Oakville Homes

October 11, 2013

Does Boss Hogg live in Oakville? Maybe Bubba knows.

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CUSTOMER SERVICE:

Some talk the talk while others walk the walk.  Some use donations and advertising to show their worth while others depend on word of mouth via quality products.

Some people will surf the web and visit forums and other sources to help determine a course of action.  Myself, I use Tripadvisor.ca before picking a hotel/motel on any trip.  You need to take all comments with a grain of salt (# bad occurrences, too high standards for what they intended to pay, etc) but, on the whole, I have found them to be very useful.

Where do you go if you want to buy a home?  A real estate office (who want to make money selling the joint), newspaper articles on housing (who make money off the advertising by builders), Tarion (builder/developer dominated agency), people on the street (who want to keep values up, especially if a speculator) or friends (which you could lose if the advice turns sour)?  Very few resources that you could fully trust.

But word of mouth and forums at least let some of the truth come out, although it too can be biased.   But, so are the surveys you read.  Seems that builders might give some kind of “extra” service to those they know will be filling out the forms.  Seems Mattamy has been accused of this practice.  Some regret taking the bonus as they find the “extra” service only extends to the time the survey was submitted.

Yes, Customer Service means more than some companies are willing to give.  I notice Mattamy has joined Twitter social media, hoping to pass on their message.  Two way street though – allows the truth to come out.

On my last posting (#600 if you are counting) I basically said that the Town of Oakville and Mattamy were an unbeatable pairing.  One gets the donations and the other gets to illegally wire houses, at least in my case.  My blog has illustrated many other things Mattamy has done in Oakville and elsewhere.

Funny how things that go around come around.  MPP Kevin Flynn was on town council when they threw me under the provincial bus and refused to pass a bylaw intended to protect homeowners from poorly built homes.  You notice that when you buy a house for $250k plus, nothing is said about quality.  They do mention MINIMUM BUILDING CODE, when asked about poor quality.  Building inspectors and builders love that phrase – “it’s to code”.  Quality is not in the code.  Even if it isn’t code, as in my case, the Town of Oakville did nothing but receive donations over the years from Mattamy.  I mentioned MPP Kevin Flynn – it is his political seat that was under the gun in the last election and the Liberals, in their wisdom, cancelled the power plants in Mississauga and Oakville to the tune of over $1 Billion (yes, you heard right, someone got $1 Billion for not doing something) to ensure he got elected..  Again Flynn looked after the “establishment” and not the taxpayer/homeowner.  NIMBYism in Oakville cost the provincial taxpayer $1 Billion plus.  Must be a new record for NIMBYism.  They were concerned about their children’s health but they didn’t give a shit about my children’s health.  But then, I live in the wrong area I guess.

In my last posting, I stated I was going to move on and focus on other matters.  Seems though, that Mattamy wanted the last word.  At the end of this blog are two comments made after I announced my decision to move on.  According to certain records, they both came from Mattamy.  Nice to see someone there reads my stuff.  If so, my regards to Peter Gilgan, loved by all (at least those who see him as a cash cow) and I hope he had a good summer in his palace in Muskoka.

Legal Beagle note:  To the best of my knowledge and based on a reliable source, the comments can be attributed to the electronic system under the control and owned by Mattamy.  If you can prove otherwise, I will certainly remove the posts and make an apology.  I know Mattamy and the Town of Oakville don’t understand A P O L O G Y (read my lips), but I am willing to do these – it’s considered part of being socially responsible.

Remember the show “Dukes of Hazzard”.  Boss Hogg ran the place and Bubba the sheriff did his bidding.  I wonder if it was written with the Town of Oakville in mind.

REMEMBER: YOU CAN ONLY COUNT ON YOURSELF TO ENSURE YOU GET WHAT YOU PAID FOR – GOOD LAWYER, GOOD REAL ESTATE AGENT AND AN INDEPENDANT PROFESSIONAL HOUSE INSPECTOR, A GOOD TEAM TO HAVE. 

