Advertising watchdog throws out complaint that allAgents solicits ‘bad reviews’ of Purplebricks

The Advertising Standards Authority has rejected a complaint regarding negative Purplebricks reviews on allAgents.

The unnamed complainant alleged that allAgents was soliciting negative reviews for just one estate agent, and their challenge included tweets relating to negative Purplebricks remarks.

The complainant stated this meant allAgents could not claim to be “independent” in its advertising.

However, allAgents said it managed to prove to the ASA it searches Twitter for both positive and negative comments about a large range of estate agents, including Countrywide, Connells and EweMove.

Martin McKenzie of allAgents said: “We approach people who tweet both positive and negative comments on any estate agent, and encourage them to leave a review on our site.

“It’s a major marketing tool for us.

“We’re proud of our independence.We have no commercial arrangements with estate agents for the reviews section of our site, and this shall remain the case.

“We’re delighted the ASA rejected the complaint.”

A spokesperson for allAgents told EYE: “allAgents sent a preliminary response, backed up by evidence, to the ASA in order to demonstrate that this complaint had been based on a misunderstanding.

“On the basis of this response, the ASA confirmed that they were satisfied that there was no need to investigate the complaint further at this time and they agreed to close their case file. The complaint was, therefore, withdrawn in its entirety.”

Purplebricks declined to comment.

It has been at odds with allAgents over reviews on the allAgents site, claiming that many are either fake or cannot be authenticated. allAgents took down all the Purplebricks reviews at one point, saying it had received legal threats from Purplebricks, but has since reinstated them.

However, Purplebricks has this week announced achieving over 40,000 reviews in the UK on Trustpilot with an average score of 9.6.

Yesterday afternoon, on the first page of Trustpilot reviews for Purplebricks, we found the large majority – 13 out of 16 – were five stars, praising the service and recommending their Local Property Experts.

A four-star review also praised the service but said the website should show costs more transparently, “with having to use your solicitor”.

One review gave two stars, complaining Purplebricks were “only interested in getting you signed up”.

The remaining review gave one star. By yesterday evening, we found the four-star review had been verified; the two- and one-star reviews had not been verified but were still displaying.

According to Trustpilot, 89% of reviewers have given an excellent rating, 7% have given a ‘great rating’, 1% an average rating, 1% a poor rating and 2% a bad rating.

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60 Comments

  1. dompritch134

     

     Awful firm Allagents are.

    The one positive from this will be that it should keep AA in check with their soliciting for negative reviews

    Report
    1. ArthurHouse02

      I think AllAgents are actually a fairly pleasant company to deal with, the problem (as with all other review sites) is liaising with them when you feel you have been wronged is a little difficult, though certainly not impossible.

      Report
      1. dompritch134

        Martin McKenzie, of allAgents, told Eye: “We have introduced a new advertising option that allows agents to list themselves in other areas and postcodes out-with their postal branch location.

        Yet he states ‘We’re proud of our independence.We have no commercial arrangements with estate agents for the reviews section of our site, and this shall remain the case

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    2. Property Paddy

      I’ve lost faith in trustpilot as a fair and transparent company. This is just my personal view but I wont be using them to review my company.

      Whereas I like the google review system.

      Report
      1. DonShore93

        Agreed PP. Why would a business choose a reviews site over Google? Certainly not on the basis or credibility or visibility, that’s for sure.

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        1. PeeBee

          How’s about you ask your #PurplePals that very question, dom-boy.

          Oh – ask them about FeeFoo while you’re on.

          And Fi

          And Fum

          The FIRST review on which we can find where, exactly…?

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    3. PeeBee

      dom-boy

      A week or so ago on Tw@tter you were having a proper hissy on the basis that your #Fanboy fave company had received a 1-star review from a customer by the name of ‘Reklaw’.  You were chucking accusations around left, right and centre that it was a “Sham” review posted by an Agent.  You even named the Agent in your Tweets.

      Your ‘evidence’ – none other than the name stated on the review.  SIX LETTERS that supposedly allow you to point the finger.

      There are DOZENS (if not hundreds) of people on Twitter alone who have ‘Reklaw’ as part of their posting name.  Goodness knows how many in other types of social media.  H£ll – in school we ALL used our surnames in some form or other as a nickname.

