Post Moving Day Reflections – 10 days in

Its been just over a week now since we moved into our Persimmon home at the Pastures in Brundall. With the mix of Christmas and family things as well as the unending task of emptying packing boxes (And the continued lack of broadband) its been difficult to get some time to write up the progress we’ve made since moving day. This morning is the first chance I’ve really had to reflect on where we are from two weeks ago. So coffee in hand below is a bit of a brain dump of everything that’s occurred since moving day and the bits that are left to resolve.

Regular readers will know that we were hit and miss as to whether we’d actually get in the house by December. With our rental agreement running out and Christmas literally round the corner it was looking likely that we’d be spending December and the New Year living with family rather than living in our new home. In the end we managed to exchange just in time. We were the lucky ones, there were plenty of people (Including a few friends) who have now seen their completion dates shift out to late January and February next year (I’ve been there so I understand how annoying that is!)

On 19th December we exchanged and on the 20th we actually moved in. Me and my Father laid a floor in the new lounge on the 19th so needed the day to do it (It did indeed take an entire day and I’m still waiting for the feeling to come back to my knees)

We’ve continued to find issues since moving day, none of which I’d say are showstopper problems that really stop us living here but there are a few where what Persimmon have said, and what the resulting action taken has been are continued evidence that whilst the guys on the ground here will try and work wonders, they continue to be let down by their head office that literally doesn’t seem to know what its hands are doing…

  1. Broadband Install – remember a few blogs ago I mentioned how we were told we absolutely must place our broadband order by the first week of December in order to guarantee installation before Christmas. Remember how I said I was doubtful we’d get it? Remember how the broadband company sent an engineer all the way up from London to connect us? And remember how he left empty handed when he found Persimmon hadn’t completed all the ducting to the property? I remember, because 10 days in we are still without broadband. Which is a massive pain in the arse for me working in IT and having the ability to work from home taken away from me. We seem to be trapped in a bit of a loop with the whole broadband situation at the moment. The provider (Seethelight) have been let down so many times by Persimmon and having their engineers unable to install customers homes that they are now refusing to send any further engineers until their own project manager has reviewed the work Persimmon have done. Only then will they call an engineer to connect homes. In order for their project manager to do this check they need Persimmon to call them to say the works done. Once again I’m having to join the dots for Persimmon to call the broadband supplier to get them to check Persimmons work before they send an engineer to finish the install.

On an additional footnote when I said how important having a broadband connection was to my own work I was told expressly by one of the Persimmon senior guys that if they couldn’t connect by Christmas Eve that they would give us a dongle to use until broadband was installed. At the time I expressed doubts about this. Which seems to have been right as when I popped into the office on site to enquire was told that we’d have to go and buy one out of our own pocket (These dongles normally require 12 month contracts – like Mobile phones as it’s a cellular network you are using) and then claim the expense back from Persimmon. Which is completely different to what I was initially told by the senior guy. Considering we had to wait 6 months beyond our original completion date for our home to be built I’m not confident I’d be seeing my cash this side of Summer 2015, so I’ve not bothered. In the meantime we still sit without broadband or a home phone line because basic communication between Persimmon and one of its suppliers is broken and relies on customers doing the legwork for them.

  • Back Garden – our back garden looks a bit of a tip at the minute. Because there has been a fair bit of rain the ground is completely bog like. As a result the landscaper we have booked to do our back garden can’t complete his prep work until Persimmon rotarvate the back garden. I’m confident this will get done once the construction team get back on site, but its not helped by point 3 below…
  •  The garage gutter downpipe – at the moment our downpipe from the garage gutter is about 30cm’s away from the actual downpipe drain connection. This means every time it rains all of the water from the garage roof drains down the pipe right out into the garden, and because the garden has a slope we now have the beginnings of what looks to be an impressive DIY swimming pool at the foot of the garden. This would be brilliant if:-
    1. We had planned for 30% of the garden to be a swimming pool
    2. The neighbours didn’t mind the escaping water/swimming pool flooding their back garden as well

As it stands point 3 is making point 2 in our list a drawn out affair to get done.

