Anthony H
The battle begins.
The ordeal with my Ford Focus began early on. I bought what I
thought was a quality product at a great price. Weeks later the
beginning of what would become the longest running feud in
my now 29 years of life began.
As a cameraman it's normally a battle I fight every day while
filming fast moving objects. Broadcast cameras don't have
autofocus so every little movement needs to be accounted for
and adjustments made. It's the kind of intricacy you would
hope went into all quality products. Especially a brand new car.
Apparently not.
Focus MKll 2012
Purchased 21st December
2012 from Denmac Ford,
Darra, Queensland.
• Hood-liner stains
• Ants (I know right)
• Warped A Pillar frames
• Display screen flickering
• Brake Fluid Tank
• Brake Fluid Line
• Brake Fluid Tank
• Alternator Replacement
• Transmission Warning
• Overheating
• Air Conditioner Fail
• Engine Malfunction

Join me on a fascinatingly
cheeky journey, sure we might
break down a few times, well
perhaps more than just a few,
but it's bound to be the
adventure that you never
wanted to go on yet are glad
you did and still wish you
hadn't. Is this the World's Most
Ridiculous Yet Justifiable
Complaint Newsletter to a Car
Company? Yeah probs.
The story of one man and his BRAND NEW Ford Focus.
Anthony H
The Joyride.
I can't remember exactly how or when I noticed that my car
looked like it had been the location for a gathering of "like
minded individuals". I can just remember looking up and
seeing the hood-liner bearing yellowy stains of what I later
found out to be adhesive. I sure had hoped it was that and that
my car hadn't been taken on a joyride without my knowledge.
Or participation.
Calling the Service Department
I described the stains and later
bring the car in to get looked
at. It needed to be tested for
leaks to see if rain was indeed
the culprit, as such it had to go
to Darra about 30 minutes
away, where they had the ability
to do that. They're were no
leaks and a replacement
hood-liner was ordered from
Weeks later I find myself
hanging out of a helicopter
and filming an incident where
a concrete pylon had come
off the back of a truck and
smashed into a business.
Fortunately no one was injured. My phone rings, it's the
Service Manager at Darra. The conversation went something
like this...
"Mate we pulled your car apart to install the new hood-liner"
"Sorry, bit windy up here, what was that?"
"We pulled apart your car to put the new hood-liner in... But
we didn't have the new hood-liner to put in..."
If not for the sound of 4 blades whirling above my head at 500
rotations a minute combined with winds buffeting my now
bewildered face, there might have been silence...
"So you pulled my car apart to put a new hood-liner in that you
didn't actually have yet?"
"Yeah sorry about that but we did give your car a wax..."
Oh well that was kinda worth me having to get a train & taxi to
work this morning I suppose.. Or was it?
Things I do like about
my Ford Focus.

Sure this letter is first and
foremost one of complaint, quite
a few of them. But that's not to
say that I can't commend Ford on
what they have done right with
the Focus.
• Grill looks cool.
• Dashboard features are sexy as.
• Flat fold rear seat is awesome.
Loads of space.
• Those mini headlight bulbs
light up when you unlock.
Great at night.
• Looks good with a kayak atop.
• Photogenic. It really is.
• Can sleep in back.
• Have slept in back. (See below)
Anthony H
Wax on. Wax off.
After work I get to Darra to find my car looking
better then expected and surprisingly smelling
newer then new. I did notice a small scratch on
the dash, but hey accidents happen, it's minimal,
I'll survive. No biggie. What was worse than that
was the barrage of Ants whom took it upon
themselves to live in and on my car. It was like
something from a horror film but without the
gore, screams and well it was actually nothing like
a horror film but it was scary to think that an ant
could possibly like my car more than me.
I could have sworn it was the wax that attracted
them, because it most definitely couldn't have
been an attraction to quality cars. The ant issue
continued for months, even after the hood-liner
was replaced. I appreciated the sentiment in
waxing my car to apologise for incompetence
but was not stoked about having to share my ride
with a army of moving dots. I once found two
above my head close to the light. One hand on
the wheel I used the other to try and flick them
I failed. I didn't flick them, I accidentally squashed them. "Murderer" the headlines would read the next
day, if Ants had a newspaper. Luckily for me they do not. Well not that I know of.
I did feel a little bad for killing two harmless creatures but I was
more so upset about the two marks that now stained my roof. The
two permanent reminders of insect cruelty. I sometimes think that
perhaps my car is now haunted by the ghosts of those two insects.
That could go some way to explaining why since then I have had so
many issues with the Focus. It couldn't be quality control could it?
Knowing full well that a Proton pack isn't an actual real solution, I
did hope by dressing as a Ghostbuster I would at least instil enough
fear in their little souls that they would reconsider their need to
maintain a presence in and wreak havoc upon my car.
Leaving the costume shop I found myself inching closer and closer
to the car. Not leaving any doubt in the ants minds as to who I was, I played dumb pretending they were
not there. I called out; "I'm a Ghostbuster, there better not be any ant ghosts around here, it would be a
shame if I had to zap them with my Proton pack, because after all I am a Ghostbuster and that's what we
Ghostbusters do...."
It was a foolproof plan. But like my air conditioning as of late, it didn't work.
