Bovis Homes Reviews

NewHomeExpert

Well-Known Member
Hi,

After being in my property for nearly 8 months now i've still got on going snagging issues that Bovis Homes has had since we moved in. I'm very unhappy with the way there customer care works. They have no way to log calls... they never return calls. Is this just me ? I've been dealing with an area manager then he left now i deal with Craig, He has been very frustrating. I've lost count on how many times he says that he will call me back in 30 minutes and just doesn't.

When i looked at the property 2 weeks before we where due to move in i asked if i could snag the house. They said no it has to be done after you move in. I was very surprised. I pointed out major issues that needed to be resolved before i moved in, wrong flooring down, patchy paint all over the house, cracked bath, any many more things. I moved in and snagged the property given them 6 pages of issues that needed resolving. They had the list for 2 months and didn't get anything done ! The site manager even said " he didn't build this house so didn't want to fix it " i was amazed that he even said that to me. 5 months later once i had phone the main manager of customer care many times they started to work on the list.

They where in my property for 3 weeks solid and made more issues then they fixed. They had to re paint my kitchen ceiling 4 times as they kept using the wrong paint so left it patchy. We had three different contractor decorator companies in to fix issues as there work was to such a poor standard. i still have mud where my garden should be and all they tell me is this is a sales issue and then bounce it around from one department to another this issue has been going on for 8 months now.

When i look at the contract from my solicitors it says that all snagging will be done in a reasonable time once they have the snagging list. Are they in breach of contract as i would say 8 months isn't a reasonable time, 2-3 months would be to long in my mind.

Thanks,
Matt

From what you say Bovis Customer Care doesn't work!
Using the telephone is a WASTE OF TIME with any house builder. They can always deny you called!
Always write a letter or send an e mail and be sure to keep a copy. That way you can forward everything to the NHBC if you need to.

Write to the CEO David Ritchie and tell him of your issues and what you think of his company!
Mind you he is an accountant so I don't suppose he will understand how to fix your home!
But he should do something about Mr site manager "he didn't build this house so didn't want to fix it"
he will be basking in his recently released figures and looking forward to his obscene bonus cheque around now!

Did you do any research before buying a Bovis home?
There are plenty of post on here would have told you what to expect!
 

NewHomeExpert

Well-Known Member
Well, we have lived in our Bovis home near Cambridge for about 9 years.
Incidentally, for #2, there were at least another 11 residents with a similar claim about poor quality driveways.

Have you been paid any compensation and how much?
It is always useful for others reading the posts to know what ball-park figure they can go for.
This isn't so much snagging, as serious defects.
Drains should be tested under Building Regulations but often aren't as NHBC inspectors "trust" site teams to do it!
DPC likewise should have been inspected once bedded in place by NHBC under building regulations. My guess is they used a 90mm dpc of a 100mm not laid straight!

have you used the NHBC for any of these or are they all "below the minimum claim value"?
The NHBC should lower this to £500 in my opinion.
 

NewHomeExpert

Well-Known Member
Ludicrous - 8 months??!! That is far too long a timescale to be considered reasonable. Write to them (copy to the local Customer Care Director) to say that they have a fixed timescale to put everything right - I suggest 4 weeks. State that for every week over that date, you will claim £100 for inconvenience, protracted timescale, stress & inability to live in your home as expected. Furthermore, state that you wish compensation for each month that this has dragged on, I would start at £200 per month & negotiate accordingly. If they refuse to consider compensation, threaten them with, & if necessary, file a claim under Money Claims On Line (the newer version of Small Claims Court) - you need to register first.

I agree with everything you say!
In addition to using the court process, you could use the Consumer Code for Home Builders Adjudication Scheme. Maximum inconvenience pay,ment is only £250 but you can claim for other things.
 

MikeJenvey

New Member
Have you been paid any compensation and how much?
It is always useful for others reading the posts to know what ball-park figure they can go for.
This isn't so much snagging, as serious defects.
Drains should be tested under Building Regulations but often aren't as NHBC inspectors "trust" site teams to do it!
DPC likewise should have been inspected once bedded in place by NHBC under building regulations. My guess is they used a 90mm dpc of a 100mm not laid straight!

have you used the NHBC for any of these or are they all "below the minimum claim value"?
The NHBC should lower this to £500 in my opinion.

Driveway - approximate £10k value for block paving.
Study sewage leak - think it was about £400 cash + tiling.
Annex down pipes not connected to drain - about £3k block paving.

Current DPC issue - maybe 90mm as having chased back some mortar, it was 10-12mm from the front edge.