      I’ve been PeeBee since I can remember.  An old friend and colleague that I haven’t worked with for fifteen years – and only see or speak to once in a blue moon these days – still calls me by it.

      SO… you made a complete horses’ @$$ of yourself, dom-boy – and not for the first time either.

      But hey – let’s play your way – come down to your level.

      Okay – here’s the Yang to your Yin.

      In the last 72 hours there have been two 5-star reviews posted by people with the surname ‘Pritchard’.

      Does this mean your are creating multiple bogus accounts on @trustpilot to boost the #Numbers_Gamre for your PurplePals – or do we instead read that you’ve drafted members of your extended family into your frankly worrying obsession with a company with which you’ve supposedly only flipped a property and traded a few shares in?

      You can’t have it both ways, dom-boy!

      Time to scuttle off now – any good that your presence was thought to do has died an excruciating death.  The line where you became an embarrassment to those you somehow think you’re doing favours for was crossed some time ago – you’ve just been too busy pratting about and worsening the situation to notice.

      Better I tell you than them.  I don’t think you could handle the #Purple_Pain of rejection.

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      1. Property Pundit

        Dom is so astronomically intelligent that yesterday he posted a screenshot of a PC displaying various shareholdings (presumably his but could have been anybody’s) to prove he held no PB shares. This image has since been deleted. Golden.

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        1. dompritch134

          As you are obviously  a little light on interpretation of a share trade screen, it held no such information of any additional holdings it merely showed a 0 holding in PB.

          So try again my anonymous troll property pundit.

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          1. Property Pundit

            So why delete it genius?

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            1. dompritch134

              Because it holds no relevance, i merely was answering a question i was directly asked, it was not a general post just a reply.

              If you want the screenshot i can provide you a copy, just ask.

              Report
      2. dompritch134

        Hi PeeBee I think  it’s Peter Butler?? 

        Or are you still going to hide behind a picture of a Bee?
         
        I’m glad your buddies call you by your nickname PB hows the 12600 tweets geting along?
        Still enjoying yourself in your endevours?

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        1. Property Pundit

          Oh no! PeeBee has been outed! Quick, let’s find him a safe house. 

          Report
        2. PeeBee

          Which ‘Peter Butler’ do you think I am, dom-boy?

          Seeing as your last ‘outing’ was a complete FUBAR, don’t you fancy going for a double with this latest wild guess?

          Oh – and apparently it’s 12700 now on the Tw@tter front.  Your #fanboy fave company aren’t having a good time at the minute, are they? – what with all these “sham” customers making complaints and all that…

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          1. dompritch134

            The one Robert May outed you as in 2014?

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            1. PeeBee

              Oh.

              THAT ‘Peter Butler’!

              Want some discounted seven-by-tens, dom-boy?

              Strictly for ‘research purposes’, of course.

              Nudge, nudge…

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              1. dompritch134

                I have no idea what you are rambling on about, I do have concerns with your constant off topic nonsense, are you sure you are doing Ok?

                maybe it’s your obsessive behaviour with social media that is causing this?

                perhaps a hobby like golf might help you?

                 

                 

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                1. Robert May

                  He has a hobby, semi professional photographer who specialises in Goths and girls with tats and piercings. Some of the phots have more rivets than the titanic!

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                  1. dompritch134

                    I can return the favour now Peebee or should I say Peter Butler? If that is you on the Linkedin mock Braintree agent thread it is an obvious schoolboy error; hiding in full view

                    Quoting robert may
                      

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                    1. Woodentop

                      Dom what pathetic behaviour. Your behaviour is appauling.

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                    2. htsnom79

                      That’s nothing Woodentop, he linked to a chap who passed away in 2017 and then hastily deleted it, cretin 🙁

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                    3. PeeBee

                      Hey, Woodentop – leave him be.

                      If dom-boy wants to get his digital rocks off by having a go at me, then at least the rest of society is free from the worry of dodging his advances.

                      You’ve gotta give him credit for providing such copious amounts of highly inventive and amusing billshuttery.  Keeps me well entertained.

