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New997buyer
Dijon


Joined: 17 Oct 2010
Posts: 7578



PostPosted: Sat Feb 18, 2017 2:24 pm    Post subject: 911 Virgin Buyer's Review Reply with quote

Thought I'd take a moment and share my experience buying from '911Virgin'

http://www.911virgin.com/

A bit of background.....



This is my third 911. My first, a 996.1 was purchased from a general independent dealer in Surrey and the second from an performance specialist in Hayes. With each I took the step of engaging Peter Morgan for one of his Pre-Purchase Inspections (PPI). Peter is someone who I trust and respect. If you haven't read Peter's reports try and do so. They are thorough, methodical and very honest (http://www.porscheinspections.com/). JZM are also an outfit I have had good dealings with regarding PPIs.

Ultimately a PPI isn't there to tell you what to do. It is there to provide additional data for you to add to what you have already have so you can make the right choice for you. And having benefited from them in the past I never thought I'd buy a car without one having uncovered hidden downsides in several cars that only the PPI turned up. With 911Virgin and my latest car, and also the most expensive by some margin, I didn't get a PPI.

There were two reasons for this. None of them sentimental. Firstly reputation. MJA911, KAS750 and Budflicker all extolled the virtues and quality of customer care from 911Virgin. Michael (MJA911) in particular, whose judgement in these things I respect and trust, provided enough confidence that the 'promise' that the brand Tom is working hard to build at 911Virgin might be met in everyday reality.

The second reason was the knowledge that with this car I'd get the rare and hallowed 'best of both worlds': OPC for main servicing for that all important 'stamp' and access to the ongoing world of Porsche, coupled with ongoing work and care from a high quality independent in Sid from Porsche Torque. Observing Michael's experience and carefully taking his advice illustrated that this would be a good ongoing arrangement. Backed up by a year's warranty as standard within the sale and then careful selection of warranty afterwards this made this big step for me a realistic proposition.

The car has had some problems so I'll share how that has panned out shortly and whether this 'ideal' arrangement has been just that. But some context first.

How did I end up in this position...........

At a meet for the West London/East M4 crowd in December I discussed the milestone my beloved 996 turbo (Ness) had reached: 89,000 miles. Having covered 46,000 of them I was in a quandary. I'm well known for not being in the car washing club. This shouldn't be confused with lacking care for the car. I care deeply about the mechanical integrity of my cars. I want it all to work as intended from the factory or better. I'm fastidious with servicing and repairs and while I'm pragmatic if something needs a fix then so be it. The service history from my cars attests to this. But living in a flat in Harrow makes washing the car a faff as it involves carting buckets of water round the corner to my garage.

Anyway, 'Ness' was driving beautifully and I was thinking should I keep it and aim for the 100,000 mark and spend a little (£10k or so) to give it more pep?



I decided on the former so I contacted Ken at 9E and discussed a plan for my car including a new plenum, intercoolers, exhaust and map. But then Michael (MJA911) asked the killer question: "Would you spend that money on 'Ness' or some more to get a newer 997 turbo?"

It was an interesting dilemma. So I contacted Ken at 9E and shared the news I was changing cars instead. He was courteous and kind and I want to acknowledge that here. He made changing my mind easy. You can often measure the quality of an outfit when these things happen, when a customer changes their mind, and Ken earned my respect by his patience and understanding.

The 'sale'........

Soon after I made that decision an email with a link arrived from Michael: a 25,000 mile 2007 997 turbo with 3 owners, full OPC history in Atlas Grey for sale at 911Virgin. It was stunning and an amazing specification and condition. I opened a conversation with Tom at 911Virgin. A quick phone call gave them the spec for my car, the service history (from Sid at Porsche Torque http://www.porsche-torque.co.uk/) and some workable numbers to change. So I left work early and headed to 911Virgin to see the car. It was stunning. It looked even less than its 25,000 miles, if such a thing was possible.



Tom quickly sussed that my car was a 'good un' despite the inevitable winter dirt on the surface and we agreed a price.



Obviously I arranged for my wife to view it as well. I'm not bothered by who needs to tell the world who wears the trousers. I wouldn't spend such an amount without her consent and agreement. Besides it was a moot step as she has a horse. Then I left to consider it.

Meanwhile the rear spoiler warning light had came on. It would have been possible to have filled the reservoir with CHF and had the fault code erased. But I'm an honest person and instead was open about it. So whoever buys 'Ness' has that inevitable 996 turbo bill out of the way (along with a few others). I arranged for it to be fixed and our agreed p/ex price stood. The deal was done.



