Countryside Customer Service

Discussion in 'Countryside Properties' started by timearnshaw, Apr 5, 2006.

  1. timearnshaw

    timearnshaw Guest

    I bought a property from Countryside Properties at their Vistas Wychwood Park development in Cheshire. My experiences since moving in have not been positive and I want to share them with as many people as possible and would love to see as many fellow aggrieved and long-suffering Countrysiders do so here as well - maybe in that way we will be able to exert some more influence upon them to live up to their salespeoples portrayal of what to expect from their, ahem, 'customer care'....

    Now admittedly none of my issues are of a major, structural nature but nonetheless there are a lot of niggles and more than your to-be-expected snagging items as a result of drying out shrinkage.So here's my tale of woe so far:

    -I had to report damage to any sanitaryware within 7 days of moving in. 6 months later the issues I reported still have not been resolved.

    - the shower in the ensuite bathroom did not work upon moving in. It took weeks for them to come and get it to work.

    - when said shower was finally fixed, leaks to the shower enclosure itself resulted in water damage to the lounge ceiling below which I then had to wait weeks to get fixed....

    - when the shower leak was 'fixed' it lasted only a week before the repair job itself disintegrated, resulting in an emergency fix being applied (think plastic bag and duck tape...). The fix was due to be fixed this week after a 4 week wait but the team who came to do it didn't have the tiles they needed as nobody had thought to order them.

    - the central heating to 2 of the 4 bedrooms did not work upon moving in! Where is the quality control?

    - almost anything I report to Countryside is simply passed onto the relevant subcontractor who then contacts you to arrange a time to come and resolve. Invariably they work 9am-4pm Monday to Friday, are not able to provide you with a specific time during the day that they will attend, and generally you have to wait weeks before they are able to. On more than one occasion a subcontractor has turned up onsite claiming to know nothing about what the problem is and therefore not having the correct materials to fix it, which then puts you back into the infinite loop of waiting weeks for another appointment with them....

    - on several occasions when the subcontractors have finally attended the property they have claimed that the problem is not theirs to resolve. They claim that it was signed off by Countryside and must therefore have been damaged by subsequent tradespeople, that things are within specification etc etc. It then takes Countryside to have words with them to get them out again to resolve properly....

    - customer service work very customer unfriendly hours, something like 930am until 430pm. Not exactly making themselves reachable at the customers convenience. Same goes for visits to resolve as I have already mentioned - in 6 months I have had to take time off work more than 10(!) times to be at home for somebody to visit....to tell me they can't fix it cos they don't have the right parts or that it isnt their responsibility....

    - I had to wait 3 weeks for my inaugural meeting with the customer service manager to go through the initial snagging list. I gave him a list of around 25 items as we walked through the house. At the first maintenance team visit in early January, they only had a list of c.10 items. When I asked what had happened to the other items customer service said they must have been mislaid or something. They then told me I would have to arrange another maintenance visit to address the overlooked items, but that it would be another month before there was an available slot....

    - this has now happened a further 2 times. I send them a spreadsheet with all my issues on it and a status of when it was reported, when/if it is resolved or not, and progress to date. They send me back an 'abridged' version which misses out half the stuff I have reported.

    - the Countryside maintenance team lads are all very nice and professional and do a good job at putting right what they can, but they aren't putting in long hours to get through your issues. Having waited 4 weeks on average to get a visit, and having a long list of items to resolve, it is annoying to see them pitch up at 830, have a teabreak, do a couple of hours, have lunch for an hour, put in a couple of hours after lunch then leave around 3pm to get back to the depot before clocking off time. Clearly they are working in accordance with their contractual arrangements so it is a management issue - they don't allocate enough time for the jobs to be done that you have outstanding and so your jobs stay unfinished and you then have to arrange another visit which wont happen for a month or so. You would think they could arrange two visits at once, a week or so apart but no....


    So please share your experiences with Countryside and be sure to mention the development. If we get enough momentum here, maybe we can set up separate threads for each development. Come on all you folks at Didsbury Point get on here - I know several people on there who are having a far more torrid time of it than me, so get posting. I'm going to flyer my road this week and get as many neighbours as possible to post on here.

    There's also two postings on this website from TV Production companies looking to speak to people about their new-build experiences, one for BBC and one for C4(to be fronted by Kevin McCloud of Grand Designs fame)so give them a call too - I spoke to them today and they were very interested in what I had to say so fingers crossed I might get my 15 seconds of airtime to express my discontent to the nation!
     
  2. CT0460

    CT0460 New Member

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    Hello Tim,

    Everyone who has purchased properties at the Accordia development in Cambridge are experiencing exactly the same as you. As far as I can tell, the faults seem to be more serious and as such, the owners have formed an action group and are trying to deal with Countryside en mass.

