Online firm comparing itself ‘like for like’ with high street agents in trouble for second time over claims

Claims made by an online agent comparing itself “on a like to like” basis with high street agents, have been the subject of a complaint to the advertising watchdog.

The case has been informally resolved and will go no further.

It is the second time within months that a similar claim by Doorsteps has been the subject of a complaint. In August, the complainant was the industry regulator, the National Trading Standards Estate Agency Team.

That complaint was also informally resolved.

In the new case, the complainant drew the Advertising Standards Authority’s attention to the claims made by Doorsteps on its own website.

The text said: “Based on a direct comparison of like for like services, provided by the current average High street Agent fee of 1.2% (inc VAT) compared to the current fixed fee charged by Doorsteps of £99inc VAT (excluding viewing services in this package; optional add-on).

“Based on average home price in London of £484,716 on the government press release on house price index in July 2016.”

An ASA spokesperson said: “A complainant challenged whether it was misleading as it didn’t fully detail the differences between the services being compared.

“The advertiser agreed to amend the claims on its website so that all material differences between the services being compared are clear and prominent.”

In August, the ASA said the Doorsteps website had stated: “With Doorsteps you can sell your house for less than a hundred pounds, without leaving your home.

“An honest, transparent and hassle free way for you to sell your property, with a great level of service at a fantastic price.”

Small print had added: “Based on a direct comparison of like for like services, provided by the current average High street Agent fee of 1.3% (inc VAT) compared to the current fixed fee charged by Doorsteps of £99 inc VAT.”

NTSEAT challenged whether the comparative claims were misleading and could be substantiated.

On that occasion, an ASA spokesperson said: “Upside Capital Ltd trading as Doorsteps gave their assurance that they would amend their ad so that it stated any material differences between Doorsteps’ services or packages and those offered by ‘the average high street agent’ that they were being compared with.”

Last month Doorsteps – founded by Akshay Ruparelia – concluded a crowd-funding campaign which raised more than £870,000, way over its target of £400,000. The firm, which says it is worth £18m, raised over £500,000 in an earlier campaign last year.

Online agency founded by teenage tycoon told not to compare itself with high street agents

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9 Comments

  1. Hillofwad71

    Well at least Doorstep’s property details aren’t too bad unlike their  friends at 99 Home .
    They are a hoot .
    Latest additions with spacing and spelling errors
    “semi-detached home composed of luxury furniture and porcelain t tiling throughout. ”
    House built from furniture !!
    “set in large communial gardens”
    “and full of cha aracter”
     
      This one a real teaser.
    Get your calculators  out.
    ” This is currently a 3 bedroom property located in Cambridge, the property has planning permission granted for a significant extension to turn the e property from a 3 bedroom 1-bathroom property into a 5 bedroom (1 en-suite) 3 bathroom and downstairs toilet property.The planning consent is for a ground floor extension of 4.3 metres long by 5 metres wide which will add over 21.5 m2 to the ground floor, the first floor is 3 metres long by 3.425 metres wide which will add over 10 m2 to the 1st floor, the second floor is (loft/dorma conversion) which will be 6.7 metres in length by 5.6 metres wide giving over 37 m2 with subtractions off for the front facing sloped roof which will still be around 30 m2 of usable space. Total additional space will be 61 m2.The existing property is around 74 m2 so the total usable space will be in the region of 135 m2. Even with the extension completed the rear garden will still be a decent size roughly 10 metres long by 5.5 metres wide which are all grass.”
     
      Wonder what commissions on the £99 fee their agents get -a flake?            

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    1. devonlondoner59

      The gift that keeps on giving….lol

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  2. Ric

    In trouble hahaha. (Huge giant laughing emoji)

    Gosh, the fear of the ASA calling you to ask for your assurance you will not say that again, knowing the technical solution is to then say the same lie a little bit differently, with the comfort you have adhered to their previous wrist slap.

    Some of my 2019 Marketing Headlines…

    No Agent can match what we offer. (as no other agents have my staff or our brand)

    Coverage in almost every UK Village. (Where there is 3G, 4G or Broadband, you can get on http://www.ric.co.uk)

    Worldwide Relocation Marketing Campaigns. (Where there is 3G, 4G Broadband you can get on http://www.ric.com)

    100% sales success achieved last year. (All of the exchanged sales completed! 100% boom!)

    100% client satisfaction recorded. (Everyone I asked, would have rated us 6 stars)

    100% of the money expected by the vendor achieved. (Everyone got what they expected once exchanged!)

    NO FEES TO PAY for the OWNERS. (We collect after completion. You ain’t the owner when I want my Wonga)

    Your Property being Market 24 / 7 / 365 (Thank you internet, as we know)

    There’s more….

     

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  3. WestMidsValuer97

    Yawn…..doorsteps is a failure waiting to happen. Set up by inexperienced fools thinking they can change the industry.

    Next….

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  4. J1

    It should be kicked off the portals – it is a joke

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  5. Property Poke In The Eye

    It’s more of a trading standard issue.   Trading standards should close these businesses which mislead the public.

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  6. PeeBee

    Erm… EXCUSE ME, Mr .@ASA_UK…

    I think you missed something.

    Something that you really shouldn’t have missed – seeing as you’re like the authority in this field and all that…

    So allow me to point you in the right direction, in best ‘leading a horse to water’ fashion.

    On the main page of the Doorstops website which I accessed via their very convenient Google Ad listing right up on top of the page…

    …is stated in rather large font

    “£99.  All in.  No commission.”

    Spotted it yet, Mr. .@ASA_UK?

    No – I didn’t think you had.

    Look at the bit that says “All in.”

    A “reasonable person” as the saying goes would take that to mean what it says…

    All.

    In. 

    As in finito.  Paid up.  NOTHING NOTHING to pay.  NOTHING ELSE to add.

    So how come they have TWO MORE ‘packages’, costing £100 and £500 more respectively?

    Surely the “All in” should be their optimum package – as there really isn’t anything else they think they can add to the £99 which they state as “All in”?

    Or maybe they should be ‘informally requested’ by you frightfully nice sorts down at .@ASA_UK Ivory Towers to change the wording yet again (have you seen just how ridiculous the current amendment is by the way?) to state “All in except for a whole 5h!tpile of other stuff that will cost you another half a grand but still isn’t like-for-like and never… ever… will be

    That seems more like it to me.

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    1. WestMidsValuer97

      HATE this company and never looked at it like this. Point made so very well!!

      Totally agree.

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  7. MTOM1

    Advice-needs to grow up and get some proper “big boy” advice.

    Report
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