                      I’m actually amazed at where it all comes from – I can only assume he has someone write his stuff for him.

                      I’m gonna miss him – when he either gives up this make-believe vigilante nonsense as a bad job – or, more likely, is told to STFU by his PurplePals before the damage he’s inflicting upon them with his toxic f*ckwittery (credit: Jonnie) is irreparable.

                      Correction – it’s already too late for the latter.

                       

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                    4. Woodentop

                      Will do, it amazes me that he hasn’t the sense to say nothing when he is looking in the mirror.

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      3. PeeBee

        OOOOHHH, LOOOKEEE – a THIRD “Pritchard” pops up on Trustpilot with a glowing five-star review. 

        In fact – it’s TWO glowing reviews, as this one originally posted one on March 11th but clearly felt a burning desire to double up on the admiration tonight.

        Isn’t this just a little… obvious… dom-boy?

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    4. AgentQ73

      Dompritch I can see why PeeBee is interested in and points out issues with Purplebricks but genuinely interested in why you spend so much time, effort and emotional energy defending them ?

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      1. dompritch134

        Because investors which read industry comments such as this, deserve to have a balanced view, not just the bitter ramblings of obsessive anonymous posters as above.
         

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        1. AgentQ73

          I would be gobsmacked if any investors based their investment decisions on an industry forum such as this ? But i stand to be corrected.

          Do you post on a wide variety of industry forums then ? I would guess hotel forums are just as vitriolic about air BNB, taxi/ private hire about UBER, retailers about amazon, publicans about loss leading beer promotions in supermarkets, local solicitors about conveyancing warehouses etc etc

          Which prompts the question why defend PB in particular ?

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        2. Robert May

          Do you genuinely believe you’re a credible, balanced, independent voice of reason who’s effectively countering the claims made by posters on Eye?

          Being  as objective as I can  as someone who knows the industry in such detail that I was  consultant  data provider to Jefferies on the fact or fiction report, you and Cyberduck generate more negative press for Purplebricks than the posters you describe as bitter and obsessive; Your trolling, aggression and nastiness gives them an excuse to post. Often they’re simply countering your sycophantic posturing.

          I’d be surprised if you are defending Purplebricks for any logical reason, some of the claims made simply aren’t true and you know that. My conclusion is you’re either receiving remuneration or some form of benefit for your constant and repeated aggression on their behalf.

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          1. PeeBee

            Head.  Shot.

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        3. Room101

          A balanced view?

          Like when purple bricks didn’t learn their lesson in shady practices in the UK so for balance they repeated it in Australia.

          https://www.lexology.com/library/detail.aspx?g=ef60253d-427d-407f-94f0-aa28632dce29

           

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  2. ama18

    one one hand they are boasting about their Trustpilot reviews, then on the other complaining because they have no avenue to get the negative ones off Allagents! I think the penny is starting to drop now

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  3. Chris Wood

    I’m just guessing but I have a feeling that one of our two favourite trolls is rather annoyed that they’ve lost a complaint to the ASA. It also appears that investors are also taking a closer look at the claims/ business model and deciding that the hype doesn’t match the price.

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    1. Property Pundit

      Took me two seconds to come to that conclusion as well Chris. Now this really is golden.

      Report
  4. ArthurHouse02

    Some companies just have to accept that they dont provide a perfect service and as such some bad reviews are going to be posted. Over the next year or so i am fairly sure we will see more investigations into the validity of review sites but the goings on at AA and TP has certainly opened peoples eyes as to the possibility that reviews on the likes of TripAdvisor may be subject to abuse

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    1. DonShore93

      The CMA are already onto reviews sites, and those that use them. Their core rules state that anyone must be able to write a review at any time of their choosing – no cherry-picking.
      It’s easy to look good if you just ask your ‘happy’ clients for a review, on whatever platform. Good, but non-compliant.

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  5. Shaun77

    “We have no commercial arrangements with estate agents on the review section of our site”

    Total nonsense. If you search my area for agents you get a load of agents who aren’t local but who obviously are paying customers, hence their inclusion.

    I even remember an article on PIE many years ago talking about a commercial tie in with Emoov meaning they would appear as a local agent in all searches, despite the fact they’re not.

