Commisery for Purplebricks as advertising watchdog demands changes to online agent’s TV adverts

Two ‘commisery’ TV adverts for Purplebricks must not be broadcast again in their original form after the advertising watchdog ruled that they did not make it sufficiently clear that sellers pay a fee whether their property sells or not.

The Advertising Standards Authority said the fact that the fee was always payable was material information which would allow consumers to make an informed decision about using Purplebricks. It described the original advertising as “misleading”.

Purplebricks will now have to ensure that it points out that the fee must always be paid in all future advertising which compares its offering to other fee models.

This morning, in a statement issued to the London Stock Exchange, Purplebricks made it clear that the ‘commisery’ campaign has already been updated and will continue.

However, Purplebricks CEO Michael Bruce expressed astonishment at the ASA’s ruling, saying Purplebricks is “far more transparent” than high street agents who do not publish their rates.

He said: “We are surprised by the ASA judgement on the flat fee wording because prior to air, our adverts went through the proper approvals process, including the official clearance body Clearcast who have continued to support their original judgement with the ASA.

“Purplebricks is firmly on the side of the consumer, offering an alternative to the commission based model. As a leader of industry change some noise is inevitable.

“Purplebricks is committed to increasing levels of transparency within the industry, publishing its fixed fee rates on the home page of its website so all consumers from the outset have certainty as to the cost of selling.

“Purplebricks is far more transparent than traditional estate agents who do not typically publish their rates, allowing them to charge much greater and varying fees dependent upon a customer’s ability or capacity to negotiate.”

The ASA received 38 complaints about two ‘commisery’ adverts.

The complaints included one from Oakhill Estate Agents and another from aspiring trade body CIELA (the Charter for Independent Estate and Letting Agents).

Two issues were investigated, of which one was upheld and the other not upheld.

The complaint not upheld was that the adverts misled people into believing Purplebricks would sell their home for free. The ASA said consumers were sophisticated enough to realise that the service would not be free.

The complaint that was upheld centred around the comparison between Purplebricks’ fee and the commission charged by other agents.

The complaints were prompted by two TV adverts seen in March.

One featured two couples discussing the sale of a property.

The younger woman said, “We sold the house”, to which the older man replied, “That’s great. Simon, did you sell with Purplebricks?”

Simon asked: “They are just online aren’t they?” The older man answered: “No, no, they are proper estate agents, you just don’t pay commission.” Simon said: “No commission. Oh. One minute, please.” He then got up from his seat and placed his head in a cupboard and screamed loudly.

The voice-over stated: “Ah, commisery: the misery you feel when you spent thousands on commission but got nothing more for your money. Save yourself from commisery at purplebricks.com.”

On-screen text displayed during the ad stated: “Viewing service costs extra. Saving based on Purplebricks flat fee vs using a high street estate agent …”

The second TV ad was set in a kitchen with two women at a table. The first woman asked: “So you must be happy you’ve sold the house?” The second woman replied: “Yeah, it’s exciting.”

The first woman asked: “Did you use Purplebricks?” to which the second woman responded: “Aren’t they just online?” The first woman answered: “No, they’re proper estate agents, they’re real people. They just don’t charge commission.”

The first woman then dropped her face into a cake. The voice-over stated: “Ah, commisery: the misery you feel when you spent thousands on commission but got nothing more for your money.”

On-screen text displayed during the advert again stated: “Viewing service costs extra. Saving based on Purplebricks flat fee vs using a high street estate agent …”

Purplebricks told the ASA that consumers would understand the difference between a flat fee and a commission, and would understand the service was not free. It said that the ads simply highlighted that there was a different fee model using a high street estate agent.

A total of 37 complainants challenged whether the adverts misleadingly implied that Purplebricks did not charge a fee.

The ASA said that on this point the advert was not misleading: consumers would understand that Purplebricks was a commercial business and would charge for its services.

However, on the second issue, raised by CIELA, the ASA said that consumers might not always understand that the fee was payable, regardless of whether the property sold or not.

The ASA said that the advertising was misleading.

It said: “We acknowledged Purplebricks intended to highlight that they did not charge a commission but instead charged a flat fee. However, we considered that flat-fee payments were relatively new in the housing market.

