To summarise why you should avoid buying their houses and falling for their sales patter:
- Terrible after care service (expect to wait months, years for them even to begin to look at the snags)
- Unresponsive and inept customer service
- Endless snags which they overlook, fail to address
- Consistently poor workmanship (uneven floors, uneven gardens, broken pipes, cracked fittings, windows coming away from frames, work left undone etc)
- Cheap fittings used rather than those which are specified
- Constantly cutting corners and trying to avoid rectifying their mistakes
- Hire sloppy contractors who create more issues
- Management oblivious and seldom make any efforts to help
I could go on and write an endless list but you get the gist that they are a
terrible developer. Speak to people that live in their developments and you'll no doubt hear countless and continuing horror stories about their work.
UPDATE FEB 2017: Issues reported in March 2016, Abbey continue to shirk responsibility and fixes issues they caused.
The airwaves fill with the strains of the Love Theme from Franco Zefferelli’s ‘Romeo and Juliet’ (a tune once beloved on BBC Radio One): “Dee-dah, dee-dah, dee-dah, dee-dah” (Yes I am right- if it was “Dah dee dah dee dah dee dah, dah dee dah dee dah, dah” it would be ‘The Archers’!) “It’s time for this morning’s ‘Our Tune’. Now I’m going to call him Julian to save him embarrassment, but his real name is Nolly. In 1994 Julian was living a happy existence in a 3 bedroom semi-detached ex-council house with his widowed mother. But things change, as they do, he was working near the south coast, and his mother decided that, as she wanted to move, she would buy a house that would enable him an easier commute in the mornings. And so they went to look for houses in the Eastbourne area. One Saturday in June they ventured upon a building site, which was being attended by a friendly, smiling lady. ‘Welcome to the Abbey New Homes development’ she said in a cheery tone of voice, ‘what kind of home were you looking for?’ And so Julian’s mum enquired about the three bedroom terraced houses that were being built on the edge of the site. They looked very splendid from the pictures, and they were only £51995! They decided that they would buy one. Julian’s mum chose a number of lovely kitchen units in a gleaming oak veneer finish, and she handed over a cheque for the deposit of £250. The forms were filled in, and with a reassuring statement of ‘that’s all you need to do, there will be no continual phone calls about your sale’ they set off back home to Tunbridge Wells, happy that they had completed a good day’s work. “But things change, as they do. And it now came to putting the house in Tunbridge Wells on the market. The housing market wasn’t experiencing much of a boom at the time
, and so the house was realistically priced at £64950. They expected to wait for some time…. But things change, as they do, and the first people to view the house put an offer in. The sale was agreed within 2 days at £64000. Julian went to see a fortune-teller, who looked into her crystal ball and said that he should not move to a new house or sell the present one for the near future. Julian explained that this is what was happening. She looked into her crystal ball, and her face grew dark, ‘well basically you’re stuffed,” she said. Julian laughed at these words as you may imagine, and then he started fielding continual phone calls from the lady at the sales office who had said that she would not keep phoning. So Julian and his mum complained to the estate agents handling the site’s sales. They hoped that everything would go well from then on… “But things change, as they do. And it came to September 1994. The new house was not built yet, and so Julian and his mum went to stay with his oldest brother and his wife in a little 2-bed house in Eastbourne. And there they stayed for seven whole weeks while the furniture went into storage. Eventually it came to October, and they were planning to move in on October 28th. But things change, as they do, and they heard nothing. They eventually badgered the builders and were told that the house would be ready. “But things change, as they do, and three days before they were due to move in, they were telephoned with bad news. Someone who was totally unknown had broken in with a front door key and had stolen the entire fitted kitchen, including the brand-new central heating boiler. But not to worry, as it would all be refitted with new units and boiler for the Friday. “And so Friday came. The weather was terrible. In a torrential downpour they arrived at the house to find that the banisters had only just been woodstained, and the carpet la
yers were just finishing off. Unfortunately the tasteful pink carpets had had an unfortunate effect on the woodstain. The fluff from the carpet was sticking to the sticky banisters! Eventually the carpets were finished. And as the rain continued to pour, and with the lack of road surface, completed parking spaces, footpaths, or street lighting, or even telephone line, Nolly, I’m sorry, Julian and his mum settled down to a weekend with very little furniture. As the rain continued to fall, Julian noticed a very wet patch that was appearing underneath the patio doors that led to the garden, which resembled a pleasant part of the Somme battlefield. The damp patch grew and grew and grew. They hoped for the best and waited for the furniture to come on Monday. “But things change, as they do, and Monday came. The rain continued to fall and lakes of floodwater started to appear around the front door where there was no footpath. Julian and his mum eagerly awaited the arrival of the cheery removal men. ‘We’re not walking through that mud!’ they said with a cheery greeting as they arrived, but with a little encouragement, pleading and the promise of copious supplies of hot beverages, they eventually acquiesced. The furniture was duly installed, and Julian and his mum sat down happily, being careful to avoid the damp bit of carpet by the patio door, as well as the muddy carpet in the hall. “But things change, as they do, and soon Julian and his mum began to notice bits of poor paintwork. The light switch was not where it should have been, and on the beautifully artexed ceilings (!), there were splodges of flat plaster where the light fittings had had to be moved and the plasterers could not be bothered to tidy up. And what with the fluffy banisters covered in minute pieces of carpet, they were in seventh heaven! The snagging was eventually carried out, and relations with the builders on site were harmo
nious, so much so that they insisted on showing Julian and his mum the nice fitted kitchen in the house four doors up. As they entered the house they asked a cheery question, ‘Are all the houses supposed to have a handrail on the staircase?’, to which the builders offered a sheepish grunt. After a while cracks started to appear where the staircase abutted the landing, and Julian and his mum enquired as to whether the builders would attend it to. They were greeted with the following affirmation that would soon greet them whenever they asked a question of the cheery workmen: ‘THAT’S NOT SNAGGING, THAT’S SHRINKAGE – WE DON’T DO SHRINKAGE!’ “But things change, as they do, and eventually everything was sorted out. Julian and his mum lived happily. Eventually Julian met and fell in love with a beautiful woman and went to live in Lincolnshire, while his mum was so happy she soon sold up and moved to Gloucestershire, so happy was she with her life in her Abbey New Home. “So I’d like to thank Nolly, sorry, Julian for his cheery story, and play the ‘Our Tune’ that he has requested to remind him of his happy life in an Abbey New Home, which reminds him of the builders so much:” ‘Oops I Did it Again’ by Britney Spears