Housebuilder Bovis sets aside £7m for customers after admitting standards fell

The Bovis Homes development at Round House Park. Picture: Ian Burt

The Bovis Homes development at Round House Park. Picture: Ian Burt - Credit: Ian Burt

A housebuilder's promise to set aside £7m to deal with a public backlash – after admitting its standards 'fell significantly' – has been met with scepticism.

Bovis Homes, which has developed homes at Queens Hills and Round House Park in Norwich, said it would work to improve its customer service and complaints procedures after homeowners across the country complained their houses were substandard or incomplete when they moved in.

The £7m provision, unveiled as Bovis announced its full-year results yesterday, will cover remedial work and compensation for affected customers.

Bovis has also announced measures to improve service, including more staff to deal with complaints and the creation of a dedicated homebuyers' panel.

The house-builder admitted customer service standards 'fell significantly' during 2016 and had previously apologised to customers.

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Residents have formed their own social media groups to share stories and complaints across the country.

Alexis Zelley, who lives at Queen's Hills, Costessey, said she was sceptical about any compensation as she felt previous promises had not been met.

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When she moved into her house more than a year ago the wrong washing machine had been installed and still has not been replaced, forcing her to make a 20-mile round trip to wash clothes at her mother's house.

She said: 'It depends what level of compensation there is going to be and how they work out who gets it.

'Will it be those who have been waiting the longest or those with the most immediate problem?

'It would be better if they had spent the money to get it right the first time.'

Bovis would not provide detail on how compensation would be paid out or which claims would be prioritised.

A spokesman said: 'Our customer service proposition has failed to ensure that all of our customers receive the expected high standard of care.'

He added: 'The £7m customer care provision announced by Bovis Homes is largely to cover the potential costs of extra remedial work required on a small number of homes and is reflective of the additional costs that the business anticipates it will incur as it rectifies these and other customer service issues.'

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