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…