Online agent rapped by watchdog as ‘home’ address of local expert looked like a branch

Online agent Hatched has been rapped by the advertising watchdog for giving an address online that looked like a business address but was in fact the home of one of their Local Property Consultants.

The address given on www.hatched.co.uk was “Hatched, Hatched House”, with an address in Pudsey, Yorkshire.

Homebuyers Property Services challenged whether this was misleading.

Hatched told the Advertising Standards Authority that they had 16 Local Property Consultants in 16 different locations.

They worked from home when they were not otherwise engaged elsewhere, and had company equipment and office-based phones in order to carry out their employee duties from their address.

Hatched confirmed that a Local Property Consultant lived and worked at the address given, but considered this was a business address.

Hatched said the purpose of including the address was to provide customer service and sell property locally.

However, the ASA upheld the complaint.

It suggested that the address “Hatched, Hatched House” suggested that the property was a conventional business premises, purposefully named to reflect that.

It considered that the reference to the property as a “branch”, together with a list of opening hours, strongly implied there was a conventional public-facing business address at that location.

It believed that, without information to the contrary, most consumers would assume that Hatched’s employees were based at a physical branch.

However, the address was an employee’s home address and even though they conducted business from that address, the ASA ruled that the advert was misleading.

Connells’ brand Hatched was told to ensure its future advertising did not state or imply it had physical office branches in locations if that was not the case.

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12 Comments

  1. RealAgent

    Advertising a home address in Pudsey as an office….the bear faced effrontery of it.

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    1. Chris Wood

      Pooh!

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      1. Bless You

        strange how online agents say its the future but do their best to con the public they are local etc. Just get an office and stop trying charge nothing. Just busy fools.

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  2. Chris Wood

    Call centre agents seemingly feel the need…the need to mislead!

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  3. PeeBee

    “Hatched told the Advertising Standards Authority that they had 16 Local Property Consultants in 16 different locations.”

    And EVERY ONE OF THEM is named “Hatched House” – see here:

    https://www.zoopla.co.uk/find-agents/company/hatched-1658/

    So I guess we can look forward to another fifteen ASA “rappings”…

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    1. Chris Wood

      Following NTSEATs’ recent public warning this was rather silly.

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    2. Shaun77

      Unbelievable…

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  4. Peter

    Ewemove also use “branch”, but you try and get an address off them.

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    1. PeeBee

      106 “branch” addresses, as requested –

      https://www.zoopla.co.uk/find-agents/company/ewemove-sales-and-lettings-14493/

      Always a pleasure… never a chore!

      You will note that a great many of their “branches” are called “Ewemove House”.

      THIS could be getting interesting!

      “Hello… is that the ASA…”

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      1. Peter

        I used their web chat service and no matter how many times I asked, they would not release the address and they kept on saying the local rep will call me; do you think they outsource web chat! Never occurred to me to go on Zoopla, now there is a reason.

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        1. PeeBee

          Zoopla is useful for the same reasons it is useless…

          …the information you can gain to put to your advantage!

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  5. JJohnson56

    Our local Ewemove “branch” operates out of a major high street franchise company. They have a office to the rear of the main office, and so have no expenses and are run by the same directors. They should have to publish their business address and the fact that they run alongside an other business.

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