Anthony H
Month in. Month out.
If you have just moved to a new city (Brisbane for
me) the Ford Focus makes discovering new
routes to the Service Centre from your house a
feature of every second month. The best part is
that if you manage to get a loan car that you
didn't have to pay $18 bucks for, you constantly
get to live in fear of paying a $1,500 excess if you
or someone else manages to ding your car. It
makes parking in a shopping centre and getting
your groceries the scariest part of your day as
you walk back to the car and hope that it hasn't
been nicked by another. You also get to look like
a complete tightwad when you go to a service
station and fill the car up "with as much petrol as
you use" and that amount is consistently around
$2.75. And you pay by card because you don't
like having loose change. Because it jiggles
and you find that quite annoying, especially
when you are travelling in your own car at low
speeds and the car begins to shake. You start to
feel as though you are at church as you hear the
jiggle of loose change in your cup holder
encouraging you to donate two times a mass,
perhaps this is a gentle reminder to be more
The more it shakes the more you think that
perhaps this is the beginning of a natural
disaster, it's an earthquake and at any
moment you are fearful but somewhat
hopeful that the Earth is going to open up
and swallow your Ford Focus whole so you
can claim your car as a insurance write-off.
But you remain optimistic that you have
done enough good in this world that the
big man or woman upstairs (I'm not sexist)
has given you enough time to escape
or that perhaps there is a
handyman nearby
with a long
enough ladder
to help you out
of the hole that
has just eaten
your Ford Focus.
You hope that the earth also lacks good taste and
doesn't decide to spit your vehicle back out of its
hell mouth as you quickly escape the void
climbing with Buffy like speed every second rung
of the ladder given to you by the kind gentleman
(let's call him Jim) to be given a firm hand to grip
at the mouth of the hole and then lifted up back
to Earth where the sun shines and generally
people who buy new cars don't have to get them
fixed most months.
Anthony H
Darth Vader.
Despite the fact that you will be refunding my Ford Focus I will be a little bit upset that in theory I won't
get to see the good people at the Service Centre as often as I now do. They have been great and I shall
write them a card. However I likely won't miss having to juggle my work day around my vehicles
mechanical, cosmetic and electrical needs. Having to constantly apologise for being late and having to
leave early isn't the favourite part of my work day. I am blessed that I do work with amazing people and
some also understand what it is like to be a Ford owner. They have obviously moved on to purchasing
cars that work and are the same good folk who tried to stop me buying this car. I thoroughly enjoy the
constant "told you so" and laughter when they hear me on the phone trying to organise another time to
bring the car in for another issue that has managed to rear it's ugly head into the life of me and my Ford
Focus, or Troops as it's affectionately known. Not because it keeps troopering on like a foot soldier but
more-so because if there was a white Darth Vader he would look like the front of this car.
Of course there is no white Darth Vader and to even suggest one is ludicrous so I must instead settle
with saying it looks like a Storm Trooper, because they are white. Like with my good mates Filipe (Fil) and
Samantha (Sam), who coincidently are also white, I did the Aussie thing and shortened it to Troops. But
really, between you and I there is no denying it, we both know it looks like a white Darth Vader... You do
see the resemblance right? I've attached side by side images that illustrate the similarities just in case
you didn't have a childhood. Or perhaps you are blind? If that's the case I actually applaud Ford for
being an inclusive employer and not discriminating against you. Having a disabled brother, whose name
I also shorten, to Pete, I don't like to focus on disabilities, more so I think the emphasis should be on the
abilities that someone does have. One of the Newsreaders on Triple J, Nas Campanella is actually blind
and has a computer read her scripts into her ear to recite, the day I found this out I was over the moon.
To break down divides like that in the workplace is a truly wonderful thing and to give everyone the
opportunity to excel in life and move forward is what makes nations like the one you operate in (for now)
great. So good stuff Ford and if this is in fact the case and I apologise for assuming you had watched Star

Credit: Wonder Vendor - Credit: My amazing photographic skills
Anthony H
The Slap.
If you have ever listened to Star Wars you would realise that Darth Vader was somewhat of an abusive
father, so much so that he even sliced off his son’s hand. It wasn't a very nice thing for him to do but I
understand how sometimes things can get that frustrating that you do wrongly resort to violence. I have
smacked my dashboard. It happened when the Sync display screen kept flickering only months into
purchasing my Focus. That does not however excuse my behaviour. I sometimes stay up at night and
wonder if the reason this is all happening stems from that one slap. As if I had changed the relationship
between my car and I so much in that single lapse of judgement that now my car is getting me back.
When I was younger my dad would smack me if I was being a smart ass (I know right? Me??...) often I
would pretend to cry but as soon as he left, my twin brother Mark (as his name has only one syllable it
doesn't require shortening) and I would start laughing. See he didn't really want to physically hurt us,
more so teach us a lesson to not play up, the smack was relatively soft and the slight sting was laughed
off. I too hoped that my Ford Focus would stop playing up and we'd be able to share a laugh over The
Slap and move on as if it had never happened, but unfortunately this wasn't the case. I often wonder if
that one moment changed our lives forever, has driven us apart. I wish I could go back in time, but until I
decide which time machine to use (surprisingly there's a few around Brisbane), or perhaps finish
building my own, I can't. If I could however, things would be different, better even. I would have bought
a Corolla like my work buddy Kiri did. She has had it for nearly a year now and hasn't had any problems
with it yet. That's crazy for a new car right?