“Further we considered because of how infrequently consumers sold their properties, the average consumer was likely to be more familiar with the traditional commission-based model. We considered that it was not sufficiently clear in the ads that the fee payable to Purplebricks was not conditional on the sale of the property and therefore concluded that the ad was misleading.”

It has told Purplebricks to ensure that when making a comparison to other fee models in its adverts, it must make it clear that the flat fee is always payable.

Purplebricks this morning said the adverts had already been updated “to make this even clearer”.

Its statement went on: “The new wording has been approved by Clearcast. While the new text has only been aired for a couple of days, there has been no noticeable impact on the business.

“Purplebricks would like to make clear that it now has a proactive, regular and positive dialogue with the ASA and all other relevant professional bodies. The TV adverts followed the proper approvals process, being cleared by industry body Clearcast who, unlike the ASA, have the role of giving prior approval to TV adverts. No issues were raised.”

City analyst Anthony Codling of Jefferies this morning said: “Purplebricks has been instructed by the regulator to make clear in its adverts that its fee is payable whether or not they sell your home.

“This once again raises our favourite question ‘How many homes does Purplebricks sell?’

“So far Purplebricks has always chosen not to answer this question, despite the fact that according to CEO Michael Bruce ‘Purplebricks is firmly on the side of the consumer’.

“As Purplebricks is committed to increasing levels of transparency, we look forward to it adding its completed sales statistics to its adverts to help its consumers make a fully informed choice between paying Purplebricks irrespective of success or paying a traditional agent only if they are successful.”

The witty ‘commisery’ adverts have been widely acclaimed even by critics of Purplebricks. Versions of ‘commisery’ are also showing in Purplebricks’ US and Australian TV campaigns.

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78 Comments

  1. Curious george

    ‘Purplebricks told the ASA that consumers would understand the difference between a flat fee and a commission, and would understand the service was not free.’ 

    It looks like Purplebricks live in their own wee place call Purpleland where everything is Purple clear to them and only them!

    Come on PB, start playing by the rules and make your money without misleading consumers with your adverts.

    I have no doubt the next big scandal that will put the last few Purplenails in their coffin will be the reviews scandal . Why did their Trustpilot ratings differ so much from review sites like allagents and Facebook?#reviewsgate

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    1. J1

      “Their own little world”???

      you should see what they put on their linkdin pages – it’s Von worthy – and Kenny Bruce always puts some sort of weird gushing response signed off with a X

       

       

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    2. Bless You

      So they have been found to have misled customers….where are the PIP lawyers?? samr thing isnt it….

      and pb dont try and pretend your doing it for the customer… no caring business would dare operate with a PAY ANY WAY model if they werent hiding in  a head office somewhere.

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  2. Chris Wood

    Purplebricks, the firm that trademarked the term ‘commisery’

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  3. GPL

    Justice at last!

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    1. dave_d

      But it’s not though is it.. in typical ASA fashion they get a slap on the wrist, nothing more..

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      1. GPL

        It’s a start dave_d

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  4. JustPlainSavage04

    38 complaints from other estate agents who shouldn’t throw stones in glass houses.

    As a customer, it’s fairly obvious the company will charge a fee from the advert. The public are not that naive into thinking the service would be for free!!

    To be fair it must be great for Purplebricks as they will only become more and more transparent leaving other estate agents nothing to complain about! Then the tables will turn back on the ones who have given the industry a bad name, the ones complaining to the ASA.

     

     

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    1. AgencyInsider

      WRONG. WRONG. WRONG. I have had several people say to me: ‘Purplebricks don’t charge commission. How do they make their money?’

      The fact you say ‘it’s fairly obvious the company will charge a fee’ highlights the fact that it is not blindingly clear that they do and is why the ASA has made their ruling.

      The ads play on the ignorance and gullibility of the majority of vendors. I hope America and Australia are reading this today,

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      1. JustPlainSavage04

        They don’t charge commission!! That’s the whole point of the advert.

        They charge a flat fee which says in writing on the adverts.

        Guess what? Then if a customer, like myself calls Purplebricks or books a valuation, we then get advised there is a fee to pay upfront whether we sell or not!

