I really quite like (well I used to!) Virgin as a company, having a virgin phone and having used their isp in the past I have always been quite impressed with them. NOT ANY MORE!! I found the sales staff very helpful but once they had the deposit off me things suddenly got not quite so helpful. I made it clear that I had a conference about 10 days away and needed the car for then. The problems started the day after I made the order when I phoned to check progress. There had been some sort of miscommunication. I had been told delivery was free and they suddenly wanted to charge me £100 for it. The promised to check the tapes of the conversation and come back to me within 24 hours. This was on Monday. Having phoned them every day they finally told me on Thursday that their IT eqipment was not working due to thunder and lightning. On the Friday I lost patience with them and told them to tell me if they could not get me a car by the following Wednesday as if they could not I make other arrangements. By mid-afternoon on Friday I had had a car 'allocated' and had paid them the balance of the price. It is now Tuesday and they now tell me they cannot guarantee delivery and never do. They seem less than interested with chasing things up as they do not consider a car overdue until it is several days late. Now I am left with going to an important residential meeting with my clapped out banger if they do not deliver in time. I am most definately less than impressed. I could have walked into a main dealer (having phoned in advance) looked at the car and doen the deal that day. (they would have pdi'd and valeted it etc. As to the car from virgin.... all I have is their word for it that it even exists! Would I do it again? I think I would probably spend £30 on a flight to Glasgow and buy one in Scotland..... cheaper too!!!
I too recently purchased a car through Virgin.com. I was one of their "pioneers", someone who started the buying process before the site had launched proper, so my comments are more about the service than the website. I ordered my car excitedly and waited patiently for word from virgin, which came in the form of a lovely folder full of stuff for me to fill in.. I duly filled in the forms and posted them along with my cheque for the deposit a not insubstantial one and a half grand. I then waited in anticipation for some form of confirmation which did not arrive. I chased them commenting that if you're going to send that amount of money to a company, the very *least* they can do is let you know that they've received it. Most phone calls I made to virgincars were not returned and it was a nightmare to get hold of the same person twice. And this is from the time when they actually said they *wanted* the feedback. The service went along these lines for a while. I was given a delivery date which was then delayed by a month, because - apparently - the whole of Europe packs up for the summer and Virgin hadn't realised this when they gave me my delivery date. I was very disappointed to say the least, but had to persist with this way of purchase as they wouldn't give me my deposit back. Still, eventually the car arrived. It is a gorgeous shining green Ford Puma, which i love to bits. The guy who delivered it was very helpful, showed me round the car and then left me to play with it, telling me that someone would contact me in the next couple of days to make sure everything was okay. Surprise surprise that never happened. But then they never were very good at phone calls. I have just received a second letter from them asking for a copy of my logbook... I think I might let them wait a bit... :)
Another great initiative from everybodys favourite businessman - Virgin cars offers a vast variety of cars at exceptional prices, and the process of ordering the car itself is painless and intuitive. The cars on offer are fully customisable - at the initial ordering stage more prominent features of the car can be changed such as specifying whether air conditioning or a cd player/changer is required and later on in the ordering process colour can be chosen. One of the problems with being able to fully customise the car is that it must be made to build and therefore can take a long time to be delivered, add to this the fact that the cars are made overseas (this is how they can offer the cars for so cheap) and the delivery time is prolonged even more - our car arrived last week after a 21 week wait. A rather large downside to the Virgin cars service is the level of customer service provided - my dad couldn't accept the original delivery date so he had to call to have it rescheduled, which virgin gladly did (supposedly) but the car never arrived. After phoning up customer services, my dad was told that they'd call him back and they never did, so he rung again - same answer, and again they didnt call back, in the end my dad had to phone and request to speak to a manager, and it was only after this phone call that the car was actually delivered.