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Who do I go to when MHS fail?

(30 Posts)
BratleyBansBaubles Tue 10-Nov-09 13:01:36

We moved into our current quarter in May and have problem after problem, we've put complaints in and things have just got to me so much now I'm sat here crying.

I've just been speaking to a guy at MHS helpdesk about a letter I received this morning saying an issue we'd complained about has been resolved and asked for an update on the other complaints that their complaints manager was dealing with, he'd promised me, in a conversation weeks ago, that he'd sort out compensation for all the stress and hassle we've been put through and it would be 'a cheque rather than the standard missed appointment voucher'. The guy I spoke to today said he'd check what was on the system, put me on hold for a good few minutes, came back and said 'there's nothing on the system about any compensation'.

That'll be why the complaints manager 'isn't in the office today'/ 'is just on another call, I'll get him to call you back'/ 'is in a meeting at the moment' for the last few weeks then, because he fed me bullshit to shut me up and has no intention of following it up.

Who do I go to next? Is there a step above MHS?
The families officer told DH 'if you have an issue, your wife will have to go to the meeting on the last thursday of the month'
But I work thursdays, I only get 8 days holiday, I don't see why I should have to waste one being fed the same crap face to face as I can get over the phone!?

I'm so sick of it all, and there's still problems and faults that I don't want to report as I can't face more hassle!

luciemule Tue 10-Nov-09 13:27:01

There is a proper MHS complaints procedure on the website/DE website. I will try to find link for you. Have you called the HIC and arranged an appoinment for the DE officer to come round and help you sort it out? That's their job but you can only book them to come through the HIC number.

luciemule Tue 10-Nov-09 13:29:43

That is link to MHS website complaints bit but tbh, DE officer should be able to osrt it out in the next instance. They really would rather sort out problem than get a complaint and the complaint system is sooooo long winded.

luciemule Tue 10-Nov-09 13:32:41

The telephone number for all Housing Information Centres (HICs) is 0800 169 6322. This is a freephone number for calls made within the UK.
Make sure you know what area you come under before you ring, eg Thetford/Aldershot etc.

BratleyBansBaubles Tue 10-Nov-09 13:54:02

Thanks so much for that Lucie, I didnt even know that DE officers still existed after everthing changed over from DHE!

Would they be the same as the technical officer? As DH put it earlier on the phone 'wouldn't bother with him, about as much use as tits on a fish'! grin

Will give them a call and see what they say.

Thanks again!

luciemule Tue 10-Nov-09 14:09:01

ah yes - but if you say that you'll be going down the official complaints route, that might shake them up. Our's was crap but when he realised that they coudn't legally allow us to live in a house that hadn't passed the electrical safety test, they did everything they could to be helpful!

BratleyBansBaubles Tue 10-Nov-09 15:04:50

I called HIC, spoke to a really nice guy, who's called me back twice already!

He's spoken to the Tech Officer and a few others and found out what needs doing to make the boiler work and got it all booked for thursday morning.... but I'm at work... so I need to call back and rearrange but at least its now on the system!

He's given me an email address of the Housing Manager and told me to write down everything thats happened and hpefully he'll give us a 'temporary downgrade' (?), which will then equate to compensation (will it ??) apparently.
How do I address a Sqn Ldr in an email?

I think I'll write the email tonight once DS goes to bed as its going to be a long old story!

We had a gas safety inspection where the boiler and fire were both condemned and the smoke alarms failed and it was left for 8weeks before anyone they fitted a new boiler, that was 4weeks ago and it still doesnt work properly, and we're still waiting for the fire to be fitted.

Just realised this morning that there's a leak from the bathroom window, its running outside though so I'm ignoring it for a while, can't be bothered calling MHS again today!

luciemule Tue 10-Nov-09 15:14:16

I always used to get the number for the contractors too as they never turned up when MHS had booked them for and so I used to call them that morning to make sure it was scheduled in.
If email is from you, I would address the email 'Dear Sir'. If it's your DH, he'll know. They wouldn't expect a wifey to use the same terms as servicemen.
Hope you get it sorted.
I like the new quarters that aren't owned by DE - makes it a lot more professional - have never lived in one of those though!

Drusilla Tue 10-Nov-09 16:06:00

Have you got a complaint number from MHS? It's not treaed as a complaint unless you get one. Which service are you? If you have an AFF rep they should be able to sort it for you.

BratleyBansBaubles Tue 10-Nov-09 16:10:25

I always call MHS around 8.30 and 'demand' to know where exactly my engineer is according to the tracking device on his van, and a local traffic update.
(not really, but I'd like to! grin)

Don't think there's anything wrong with asking where I am on his list though, at least then I can get a shower without having to keep an ear out for them!