  • In our utility room we have a waste pipe under one of the cupboards which I’m assuming was put there if we had paid for (From the expensive extras catalogue) a utility room sink. As we preferred the additional space we didn’t pay for an extra sink and now have an open waste pipe in the utility room cupboard that gives off a wonderful smell of sewage.
  • The Solar Panels – regular readers will know the farce we had with the solar panels where the contractors placed them on the wrong side of the roof. It took me contacting Persimmon for them to be moved. Because the entire estate was only connected to the national grid on 19th December there hasn’t been an attempt to connect the solar panels in any of the properties on the estate yet. We were told this would be done on the 23rd So far we are still waiting and missing out on plenty of surprisingly good sunlight for December.
  • Front and back door locks – extremely stiff, to the point of only me being able to do the locks on them. Which makes it difficult when both me and my partner need to go to work at different times.
  • The front door privacy viewing glass is full of condensation and loose in the door. On top of this there are some pretty large gaps in the front door that let in quite the draft in the wind. Also, first thing in the morning the front door is literally dripping with condensation. I’m collecting some impressive pools of water at the bottom of the front door at the minute and I’m pretty sure point 6 and 7 are linked.
  • A few other annoying little things like the downstairs toilet lock not working, the downstairs light switch to turn on the upstairs landing light doesn’t work, the en-suite shower panels are loose at the bottom of the shower cubicle and things like screw covers in the kitchen are missing which makes it look a bit shabby.

In all its not a huge list of problems for a new house but as I said some of them are common sense things that could be done very quickly whilst some of the others are annoyingly requiring me to get involved to make any progress (Like the broadband). I’m not surprised, not really disappointed even. Just wearily accepting of the fact that we still have more email and face to face conversations we need to have with Persimmon to get stuff done.

The only other thing I can think to mention is that whilst the home is very well insulated, (We’ve barely had the heating on above 15 degrees so far – even with outside temperatures below freezing) one downside of having cavity walls is the internal walls are terrible. Literally plasterboard from what I can deduce so far. Attempting to put up pictures and some light shelving has been a proper baptism by fire. My attempts so far have resulted in industrial strength rawl plugs, filler and liberal use of swear words. As a result I’m taking a trip to B&Q this evening to buy proper plasterboard rawl plugs that expand once they are inserted.

So there you have it, I’ll continue to keep you all updated on the progress we make – I’m hopeful next week should be more promising once we get the actual construction team back on site and don’t need to deal with the head office again.

Fingers crossed

Post Moving Day

I’m writing this on a hastily assembled table of packing boxes from my mobile phone (No internet yet). Its been 3 days since we moved into the property and for the most part its been fairly smooth going. The build team on the site have been fantastic and on moving day when we still had a few things outstanding we literally had a packed house of builders and plumbers rushing round fixing bits and pieces. In summary its fair to say the guys on the site here have done a top job and I’ve found very little so far that I’ve had to list for them to resolve in the new year, mostly typical new home things (Which I’ve listed below)

The difference in dealing with a head office and the actual guys on the site doing the work is markedly different. Head office (Prior to us moving in) didn’t have any firm idea on dates, plans or even the good sense to pick up the phone. The guys on the actual site have regularly knocked on the door to check if things are okay and in particular the site manager has continued to check in on us to make sure things are being resolved as promised. It honestly feels like dealing with a completely different company.

As I mentioned above there are a few issues outstanding. The most problematic one isn’t even to do with the structure of the house. Our broadband (Which I expected to have issues with before we moved in) now looks like it won’t be installed until at least the new year. Which is pretty annoying as we were made to jump through a bunch of hoops before moving in date to get it all set up. After we did we found the ducting for the broadband hadn’t been installed and the engineer sent up from London had a wasted trip. On calling the supplier after we moved in I found that Persimmon had given us a random date based on absolutely nothing of substance. The broadband supplier is so concerned with wasting their engineers time that they now won’t conduct any further work on the estate until their own project manager has visited to check all outstanding work is completed. So it does leave us in a state of not having a clue when the broadband will actually be installed. Not great, but also, not surprising! The promise of a dongle for us to use if the broadband wasn’t installed by moving in date was also a misnomer as it appears the expectation is on us to buy the dongle (You normally have to sign up to a 12 month contract for these) and then claim it back from persimmon. Call me a cynic but as it took them 6 months beyond completion date to finish the house I’m not confident I’d be seeing my cash anytime before June next year if I did this. It also doesn’t explain who pays for the monthly cost of the Dongle…

