Author Topic: Bovis Homes, Kingsmere Village, Bicester, Oxfordshire  (Read 5842 times)

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Bovis Homes, Kingsmere Village, Bicester, Oxfordshire
« on: May 28, 2015, 10:51:49 am »
The Development
Kingsmere Village is a brand new development on the edge of Bicester, around 1.5 miles from J9 on the M40.
It's an ambitious project of more than 2000 new homes. About 450 are currently occupied.
Bicester is extremely well served by road and rail links and is very much commutable. It is also very handy for the much more expensive Oxford.

Bovis sales
Bovis Homes build 3, 4 and 5 bedroom homes and are one of 4 or 5 major developers.
We were initially attracted by the specific house - a 'Canterbury' 4 bed detached. It was the same as the Show Home.
To be fair, the sales people were pretty useless.
They didn't really want to put themselves out although the agreed 'deal' was a fair one. We had various bits thrown in and our stamp duty paid (or rather discounted). We chose what we thought was a nice plot. I'm sure it will be eventually!

We reserved the house some 6 months prior to completion and had to continually push the sales people for updates. We were given a number of assurances that didn't turn out to be reality.
We were initially steered towards using Bovis' solicitor but rejected that idea instantly - You'd be an idiot wouldn't you?
We found it extremely hard work specifying extras and variations.  
Contact with Sales was a problem as they didn't seem capable of responding to email. Everything was too much trouble, it was really hard work.

Moving in
We decided we should have a professional 'snagging' report done and chose a local Chartered Surveyor. We booked this with sales for about 10 days prior to legal completion. When our surveyor arrive, Bovis wouldn't let him in!
We have no idea why but we had to reschedule his visit. Very odd.

On the day we completed in late September 2014, we arrived to find they were still building the garage and the rear of the property was completely unfinished. It was a nightmare day and the handover process from Bovis was an absolute disgrace. We got to the end of the day and had to chase around looking for the keys! It was a total shambles. We had scaffold boards leading to the front door and mud everywhere.

So, we moved in - then came the real problems!
First issue was a leak in the Utility room. We fixed that ourselves by tightening the outlet pipe.
There were numerous other things that required attention on the day. We were introduced to the Site Manager, he seemed like a nice chap but that was pure gloss (as we were to discover later).

We ended up with 5 pages of snags and an EIGHT MONTH fight to get everything resolved.
Some things we simply didn't bother with as it was simply too painful to accept Bovis' continued cock-ups.
A good 50% of the snags were the result of a total lack of care during the construction process. We encountered some of the most bizarre situations and dreadful quality workmanship.
The 'tradesmen' Bovis used to bodge their errors were a disgrace. The decorators were a nightmare. Paint everywhere other than where it was supposed to go. (ALL the gloss is yellowed already but we won't let Bovis near it!). We had a wall tiler who was a disaster and created more mess than a kid with a bag of flour. It was dreadful.
In the earlier stages we were in constant touch with the Site Manager (now promoted to Area Build Manager!). He was great at listening, smiling and shaking your hand but absolutely crap at doing anything constructive - good solid Bovis training.

NOTHING was ever planned. NOTHING was scheduled with us. We were continually fobbed off and lied to.
Bovis treat their customers disgracefully. I've NEVER encountered such dreadful 'Customer Service'.
We were wasting our time with the people on site ...... absolutely hopeless and clearly trained to avoid anything productive. We eventually 'progressed' to dealing with someone from Customer Services / Customer Care (Bovis can't decide what they're called) and had a visit from them. Wonderful ..... except that very little happened as a result. It was actually a waste of time in that respect.
We ended up emailing the regional MD and the CEO. The CEO David Ritchie never replied. The area MD managed a single phone conference which was fairly positive but not backed up with the appropriate action. It was all a huge battle.

Anyway, we now have reached the bottom of our snag list ...... but we live on a Bovis site surrounded by construction development. They SHOULD have organised access for construction traffic that wasn't past our front door (literally - the lorries were driving on the pavement) but they weren't that organised. There is NO management whatsoever on site. It's a total mess! The filth and noise is unbelievable. We both have asthma - our breathing has really taken a hit. Bovis afford their customers absolutely no respect at all. All our neighbours feel the same.

Bovis Homes at Kingsmere is the kind of development you wouldn't wish on anyone .... and we're stuck here.
It may be great when they've gone and we can swap stories of how dreadful they were with the neighbours and laugh. Right now though, it isn't very funny.

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Re: Bovis Homes, Kingsmere Village, Bicester, Oxfordshire
« Reply #1 on: May 29, 2015, 06:58:15 am »
At least you didn't use Bovis' choice of solicitor!  You would be surprised how many "idiots" do!

Great feedback and advice for anyone thinking of buying a new home from Bovis!
Now you know why they are rated just 3 stars by their own customers in the latest HBF survey.
Yet despite this being common knowledge, you still bought a Bovis new home!
Don't you think you, yourself are partly to blame for the situation you now find yourself in?
New Home Blog - New Home Expert is committed to providing help and advice for people having issues with their new homes and difficulties with house builders as well as helping potential buyers reduce the risk of possible problems if they do buy.