More complaints about agents being made to advertising watchdog

The Advertising Standards Authority dealt with a record number of complaints last year, including those made by and about estate agents.

The property industry has been attracting more complaints.

It was 13th in the chart of 23 sectors receiving complaints last year: there were 461 complaints, up from 352 the year before. A higher number of last year’s property-related complaints  also turned into investigated cases – 432 in total, a 27% increase on 2013.

The record number of overall complaints was driven by social media.

For the first time, the internet overtook television as the most complained about medium.

However, there were also complaints about voicemail, faxes, text messages, direct mailshots, video-on-demand, and email.

In totally, 37,073 complaints were received last year, and 29,083 complaints about 17,325 adverts were resolved.

The figures are all in the latest Advertising Standards Authority Committee of Advertising Practice annual report, published yesterday.


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  1. Robert May

    Part of the problem is no doubt the passive intermediaries and c.o.a.r agents passing themselves off as estate agents and making false claims on the telly and their websites.
    It would probably be useful to know how many complaints were received against individual firms. From personal experience Purplebricks claimed a 24 hour Estate Agency service- it isn’t, they use an out of hours reception service, their live chat isn’t switched 24 hours a day and it is not possible to get a valuation done outside core working hours through the  internet  valuation booking system
    Their website claims all staff are fully trained in Agency- the girl I spoke to at the reception service has never had a days training in Agency.
    Local?  how can an area rep be local to a territory that is at least 70 miles from end to end?
    That is 3 claims* that I as a vendor/landlord consider are  false and misleading coming from a single firm.
    If an emerging sector is going to make false claim to promote itself in an attempt to provide a return of the massive investments  by hapless entrepreneurs it is hard to see how complaints will remain low. It seems fair to assume that business people used to having TV programs made about their  much cheapness offering and shocking levels of  customer service will be quite immune to daily a attack targeted and their incompetence and belligerent attitudes so a few complaints to ASA is hardly likely to worry them.
    * being in a advert looking like you have just been  thrown out of Spearmint Rhino when your cash ran out  just after dawn is a 4th valid reason to complain to ASA, that is mis- representation,  proper Estate Agents don’t look like that.

    1. PeeBee

      Hmmm… having seen exactly that character, in pretty much exactly that situation, Robert, I have to say that your fourth point of complaint would not be upheld!

      Mind you, he wasn’t turning up to an Appraisal several hours later – you might have a case after all… ;o)

      1. Robert May

        There is a world of difference ending up looking like that after a  9 hour  boozy bender and ending up looking like that after make up have done their best to make you look presentable to film an advert.

  2. smile please

    I have never been one going crying to the ASA but i am close with some of the adverts i am seeing pop up from onliners.


    They are not comparing a like for like service, and maybe ‘No strings attached’ but to get the same service as a high street agent they have to be close to it, and we all know a high street agent can offer more than an onliner and you are dealing with real agents not a call center dealing with a tick box!

    1. Robert May

      Me neither Smile but being a strong believer in fair and honest  competition find mis advertising and lazy misreporting of fact abhorrent.
      The ASA are there to police lies and misrepresentation but no-one is policing misleading journalism.
      Journalist with an agenda will print anything and there is no comeback; Last week we were treated to an advertorial piece of ‘journalism’ by an connection via Entrepreneurs club to James Cann, who was promoting in glowing terms the merits of  tarted up passive intermediarism.  Being journalism there is no comeback and no ability to report that to ASA so although  it isn’t a welcome part of our nature to complain it is the of thing we have.

      1. PeeBee

        No ASA problems for you in respect of advertising, Robert – I’m sure Barclays do all the due diligence malarkey before getting that nice old dear to recommend people Rummage4 good stuff…! ;o)

        1. Robert May

          All I need to do now is get in front of the marketing team at Barclays Bank to show them how I really can make their Digital Eagles soar  faster higher and easier.


          Here is a Rummage4 entertainment search you might like  try Newcastle… FA cup final.

          1. PeeBee

            S’pose you fink yer funny, eh?

            Well HA bliddy HA – cos in 1910, 1924, 1932, 1951, ’52 AND ’55 we walked out with the silverware (in fact, we’re seventh in the league table in that respect  – not somewhere we are accustomed to be sitting, in fairness…) and unfortunately went out second best and came home empty handed on another seven occasions.  In total, only three other teams have appeared more times on Final day.

            Sorry – remind me… do Devon have a football team?

            Ahhh… if you Rummage4 the answer it becomes apparent that you have a few – but they’d all need a team bus for a day trip to take them to the nearest trophy cabinet that has housed the world’s most coveted Silverware, mon ami… ;o)


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