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Consumer Protection : Tarion Wants To Hear From You – Dec/Jan2017

Consumer Protection : Tarion Wants To Hear From You - Dec/Jan2017

Are you one of almost 52,000 people in Ontario who took possession of a new home this past year? If so, we want to hear from you!

Every year, Tarion sends out a customer satisfaction survey to new home and condominium owners in their first year of possession. The survey, which will land in mailboxes in the next week or so, asks them about key aspects of the buying experience, including the Agreement of Purchase and Sale, the construction stage, the Pre-Delivery Inspection and the customer service the builder provided after the sale closed.

It also asks new condo owners to rate their condo builder. And we include questions about their relationship with Tarion and whether we met their expectations.

Why is this important to us? Because we want to better understand first-hand the experiences of new homebuyers in the province. We want to know if that new home or condo, and the builder, met expectations and what improvements could be made along the way, whether it be for individual homes, condo units or a condo’s common elements.

This happens in two ways.

First, the responses and comments help us understand what Tarion does well and where improvements to our processes or communications materials can deliver better customer service. This consumer input helps identify general trends and also specific areas for focus. For example, past years’ feedback has led to new features being added to MyHome, our digital web service that helps homeowners manage their warranty online.

Second, we use this consumer feedback to assess how well new homebuilders, including condo and highrise builders, are serving their customers. The survey, which is now offered in Mandarin, Farsi and Punjabi, asks about the relationship new homeowners have with their builders. Did the buying experience go smoothly? If there were issues after move in, did the builder listen to concerns and fix any warranted issues?

The survey results also help builders improve their customer service. Where we have enough responses, builders are given detailed individual reports comparing their results to the provincial average (without identifying the participants). We then follow-up with these builders to help analyze their scores and to improve on them.

This survey feedback is also critical to us in another important way. Every year, it determines which builders are the finalists and recipients of the Homeowners’ Choice Awards as chosen by their customers. Presented by Tarion, these are the only awards that give Ontario’s new homebuyers the power to have their new homebuilder recognized for customer service excellence.

These awards are useful for future new homebuyers doing research about a builder. When a builder becomes a finalist or a recipient of the award, that information is put on its record in the Ontario Builder Directory (on Tarion.com) for everyone to see.

So, that’s why we want to hear from you! If you’ve taken possession of a new home or condo in the past year, please look out for the Tarion survey. It only takes a few minutes to complete. Your answers will help improve customer service overall for new home and condo owners across Ontario. They also determine whether a builder can be recognized for excellent customer service.

Howard Bogach is president and CEO of the Tarion Warranty Corporation. His column appears five times a year in HOMES Magazine. For more information about how Tarion helps new home buyers, visit tarion.com or find them on Facebook at facebook.com/tarionwarrantycorp