The website AllAgents has failed in its bid to raise the £50,000 it says it requires to pay for a defence against possible legal action by Purplebricks.
This is despite a short extension to its crowdfunding deadline yesterday when, for a period, it looked as if the target may be met.
When the extended deadline was finally hit at one minute to midnight last evening, the total raised was £45,380 from 197 supporters.
AllAgents has so far made no comment on what it intends to do; it previously announced that if the £50,000 was raised, it would reinstate some or all of the 71 reviews about Purplebricks which had been removed in September when the service suspended the agency’s account.
The dispute between the two companies revolves around AllAgents’ claim that the reviews can be verified and are accurate; Purplebricks disputes that claim, at least with regard to some reviews.
Some two months ago AllAgents announced it had received “repeated threats of legal action” from Purplebricks over the issue; meanwhile Purplebricks claimed it had repeatedly asked for information from AllAgents to prove the authenticity, or otherwise, of the reviews.
The tone and ratings on the AllAgents reviews of Purplebricks appeared to be strikingly different from those from customers of the agency on general review website Trustpilot.
After a series of ill-tempered statements from both sides AllAgents launched the crowdfunding appeal under the title “Help us raise £50,000 legal fund to stop Purplebricks from suppressing customers reviews on our website.”
Earlier this month it emerged that both sides had engaged in talks in Scotland; last week AllAgents told Estate Agent Today that Purplebricks’ chief executive Michael Bruce was personally involved in the negotiations.
However, no word has been heard as to the success - or otherwise - of the talks.