07 September 2018
Absolutely appallingly bad service. Avoid Widdows Pilling at all costs.
Widdows Pilling were guilty of gross incompetence and negligence when dealing with a house that we wished to purchase.
It was only 3 days before completion that they realised that the Title Deeds to the house did not actually exist. The first step in any conveyancing is for the seller's solicitor to ensure that the seller has the legal right to sell the property. The second step is for the buyer's solicitor (in this case Widdows Pilling) to assure themselves that the first step has been completed. Without this simple process anyone could sell any house to someone else, whether they owned it or not.
As it transpired there should be 2 sets of deeds for the house we wished to buy. One for the house and one for a separate section of garden. Widdows Pilling failed to realise this, having only got the deeds for the garden. They proceeded on that basis, having not checked with us what we thought we were buying.
We were only saved from paying in excess of £335,000 and buying only a small section of garden, by our useless solicitor going off sick. (Widdows Pilling have since shared with us intimate details of that solicitors illness & reasons for being absent from work!)
Another solicitor took over the case and he did spot the fairly obvious, glaring problem that he didn't have any deeds to sell to us.
They now claim that they have not been grossly incompetent or negligent as they spotted the problem before completion. 3 days before completion, rather than 3 months before!
Their next move was to sack us, rather than to apologise and to try to put their own errors right. Their attitude since has been dismissive and defensive, as if they have done no wrong at all.
The Complaints Officer for Widdows Pilling, a Mr Parker, did "investigate" our complaint. To no-one's surprise he found that the firm that he works for did no wrong.
He then demanded that we sign a cover-all form to allow him to disclose our confidential information in order to respond to reviews elsewhere on the internet. Why he wished to do this we don't know. Nor did he say what confidential information he would have to make public. He has been able to respond to the reviews without our signing away all of our information.
Solicitors do have, due to their privileged position, a wealth of information on clients. They surely can't just ask you to sign away all of that client confidentiality. Widdows Pilling felt able to do this though!
I stand by the fair comment that Widdows Pilling were negligent and incompetent. Not to realise that the deeds to this house didn't actually exist is fairly negligent and incompetent in my view. How else do they determine that the seller has the legal right to sell a house? Because he says that he has the right? Seriously?