Developers need to prepare to respond to the announcement that a New Homes Ombudsman will almost certainly be appointed in the coming parliamentary session
The number one question the Ombudsman will ask a complainant is, “Have you exhausted your developer’s complaint procedure?” And therefore Developers must have a complaint procedure.
After Build know anecdotally that developer’s aren’t always prepared to handle complaints consistently across their company. Or businesses may have a procedure but it’s not widely published or referred to. Indeed, it’s not uncommon for employees working in our industry to be hostile to the idea of complaints and any formality surrounding them.
Introducing complaint procedures can be seen as an exercise in trying to cause trouble. Instead, we need to start thinking of complaints as opportunities to learn how we can improve. Mishandling one bad complaint hurts so much more than proactively preparing to handle 10 complaints well. Trust us! We’re in the business of solving people’s problems.
In 2016 I went on a personal campaign to encourage developers working closely with After Build to adopt a simple compensation policy. I was met with a resounding “No.” Usually followed quickly by, “We don’t pay compensation.” I’m not exaggerating when I say that people were alarmed at the very mention! As if speaking the term out loud would incite a run on the business’s ready cash.
I stopped short then of pointing out that a great many developers do pay compensation, they just do it informally. Because of this, the amounts are entirely subject to how much nerve a complainant displays. I strongly believe that compensation policies, crafted around sensible sums of money, help companies to pay out LESS in compensation. They don’t encourage complainants to seek it.
From a standing start of no infrastructure, the world of complaints and compensation can be daunting. As usual, After Build is here to help!
We want to offer any property developer a free session, over the phone or video chat. You’ll speak with a senior manager and discuss what you have in place and what we would recommend.
We’re also offering services to write these policies specifically tailored for your business and then to train your staff. If this is something you’d be interested in, you can let us know.
The call will be free, will be with a head of service or director. There’ll be no obligation to buy and no hassle to set it up.
If you’d like to know more then call one of our team today on 01444 230 333
Units 1 & 2 Woodfield Farm Offices, Isaacs Lane,
West Sussex RH15 8RA
During this difficult time After Build’s service continues as normal. Given our technology platform, the team is able to operate remotely without impacting on service levels – this includes Out of Hours Emergency cover.
In the event that a developer’s contractor is unable to attend a property (either because they are instructed not to, or because a homeowner does not wish it) the Property Coordinator will take full details of the issue, recording it on our system in readiness for making an appointment just as soon as matters return to normal.
Any specific enquiries from existing clients call: 01444 230333 or email: firstname.lastname@example.org.
Enquiries from any organisation not a client but wishing to know more about our services, email: email@example.com.
We encourage all clients, contractors and homeowners to stay safe.