Below is a letter of thanks to another agent in the York area.
If I could submit a no-star rating, I would have as I cannot see why Churchills deserve one star.
Anyway, I reproduce the whole letter below as it demonstrates that there is an alternative - rather than simply giving a bad review. I will leave the reader to decide which option to take when deciding to use Churchills or another agency.
Linley and Simpson
CC: Leanne ------ (via email), Linley and Simpson, York Office
CC: Churchill's estate agents: York City Centre office
I wanted to write and express my gratitude for the excellent level of service which I received as a Linley and Simpson customer.
To qualify my feedback, I would like to highlight my experiences prior to my introduction to Linley and Simpson.
In 2007 I made the decision to put the house I owned in York on the rental market. To facilitate this I employed Churchill's estate agents to find new tenants. Not only did they take an unnecessarily long time to find tenants; the tenants that they did find were quite simply awful. Toward the end of my relationship with them, and somewhat put out my constant requests for updates (I was losing money on the property at the time and was frustrated that things were not moving forward), I got the distinct impression that they were not at all concerned with the quality of service or the quality of tenants they provided me. Furthermore, and what infuriated me more than anything was that there seemed to be no adequate way to raise a complaint. Although they knew I was most unhappy with their services, they offered nothing to compensate me for their ineptitude - I even spoke to one of the family partners who did nothing to help. The service I experienced from them still implores me to tell friends looking to purchase/rent property in the York area of my awful experience with them.
In 2008, when the house was again vacant I did some research into a new agent to let and manage my property. Linley and Simpson were recommended by a friend for whom you also manage a property in York. Coupled with my own research, I could see that the pricing structure and services provided seemed to meet my expectation. Within a month of the house going onto the lettings market, tenants were found. These tenants have been excellent. They looked after the property well (even did some DIY improvements), left the house very clean and in an excellent condition.
However, what impresses me most about Linley and Simpson is communication. Every time I can recall there being a query about the property the mater has been dealt with very quickly. I also had quite a bit done, all of which was arranged by your agents: gas and electricity inspections, an environmental survey, electrical repair work, work to rectify a damp problem, plumbing works and more. Throughout the whole lettings period, I felt that you cared about my property, and provided advice appropriate to my situation. Furthermore, between the end of the tenancy in December 2010 and the sale of the property in June (at a time during which Linley and Simpson were receiving no income from me), you were more than helpful. When I needed to provide paperwork detailing the works that had been carried out, scanned copies of documents were sent through immediately. Not once did I have to chase a reply. For this, I would like to draw special attention to Leanne ---- who was simply excellent. In her, you have a valuable asset of your business and I trust you will look after her and reward her accordingly.
If there was one thing about Linley and Simpson which disappointed me it was the fact that I could not transact the sale of my property through you. Although I now live in London, I still know many people up in York (I spent 7 years there) and if you ever move into the sales space I'm sure the number of Linley and Simpson recommendations I make will increase.
I am sending a copy of this letter to Churchill's estate agents in York for two reasons. Firstly it allows Linley and Simpson to see the contrast in my experiences and that you have a competitive advantage over your one of your rivals. Secondly, I have never written to Churchill's. I feel that the above demonstrates that I'm still angry with them and that they have no excuse for their behavior given that others in the same field can provide a far superior service. Linley and Simpsons definitely restored my faith in the lettings agencies. Keep up the excellent work.
If anyone would like to discuss anything contained in this letter, I'd be more than happy for you to contact me.
Dr. Paul ------
What agent could do to change your mind?
Nothing - as per above feedback, I spoke with one of the family partners who did NOTHING to help me.