    I have taken a course of action to try to get the faults repaired but I am also working on building a case against Countryside. As such I would be very interested to make contact with you and any other Countryside Properties purchasers

    I can be contacted initially at Barnman@hotmail.co.uk.

    Hope to hear from you


    Clive
     
  3. squid

    squid New Member

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    Hi there

    I have VERY serious issues with my Countryside Properties house in Pendrill Park, Papworth Everard near Cambridge.

    For the past twelve months, Countryside Properties Customer Services have done their best to ignore or delay the resolution of these matters.

    The main problems centre upon the construction of the party wall between myself and my neighbours. The construction is incomplete in accordance with Building Regulations Approved Documents regarding fire, acoustics and thermal insulation performance.

    In addition, we believe none of the floors have been constructed in accordance with the 2003 Building Regulations and our rainwater gutters have been overflowing. After investigation, it is obvious that the gutters are undersized with inadquate downpipes. An idential block of three houses opposite has 7 downpipes compared to only four on our block.

    Every time our neighbour uses their washing machine, the pictures on the party wall rattle when it reaches the spin cycle! We have had to put blu-tac behind them to stop the wall sounding like a helicopter is landing on laundry days!

    We have supplied calculations with reference to the Building Regulations to support our claims but Countryside merely state our installations are adequate without proving how or why they have reached this conclusion.

    We have had numerous problems with our boiler and again, upon further investigation, we have found it has not been installed in accordance with either Building Regulations or manufacturer recommendations/instructions.

    All this is on top of minor issues which included (in a very long list):

    1. A fridge with rotting foodstuffs when we moved in
    2. Wires hanging from bathroom ceilings
    3. Missing bulbs (imagine purchasing a top range car without headlights!!)
    4. Scratched and dented bannisters which took a huge effort to get replaced
    5. Poorly patched scratches to exterior window frames and doors

    At the moment we're just batting letters back and forth but I now want to get tough. People who have lived in their houses for shorter periods than us may have recourse to the Local Authority via the 1984 Building Act.

    I would be very interested in discussing joint action via pressure groups. It seems to me that these people are making a lot of money by cutting corners and risking our lives and the future value of our homes.

    Geoff
     
  4. CT0460

    CT0460 New Member

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    Hello Geoff,

    We too have serious issues. It seems to me that Countryside Properties are experienced at knowing where and how to cut costs and then, how to avoid correcting them.

    Send me an e-mail on Barnman@hotmail.co.uk. with how I can contact you. I am sure it would prove beneficial to find out what we are both doing.

    Regards


    Clive
     
  5. squid

    squid New Member

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    Sorry Clive but your email keeps being rejected... my email address is geoff@rauxa.co.uk

    Regards, Geoff
     
  6. Tony

    Tony Administrator

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    Hi Geoff,

    Have you taken your complaint to the NHBC yet? You might be surprised...

    Tony
     
  7. LOUISE1

    LOUISE1 New Member

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    HELLO,

    I HAVE RECENTLY MOVED INTO A COUNTRYSIDE PROPERTY(ONLY 8 WEEKS AGO)AND NOW ASKING MYSELF WHAT HAVE I DONE.
    I AM A FIRST TIME BUYER AND THOUGHT I HAD MADE A GOOD INVESTMENT BUT I AM FURIOUS WITH COUNTRYSIDE ABOUT THE SHABBY BUILD QUALITY AND LACK OF CUSTOMER CARE.
    I ALSO, AS EVERYONE ELSE ON THIS PAGE HAVE A LONG LIST OF SNAGS WHICH DONT LOOK LIKELY TO GET RESOLVED ANYTIME SOON.ONLY THIS WEEKEND WE HAD SOME BAD RAIN IN OUR AREA BUT IT ALSO STARTED COMING THROUGH MY BEDROOM CEILING. I RANG THE EMERGENCY HELP LINE AND THEY SAID SOMEONE WAS BEING SENT OUT 12.30 AT NIGHT NO SIGN, SO I RANG AGAIN AND THEY DENIED ALL KNOWLEDGE OF ME EVER RINGING UP AND SAID AS IT WAS STORM DAMAGE THERE WAS NOTHING THEY COULD DO.
    BUT I KNOW FOR A FACT THAT IT WAS DUE TO A HOLE IN THE ROOF WHICH WAS APPARENTLY FIXED BEFORE WE MOVED IN (OBVIOUSLY IT WASN'T)
    I HAVE FOUND THE WHOLE PURCHASE PROCESS WITH THIS BUILDER A NIGHTMARE AND ONCE WE MOVED IN I FELT RELIEVED ONLY TO FIND OUT THE NIGHTMARE HAD ONLY JUST BEGAN.
     
  8. squid

    squid New Member

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    Sorry to hear about your problems with your roof... I can't recall any recent storms exceptional enough to preclude warranty repairs! Just keep on at them!

