They should have 0/5 stars!! To summarise the issues were as follows:-
On two separate occasions the house, which was unoccupied, was left without the alarm being set by J & C following a viewing. We had previously instructed them to set the alarm every time and they had agreed to that. On one occasion it was also left unlocked by J & C and so totally unsecured without being locked or alarmed. This viewing had been carried out by the Manager himself. J & C took people into the property without notifying us prior to the visit. J & C notified us that an offer had been made on our property, that it was cash and there was no chain. After accepting the offer on this basis we found out the reality was that, it was a buyer with a mortgage and there was a chain! We instructed J & C not to put “Under Offer” on the board outside the house. They ignored this and put up an Under Offer sign. I rang the Manager at J & C to voice my complaint about the issues above, he said he would talk to the staff and get back to me. Despite numerous contacts to the offices I never heard from the Manager afterwards. I rang the head office, Connells Group, and spoke to a Compliance Controller in the Complaints Department. He then fruitlessly tried to contact the Manager of Heswall Branch. I was appalled that a Head Office complaints department could not get to speak to their own branch manager. The official complaint was then sent from the Head Office to the Area Manager in charge of the Heswall Branch.However the Area Manager also refused to respond to Head Office. Then Head Office wrote to us stating we had rejected the Area Managers response despite the fact that they had previously written to us to state that the Area Manager had refused to respond to the complaint. Head Office eventually submitted their final response to us, however even this was after the deadline we had been given for their response. We had no option but to ask The Property Ombudsman to look at the case.
The Property Ombudsman Review stated:-
I have supported the complaints ….My award will reflect the avoidable aggravation, distress and inconvenience caused to the Complainants...there were shortcomings in the service provided by J&C. J&C have not fulfilled their obligations, under the TPO Code of Practice, in that they did not pass the correct information to the Seller regarding the Buyer’s financial status….Paragraph 8h of the TPO Code of Practice, J&C were obliged to exercise reasonable diligence to ensure that, after any visit by them, the Property was left secure. I accept that J&C did not follow the Seller’s instruction regarding resetting the alarm.
J&C have acknowledged that when the initial complaint was raised, calls were not returned despite requests from J&C’s Compliance Department for the branch to do so…the Complainants did not receive a response to their initial complaint. The Complainants chased for a response and received a letter which stated that a further review would be conducted, however no previous review had been conducted. In accordance with Paragraph 14d of the TPO Code of Practice, J&C were obliged to acknowledge all written complaints within three working days and promptly undertake a proper investigation. In accordance with Paragraph 14e…....The Complainants did not receive a formal response to their initial complaint….This significantly delayed the complaints process.
All in all a terrible experience from Jones and Chapman Heswall Office made worse by the complete lack of response from the Branch Manager, the Area Manager and the inaccurate and tardy response from Head Office.
470 days ago