The Advertising Standards Authority has confirmed to Estate Agent Today that it is still investigating a complaint lodged against Purplebricks by the elusive Charter for Independent Estate and Letting Agents.
CIELA - which is yet to formally launch as a group - first submitted the complaint to the ASA back in April and was told shortly afterwards that the investigations would take some time.
CIELA has given few public details of the complaint but in May released a statement saying that: “Our complaint contained five points. The ASA accepted to review four of these points, and has decided to escalate two of them for further investigation. The other two points had been raised already by other complainants and were already being investigated."
At the time CIELA described the two points being investigated further as “most injurious to agents and to the public.”
The ASA has now confirmed to Estate Agent Today that it is still investigating the complaint, some five months after receiving it, but no timescale has been given for the conclusion and any decisions following the probe.
Meanwhile CIELA itself appears to have gone to ground.
There has been no response to emails from EAT.
In a video interview with EAT editor Graham Norwood in July, software businessman Wright said that - contrary to the organisation's own suggestion some weeks earlier - it looked likely that enough agents would have joined up to make CIELA work.
At the time Wright said: “In the last couple of weeks [membership] has picked up. The number of registrations of people joining - becoming paying members - has started to increase. It’s certainly given me the feeling that we’re on track to be able to launch in October. If it stalls again then we won’t be able to launch but if it continues on this current trajectory, I think we will.”
At that time Wright refused to say how many agents had signed up to the group, claiming the issue was “irrelevant” because it does not necessarily reflect the level of support which exists for the organisation within the industry.
The CIELA website appears not to have been updated for around two months.