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TODAY'S OTHER NEWS

Another online agency asked to amend website after complaint

YOPA, the online agency that recently had an extensive TV campaign, has amended the content of its website following a complaint to a watchdog about the amount customers allegedly saved.

The Advertising Standards Authority received a complaint over the online calculator on the website of YOPA, which in the spring won financial backing from high-end estate agency Savills

The ASA says the calculator aimed to calculate the ‘savings’ customers would make by using YOPA instead of a high street agency charging a notional two per cent commission.

“By way of example, when the calculator was set to £250,000 purchase price and two per cent fees, it stated the saving would be £5,200” a spokeswoman for the ASA told Estate Agent Today.

However, the complainant challenged whether the ad was misleading, because they believed the figures given in the online calculator were incorrect.

“We contacted the advertiser who explained that the fees in the calculator were exclusive of VAT because they understood that high street agents charged VAT on top of their fees. YOPA on the other hand charged £780 including VAT” said the spokeswoman. 

“They amended the ad to make that clear and, once VAT was taken into account, the figures quoted by the calculator added up. As no further action was required, we considered the matter informally resolved” she said.

In a separate judgement from the ASA, there was also informal resolution of a dispute over an online advertisement by Springfield Properties for a number of developments in Glasgow which showed a Help to Buy scheme logo in the corner of the photo of a property. 

The complainant challenged whether the ad was misleading as the property was not available with Help to Buy. 

“We contacted the advertiser who agreed it was not clear in relation to what plots might be available for Help to Buy. They agreed to amend their website to make clear which plots were and which plots weren’t. Based on their assurance to amend the ad, we closed the case informally” said the ASA.

  • Trevor Mealham

    Pointless. On their website fees page it shows the calculator still at 2% + VAT.

    And they also say on the same page:
    Hg St/Traditionals: Charge a percentage of the property's sale price which, according to Which?, can be as high as 3.5%

    Surely the ASA should check everything follows through.

  • icon

    It is alleged that Savills may charge 3.5% but I am not sure.

  • Trevor Mealham

    Even if they do Hafsid, its hardly an average.

    Average in a persons postcode or at least agents in neighbouring postcodes should be a more realistic bench mark.

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