Throughout this I had some terrific conversations with Tom about a wide range of subjects but all pertaining to Porsches, 911Virgin and the proposition they offer customers. It was obvious that they took customer experience very seriously indeed. For example, the sale transaction was easy and smooth. Terms an conditions were clearly explained. It was professional and considered. It was never pressured but equally it was never tardy or disinterested. It was always focused on one thing: "Does this work okay for you?" as Tom frequently asks.

The 'problems'.........

A number of problems arose with the car that illustrate what the experience working with Tom and 911Virgin is like. I'll outline these now.

The first came from the minor service and brake fluid change by OPC Brooklands agreed as part of the sale. While doing this they picked up a small problem with the breather housing which had sprung a leak. This is a very common 997 turbo problem. And it isn't a cheap fix being an engine out job to repair. Tom was 100% transparent this had been found. No wiping it down to clear the tell tale oil leak.

I had been due to pick the car up the next day so he kindly offered a loan car, whether I wanted to wait till it was fix or, as this was just before Xmas, whether I collected the car and dropped it back in when it was convenient or me. I selected that as it tied in with other plans. The openness and flexibility was of a form I'd never experienced in buying a car before. I was impressed. Especially as some outfits wouldn't have acknowledged it, let alone work with you on how to remedy it.

Secondly when I dropped the car back for the repair we suspected that the boost wasn't right. Again with no argument this was reviewed and resolved with no fuss. Being a little used car one of the actuators was prone to seizing. This was greased up and sorted. Again no fuss and no problem. In fact the reverse, "Are you sure this is okay for you?" the standard approach from Tom.

Thirdly while being worked on Sid spotted a small leak in one of the front radiators, missed by the OPC. Again, no fuss or drama, this was resolved before I even knew it had happened.

The promise delivered..........

It is in these moments that the measure of a dealer can be seen. When you're buying you're excited and so on. Its easy. But when things happen, and with cars they do very easily, how these things are dealt with reveal the quality that is being delivered. And make no mistake that 911Virgin are delivering quality.

So sorry for the long read but in summary my overwhelming view of 911Virgin is that you may be buying a car, but they are working hard to buy a customer. I'll take that every time.



Reflections.........

My experience also illustrates the best of this forum. The friendships, the advice, the insights, the shared knowledge and the connections. At it's best it is a truly extraordinary thing. With the help of this forum I've now covered over 100k in 911s, something I am grateful for.

As I transition from a '6 to a '7 I'm thankful for all the help I've had along the way. There really is no substitute.



Last edited by New997buyer on Sat Feb 18, 2017 3:40 pm; edited 3 times in total
 
  
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T8
General
General


Joined: 29 Jun 2010
Posts: 12016
Location: Kent


PostPosted: Sat Feb 18, 2017 2:31 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Great review. Lovely car. thumbsup

I'm also pleased to hear of more praise for an established 911 dealer.
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The return of Marty Wild
Montreal


Joined: 04 Nov 2016
Posts: 535



PostPosted: Sat Feb 18, 2017 2:37 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Congratulations and great write up. I recently bought my car from Tom and have nothing but praise for the man. He left no stone unturned in making sure the car was tiptop and I was happy at every step. Of course it went through Sid's hands too. In short, when you're dealing with Tom and PorscheTorque, you're onto to a good thing.
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New997buyer
Dijon


Joined: 17 Oct 2010
Posts: 7578



PostPosted: Sat Feb 18, 2017 2:41 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Cheers chaps thumbsup

One thing I missed out was in the period Tom was at full tilt and very very busy. But not just from sales but from making sure existing customers were satisfied. His dedication to existing as well as new customers was an impressive thing to witness thumbsup
 
  
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RedJedi
Suzuka


Joined: 13 Aug 2008
Posts: 1048
Location: Leicester


PostPosted: Sat Feb 18, 2017 2:46 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Thumb Great write up.

Nice to hear positive write ups about dealers too - don't think I have ever heard a bad word about 911virgin and would not hesitate to go to them in the future.
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spongebob squarepants
Magny-Cours


Joined: 20 Dec 2009
Posts: 2674
Location: Manchester and Iraq


PostPosted: Sat Feb 18, 2017 3:19 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I have bought 2 911's from 911v and experienced exactly the same high level of service, nothing is too much trouble and always 100% honest. Very good px pricing taboot thumbsup
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Alam
Spa-Francorchamps


Joined: 12 Jan 2013
Posts: 269
Location: Buckinghamshire


PostPosted: Sat Feb 18, 2017 3:32 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Top Man - Great review.
I've never used 911v, but now will consider popping in when its my time to upgrade next year.