    Why else would Emoov appear in agent searches but not Purplebricks?

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  6. MrLister

    If you actually take time to read PB’s positive reviews it’s clear that there are a hell of a lot of sellers who actually have a very good customer experience. There’s no other agent out there who gets the level of criticism that PB do with the level of glowing reviews they have. Our industry might like to think and say that the PB service is poor but that is certainly not born out in their reviews. Wouldn’t we all love to get the type of testimonials they get day in day out?

    Happy Wednesday.

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    1. ArthurHouse02

      Like with every estate agent i dont doubt there are people both buyers and sellers who have had a positive experience with Purplebricks. On occasions where there is very little to do, you have a great buyer, a clean survey and smooth conveyancing, the vendor is always going to feel they have had a good service. In my experience problems have been encountered where either PB didnt sell the property and the vendor felt it wasnt explained that they still had to pay, or where the sale ran into problems and the PB team didnt have the experience or interest in resolving the issues.

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    2. DonShore93

      Maybe that’s because they ask for the review on appointment (!), not completion! I’m not guessing, just reading the reviews from PB cutomers tells you that.

      Perhaps that’s also why the much-trumpeted move to Feefo hasn’t taken place.

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      1. Property Pundit

        There was a very interesting case that PeeBee highlighted on twitter yesterday. An original 1 star review where it was alleged the valuer hadn’t bothered to turn up had, miraculously, changed to 5 stars seemingly once the lister had appeared. The reviewer was gushing so much about the rep. Point being it was a review about an APPOINTMENT! What use is this to anybody?

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  7. localagent735

    I would love to know all the ”good experiences’ every one in our area who has any dealings with purplepricks haven’t got a good word to say about them.

    you can keep telling yourself that people are happy and no negative reviews but the reality is that they do filter reviews and will sooner or later get found out. the general public are catching on

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  8. Sunbeam175

    AllAgents are far from perfect but at least they are highlighting PurpleBricks for what they really are. The public are slowly getting wise. I was listening to the radio today and they are advertising without the mention that FEES APPLY whether you sell or not. How do they still get away with this misleading advertising?

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  9. DonShore93

    Why, exactly, would any agency want reviews anywhere else but on Google? Increasingly, savvy consumers are asking themselves that same question – so, I ask again, why?

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    1. cyberduck46

      Do Google have a process for verifying authenticity?

       

      This would be pretty important to me if I was a business owner and didn’t want my competitors damaging my reputation with fake reviews.

       

       

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      1. Quags

        No if you were a business owner you’d want Trustpilot to create those fake reviews for you.

        I have a question, yes or no.  Do you believe that the 9.6 score on Trustpilot is genuine?

        ALL other sites Purple***cks don’t even get half that.

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        1. cyberduck46

          >No if you were a business owner you’d want Trustpilot to create those fake reviews for you.
           
          Why do you say that? Do I come across as dishonest?
           
          If I was in business I would want to make sure competitors didn’t leave fake reviews. Before the likes of TP this was what happened.
           
          >Do you believe that the 9.6 score on Trustpilot is genuine?
           
          I imagine there are fake reviews on TrustPilot so no I’d be very suprised if it was 100% genuine. But believeing that there’s some wholesale submission of fake positive reviews doesn’t sit well with me. Too risky a policy. This happens with small companies but it would be suicide to trust somebody with this task.
           
          >ALL other sites Purple***cks don’t even get half that.
           
          That’s not suprising. In the main, the only people who go looking to leave reviews on the likes of AllAgents would be disgruntled customers who are more highly motivated. Any happy customer, who can be bothered, would just follow the link provided by PurpleBricks which takes them to TP.  
           
          I’d never believe that the AllAgents or any other review site is representative for any company that makes it easy for their customers to review elsewhere. Most people take the path of least resistance.
           
           

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          1. DonShore93

            I think people are missing the point here. I’m pretty sure the overwhelming majority of TP reviews of PB are the genuine opinion of the reviewer – AT THE TIME OF WRITING. You only need to read the individual reviews and see just how few relate to out-turns – REAL estate agents reviews, post-sale, almost always say soemthing like “They got us a great price”.