The only problem with her car is that it doesn't look like or remotely resemble a Star Wars
character. That said she did get the burnt orangey coloured one, it's actually quite a beautiful colour and
reminds me of the sun setting over the Tunisian desert where Star Wars was filmed.
Anthony H
A bit further east, Russia also has some beautiful
sunsets, I was there a few months ago filming the
Winter Olympic Games for work. I was there for
nearly four weeks and to be honest
i t w a s q u i t e
r ef r eshi ng at
first to not have
to focus on my
Focus or in fact
drive it. But things
started to change.
The closer I got to
coming home the
more I had to think
about organising to
bring my car in again
to get fixed for a
problem that skied its
way into my life before I left
for Sochi. The more I looked
around the more things
started reminding me of
what I would have to
endur e when I got
home. The rings were
not just Olympic Rings,
they were a symbol of
success. I stood with
them, happy, until I realised my
own failure to be top of my game in
researching and purchasing a quality brand new
car. Curlers would slide their stones
onto the button, crowds would
cheer, but I would sit there, looking
into the distance, anxious about
the day I'd have to press the button
on my car remote and again take
the car in. The Dutch Olympic team
brought with them 150 bicycles (of
course they did!), I envied them,
I'm sure they hardly required fixing.
I also envied the colour of their
bikes, obviously they were orange
but the way they glistened in the sun was quite a
sight to behold. Leaving Olympic Park each day
didn't make things better. The red and blue
flashing lights of a police car would often
accompany the sight of a quality Holden or
Toyota but in Sochi a lot of the
police cars were Ford Focus'. Not
only did this remind me of my own
precarious situation back home
but it also instilled a real sense of
fear. What if something had
happened to me and I suddenly
learnt how to speak Russian and
called the cops and they were
on their way to help me and
like my Ford Focus their brake
fluid tank leaked, or alternator
failed or perhaps the car
overheated and they had to stop.
Overheat during the Winter Games? You would
think that was crazy but the climate in that
pa r t of Rus s i a i s a c t ua l l y
s u b t r o p i c a l .
Temperatures in Sochi
hit t-shirt and shorts
weather a few times so
the fear of overheating
is actually quite real. It
was scary... Until I realised
I couldn't randomly speak
enough Russian to ask for
police anyways and would
just have to protect myself
with my Leatherman.
Not some big gay dude clad in
leather and holding a whip, I mean
my multitool. It's great when
something just works and you can
always depend on it. When you
pay for a quality product you hope
that you have i n fact
purchased one that
p e r f o r ms a s

Anthony H
Cream, Get on Top.
I have in recent times tried to fix the problems myself, without of course voiding the warranty. Walking
the supermarket aisles I came across a tube of product that looked promising and read even better.
"TOTAL REPAIR, INSTANT MIRACLE" that was exactly what Troops needed. It had been
a good 17000kms since birth, perhaps that's a bit too much for
a car his age and all that's needed is a bit pampering...
Squeezing copious amounts of "Restoring Treatment" onto
Troops, I massaged it gently while playing soothing music
(Enya) to provide a relaxing environment. Time sailed, sailed
away, sailed away, sailed away and not before long not only did
my car smell amazing and have a healthy shine but it also
seemed to sparkle with new life. It radiated energy, the sort of
energy you would expect from, well.. a brand new car... It was a
beautiful moment, sun setting over the Brisbane skies and my
Ford Focus, fixed...
But... Like my first time ever, it didn't last long. I felt both
embarrassed and ashamed. What did I do wrong? Maybe I
rubbed it too much, wasn't gentle enough? How can there not be
a quick fix to my cars problems short of actually just exchanging it
or getting a refund and purchasing a real car? I was determined,
motivated to continue in my quest. Yes my car seemed to be a
basket case. But you know what? Moses. Yes the great man himself,
was once too a basket case. He went onto achieve greatness in this
world and I prayed my Focus would strive to do the same. Night
after night I prayed. Nothing changed. But then I remembered...
Anthony H
Beirut Blessing.
It was a warm spring day in a beautiful town
called Jbeil about 40kms northeast of the
Lebanese capital, Beirut. I was staying at my
uncles place before starting my scholarship
semester abroad. Umo Gaby, as we call him,
introduced me to my cousin’s brother in-law, who
was a similar age to me and became a good
friend. This morning we had walked over to his
friends house. Bassam had just bought a blue
Kombi. It wasn't spectacular, but in its own way it
was quite beautiful. We piled in and soon enough
were making our way up the mo u n t a i n s
enjoying the spectacular views that Lebanon has
to offer. About 30 minutes later we arrived at a
church whose Priest would bless Bas' bus. Now
you might think I called it a bus because
alliteration is a popular literary device. You would
be wrong. The Kombi was actually purchased
with the intention of being used as a mini school
bus... But wait!... Blessing a vehicle? I know right?
That's kinda crazy! But hey, so is having a brand
new car that needs to get fixed every other
month. So with that I decided it was time.

