Monthly Archives: May 2015

Three star Persimmon homes get off lightly on BBC Watchdog 21 May 2015

“Why choose Persimmon?”  it says their website. Why indeed.
It remains a complete mystery to me why anyone in his or her right mind would actually choose to buy a new home from Persimmon. Especially when they can choose to buy from any five-star rated housebuilder with a history of winning NHBC awards for quality. Or at least avoid the worst of the housebuilders – those featured on national television programmes and in newspaper columns for both the poor standard of the homes they build and the lack of any resemblance of customer care when homebuyers discover the inevitable snags and defects, missed by the so called professionals employed by housebuilders such as Persimmon.

I am amazed that year after year, naïve young homebuyers get taken in by Persimmon’s marketing spin, some ending up in tears on national television with their fully preventable tales of woe. Preventable, because their homes could have been built with greater care. Preventable, because they could be built more slowly and all stages thoroughly checked and inspected by Persimmon site management, the warranty provider and building control inspectors. Preventable, because the government could and should introduce new legislation to protect all new homebuyers and provide an independent means of dispute resolution in the form of an Ombudsman for New Homes, rather than rely on a Consumer Code for Home Builders, set up and managed by housebuilders and other interested parties.

Talk is cheap.

All housebuilders make exaggerated claims about the homes they build and the “service” they offer to customers. Only in housebuilding could 93% of buyers experience a problem. Only in housebuilding would 47% of buyers be expecting the number of defects and problems they get. Yet they still buy new homes, year after year. Maybe they get taken in and assured by statements like these:

“Persimmon Pledge:
From the moment our customers reserve one of our new homes, we pledge to make the experience enjoyable and informative each step of the way.


We aim to take care of our customers, not just when they are buying but also when they have moved into their new home. All of our staff are trained to provide a high level of customer service and to deliver our comprehensive pre-move and after sales pledge to our customers.” 


“Quality Assured
“On completion of your new home we will provide you with a quality assured certificate for you to keep within your Masterfile.”

Pity their homes are not 100% complete when some of their buyers are told they are! Persimmon also state on their website that:

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HBF National New Home Customer Satisfaction Survey 2015

The quality of UK new homes is getting worse

The Home Builders Federation (HBF) National new home customer satisfaction survey results and house builder star ratings for 2014 were released last month with a claim by the HBF that “Homeowner satisfaction with new homes remains high” Compared to what?

The HBF fail to highlight that, even by the methods used for the industry’s own in-house satisfaction survey, the latest results show even fewer new homebuyers would “recommend their builder to a friend” – down 4%. The number of buyers “satisfied” with the quality of their new home is also down 4%. The survey results indicate that the quality of UK new homes and the standard of service offered by housebuilders is getting even worse, not better. The number of new homebuyers who “experience problems” with their new homes is a staggering 93% – up 1% on last year. In other words, buy a new home and you are virtually certain to have problems with it

Defect barratt-lovely-edge-on-skirting-board

In the survey results for 2013, 46% of buyers found more problems with their new home than they had expected. The results for last year would appear to indicate that people buying a new home expected more problems – with 47% stating that the “number of problems were in line with their expectations.” – a 20% increase. The housebuilding industry has succeeded in managing customers expectations so well that the existence of defective workmanship, snags and faults, such as leaking pipes, creaking floors, garden flooding and more in their new homes has become normal, expected and is perceived by both industry and customer as unavoidable. Clearly this is as wrong as it is unacceptable.

As in previous years, the HBF try to promote the myth that levels of customer satisfaction have improved year on year and that UK new homes are better than ever.Taylor Wimpey 9 months small size

It would be better to inspect and prevent defects rather than carry out remedial works after buyers move in. The works above were finally being done by Taylor Wimpey – 9 months after the buyers first moved in!

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