Toronto, ON December 17, 2015 – As part of its ongoing public interest and consumer protection commitment, including improved dispute resolution practices, Tarion hired Ms. Genevieve Chornenki, an independent, third party dispute resolution expert, to review its processes. The results of this review have now been received. They include an assessment of Tarion’s current processes, as well as recommendations for improvement.
This review was initiated by Tarion and Ms. Chornenki was provided full and unfettered access to Tarion’s business including its records and staff. Tarion’s purpose in commissioning this review was to better understand its warranty claim processes from a homeowner’s perspective and to obtain recommendations for improvement.
“Tarion is committed to following best practices in all facets of warranty administration including dispute resolution. We commissioned this external review to provide us with an outside perspective that will help improve our processes and deliver a better experience for Ontario homeowners,” said Howard Bogach, President and CEO of Tarion.
There are more than 365,000 Ontario homes currently enrolled in the new home warranty program. Most of these homes have no warranty issues or claims. Of those that do, the vast majority of warranty claims are resolved amicably by homeowners and builders before they reach the higher rungs of Tarion’s dispute resolution process. The review found that Tarion has a clear and ongoing commitment to customer service at all stages of contested claims. It also identified that Tarion’s process are not captured by any systemic bias.
“I am pleased that an external expert has recognized Tarion as an ‘open, values-based organization with a commitment to continual improvement,’ and that we have ‘a customer-service oriented culture at Tarion that works to understand and serve its constituents better,’” says Bogach. “I am confident that the strategies recommended will allow us to better communicate with homeowners, and make the warranty claims process more accessible and understandable.”
The report offers a number of suggestions for improvement, including improved communication methods with homeowners and builders, dispute resolution training and the hiring of third party consultants. None of the recommendations involve disrupting Tarion’s operation or dismantling what Tarion has developed to date. In addition to Ms. Chornenki’s report, on November 5, 2015, the Minister of Government and Consumer Services, David Orazietti, announced an independent review of Tarion and the Ontario New Home Warranties Plan Act. The review will be conducted by the Honourable J. Douglas Cunningham with a report expected in June 2016. The Terms of Reference for this review also contain a focus on Tarion’s dispute resolution processes.
Tarion remains committed to working with the Ministry and looks forward to receiving Justice Cunningham’s recommendations when his review is completed.
An overview of Ms. Chornenki’s report and its recommendations has been posted on Tarion.com and can be accessed by clicking here.
Tarion is a private, not-for-profit corporation that protects the rights of new home buyers and regulates new home builders. Tarion administers the Ontario New Home Warranties Plan Act, which outlines the warranty protection that Ontario’s new home buyers are entitled to. Tarion also assists in resolving warranty claims and backstops the statutory warranty obligations of builders.
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