It was time that my car required some much needed religious intervention. I called
several parishes enquiring about car blessing services but apparently it's not as big
in Brisbane as it is in Beirut. Not willing to give up so easily I had to think of other
methods to bless my car. Then it hit me. Water.... Holy Water. The goodness of H2O
infused with the sheer power of God. I couldn't go wrong.
Taking a small glass bottle to church, I managed to "borrow" "just a few" drops of the
sacred fluid and "rush" back to my car (I actually walked). I like to be prepared, so
before I commenced my Devine Intervention Mission (or DIM for short) I purchased a
spray bottle from Coles. Glass bottle in hand I managed to unscrew the spray bottle
using just my right hand and my teeth, it's quite surprising what a person is capable
of when motivated. I poured the holy water into the bottle and added some
ThankYou water to dilute, not just because it was the cheapest water 7/11 had but
also because it's the only morally conscious water they stock...
and it was the cheapest water they had. The mixture was 1 part Holy Water to 2 parts Charity Water. With
a ratio of goodness like that, this was bound to work. I started spraying Troops while reciting every single
Anthony H
prayer I know. Our Father, Hail Mary, Our Father, umm, Hail Mary, oh and I also
sang a Latin prayer type song that all of us students had to sing at Marist
schools. Sub Tuum. Being Latin I had no idea what the song meant, I haven't for
17 years now, but it's religious so I thought why the HELL not... I sang my little
heart out while spraying Troops with what I hoped would be the solution to end
all its problems. It didn't work... It didn't work? IT DIDNT WORK! I was in
disbelief, how could it not work?! This took quite a emotional toll on me but 12
seconds later I chose to accept it. It wasn't to be. One thing I am resigned to is
that I will never know if it was the poor choice of mental
vocalisation "why the hell not" or the ratio being just plain
wrong. Either way the holy charity water spray bottle from
Coles trick didn't work and shortly after being fixed for
the second time my brake fluid levels were again, down
down and staying down.
Do you enjoy your weekends? I quite enjoy mine.
I like long drives, visiting places and catching up
with old friends. Weekends away sits atop of the
"my favourite things to do" list.
Fol l owed cl osel y by pl ayi ng
Ultimate Frisbee and apparently
writing long letters to companies
who have not only let me down,
but their own reputation. I had
planned to visit my best mate
Jen and her new born in
Stanthorpe one weekend. I
had looked forward to this for
weeks, getting to meet Aliyah
was going to be one of the highlights of
my year. It's not every day that your best friend
has a baby, in fact most days your best friend
doesn't have a baby (not physically possible), but
boy when they do, it's a real special moment.
Beyond excited I had planned to have the
Monday off work so I could drive down on the
Saturday and back for work on Tuesday. Great
plan right?
It was. Did it work out? Of course it didn't. I
own a Ford Focus and as one
would (obviously) expect, the
brake fluid reservoir required
replacing, again. But if my plan
did work out it would have been
glorious. I would have got to hold
the cutest baby in Stanthorpe, got to
drink some decent wine, stayed on a
farm and gotten a photo with the big
apple. Stanthorpe is apple territory
supplying a significant percentage of
Australia's apples. My driveway is lemon
territory supplying 100% inconvenience to my
life. So lemony have my dealings with my Focus
become, that I can't in fact stomach the thought
of lemons. Both The vehicular and citrus kind.
Anthony H
Have you ever tried Lebanese pizza? Do yourself a favour and try the one
with mince meat on it. Lahma Bajeen in Arabic. What makes it a whole lot
better is a squeeze of lemon.
I no longer squeeze lemon on pizza. Or fish. Nor do I drink lemonade,
lemon lime bitters or eat lemon cheesecake. So sour have I become in
life that the thought of added zest repulses me.
Thinking of lemon I scrunch my face, resembling that of a old mans with
weathered wrinkles decades beyond that of my own. I hear voices. They
laugh and laugh and laugh. The ridicule in their tone torments me
whenever I try to add lemon to a meal. "Lemon boy, lemon boy, moron
he" they sing, "why would you buy a Ford Focus when you could have bought a Mazda 3". Their voices
are relentless, but In addition to utilising rhyme which I quite enjoy, they also have a valid point. I could
have bought a reliable Japanese car for not much more... At least if that was a lemon I wouldn't be able
to understand what the voices were saying. Or singing.

Engine Engine Number Nine.
On the New York transit line. If my train goes off the track pick it up! pick it up!.. Sorry I have a habit of
breaking out into song. And laughter. Grabbing a McFlurry and having a conversation about my car with
my housemate Grainne (weird name? She's Irish), we stop at a red light. I could have taken Tiesto's
advice but I didn't want to run dem red lights for fear of getting caught. (See what I did there.) Shortly
after stopping, the "HIGH ENGINE TEMPERATURE, STOP SAFELY" warning flashes up. All we could do
was laugh. The timing was brilliant.
We laughed some more.
I quite literally nearly wee'd myself. It was hilarious. I wish you were there to laugh with us... or feel
embarrassed, both work. Not able to turn the car off at an intersection we drove on a bit further but by
then another warning came up...


I knew that this couldn't be a real problem as the temperature
was only half way and thus probably caused by the same
sensor malfunction that caused the transmission warning and
blew the fuse for the air conditioning. Regardless I still don't
think I have ever laughed so much in my life. At this point
tears of laughter are welling up in my eyes. For any normal
person tears of sadness would greet such vehicular distress.