The first two comments – I’m not sure if this is their Customer Relations office responding to my blog.  If so, I think informing those being shafted to not be a waste of time.  Not bitter either, as I do realize some people have actually lived in a well built Mattamy Home.  Just the rest of us have been shafted at the expense of making Peter Gilgan a billionaire.  Donations have clouded the issue that he is an accountant that looks at the bottom line and your interests are not part of that.

At the end, is another person who received the Mattamy shaft, only proving to the Mattamy poster, I’m not alone.

Comments:

Anonymous

Ugh…you’re so annoying…get over it already.

Anonymous

Like seriously, dude, you’re wasting your life with all this anger…let it go! Go out there and LIVE instead of writing these pathetic little blog posts that obviously no-one cares about. So you had a bad experience once upon a time…are you gonna let that bitter you forever?

 

Anonymous (another person)

I too was screwed by Mattamy, until I stood outside their sales office and showed pics of my defects, and called in the fire department for obvious violations. With in 24 hours I had all defects corrected. Gilgan is too big and arrogant for his own boots.

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April 20, 2011

Tarion Awards of Excellence announced. What, no Mattamy win?

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Saw an interesting Tweet yesterday by Buzz Buzz Homes announcing the 2011 Tarion Awards of Excellence Winners and Nominees.  For some, Tarion is seen as the evil friend of developers/builders when it comes to warranty disputes.  An organization with a large percentage from the building industry, one wonders if they are in fact able to give a fair judgement. 

 Well, that said, I must congratulate them in not falling for the advertising hype given out by Mattamy Homes.  Appears, although nominated, Mattamy lost in the “High-Rise Builder Category” and the “Large Volume Builder Category” where Domicile – Ottawa and “Pidel Homes – Guelph” were the winners respectively. 

 On the Tarion website you can view the criteria for picking the winners:

“These builders understand that a quality product and good customer service are paramount. They take pride in what they do, and this has garnered them a high honour from their customers—who have recognized them for going above and beyond,” said Howard Bogach, Tarion President and CEO.”

You’ll notice “quality product” and “good customer service” are mentioned.  Something that has been remiss from the Mattamy world for some time – at least with some who have not been able to experience the love and affection Mattamy offers others. At the end of this blog, you will have the opportunity to read about some of those experiences. Only if you are not the faint of heart.

Now, we all know from our Mattamy experience’s that winning awards (J.D. Power and Associates) really doesn’t mean that much and no matter who the builder is, make sure you have a good lawyer and use the skills of a professional house inspector to ensure your new purchase is up to snuff. I just hope that Tarion was fair on how these surveys went out and that the winners didn’t beat Mattamy at their own game by giving upgrades and better service to the survey recipients.

And now, without further ado, a few scenes from Mattamy land – a dose of reality in the usual humdrum of real estate sales and why house inspectors should be in YOUR tool box.

And sorry for the length but, this is the short list.

WILL NOT RETURN DEPOSIT

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FINANCING DID NOT GO THROUGH BUT MATTAMY IS KEEPING OUR DEPOSIT | MARI in Airdrie -114.036 51.2586
Wa are a current owner of a Mattamy home in Airdrie, AB. We were going to build another smaller house with them but bec this is our second home, our finacing did not go through. Now, Mattamy will not refund us our $5,000. They are awful after I recommended them to 2 of my friends (worth 8500k of sales). They are actually the only builder in Airdrie that does not give you a referral fee… Very GREEDY! Its sad how the CEO and owner Mr. Peter Gilgan does not know where he originally came from. No moral values!!! On friday, their head office sent me an email stating that they will retain my deposit for later purchase of a home in the event that we get qualified for financing…They just stated on that email and confirmed that we couldnt get financing and still wanting to keep our money… Also, now we just had our 1 year warranty inspection, our ensuite shower started leaking and they have to tear all the tiles again. They could not supply the same tile so we have to pick a tile that is a bit off what we currently have. They would charge us $700 to pick another tile color. They couldnt even just give that to us to make up for the big mess they have caused us….. DO NOT BUY FROM MATTAMY it is the worst experience ever!!!

