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[Updated: 04/01/2022]

We are sorry some of our repairs are taking longer than usual. We wanted to let you know why this is and what we’re doing about it.

Why does it sometimes take so long for you to answer my call or email?

Increased call volumes combined with a greater number of vacancies and absences linked to COVID-19 has resulted in some calls and emails taking longer to respond to than we would expect. We are working around-the-clock to fill those roles but there are things you can do to help us manage our call response times more effectively. If you’re interested in a role in our customer services team please head over to our jobs page now.

Report your repair online if you’re not calling about an emergency. You can do that by visiting this page.

Why are some repairs taking longer?

Since April 2021, we have seen the numbers of repairs being reported to us double in number and it has remained at this unusually high number throughout the rest of the year and into 2022. We know some customers held back on reporting minor repairs to us during the early days of the pandemic as they didn’t want us visiting their home for work that wasn’t urgent and this, in part, has contributed to the increase we have seen. Our teams have been working extremely hard since summer 2021 to increase the number of confirmed appointments and reduce the repairs backlog and we have made good progress in this regard. In November, we appointed three additional partners to help us keeping progress over the winter months when new requests typically rise. 

Why is recruitment affecting the time it takes for you to answer my call or complete my repair?

You’ll be aware there is currently a national shortage of key roles, many of which are tradespersons and professionals within the construction and maintenance sector – including call centres. This is having an impact on our ability to recruit to several of our in-house teams, as well as contractors more broadly. While we are taking steps to help us recruit, this challenge continues to impact us and other housing providers. Our response times to answer calls and attend routine repairs have both been affected.

Continued self-isolation and sickness linked to COVID-19, particularly with the rapid spread of the new Omicron variant, has also increased pressure in this area. We fully understand how frustrating this can be for customers but we have had to balance maintaining our services with the need to stick to government guidelines to keep everyone safe. Colleague cases of COVID-19 are increasing and are likely to remain high in the weeks to come and we thank you for your patience in the meantime.

Why is there a shortage of materials?

The current national shortage of building materials such as doors, timber, cement, and glass means we’ve had to rearrange work until these items are available. We are fortunate to have a national framework of material suppliers to mitigate against most items, but we recognise the frustration at us sometimes having to amend appointments at short notice. Again, we thank you for your patience until circumstances improve.

When will my repair be completed?

We want to make sure the repair we book in can be met given the current constraints and remains convenient for you. If you can, please help us by being as flexible as possible about your repair appointment. This will make it more likely that our team and contractors will be able to meet that commitment. In recent weeks we have also been experiencing a significant increase in customers not being available at a scheduled appointment time. If your appointment time is inconvenient, please do contact us as soon as possible - if appointments are missed, it is likely to take up to eight weeks to get a re-appointment due to the current challenges we are facing.

If you have a repair booked in, you should only phone us if the issue gets worse and becomes an emergency. We will contact you to arrange an appointment if this hasn’t already been confirmed or if we need to change your appointment.

What are we doing to improve the situation?

We are working hard to remove the backlog and return our service back to normal as quickly as possible. The good news is that we’re beginning to see improvements and are completing more repairs every day, helped by us recently bringing three additional partners onboard to reduce the backlog.

We also have an ongoing campaign to recruit for key roles so if you fancy supporting us make a difference to customers, or if you know a friend or family member who might, please head on over to our careers page.

Once again, we know it is a challenging environment but rest assured we are doing our utmost to respond to you as fast and efficiently as we can, and we thank you for bearing with us.