        Then guess what? We are then given terms and conditions to read before paying fee.

        Current high street estate agents are the con artists who can’t accept modernisation to the industry and change. So they start quibbling when someone can offer the same service for a fraction of their silly fees.

        Dealt with a number of high street agents in the past and all are the same.

        Like I said people who live in glass houses shouldn’t throw stones.

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        1. AgencyInsider

          Somehow JustPlainSavage04 I think you are precisely the type of customer that full service no sale-no fee agents would be more than happy to see going to the likes of Purplebricks. Good luck with that.

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      2. AgentV

        I too have had several people ask me ‘do they really sell for free’.

        But let’s be clear about this, that’s what the adverts were designed to achieve…..make people pick up the phone and call them to find out. Once somebody does that, it’s half the battle won isn’t it!

        Congratulations to CIELA and Oakhill Estate Agents for their contributions, but why did it take the ASA so long to see the truth about what was happening?

        Once again a company has gained a significant advantage from misleading advertising for a prolonged period …advertising that should never have been allowed in the first place.

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    2. Ric

      Welcome JustPlainSavage04 to one of the digital forums for the property industry. It is always nice to get non-industry related visitors adding comments to balance the view out. Just out of interest as I am always looking to help my business attract digital “passer-byes” how did you stumble across this story?

       

       

       

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      1. Mark Connelly

        Just plain savage has LPE rather than customer all over him.

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        1. Ric

          Me thinks he has “left the building” no doubt having to travel to his next valuation, and as a LPE and that valuation being 163 miles away he has to leave early to get to know the area! hee hee.

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          1. GeorgeHammond78

            Hope he remembered to change out of his pajamas that he was wearing in his back bedroom, I mean office…….

             

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        2. PeeBee

          You what, Mr Connelly – an LPE posting something whilst posing as a customer?

          Preposterous! I mean – who would possibly think they might be able to get away with such an act?

          AS SEEN ON TWITTER

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        3. g4lvo17

          My thoughts exactly, members of the public are always asking me my thoughts on the articles published on PIE…..not, these LPE’s must think we are all as gullible as their customers !!!!!

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    3. dompritch134

      Exactly it’s just a minor indiscretion, the adds will still run just with a new byline.

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      1. AgentV

        domritch134

        I think your probably right. I have no doubt whatsoever that instead of making it open, clear and transparent on the adverts that everyone has to pay the fee regardless of whether they sell or not, so that there can be no possibility of misunderstandings, a way will be devised to appease the ASA whilst still not achieving the former.

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  5. AgencyInsider

    Countdown to the inevitable appearance of the purple duo, Come on dompritch and cyberducky, get those ‘dislikes’ rolling. 5-4-3-2………

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    1. AgencyInsider

      …1 ZERO and Lift Off. We have Lift Off.

       

      Laydeeeeez n Gennullmun I give you the one, no the two… The two and only Dom & Duckeeeeeeeeeee Show!

      More muppety than The Muppets!

      Funnier than a poke in the eye with a sharp stick!

      More knowledgeable about agency than all estate agents on the planet!

      More opinionated than a Nigel Farage!

      Roll up, roll up for another gargantuan feast of billshuttery ( thank you PeeBee) from the purple duo that we all hate to love!

       

       

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  6. RealAgent

    I understand PB’s next advert features Ron Burgundy and Brian Fantana where Brian suggests “60% of the time, we sell your house every time”

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    1. dave_d

      I liked this

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    2. KingTony

      Genius!

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  7. inthefield

    Justplainsavage- you’re wrong.

    PB play on the general publics perception of estate agents in general and pretend they don’t charge commission when in fact they do. What’s not made clear also  is that you pay come what may. Furthermore they have no incentive to deal with and negotiate the sale properly following instruction as they’ve no skin in the game.

    Once the real scandal comes to light on reviews, PBs name will be very tarnished in much the same way as Skoda was.

    Cant wait….

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    1. AgentV

      One of the ways they save on time and cost appears to be by putting a seller in direct contact with the buyer…without providing the buffer service that ‘proper’ agents do!