Quality of Wood Floors
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Great customer service – until you close on your house! Poor Quality! | Dana in Davidson -80.8572 35.4957
When I decided to build with Mattamy I was excited – their customer service was amazing and they seemed to really care about the quality of the home! Soon after closing on my new home in the Summers Walk subdivision in Davidson, NC. I realized what they said they stood for was not true or accurate. Since closing on my home I have had issues with the electrical, the wood floors, and a number of other items. Mattamy has turned a blind eye. The most shocking is the wood floors – which are poor quality – and which they refuse to fix. Do NOT be tricked by their up-front service – because once you buy from them the trick is over and you are left with a home with which they do not stand by!

New Home Purchase
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Mattamy Disappoints | Linda Zuber in Milton -79.8368 43.5256
Purchased my home 7 years ago and still waiting for outstanding issues to be addressed. They won’t be I’m sure – until I go to the press! Multiple supervisors, workers, vendors acknowledged a major issue with the HVAC system, finally acknowledging that duct work issues prevailed. Architectural drawings in hand two Mattamy representatives finally showed me where ducts were to be that were never installed and described the process to repair. Walls would have to be removed and duct work fixed/replaced. I approved only to have them try to convince me it would be a lot of work and messy. Not my problem – fix it, repair it, replace it and clean up after yourselves I said. But alas, all these years later I awake with nose bleeds; a furnace that isn’t vented properly, an air conditioner they installed that runs 24/7 without cooling, etc. etc. So I finally have an HVAC company determine the extent of work and price and find myself faced with many thousands of dollars worth of work to be carried out. Well Mattamy, I’ve got news for you. I’m not paying for the shabby workmanship carried out by your sub-contractors. You’ll be given a final chance to respond to me and make good or I’ll see what attention I can garner through the press. In this highly competitive yet slowing housing market I’m sure this isn’t the type of press you seek. Oh and the warped doors that you attempted to repair rather than replace – they too require replacement now including the door leading to the garage from the house – the entire frame has cracked and buckled, cold air is seeping through and I can no longer lock the door! Not only am I losing heat but now feel unsafe. I had to add a screen door to the entrance off the kitchen too – you see when I stood on a cold snowy day by the door that Mattamy installed I would become covered in a dusting of snow! Seriously! They came by and saw this and determined that by simply shaving down the door jam my problem would be fixed. I still wrap this door every winter to help avoid the heat loss and snow accumulation. Go with a smaller builder, one that earns your trust and money. Bigger is not better. Unless of course they choose to fulfill their promise of after sales service. Better late than never!

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Brand New Home… Built Poorly by Mattamy | Pam & Burlington -79.7793 43.4074
Well… where to begin. The contractors that Mattamy hired to build our community really sucked…cheap isn’t the route to go. Our great room leaks due to the roofing contractors they hired…as did other neighbours homes. The extra joists needed for ceramic tiles were not put in, the grout cracked. They cut out the framing around our bathroom door to install the bathroom counter. The siding is not placed on our house properly as the water will go in between seams… they installed it incorrectly. The answer to all their problems is caulking. We had an inch and 1/2 of caulking at the side of our patio door… needless to say that door has been replaced this year 2009. We moved into this newly built home of ours in Jan. 2001. All the window seals have broken on most of the windows and will also need replacing in the next few years. Building homes shouldn’t be an assembly line… this is a huge investment and it should be built to better standards for the cost of homes today. Very disappointed in Mattamy… in fact a lot of people in our neighbourhood erected signs stating “Unsatisfied Mattamy Home Owner”. Funny thing was they never gave our neighbourhood survey forms to fill out ~ if they had done this in our neighbourhood they would not have received the awards and standards that they have in the past. Now we have to replace and repair things in our home when we really shouldn’t have to. I wish I knew Mike Holmes ~ he know how to fix all of this.

Mattamy Home in Newmarket
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NOt good | becstead -79.4394 43.8739
I would never buy from Mattamy again. They have changed our floor plan completely and there is nothing we can do. When we contacted Customer Service we were told by the Manager – Customer Service, to contact a lawyer – never even tried to help us out. Customer Service, they do not have any.

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April 3, 2011

BILD Awards – losing their credibility

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Awards.

They are given to individuals and organizations that have accomplished a level of respect for their activities.  No one is perfect and maybe we don’t always agree with those getting an award. 

Like convicted criminal Conrad Black who still has the Order of Canada. 

