Purplebricks looks to woo Mumsnet with ten free packages in exchange for posting up their feedback

Purplebricks is giving away ten free packages to Mumsnet members in exchange for them posting their feedback at least four times a week on the platform.

This is despite the fact that Mumsnet members are not exactly known for holding back their views on anything, and have often been among Purplebricks’ harshest critics.

https://www.mumsnet.com/Talk/property/2498593-purplebricks-turns-out-it-was-too-good-to-be-true

However, Purplebricks is now looking for ten MNers “to sell their property with Purplebricks for free and share their feedback on the service on a thread on Mumsnet as well as filling out a short survey”.

All “testers” must list their property for at least four weeks and have an up to date EPC.

Purplebricks says it will not only be free to the testers but “give you a fabulous service”, plus a £50 voucher.

It goes on: “The vast majority of our LPEs come from the high street and joined us because they recognise this is how estate agency should be – a proper estate agent, fixed and transparent fees, no commission and a clever portal that puts you in complete control of your sale.”

Purplebricks normally charges £849, or in London £1,199, with viewings an extra £300.

Depending on your point of view, this is either PR at its most brilliantly creative – or at its suicidally most foolhardy.

The first poster was quick to say: “Really? After all the complaints people have had about them on this board!”

Separately, EYE reader Malcolm Barnard spotted that the Purplebricks adverts accompanying the offer on Mumsnet did not apparently include the explanation that the fee is charged whether the property sells or not – as required by the Advertising Standards Authority.

He took this up with Purplebricks on Twitter – but had what he calls an “interesting” reply.

https://www.mumsnet.com/Talk/mumsnet_product_tests/3219453-Looking-to-sell-your-home-Sign-up-to-sell-it-for-free-with-Purplebricks

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67 Comments

  1. AgencyInsider

    Not making it clear that the fee is payable whether you sell or not eh?

    Shall we give this repetitious piece of obfuscation a name?

    Purple Haze perhaps?

    (Standing by for the next thrilling installment of the Dom & Ducky Troll Show)

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    1. DuckandDomintheunsoldBungalow

      Same here 😉

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  2. ArthurHouse02

    I’ll tell what you have to hand to them, the act that they know they can do what they want and get away with it. Despite constantly having their wrist slapped by the ASA, nothing has changed the same adverts keep popping out without the correct information. They know the ASA are too gutless to follow through unlike their Australian cousins

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    1. dompritch134

      Arthur who spends hours everyday moaning on twitter, perhaps you should concentrate on actually selling houses and you maybe happier in life?

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      1. ArthurHouse02

        You got it in one Dom, every morning. My office opens just before 9 and at that point me my colleagues crack on with selling property and chatting to people. Before i start work my time is free to engage here or do whatever. Thank you for your feedback tho. Please leave a review on my Trustpilot page.
        http://www.domisafanboy.com

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        1. dompritch134

          But yet you hide behind anonymous accounts.
          My guess is that you’re a failing firm losing market share and just plain angry at the world.

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          1. ArthurHouse02

            As i have said before, my company is doing fairly well, could always do better, but i am pretty happy with things. But…i believe it what is right, what is fair and it think it should be ok for me to debate what i believe to be an unbalanced playing field. Purplebricks have been told to clearly display the fact that you have to pay whether you sell or not. They havent displayed this and as such should be called out for it.
             

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            1. Property Pundit

              Do you work for your mum’s company Arthur? #askingforafriend

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          2. malcolmroy63

            Are the comments pages on the Eye here to let people make personal insults? make a point and raise an argument but making snide comments like a 15 year old kid shows a lack of dignity and intelligence.

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            1. Robert May

              I don’t know if you’ll appreciate the humour but…..he started it!

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            2. CountryLass

              Looks like Mumsnet already…

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          3. PeeBee

            “My guess is that you’re a failing firm losing market share and just plain angry at the world.”

            WELL… we all know how accurate your “guesses” have proved to be in past instances, dom-boy…

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      2. AgentQ73

        Says Dom who spends hours moaning on Twitter and PIE. 

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  3. Property Poke In The Eye

    Lol…. it’s Purple Tricks time.

