The troubled Emoov hybrid estate agency, currently up for sale, has removed an advertisement after a complaint to a watchdog over the clarity of its charges.
The Advertising Standards Authority had received a complaint about an Emoov poster which concerned fees; according to the ASA the reference to fees excluded those applying to properties within the M25.
“A complainant challenged whether the qualification was sufficiently clear. The advertiser removed the ad” says the ASA, which classified the issue as having been informally resolved.
This is just the latest brush that Emoov has had with the ASA.
In September the agency agreed to change the wording of a Google search advertisement after a complaint was made about the wording: "save thousands with eMoov".
The wording was challenged as to whether this was misleading and could be substantiated, and after consultation between the agency and the ASA, Emoov confirmed it would make changes to the advert.
And in March this year Emoov agreed to amend its website following ASA intervention.
On that occasion the agency’s site included claims such as “Our activity around Scunthorpe…£2,672 Average Customer Saving” and “Our sellers saved an average of £4,378 in fees with Emoov…”
There were also two different fixed fees listed on the site – one claimed the fixed fee was £795 while the other said it was £679.
A complainant contacted the authority and challenged whether these two saving claims could be substantiated and whether the two different quoted fixed fees were misleading. The agency amended its website as a result.
Aside from Emoov, there have been several other informally-resolved complaints this week about agents and property sales.
References to property listings and fees on the website of Harrisons Property were also the subject of a complaint alleging they were misleading.
“The advertiser gave an assurance that they would amend their rental property listings so that all non-optional fees that can b calculated in advance and any fees which cannot be calculated in advance are provided on the landing page via a clear link, and that they would explain how these fees are calculated” says the ASA.
Choices Estate Agent was also the subject of a complaint regarding the listing for a property with permission to build an office, workshop and garage.
An ASA spokesman says: “A complainant challenged whether the ads was misleading as they believed the local planning authority hadn’t granted permission to rent it out commercially as either a workshop or as garages. The advertiser took down the listing.”
On top of that there was a complaint, too, about a description in advertisements by developer Galliard Homes for a scheme it is constructing in south west London.
The complaints related to the claims in the advertisement such as ‘plenty of restaurants in the immediate vicinity’, ‘Wimbledon Common is on your doorstep’, and ‘transport connections by underground and overground are excellent’.
The complainants stated that all the images in the advertisement were of Wimbledon Village and Wimbledon Common - but there are some distance from the development.
“The advertiser agreed to amend the ad’s claims to more accurately represent the location, eg Wimbledon Common is ‘a little over a 10 minute drive away’.
This was classified, like all the other complaints, as being informally resolved.