• 08Jun

    foxtons_landscape2.gifI promised myself I wouldn’t write too many moany entries about things I’d like to put right in the world and things that really annoy me. I’m afraid this is one last big final moan though as Foxtons take the biscuit… today being the final straw.

    We were going to move house last year and made the mistake of asking Foxtons for a valuation. This was just before the exposé on BBC TV’s “Whistleblower” programme called “Secret Agent”. They over-valued our house by about £50,000 and it was obviously ridiculous as we’d had several other valuations much lower and more realistic, with far more reasonable agency fees quoted I might add. We were also highly suspicious of the fast talking salesman-like technique the agent had. In the end we delayed putting our house on the market until earlier this year but they have been hounding us ever since!

    At that time, March 2006, they didn’t have a presence in Guildford. Now they a have a big swanky glass fronted office, twice the size of any of the other agents premises in town. Whenever I pass the place it seems full of young eager negotiators at the desks, mostly on the phone, but a distinct lack of clients and a lot of empty space. They also have a mega flatscreen TV showing Sky which appears to be on all the time and produce endless showy magazines covering all their areas, what a waste of energy and paper.

    I am incensed particularly by the relentless targeted phone calls and postings through our door since the house has been on the market again. There is often a with compliments slip inside the magazine, from the Manager of the Guildford office, saying how he has been trying to contact us urgently and has someone interested in our property. It tries to look personally hand-written but fails which is quite funny – for one thing the phone number is actually missing a digit, ha ha. One day I hope to catch them posting it (although I have better things to do with my time) and be able to make them jump by quickly opening the door to hand/throw it back to them. We’ve had a For Sale sign up and I’ve seen them drive up, post to us, then drive off, so they are targeting the properties on the market with other agents which really gets me too.

    Our house has been on the market for a while and they’ve been getting more desperate for our business as time goes on, now we are subjected to weekly phone calls and even more magazine posts. To start with last year I had been perfectly polite but very firmly stated I do not wish them to contact us again. Increasingly my tone has become more impatient and last week I got annoyed, I was ill and they caught me at a bad time so I angrily reiterated not to phone us again and take our number out of their system. Today they phoned AGAIN but I was ready for them. I greeted the guy cheerfully and then convincingly said “oh, can you hang on a minute, someone is at the door”. I plonked the phone down and left it for 10 minutes… at some stage he hung up. Next time I will be devising a way of keeping him on the phone longer, I shall treat it like a game and my husband is happy to play it too! Hopefully if enough people employ these tactics it will help stop the calls and cost them a lot of money meanwhile.

    I know what I think the F in the circle stands for!!!!!

    P.S. After writing this last week they actually phoned again first thing Monday morning, fantastic! This time Tim answered the phone to Tom in the Guildford office. He immediately said they needed to speak to me and could he hold the line. He then returned to update him every few minutes on the totally fictitious person I was dealing with on the doorstep. Finally (after about 15 minutes – amazingly Tom hadn’t caught on by then!) he quite politely told him that we’d just wasted his time like they have been wasting ours and could they stop phoning or we’ll have to take further measures… watch this space to see if it worked.

10 Responses

WP_Floristica
  • Homes in Guildford Says:

    Foxtons have really built a bad reputation! One thing to do next time is use as many estate agents as you can and compare what each says or does then you will be well informed and therefore make a better decision, so that estate agents like Foxtons don’t trick you or waste your time.

    Have they contacted you again?!

  • sue Says:

    Apparently it did work! No, Foxtons have not contacted us (or put anything through our door) since that last phone call mid June. They must have finally got the message.

  • Diane Says:

    Foxtons is a nightmare. They asked me to sign a document “but not date it, they would fill it in after I signed it.” Their listing agent threatened me if I did not drop the price $90,000 in less than 3 months. They are horrible.

  • David Walker Says:

    I am in South East London and decided to use Foxtons, what a nightmare. They grossly over valued my flat and of course the sale fell through. That was 2 weeks ago and now they are supposedly bringing someone else round to view, as in to start the process all over again. What the hell are they playing at…. I think I will just stay where I am after all this.