Only tried NHBC for the current DPC issue - for the rest, I went straight for Bovis' throat. Yep, MCV is a pain! Now I have to fight Bovis for the inspection report & costs of chemical DPC. Notified them 20 Dec 2013, still waiting for formal letter (or any form of communication!) from the Area Sales Director. Yesterday, gave them 2 week's notice of Money Claim OnLine action. Also told them that I will not deal with anyone else but the Director. Depending on his response, the CEO will be next.

With immediate effect, I will claim for an additional amount of £100 per week until it is resolved. Furthermore, if I do not have an adequate response of compensation by 1700 hrs on Tues 02 March, I will commence action under the Money Claim On-Line scheme.

One other tactic that might be very useful if sales are still ongoing in an area - I threatened Bovis that if they didn't pay up, I would make up a factual leaflet (with photos) from these major snags, & hand them out outside their local sales office to prospective buyers. I sent Bovis a draft too! :D
 

NewHomeExpert

Well-Known Member
One other tactic that might be very useful if sales are still ongoing in an area - I threatened Bovis that if they didn't pay up, I would make up a factual leaflet (with photos) from these major snags, & hand them out outside their local sales office to prospective buyers. I sent Bovis a draft too! :D

Good idea! Don't expect much from Bovis CEO David Ritchie but write to him anyway.
It may come in handy for BBC Watchdog!
 

MikeJenvey

New Member
Good idea! Don't expect much from Bovis CEO David Ritchie but write to him anyway.
It may come in handy for BBC Watchdog!

I think that any adverse publicity issue via a handout to potential customers is a very powerful consumer "weapon." It certainly got their attention.

I'll play the "nice" person for the 2 weeks, as I have advised them that the Director is now to be the only point of contact, with the appropriate timescale. After that, the gloves come off.......
 

MikeJenvey

New Member
For those who might be considering such action, this is the Money Claim OnLine (MOCL) link:

https://www.moneyclaim.gov.uk/web/mcol/welcome

There is a MOCL User Guide here:

https://www.moneyclaim.gov.uk/web/mcol/welcome

The fees vary depending on the amount claimed, but of course, this will get added to the payment claim if you are successful:

https://www.gov.uk/make-court-claim-for-money/court-fees

The initial claim will not have all the space for supporting documents, but prepare a dossier of any correspondence, photos, logs of 'phone calls, etc, in case you have to go to court to present your case. Don't forget to claim for your time, & for any other parameters such as inconvenience, inability to use a facility in your house, stress, etc.
 

NewHomeExpert

Well-Known Member
You will need to be able to quantify and/or prove what you are claiming is "reasonable"
Keep all evidence, receipts for surveys, cost of hotels, child care, pet boarding etc etc,
And don't forget to add interest to the total of your claim, which accrues from the date the money was owed/due.
In new home cases, this will probably be the date of your initial submission to the court.

Remember folks, if everyone who had an issue with their new homes bothered to go through the complaints procedures and if necessary, take legal action against house builders, they would be forced to improve the quality of their homes and the level of service they give.

In most cases the house builder will offer to settle as soon as they receive the notice of your claim from the court.
 

MikeJenvey

New Member
The period of grace had passed, so I emailed Bovis (Area Customer Service Director) yesterday asking for the appropriate address forcourt papers to be sent to .....

.....had a 'phone call this evening which unfortunately I missed.

Voice mail from the Director apologising for the delay & frustration, saying that he hopes that the MOCL route is not necessary & asking if we can talk on Mon. That probably won't be possible with my work schedule, so will follow up by email. A written chain of communication is always preferable!

More anon.......
 

NewHomeExpert

Well-Known Member
Keeping everything IN WRITING is not only preferable its essential!
Especially as you are likely taking Bovis to court.

If Bovis don't want to be taken to court then they need to do or offer you something to change your mind.
E mail back and give them one last deadline, say until Friday then do the MCOL if you are still not happy.
 

MikeJenvey

New Member
Keeping everything IN WRITING is not only preferable its essential!
Especially as you are likely taking Bovis to court.

If Bovis don't want to be taken to court then they need to do or offer you something to change your mind.
E mail back and give them one last deadline, say until Friday then do the MCOL if you are still not happy.

I always keep the message chain, either electronically or on paper. If anything is discussed on the 'phone, I always send a follow-up email or letter stating the points covered or the intended action points for both parties. Don't let things drift away, make a calendar note to get back to them in case they don't reply. Be polite but persistent.

With regard to this on-going situation, as the Director seems to want to play ball, but has a pressing personal commitment (funeral, long distance travel), I will give him until Fri 14 Mar to make a suitable settlement offer before going nuclear. The timings also work out better for my work commitments.
 