    I answer to the previous suggestion I decided not to involve Zurich as the dwelling is within the Developers Warranty period and Zurich will probably just pass the buck.

    With regards to my problems, after 12 months I am now getting some reasonable commitment from Countryside regarding addressing the fire protection issues, completing the noisy party wall and installing the correct number of rainwater downpipes... no actual work on site yet but some acceptance that they will have to do things.

    I have had the advantage of being a retired Chartered Builder (MCIOB) and having over 25yrs in building contracting but they have been very difficult.
    Their Customer Service Dept. will at first ignore you, then deny liability, then offer misleading or incorrect interpretations of the regs. Then as things get more involved they will actually lie to you face to face. All this is part of the process of grinding you down and hoping that you will sell up and go away and probably works in 90% of cases.
    This process is very common amongst builders. Eventually, as long as you are sure about the FACTS and show that you do not intend to give up, they have to back down.

    So my advice regarding the roof is to identify the facts regarding it's construction maybe by employing a surveyor with the correct experience and then hit the customer service hard... but be prepared for a long haul.
    If your dwelling is within 12 months of final completion certification and there is a non-compliance with the Building Regs then you can also involve your local building control who have powers of enforcement under sections 35 & 36 of the Building Act.

    Hope that this helps.
     
  9. Thenewhomehistorian

    Thenewhomehistorian New Member

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    ref: visita`s at wychwood park

    This post has really surprised me, the wychwood park development in Cheshire was one of the jewels in the crown of countryside, these houses are some of my favourite in the country for both design and quality and i don`t hear much stuff regarding this site and the visita`s is a des-res location with soring windows and amazing views, i have worked on several of these homes and the external finish is perfect..shame..
     
  10. Structural Assistance

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    Structural Assistance

    Hi all

    I have performed Structural Surveys on a few CSP. The result, agreement that the dwelling had to come down.

    On others there response time is Sllllowwww to snail pace.

    Beautiful properties. Questionable rigidity.
     
  11. newbuild

    newbuild New Member

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    Countryside new build 3 bed houses review(3 levels)

    HI There,
    I am planning to buy a new built 3 bedroom house through 'Countryside Properties' , which is still under construction and due to be ready in September 2010 in Chadwell Heath,London. They are offering us a 5% incentive on the market price. The are NOT giving any wardrobes or even Flooring...Everything has to be beared by me.

    Can any one let me know if there is any further discounts which I can ask them ? What about the Service they provide with a 2 years guarantee ? What about the quality of these new builds ?


    Your answers will be much appreciated.

    Thanks
     
  12. nicolaw

    nicolaw New Member

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    Issues with Countryside Properties

    Hello everyone,

    I was wondering whether any of you poor suffering Countryside Properties owners have demanded compensation? To cut a very long story short, we brought our property in 2008 and have had snagging issues with the floor boards and ceilings ever since. The tape and joints continued to blow, we had cracking, we had visible boards through the ceiling, we had nail poppers falling out of the ceiling and also the squeeking was very bad.

    Finally, in 2010 I had enough and put a major complaint in writing. It went on until June this year when I finally got the NHBC involved.

    It's now November and work has finally began where they have found various problems with the joists, no strong back being inserted, the walls are not fitted/screwed to the floors, the floorboards are not fixed to the joists and so on.

    Despite contractors advising that we need to move out for a period of time, Countryside Properties cut corners and advised that the main issue would be sorted within in 1 day and then remedial works (decorating) would follow. I week on, the works are continuing. My family and I (including 2 very small children) are living in a freezing house (where the doors are open all day, every day), full of dust, plaster, paint, chipboard flooring (where tiles have been ripped up). I have become ill following this and continue to face a period of not knowing when the work will finish.

    I have taken numerous time off work, constantly battled with the builders and still am not 100% convinced that what they are doing is the best way of completing the works (so that we do not have to go back in the future).

    I have seen some of your comments and wondered how you all were getting on.
     
  13. NewHomeExpert

    NewHomeExpert Well-Known Member

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    It is hard to understand why, with all the inspections and supervision that new homes are supposed to have, problems like these especially when they are very difficult to rectify post-occupation, still occur.

    You should certainly be entitled to compensation in this case.

    As with anything you are really in the hands of the Site Manager.
    If he cant be botherd to do his job and has little pride in the homes he builds you've had it!
     
  14. charliegirl

    charliegirl New Member

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    They just like to pass the problem over to someone else and hope that you will get fed up with complaining and give up!
     
  15. charliegirl

    charliegirl New Member

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  16. NewHomeExpert

    NewHomeExpert Well-Known Member

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    It is a pity more unhappy new home buyers do not take the time to make videos of their dreadful, defect-ridden new homes and post them on youtube.
    Its not just Countryside, all the large house builders are the same!
     

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