In the housing industry, the J.D. Power and Associates Awards have been very well-respected and many homeowners have pointed to various winners as part of their selection process.  But, then some even told how they received gifts? and upgrades? prior to submitting their survey results, thus making the awards presented somewhat suspect.  One award winner over the years has been Mattamy Homes.  Consistently winning Customer Satisfaction awards from J.D. Power even though the proof was out there that not all customers were happy.  A significant number actually.  Like a whole subdivision of blown away homebuyers in Kanta Fairwinds.

Lately J.D. Power has taken their awards elsewhere and are trying to rebuild the image of said award.  I was not surprised though, but disappointed, to note that BILD (Building Industry and Land Association) still seems to push the Mattamy name, even after the convictions in Ottawa, the flooding development and basements in Bracebridge and other issues.  For 2011, they have accepted nominations for “Home Builder of the Year” with Mattamy included.

The list includes: Great Gulf Homes, Mattamy Homes, Monarch Corporation, Rosehaven Homes and Tridel.  All good names but, not with the reputation that Mattamy has in terms of convictions and quality.  One wonders how these awards are evaluated and given.  Given, based on customers experiences or, the spreading of awards to the good old boys.

I guess to sweeten the pot for the award, the Oakville Beaver showcased Mattamy as the cover story of their weekend New Homes section.  Siobhan Evans did a feel good article on Mattamy.  All praise and no depth.  Basically just a Mattamy ad. 

One comment stood out.

“……. Mattamy’s complete attention to detail and ability to provide a satisfying experience to each and every homebuyer”.

Well, there is a statement way out in left field.  I think Evans should have done a little more research before taking that one to the printer.

Or, she could have just listened to a number homebuyers, unlucky to have the Mattamy experience.

Such as this one:

DO NOT BUY FROM MATTAMY! I understand that this homebuilder once had excellent customer satisfaction ratings – but that was years ago. This homebuilder will “court” you throughout the build process but once you’ve closed, the honeymoon is over! They will refuse to take responsibility for any issues within the home and will purposely stall in hopes that you will just go away. I’ve never before experienced working with a provider of any service where they put the BLAME on the customer! If you have any question, just ask a homeowner in the Summers Walk subdivision… you will be enlightened.
  
And, this comment isn’t a one of.  Anyone who looks at the awards should also look at the internet and the complaints.  The internet allows people to show the reality of homebuying, not the make-believe world of advertising and self-aggrandizement of the award system. 
 
Sorry BILD, but you just lost me as someone who would take your awards as a sign of quality. 
 
Talk to J.D. Power and Associates and see how they got burned by Mattamy.

 

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March 10, 2011

Mattamy obsession? – Bracebridge might not think so.

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Someone did a search on homebuilders and found my blog.  Appears they feel I am obsessed with Mattamy and wonder why. 

 Well, I will be the first to admit that I do focus on Mattamy but my information could pertain to any builder in terms of problems and workmanship.  I use Mattamy as they seem to be the ones with the most problems over a broader geographical area; operate with a certain arrogance that precludes doing the right thing when found wrong; have a proven record of either breaking or skirting the law in order to conclude construction; allow shortcuts or cause shortcuts to happen that reduce the quality of the built structure; have been accused of “padding” the Customer Satisfaction survey results with gifts, etc; have not been shy about using bully boys and yelling lawyers to get their way; and, guilty of environmental crimes and putting children’s lives at risk. 

This is the short list.

So, yes, my blog does tend towards Mattamy as I do have the facts to prove the issues that a new homebuyer should be aware of when researching the purchase of a new home – probably the largest investment they will make.  Knowing that a large established builder can be guilty of these issues, only makes the purchaser that much more aware when buying a home from any builder.  They know what to look for and, know that a professional house inspector can help them in this endeavour.  I hope that addresses the comment made.

And speaking of issues and Mattamy.  I think most people are aware of the issue in Bracebridge with Mattamy.  It would appear that they are the only company having this issue there. 

