Limits of Customer Service Scripts

I know that it’s important to follow the script when diagnosing problems. I understand that you have to collect some identification, pull up the records and check for the obvious. But once we’ve exhausted the script, could you just tell me that and pass me up the chain.

Ford is voluntarily recalling 363,300 Escapes with 3.0L V-6 engines built in Kansas City, models years 2001 to early 2003. My girlfriend owns a 2001 Escape with a 3.0L V-6 engine and a built in Kansas City windshield sticker. Her car was not included in the recall and I set out to find out why. After we got the preliminaries out of the way, the conversation went something like this:

Me: “Can you tell me why some cars are not included in the recall?”

Ford: “Sir, you understand that not all vehicles are included in the recall.”

Me: “Yes, but can tell what distinguishes cars that are recalled?”

Ford: “Sir, recalls apply to specific vehicles and …”

Me [interrupting]: “Do you know what distinguishes cars that being recalled from cars that are not?”

Ford: “Sir, you have to understand that not all vehicles are recalled …”

Me [interrupting]: “Yes I understand that, but saying the same thing in different ways does not answer my question. Do you know what distinguishes cars that are being recalled? Yes or No.”

Ford: “Sir, if you would please let me finish …”

Me [interrupting]: “May I please speak to a supervisor.”

Ford: “Please hold.”

After a short hold, I get a supervisor. That conversation goes something like this:

Ford: “Let’s take a look at your vehicle … made in 2001 … 3.0L V-6 … built in Kansas City … Hmmm … The recall consists of a software update. Perhaps it has already been applied. Would you please hold while I go to another computer to access your service records.”

Ford: “According to the service records, this update was applied a year ago.”

Me: “I’ve got the service invoice right here. The stalling problem was investigated, but the invoice doesn’t mention any corrective action.”

Ford: “The records indicate that it was done.”

Me: “Ok, I’ll double check with the dealer. Thank you.”

I’m sure that the customer service reps are instructed to stick to the script. And I suspect that they get graded on avoiding escalation. How stupid is that? Once it becomes obvious that the script does not cover the situation, then can we just move on? The customer is job one. The sooner you get me to someone who can answer my questions, the sooner I’ll get out of your your hair, and the happier we’ll be.