      It just adds further unnecesssary stress into the chain, with people demanding direct answers from each other about the time its taking (when it is just solicitors doing the normal due dilligence processes).#Nightmare.

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  8. ValueCounts31

    I’m thinking of setting up a new low cost airliner. Its half the price of my competition and there is a 50% chance you’ll get to your destination…but its low cost! (We’ll just leave out our success rates on all our collateral)
    I name it ‘Purple Jet’
    I plan to IPO at £250m shortly… any takers?

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  9. Philosopher2467

    It is only right and proper that a company that uses funds raised as a public company, be held to a high standard and using misleading statements in advertising isn’t one. Add that to what may be being told to customers to gain an instruction and you could have a very poor and unprofessional orgasnisation. The biggest and worst of it is that UNLIKE traditional agents, money is taken in advance whether the customer sells or not. That’s what makes PB the potential villain in the market. If LPE’s or PB don’t like being a punch bag, be transparent! How many houses does PB actually sell? Let’s hear it!

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    1. AgentV

      Totally agree. What’s the FACS….Fee Average per Completed Sale?

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  10. MortgageStu19

    Interesting to see their Facebook page is still showing the cake advert in their videos section…..What also amazes me is their 28500 trustpilots reviews. I’ll give them that proportion of them are genuine reviews from people who have gone from start to finish but there are so many rewiews that Purplebricks tout for / request from people after valuing someone’s home or getting the property live.That’s the equivalent of getting someone to replace your kitchen and when they come and give you a quotation of £1000 (an unbeatable price for ‘the same as everyone else does’) – you leave that person a review before the kitchen has even been delivered. Or on day one, asked to leave a review about how great the company is after the old kitchen has been ripped out and before the new one has even started to be put in.It unfortunately goes to show how naive the public is to what is required to complete on a sale of a property

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  11. ArthurHouse02

    Purplebricks for too long have set their stall out through advertising to be a company that gains business through running down the competition and making statements that were less than factual. They had to expect that this day would come, and i am glad that the ASA feel the adverts are misleading. It will be interesting to see how Purplebricks make it clear that they are a pay anyway company, and I presume some miniscule text at the bottom of the screen to confirm this wont be acceptable

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  12. Andrew Overman

    “Purplebricks is far more transparent than traditional estate agents…”

    …except when it comes to disclosing actual listing figures, actual sales figures, actual success rates, their advertising which ASA have now finally said is not lawful in it’s current format, that clients are signing a loan commitment with Close Brothers (allegedly, as Watchdog determined) and various regulatory bodies (allegedly) where staff may not be complying with rules that traditional agents have to abide by (HMRC / ISO / Money Laundering etc).

    Thats right Mr Bruce.

    You’re as transparent as mud.

     

     

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  13. J1

    At last!!!!!!!!

    Now publish an apology for your misleading adverts and re-instate your truthful yet derogatory reviews Mr and Mr Bruce.

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  14. Property Pundit

    Next thing is to get the company to reveal its TRUE listings:sale ratio so we can work out how many £ms are being spent needlessly without a result to the consumer. That’s another day for Del Boy & his feathered friend to dread and avoid here.

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    1. AgencyInsider

      Well I am amazed. I was looking forward to another thrilling episode of ‘The Duck & Dom Show’ and all we get is their bag man popping in, farting noisily, and disappearing again. Not even remotely funny.

      Could it be that even the purple duo can’t find a way to put lipstick on this particular pig of a PB story?

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      1. Property Pundit

        In a nutshell. Yes!

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  15. Frown Please

    Does no one from the ASA own a TV themselves?

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    1. AgentV

      Best comment so far this morning 😉

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  16. cyberduck46

    Finally, the end of Traditional Agents claiming customers of PurpleBricks think they don’t have to pay anything.

     

    So the ASA’s reasoning is that consumers are sophisticated enough to know they pay but aren’t to know they pay if the property doesn’t sell?

     

    Are the ASA not making a rod for their own back? Opening the floodgates? Every 30 second advert needs to be clear about all material conditions a consumer is not sophisticated enough to understand? What about even shorter adverts?

     

    Seems absurd to me. Is there any way to appeal an ASA decision?

