Two more complaints about agents informally resolved by advertising watchdog

Complaints about two agents – both high street firms – have been informally resolved by the Advertising Standards Authority.

Agent Michael Jones & Company, based in Worthing, West Sussex, was the subject of one complaint, where there was a challenge as to whether the following claims on the company’s website were misleading and could be substantiated:

  1. “We sell almost 50% more properties than the next leading agent in our area.”
  2. “It takes us on average half the time of the UK national average to sell the property.”
  3. “We achieve on average 99% of the asking price of the properties that we sell.”

A spokesperson for the ASA told EYE: “We approached the advertiser with the concerns that had been raised.

“It agreed to make clear that the comparison [1] was based on sales information available on Rightmove, to provide the dates that the evidence related to, and the areas included in the comparison.

“The advertiser also removed from its website the other claims [2 & 3].”

A second complaint was about Welsh firm Bob Parry Lettings.

The ASA spokesperson said: “We received a complaint about a website which featured claims for a plot of land.

“It stated the advertiser did not have knowledge that any planning application had been made for the land.

“The complainant stated that planning permission had previously been rejected on the land and that they had informed the advertiser of this.

“As the claim continued to appear the complainant considered it was misleading.

“The advertiser agreed to remove the claim.”

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25 Comments

  1. PeeBee

    If the courts worked like the ASA, society wouldn’t survive for a fortnight.

    These ‘informal resolutions’ are now proving to be the joke we all see them for.

    Our industry has become a free-for-all where those that lie best rake in the business on the backs of those lies.

    The rules are there are no rules – because there is no-one prepared to enforce them.

    The tills at ASDA are looking an ever-more inviting work environment…

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    1. cyberduck46

      Same in all walks of life. 99% of lies don’t even get found out because they’re verbal.

       

      Come on PeeBee, did you never exaggerate your experience & qualifications when looking for a job? I’d be surprised if 95% of people hadn’t lied or exaggerated when looking for a job.

       

      Perhaps we need a Watchdog undercover team looking at the porkies being told by traditional Estate Agents when they get to meet their potential customers.

       

       

       

       

       

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      1. Bless You

        So , now the companies who have been caught out need to be made to advertise the breech, where ever they advertised the misleading information that has probably got them business.. leaflets, billboards, TV etc.

        i would love to see adverts from the online community on TV saying …

        you know we said we are the same as high st agents..yeah ..we lied.

        you know all agents charge £15,000 to sell your house…yeah we lied..

        ..then the owner of the business then has to poor milk on his head like a purplesh*t.

         

        bless you all …

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        1. KemptownAgent

          Would love to see a media platform review estate agents claims and publicly humiliate them.

          “Hmm, whats this claim, our average fee saves £5,456? what a load of B***S***”

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        2. PeeBee

          Gotta share this with you – I hope you find it as funny:pathetic as I do…

          Yesterday, @ASA_UK Tweeted this:

          https://twitter.com/ASA_UK/status/907605725412823041

          For those that can’t be @r$ed to have a look, it’s a picture of what looks to be an ASA-branded tube station poster, with the following comment:

          “Our new ad campaign has launched. “If an ad is wrong, the ASA is here to put it right”.”

          Being the ‘caring, sharing’ kinda guy I am, I reTweeted it.

          It seemed rude not to.

          Oh – forgot to mention I added a little comment of my own. It said

          The words #Yeah_RIGHT! come to mind… as do #Like_WHEN? and of course #BULL***T. (edited) The advert is misleading – please resolve this #informally

          It now seems I’ve been blocked by @ASA_UK.

          You couldn’t make it up…

          @ASA_UK – if you’re reading this…

          #DIDDUMS

           

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          1. AgentV

            The ASA’s advert is misleading……. Just brilliant!

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      2. Bless You

        Cyberduck shut up. If you lied in your interview , got the job and the employer had to pay you upfront it would be a different matter. These lies that you think are harmless are now costing jobs and people are suffering due to bad service… people like you need to be drained from the swamp.

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        1. cyberduck46

          Bless You,

           

          How rude you are.

           

          >These lies that you think are harmless are now costing jobs and people are suffering due to bad service

           

          I never said lies are harmless, just that it’s widespread. Estate Agency has its own Act of Parliament because of the dishonesty in the industry. Also its own Department at the Office of Fair Trading.

           

          So what lies are you talking about? Who has lost their job because of a lie and who is suffering from a bad service because of a lie? You do realise that people are used to being lied to and that homeowners aren’t as gullible as the public at large. I think you need to get things in perspective.

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          1. Silver10198

            You would not get away with lying on a job description for a nursing or teaching post. Where on earth do you get the 95% of people lie on a job application claim from?

            how sad.

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            1. cyberduck46

              Did I say lied on the job application? Please don’t twist my words.

               

              “I’d be surprised if 95% of people hadn’t lied or exaggerated when looking for a job.”

               

               

               

               

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      3. PeeBee

        “Come on PeeBee, did you never exaggerate your experience & qualifications when looking for a job?”

        Nope – never.  Not once.

        Even came straight about my ‘O’-Level maths debacle.

        But then – I never went looking for a job – they kind of ‘found’ me in the main.

        And as far as the ‘undercover team looking at traditional Estate Agents’ bit goes – even if you’d only have taken one percent of the interest in our industry before your infatuation for a certain online outfit and its’ share values kicked in you’d have sat through countless hours of breathtaking ‘exposes’ of heinous acts of Agents’ f***wittery (credit: Jonnie)  fronted by the likes of Jonathan Maitland.

