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Exclusive: four more complaints about Purplebricks filed to watchdog

Estate Agent Today has been told that there are four more complaints filed to the Advertising Standards Authority about hybrid agency Purplebricks - but they are awaiting assessment and it is not yet known whether they will result in investigations.

The estate agency has been the subject of a number of complaints and judgements involving the ASA over the past two years, including two in the past fortnight.

Two weeks ago a complaint made by defunct trade group CIELA was upheld, obliging Purplebricks to change wording in two specific advertisements used on TV, in the cinema and online.

Last week Purplebricks proved victorious in a separate ASA judgement dismissing complaints about the ‘localness’ and expertise of its Local Property Experts.

Now EAT has been told by an authority spokeswoman: “I can confirm we have four complaints regarding Purplebricks that are still being assessed to determine whether further action is required but there are no current investigations.”

No timescale has been released as to when those complaints will be assessed; some complaints filed to the ASA take months to be concluded if they trigger an investigation.

The ASA receives many complaints that do not ‘make the cut’ to be investigated because they are inaccurate or unreasonable, or because they cover issues already dealt with, or because they are considered too minor to merit investigation.

The latter category often produces ‘informally resolved’ results when the ASA speaks with the advertiser to quickly and informally settle the issue, perhaps by withdrawing an advertisement or changing wording on a website.

A more thorough investigation, especially if disputed by the advertiser, may result in a formal investigation and judgement. 

The ASA has also quelled speculation that its judgement delivered last Wednesday and reported here - clearing Purplebricks of any breach of advertising codes following four complaints, including one by an estate agent - in some way required additional clarification because it had been delivered earlier than expected.

The ASA spokeswoman told Estate Agent Today the investigation was complete and there would be no further comment on the judgement.

  • Simon shinerock

    I think their pricing proposition is starting to unravel because if you are going to include price comparisons they should be balanced and fair. In order to clear this bar PB would need to publish its success rate, so if it’s average total fee was say £1000 and if it sells say 25% of the properties it takes on then the true comparison with a no sale no fee agent would be £4000. In addition it would need to state the average price it sold for, say £200K and the average no sale no fee commission the vendor would have paid, say £2000. So, on this basis maybe traditional agents should collectively pay for an ad campaign claiming PB is twice as expensive as the High St

  • icon

    Purplebricks and the ASA in the same sentence again! Are people finally getting wise? We all need to get behind the AllAgents review site and help them to Crowdfund against Purplebricks corporate bullying. Ahhhh CONmisery!!

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