Other bits and pieces are very minor:-

  •  The front and back doors are very difficult to lock, likely to just be a bit of loosening of the doors needed to fix it
  • The garage guttering down pipe currently misses the pipe going into the ground by a good 5 inches which means when it rains the back garden gets flooded with water
  • The back garden hasn’t been prepared (Mainly due to the wet weather we’ve had recently) which means we can’t lay turf yet
  • There are a few minor touch ups on walls that need doing

But in summary its not a bad piece of work they have done to the property to get it into a liveable state. None of the above are showstoppers to us living here and we’ve been promised that they will all be resolved within the next few days, which I’m inclined to believe as its come from the site manager rather than the head office team.

Our little close is quiet at the moment as our next door neighbors don’t move in until the new year and all of the properties opposite are still being finished.

So this post brings to an end my blogging for 2014. What started as an outlet for my frustration at the level of incompetence of one company has transformed into a useful exchange for like minded individuals who have also been severely let down by Persimmon. Its been extremely helpful to me to know we have not been alone this year in our experience but also extremely concerning that one company can continually let down so many customers with one of the most important processes they will go through in their lives. Buying a house is a massive commitment that requires long term investment. This process is not helped by a house builder who cannot deliver to dates and provides shocking levels of customer service on repeated occasions. As I said in a previous post, tread very carefully when dealing with Persimmon. Although our property appears to be sound and the service we’ve received from the people on site has been top notch its taken a hell of a lot of complaining and stress to get to this point.

I hope all of the readers of this blog find a solution to their issues over the next few weeks and months and wherever you are living during Christmas I hope you have a peaceful and enjoyable time.

I’ll be back in the new year to continue my blog.

Thanks

The House Inspection

Today we finally managed to see our (almost) completely built house purchase from Persimmon. My initial expectations for the property visit were that we’d find lots of outstanding problems we’d be putting up with once we sign the legal exchange in two days time. Surprisingly enough the visit was actually without too much issue.

I won’t name names here but the guy who took us round the house is probably one of the first genuinely apologetic and honest people we have dealt with at Persimmon. He apologised repeatedly and actually gave me a much better understanding of the issues he and his guys on the ground have had to deal with. Needless to say that it’s the mismanagement at the senior levels that has resulted in about 25 families on the estate missing their original completion dates.

Along with the above the fact Persimmon have taken on far too much work than they knew they were capable of means many families who had planned to be in their homes for Christmas are now being given dates of January and February next year.

There were a few minor issues but nothing of the catastrophic level I was anticipating before we checked the house. The good thing for me was the fact that the guy showing us round committed to all of them being resolved by Friday, which is something we’ve not had from our many previous dealings with the head office team.

Needless to say we now go into the legal completion on Friday with far more confidence than we’ve had for the last 6 months of the build.

I’d also like to say that I’m very quick on this blog to point out failures and stupidity. I’d like to take some time out on this blog now to thank a few people from Persimmon who have continued to try and get resolutions for us. Again I’m not going to name names here because like any large organisation these head office departments don’t like their staff to be following anything other than the corporate line. Hopefully you’ll know who you are if you are reading this (My site stats show at least a few Persimmon IP addresses are indeed following this blog)

To the lady in the sales office who has continued to try and chase things down for us and been a friendly voice at the end of a telephone line for us repeatedly over the last 6 months, thank you. Its never been an issue dealing with you and your patience has been impressive in fielding what must have been hundreds of phone calls weekly from all the families impacted by these delays.

To the guy who took us around the house yesterday and was probably the most honest and apologetic person we’ve dealt with at Persimmon, thank you. You gave us some straight answers and couldn’t do enough for us to put right some of the few teething issues we have remaining.