MikeJenvey

New Member
Email sent at 1646, 'phone call from Director at 1703:

===========================================================

Good afternoon,

It seems clear that you do not wish to close this matter before court action is initiated. The choice is yours.

Furthermore, as you are still selling properties in this area (XXXXX XXXXX), I shall update the document that I had available for use the last time Bovis prevaricated, namely a factual sheet (with photos) outlining the serious defects/poor standards that we have encountered with our property; I will also include the protracted timescale associated with this matter (some 3 months); on that basis, I don't really know how you can call your department "Customer Service."

I will happily stand outside the sales office & hand them out the factual sheet to prospective purchasers. That will generate attention from the Regional Sales Director & also local media - as I will certainly copy them in.

Due to the additional time, without a satisfactory answer, my claim is now £XXXX.00.

Please confirm soonest the Bovis address that I should list for court paperwork.


===========================================================

So, we finally have dialogue - I am now waiting for an immediate email from the Director outlining the conversation & asking me to provide a breakdown of my costs above those specified for the actual work carried out. That won't be too difficult based on emails from NHBC, their previous visit, & all the administrative actions required to get the work finally done. Of course, as I have had to be "at my property" for several periods for the various works (& previous efforts to locate the problem), that is claimable time. As I work away a lot, anything that requires me to being at the house when I don't necessarily need to do so is a restrictive action, "penalising" me to having to get things sorted out.
 

NewHomeExpert

Well-Known Member
Given your experience, it is hardly surprising that Bovis lost a star in this years' HBF new home customer satisfaction survey.
Now a "4 star" builder, joining the likes of Persimmon and Linden!
Good luck with your claim for £XXXX.00 - you need to add another "X" imo
 

MikeJenvey

New Member
Well, as requested by Bovis, I have submitted a brief outline of my workload associated with the defective DPC:

==================================================================================

BOVIS – CLAIM

EVENT (NOT AN EXHAUSTIVE LIST) TIME (HRS)

TO ADMINISTER INITIAL NHBC CLAIM 2
TO ATTEND NHBC INSPECTOR VISIT 2
TO ADMINISTER NHBC ADMINISTRATION POST-INSPECTION 2
TO ORGANISE/ATTEND VISITS BY LOCAL BUILDERS 6
TO RESEARCH DPC BUILDING REGULATIONS 3
TO ADMINISTRATION/’PHONE CALLS TO NHBC 2
TO ORGANISE/ADMINISTRATION/ATTEND VISITS OF CHEMICAL DPC COMPANY 8
TO ADMINISTRATION/’PHONE CALLS TO BOVIS 8

TOTAL 33 HRS

==================================================================================

On previous (successful) claims against other companies for mal-administration, etc, I normally "charge" £100 per hour or part of thereof! Don't think I can do it to Bovis otherwise I'd bankrupt them!

I've given them one week to respond.
 

Mattj

New Member
Hi,

I'm still here and still waiting for all my snagging to be completed 9 months in. I was wanting to know who at Bovis Homes I can get in contact with if I want to complain about the Customer Care team ? This is due to them never reply to any email or phone conversation with out me chasing them for days for a response. I'm CC'ing nearly all of the Customer Care main people into my emails and not one of them send a reply to acknowledge the email or reply with in my given 5 working days that i state at the end of every email I sending them. I don't feel I'm being unreasonable with my time frame that I'm giving them to respond to an email. When I finally leave countless voice mails for at least two days then by chance they pick up the phone ALWAYS saying they are just about to call me. At one point the response was " I've got your number in front of me and was just dialling your number as you called ". Every time I finally get hold of someone they have to spend the first 5 minutes saying sorry and that they are in constant meetings 24/7 and work late every evening not getting home till 10pm etc.

This is just getting out of hand leaving me with two options in my mind, Firstly to get in contact with maybe the HR team to complain about there staff or Secondly to drive to there South office and demand to speak to the most important person in the company.

Can someone please advise where I should go from here. Should I go to citizens advice to see what they say ? see if a solicitor will help me ( but this will incur costs that I can't cover )

Thanks,
Matt
 

MikeJenvey

New Member
Matt, the person I have been "working" with is Alan Knight, Customer Service Director - but given his tardiness & delaying tactics, in my opinion, he works to poor standards too! That said, from start to "end" of my process was only about 5 months (although I haven't had the cheque yet), so I've done better than you! ;-)

Email Alan.Knight@bovishomes.co.uk
Direct 'phone - 01474 876320

I have finally settled on my claim against them for the DPC not being laid to building regulations, not as much as I wanted, but it was the "death by a thousand cuts" - & as I have just started another administrative exercise that will be on-going for a while, I wanted to get things out of the way.

