Repairs Service Update

We know some customers are having to wait longer for their repair than we would like.

We appreciate your patience as we work through our list of repairs and apologise for any inconvenience a delay may cause.

Increased call volumes combined with a greater number of vacancies within the team has resulted in some calls taking longer than expected. We are working hard to fill those roles but there’s things you can do to help us manage our call response times more effectively.

We’ve set up three dedicated options to handle demand:

  1. An emergency option – so that emergency repairs can be responded to quickly. If your enquiry is not an emergency, please don’t select this option. An emergency could include a gas leak or dangerous electrical fault, structural damage to your home or the loss of essential services such as water or electricity. Please also use this option if you have particular wellbeing needs that need immediate attention from us or if you require your gas supply to be uncapped.
     
  2. For discussing the servicing of your Gas Boiler – If you have received a letter and need to discuss or rearrange the servicing of your Gas Boiler. You can also save time by phoning our Gas Servicing line directly on 0300 123 3596.
     
  3. An option for a new routine repair. If it’s not an emergency and it’s a new repair then choose this option. If you can, phone us at a time that’s usually less busy – such as evenings or at weekends. Alternatively, please email or contact us online with the details and your phone number (if you can attach a photo of the problem, that really helps).
     
  4. If you’re contacting us about an existing repair, then please choose this option. Again, emailing or contacting us online or phoning at what’s traditionally a less busy time will help manage the length of time you may need to wait.

Don’t forget, our call centre is available 24 hours a day, seven days a week.

More repairs being reported

Since April this year, we have seen an increase in the number of repairs being reported to us. We know some customers didn’t report minor repairs to us during the pandemic as they didn’t want us visiting their home for work that wasn’t urgent. This is adding to the repairs we couldn’t complete because of previous lockdown restrictions.

Recruitment and staffing

You’ll be aware there is currently a national shortage of key roles, many of which are tradespersons and professionals within the construction / maintenance sector – including call centres. This is having an impact on our ability to recruit to our in-house team, as well as on contractors more widely. 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.

Throughout the summer, self-isolation and sickness forced our teams to rearrange some repairs at short notice. We know this has been very frustrating for residents but we had to ensure we kept to government guidance to keep everyone safe. We’re glad to say we’re now seeing an improvement and we thank you for your patience.  

Materials

The current national short supply of building material 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.   

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.

If you have a repair booked in, you should only phone us on 0800 131 3348 if the issue gets worse and becomes an emergency. We will contact you if we need to change your appointment.

We are working hard to return our service back to normal. And so far, we’re beginning to see some improvements.

The good news is we are completing more repairs every day and mostly by our in-house teams. In some areas we’re already within our target repair response times as we steadily clear the work.

In addition to a change in the call options available to contact us, we have:

  • Operatives working extra hours to cover the demand
  • Revised our approach to undertaking more substantial repairs, by widening our contractor framework where available
  • Introduced a targeted recruitment campaign for key roles – including attracting more apprentices. If working for Sanctuary appeals to you, please check out our Careers page for more information.

Your support in helping us manage our services to you more effectively during this time is greatly appreciated.