  • Michele Says:

    I’ve just seen a Foxton’s sign outside a house at the road at the end of mine. I was interested in seeing what they were valuing it at as it had previously been on with a couple of agents and (in my opinion) had been overvalued. Foxton’s have it on for much more, way above the ceiling for propoerties in this part of south east London. They have also blatantly lied and said it is in West Dulwich and it’s NOWHERE NEAR West Dulwich. They have also said it is a quiet residential road whilst anyone who knows the area will know the road as a rush hour cut through road. What astounds me though is not their amoral practices but the fact that the people trying to sell the house have gone along with these lies when it is so clearly overvalued. Foxton’s and estate agents like them would be out of business if people didn’t allow them to act like this. I feel very sorry for you, David, but how did you know they had overvalued your property? Maybe try and sell privately.

  • anne Says:

    my two housemates and had an offer accepted for a flat and four days later (four days before we moved in) they told us the landlord had accepted a different offer leaving us in teh lurch. we had signed everything, paid everything! NEVER use foxtons!!!

  • Jen Says:

    We were left without hot water on numerous occasions and an extractor fan in our combined kitchen/ living room that never worked – despite notifying them about it in the first week of the tenancy.

    They are now charging us £200 for a mark in the kitchen left by the kettle, that if the extractor fan had been working – would never have happened.

    Calls/ e-mails and letters are never returned and your agent is always on the phone.

    They’re all about 15 years old with no experience and no morals…

    How they sleep at night I have no idea…

    Please, please, please boycott!

  • Watcyn Youd Says:

    CLASS WAR PRESS RELEASE:

    Picket Foxtons: Islington Branch, 3 pm March 3rd:

    Monday March 3rd at 3pm sees Class War’s picket of Foxtons in Islington, in a demonstration against the greatest con-men of our time – estate agents.

    We’ve been ripped off by them, and are sick of them driving up house prices in our part of town.

    So come along and tell one of the worst of the lot, Foxtons, what you think of them.

    Foxtons Islington branch at 355 Upper Street will be picketed from 3pm – 7pm on Monday 3rd March.

    There is however a lot that can be done before then (and afterwards!) – and not just towards Foxtons. Many estate agents routinely break the law by placing advertising signs without permission on council property, and sometimes on private property. One very simple way to fight back against the damage estate agents are doing to our communities is simply to take these signs down where ever you find them. Don’t let them advertise – illegally – over-priced properties in your community.

    Take these signs down, and return them to the estate agents concerned – the bigger this campaign gets, the better it gets for us, and the worse it gets for the likes of Foxtons.

    Lets get busy!

    NOTES:

    The BBC TV Whistleblower programme found agents putting forward false offers, faking landlords’ signatures and falsifying documents to inflate property prices.

    Foxtons are here to drive up house prices, it’s their avowed intent: their founder Jon Hunt, who sold up last year and pocketed £370 million, liked to talk of ‘going to war’ for his sellers. Foxtons takes a bigger commission than any other agent to flog each house which it justifies by promising to wring from a buyer the highest possible price.

    QUOTES:

    “Some of the people I hate most in the world are estate agents. I hate generalisations, but all estate agents are slimy, money obsessed, lying idiots, who went to public school, but still didn’t get any A levels and so have to do an essentially unnecessary job for too much money. It’s not a generalisation. Show me one estate agent who isn’t like that and I will show you an estate agent who has lied to you to convince you that he isn’t like that and has thus confirmed just exactly how much he is like that in reality.” Richard Herring

    “For those of you who don’t live in London and have no intention of ever living in London: well, lucky you. Lucky you for not having to put up with……extortionate house prices, but mostly lucky you for not having to put up with Foxtons, the people who sell those houses for extortionate prices.” Bryony Gordon

    Tel: 07986 041 207
    Email: londoncwf@yahoo.co.uk
    http://www.classwaruk.org/
    http://www.myspace.com/fkfoxtons

  • Reece Says:

    I enjoyed reading your tactics of how you got them back at there own game! I am glad your persistance paid off! Im sure if you would not of taken control and been so firm that they would still be pursuing you to this day!

  • Sensible Says:

    To be fair, it’s not just Foxtons and they are not all public school educated (sorry but whoever wrote that comment, sounds like you have a bit of a chip!!). Look, all estate agents are irritating liars, they are all the same, been dealing with them for years, at the right price for your flat\house you will get a buyer but most places in the UK are grossly overpriced, hence the mess we are in. If you don’t want to use them,you can always sell your own property or just grin and bear it until they find you a buyer, just for God’s sake get the price right, if you haven’t got the right price, don’t be greedy or let them overvalue it or it will be sitting around for ages and eventually that puts people off anyway. You’ll know within two to three weeks of putting it on, if the price is to high as you’ll have very few viewings, then take the price down to reality and it’ll sell.