Persimmon commissions independent review into customer service and poor workmanship



Persimmon’s continued efforts to improve its customer care culture and operations are to be assessed in an independent review.

Chairman Roger Devlin said the examination will evaluate the effectiveness of the housebuilder’s new measures and processes to determine whether they appropriately position the business for the future.

Roger Devlin

Last month the firm became the first major UK housebuilder to offer a retention policy to protect homebuyers from repair problems.

Under the new initiative, the company’s standard contract will say 1.5% of the total home value can be withheld by the buyer’s solicitor until any faults identified at the point of key release are resolved.

The review will be led by an independent chair, Stephanie Barwise QC of Atkin Chambers, and supported by a leading law firm.

The review is expected to examine in detail, but is not limited to, the following areas:

  • Customer care approach, systems and culture
  • Snagging and finish rectification processes
  • Speed and consistency of response to issues
  • Construction inspection regime
  • Quality assurance processes
  • Advertising and marketing protocols
  • Alignment of governance and incentives in meeting customer outcomes

It is anticipated that the review will consult with a wide cross section of stakeholders, including customers, suppliers, employees, trade bodies, local authorities, civil servants and experts across the wider industry.

Additionally, although Persimmon does not construct high rise buildings, it is today committing to adopt the principles of the Hackitt Review which are designed to effect culture change within the construction industry.

Roger Devlin said: “Persimmon is committed to listening carefully and changing rapidly as we seek to improve our reputation among the key stakeholders in the business. Our objective is clear: we must ensure that all our customers are provided with the care, service and high quality homes that they rightfully expect. An independent review is an important exercise which will establish whether the many changes we are making are going far enough and fast enough for the benefit of both our customers and our wider stakeholders in the business.”

The review will report to the Board and a timetable has been set for the initial findings to be presented in the final quarter of 2019. The findings of the final report will be made public.

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