Short story – Mattamy builds houses in Bracebridge and the basements leak, along with poor flood control of the area.  Bracebridge demands and gets a security deposit for future repairs.  Mattamy wants it back and says all is well in Mattamy land in Bracebridge and produce engineers to prove it.  Fortunately,the elected representatives of the taxpayer decide to see what Spring brings and keep the deposit.

How bad is it?

A recent story at CottageCountryNow.ca shows that the elected officials were smart to keep the money. 

“The first sign is the icy puddles and cracks on Pheasant Run and the second is the “for sale” signs dotting the subdivision.” 

Methinks that the Mattamy engineers aren’t seeing the whole picture.  One thing you hear about Mattamy is that their homes sell cheaper than the competitors.  Now, we know that Billionaire Peter Gilgan is not selling homes cheap for the good of the plebs in our world.  He wants to sell and make a profit.  How does a homebuilder undercut his competitor when labour and materials are probably the same?  You might use unskilled and cheaper labour to make the build but materials are materials.  Another way is to buy the land cheap.  But in a sub-division, all the builders are buying land so how do you get it cheaper?

One way is to buy sub-standard land – like swampland.  In Cambridge, Mattamy wiped out a significant wetland to get cheap land.  In Ottawa, they wanted to terra-form flood areas and got caught.   Would those homes have been problematic in terms of flooding if Ottawa had allowed them to be built? 

In Bracebridge, according to the article, they built in a problem area – thus cheaper.

“According to Mattamy resident Bud Leonard, the drainage issues in the subdivision are nowhere near a thing of the past.  Nothing could be further from the truth,” he said. “Didn’t anybody check with the homeowners?”

It wasn’t long after residents began moving in that complaints about flooded basements and excessive water buildup on the roads began to surface.”

“Last week Ron Walton, town engineer, confirmed that the municipality is aware of the situation.

“There’s a large area of rock that drains through that area and has created significant icing problems,” said Walton. “It’s an area that’s between the developed phase of the subdivision and the undeveloped phase. It’s a natural drainage area where the infrastructure just isn’t in place yet to capture it.”

Yes, I know the area and it is rocky and would be hard to build on.  If the builder wanted to save money and undercut the competition, they would buy the cheaper land.  But, if you do so, there will be added expenses to ensure people aren’t flooded out.  But, maybe the builder doesn’t want to spend the money to do so as the houses will not be able to compete.

They are also concerned about the large cracks running down the street. 

Although Brent Carey, Director of Communications for Mattamy feels there has been some communication with all concerned, at least one resident isn’t happy.

“Leonard, however, alleges Mattamy has been ducking the problem. He said it’s time for the company to step up and finish what it started. It’s not the town who will end up paying for this, it’s the taxpayers,” he said. “Mattamy isn’t getting any more of my money.”

Much like the battle in Halton where Mattamy didn’t want to pay the proper development charges for infrastructure.  They had money to shut down worksites, bus in a plethora of tradespeople and pay for a large advertising campaign but, no money for the Region.  Guess they are trying to save money in Bracebridge.  I’m glad that the town council for Bracebridge is sticking to their guns.   It would appear no other builder is causing problems there (all areas have been approved) so, I guess it is time for Mattamy to bite the bullet and do the right thing.

A new experience I know Peter, but maybe you’ll get a warm fuzzy feeling by doing it.  Won’t help your billionaire status but those lesser unfortunate people who trusted you and paid big money for a dream house, might at least come out of this with a good feeling.  Either that, or there will be more “For Sale” signs up.

Obsessed – who wouldn’t be if they had to deal with Mattamy?

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February 17, 2011

Mattamy – bull**** does baffle brains.

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Sometimes I like to surf the net for entertainment – finding things that will tickle my funny bone.  Unfortunately, I get to read the disasters that Mattamy has visited on people’s lives but, every so often I find a gem that will give me a laugh.  I went to this link and thought I’d found a Mattamy spoof webpage.  After reading it, I realized it was actually a Mattamy website that was trying to sell their ethics and quality.

 Under “Committment to Customer Satisfaction” they stated: “Above all else, we commit to delivering a home that will exceed your expectations. In our view, no matter what you buy, your home should be your castle. That’s our commitment to you.” LOL

If you’ve been reading my blog you will have realized that this is one area they are really stretching the point by even mentioning it.  Ask those in the Bracebridge floodlands and those who thought for 2 years they had bought a house from Mattamy in Kanata Fairwinds (Ottawa) to name just a couple. 