But not for me. You see I've become somewhat immune to
any surprises that the Focus throws my direction. All I can do
Anthony H
is laugh because if I didn't I would cry. And cry. And cry. And usually I save up all my tears for when I feel
guilty after having premarital sex. A good cry and cuddle of my pillow sends me to sleep easier at night.
Not that sleeping helps.
"Play previous track". "Sense of camaraderie". Often my dreams are filled with the numerous Ford Focus
TV commercials. Somehow I don't manage to wake from these nightmares. Instead I find myself
analysing these ads in my sleep and measuring their levels of ridiculousness. Yeah "when I see another
Focus driver on the road. There's a real sense of camaraderie..."
This is blatant false advertising, when you see another Ford Focus driver on the road there is a mutual
feeling of "we fucked up dude" or "we fucked up dude-ess". Mainly it's dude-ess because end of the day
it is more of a chick car and just as temperamental as some lovely women I know. Hi Tina... Just kidding,
love your work..
"Play previous track"... Really? Some dude just happened to record his own voice singing a song and put
it onto his phone to then stream through his car? I think there is a higher chance of my car turning into
Optimus Prime. Oh and then his wife rings to ask him to go to karaoke... Yeah that would totally happen
in the real world. Or would it? I asked the beautiful people of Facebook to find out and the results were

I also asked them what they would do if they bought a lemon (of the car variety). Funnily enough no one
said they would write the World's Longest Most Ridiculous Yet Justifiable Complaint Newsletter to a Car
Company and send it to Ford. Then publish it on reddit and other online media if they didn't get a
refund. In my mind that was the only logical thing to do. Especially granted you gave the Customer
Service Representative a chance to try to make things right and instead she was all like "hehe teehee but
you have a warranty hehe so it's all good mmmmkayy". Oh that's right, the whole reason I complained
was to be talked to like a child from someone who had the mindset of one.
50% 50%
Anthony H
Life is a Highway.
But no you can not ride it all night long or day for that matter. Or at all.
I swapped shifts with my workmate Craig. One of the nicest blokes you will ever meet, he was more than
happy to start later so I could leave early and head up to the Sunny Coast to join my mate John who
came from Perth. Bags packed, I throw them into the car and head off up to the main road north.
So close, yet so so far. The engine heat warning comes on. But this time
it is different. Far from being within a reasonable temperature as it was
last time the warning came on, it hit 120 degrees. The gauge only goes
up to 120 degrees, unlike me it had reached its full potential. It's
obvious now that this isn't just an issue with a sensor as first thought.
Just kilometres shy of where it becomes the Bruce Highway, I try to
accelerate to pull over from the middle lane of a three lane road busy
with a countless number of cars, assuming you don't hire a group of
old counter people who use those clickers to count the number of
cars. My ability to get any power out of the engine has been
jeopardised and with what little forward movement I have, I manage to
wave down the car to the left of me and pull onto the grass beside him.
Hazard lights on, I call Nathan from Denmac Ford. "Hi Anthony, how's things?"..... "Shit mate".
I explain my situation and Nathan recommends I call RACQ. I do exactly that and wait for the tow truck to
arrive. Suddenly my trip to the Sunshine Coast looks to be a failure. I'm stuck at the side of a busy main
road, bonnet up, hazard lights on and now getting bitten by mosquitos, the type that are attracted to
boiling blood apparently.
How do I pass the time? Well I do that by making good on what I told the Customer Service
Representative I would do if my car gave me more trouble, "well that's up to you" she said at the time.
Indeed it was, I turn to social media 1. To keep me entertained 2. Because I never break a promise and 3.
Because I couldn't bear the thought of someone going through the same ordeal as me.
"BUY A MAZDA" Read the impromptu sign above my Ford. If there
was a newsagency nearby It would have been made of cardboard
and written with a thick black marker, but my iPad had to do. It was
good enough. People honked and some yelled out. One driver;
"should have bought a Holden" he screams, "tell me about it" I reply,
yelling too. So actually it was more
Several Tweets, Instagrams and
Facebook status' later the tow truck
arrives. Focus chained, hoisted and
positioned we are on our way to
the closest Ford Service Centre. The
drive there would prove to be the best part of my day. "No way"
"replaced the alternator" "the brake fluid" "three times" "you bought it
brand new??" The tow truck driver was in disbelief. But disbelief quickly
turned to laughter. Hysterical laughter as I went on to detail the
problems I've had with purchasing a brand new car, and how my Ford
Anthony H
Focus is the only shit part of my life. We must of been laughing for ten minutes, so much so that my
cheeks hurt. He offers me advice. "Mate you need to get rid of that car". It's not advice that hasn't been
given to me dozens upon dozens of times before. He then goes on to detail how he had to go check out
another busted Ford Focus "same shape" as mine earlier in the morning.
We arrive at the Service Centre and sort out getting the
car booked in. It's 5.15pm, so it won't be till the next
day that it gets looked at. Hopeful of continuing my trip
I ask if there is a loan car.
There isn't. FML.