See you next weekend...
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the other me
Nürburgring


Joined: 02 Aug 2014
Posts: 399
Location: Girona/Riga


PostPosted: Sat Feb 18, 2017 3:55 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

It is great to read such positive experiences with an indy specialist.

With service like that one can only wish them further & continued success, they are a credit to the term "customer service" , which in so many other cases is no more than "lip service", as many threads on here will attest to.
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ragpicker
Sepang


Joined: 14 Apr 2013
Posts: 2828
Location: North East England


PostPosted: Sat Feb 18, 2017 4:02 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Cracking write up fella. Nice to hear of a good, honest car dealer.

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alex yates
Shanghai
Shanghai


Joined: 06 Mar 2014
Posts: 10164
Location: Lancashire

2000 Porsche 996 Carrera 4

PostPosted: Sat Feb 18, 2017 7:16 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Your best post Paul. Great little read and very informative. I likey Thumb
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mzmini
Suzuka


Joined: 30 Jan 2015
Posts: 1099
Location: Somerset


PostPosted: Sat Feb 18, 2017 7:54 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Yes great post indeed N997B , I too was wowed by Tom and all at 911 Virgin a great set up Thumb
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budflicker
Monza


Joined: 15 Apr 2009
Posts: 237
Location: kent


PostPosted: Sat Feb 18, 2017 8:50 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

That looks fantastic Paul, try to keep the bird poop off this one though...

Glad things went well with Tom, my experience was excellent as well, top outfit and most likely when I change from my C4S it will be into something that has tempted me on their website.

Look forward to catching up at some point and seeing the new car.

I might see if I can make it to Dinslaken this year.
 
  
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Monkeynutz
Spa-Francorchamps


Joined: 05 Oct 2016
Posts: 315
Location: Peterborough


PostPosted: Sat Feb 18, 2017 9:22 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

great review and write up! superb car! enjoy! Thumb
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Palladium
Watkins Glen


Joined: 01 Nov 2015
Posts: 2102



PostPosted: Sun Feb 19, 2017 8:47 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

its a good review, its also highly unusual for a car dealer to be so interested in their customers. Thumb
 
  
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madalaa
Yas Marina


Joined: 13 Mar 2008
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Location: West London

1995 Porsche 993 Carrera 4

PostPosted: Sun Feb 19, 2017 4:00 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Great write up Paul ....... and I also have only for praise for 911virgin and in particular Tom ........ but the whole team are a class act.
 
  
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FredGT3
Silverstone


Joined: 06 Sep 2011
Posts: 133



PostPosted: Sat Mar 18, 2017 12:44 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

911V are great, we bought our first Porsche from them back in 2010 when SWMBO wanted a Boxster. I've since bought another and sold 3 back to them.

All of my dealings with Tom and Terry have been great. Can't recommend them enough.

Regards
Fred
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Jay.
Monza


Joined: 21 Oct 2015
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Location: Peterborough


PostPosted: Sat Mar 18, 2017 12:53 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

It certainly seems 911V have a great thing going on, and I wish more places followed their way of thinking.
 
  
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Pip1968
Österreich


Joined: 26 Oct 2009
Posts: 991
Location: Blighty


PostPosted: Sun Mar 19, 2017 6:18 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

As above always good to hear of great customer service. More importanly is the part where they deal with issues as any Porsche sales centre can be 'nice' when dealing with a sale.

I bought mine from Specialist Cars of Malton (SCoM) and as mine is a keeper (I do not think I will ever afford a RS Sad ) I possibly will not have to deal with anyone else aside from the independant Porsche service centres.

SCoM similarly were very good and stuck by their bumper to bumper 12 month warranty with no fuss or bother.

Finally, it also very good to hear of someone happy to put miles on their car instead of owning a garage queen. Thumb . Happy motoring . Next post 200,000 miles - ??

Pip
 
  
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New997buyer
Dijon


Joined: 17 Oct 2010
Posts: 7578



PostPosted: Sun Mar 19, 2017 6:29 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Pip1968 wrote:

Finally, it also very good to hear of someone happy to put miles on their car instead of owning a garage queen. Thumb . Happy motoring . Next post 200,000 miles - ??

Pip


There are one or two would wish my next post wasn't for another 195,500 miles... Wink

Indeed. I've been mightily impressed by 911v despite the B.S. car dealers have to put up with from Joe Public. Sure there are a lot of dodgy car dealers but some buyers who don't cover themselves in glory either.

Anyway off to get ready to add another 100 miles tomorrow thumbsup
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