Under “Attention to Details” they stated: “We treat what we do with great importance because ‘home’ is where everyone longs to be.”

I think my blog has fully shown just how good they are with detail.  I think to them, detail is making sure the survey recipient gets what is needed and the rest of us are left out to dry.  I guess not hooking up electricity to my house and illegally wiring the furnace  was to make me feel at “home”.  But then, Peter Gilgan lived in a $45 to $35million mansion.  I guess “Home” to him is much different from the rest of us.

Under “Why buy a Mattamy Home” they give us a good one liner that would make even Seinfeld laugh:

“We make sure we have superb local tradespeople to build our homes and we are continually looking at innovative designs and products to ensure our homes are modern, stylish and convenient so you’ll feel right at home.”

Based on the complaints you have read here and other places, I need not say more.  Except for the innovative warehouse houses in Milton.  I think they used us homebuyers as guinea pigs to see if this innovation would work. Nada.

The Mattamy monologue ends with this knee slapper:

“We want you to always be a Mattamy customer and we stand behind everything we do.”

I’d like to nominate Peter Gilgan for the Canadian Comedy Awards – Male Improvisor.

Yes, I think Mattamy actually stands in front of everything they do – to hide it on the PDI.

So, if your bored one night, just go over to the Mattamy website and have a laugh.  I just feel sorry for those (including myself) who actually believed what I read was true when I bought my home.  I don’t really believe they did anything I read on this website and I think there are enough people out there who will agree that maybe in this case – bull**** does baffle brains.

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February 13, 2011

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

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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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February 1, 2011

What’s it all about Mattamy – Aftercare – can you spell the word?

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No home is perfect – no matter what builder you have.  That is why you should even hire a house inspector for homes other than Mattamy Homes.  I just use them as an example as they seem to prove my point – hire a house inspector to protect your home/investment.

But, to separate the professional from the non-professonional builder, the cutsey ad builder from the dedicated and the proof is in the pudding customer oriented builder, it comes down to the fact that they recognize there will be mistakes and do all they can to ensure all is put right.  Hey, you are the homebuyer, the customer and, the ultimate critic of the house who is stuck in the end with what you have got.  Speculators just want to turn a house and make a profit so they address problems with a quick paint job.  You, a homebuilder, want a home that will last, look good to your friends and be as minimal with the maintenance as possible.  Who likes to start off in a new house having to do major maintenance.  Especially at the prices they are soaking you with today.

Linda Zuber in Milton is still waiting 7 years later for Mattamy to respond in a professional manner.

Here is her story:

New Home Purchase Purchased my home 7 years ago and still waiting for outstanding issues to be addressed. They won’t be I’m sure – until I go to the press! Multiple supervisors, workers, vendors acknowledged a major issue with the HVAC system, finally acknowledging that duct work issues prevailed. Architectural drawings in hand two Mattamy representatives finally showed me where ducts were to be that were never installed and described the process to repair. Walls would have to be removed and duct work fixed/replaced. I approved only to have them try to convince me it would be a lot of work and messy. Not my problem – fix it, repair it, replace it and clean up after yourselves I said. But alas, all these years later I awake with nose bleeds; a furnace that isn’t vented properly, an air conditioner they installed that runs 24/7 without cooling, etc. etc. So I finally have an HVAC company determine the extent of work and price and find myself faced with many thousands of dollars worth of work to be carried out. Well Mattamy, I’ve got news for you. I’m not paying for the shabby workmanship carried out by your sub-contractors. You’ll be given a final chance to respond to me and make good or I’ll see what attention I can garner through the press. In this highly competitive yet slowing housing market I’m sure this isn’t the type of press you seek.

Oh and the warped doors that you attempted to repair rather than replace – they too require replacement now including the door leading to the garage from the house – the entire frame has cracked and buckled, cold air is seeping through and I can no longer lock the door! Not only am I losing heat but now feel unsafe. I had to add a screen door to the entrance off the kitchen too – you see when I stood on a cold snowy day by the door that Mattamy installed I would become covered in a dusting of snow! Seriously! They came by and saw this and determined that by simply shaving down the door jam my problem would be fixed. I still wrap this door every winter to help avoid the heat loss and snow accumulation.

