Generally the first person you will come into contact with is Graham. When you phone up or email in then Graham is at the other end.
When you ask for a quote you will probably first receive an automated quote from a comparison website. This will then be followed up by a personalised email quote and telephone call to ensure you are getting the right tailored quote for you. If you just assume the cheapest quote on your list is the best then you may be missing out.
If you contact us directly then you will get a tailored quote for the property and advice as to the best kind of survey for you. We will never up-sell you to a more expensive product. If a Level 2 is sufficient then we will not press you into a Level 3 survey.
When we send you an email quote it will tell you about the next current availability for the survey. Please bear in mind that bookings come in all the time so if you leave it too long then the date mentioned as next available may have been taken.
If you want to book with us then you can replay to the email with the quote in or give us a ring. Graham will confirm the next available date and make all the arrangements for access for you. You will then receive a Contract, Description of service, invoice and if necessary, a waiver form.
The group of documents you will get sent are the Contract with our T&Cs, the invoice, description of service and a waiver form.
The Contract with T&Cs are fairly self-explanatory. There are some things in the contract that may seem a little odd that they would have to be mentioned but unfortunately, some clients spoil things for the rest of us. There is an entire website that could be created from the stories behind some parts of the T&Cs.
The invoice will come in a separate email, and we bank through Mettle. If you have any concerns, please do not hesitate to phone and ask. We understand that people are concerned about bank fraud, and we are happy to confirm our bank details to reassure you that it is us. We will never take your bank details or card details over the phone as we find it better to not hold any client bank details for GDPR regulation reasons.
The waiver form. We have a waiver form which is for anyone whose survey is within 14 days of booking. We will be completely honest with you as to why we have this form. Under the consumer rights you are allowed to cancel the survey within the 14-day cooling off period. Where your survey has been carried out within the cooling off period then we feel it is unreasonable to attempt to use the cooling off period rights after the survey report has been delivered. We had to introduce this waiver because someone decided to do exactly that. If you are uncomfortable signing the cooling off period waiver form then unfortunately, we will have to ensure that your survey is not carried out until after the cooling off period has lapsed. I understand this can cause delays but unfortunately, we cannot carry out a survey and write a report without the protection from a minority of clients who try this tactic to get a free survey.
The description of service. You will have received this as part of your quote and possibly both the Level 2 and Level 3 descriptions have been sent as part of the quote to help you decide which survey is best for your needs. We will never up-sell anyone a product they do not need and are happy to give advice to help you make up your mind. These descriptions of service are RICS documents and are the standard to be expected from the surveyor. It helps you know that what you have received meets the RICS standards.
If you have any queries with the forms that you receive then please do not hesitate to ask.
Once you have your survey please do read it through thoroughly. We know there is a lot in the survey and they are quite long. We would urge you not to simply go off the Condition Ratings box at the beginning and do read the reason for the Condition rating of 3 in each section. It may not be that expensive a fix.
We have to draw your attention to the terms and conditions again here. The survey is for your use only. The survey remains the intellectual property of Lotus Surveyors and you may not sell it on or send it to the Estate Agent. There are 2 reasons not to send it to the Estate Agent. Firstly the Estate Agent is acting for their client. The vendor. If you look at negotiations a bit like a game of cards then sending the report to the Estate Agent is like showing your opponent in poker your hand of cards. The second reason is unfortunately, a tiny minority of Estate Agents have been known in the past to sell the report onto another prospective purchaser. This is a rare occurrence and among a tiny minority but we are sure you do not want the survey you paid for to be sold to someone else as much as us.
Once you have your survey and have read it through if you have any questions then please send us an email with your questions. Jennifer is generally out of the office carrying out surveys and will give you a ring back once Jennifer is back in the office. We always say that the service does not end at the survey and happy to help or clarify anything in the report.
We are very proud of our customer service record and have always put customer service first. We pride ourselves on going the extra mile for clients and have many examples of contented clients.
If for whatever reason you are not happy with your report or the service received then we would ask in the first instance that you send an email detailing the issues you have. In the first instance we will try and resolve the issue to the best of our ability.
If the issue cannot be resolved to your satisfaction, then to escalate the issue you should mark your email as a Formal Complaint. Please do try and allow us to rectify any issues you may have informally before escalating to Formal Complaint. Once a Formal Complaint has been received then the Directors meet to discuss if there is any way the issue could be resolved to your satisfaction. We are also obliged to inform our insurance company of a potential claim which can cause delays in responding due to the insurance company's response times. If there is any way of resolution, we will respond within the mandatory 28 days with our proposal to rectify the issue.
If the issue cannot be resolved or you disagree with our proposed resolution, then the issue will be escalated.
Should you wish to pursue your claim further, then we will expect to be provided with a formal Letter of Claim which fully complies with the requirements Pre-Action Protocol for Professional Negligence, which governs these types of disputes. Such a letter will need to set out clearly the details of the alleged negligence which you believe has taken place details of all losses incurred (with supporting evidence) and details as to the legal basis on which you hold ourselves accountable for these losses. Upon receipt of a formal Letter of Claim we will review the matter in further detail with our advisers and provide our Letter of Response within the three-month timeframe provided for under the Pre-Action Protocol. You may wish to obtain independent legal advice in respect of this.
At this stage if no resolution can be found then we would advise you that we follow the RICS Complaints Handling Procedure. You would then need to send a letter of Claim and then this triggers a 3 month investigation where an independent witness will review the case.
Should you wish to escalate the issue to court then you are reminded that courts expect that a claim has been through an Alternative Dispute Resolution procedure before reaching court. We would urge that given the backlog in court cases that an amicable solution can be reached before the situation reaches this point.