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  4. Essjaydee51

    It’s more conning, the bosses are going to demand that when they get these 10 the lpe’s must do everything possible to impress at all times, come on, they have to post at least 4 times a week! These lpe’s have their work cut out but they will know that out of all of their instructions these 10 must have service like the lpe has never given beforeand most most likely like they will never give again.

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    1. AgentQ73

      Pick the 10 most saleable houses ideally with no chain.

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  5. Pollard36

    Interestingly, in my experience I find that such tactics (freebies for feedback) tend to come from companies much smaller than Bricks.

    You often see sole traders and local businesses offer round ‘free iPads for a review on our Facebook page’.

    Nothing wrong with it, you just wonder why a company their size needs to focus on such things (despite the obvious).

    PB are one of many companies who will have suffered from growing to the size they have as quickly as they have, they have lots of ‘legacy issues’, infastructure becomes dated and difficult to fix. You see the same issue impacting Rightmove at the moment internally.

    P

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  6. cyberduck46

    Misleading omissions
    6.—(1) A commercial practice is a misleading omission if, in its factual context, taking account of the matters in paragraph (2)—
    (a)the commercial practice omits material information,
    (b)the commercial practice hides material information,
    (c)the commercial practice provides material information in a manner which is unclear, unintelligible, ambiguous or untimely, or
    (d)the commercial practice fails to identify its commercial intent, unless this is already apparent from the context,
    and as a result it causes or is likely to cause the average consumer to take a transactional decision he would not have taken otherwise.
    (2) The matters referred to in paragraph (1) are—
    (a)all the features and circumstances of the commercial practice;
    (b)the limitations of the medium used to communicate the commercial practice (including limitations of space or time); and
     
    (c)where the medium used to communicate the commercial practice imposes limitations of space or time, any measures taken by the trader to make the information available to consumers by other means.

    As far as CPR is concerned (2)(a), (2)(b) & (2)(c)  are the areas open to subjective interpretation. (2)(b) and (2)(c) are in my opinion things to consider when comparing a TV advert with a web advert that links to further information.

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    1. Property Pundit

      ZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZ

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  7. dompritch134

    Malcolm Barnard who spends endless time writing pieces, no one reads, on his hatred of PB.

    Who has even heard of Property Echo?

    Is this really a headline article, or merely let’s get 50 comments from the same ole troupe, spouting the same ole bile?

     

     

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    1. AgencyInsider

      You said it Dom. You said it.

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    2. AgentQ73

      Well if it is 2 of the usual 50 have already chipped in. 

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    3. cyberduck46

      Perhaps it’s actually Mr. Bernard who has misunderstood.
       
      Unless there is some binding precedent you cannot really take individual elements of one decision and apply it universally. There may be significant differences.
       
      For example the adverts that have been before the ASA typically have some comparison with traditional agents and the theme of at least 2 of the ASA decisions has been that when comparing you must point out any significant differences. PB were told to include the viewing fee after one complaint and told they must say in the actual advert (rather than just in the legal agreement) that the fee is payable whether the property is sold or not in another complaint. In both cases there were comparisons with traditional agents and of course are significant differences.
       
      An advert where no comparison with other agents is made could be looked at completely differently and you have to question whether Mr. Bernard is the one who is wrong in this case.
       
       
       

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      1. AgentQ73

        You may be right you may be wrong I am no expert and genuinely dont know, however do you feel that PB are complying with the spirit of the ruling ?

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        1. cyberduck46

          AgentQ73,
           
          What is the spirit of the ruling? Who decides on that? Might the spirit of the ruling be that when you compare your services with another estate agent then you have to point out significant differences?
           
          Having read the actual reasoning behind the ASA decisions I think that could well be the case.
           
           
           
           

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          1. AgentQ73

            Hi Cyberduck46

            I would say the spirit of the ruling is that material information has been omitted and should be included in the future ?

             

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            1. cyberduck46

              Fair enough, you are entitled to your opinion of what the ASA decision means.

               

              But the way I see it is that the ruling was in relation to a single advert which was in fact changed to comply with the ASA decision.

               

              Aspects of the ruling may well apply to other adverts but there are significant differences between a TV advert which draws comparisons with Traditional Agents and a web advert which doesn’t draw comparisons and actually links through to more information.

               

              I refer you once again to CPR statute which I posted earlier.