Go with a smaller builder, one that earns your trust and money. Bigger is not better. Unless of course they choose to fulfill their promise of after sales service. Better late than never!

And what about C B in Mississauga:

We have been very pleased with our home thus far. My only problem is that, it seems that the builder will do anything for you up to the day you close. After that, they’ll fix certain things because they have to, or if you bug them enough. Believe me, after one year, the less they can do and get away with is their motto, it seems. In my view, I think that we’ve made the biggest purchase of our lives and the builder should do better to help you address any issues that come up.

– – – – – – –  

Both have issues with aftercare.  You might get the perfect home at first but once you live there, the faults start showing up. 

Maybe after you have filled in the J.D. Power and Associates survey for them giving them first place. 

Just how much can you discover on a short PDI, especially when Mattamy stops you from having a house inspector.  Why would they either stop or make it hard to have a professional accompany you on a fact-finding PDI?  Thank god, once you own the place, you can bring in the heavy weights to help you in what might be a bit of a battle in terms of aftercare. 

And don’t forget to document,document and document along with follow the timelines and get your lawyer in early.

And ask the question. 

Why would Peter Gilgan’s old Edgemere home have to be torn down after only 15 years?  Poor aftercare maybe?  🙂

I forgot – he probably wasn’t the builder.

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January 18, 2011

Do “Mad Men” writers think up Mattamy ad copy?

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“We hope there will never be a single moment throughout your purchase relationship with Mattamy Homes when you are feeling left out of the process or suffering from a shortage of information.

It has always been our objective to find new and better ways to serve the needs of our homeowners. Your Customer Care Coordinator can assist you throughout the construction process and can also direct you to the right person to call. Do not hesitate to contact us with any questions.”

I found this quote on the Mattamy website for their Jacksonville operation.   A quick check showed it at the websites representing other operations.  You’d think that this piece was written by the same writers as used on the “Mad Men” series.  Based on what I have seen in regards to problems with Mattamy, this statement has little to do with the reality of the Mattamy home buying experience. 

For those who got shafted in Ottawa (Kanata Fairwinds) I would think they certainly suffered “from a shortage of information”.  And, in the next blog, I’ll show you where contacting the “Customer Care Coordinator” isn’t necessarily the best thing to do.  You’d be surprised what level of BS they will give you in order to escape their responsibility of giving you a well-built home.
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Am I too harsh on Mattamy?

Hey, the proof is in the pudding.  I think I’ve shown enough complaints over the years to show that the ad copy in the website bears little resemblance to what is really going on.

They certainly found a new and better way to serve the needs of this homeowner.  Too bad it included illegal (code) wiring.  I’d hate to think what other things they have dreamed up that have been missed.

Remember, get a house inspector – at least he’s on your side.

P.S.  In regards to “Fairwinds” – an interesting name for a development that got totally “blown” out of the water – no fair winds there.

September 16, 2010

Ottawa awards flim flam – annual SAMMY

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“It’s nice to receive awards that are geared at marketing and sales,” says Cairo. “But obviously our focus is most importantly to our customer. This is not a time to sit back and rest, we definitely have a lot of work to do to improve on all fronts. We obviously had some difficulty with our standing in the J.D. Power result this year. We didn’t rank very well, but we are definitely very confident that next year’s survey will be a much (better) result.”

Read more: http://www.ottawacitizen.com/entertainment/Model+behaviour/3509725/story.html#ixzz0zKFJxWwC

Yes, someone gave Mattamy some awards – in Ottawa of all places.  You all know Ottawa (Barrhaven, Fairwinds)- where Mattamy does illegal berms, they sell houses to unsuspecting homebuyers without a permit to even build, and then shaft them for a couple of years.  You’ve all read about it.

And to show their appreciation, the Greater Ottawa Home Builders’ Association gives Mattamy the annual SAMMY (Sales and Marketing) Award.  I guess in Ottawa (who would suspect) the flim-flam man gets the award while other builders who follow the law and try their hardest get second place.  Mattamy got the award for fabulous marketing, a good website and nice model homes. 

