Interesting call from Mark Turner – customer service executive David Wilson Homes

Mark Turner called to go through my perception of David Wilson Homes customer services. He listened well, took on board my concerns. He then went on to say that my issues were not common as he doesn’t get many of these sort of complains or telephone calls. I explained that most people don’t have the time to engage in the way that I am doing and frankly many people have low expectations of customer care.

I did say that I would make this issue more widely known and I would encourage any of you with issues to contact Mark who will be grateful for the feed back.

His details are below.

Mark Turner

Customer Service Executive

David Wilson Homes South Midlands

1a Fortune Close | Riverside Business Park | Northampton | NN3 9HT

Telephone: 01604 784000 Fax: 01604 784896

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David Wilson Homes – reply from MD and my response

Hi Chris,

Thank you. I fear that things might not be as robust as you think. If the systems are fit for purpose then I would suggest they are not being used correctly, or the culture is wrong. Customer service is much more than logging faults and then getting tradesman to fix them.

I have no idea what to expect from customer service. Would a service level agreement setting out what a customer might expect not be a start?

Having said all that individually, people are pleasant.


Nick Clarke


Read my Blog:

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On 21 Oct 2014, at 12:31, Hatfield, Chris <> wrote:

Dear Mr Clarke

I am sorry that you have had problems with our customer service team not dealing with remedial works in a timely manner.  Whilst I note your suggestions on how we might improve our service levels, our systems that we have in place are robust and should identify all of the issues that you have highlighted. We log and track the age of our open defects, speed of resolution and a number of other key performance indicators such as volume of oncoming calls, duration of calls, call waiting times etc.

I will chase up your outstanding defects  and ask that a member of our customer service team contacts you today to go through them.

Kind regards,

Chris Hatfield

Managing Director

David Wilson Homes South Midlands

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Letter to MD of David Wilson Homes on customer care

Dear Chris,

I hope you are well. We are all sitting crossing our fingers that the broadband will be installed soon. Residents are very grateful for you letting a contract with BT.
I would like to make you aware of another issue, customer service.
When we all bought our houses the five year warranty was a key factor in choosing David Wilson Homes. Customer service from the site management team, directly after moving in was exemplary.
Unfortunately, my experience of customer service subsequently has been very poor at best. Many other residents echo my experience.This is hurting your reputation and reduces you to just any other builder.
In short, issues are reported and then not fixed. Customer expectations are not managed and they are not kept informed. Customer service seems to depend on customers continualy badgering the customer service department, which is wasteful of resource and creates a poor impression.
I have reported faults as long ago as 18 months and they have not been fixed. I have never received a call from customer services proactively managing any of the issues. It feels that every time I call then something is chased up only to fall away again later. When someone comes out to look at a problem the fixing part does not get done and no one keeps me informed as to progress. Everything relies on me contacting customer services and it feels like who ever calls last gets the service.
May I be so forward as to suggest some improvements? Firstly, change the culture from reactive to proactive. The issues need to be owned by the customer services team not the customer. To do this your customer service agents need to have systems in place that monitor activity and alert them to over due issues. Customer services should be making calls to customers updating on progress, setting expectations and ensuring the very best possible outcomes for the customers.
Create service level agreements between DWH and customers and then DWH and customer services and then customer services and suppliers. Everyone should be focused on customer satisfaction and know how much time they have to respond to issues and fix them. If customer service is important to the board of DWH then the SLA stats should be reported at board level.
Today, I have reported my long list of issues again, as I do every other month. I have some issues going back 18 months or more. All of a sudden I now have a plumber at my house and promises of all the other issues being fixed. Whilst I am grateful for this progress it seems silly that I should need to get so frustrated before things are fixed. That does nothing to help your reputation and probably costs a lot more money to fix. For example, I now have a damaged living room ceiling resulting from loose tiles I reported many months ago.
I won’t bore you with all the issues.
I hope you see this as positive feedback and take steps to improve your systems. As always you will be able to read all  about it on my blog later.
Nick Clarke
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David Wilson Homes – Customer service update

I have in the last hour or so had a plumber out to sort out a leak and fix a sink drain that has been outstanding for some time.  I have also had three other appointments booked in.


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David Wilson Homes – customer care, could do better!

We have lived in the David Wilson Homes in Papworth for two years. Part of the attraction of a new home is the warranty. In David Wilson Homes case this is a whopping 5 year warranty on everything, including appliances.

When we moved in, the on site customer care was magnificent. Nothing was too much trouble. I wish customer care after the first couple of months was as good. In fairness, everyone I have spoken to has been pleasant but ………..

I have faults that were reported 18 months ago unsolved. Tradesmen come, diagnose the fault and then disappear with promises of rectification.  I have lost count the number of times I have called the customer care department. Each time I ask for an update on all my snags and each time I am promised it will be fixed.

What seems to be missing is a customer focused approach. It feels that unless the customer does the chasing nothing happens. There doesn’t appear to be a service level agreement with suppliers or customers. What can we expect in terms of service? At the moment I don’t expect very much and am regularly disappointed.

Anecdotally, I am told others experience the same issues.

Today I wrote to Chris Hatfield, the MD of David Wilson Homes South Midlands, who we come under.  If you remember he was the same chap who took on the challenge of providing broadband by letting a contract with BT.

I will post on this blog the letter I sent together with any replies. I am expecting some action.

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Taking stock – refocusing on communities rather than party.

I entered politics,, by accident, in May 2009 when I was elected for the first time as a county councillor. My mates on the Police Authority, where I sat as an independent member, convinced me to stand for elected office.

In two short years I became the Leader of the county council and set out to run the council in a business like fashion. It was a fascinating time and one I really enjoyed.

It was stimulating to be able to push through projects, like the new station in Cambridge, the Ely bypass, superfast broadband across the county, the crossing at Whittlesee and the A14 widening scheme.

I also enjoyed setting the budget against a backdrop of reduced funding whilst still keeping libraries open and services functioning. It was getting tough and is tougher still today.

I was asked to take on the Chairmanship of the Cambridge Conservatives which I did last February. Interestingly, I have discovered that being overly political has reduced my ability to get things done. Leading a tribe is ok up to a point but it does mean that their is a real danger of being tribe focused rather than community focussed, which is where all this started for me.

Recently, I stood down as Chairman of Cambridge Conservatives. I had helped to recruit a strong management team and a new PPC. Now it is time to move on.

I now want to return to community issues and see where I can bring my skills and experience to help improve things for the people of Cambridgeshire.

I guess it is interesting to reflect that I believe I can do more good outside of mainstream politics than I can within.

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Inheritance tax cuts to help ordinary people pass on the family home.

Yesterday the Prime Minister restated his ambition to cut inheritance tax.

Taxes are a matter for the Chancellor, but as the Prime Minister said, inheritance tax is a tax that should be paid by the very wealthy.

Conservatives believe you should be able to pass a family home on to your children rather than leave it to the taxman.

Conservatives would like to see that go further because even at £650,000, particularly in some parts of the country, you see someone who has worked hard, they have put money into their house, they have done it up to improve it and they want to leave it to their children.

They don’t feel that they are in any way the mega-rich, and they feel: ‘I should be able to do that without having 40 per cent of it knocked off’.

So Conservatives still have ambitions to do more.

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