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

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    1. AgentV

      Finally, the end of Traditional Agents claiming customers of PurpleBricks think they don’t have to pay anything.

      So you think we have to stop telling the truth then?

      But its not ‘customers’, its some prospective customers who then pick up the phone off the basis of what they thought was true!

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      1. cyberduck46

        >So you think we have to stop telling the truth then?

         

        The claim was dismissed by the ASA. “The ASA said that on this point the advert was not misleading: consumers would understand that Purplebricks was a commercial business and would charge for its services.”

         

         

        The truth of the matter will be there for everybody to see soon enough. If people have been misled then now that the advert has been amended the number of listings will plummet will they not?

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        1. AgentV

          We’ll see, but it will depend somewhat on if the new adverts are open and clear …and there can be no misunderstandings that people have to pay whether they sell or not.

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  17. AgentV

    If a vendor complained they had been enticed to make a decision to use the company from an advert that has now been banned in its current form, paid the fee and then not sold their property…..what would be likely to happen?

    Does anyone know?

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    1. dompritch134

      The adverts will still run albeit with a note alluding to the fact that the fee is due regardless.

      Asa also threw out 38 other complaints by other competitor agents.

      Clients are perfectly aware that a fee will be due, with not only the LPE running through the terms but also the online sign up process says on multiple occasions.

      All pretty much a damp squib and just a minor indiscretion, we all move on.

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      1. AgentV

        I have no doubt whatsoever that instead of making it open, clear and transparent on the adverts that everyone has to pay the fee regardless of whether they sell or not, so that there can be no possibility of misunderstandings, a way will be devised to appease the ASA whilst still not achieving the former.

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  18. BrandNew

    It won’t make any real difference. The adverts will still run as they are, but with a small text change at the bottom off the screen which nobody reads.

    Pointless.

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  19. GPL

    It’s a funny thing….

    Commisery versus reality…. especially when reality bites!

    Misleading marketing to gain an unfair competitive advantage. It’s a shabby business practice that needs to be formally exposed… not quick quickly enough in this case… however eventually they have been formally exposed.

    Credit to those complainers who approached ASA with their genuine complaints about Purplebricks misleading marketing… and credit to ASA for deciding that Purplebricks were indeed misleading.

    An earlier contributor to this thread commented about estate agents being “con artists”. The facts of this judgement infer the opposite …that T-Shirt should be worn by the company most suited to wearing purple.

    No doubt we will continue to closely monitor the marketing of Purplebricks to ensure they compete on open & honest terms.

    Competion is fair, when it is just that …fair!

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  20. KemptownAgent

    The complaints included one from Oakhill Estate Agents and another from aspiring trade body CIELA (the Charter for Independent Estate and Letting Agents).

    Glad to see the NAEA is getting involved and looking after the industry…oh wait…it’s not…

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    1. AgentV

      They have a large new subscription paying group of ‘online lister’ friends that they probably don’t want to upset too much…….even though the thrust of propaganda from these new friends is to ridicule the majority of other long standing smaller members.

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    2. BrandNew

      I believe the correct term is ‘Neutered’. A bit like our Cat.

      Although he had no choice in the matter……….

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  21. htsnom79

    I’m almost sorry these chancers don’t have much traction on our patch, would love the opportunity to compete, tell you what Mr/Mrs vendor, give me a grand at measure up and I’ll list you on the portals, after that I’m noping out of here….

    The thing is, PB champions on here like CD and DP could probably handle it on their own ( though I’d like to see them chain chase, sorry you are who? ) but most people couldn’t as it’s a niche skill, I couldn’t value a precious stone or an old ship though I could probably bother an internet forum about valuing old ships and precious stones, over time I might think I’m quite good at it…

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  22. DDR1

    Sending my congratulations and gratitude to Charlie for persevering with the case, it seems that CIELA is actually showing the industry that similar organisations could have shown their teeth a long time ago! Time for more agents to join the ranks and really make a difference to our industry.
     Proud to be a member of CIELA.

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  23. EdC74

    Why is nobody mentioning the other parts of the advert that, to me, are far more insulting than trying to dupe the public by claiming they don’t charge for introducing a buyer?