Not what they should focus on – according to Cairo.

QUALITY!!!!!!!!!!!

What about quality? 

Does the shafted home buyer really care about an award to someone who has shafted them and the community – an award that focuses on the very thing that got them to buy the house of horrors.  Is this what our world has come to?  We forget quality and promote marketing that can sell a sow’s ear?

Listen up OttawaMattamy has done a very unforgivable thing in your community and you go ahead and give them an award – an award for the very thing that got people to buy what hurt them and their families.  Have we degraded ourselves to the point that the best flim-flam man gets the exposure and award?

Cairo says they are going to work to improve their customer satisfaction.  They had a chance with me and didn’t and, after putting my children at risk, just went on and made more money.  At least J.D. Power woke up and smelled the coffee and finally gave Mattamy what they deserved – bottom of the barrel.  This didn’t help out those in Ottawa who got shafted but at least it was a warning to those buying – check them out and hire a house inspector.

 

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July 30, 2010

Who loves ya Mattamy – Not Ottawa!!!!!

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Well, the J.D. Power and Associates Customer satisfaction surveys are coming in.  And no real surprises there.

According to Adrian Chung, senior manager at J.D. Power customer satisfaction regarding a defect free home has gone from a dismal 8% to 20% since last year.  So you can read from this that this year, 80% of those receiving a new home did not get one defect free. 

Now, no one should expect that a house will be defect free but, it would be interesting to see to what level of poor quality these 80% ended up with.  If anything, this shows you should hire a house inspector as the odds are great you will have a house with some level of problems.  I think Vegas gives you better odds on a bet.

In the GTA, Mattamy’s home stomping ground, they achieved 2nd place.  I think they know how to play the system here by ensuring surveyed homeowners get the good treatment.  In Ottawa, not surprising, they hit rock bottom again.

Here’s how one Ottawa couple felt:

“Only two years ago, Mattamy was the talk of the town, winning top honours as the builder with the best customer satisfaction, and capturing six of 13 top builder awards.

It was that record that attracted enthusiastic new buyers like Eddie Vlasblom and his wife Dyanne Wilson, who now have soured on the company.

Vlasblom and Wilson ordered a $500,000 “dream home” at Half Moon Bay in Barrhaven, but say many things went wrong. From a cracked basement floor to damaged hardwood floors, poor insulation, cracked windows and wrong kitchen fittings, it was one problem after another.

The worst, Vlasblom said, was that company staff treated him and his wife as a nuisance.

“This was our dream home and it turned into a nightmare. We found out that everyone has a horror story about this company,” said Vlasblom. “I am just fed up and I am fixing things myself.”

Why??

 
“Frank Cairo, president of Mattamy Ottawa, said the survey results reflect a company that essentially became a victim of its own success.”
 
I think they started to believe their own cutsey ads and forgot you actually have to build a decent home and put in a decent effort to ensure a customer at least has a home fit to live it.  Doing shortcuts at planning (sold houses before permitted), doing illegal changes to the environment and doing illegal wiring just doesn’t cut it.
 
also:
 
“We had so many sales that unfortunately it was very difficult to keep pace with the construction volumes on site with limited trade base in Ottawa,” he said.
 
In my neck of the woods that is called greed.  You know your limitations so why go out and sell too many to properly build – unless it is greed.  Other builders only build what they can justify with their resources.  Yeah, their president may not get to be a billionaire but, the homeowner probably gets a better built house.  Like those that bought Monarch and rewarded this company with first place in Ottawa.  They only got 3rd place in the GTA after 2nd place Mattamy but, the GTA is Mattamy’s home ground.
 
Seems that after they sold my house with illegal wiring and showed their greed, Mattamy didn’t change their spots – or should it be stripes, considering they were convicted of an environmental crime?
 
So, no matter who the builder is you only have a 20% chance of getting a home without defects. 
 
HIRE A HOUSE INSPECTOR TO INCREASE YOUR ODDS OF GETTING IT FIXED UP FRONT AND NOT 20 YEARS DOWN THE ROAD.
 

 

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