What can I say except for RUN! Unless of course you're idea of a good time is speaking to incompetent, rude & obnoxious middle aged women with a pole up their........ It may seem like a rant but the below is a summary of the complaint sent to Belvoir head office - it's been edited but hopefully you'll get the gist and if it could save only one person from the aggravation that is this lettings office then it will be worth it!
"I was a tenant with Belvoir Rugby for over 13 months and can truly state that, though the residence was beautifully renovated, the location ideal and the landlords extremely polite and friendly, the most upsetting and stressful part of the tenancy was undoubtedly the lettings agency; Belvoir.
I cannot remember a single occasion when I was responded to with anything even bordering on civility or good customer service.
Problems initially arose within weeks of moving in. I was informed on my handover that my electricity and gas provider was Eon to find the following a week a bill with the previous tenants name had arrived from British Gas. After returning a few of these un-opened I phoned British Gas to be informed that they were the gas provider for the flat, but not the electricity provider. After changing over the account details to my name I phoned Eon to do the same for the electricity only to find they had no record of the flat. I then phoned Belvoir to explain at which point they said that the electricity was definitely with Eon and that I should phone back as they had ¢â‚¬Ëœgot it wrong'. On speaking to a different Eon operative they confirmed that there was definitely no supply coming form Eon and that I would never receive a bill. Again another phone call to Belvoir; I explained that though I was happy never to receive a bill I would be considerably less happy when the resulting power cut happened. Once more I was told that Eon was the service provider. Disgruntled I phoned British Gas to check that they had no record of providing electricity at which I received the highest level of helpfulness from one of their team who actually phoned Belvoir on my behalf! Not surprisingly she hit the same wall of stubborn unhelpfulness that Eon were providing incorrect information. The British gas operative then gave me her company email so that I could email a picture of the meter. She took this to a member of the technical team who confirmed that this was unlikely to be a meter for a single tenant but an old style of meter for an office building. No apology from Belvoir or even explanation thereafter just an email telling me that there must have been a 'mistake' and my landlord would be in touch with a bill on a 6 month basis.
All of the above phone calls were made on the only phone I had, my mobile, and resulted in a bill in excess of £20.00 over the normal monthly amount. Still at least I had that glowing apology to comfort me¢â‚¬Â¦..
Another issue experienced was that my rent is paid by standing order. I was given the standing order form by Belvoir as part of my welcome pack with instructions to fill it in and take it into the bank. As you're probably aware standing orders if falling on a weekend are taken the following Monday¢â‚¬Â¦¢â‚¬Â¦ . The employees of the Rugby office were obviously not aware of this fact. In consequence I received in total three text message over the duration of my tenancy informing me that I had failed to pay my rent and would be subject to a £25.00 charge and must phone the office immediately. Unable to access the internet at work to verify this I spent most of my lunch hour accessing the HSBC website via a very old smart phone only to find that the money had gone out of my account as expected. On ringing the office I received no apology but was informed that it ¢â‚¬Ëœmust be because of the weekend'. The second time this happened I asked for the message to be at least delayed if payment was due on the weekend as it was quite alarming to receive these messages, to which Belvoir agreed. The third time it happened I enquired why on earth the message was sent again only to be told ¢â‚¬ËœPerhaps you should think about changing the way you pay if you don't want the message'. No Belvoir, perhaps if you require immediate payment you should hand out Direct Debit forms as opposed to standing order ones, or alternatively employ staff who understand your own processes.
The final straw, though something I probably should have been expecting given Belvoir Rugby's prior history of un-cooperativeness, came when I left the aforementioned flat in near on show home condition but STILL had money taken off my deposit. I was told that due to various issues, which included among other things ¢â‚¬Ëœdust behind one of the doors' I would be charged a further £50 (on top of the cleaner I had already employed to clean the carpets under instruction from the ¢â‚¬Ëœhelpful' check-out guide) to correct the issues. The photos sent to me as supporting evidence were blurry, undistinguishable and showed nothing more than some dust. No items or surfaces were damaged or scratched, the cooker was left in far better condition than that which has it been in when I arrived and the carpets were professionally cleaned ¢â‚¬â€œ had any of the issues actually been true I believe even the sternest landlord would have passed them off as wear and tear but not Belvoir.
I have documented the most serious examples of poor communication and bad customer service to my mind but please rest assured that these are merely representative of the whole experience from the rude phone manner and arrogant ignorance of the staff to the excessive cleaning regulations and exorbitant deposit deductions.
To top all of this of I have learned that Belvoir were lettings agent of the year!! I can only conclude that franchises in other corners of the country enjoy a better level of service than those in Rugby have to endure. .
Funnily enough when looking to move to a larger residence with my partner I avoided those tenancies advertised with Belvoir at all costs, for obvious reasons. When finally persuaded by partner (who as a non-tenant had only had the misfortune to observe my frustration rather than experience it first hand) to look round one such property we waited patiently outside the residence. Needless to say; Belvoir never turned up and left a voicemail the next day stating that they ¢â‚¬Ëœdidn't have the booking in their diary'.
What agent could do to change your mind?
Please see examples above but mostly - be polite!