3rd July 2001SERVICES FAIL TO DELIVER A MOVING EXPERIENCE
Moving house is universally acknowledged as one of life's most stressful events, but the very companies designed to ease the strain are compounding the problem by failing to deliver.
One in 10 buyers and sellers blame negligent suppliers, such as mortgage lenders, solicitors and removal firms for causing their move to fall through, according to new research by HouseWeb.com, the UK's leading property portal.
The HouseWeb.com study also reveals that a further 40 per cent of homeowners are dissatisfied with the service they received, citing complaints about being billed more than they were originally quoted (26 per cent), missing deadlines (37 per cent) and not responding to telephone calls (47 per cent).
Despite these high levels of discontent, the research shows that buyers and sellers are trapped in a vicious circle, with more than one in five resorting to the phone book to source suppliers because they don't know where to turn.
HouseWeb.com commissioned the research to launch its free online Service Centre, which organises all the products and services needed when moving house and for home improvement. The findings show that the most essential services, such as mortgage lenders (26 per cent), surveyors (24 per cent) and removal companies (14 per cent) are actually the most difficult to find.
And, significantly, the survey also reveals that although a third of movers part with as much as £5,000, only half claim to source three quotes before making their decisions.
Mark Desvaux, managing director of HouseWeb.com, which created the online private sales market when it launched in 1996, said: " The Service Centre has been designed to try to combat some of these house-moving anxieties. The whole process is stressful enough without struggling to find suppliers that can be trusted and provide the best deals.
"The HouseWeb.com Service Centre matches the services and products required by the customer with certified suppliers who have been screened for legal and credit history. It takes around five minutes to complete the form and customers, who rate their performance, can then sit back and wait for the suppliers to contact them directly - typically within a few hours. Eventually, the Centre will act as a complete 'one-stop' shop of personally recommended suppliers."
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Notes to Editor:
· The HouseWeb.com Service Centre is a free, independent service with no obligation to use any of the companies quoted.
· View the Service Centre in action on the HouseWeb.com website: http://www.houseweb.com/service/
· Leading household names including British Gas, Britannia (removals) and UCB Home Loans have already joined the Service Centre.
· Current services available on the site include: Mortgages, Home Insurance, Life Assurance, Personal Loans, Solicitors, Surveyors, Valuers, Conveyancers, Relocation Agents, Removals, Storage, Home Security, Central Heating.
· HouseWeb.com charges a flat fee of £40 (plus VAT) to advertise a property on the site.
· HouseWeb.com has launched a new Virtual Tour service called the HouseWeb.com V~Tour which provides a 360-degree, walk around video tour of sellers' homes. The premium V~Tour (£199) service includes a virtual tour on the HouseWeb.com site, one photo, a property advert and a tour in e-mail format. The standalone tour in e-mail format is priced at £152
HouseWeb.com (http://www.houseweb.com), the property portal, is the UK's premier web destination for anyone buying and selling or renting propert
Launched in May 1996, HouseWeb.com created the online private sales market for homeowners allowing them to directly sell on the Internet, saving an average of £4,200 in fees. The site also includes comprehensive guides covering everything from first mortgages to finding a dream home. Whether a first-time buyer or housing professional, HouseWeb.com is an indispensable resource packed with properties, information, news, advice, discussion forums, web directories and financial services.
HouseWeb.com receives over 100,000 visitors each month and has won numerous awards and accolades, including 'Top Property Site' from Internet World. It is also featured in the Lycos and BBC Online Web guides. HouseWeb.com is owned by HouseWeb Ltd, a privately held company based in Cambridge, UK.