An estate agent who registered himself as one of his own customers using a fictitious name on Rightmove was astonished when his alter ego received an email from the portal asking about his experiences with the agent.
Trevor Kent used the name J Peasemold Gruntfuttock after the character played by Kenneth Williams and said to be the world’s dirtiest old man (think peeping Tom) in the radio series Round the Horne.
In a curious twist, it has emerged that while Kent was doing due diligence on Rightmove, Rightmove was doing much the same of Kent.
Kent said: “I registered J Peasemold Gruntfuttock as an applicant to make sure Rightmove was working well.
“They now want information from him on what he thought of his treatment by Trevor Kent & Co – nearly two months after Mr Gruntfuttock’s original inquiry.
“For what purpose are they questioning my applicants? Who do they think they are – allAgents? Is this any way to treat their fee-paying customers?
“What are they intending to do with the information and are they really going to give Trevor Kent & Co feedback on what Mr Gruntfuttock thinks of them?”
The email invites the applicant to click to complete a survey, with the chance of winning a £50 voucher.
The email says: “Your feedback will help us to improve our services and offer valuable information to the agent about their inquiry handling and customer service.”
Rightmove then followed up with another email to the fictitious Mr Gruntfuttock advising him about Rightmove’s removals service.
Eye asked Rightmove about their contact with agents’ customers.
A spokesperson said: “This is something we have been running for a number of years.
“Our account managers use it as a feedback tool with their customers if they want to see how consumers have rated them.”
However, Kent said he was unimpressed: “I am not sure that I have seen any feedback about me from applicants via Rightmove.
“I would like to know if other agents know their applicants are being deeply questioned without their permission, because I certainly didn’t.”