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    Porsche UK courtesy car experience - take 2

    Right, so here I am today, bringing my Boxster in for some warranty work. The appointment had to be rescheduled because West London Porsche requires 3 weeks notice in order to get a courtesy car. When rescheduling, all I was given was a date and an approximate time (in the morning). Despite the curious lack of any confirmation postcard or a phone call, my spirits are reasonably high as I walk into the door, expecting the usual procedure, i.e. bringing my car in, leaving key on the desk, signing a receipt with the usual clauses (insurance) for the loaner, grabbing the courtesy car keys and being off on my way again.

    Now things start to get interesting. The first question I'm faced with is: "Did you sort out the insurance for the courtesy car?" - Huh???? Slightly confused now, I'm learning that in order to take out a Porsche courtesy car, I have to add that car to my own insurance, in advance. Nevermind that I've taken out courtesy and loaner cars in 3 countries over the last few years, incl. the UK, and NEVER had to pre-arrange insurance myself let alone change my own policy. Audi can do it. What's Porsche's problem?

    Anyways I am told that I should have been told in advance, as well as given the vehicle details. Right, that's really helping at the moment. I'm pointing out the hassle factor and asking politely for a better solution, so the Porsche representative researches a brandnew software which allegedly allows Porsche to catch up to the rest of the world in loaner car procedures, namely booking the car and insurance on the spot, for the customer.

    During the wait, I'm getting more worried and, following a sudden intuition, I step up to the front desk asking if there is any restriction on the type of drivers license one uses for loaner cars (not really expecting any problems as I have both a full EEC - German - and US license which have always been accepted in the UK so far). Alas, indeed, the rep looks abashed and tells me that I need a UK or Irish license in order to be booked into their insurance system. Jeez.

    At that point, I am faced with a choice of no courtesy car or trying to scramble and get the car added to my own insurance right there. So I bite the bullet (really really need a car today... already being late for work), and embark upon the quest to contact my insurance and get the loaner covered. Luckily the Porsche staff can help to find out the contact phone number and I'm connected to a friendly insurance rep who has a computer problem today (doh). In a lengthy ordeal, we (Porsche rep and I) try to match up the courtesy-Audi's data with the reluctant insurance database and finally get the car added and a confirmation fax arranged. I'm reaching a high stress level now as it's not particularly pleasant to shout my personal details into a bad phone connection in the middle of the showroom and trying to re-arrange my insurance.

    So finally I get to the point where I show my license, sign a paper of sorts, get the loaner keys and am pointed towards a parking spot. I get no copy of the contract nor do we walk around the loaner to confirm it's not damaged (for liability reasons). Slightly uneasy about that but pressed for time now, I get in the car - an Audi 1.9 TDI automatic - and turn the ignition key. Immediately I'm am greeted by a bright gas pump warning light. You gotta be kidding me? They give me a car without gas? The Porsche rep confirms that's policy alright. Courtesy cars are not refilled and it's the customer's duty to get sufficient petrol to drive around. That's it.

    Well I got home, but I'm really concerned whether I'll make it to the gas station once I'm heading out to work today.

    Update: Haven't tried to reach the nearest pump yet but called Porsche customer assistance UK and asked if there is any easier way to arrange for courtesy cars, and they're inquiring. Sounds like one may hope...

    /Edit, Disclaimer: So far my experience with West London Porsche has been excellent. It's a very friendly and helpful staff, and other work has been performed very quickly and well, with no complaints at all. The courtesy car is the first hassle factor I've run into with them, and I think that's not due to staff problems or lack of quality in their work, but due to awkward policies.

    Re: Porsche UK courtesy car experience - take 2

    Curiously if you endeavour to find the phrase "Customer Service" in a British is cited as an oxymoron.

    (And for all the Poms. 1-0. You should know that to which I refer)

    Re: Porsche UK courtesy car experience - take 2

    Wow, that is a shocking experience. I have always praised my local Porsche Centre in terms of service. It's actually a factory dealership owned by Porsche AG so you do expect the best. And the tank is always full, and ever since they stopped sharing floor space with Audi, courtesy cars have always been new-ish Boxsters or Cayenne.

    Re: Porsche UK courtesy car experience - take 2

    I returned the loaner today (with NO tank warning light active) and picked up my well serviced and squeaky clean baby, which took a whole lot less time than getting my hands on the courtesy car in the first place. Bit of a rude awakening there for someone who is still spoiled by the US service world, but other UK Porsche drivers as well as the GB customer assistance confirmed that it's not uncommon to arrange insurance for the loaner yourself here. Things may be less stressy if one gets the car details upfront, but still...

    Re: Porsche UK courtesy car experience - take 2

    Ente said:
    Bit of a rude awakening there for someone who is still spoiled by the US service world, but ....

    Whilst I am the first to agree that not everything is perfect in the USA, this does remind me that everything does seem to be made so hassle-free for you in the USA, .....

    Re: Porsche UK courtesy car experience - take 2

    Sods law - things are always stressful when you're in a hurry!

    I have to say, in defence of the UK service industry (poor as it often is) that I've never had a problem with loaner arrangement for other manufacturers.

    Wonder how much Porsche charge to top up the screenwash, even though it's only half empty? (VW used to be pro's at that little scam).

    Re: Porsche UK courtesy car experience - take 2

    fritz said:

    I think we can all relate.

    Re: Porsche UK courtesy car experience - take 2

    The "sort your own insurance" is standard Porsche UK. I had a Boxster booked at PCEL last week when I was getting the tip sorted out on my 911, and was told to insure it myself.

    In the end I turned down the loaner and got the DLR instead (isn't Pudding Mill Lane a great place to frequent!)

    Re: Porsche UK courtesy car experience - take 2

    It's only standard UK Porsche. UK Audi and BMW hand them out without that little sideplay.



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