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      2. Malcolm Barnard

        Mr cyberduck64 – perhaps I could refer you to a previous PIE story on a similar topic.

        http://www.propertyindustryeye.com/purplebricks-proactively-changes-advert-on-rightmove-after-watchdog-ruling/

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        1. cyberduck46

          Malcolm, your point being?

           

          Looks like you’ve taken the ASA saying they’ll take a look and PB erring on the side of caution in yet another advert as reason to tell people at PurpleBricks that they don’t understand.

           

          Is that right?  

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          1. Malcolm Barnard

            Cyberduck – regarding the previous ASA ruling. In my opinion, I feel it is self explanatory that they expect the ‘explanation that the fee is charged whether the property sells or not’ to be applied across all advertising styles and platforms used by Purplebricks.

            Shall we test whose theory is right with the ASA?

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            1. cyberduck46

              Malcolm,
               
              Testing is the only way of finding out whether the ASA agree with you. Best to bring it to their attention rather than going around telling people they are wrong.
               
              >I feel it is self explanatory that they expect the ‘explanation that the fee is charged whether the property sells or not’ to be applied across all advertising styles
               
               
               
              CPR statute certainly makes it clear that factors are to be taken into consideration when determining whether there has been a misleading omission:
               
              (b)the limitations of the medium used to communicate the commercial practice (including limitations of space or time); and (c)where the medium used to communicate the commercial practice imposes limitations of space or time, any measures taken by the trader to make the information available to consumers by other means.
               
              You could certainly argue that the information being available once you click on the advert is the advertiser making the information available could you not? Something which the PurpleBricks employee actually suggested to you before you told her she misunderstood.
               
              Never clear cut these things. You of course are 100% certain by the sound of it.
               

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              1. Malcolm Barnard

                Cyberduck – feel free to take a read of this and see if you still feel the same.

                https://www.asa.org.uk/advice-online/misleading-advertising.html

                I’m sure that time will tell which one of us is right. If I’m wrong I’ll withdraw my tweets.

                In case you don’t read to the end of the link above I’ll leave this with you…

                “As with all areas of advertising, marketers should remember that marketing communications should reflect the spirit, as well as the letter, of the Code and that when assessing complaints, the ASA will consider the overall impression created by an ad, as well as individual claims and images”.

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                1. cyberduck46

                  Malcolm,

                   

                  I still feel the same. That these things are never clear cut and it could well be you that is wrong.

                   

                  Short advert. “One Fee. No commission”. Link through to a website where more details are provided.

                   

                  You will of course remember that PB’s TV advert was approved so again this demonstrates the subjective nature of all these things.

                   

                  By comparison you could well question whether traditional agents’ websites are misleading by omitting the fact that you will be charged when you sell even if the agent doesn’t find the buyer. Something to ponder.

                   

                  Time to relax for me so that what a rhetorical question. Time to move on after checking to see if my other comment needs a final reply.

                   

                   

                   

                   

                   

                   

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      3. Property Pundit

        ZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZ

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    4. fluter

      Oh the irony dompritch134, oh the irony!

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    5. Property Pundit

      ZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZz

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    6. PatrickW53

      Who has even heard of dompritch134?

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      1. DuckandDomintheunsoldBungalow

        Everybody that looks on this site on a daily basis, “infamous”.

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    7. PeeBee

      Forgive the cut’n’paste of my Tweet to the lightweight member of the Diarrhoea Duo:

      Oh dear, dom-boy – here you go again! You are proving yourself to be quite the #bunnyboiler to anyone who highlights the #CONmisery that your #purple_pals spread around the UK.

      …but it pretty much Ronseals it, I would suggest.

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  8. Aaron

    It still gets me that they can get away with claiming they have no commission!

    Their lpes are incentivised to list, earning a commission for every listing, viewing package and solicitors they sell, otherwise they don’t earn! Therefore surely that constitutes a commission structure and floors their claim to be commission free!

    That aside I think this is good PR and I’m certain the lpes will have strict instructions to service the sh*t out of the 10 freebies!

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  9. ArthurHouse02

    This mumsnet thread not going so well for PB

    http://www.mumsnet.com/Talk/mumsnet_product_test/3219453-Looking-to-sell-your-home-Sign-up-ti-sell-it-for-free-with-Purplebricks?utm_source=Thread

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    1. Dom_P

      Just had a look; brilliant!!

