Estate Agent Today has been told that the website AllAgents has been holding peace talks with Purplebricks over its dispute about the legitimacy of some reviews.
A spokesman for AllAgents’ director Martin McKenzie told EAT: “A meeting has taken place in Glasgow with Purplebricks which Martin McKenzie regards as 'encouraging ' in resolving this ongoing dispute amicably”.
The meeting follows a high-profile spat between the website and the hybrid agency.
On September 18 AllAgents, for the first time ever, suspended an account - that of Purplebricks - removing around 100 reviews of the agency.
At the time it said it had dropped the reviews following “repeated threats of legal action forcing the removal of negative reviews from our website”. Purplebricks disputed the accuracy of at least some of the reviews, which produced a very different picture of the agency than that which comes across from its reviews on the Trustpilot site.
After a series of ill-tempered statements from AllAgents and Purplebricks, the former launched a crowdfunding appeal for £50,000. It titled this: “Help us raise £50,000 legal fund to stop Purplebricks from suppressing customers reviews on our website.”
Meanwhile Purplebricks has claimed that it has repeatedly asked for information from AllAgents to prove the authenticity, or otherwise, of the reviews.
Today marks the half-way point in the crowdfunding campaign, with 20 days of fund-raising remaining; so far under £15,000 has been raised, equivalent to only 30 per cent of the total required to wage a legal fight if Purplebricks takes action.
AllAgents has told EAT that it is pleased with progress so far, saying: “[AllAgents] are encouraged by the support and verbal pledges still to come in and are confident now that they will hit their target.”
The crowdfunding only takes donations from supporters if the full £50,000 target has been hit - and. presumably, if the peace talks do not succeed.