Sunday, 15 May 2016

An Open Letter To Persimmon Homes

Dear Persimmon Homes

At your insistence, we moved into our Forever Home just days before Christmas. Your marketing person said, ‘If you don’t achieve this date, the deal is off.’ At your behest, we had to use your conveyancing solicitor. When that solicitor had to endlessly chase you, we should have realised you were a company that didn’t move swiftly or deal with matters methodically.
          We visited the property for a home demo. However, because conveyancing was dragging (down to you) and we weren’t the legal owners, we were told we didn’t have the right to flag up snagging issues.  When we were requested to sign the Home Demo form indicating our satisfaction, the marketing person assured the house would be thoroughly examined, all snagging would be identified
and addressed.  Signing was simply a formality. So we signed.
          Completion loomed, but thanks to your tardy legal department we hadn’t exchanged contracts.  Our solicitor received a reply from you telling us to go ahead and book our removal contractor. The day of completion arrived, our removal men turned up…and we still hadn’t exchanged contracts. We had one member of your staff still insisting, ‘If you don’t achieve completion today, the deal’s off,’ while someone else refused to accept a perfectly acceptable post-completion Undertaking. You were arguing amongst yourselves! Have you any idea how stressful it was packing up an old house, arriving at the new house but refused entry because of your own internal prevarications, especially at Christmas time? Eventually, just before the banks shut their doors for the day, somebody somewhere recognised the madness of the situation. We exchanged and completed simultaneously. Never mind that our removal men were still unpacking at bedtime!
          We were
dismayed to observe no snagging issues had been addressed. It has taken over five months for your contractors to slowly work through a two-page list of snags, some of which remain. This includes a damaged kitchen cupboard.  Your response:
          “We cannot look to cover any items damaged unless stated on your Home Demo form.”
          As we pointed out, we were not allowed to list snags on this form because we hadn’t exchanged contracts AND your staff assured they would thoroughly inspect/resolve issues on our behalf. Your response:
          “I’m sorry we cannot help with this issue but state we cannot look to replace this door and must follow company policy.”
          What company policy is that then? Is it the Talk Rubbish policy or Mass of Contradictions policy? Can you please now explain why staff gave a verbal undertaking that snagging would be listed and rectified on our behalf? Also, do you think it reasonable we paid top dollar for an “exclusive” property and that damage should be rectified at our expense?
          Another outstanding snag: Pop-up plugs that don’t hold water.  You couldn’t make it up, eh?  There was my husband trying to have a morning shave with a sink draining faster than…well, a sink without a plug.
          Yet another outstanding snag: Peeling bi-fold doors.  If we’d lived here for five years, I could understand weathering taking its toll.  But not after five months. I was promised somebody would address this weeks ago. A wall of silence remains.
          And yet another outstanding snag: An electric isolator switch set at eight feet high.  Your contracted electricians at the time of building the house were SC Farley of Maidstone. Persimmons sent Mr Matt Deeble to look at the switch. Mr Deeble agreed it was unacceptable and would be remedied. The fact that he then arranged an electrician to attend when I wasn’t home, was indeed unfortunate. Memo to Persimmons: Try COMMUNICATING with home owners first. It achieves great things! Since then the electrical contractor has done a U-turn. Their written response:
          “We are not attending. The reason for the isolator switches being high is to stop people turning them off as they are meant to as I am sure you are aware 24/7.”
          Quite apart from the fact that this is atrocious English and doesn’t make sense, I’m assuming Jane Farley of SC Farley was trying to say fan switches are meant to run 24/7.  However, Jane, I don’t
want a bathroom fan running 24/7.  I want silence when I go to sleep at night.  Oh, and no they don’t stop whirring after ten minutes, like you said they would.  But apart from anything else, why place the other switches at an acceptable height but this one at eight feet? I’m baffled.  Now what else did SC Farley say?  Ah, yes:
          “They should only be turned off by a qualified operative for works to be done.”
          But, Jane, I don’t want any works done! I just want to turn the fan off!! Do you not understand how ridiculous you sound? Should I, perhaps, get a ‘qualified operative’ in to turn my light switches on and off as well? Or do you suggest I leave my lights on 24/7 too and go to bed wearing a black-out eye mask?
          The icing on the cake is that every now and again I receive a random text message from Persimmons. It says:
          “We hope you are very happy with the recent work carried out.”
          What recent work? I’m still waiting! But to reply, the answer is no. No, I’m not remotely happy with you or your contractors.  Which reminds me.
          A surgeon friend said his favourite clients are those who work in the building industry.  Apparently they don’t mind bodged body parts or the job taking longer than scheduled…


- stre