Jason Helfrich had no way of anticipating the COVID-19 pandemic, or the downturn his plumbing, heating and air conditioning business would experience because of it. He uses four Transit vans – all financed through Ford Credit – in his business in Cochrane, Alberta, Canada. With his business slowing down, Helfrich was becoming concerned about his vehicle payments.
Helfrich’s friend David Wilton is a Ford Credit business development manager in Alberta. In his 33 years with the company, Wilton often has seen Ford help customers and dealers in tough circumstances. “I told him we’d help him out,” said Wilton. “That’s what we do when people face adversity. I strongly encouraged him to call the Edmonton business center customer service team.”
Helfrich took his friend’s advice. After all, Ford Credit has encouraged customers impacted by COVID-19 to contact the company to discuss their options if they are having difficulty making payments. Additionally, Ford Credit is offering a program giving qualified customers who buy new vehicles the option to delay their first payment for 90 days.
Customers have been appreciative of the company’s flexibility.
“I reached out to Ford Credit to ask if they had any payment deferral plans,” said Helfrich. “They deferred my payments and waived the fees. I was shocked how easy it was. It was seamless.”
And it couldn’t have come at a better time. “Our business took such a sharp turn,” he said. “It sure was appreciated.”
Helfrich didn’t have the same luck elsewhere. “After I talked to Ford, I called another lender about another vehicle,” he added. “Their rep abruptly told me they could not do anything for me. Even after I told them how easy Ford was to work with, they said they couldn’t help.”
For Wilton, it simply felt good to help a customer – and to earn his loyalty to the Ford brand in the process.
“We did the right thing from day one,” he said. “It made me feel really good as an employee that we are here to take care of our customers. He said he’ll only buy Ford vehicles going forward – because of our outstanding Ford Credit customer service.”
Half a continent away, David Kuhl, senior account analyst in Ford’s customer service center in Omaha, Nebraska, took a call from the owner of a medical transportation company with five Transit vans financed by Ford Credit. Her business was affected by COVID-19. The government had told her customers to stay home, so they were canceling their doctors’ appointments, she said. The small-business owner was concerned about paying her 25 employees while also meeting her obligations to Ford Credit.
Kuhl was able to offer the qualified customer a payment extension and also waived any late fees, consistent with the new program.
“We not only took care of her, but also the families of her employees,” said Rich Ganard, a representative with the Ford Credit customer service center.
Ford Credit customers impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic can access their Account Manager profile either online at accountmanager.ford.com, through the FordPass app, by visiting http://www.fordcreditsupport.com/or by calling a special hotline at 800.723.4016 to discuss options.