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It’s not customer service they're doing, it’s claims management

Your housebuilder will generally owe you contractual and statutory duties in relation to the design and construction of your new home.

If they breach those obligations, the normal position in law would be for you to sue them for damages.  In simple terms, ‘damages’ means the amount of money needed to put you in the position you would have been in had the relevant obligation been performed.  For construction defects, that usually means cost of repair plus incidental costs such as alternative accommodation.

But most buyers do not buy a new build home expecting or wanting to pursue legal action against the housebuilder over defects. And most housebuilders don't want that either. Therefore, they almost always offer alternatives.

The two main alternatives offered by housebuilders are 'after-sales customer care' procedures where you report snags and defects to them and rely on them to put things right at their own cost, and new home warranties like NHBC Buildmark under which they will deal with defects and problems including ones that the housebuilder has failed or refused to put right itself. But you must always remember that these are alternatives to you pursuing legal action against them: IT’S NOT CUSTOMER SERVICE THEY’RE DOING, IT’S CLAIMS MANAGEMENT.

Their alternative redress schemes will all have this in common: they generally operate so as to keep you in the dark about the true nature and extent of underlying defects, and sidelined from involvement in making decisions over what gets done about them.  These schemes may be free to use, but they are not without cost.  The financial loss to you associated with unresolved defects can be enormous and you may be left with a potentially dangerous, sub-standard, unsaleable home.  Owners can also suffer health impacts from stress and frustration commonly experienced when trying in vain over months or years to get them to deal with obvious problems.

You can get what you paid for, and be treated fairly, if you know how.

New Build Guru provides best-practice guidance and professional support when needed in the most affordable and cost-effective way possible.

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