Oakville Homes

February 13, 2011

Pre-Delivery specialists – just who do they work for?


In today’s Sunday Sun, I read an article in the Homes-Extra section titled: “Soon, Mattamy will present new homes in a popular vista”.  What I liked about the article was how they promoted Milton and the attractions it has for those wishing to live there.  While building up the positive features of Milton, it was obvious that they did not promote “quality” as something to draw one to a Mattamy Home.  Seems the ads for Mattamy don’t mention quality anymore.  I guess the legal beagles have told them that since they can’t guarantee quality, they shouldn’t advertise it.

We’ve all read the horror stories of Mattamy customer care and the problems with their construction in some places ( or lack thereof due to no permits) and the way they treat customers in terms of after-care.  And yes, some have received very good after-care, including free snowblowers, flowers, backsplashes and J.D. Power and Associates surveys.

I recently noticed an ad for a company called: “Pre-Delivery Specialists Inc.”  I do like the Inc. feature – limits liability if something goes wrong.  I always feel that when an owner goes Inc, he displays less than full trust in his product but, that is another matter.

What does this company do? 

In their own words: “… provides builders with a cost effective way of increasing their Customer satisfaction levels.  PDS works with the builders at all levels of Customer Care, from preparing the new homes to inspections and warranty service.”  (Works with the builders? – what about the customer?)

Why would there be a need for a separate company to come in and do what you would expect your builder to cover and that you have paid for in the purchase price? 

In their own words: “Pre-Delivery Specialists Inc. was created to address the shortfall in service within the homebuilder’s subcontract “After Sales” market place. This shortfall has been created due to Tarion’s continued higher standards, shortage of skilled tradesmen, more demanding customers and gaps in communication throughout the After Sales period.  The lack of professionalism and limited capabilities of temporary Construction Service companies has often compounded the builder’s problems.  PDS is here to address all of this with a focus on skills and continued learning, customer relations, presentation and corporate support by way of open communication and co-operation between all parties.”

They list a number of customers including, but not limited to, Ballantry, Townwood and Mattamy.  I wonder about the need of bringing in a separate, legally remote company to look after PDI’s and customer care.  Is the builder unable to supply their own people to look after your issues or, do builders want to separate themselves from the issues brought about discerning homebuyers who are becoming more knowledgeable about how to work Tarion, their own rights and have the ability to hire a house inspector to look after their own interests.

And just how protected are you. 

People have complained that Mattamy blames the trades when it comes to quality.  Will they now blame PD Specialists regarding after-care?  Will they disassociate themselves from the responsibility of aftercare by placing it on a separate incorporated company that might or might not really care about your issues?  And you will notice that PDS promotes the relationship with the builder, not the customer.  They do what they do to assist the builder deal with the customer, not necessarily assist the customer to deal with the builder.  And, you as a homebuyer are paying for this service thru the purchase price.

It just puts another level into the process that you have to contend with when you buy a new home.  Another reason to make sure you are in tune with your lawyer and have a house inspector who can look after your interests.

Remember:  the house inspector is paid directly by you to look after your interests.  A PDI type service is paid by you through the purchase price and works for the builder. 

Note:  This was the only company I noticed but my comments would apply to any company that promotes this kind of service.  If in fact the customer ultimately receives superior after-care and a better quality finish to their home, then this type of service will obviously prove itself over time by building a reputation via comments from satisfied customers.  I just hope that these companies don’t figure out though, who is getting the surveys and thus give a different level of service to a select few.  Not something done by others – yeah, right.



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