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    2. Robert May

      Angry Terry on the adverts won’t go down well with Mumsnet; who wants a Grandpa that ignores and belittles nanny, who shouts and calls daddy a liar?

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    3. DuckandDomintheunsoldBungalow

      My favourite comment so far
       
      “So the people who are signing up to sell for free are going to get a “fabulous service”? That must be a different service than the one Purple Bricks provide for paying customers. 
      Shame on you MN for being a part of this. You really have sold your soul.”

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  10. Blue

    Dont tell me at least 10 pb staff have signed up to mumsnet in advance.

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  11. Toz1

    I just can’t see the PB business model succeeding. Vendors stupid enough to part with a substancial upfront fee deserve all the grief they get.

    There are companies out there that will list you property on rightmove for as little as £150

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    1. PeeBee

      Toz1
      Sorry to sound like a schoolmarm/trainer – but that’s NOT, I would suggest, the type of statement that will win you the business of vendors who suffer #CONmisery.
      People make choices.  It has been shown that 51.6% of them (at least those back in November 2016…) get a ‘result’ of sorts.  They probably feel they made the right decision – and to a degree who are we to question that?
      It’s no different losing to your local Bargain Billy competitor – just that the unsuccessful will be a grand or so down and have 1000 or so more reasons to tar us all with the same brush.
      But we smile sweetly, empathise with them – AND RESPECT THEIR DECISION.  
      We then put right the wrongs.  THAT is your satisfaction.  Not putting them down for making an inappropriate choice to start with.

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  12. Ostrich17

    What an excellent idea – this will be a perfect opportunity for traditional local agents to step in and offer to help the 50% who fail to sell with PB.

    For the lucky 50% who do find a buyer – local agents will be able to offer free advice and join in the running commentary that will be plastered all over the mumsnet site.

    They will also be able to recommend a good,reliable, local solicitor !

     

     

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  13. Property Pundit

    They go from one PR disaster to another. This one will blow up big time. If this company is ‘flying’ (© the usual village idiot), why resort to such a desperate tactic?

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  14. DonShore93

    Have they given up on Feefo?

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    1. Property Pundit

      Who knows? Let’s keep asking the question though but don’t hold your breath for a direct answer.

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    2. Ostrich17

      They have finally realised that they are locked in a “death roll” with TrustPilot .

      #Hotel California

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  15. IHS

    Surely the bigger scandal is PB’s overpricing of properties, either deliberately to gain business or their LPE’s lack of knowledge of the local market. We have three two bedroom flats for sale in our area in the same blocks and the same size and general condition. Two are being marketed by local Estate Agents at £140,000 and £144,500 respectively and the third with PB at £160,000! (the last one sold in the same block as the PB one is located went for £127,000 in September 2017 which gives an indication of their real worth).

    The  flats are difficult enough to sell anyway with the high maintenance charges due to the Management Company’s failure in the past to build an adequate sinking fund (all the leaseholders had to recently contribute around £10,000 each to pay for the roofs to be replaced).

    The individual who has paid PB’s non-refundable fee doesn’t stand a cat in hells chance of selling his/her flat but my Estate Agent friend says that their price certainly helps in selling the flat he has got for sale!

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  16. Dom_P

    Purplebricks, a poem…

    I’d really like to sell my house, I think I’ll call PB, I’ll find out what their service costs, and what they’ll offer me.

    A bargain price as it transpires, much cheaper than the rest, and with their golden promises they might just be the best.

    I’m sure that with their LPE’s, they’ll price my home just right, and judging by their crazy promises it’ll sell in just one night.

    I’m glad that I don’t have to pay a standard agent’s fee, because a really decent service doesn’t quite appeal to me.

    Alas what’s this, it has turned out they really don’t do well, as the staff and company earn on “list” not “sell”.

    They seem to have no great desire to help progress my sale, as Mr LPE has got his cash regardless if it fails.

    At least in all their adverts they are so very clear, of all their terms they are upfront; sod that, they’re nowhere near!

    It’s not surprising really as it all seems to be quite shifty, and chances of completing a sale are rather 50/50.

