I am really glad someone pointed this website out to me because I believe in honest, open reviews and indeed welcome it for my own work (I am a health professional and am constantly under review/ receiving constructive criticism about how I can improve professionally). Let me start by advising you, however good the flat or rental amount looks, don't sign with this company. In my personal experience they are tedious and harmful and their biggest fault lies in their refusal to acknowledge their mistakes, therefore the problem, whatever it is, remains unsolved. In our case the problem, whatever it was (believe me with things breaking in the flat there were many) was usually only brought to an end by us (the tenant) paying.
- Responding to emergencies: (I categorise emergency as our bath tub leaking through the sitting room ceiling). Our ceiling began to drip during the night by morning we had eight buckets in the front room and 2 of 3 housemates had to take the day off work. We phoned them immediately but obviously couldn't get through till they opened at 9am. It took them 2 days to send handyman round. During this time we couldn't shower and our sitting room was flooded. The workmen they send round (they smoke in the flat, help themselves to tea and leave the place looking like a warzone), said it was a leak frm the bathtub & they'd fixed it. That night it leaked again. Ok so fair enough, right? No ones perfect, they tried and we all get it wrong right? Yes but it took 3 and a half weeks for them to fix it. They came round at least six times telling us it was fixed. When we asked them to rehome us, they said no when we asked for compensation (we couldnt shower in our own home for almost a month) they flatly refused.
The above is just an example, but their responding to emergencies let alone general enquiries is terrible. Their attitude stinks. Jenna, our main agent neeeded things explained to her, slowly and simply a couple of times. I'm not sure if she had a communication difficulty, but it was difficult to ever clarify with Jenna if she fully understood the conversation/ problem and understood what she was required to do. She seemed more focussed on wrapping up the conversation.
Hayley is the worst. Abrupt, rude and intentionally argumentative. She has put down the phone on me (she does it to a few people, it isn't personal its just part of her customer service.) Hayley is confrontational and seems to enjoy it when you're having a problem. When you ask to s/w a manager you are always flatly refused. They never responded to left messages and when they say they will call you back, leave an alarm on your phone to call them back because they wont do it. The only helpful member of staff there is Michelle in maintenance and they wont put you directly through to her (she works in a different office). In keeping with the ethos of this website, and giving a genuine honest review I'd like to say Michelle is an absolute asset to Coastal: she is reliable, actions what she agrees and responds to your emails within reasonable time. Also has a can do attitude and listens. It is so unfortunate she is not running the place. It eventually got to a point we would try to contact Michelle for everything because the girls in the front office are useless but they stopped putting calls through and so things went bad again. Regardless of Michelle I would steer clear of Coastal as you will have to deal with one of girls in front office.
Also my bedroom windows poured water (not leaked poured) . The water damage was so extreme I had to leave towels underneath my window and a bucket. They took 2 weeks for somebody to come out and assess the problem. That is not only negligent to me as a tenant but also logically, detrimental to the property they managed, you would assume? Because of this I can only think that at a senior level in Coastal management they are unaware of what the girls in the office are doing (Jenna and Hayley).
Finally - your deposit. IF YOU DO GO AHEAD, TAKE A VIDEO OF THE HOUSE/ FLAT NOT JUST FOTOS. When my flatmate moved out they took £130 to replace her carpet in her bedroom (I don't work for carpetright so although her carpet looked fine lets assume they were in their right to remove it and charge her). They never replaced her carpet, I stayed on in this for 18 more months and the carpet was never replaced, yet they charged her. When she questioned this her phone calls were not put through, not responded to and although they eventually agreed to 'investigate' and came back with the same decision to charge her, they made it difficult for her by refusing to allow her to speak with a manager or an alternative member of staff. In short, the strung out the process for her.
I'd really like to emphasise that I know in life not everyone is polite and I don't expect a 5* service, when your paying 3*. But my god, if Coastal don't show up on one of them 'whatever from hell' programmes in the next year I will drop dead. They are a running joke in Brighton. If you are going to sign with them, ask for a number of an existing tenant on their books or ask around, you will hear the same thing. Seriously, they are rude, incompetent, argumentative, problematic and unresponsive. Good luck and good luck to Coastal, they'll certainly need it.
What agent could do to change your mind?
The agent could have been more constructive when dealing with enquiries and concerns.
Coastal could have acted on agreed actions.(Numerous times agreed to send work men who did not show up when agreed).
They could have responded to phone calls and emails and postal correspondence.
Could have improved customer service to show at least some empathy even if they could not provide the resolution we desired (I always appreciate empathy even when my requests are not met, I appreciate a humane approach from the other party).