New Customer Service Standard to be simpler, more flexible, and involve more support from Tarion
TORONTO – Tarion is making significant enhancements to its new home warranty program with a new Customer Service Standard (CSS) which will improve the warranty process and create a more transparent, fair, and accountable new home warranty and protection program for homeowners.
“Our goal is to provide people buying new homes with the best new home warranty protection program in the country and make it clear Tarion is here to support them in one of life’s biggest purchases,” said Peter Balasubramanian, President and CEO of Tarion. “The new Customer Service Standard was created following numerous consultations, fixing some of the biggest issues we heard from stakeholders and consumers. The new warranty process will increase flexibility for homeowners, make it easier for homeowners to ask for Tarion’s assistance, and leverage Tarion’s MyHome portal to make the warranty process simpler for consumers.”
The Customer Service Standard is the key process for how warranty claims are handled and how homeowners can seek assistance from Tarion.
Following the implementation of interim measures in September 2020, and multiple public consultations in 2020, 2021, and 2022 to solicit feedback on proposed changes, Tarion has now made regulatory changes to improve the Customer Service Standard, effective July 1, 2023, by:
- Creating a new requirement that Tarion must schedule a conciliation inspection within 15 days of the request being made and make changes to the current timeline requirements for conducting the conciliation inspection and issuing the conciliation assessment report.
To ensure a smooth transition process, the following changes will take effect for people who have a date of possession on or after May 1, 2024:
- Extending the initial homeowner submission period by 10 days (now 40 days).
- Making the interim 10-day grace period at the end of the first-year warranty period permanent.
- Creating a mid-year submission at six months.
- Allowing homeowners to add items to a running list of potential defects at any time during the first-year warranty period.
- Expanding when homeowners can ask for a conciliation inspection during the first-year warranty period by removing the 30-day timeline for a homeowner to request a conciliation and instead allowing them to request a conciliation for each submission from the time it is submitted up until the next submission date.
The CSS is supported by a digital portal offered by Tarion called MyHome that helps homeowners make and keep track of warranty service claims. It also provides a platform to help homeowners, builders, and Tarion communicate about warranty matters.
The Customer Service Standard provides structure and allows for the efficient scheduling of trades and repair appointments for finishing and cosmetic items in the home, such as paint issues or surface defects. For more serious issues, including those that could impact health or safety, Tarion has a separate process to shorten timelines and deal with these emergencies when they arise.
“Ontarians purchasing new homes will soon be able to benefit from Tarion’s improved warranty processes that will better protect them and make it easier to navigate warranty issues,” said Kaleed Rasheed, Minister of Public and Business Service Delivery. “By leveraging digital technology like MyHome, homeowners with warranty claims will have the peace of mind that they can get quicker and better services to make their lives easier.”
These improvements build on previous changes made by Tarion, such as launching a new homeowner e-learning hub, creating a simple and cost-effective mediation process for homeowners, and increasing the warranty compensation limits for freehold homes, condominium common elements, and hazardous substances.
Tarion is making these changes and creating a stronger new home warranty and protection program to protect all Ontarians and increase consumer confidence when making one of their most important purchases, a new home.
For more information on these new measures, please visit Tarion.com.
Tarion is the independent non-profit organization that administers the Ontario New Home Warranties Plan Act. Tarion provides education, warranty support and dispute resolution services to Ontario’s new home buyers and builders, and has been providing consumer protection to Ontarians since 1976.
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