        You should be able to search for them though – they’ll be out there somewhere – and it’s amazing what you find with a good’n’proper Rummage4 juicy stuff…

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        1. cyberduck46

          >You should be able to search for them though

           

          Not that interested in Watchdog. All they are interested in is making a spectacle. I thought the PurpleBricks expose was poor journalism and pretty lame. They must have asked some detailed questions when posing as your typical house seller to get to the point where they were asking about the number of listings that the agent had personally placed don’t you think? And that was all they came up with. A human being who exaggerated in order to get business.

           

          I keep getting a list of properties sold locally by a particular agent. I haven’t bothered checking but I think they must be going back about 20 years because over the last 5 years it’s been very quiet until the last year or so when there was a spate of “sold” signs followed by more listings and another quiet period.

           

           

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          1. PeeBee

            “I keep getting a list of properties sold locally by a particular agent. I haven’t bothered checking…”

            Define ‘locally’ (in terms of radius from your postcode).  I WILL check.

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            1. cyberduck46

               

              >Define ‘locally’ (in terms of radius from your postcode)

               

              It’s not that simple. The radius from my house would be about 1 mile but you’d have to remove about 50% of the circle to get the area that they claim to have sold the properties in.

               

              No need to check though as I don’t even have the leaflets they keep sending and I’m pretty sure they didn’t even have addresses. Certainly not full ones.

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              1. PeeBee

                Matters not what properties would be ‘excluded’ from the results – just what they define as ‘locally’.

                It’s actually refreshing to read your confirmation that your local ‘traditional’ Agents actually use acceptable parameters in their claims – unlike certain other ‘local’ self-proclaimed ‘experts’ who often don’t even stick to the same town or village when using ‘comparables’.

                I’ll be back with some figures…

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                1. PeeBee

                  SO…

                  A quick check tells me that in the last 2 years:

                  51 sales have completed within a half-mile radius of your postcode; at prices ranging from just sub-£150k to .£1.7m+.

                  Expand the radius to 1 mile, and the figure rises to 168 completed sales – all within the same price range as quoted above.

                  Narrow it down to 1 year, and there have been 51 in the 0.5 mile radius, prices from £380k+ – £1.7m+;

                  and when you go a mile out that figure increases to 92 completions between £245k and that tasty upper figure which is closer to £2million than I’ll ever be able to putt from the apron of a green to the cup.

                  Now as to which Agent actually collected Fees/Commissions – or whatever today’s @ASA_UK ‘we will happily overlook this’ phrase is – I don’t know, but I’m seeing maybe three/four names coming up with regularity on a RightmovePlus search for the area so I think it’s reasonable to assume that your “particular agent” is in there somewhere.

                  Comments?

                   

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                  1. cyberduck46

                    Comments?

                     

                    I already said I don’t have the list so not to waste your time.

                     

                    I also said the area I was referring to is not a circle of any size from my postcode and you’ve gone ahead and looked at a circular radius from my postcode.

                     

                    I’m not coming back to check for any more comments. If you’ve got time on your hands just go around looking at Estate Agents’ websites. I’m sure you’ll find loads making claims similar to the ones in the above article.

                     

                    Or simply do a search inside double quotes in google for “agents are costing consumers around half a billion pounds per year”. Check out the claim and ask yourself whether it can be substantiated. If not then report the Agent to the ASA.

                     

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                    1. PeeBee

                      I’ll take that as an “Oh bu99er I’ve been rumbled” then…

                      You must be getting pretty sick of that by now.

                      #duckshoot

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                    2. PeeBee

                      “Or simply do a search inside double quotes in google for “agents are costing consumers around half a billion pounds per year”.”

                      The actual article you refer to uses phrases such as “could” and “up to” – similar to those that the company you are a yo-yo shareholder and others love to rely on as their ‘Get out of jail free card’.

                      “Check out the claim and ask yourself whether it can be substantiated. If not then report the Agent to the ASA.”

                      Here’s the thing, ducky.  The article was written and published in December 2014.  Any individual, company – or authority – that had any form of issue with it either at that time or in the 33 months from then to now could, should and would have done something about it.  But that hasn’t happened.

                      Golly! – wonder why?

                      #duckshoot

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                    3. Property Pundit

                      ‘I’m not coming back to check for any more comments‘; standard comment from cyberduck when he’s losing the argument and he’s out of ammo.

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  2. RosBeck73

    For those interested in looking more at the issue of lying, read Sisela Bok’s classic book ‘Lying.’ I’m not on commission – I just think society would be a better place if we lied less wherever possible. Sometimes a lie is good – ‘you look marvellous, darling’ etc. even when the person doesn’t, but lying across the board is very bad for society, democracy etc.

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    1. cyberduck46

      My boss once told me he was 99% honest which amused me 🙂

       

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      1. Peter

        Sounds like an exaggeration!

         

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    2. Bless You

      Agreed , one thing technology has done has helped the fake companies compete on the same level as genuine business…where it may be easier for the public to find services now….it doesnt mean they are honest services.

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  3. Bless You

    Cyberduck shut up. If you lied in your interview , got the job and the employer had to pay you upfront it would be a different matter. These lies that you think are harmless are now costing jobs and people are suffering due to bad service… people like you need to be drained from the swamp.

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