The tow truck driver, in his awesomeness; "Mate I can
drive you to the train station if you still want to head
up". "Hmmm" I think, I wouldn't even know if trains go
close to where I'm going... but hey, if there is one thing
I will not let Ford do that is ruin another weekend of
mine, it would have been the fifth or sixth. "Mate, I'd love a trip to the station".
Sunshine, Lollipops and Rainbows.
One good thing to come of this ordeal is that I
discover a train station called Sunshine. After the
fits of laughter in the tow truck between the
driver and I, this was the second brightest part of
my day. Mostly in part because of its name. The
station itself was a dreary looking place with a
machine that despite wanting $15.00 for a train
ticket would not accept card. Running the
gauntlet and really having no other option I head
off to the platform without a ticket.
A train is coming past, the warning siren blares,
lights flash and the gate to cross the tracks and
get on the platform closes. Two tradies and I wait
and start up a conversation. "On a trip are you?"
asks one... CAN. BEANS. OPEN. A minute later
the train has now passed and I end my story
telling the boys never to buy a Ford. "Well that
depends how old the Ford is" one quips "brand
new mate", "ohh". Gate opens... that was the end
of that conversation and the beginning of a new
one, well more so a monologue. With myself.
Obviously. "Is this because I bargained too hard?
Did I get screwed over by the dealer? Perhaps
this is why the salesman and principal went off for
ten mins and then came back and said the
original one I had wanted was sold by another
dealer in the group and instead offered this one.
CTU ringtone (from 24). Dad is calling. Juggling
my bags, tripod and jumping onto the train I
answer the phone. I explain the situation to dad
who is not impressed. What was more impressive
was the amount of commuters looking at me,
seemingly interested in my failure of a Ford. I
look around and soon notice that I'm on the quiet
carriage, evident by the sign that says "Quiet
Carriage". Peeps, it seems, were actually angry at
me for talking. To be honest though no matter
how many quiet signs, I was never going to shut
up about my failure of a Ford Focus. And even I
hate talking on the phone on public transport.
"You walked in front of my wife".
Changing trains and rushing to the platform I did exactly that. "Sorry mate didn't see her there" I reply
after being called a rude bastard... He looks at me, sizing me up, then suddenly his demeanour changes
(because I'm obviously that huggeeee "bro"). "Nah it's alright she's only 4 foot" he laughs. Funny that
because my partner is only 2 hands.
Anthony H
I jump aboard and BAM. I'm greeted by what might be the ugliest train I have ever been on. A mishmash
of stale, bogans, old carpet, dirty metal and green seats. I sit down, take out my iPad and open the book
of face. I smile. I smile at the attention that has been afforded to my Anti-Ford Focus rhetoric. I smile at
the funny comments. And I smile most reading a suggestion from a Camera Operator at another
"You should park your car outside head office then dump cow shit beside the difference".
It's a hilarious idea but a tad bit messy. I already tell him that I have plans to
get a large turd made of fibreglass and have it sit upon my roof and hang
outside the dealership. This complemented with signage on the
rear window and decals on the side of my car reading
"piece of". Sure it's a departure from the whole
standard "I bought a lemon", but some people quite
enjoy adding lemon to foodstuffs. No one enjoys
adding shit.
Well actually some creatures don't mind poo. Rabbits for instance can tell if they haven't received
the full nutritional value of their food and will consume their faecal matter to get those extra nutrients.
Other animals to consume their own poo include hamsters and guinea pigs. It is believed that their
doodie is high in vitamins B and K. One creature that doesn't regularly eat poo is the cat. I say "doesn't
regularly" because mother cats have been observed eating their kittens poo early after giving birth. It is
thought that this is to maintain a clean environment for the kittens and/or to hide any scents that would
attract a predator.
What cats haven't been observed doing is hanging around my car. That's
right. My car doesn't attract pussy. My housemate has a Mazda 3, a cat sleeps
under it. Our neighbour has a Mini Cooper, a cat sleeps atop of it. My other
housemate has a Toyota Corolla
which a cat also uses as shelter. But
my poor Focus has no feline friends,
I obviously put this down to their
apparent sense of danger.
Researching this supposed sense, I
stumble upon a WordPress site called Cats & Co. It has three
cats in its headline and only a couple spelling mistakes, as
such it seems like a credible source.... cats are used in some
nations to "enter a newly built building or house to see if it is a
safe place..." It's on the interwebs so it must be true.
Placing cat food under my car I wait for a
cat to arrive and allay the fear that my car is
unsafe. I wait. I wait. And I wait some more.
Nothing. Short of transforming my car into a
Lamborghini (not physically possible) how
can I attract some pussy? The lady at the pet
shop suggests some toys... I try this and fail, it
too doesn't work.
My car is officially unsafe. Just another thing to
add to a sizeable list of issues my car has.
Anthony H
Loan Moan
It's Friday, I arrive outside the Service Center at Kedron. Dropped off by my mate on his way to the
airport. I begin taking my bags out of the boot of his hire car. My phone rings, it's the Service Manager.