            This is an example of the kind of review – post-deal? I don’t think so.

            “Very Impressed. You get up to date information on all appointments offers and feedback.”

            Somewhat bizarrely TP call it a ‘Verified order’. The only conclusion to be drawn is that the review is being asked for pre-completion. Not very helpful for those relying on the score really?

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          2. PeeBee

            ducky

            Above, you post

            “I imagine there are fake reviews on TrustPilot so no I’d be very suprised if it was 100% genuine. But believeing that there’s some wholesale submission of fake positive reviews doesn’t sit well with me.”

            Yet a year ago you stated to me

            “I’ve stopped reading TrustPilot reviews. Online reviews are notoriously unreliable.”

            The response to ‘Quags’, whilst not being completely the opposite (not even YOU would try to justify something that so much evidence points against…), certainly reads a much watered-down version of the latter, is it not?

            In fact – hardly recognisable as being from the same person; with the same experiences and opinions.

            Or maybe it’s just that today’s comment fits your agenda so best hope no-one can pour doubt on it.

            Erm… OOPS.  Sorry and all that.

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      2. DonShore93

        Verifying authenticity? It’s Google – they know so much about the reviewer it almost doesn’t bear thinking about (and that’s apart from the fact that all Google reviews are now attached to a G+ account). If any business thinks that a review is ‘fake’ Google have an appeals procedure and they will examine the reviewer’s behaviour and delete the review where appropriate.

        Personally, I’d rather read a review by a person I can verify (they have a name and a G+ account) than the endless ‘Paul G’s, but that’s beside the point if you are an agent – Google reviews get seen and read.

         

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  10. jeremy1960

    Google all the way for me!

     

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  11. PeeBee

    5-star Trustpilot review – £1.99

    http://bit.ly/2psdcl0

    GOOGLE 5-star reviews (2) – £0.99 (cheapest on eBay, it claims…)

    http://bit.ly/2ptVTzI

    ’nuff said, methinks.

     

    Oh – and by the way you even get FREE DELIVERY!

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    1. Dom_P

      I also note that several of their reviews seem to be from potential buyers, which offers little value as a review to a potential vendor.

      Report
      1. Dom_P

        Also loads of reviews from people with no photo, and whose review is the only review they have ever left on TP. Very suspicious.

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  12. LoveYourPostcode

    I think AllAgents is actually a fairly pleasant company to deal with… Our estate agency https://www.loveyourpostcode.com received 347 reviews on AllAgents website! Nice to work with them!

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    1. AgentV

      Is that you Bobby?

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  13. Woodentop

    However, Purplebricks has this week announced achieving over 40,000 reviews in the UK on Trustpilot with an average score of 9.6.

     

    Pretty impressive … err can someone tell me if they managed 40,000 sale completions!! Isn’t that the relevance of any review that holds water? Is that this week or this year or to date. Take the latter two, it doesn’t’ stack up with there listing stats to a sales completion. H’mm a crack is appearing in their claim, me thinks.

     

    If you are doing that much business it is highly doubtful you will never get a complaint, probably a first …. so my question ….. would someone care to enlighten us all of the nuts and bolts of the process a customer can place or amend a review. It is claimed that it is done at the start of the listing process … not after, during marketing, sale negotiation to a successful completion? Should it be as claimed near 50% don’t sell …. is that 20,000 customers and not one of them has wanted to change or make an adverse review? Multiply it by all the listing PB quotes since its inception …. very suspect.

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    1. Woodentop

      I’m still hoping someone can answer my question or knows someone who can.

      would someone care to enlighten us all of the nuts and bolts of the process a customer can place or amend a review. It is claimed that it is done at the start of the listing process … not after, during marketing, sale negotiation to a successful completion?

       

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      1. PeeBee

        Reviews can be – and often are – amended by customers, Woodentop.  Here is a prime example – originally ‘reviewed’ in July 2016 and amended just three days ago to reveal the reality of their “experience”:

        uk.trustpilot.com/reviews/578521310000ff00096fb7c6

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  14. Woodentop

    Please note ASA rejected the complaint … not informally reached an agreement.

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    1. Woodentop

      Oh dear someone doesn’t like the truth.

      Report
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