I can tell you from experience that having a Ford rep here in the forum make the first contact through FMC 360 (the system they use) is perceived by the dealer to be the abrasive approach. Let me give you some background on the FMC 360 program. It was formerly called CUDL (pronounced Cuddle) and its primary use was to resolve customer complaint when they (dealer and customer) had exhausted all resources at a dealer leading them to call Ford. It was Fords way to manage problems and issues kind of like the BBB, but from an internal standpoint (remember all dealers are independent franchises). CUDL produced a lot of good thing for customers and was a place for dealers and FoMoCo to find common ground in settling problems that were outside the norm. FMC 360 is a much more advanced site that allows better information flow and quicker resolutions. Since Ford has been making a positive effort to reach out to consumers online, like ourselves, they have taken FMC 360 under their wing using it in a manner that CUDL couldn't be used. FMC 360 is reviewed daily via emails by GMs, Directors, and Managers at dealerships as the "claims" are submitted. When Ford submits a claim from the site here, they use mileage, VIN and customer complaint. Then the dealer gets a FMC 360 notification stating that there is a customer or potential customer of theirs has a problem. How would you like to find out your customer has a problem for the first time via email? Kind of like your GF breaking up with you via text and now you have to fix it, but where do you start?. It takes the relationship completely out of the equation. There is pressure for a dealer to keep the FMC 360 slate clean. While it is there to remedy problems, many of the problems we are experiencing can be remedied just the same by us driving into the dealership on our own. As it sits right now, the Ford reps on here are scheduling appointments with a viewing window that allows them to review your specific issue and see the resolution as the dealer is required to respond. While this is good in several aspects, just think about you trying to do your job and someone is watching over your shoulder and then asking you to report on what you find and how you resolved it. I know I wouldn't want to work in this manner.
Some things I have read on here that could use the structure of FMC360.....Engine issues, transmission issues, major electrical issues, multiple failures of a part
Some things that I have read on here that don't need FMC 360....
This thread about the keyless entry not working sometimes, minor first time repairs, squeaky trunks, rattles,etc.
We forget that our vehicles primary goal is to take us from point A to point B. The rest is just convenience and luxury. The Ford reps on here are doing a great job and serve us in an awesome way, but we too can serve ourselves by making a phone call and setting up and appt. or driving into the service lane and building a relationship while explaining how important your cars issue(s) are and getting the almighty feedback. To summarize, there is noting but upside in making your visit with the dealer in person.