    “They’re proper estate agents, they’re real people…” – as the wooden nose grows longer with each passing sentence. Being a person doesn’t automatically make you a ‘proper estate agent’. Quite the contrary in some cases! I would always assume a person is behind something, even if it was a web-based service.

    “Spending thousands…without getting any more for your money.” What?! How dare they compare the service they offer with that of a ‘proper estate agent’. Don’t get me wrong, there’s a place in the market for PB and the competition/alternative service they provide has caused the rest of us to examine ourselves, which is no bad thing. But to claim that they offer the same service is the most misleading aspect of the advertising campaign and the one I have the biggest gripe with.

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    1. AgentV

      You are of course absolutely right. Someone needs to raise a complaint!

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      1. EdC74

        I shall get right on it!

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    2. Ric

      I’ve complained about another aspect of the advert…..

       

      “Did you use PB”

       

      “No, they are just online aren’t they”

       

      “No, No No, they are proper Estate Agents”

       

      To me the answer “no no no” to the question “they are just online aren’t they?” is a blatant lie.

       

      ASA said, they don’t get my point! WTF….. it is simple….. they are JUST online!

       

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  24. simonh

    Ah, CONmisery, the misery you feel when you have been conned into parting with your money with nothing to show for it…

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  25. smile please

    Any chance of publishing the Ciela on Purplebricks Ros? 😉

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  26. Woodentop

    The main gripe agents have with PB misleading statements is they say they are the same and charge less fee than agents commission. That is misleading. They do charge less in some areas, but not all but more importantly traditional high street agents (there are very few  exceptions) only charge on a no sale = no fee basis. The advert they portray is they are providing a service in comparison to traditional high street agents and not letting on that they do not operate the same as traditional high estate agents as they charge a fee for success or failure. This is not made clear in any of their adverts and ASA have at last taken action. The next step will hopefully bring about the same misleading claims as High Street agents …. they are not. They have no high street presence, street shop window or ability to serve the public who do not use the internet or provide a walk-in help option that so many customers need and use. The reason why they still have a minority market share.

     

    TrustPilot reviews should also be made to make it clear that the rating is only for listing a property, not from sales and after service following an instruction. They use TrustPilot in a misleading way?

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  27. ARC

    38 Estate Agents with too much time on their hands.

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    1. Quags

      Yes of course, there isn’t one complaint from the public #purpletintedglasses

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  28. cyberduck46

    What traditional agents don’t really like is that PurpleBricks can afford to advertise on TV.

     

    95% of the market is currently traditional agents advertising on their websites and about half of these (small sample checked) contain misleading statements or ones that cannot be substantiated.

     

    How many traditional agent websites detail all material facts in regard to the eventual contract that will be signed? It’s a lot easier to do this on a website than in a short TV advert or a pay per click advert.

     

    Perhaps what PurpleBricks should do is review all 20,000 or so traditional Estate Agent websites and report them to the ASA if there are any claims that aren’t substantiated or are beyond the understanding of the average home seller. Perhaps they all need to detail how their fees are calculated, how long contracts are for, whether they rollover after the term, whether fees are negotiable or not?

     

    I’m sure it would be news to many that fees are negotiable.

     

    Does it not seem somewhat odd to anybody else that in the case of online agents all information is deemed to be required in an advert yet in the case of traditional agents it just needs to be provided in the contract?

     

     

     

     

     

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    1. AgentV

      What traditional agents don’t really like is that PurpleBricks can afford to advertise on TV.

      Shouldn’t that be;

      ‘What traditional agents don’t really like is that PurpleBricks can afford to advertise on TV by using someone elses investment money, at no risk to themselves.’

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      1. ARC

        Either way it comes across sour grapes!

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        1. AgentV

          Its not sour grapes when your small family supporting business and livelihood is being threatened by a bigger, richer, more powerful competitor using their dominant marketing position to undercut you by subsidising their offering.

          https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cemTusT9ufs

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    2. EdC74

      Respectfully, I couldn’t give a monkeys whether a competing agent can afford to advertise on TV or not. I also shall not be pedantic about the perceived definition of ‘afford’…

      What I do care about is the misrepresentation of information. And no, I am not just talking about fees – see my earlier comment. If PB were to draw attention to the 47.5% of the estate agency market that are also misleading the public, deliberately or not, and any complaints were upheld to remove this, I would welcome it. I, for one, am open and honest about what fees I charge and exactly what that fee includes and when it is payable.

