Two women in Richmond’s Fox Run community are upset after they were informed they would not be receiving referral money once promised to them by their home builder.
One woman approached the Manotick Messenger and agreed to provide details if her name was withheld from the story to avoid conflicts within the neighbourhood.
“We were part of the first wave of families to move into the Fox Run community,” she said. “After we moved in, I took a friend to look at the model homes. We were told about Caivan’s referral program, where we would each receive $1,000 if she purchased and closed on a home.”
Her friend ended up buying a house and moved from Barrhaven into her new home in Richmond when it was completed in July, 2022.
The woman said that they were told on multiple occasions by the sales team at Caivan that they would be receiving the referral payment shortly.
“In January 2023, the salesperson told us we would be paid soon, and that we might have to come in to fill out another form.,” the woman said. “They told us the delay was because of the relocation of Caivan’s head office.”
Last month, however, they received an email from Caivan telling them that the referral program was over, and that they would not be receiving any money.
“I was surprised because the program was active at the time the purchase was made,” the woman said. “If the referral program was recently discontinued, it shouldn’t matter.”
The woman said she contacted Caivan and was told that there was no record of her referral in their system.
“I have a text from the salesperson we dealt with at the time, stating that she uploaded the signed document into their system,” she said. “I was never given a hard copy, and when I asked her, she said they did not give out hard copies to homeowners. The salesperson no longer works for Caivan. If they are not able to find the original uploaded document, that is not our fault. Because they can’t find it, my friend and I are both out $1,000.”
Caivan was contacted by the Manotick Messenger and responded with a statement.
“At Caivan, we greatly value our customers and have consistently honoured our referral program for all those eligible. These programs are validated by our experienced sales staff, who inform customers of the process, including the requirement for a fully executed referral form at time of sale, to ensure transparency and fairness.”
When contacted to follow-up, Caivan did not respond.
“Obviously, they are not going to make good on the referral money, even though they told us just a few months ago they would,” she said. “There is no point in taking them to court because it would cost more than $1,000, and they are a big company with access to expensive lawyers.”
The woman added that the refusal to pay the referral is not consistent with her experiences with Caivan leading up to this.
“We love our house and we love our neighbourhood and the community,” she said. “We have never had anything but great things to say about our dealings with Caivan. But a $1,000 referral fee on homes that we paid more than a half million dollars for feels like they are nickel and diming us. It’s not like we will go broke without the money, but still, it’s a thousand dollars. With interest rates going up and the cost of living going up, it could help us out.”
She added that she does not know what her next move will be.
“The entire back-and-forth with them has caused a lot of stress,” she said. “I am dealing with a husband going through cancer treatments and we have a lot going on in our lives. I don’t have the energy to deal with them. The whole experience has been very frustrating and disappointing. At some point, constantly chasing a thousand dollars no longer seems worth it.”