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What is about to be said is the opinion of this writer only and does not necessarily reflect the opinions of V8SHO.COM, Its list members, or other vendors listed on my website.
On July 6th 2005 I received an email from an old friend and vendor that not
only I have come to respect, but was exceptionally pleased with both his price
FORD decided that they wanted to pick fly shit out of pepper and went after Torrie McPhail and his internet business known as Ford Parts Network.com. As you will see from the Cease and Desist Demand he received from their Attorney's they were accusing a respectable business man of "Cyber Piracy" and copyright infringement.
Now let's think about this for a minute. Torrie was acting, as far as I know, as a "middleman" if you will. So he was pumping money into the economy of several unnamed Ford Parts Departments. Then, at a minimum profit was reselling to the general public. So far, from where I sit, sounds like a normal course of business that is conducted around the world every minute of every day. It's called distribution.
Now let's look at the use of the name FORD. Well, as I purchased many items over the years, and I own a Ford, should I have gone to a Willis site?? Perhaps a Mercury site could have helped me. Nawww I got it a Bowtie site would have been the ticket.
It doesn't take much googling to find literally hundred's of sites out there in cyberspace that specialize in one branded car or another, Either in OEM or aftermarket parts and accessories.
From this recent episode, are we to glean that Ford is now going to put all the other websites in their cross hairs like the government and the Recording Industry did Napster??
From where I sit it appears to me that because we on the list spoke highly of Torrie while FORD trolls (Sorry Ryan, we will have to find another name for you) were monitoring the list, and referred many many people to him, he became a victim of my action against FORD. Now I know that my good friend Ron will have his say about the raw business of doing business, and he will probably for the most part be right. However, If, for any reason, my action against Ford has caused this to happen to Torrie, then I may begin to join Buford and explore the concept of conspiracy theories. Something that I have never believed in.
You can bet I'll hear from our attorneys about my personal support for Torrie and his right to conduct business, Frankly Scarlet I don't give a damn. Many of us old timers on the list did hard time in the late 60's, early 70's to fight for "rights" Seems sometimes to this observer that many people gave a lot for very little in return.
Now the sad part. As you can see from the letter, there is Case Law to support the demand from the attorney. GM, Toyota and others have been busy exercising their rights to restrain trade because of trademark laws. Kind of a catch 22 of business.
I would hope that Torrie finds a way to dance in the legal grey area and come back in different robes doing the same thing for all who own not only SHO's but all Ford products that he supported. He, in my estimation, did a hell of a job. Bad things happen to good people. That, IMHO, needs to change.
(See PDF attachment)
Personal Opinion from Sheriff Buford T Justice:
I needed some major work done on my SHO, 2 weeks on Pgh roads will find any weakness in a car. This close to the convention Doug is busy and I thought I might try to find someone about 500 miles closer to work on my car.
I was having brake pulsing, I knew the sub-frame bushings were almost shot. The rear strut mounts were clunking and the struts are within 10k of their end of life.
Things were only "slightly noticeable" when I started shopping for a Pgh shop I could trust, but in the week I waited for the holiday to be over and the mechanic whom I wanted to return things got much worse and in the process I ruined (cupped) a few tires.
So they did do a good job, (but not cheap) and I picked up my dirty car and pay the $3,500 repair bill and Say "Hey, for $3,500 you can't even rearrange the dead bugs on my car? I spend $350 on a Volvo and they return my car clean!" Hell's bells, you balanced my new tires, still covered in brake dust??
The service writer mentioned that they can't keep good help, mechanics or even someone to wash my car. So I'm thinking:
A Ford Dealership can't keep good mechanics because of Ford Motor Company doesn't deal honestly with mechanics over warranty repairs. If you are a good mechanic the last place you would want to work is in a Ford Dealership. Visit Blue Oval News or Flat Rate Tech and read how Ford screws the mechanics over on warranty repairs and everything else.
Then, Ford screws "Ford Parts Network" and we ask what does this have to do with us.
Then don't forget that every possible problem an owner will ever or could ever have is "Owner abuse and Neglect".
A clear pattern emerges:
Ford screws EVERYBODY. They are just ethically impaired. They have no conscience and are clueless how to treat people. Even if you OWNED the dealership why buy another Ford product when you can't keep good help, buy good parts at a fair price or treat customers honestly if you wanted to?
Ford Parts Network was; and I hope returns to be a valuable resource for all Ford owners. Great folks to do business with. Who said you can shear a sheep many times but skin it only once? But Ford Motor Company just doesn't get it.
What is Fords Business Plan here? Evidently it seems to be "screw everybody" and hope nobody notices. While I love this group and even enjoy the hell out of my car I have to look back an wonder if the center of our universe should not be a more loving and providential and benevolent vehicle manufacturer?
I'm an idealist. Swore off domestic cars in '82, but after 15 years of advertising from Ford all trumpeting "We have changed, try us again." Out of national loyalty I was suckered. As part of Ford's discovery I am being asked "What alternatives to a class action suit" did I try and "what do I hope to accomplish?" with a class action lawsuit.
The obvious simplistic answer is to make whole those folks injured by way of a defective product; but on a even more primordial and elemental level I would like to get Ford's attention and help restore an American Institution to some semblance of ethical dealings and restore credibility with it customers.
A bridge too far? A dream too unreachable? I pray not.
Sorry to take so long, so if you got this far, thanks for sharing the ride,
(The views expressed are not necessarily the views of the Network, Affiliates, Sponsors, List members, V8SHO or any inerrant Deities)