To all the workers who have pulled weekend shifts and late nights to try and get the estate into a liveable place for families in the run up to Christmas, thanks. The incompetence of the senior management at Persimmon shouldn’t hide the fact that you appear to have done a top job in getting these houses into a habitable state.

I’ll continue to update this blog after moving day with any post move observations. Keep reading and commenting!

You want to see your house? What a ridiculous request to make!

3 days out from legal completion and my concern that Persimmon seem to be desperately rushing to finish/hide any problems in our property seems to be pretty close to the truth. The reason I say this is that we were supposed to be able to inspect the house on Monday (Prior to legal completion on Friday) in order to check the outstanding issues/any other issues have been resolved.

The annoying thing about all of this is just how broken the communication seems to be between the site manager and the senior management of Persimmon. Each time we’ve had an issue with the build we’ve tried to resolve it with the guys on the ground at the build site as it only seems fair to give them an opportunity to put it right. Each time they’ve failed in a spectacular way to do this. This results in us having to speak to their bosses to get stuff resolved. Making them look incompetent and probably driving a further wedge between their guys on the ground and their senior management. I know from my own job that if I had a customer continually going above me to my boss that it would piss me off. Initially I’d be annoyed at the customer for not trusting my judgement, but then I’d question why the customer feels they need to do this. Am I not doing my job right? Don’t they trust what I’m telling them? Maybe a period of reflection is needed for Persimmons staff at the site??

So for the last week we’ve been told by the site manager that the earliest we can view the property would be Thursday (That’s less than 24 hours before completion) and all week I’ve been telling them that this isn’t acceptable because there is no way that gives any of us contingency to resolve anything that we find wrong (Because I know we will find things wrong). This has gone back and forth like this for a while. I asked what the reasons for this were and was told that they were arranging access to the front of the property. This in itself seems completely contradictory as access to the front of the property wouldn’t stop us, you know, using the backdoor to get into the house would it? That and the fact I’ve popped round a few times to show the kids the front of the house and it really didn’t look like the lack of paving stones would have stopped me in a pair of grubby boots from getting to the front door.

So yesterday I went to the site managers boss to ask if we could have access before Thursday. Unsurprisingly he said after viewing the property for himself he could see no reason why we couldn’t go and see the house before Thursday…

Its this sort of miscommunication and stepping on each others toes that we’ve had to deal with the entire 12 months we’ve been dealing with Persimmon. One person says something, another one contradicts them and the customer stuck in the middle of all of it wonders what the hell the builder is doing and why they can’t just front up on what the actual issues are.

So today we get to view the house. I’ll report back here tomorrow on the state of it.

On a side note I went to see my eldest sons school play yesterday and afterwards was talking to the secretary of the school. We got onto houses for some reason and when I mentioned we were moving she asked whether it was Persimmon homes building it. When I said yes she gave the typical response of a Persimmon customer ‘oh no, you need to be careful with them, we have a Persimmon home and had countless problems with it after moving in’…

I rest my case

Less haste and more speed OR one step forward and two back

We finally have a legal completion date for 19th December. Amazingly Persimmon appeared to have dragged victory from the jaws of defeat. However regular readers of this blog will know nothing is ever as simple as this with Persimmon. So whilst we appear to have at least now received an exchange date, we continue to suffer at the hands of what can only be described as institutionalised incompetence on a grand scale. Some of the joys we’ve had to deal with this week include:-

Broadband installation. The Pastures development will (Eventually I guess) have fibre to the door (FTTP – Fibre to the property) broadband which means much faster, more reliable broadband speeds. Having been contacted by Persimmon last week and told we absolutely must contact the broadband supplier by last Wednesday at the latest in order to guarantee installation before Christmas I made sure I paid and signed our contract with the supplier on the Tuesday (Just to be sure). The actual supplier seems to be pretty good, cheaper than BT and Sky and pretty decent customer service (They are called See the Light if you are interested). We agreed an installation date for Monday 8thth December as this was when Persimmon had informed the supplier that they could have access to install the broadband to our house. Unsurprisingly I took a call from See the Light on the 9th December to say that the engineer they had sent all the way up from central London to install the fibre found that a whole heap of work that Persimmon should have conducted had not been done which meant he was unable to connect our property (And many of our potential neighbours properties) to the broadband supply. When he asked when this work would be completed the construction team replied that they had no idea and that they’d probably have to dig the road up again (Advanced warning for all the non Pastures Brundall residents right here – more traffic lights to look forward to, makes that about the sixth time they’ve had to dig up the main road now…). I’d say I’m surprised by this situation but you know as well as I do now that the only thing that would surprise me is Persimmon managing to do something they said they’d do correctly without me as the customer having to arrange it for them.