    So please beware, it may seem good, but for me it’s really not, as having paid I’d really rather sell my house than not.

    Whilst a standard agent may seem to cost more cash, the service, skill and knowledge is better than PB’s trash.

    It seems with PB to get good service you have to be quite lucky, and that’s the end of this little poem; watch out, here’s Dom and Ducky!

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    1. AgencyInsider

      Magnificent!

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  17. Woodentop

    We all know that the ten will get the royal treatment and then PB will use it to further their public relations with the masses just as they have with TrustPilot. If it backfires on them, it will say a lot about how good they are at their service to these 10 stooges and how managing their business …. is lacking to the point of stupidity? See MN if I’m right.

     

    The advert is a clear breach of advertising standards. Years ago as far back as 1990’s there was a ruling by the OFT that material information cannot be hidden in small print or through to another link. The fact that PB have already been wrist slapped for doing such more than once, beggars belief as to why they are not now referred to court proceedings. Not only does the advert not disclose material information, it doesn’t even show that terms and conditions apply.

     

    The most glaring failure is “ONE FEE”.

     

    The second is “Save Thousands”. This is false in many cases and misleading.

     

    Looks like it has backfired with most posters on MN saying to stay clear and poor service! I’d put that down as a pretty good review from an independent source.

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  18. davehedgehog

    Hmmm wonder why Mumsnet is considering this offer from PB especially after looking into some of their previous customers reviews.

     

    https://www.mumsnet.com/Talk/property/2498593-purplebricks-turns-out-it-was-too-good-to-be-true

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  19. Eastsidestory90

    As Mr Bruce stated on watchdog….”purple bricks leads the way with transparency”

     

    #shakes head#

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    1. AgentV

      We’re ***** and we know we are!

      BSOS23PC

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  20. htsnom79

    Mods have had to get involved over on mumsnet due to poor feedback to the promotion and, ” they never mediate feedback ” which I’m confident they don’t

    Do it blind then

    As if, chancers playing a numbers game

     

     

     

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  21. htsnom79

    There is a burn on mumsnet comments, credit to them far superior to anything we’ve ever achieved on here even with our best strikers deployed, dom and duck try dipping your toe in over there while I grab some popcorn and a drink lol

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    1. Property Pundit

      What a brilliant idea, wonder if they’ll have the ba££s to do it? I’d take time out of my day to watch that.

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      1. PeeBee

        Wouldn’t surprise me – dom-boy has a seedy history of rude and insulting behaviour to anyone who dares to call the ball on his beloved #Purple_Pals.

        Tw@tter is littered with his calling into question the intelligence or even sanity of anyone who dares to post a 1-star Trustpilot review.

        Doesn’t like it back at him, though…

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        1. Property Pundit

          They’d chew them up and spit them out on there!

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  22. Property Pundit

    Not going so well:

    MNHQ Admin writes: ‘Thanks for everyone’s comments. Purplebricks want to get honest feedback on their service, which is why they are working with us to run a product test and learn what they’re doing right and where they can improve – on a public platform. All Mumsnet testers will be getting the same service as any other Purplebricks customer and we never mediate feedback’.

    So 40,000+ reviews don’t give you a feeling for you you’re doing right & wrong. Is that what they are now trying to say?

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  23. Quags

    Umm, so PB are giving 10 free instructions to see how they can improve? How on earth can this be impartial?

    Improve by looking at PAYING customers, not ones who are being given effectively a bribe!

     

    Oh and “As far as CPR is concerned (2)(a), (2)(b) & (2)(c)  are the areas open to subjective interpretation.” 

    No, they’re not. They’re really not. If it’s not commission, it’s a fee.  This must be declared that it is applicable whether you sell or not.

    And I’m not aware of any agents that use Sole Selling Rights contracts, I’m sure there are, but a very small amount.

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  24. Sunbeam175

    It would be fairer and more transparent if the 10 freebies were reimbursed their costs at the end of the experiment so they were effectively anonymous until completion. It’s pretty obvious that the PB cowboys will actually make an effort on the chosen 10 if they know who they are! I notice on the link to the Mumsnet reviews there is a PB advert and guess what, no mention that they fees are payable regardless! Why doesn’t the ASA levy a huge fine on these CONmisey cowboys?

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