An online estate agency run by one of the country’s youngest entrepreneurs has agreed to change a reference about savings on its website, following the intervention of the Advertising Standards Authority.
The website of Doorsteps - run by Akshay Ruparelia, who was only 18 when he founded the company two years ago - carried a statement saying: "With Doorsteps you can sell your house for less than a hundred pounds, without leaving your home. An honest, transparent and hassle free way for you to sell your property, with a great level of service at a fantastic price".
Small print on the website stated: "Based on a direct comparison of like for like services, provided by the current average High street Agent fee of 1.3% (inc VAT) compared to the current fixed fee charged by Doorsteps of £99 inc VAT.”
However, the ASA received a complaint from the National Trading Standards Estate Agency Team, based at Powys county council, challenging whether the comparative claims were misleading and could be substantiated.
After receiving the complaint the ASA contacted Upside Capital Ltd, which trades as Doorsteps.
The firm “gave their assurance that they would amend their ad so that it stated any material differences between Doorsteps’ services or packages and those offered by ‘the average high street agent’ that they were being compared with” says a spokesman for the ASA.
The case was categorised as being informally resolved and no further action has been taken against the agency.
There are two other informally-resolved cases involving agency business this week.
In the first, Collins & Wise Property Management had an advertisement on Zoopla, but a complainant challenged whether it was misleading because the claim to be a member of The Property Ombudsman scheme was incorrect.
The ad was updated to remove reference to TPO.
In the second, Haylo Housing had taken out a paid-for Facebook advertisement saying three and four bedroom homes were available for sale, and featuring an image of two properties.
A complainant challenged whether the ad was misleading as it featured an image of their own property which had been used without their permission and they understood the properties featured in the image were not available for sale.
The advertiser agreed to remove the image of the properties from its marketing communications.