"Mate we put that new part in your car but it's still having problems, it keeps blowing fuses and we need
to find out why”, "When will you need it till?”, "We can't look at it until Monday”, "Well I'm out the front
now do you have a loan car?”, "Sorry we don't have one until
Man this is FRUSTRATING. I end up at the airport and board yet
another train home, where I then walk a km, five bags hanging
off of me. Tomorrow I will have to get a taxi to work. Guess who is
paying for it? Yes that would be me. Guess what I've attached a
copy of? Yes that would be my receipt. And finally guess who is
reimbursing me. Correct, that would be you.
But it's not the only money that will find its way from your account and into mine. No sir. Below is what
you owe me. I didn't think my Focus would ever get this shit and that things would ever get to this point
so I obviously didn't keep receipts for previous dealings. I've approximated the cost though, don't knock
it, it's more accurate then the quality control on your production line.
• Train to Indooroopilly from Darra $5 + Taxi to work $15
•Taxi from work to Indooroopilly $15 + Train to Darra $5
•Train to Nambour $16 (Sunny Coast)
•Taxi to work from Spring Hill $36
•Time wasted dealing with car and writing this
letter 15hrs (being very very generous here)
•15 hrs at my freelance rate $3,000
•In Louisiana, USA, prisoners who are detained but
found to not actually be guilty of crimes they were locked
up for are paid out a sum once released and exonerated.
This is paid for loss of life experiences and equates to
$27,673 Australian Dollars or $75.82 a day. Having ruined at
least four of my weekends completely (surely lost some life
experiences there) that equates to $682.38
• Emotional stress. Let's go with a K for nearly reducing me to tears once (a
semi hard task) $1000 dollars
• Refund of vehicle $18,900
• Refund of trade in $1,000
To be fair though I must also factor in the amount of petrol that I have saved throughout this ordeal by
using trains, taxis, walking and not going on weekends away. So let's just say hmm 400 litres, that's
probably a very generous over-exaggeration but I'm generous. So 400 litres at say $1.45 a litre. That's
$580. We can deduct that from the total that you owe me. You're welcome.
Anthony H
Total comes to $24,094.38.
Taxi Ride.
Not the band. Although they were one of my favourite Aussie
artists. True story. It's 9 o'clock on a Saturday... Regular crowd
shuffles in after a quick call my taxi arrives. Directing the driver to
my work, we get talking. It's not the usual taxi convo "Busy day?",
"Oh wow 12hr days", "How long you been doing this", "This
weather ay?" etc yeah it wasn't like that. We talk about why I don't
have a car granted I work in an area with no public transport. I
explain the sitch to him and he begins to talk about his first new
It was a Mitsubishi Lancer. It lasted him 200,000km with no major
issues. After that he bought another Lancer and still had no issues. In addition to having a successful
history of purchasing quality cars, Bupimba himself was quite a successful young man. Moving from
India over 6 years ago, at first he cried quite often missing his family. Soon enough he embraced
Australia, picked up work as a Taxi Driver and began working 6 days a week, 12 hours a day. He decided
to learn how to drive long haul trucks and has now saved enough money to buy his own. His dad is
coming out next week to join him in Australia. He is going to teach his dad how to drive a truck so he too
can work as a driver. Bupimba has big plans, he wants to own his own fleet of trucks and employ his dad.
A wonderful story of a new Australian realising his dreams and making them come true.
I dream of having a car that doesn't continually fail me.
Like Bupimba I too plan on making this dream come true. But for now it will be taxis, public transport
and rides from friends until my car is fixed, hopefully next week. To be fair, my experience of getting taxis
here is much better then those experiences I had waiting for taxis in Beirut. Using taxis quite often there I
would wait at the side of the road to flag one down. This was the easiest way of getting a taxi as I
couldn't really speak Arabic and didn't even know if they do the whole booking thing. Living in a semi
dodgy part of town I would wait on the footpath for five or ten minutes until one passed. It was always an
eventful wait. People do not stop beeping their horns in Lebanon, it's something you get very used to.
Something you don't get used to is being called a prostitute. Apparently the area in which I would wait
for a taxi was the same area where both male and female prostitutes would work the streets.
"Sharmoota" they would scream out of their cars. It took me a few times to realise that they weren't
offering. I swore from then on that I would never wear fishnet stockings again with Nikes...on a Saturday
Monday Bloody Monday.
Like the rest of the world I hate Mondays too. Actually, allow me to reword that... Like the majority of the
western world, I hate Mondays too. You see lots of Muslim countries actually have a Friday - Saturday
weekend. Instead, I presume countries like Bahrain, Egypt, Iraq, Oman and Sudan don't look forward to
Sundays, as it is the start of their working week.
It's Monday. I have the day off. Cause for celebration right? Wrong. Sure I get to sleep in, but what next? I
have two days off and can't spend these days doing what I want to do because surprise surprise, I don't
have a car... I bet you are not surprised at all. I did want to book in a time with a Dermatologist but I just
don't know when my car will be "fixed" and when I have to get it. It will take a bit of time to retrieve my
Anthony H
car as I will have to get a train, bus and walk. I could get a taxi but I'm trying to save you money here, I'm
nice like that.
Not that it is helping my scalp. Since coming back from Sochi my scalp has been dry and several pimples
pop up from time to time. It might just be for peace of mind but I did want to get it checked out. My hairs
also thinning but that's another's story completely. Actually, let's just blame that on the car too. Just
I wonder if my car was in fact made on a Monday, is
there a way to find this out? Surely after a big weekend
factory workers are going to be feeling a bit meh.