 

  • Our final bill. As I’m sure long term readers of this blog will be aware I have a bit of an axe to grind with Persimmons business model of trying to extract the very last penny from their customers for little or no benefit. Ridiculously priced items in their ‘extras’ – read required, catalogue (Luxury goods such as TV points in bedrooms and TV aerials and outside taps…) have left me feeling a little bit annoyed by this. Needless to say it appears Persimmons inability to price fairly and realistically also carries across to their habit of charging customers for things they have already paid for. Our final bill came from our solicitor late last week and contained no agreed discount (We have had £1000 reduced from our final bill due to all the issues we’ve had) nor any reduction for the (expensive) carpets we have already paid 20% of up front. This equates to around £1400 they’ve ‘forgotten’ to take away from our final bill they sent our solicitor. Its only because I’m now going through everything Persimmon do with a fine tooth comb that I spotted it. So I’d suggest anyone who is buying a property from Persimmon checks their final bills for any ‘unexpected’ extras suddenly appearing.

So this week has been a mixture of relief that we finally have a date to move in that is before Christmas and also continued annoyance with Persimmons inability to get anything right the first time. The children are excited about moving in (And to be honest why wouldn’t they be, its an exciting time for them). But for me and my better half this excitement is mixed with a 100% acknowledgment that moving in will be just the start of the problems we are more than likely to have with the house. As I’ve said before you need not search for longer than 30 seconds online to see the countless annoyed and let down customers of Persimmon who remain in broken properties with repairs running at incomplete for years into their time in their properties. So although this battle has (slightly) been won against Persimmon the war certainly isn’t over.

So what can we learn from the above?

  • Persimmon cannot do basic maths or paperwork properly – check your final bills carefully for any iffy figures. I can assure you Persimmon won’t be checking when they send the bill to your solicitor!
  • Despite already having to pay us a fairly large reduction of our final bill (That they then forgot to reduce) Persimmon continue to rush and miss things which will just lead to me claiming further costs from them later. It’s a vicious circle of failure because if Persimmon had been half as apologetic as they now are with us I would have given them the benefit of the doubt with these sorts of things. If we’d been kept up to date throughout the build and not had to do all the chasing ourselves I’ve have let them off missing the installation of broadband and lived with it for a few weeks. Instead because of how rubbish they have been throughout the process and how they continue to make basic mistakes I will pursue them vigorously and log every little thing that goes wrong and detail it on here as a warning to other potential customers. Needless to say I’ll also be charging them for my time and effort to find and rectify their mistakes.
  • Just because you receive a completion date don’t assume everything is suddenly going to resolve itself. You’ll see from the above that Persimmon have now had to legally provide us a completion date (Otherwise we could have walked away from the purchase at this point) but are continuing to make silly mistakes, which tells me they only have a little confidence they’ll hit the actual date, meaning corners are going to be cut, things will be done quickly and mistakes will be made, remaining undetected until we move in probably – which is why I’ll be making sure we have someone independently do the snagging for us.

7 days to go now to completion, lets see what else they can mess up…

House Building 101?

A few years ago me and a group of 9 other friends did a charity house build in Romania (Cluj to be precise). Via our employer we (And 8 other teams) had to raise £7800 in 8 weeks to buy materials to fly out to Romania to build 4 houses for people who were living in poverty housing. Our team managed to pull this off and so went out to Romania to put together a new set of homes for these families.