      Estate Agency has a bad enough reputation as it is and PB are just adding to the mix. Maybe they are ‘proper estate agents’ after all…

       

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      1. ARC

        Misrepresentation has no place I agree with complaining that another business has more advertising money is as I stated above. My local corner shop owner doesn’t complain about Tesco being on the telly he would if they misrepresented but that wasn’t the point being made above by Agent V

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        1. AgentV

          I have no problem with however much they advertise if they tell the truth that people have to pay whether they sell or not, that they are entering a loan agreement if they defer payment and have to pay extra if they wont then use the more expensive nominated solicitor.

          It would also help if it were explained that vendors have to pay extra if they want viewings accompanied, and that they will not provide a full post sale service through to completion. If they don’t want to add these last caveats in, then don’t try and make out it is the same service as provided by proper estate agents.

          Why not just advertise truthfully;

          ‘We offer an online listing service at a lower price,

          You pay whether you sell or not,

          If you want to defer payment you have to sign a loan agreement and use our solicitors, unless you pay an extra amount.

          If you want accompanied viewings it costs extra,

          We don’t provide an after sale contract chasing service through to completion

          WHY not just advertise honestly and truthfully?

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          1. ARC

            Bit of a shift from “what agents don’t really like is that Purplebricks can afford to advertise on TV by using someone elses investment money, at no risk to them”

            no mention there of misleading anyone!!

            I get confused about this loan agreement thing as it’s not a loan is it cos that would mean them borrowing money which they’re not. What it is actually is I borrow money from my mate Dave and he has an agreement with Pete that I pay him as he’s more inclined to get the money from me as he can have a cut but maybe I’m splitting hairs.

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            1. AgentV

              According to most people it is a loan agreement because they borrow the money from Close Brothers who pay PB straight away (possibly a reduced amount) and then expect to be paid the full amount from the vendor 10 months later. If you don’t pay you get chased legally and potentially it’s a black mark against your credit record.

              By the way ‘what agents don’t really like is that Purplebricks can afford to advertise on TV by using someone elses investment money, at no risk to them‘ wasn’t my opinion. I was just saying it would be more accurate for Cyberduck to phrase it like that, because agents in general aren’t able to advertise on TV because they don’t have investors money they can use at no risk to themselves. See my point?

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        2. EdC74

          Sorry ARC, my comment was in response to cyberduck46 and not AgentV so I don’t quite get what you are trying to say?

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    3. Eric Walker

      ‘95% of the market is currently traditional agents’. Last year it was 96%. 

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  29. KByfield04

    Great work by Charlie Wright, his team and CIELA. Despite some pretty rough-handling in the attempted launch of CIELA they have proven (without even officially launching) that an organisation can stand up for the industry to look to monitor and secure fair practice within the sector- protecting consumers and industry alike. I am proud to have been a very small cog in this machine and just hope that now other agents across the country will see what can be achieved when we set our targets on a goal and have a team that fully support that objective. As long as we keep our focus on the Consumer and the Industry as a whole then everyone (legitimate) should benefit in the long run.

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    1. AgentV

      Agreed…fair play to Charlie…and for sticking his head way above the parapet.

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  30. VFM agents

    Is there an unwritten rule somewhere that states that you can only be a proper estate agent if your business model is restricted to charging a % commission on a no sale – no fee basis?

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  31. htsnom79

    No

    There’s an unwritten rule, applies everywhere, that you have to be good at your job, in this instance that’s getting people moved or if they don’t live there getting it sold, at a price and within their timescale dependent upon their motivations, sticking it on the internet for a grand then prospecting for the next one is not agency

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  32. Sunbeam175

    Take a look at Purplebricks on AllAgents website. AllAgents are crowdfunding to take on Purplebricks  for their disgusting bullying tactics. They need to raise £50,000 and they have almost £10,000 already. Purplebricks need to be exposed for what they really are and the public need to be educated so that they can make the right decisions.

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