someone who had an original… you know… the shell of a car that did 60mpg?

    Yeah…. fond memories. Zippy and fun…..

  13. dolemite says:

    If only they had this car when Cash for Clunkers was around, I’d be driving it. Not that I hate my Elantra Touring, but I’d love to have given Ford a shot at earning my business. As-is, I’ve done a 200 mile search on Auto Trader for new cars, and apparently no dealers have this in stock even though Ford has been advertising them for like 6 months now.

    • GearheadGeek says:

      Your Elantra Touring may be a bit less fun, but it’s a lot more practical. It’s more than a foot longer, and has a more cargo-friendly angle to the rear glass. It also has LOTS more warranty.

    • photoguy622 says:

      Nothing wrong with the Elantra Touring. I’m glad that you decided to purchase what is basically a station wagon. They are very practical. I don’t know why people hate station wagons.

      • GearheadGeek says:

        Because until recently car companies couldn’t make large station wagons with high enough fuel mileage, so they marketed SUVs as “cool” and most SUVs get benefits in the calculation of CAFE ratings because they’re considered trucks.

        Full disclosure: I drive a station wagon, and yes I’m bitter about the shrinking wagon market, it could make it hard for me to find another car I like as much as my ’05 Legacy GT Wagon.

        • photoguy622 says:

          Tell me about it. Chrysler got the EPA to consider the PT Cruiser as a truck just by using a removable shelf behind the back seats. Is it any wonder the PT Cruiser got horrible milage for such a small car.

          Another reason that the manufacturers marketed SUVs as cool was because profit margins are much higher on SUVs.

          Now we are seeing more and more CUVs which are getting lower and longer, see Toyota Venza and Honda Crosstour, eventually we will get back to full on wagons.

          Enjoy your turbo Legacy. I should have bought one of those instead of my Accord. What other wagon could you get with AWD, a turbo, and a stick shift?!

  14. dipthonggirl says:

    I might actually look into a Fiesta next year and this definitely helps

  15. ThePrettiestStar says:

    “The smoke grenades fit perfectly in the cup holders!”

    God I love the BBC.

  16. joel. says:

    One of the best Top Gear test EVER. I was close to pre-ordering a Fiesta, but decided to wait for the Fiat 500…

  17. GearheadGeek says:

    Whitacre was already retired when he was asked to step in at GM and help turn things around. They needed an outsider because one of GM’s biggest problems was that a huge portion of their upper management had never worked anywhere but GM, and got into executive positions more by political skill than business acumen.

    He said at the outset that he had no intention of staying on for the long haul, that his job was to shepherd the company though restructuring and turn the reins over to a long-term CEO.

  18. techgoddess: Only .002 cents per byte says:

    Another good legendary review- the Renault Twingo – who tries to flip their car in a sewer pipe?!:

  19. golddog says:

    Hey Ford…your engineers made the cylinder heads too thin on a whole generation of Triton engines which made my spark plugs explode out of said cylinder heads at very random and inconvenient times costing my thousands of dollars in repairs. You can reply to this message here at Consumerist to find out where to send my $75 gift card.