It was a thought provoking experience. However much we complain in this country (Including me) about how bad we have it we really don’t need to look too far across the pond in Europe to see others who have it so much worse. As a team we managed to knock up 4, 2 bedroom flats built into a modular detached building (With 2 floors) in five days. Better yet because we were so quick we managed to knock up two extra semi detached 2 floor homes. All were made with wood framework, concrete base and foundations and sloping tiled roof. All rooms were plastered, electrics installed, full plumbing and a bunch of us clubbed together to contribute to some furnishings and gifts. On the day we handed over the keys to the four families there wasn’t a dry set of eyes on the building site.

I use this example firstly to show that my own situation whilst pants isn’t anywhere near as bad as plenty of others. But I also use it to show that with a motivated and dedicated team you can deliver something to time and budget without needing to let down the customer.

So I have a genuine question for Persimmon Homes.

How long does it take to build a home?

If you’ll have seen my previous blog you’ll understand that I mentioned I’m not particularly great at DIY. Which was something of a white lie. See I can plaster, can knock together a framework using wood pretty well, can do some basic plumbing and I’m a pretty dab hand at mixing cement. Skills I picked up over 5 days in Romania from qualified builders. I’m not for one minute saying I could go and knock together a block of flats tomorrow. But I am saying I have a small understanding of time elapsed to put together something resembling a home.

The first thing is to be very clear on three things:-

Budget, Materials and Resources

There is absolutely no point in starting a build of any of the above are missing. Only fools would start a major construction project without the right materials, money or people to do the work required. I mean no one would be this silly would they? Eh Persimmon? You wouldn’t get halfway through a site build and then find you’ve run out of bricks would you Persimmon? Or admit to customers that the reason for your delays this month are due to not having enough qualified builders of acceptable quality would you?

Anyway I digress.

You also need a decent project manager. Someone who understands the relationship between different bits of construction and how to work logistics into the plan. Which means making sure that when he has a construction team on site that they have materials to do something with, and also that these materials continue to flow into the estate as the build progresses.

One of the key skills of a project manager is being able to provide reliable and realistic estimates to their stakeholders and customers. Having done a bit of this myself I know there is nothing that pisses off people more than over promising and under delivering on dates. Which is why its always best to err on the side of caution and assume worst case. Again no decent project manager would keep releasing dates to customers for completion that are so ridiculously inaccurate as to be completely worthless. That just wouldn’t be good business, or a good customer experience for the home buyer. No one would do that, would they Persimmon?…

So now you have the budget, materials, staff and a decent project manager.

You need to prepare the ground. Ideally you’d do this by referencing existing plans for the site to ensure you don’t cut through a power cable and knock out power to the entire village (Again – no one would be this silly, would they Persimmon?, I mean you’d have to fork out some form of compensation to people for loss of power and potential damage to their homes, like food wasted in freezers?). You’d also do what I like to call ‘the common sense check’ of the site. i.e. if there are any structures, trees, hedges or cows on the site you’d ideally want to move them before spades go in the ground so that halfway through a build you don’t suddenly realise that you’ve got to move a power cable supplying the entire village from the existing above ground power cables to an underground set of cables.

Once you’ve done these basic things you can then start the actual build work. Its at this point your estimates start to firm up into realistic dates. Slippages do happen, suppliers will let the supply chain down, people will report in sick, accidents may well happen. One or two days delay at the start can translate into one or two weeks later once the full impact is realised. I know this, because I’ve had it happen on my own projects. Which is why any decent project manager will build in contingency to their plans. If you estimate a job will take 2 months then you probably want to add on 1-2 weeks contingency for delays or unexpected events. This is just good business practice.