You might want to add a c.c address - david.ritchie@bovishomes.co.uk - Bovis CEO. In the most recent reply from Alan Knight to me, he c.c'd a Carol.Long@bovishomes.co.uk but I don't know her background or position within Bovis.

If your purchase conditions/contract stated that snagging would be done in a certain time frame, then they are in breach of contract. However, if no timescale was specified, then it becomes an argument of what is "reasonable." I would suggest that 9 months is NOT reasonable, & would therefore give Bovis one month to action your list to your satisfaction, or else you will instruct someone else to do so & send them the bill. Are they still selling properties in your area? They might not want (more) bad PR - local newspaper submission & handing out (factual!) leaflets about poor quality/service to people going into the local Bovis sales offices/show houses might speed things up?
 

NewHomeExpert

Well-Known Member
Hi,

I'm still here and still waiting for all my snagging to be completed 9 months in. I was wanting to know who at Bovis Homes I can get in contact with if I want to complain about the Customer Care team ? This is due to them never reply to any email or phone conversation with out me chasing them for days for a response. I'm CC'ing nearly all of the Customer Care main people into my emails and not one of them send a reply to acknowledge the email or reply with in my given 5 working days that i state at the end of every email I sending them. I don't feel I'm being unreasonable with my time frame that I'm giving them to respond to an email. When I finally leave countless voice mails for at least two days then by chance they pick up the phone ALWAYS saying they are just about to call me. At one point the response was " I've got your number in front of me and was just dialling your number as you called ". Every time I finally get hold of someone they have to spend the first 5 minutes saying sorry and that they are in constant meetings 24/7 and work late every evening not getting home till 10pm etc.

This is just getting out of hand leaving me with two options in my mind, Firstly to get in contact with maybe the HR team to complain about there staff or Secondly to drive to there South office and demand to speak to the most important person in the company.

Can someone please advise where I should go from here. Should I go to citizens advice to see what they say ? see if a solicitor will help me ( but this will incur costs that I can't cover )

Thanks,
Matt

Time to stop messing about with their customer don't care department and go straight to the top.
Write a stern letter to Bovis CEO David Ritchie
Bovis Homes Group PLC, The Manor House, North Ash Road, New Ash Green, Longfield, Kent DA3 8HQ
Don't expect him to reply though, he is an accountant and cares about profit but it should get things moving!
You could and should, also write tot he NHBC too.

Always write never call! that way you will have a paper trail when you take the to court or complain using the Consumer Code for Home Builders. (not giving a rubbish service is a requirement)

Perhaps Bovis should build better quality new homes and then, perhaps, the Customer Service staff wont have to work late not getting home until 10pm every night - poor things!
 
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Mattj

New Member
Hi,

Thank you for both your replies, Alan knight is the person i want to complain about though that's the issue i'm having. Every email i send has him CC'd in plus the new area manager Ron Hannan, and someone called Becky Williams. Ron has been dealing with me recently and Alan knight by mistake emailed me including a replied email to Ron where Alan was basically telling him he was doing a bad job looking after me. I will now get in contact with NHBC and see what procedure I need to go down. I replied to an email that was very urgent On Sunday of last week, none of the 4 people I CC'd in have responded and it's 5 days later. The level of frustration that I'm experiencing is like nothing I've ever had to face before. The only way I managed to get some work on my property done lately was to demand Ron Hannan, visit my property the next day. He of course didn't turn up even though he confirmed he would and turned up a day later with out letting me know he couldn't even make the day before saying he was working late and in meetings. I haven't know any company that just has the sheer lack of respect for people and the inability to let people know if they can't attend an organised meeting.

I would love for them to be building other properties in my area so I could camp outside the sales office putting every customer off but there just isn't a development in my area...

Thanks.
Matt
 

Mattj

New Member
Oh I also forgot to mention I have already given them a month to complete all work that was November 2013 last year when they last did work in my property apart from when they carried on trying to finish the work 2 weeks ago. It took them 5 months of me going on and on until they thought they would try to finish my initial snagging list.

Where do I stand on the one month thing ? I have it in emails and them acknowledging that they will do it in November 2013 but now as you know it's May 2014 and it's still not all done. Quick re cap they have had my snag list since about 20th July 2013

Thanks.
 

NewHomeExpert

Well-Known Member
Just face it, Bovis customer service appears to be about as rubbish as the homes they build.
Time to step up complain the the CEO and NHBC as I said and stop messing about with "one month this" and broken promises!
No one is interested in Ron Alan or Becky!
 
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