Perhaps that's the reason why my car wasn't put
together properly. By a similar token, it could also be a
Friday car... The weekend is coming, people are
pumped to get out and start drinking. "What's a bolt
here and there", "surely this car doesn't need a working
alternator", "let's not overthink this production process,
just make it look like it's put together right".
It's automated? Yeah I get what you are saying. But surely there's a lot of human input. And who's to say
the robots don't in fact go getting lubricated and dancing the robot themselves. Do you stay up late and
watch the assembly line? Didn't think so.
Either way, whether human or robotic, someone or some droid has screwed up my car and seemingly a
few others. I get you can't discipline a robot but if you could try to show it the error of its ways perhaps it
will understand. Surely you must try. Please. For me. Thanks.

By far the most esteemed passenger I have had the privilege to drive. I met Bob as I went out for a jog
and came across him waiting at a bus stop. I said hello, he replied and we had a chat. He asked me for
directions to the YHA hostel in town, "are you visiting someone there?" I ask. "No", he replies, "I'm
staying there". A 91 year old staying at a youth hostel and still travelling by himself. He
was from WA and decided to come and visit a friend who lived up north. I admired his
nomadic nature and drive. Age was no barrier for Bob.
Having gone to Coles to get groceries and now having walked the complete opposite
direction to where he needed to go, I decided Bob had enough adventure for one
day. "Mate if you wanna walk to mine a few hundred metres away I'll give you a lift to
the hostel". He accepted my offer and soon enough we were on our way. Bob was a
sewing machine repairer and still happy to hand out his (carbon)dated business
cards, he had travelled a lot in his life time and yet remained perfectly grounded.
A true gentleman, Bob was quick to congratulate me on my new car. I was a little bit
proud. He told me how he likes the dash and I couldn't agree with him more. There
is so so much that is right with this car. But unfortunately as I was to find out, there is also so much that is
wrong. I really do wish that the experience with my Ford Focus was not littered with faults and at times
fraught with danger. I also wish you had placed the driver side air conditioner vents in a location where a
drivers hands doesn't block the flow entirely. Rookie error.
Anthony H
Back to the present, I head to the Service Center to pick up my car. It's a wonderful moment as I receive
my keys. Alleluia, no more public transport, taxis or relying on friends. I'm told that the cooling fan
needed replacing and a couple sensors were also replaced. The same sensors that were scheduled to
go into my car at the Indooroopilly service centre the same week. Driving home, I cast my mind back
thinking about the turbulent relationship with my car and how it all began.
My first brand new car. Wow my first Ford. I was over the moon. I saved enough money to buy a new car
outright, awesome! I checked out so so many cars and had fallen in love with the Focus. It was funny
because the first and second time I had seen the new look Focus I hated it. Not over any big design
changes but just because I didn't like how the brake lights jutted out to the side of the car. Eventually I
even grew to love that too. It looks great, is a perfect size, the seats fold flat, plenty of space, the
dashboard is beautiful. So much to like! I was sure this car was a winner.
In my extensive research I had seen several issues Ford Focus owners were having on the forums. For
some reason I chose to ignore those believing they wouldn't happen to me. As we both now know, I was
very wrong.
We all make mistakes, in life there are always lessons to learn. I feel I have indeed learnt quite a few. In
future I will not dismiss others experiences with their cars, I will not proudly talk to everyone about how
much I like my car until after the first six months if no problems arise, I will take my colleagues opinions
on aboard, I likely won't buy Ford and I most definitely will not commit myself to writing the World's
Longest Most Ridiculous Yet Justifiable Complaint Newsletter to a Car Company. Surely I have achieved
a record of some sort. Why is this so ridiculous? You might ask. Well I might answer... I've dealt with
ridiculous for the past 14 months of owning this car. You've only had to endure ridiculous for 9,029
words or 38,898 characters. Trust me, I’m glad too I didn’t tweet this.
Dragging on just a wee bit, this letter sure is. Wrapping it up, I commend you for taking the time to read
it. I realise you likely get thousands of complaint letters every week day hour and I'm glad you have had
the chance to read what could be your first complaint newsletter. I look forward to seeing the money you
owe me find it's way into my bank account. That amount is $24,094.38 but like Bing Lee says
"everything's negotiable", I might budge a bit on this. I'm a reasonable guy as you might have guessed...
I acknowledge that this complaint is quite left of centre. At this stage it remains between you and I. I
realise I have other options including taking this (the complaint, not the letter) to Fair Trading, the ACCC
or worse that other acronym, ACA. But I get the feeling you might still have a shred of morality in that
beautiful heart of yours to once and for all end the battle between my Ford Focus and I. It's been
dramatic, stressful and surprising, but I think for all parties involved this war has raged far too long and
the poor little Focus is getting tired.
Help Troops rest peacefully. He has had a hard life.

Kind regards,


Anthony H
Very Cross. Word
A newsletter wouldn't be complete without one.
Transfer Details
Although let's be honest you are more likely going to call me first and annoy me. But just in case you
would rather skip the whole talk down to me part and just want to deposit the money here are the deets.
Bank details:
St George Bank
This page my complaint 20 pages long.