I’ll leave you to work out how Persimmon seem to go about project management of their building sites. You don’t need to look very far on the internet to see how this impacts their customers…

A crucial part of a build is ensuring that plans are followed to the letter. The risks of not doing this are that you end up building something incorrectly, which may not be signed off as completed or could lead to costly repairs later. Your customer may decide that the build quality is so poor that they refuse to exchange, causing further delays and additional unexpected costs. What you really don’t need at this point is someone deciding for example to install a loft hatch in a bathroom (Over a bath and partway over an internal wall) instead of in a landing hall, like the house plan states… Again I’ll leave you to work out how Persimmon seem to approach build plans and quality workmanship…

Some readers may think I’m doing this to be glib. Part of me probably is, but a large part of me is doing this to show that simply expecting a customer to hand over a massive deposit and go away until you’ve build something isn’t and never has been acceptable. One last time I’ll let you work out what sort of approach Persimmon takes to customer experience…

An Update on our Persimmon Home Purchase

Firstly a quick thank you to everyone who has so far contacted me or commented on this blog. Its clear that we are not alone in our horror story of dealing with Persimmon. At the last count I had 89 different families who have contacted me either expressing solidarity with our problems or sharing their own issues and wanting to get involved. I’ve more to come on that soon but in the meantime thank you, your messages really have been a help over the last few weeks.

The latest with our own situation is that the outstanding issues with our new house (Loft hatch over a partition wall and situated over a bath, completion date delayed by 6 months and now 2 days after our rental agreement ends, garage door not installed etc. etc.) is that at least some of these issues have now been out right (Allegedly – as we haven’t actually seen these for ourselves). The issue of the 6 month delay however is still rumbling on.

I received a response to a follow up I sent Mr Fuller (The east of England MD for Persimmon homes) in which he apologized and offered us a compensation payment off our final bill. I appreciated what has been the first genuine apology and offer of compensation for our situation. Unfortunately (And this really isn’t me being greedy here) the offer they have made is far below the amount of stress, worry and actual costs we have incurred through no fault of our own this year. So I’ve explained this to Mr Fuller and I now look forward to a further reply.

I’m not building up my hopes with this at all but a genuine offer of compensation that covers us for this year would go some way to making good the repeated broken promises, failed deliveries, ineptitude and just plain bad customer service we have had to suffer this year.

I’ve even asked our local MP to now get involved in order to ask Persimmon about their business practices. I don’t expect I’ll hear much off the back of this discussion but it does at least mean Persimmon and their practices are in a wider public forum because of it.

In other news it seems Persimmon have continued to ignore numerous issues from both new and existing customers on their social media pages. Twitter is awash with examples of repeated failures to engage with customers who feel they have been let down or suffered loss due to poorly built properties. On Facebook (Where the ability to closely monitor and close down negative comments on their page is more strictly enforced) there are still comments that pop up on their posts asking why repairs remain outstanding months after families have moved into properties.

Looking back on our own experience this year if I knew what I now know about what the buying experience would be like from Persimmon I feel safe in saying that we would not have made this house purchase from them. New build properties are notoriously acknowledged as encountering delays and issues when families move in, but this experience would have felt much more positive for us if only Persimmon had kept us engaged and not made promises they clearly knew they could not meet. On top of this an inability to plan ahead or predict demand for new homes (When other house builders seem to have weathered the storm so much better) gives me no confidence that the long term strategy of Persimmon focuses on anything other than their bottom line profits. As I said in a previous post. I have no issue with a company making money. What I do have issue with is where the need to make money causes untold damage, stress and worry to customers. Hindsight however is a wonderful thing!

I don’t believe for a second that a house purchase from any of the other big home builders would have gone off without one hitch. However I do feel that other home builders seem better able to acknowledge quality and care for their customers.

So what one piece of advice would I give to anyone looking at a Persimmon home purchase?

Tread carefully and seriously consider the amount of bad feedback they have floating around on the www. You really do not need to look far to find it and this blog is just one piece of a far wider jigsaw of let down, annoyed and upset customers. Whilst you may be sweet talked by a sales team who do seem to work bloody hard at their jobs, you will be repeatedly failed and let down once you’ve signed on the dotted line with them. In particular if you are in the East Of England I’d avoid the Pastures development in Brundall like the plague until all of the homes are built (They have plenty left they haven’t been able to shift – even with large discounts attached to them), which should give you a pretty good indication of how good a neighbor they have been to the community of Brundall!

We now stand at 18 days out from the alleged completion date.

My confidence couldn’t be any lower in Persimmon right now.