Quarters not owned by DE?? Where have I had my head buried all this time!? grin

luciemule Tue 10-Nov-09 17:24:34

No, there aren't many I don't think - some in Bristol. Before you mvoe there, you can go onto the company's website and look at your quarter map and internal view. I think DE should do that for all their quarters.

BratleyBansBaubles Tue 10-Nov-09 17:44:52

Really!? Thats fab!
Do you find that when you move there's always one piece of furniture that just wont fit!?

Internal views would be good, at least then you'd have some idea what you were going to have to rehome before you packed!

Our sofa got wedged in the living room door in our last quarter!
Was 10 pm at night and it just wouldn't budge, I made DH crawl under it to get to the kitchen and make the brews, was the fitting end to a chaotic day!

luciemule Tue 10-Nov-09 17:50:07

We've been ok space-wise but we've just moved into our own house from our last quarter, which was too big! Germany was a bit of nightmare though as the house had a dormer roof and a lot of our furniture wouldn't fit into the bedrooms. So now, everything's squashed in to our not very big house and it looks a bit silly. Oh well - we'll just sell some least it's our house and we dont have to deal with DE anymore.....................bit expensive paying for your own repairs though! AT least we could ring MHS and have it done for free..........even if it did take forever for them to do it!

BratleyBansBaubles Tue 10-Nov-09 18:06:43

Yeah, I do see that as a blessing hmm, in its own way!
Would dread to think how much it would have cost us to repair all the problems with this house ourselves!

Seems things are a bit better than this morning, thanks again for your help. I would never have thought to speak to the HIC smile

lemonadesparkle Tue 10-Nov-09 20:30:52

I live in one of the PFI quarters grin House is lovely, maintenance is top notch in that they ALWAYS turn up when they say they will and always within 3 days of reporting problem - the only thing that lets the place down is the vast majority of the occupants angry Still you can't have it all ways hmm

BratleyBansBaubles Tue 10-Nov-09 20:39:03

<fights urge to stick tongue out at lemonade and do namby pamby mimicky voice> grin

So I'm very jealous... I can't help it!

Glad there's the same 'neighbours' everywhere though. Why is that!?
Do they have to have above average numbers of 'those neighbours' on every estate!? grin

Are they rolling these new quarters out all over or is just the special few? wink

FourArms Tue 10-Nov-09 20:43:30

I put in a complaint when I was getting nowhere with MHS. As a result I have had my quarter downgraded.

I have found when dealing with the Lt Cdr, that I address him as I would any other civillian, because I am a civillian, and it's me who has done all of the work in getting our house sorted (DH is at sea).

lemonadesparkle Tue 10-Nov-09 20:45:56

I 'think' its going to be the norm eventually grin.

herbietea Tue 10-Nov-09 20:58:56

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herbietea Tue 10-Nov-09 21:01:50

Message withdrawn

FourArms Tue 10-Nov-09 21:36:20

Yes, there is the NFF, Navy Families Federation

Apparently they can be really helpful, but luckily we didn't get as far as invoking their wrath!

[and I am lovely even if I say so myself!]

BratleyBansBaubles Wed 11-Nov-09 12:23:15

Had a call from the Tech officer this morning, the guy I spoke to yesterday at the HIC had 'been in touch with' him (ie, rattled his cage!), said he's gonna contact the woman from the HIVE who runs the housing clinics once a month and get her to send out the boss man of .... another acronym, I forget now, who'll do a survery of the house and list all the problems, then hopefully work on resolving things.

Will reccommend phoning that HIC number to anyone who has any problems with their housing from now on, we've been here 6months and things are only just starting to be taken seriously, its all a bloody joke isn't it!?

luciemule Wed 11-Nov-09 13:57:30

I cannot believe (well I can believe becasuse they're all really crap)they didn't tell you about the HIC sooner. We were sent letters with magnet numbers to put on the fridge.
We were without a kitchen floor covering for about 4 months and we had to spend all that time walking on hairy, mucky brown chipboard stuff. They eventually laid some thin, and I mean thin, lino down (not all the way through into utility because they couldnt afford it) only to find that 3 months later, nails were sticking through all over the floor! The DE bloke came out but said they were short of money. A year later we've gone and it never was done. I hate them all with a vengence..............apart from your nice HIC guy who is obviously holding the whole of the armed forces housing afloat, bless him.

FourArms Wed 11-Nov-09 14:42:24

We've had that survey BBB... still awaiting any repairs subsequent to it. We might be getting a new heating system though. Won't hold my breath on that one - they'll probably run out of money by the time they get to my end of the street!

flossie64 Wed 11-Nov-09 14:53:35

I'm no help at all on yourpersonal situation , but my Dh informed me last night that Tim Lawerance is now the boss of housing. ( Princess Anne's husband) You could always go to the top if you don't get any results .

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