Tepilo, the online agency set up by Sarah Beeny, has come out fighting after The Times newspaper accused it of ‘hiding’ bad reviews it received on Trustpilot.
Andrew Ellson, consumer affairs correspondent of the paper, wrote yesterday that Tepilo featured “20 glowing reviews from previous customers chosen from the independent website Trustpilot.com” with each review giving the online agency a maximum five stars.
However, looking at Trustpilot directly, Ellson claimed a quarter of the most recent 20 reviews of Tepilo gave it only one star with many citing a lack of communications and poor customer service.
Trustpilot gave Tepilo an overall score of 7.2 out of 10 based on 191 reviews up to the time of the newspaper’s analysis.
Now a spokeswoman from Tepilo has told Estate Agent Today that it is not unfair to cherry-pick the best reviews.
"Our five-star reviews are displayed on a web page clearly labelled as testimonials. As is the nature of testimonials, these reviews represent the strongest positive comments about the business that we've had in the course of selling hundreds of houses already this year, saving each of our customers thousands of pounds in fees. We also clearly link to the full set of reviews on Trustpilot for anyone to see. Three-quarters of our reviews are four star and above.
“Whilst Trustpilot give our site a rating of ‘great’ we would love it to be better, and are working hard in our rapidly growing business to continue to improve our customer experience which we have every confidence will be reflected in future reviews. We value all of our reviews and respond to all, investigating and resolving anywhere our customers tell us we have fallen short of our own high expectations."
However, The Times story itself may well be guilty of one inaccuracy at least - it says at the end that almost one in five properties is now sold by online estate agencies.
The most recent estimate seen by Estate Agent Today is around five per cent.