Vendor who posted negative review of Purplebricks says it was taken down for three days

A woman who tried to sell her home through Purplebricks posted a negative review on Trustpilot – only to have it removed.

The woman, Laura, told of her experience on BBC 5 Live Investigates yesterday.

She told presenter Adrian Goldberg that the property did not sell through Purplebricks, and that there was not a single viewing.

She said she had put up a two-star review, describing the lack of viewings.

However, her review was marked as suspicious.

She said she then received an automated email from Trustpilot asking her to produce proof that she had been a Purplebricks customer.

She said that although she produced this very quickly, “my review did not go back up until three days later”.

By this time, she said it had slipped down the order, and was “buried about five pages down”, which meant that people looking for reviews of Purplebricks would not necessarily have seen it.

Goldberg put it to Glenn Manoff, vice president of Trustpilot that “it does seem harder to get negative reviews on Trustpilot than five-star ones”.

Goldberg also raised the issue that Purplebricks pays Trustpilot .

However, Manoff said that the fact that there was a financial relationship between Trustpilot and some firms did not mean that they could manipulate their scores.

He insisted that whether there was a financial relationship or not made no difference to the kind of reviews people posted.

The programme also looked at how easy it is to buy fake reviews online. Reporter Dan Box wrote a five-star review of himself and paid £1.99 to have it posted on Truspilot – “Dan Box is one of the most respected professionals I have dealt with. It was a pleasure doing business with him”.

It was not removed until the BBC itself pointed out to Truspilot that it was fake.

Manoff said that Trustpilot removes 20,000 reviews a month and uses technology to spot fakes.

The programme also said that an estimated £23bn spend a year is influenced by reviews.

After the programme aired, review site allAgents – which has been in a long-running dispute with Purplebricks over the validity of its own reviews – renewed its call for an independent audit of both Trustpilot and allAgents reviews.

Martin McKenzie of allAgents said: “allAgents has become one of the few places disgruntled Purplebricks customers can voice their complaints, because Purplebricks are doing everything they can to kill negative reviews elsewhere.

“What’s needed is an independent audit of both the reviews of Purplebricks on allAgents, and on Trustpilot. We stand right by the validity of our reviews. It’s high time Trustpilot did the same. If they don’t agree, we can only assume it’s because they’re terrified about what an independent audit will reveal.”

Purplebricks said:“We welcomed the BBC programme into the online review industry and actively engaged with its makers throughout its planning and development. We supplied the BBC with data including the fact that in April 2018 alone we received over 1,900 reviews, requesting additional information to validate the authenticity of more four and five star reviews than one and two star reviews.

“The programme also validated the Purplebricks policy of verifying every single customer review.”

The programme can be heard via the link below.

https://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/b0b0rvff

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31 Comments

  1. dompritch134

    So all in all the huge ‘blowing the lid off Purplebricks’ expose and the ‘ I need to keep quiet until Sunday’ was nothing but hot air as per usual.

    If anything this was a vindication of PB and their policy of verification of reviews.

    This which has been missed out in the article above is PB response.

    “We supplied the BBC with data including the fact that in April 2018 alone we received over 1,900 reviews, requesting additional information to validate the authenticity of more four and five star reviews than one and two star reviews. The programme also validated the Purplebricks policy of verifying every single customer review.”    

    NOW HAS BEEN ADDED.

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    1. Curious george

      Dom boy must have been up all night waiting for this story to come out .

      If Purplebrick ‘welcomed’ the investigation, then why did they not go on the show to defend their actions as to why they they challenge the reviews of genuine customers?

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      1. Bless You

        Most agents wouldn’t get such bad reviews in first place.

        I thank trustpilot anyway. Any business using them can’t be trusted.

        Looks like trustpilot been found out… only took 3 years.

         

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  2. Property Poke In The Eye

    If any estate has anything over 250 reviews, the agent should be marked as “suspicious” in my opinion.

    Who really rates estate agents, unless the agents beg for reviews.

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    1. Aaron

      I personally don’t see the problem with asking for reviews.

      We use allAgents and within our completion letter to our sellers and buyers is a small paragraph explaining how we value their opinion of our company, with the url to our allagents Page to leave a review.

      Weve received over 140 5 star reviews as a small independent over the past 15 months or so, which is very valuable when going on valuations. Not everyone leaves a review, some review us on google or Facebook too. We always ask and I think if you’re not using reviews to show your future clients how good you are then you’re missing a trick.

      I’ve had numerous vendors state on valuations I called you in as I was impressed with your reviews. Worth there weight in gold.

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      1. Bless You

        Purplebricks were the first agent to get 5***** just for putting a house on the market  … it will come out soon that they prob gave discounts to vendors for this fake review style. 

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    2. MrLister

      The reason that they have so many positive reviews is that they ask for them! It pretty simple, we do the same and get a good number each month. With 750 LPE’S they’re bound to get a lot. There’s huge emphasis put on TP reviews at Purplebricks and all staff are expected to ask all clients to post a review. It’s a constant focus. 

      Personally I think it gives an exaggerated perspective of the service when you start asking for reviews from viewers. Most people want to see what the service levels are like for marketing and sales and with a lot of the Purplebricks reviews on TP you can’t differentiate between viewers and sellers. Not helpful as most viewers whether they like the property or not will leave a positive review if the agent was helpful, polite and professional.

      Finally, whatever you may choose to believe  Purplebricks do have a very vigorous system of verification and check all their reviews internally. They’re a bit paranoid about fake reviews and really do go to great lengths to make sure that all their reviews are genuine. Any view to the contrary is wrong and biased.

      Happy Monday

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      1. Aaron

        I don’t agree with asking viewers either, or asking once the property is listed or an offer received. 
        At the end is the only fair way in my opinion, once the product has delivered on what you’ve purchased and they say they’ll do, otherwise it would be like reviewing a TV before getting home and plugging it, for example. 

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      2. PeeBee

        MrLister

        “Purplebricks do have a very vigorous system of verification and check all their reviews internally. They’re a bit paranoid about fake reviews and really do go to great lengths to make sure that all their reviews are genuine. Any view to the contrary is wrong and biased.”

        THREE DAYS OLD:

        uk.trustpilot.com/reviews/5ae34b2c6d33bc0320945c24

        ’nuff said.

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        1. Property Pundit

          Also, ‘Any view to the contrary is wrong and biased‘. Oh, OK then. MrLister & PolyDom – separated at birth?

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          1. MrLister

            No “Property Pundit” (not a very apt username) we weren’t separated at birth.

            I run a high street office, I have no idea what he does. I have a partner who’s an LPE so I know a fair bit more than most. I do agree with him a fair bit although there definitely seems to be an agenda there! I agree with him not because I love PB or their model, I don’t and I’ve made that clear before. I agree because I’ve always tried to have unbiased and well informed opinion….Something others who post on here don’t seem to.

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        2. PeeBee

          FUNNILY ENOUGH…

           

          …it’s been #NUKED within the last 40 minutes!
           

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  3. AgencyInsider

    Quick dom. Paul Smith is being beastly to your bestest purple friends in the next story. You must troll down there right away to post something sycophantically pleasing to your Masters. And better get down the other pub too cos they’ve got the story as well. No time for golf for you today. Happy trolling.

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    1. dompritch134

      Paul Smith seems to have a weekly slot at bashing his competitors.

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      1. smile please

        For once i need to agree with Dom,

        It seems Paul only uses his column to bash his competitors. Not sure i would like this from my CEO if i worked for him. Shows he is more concerned what others are doing as opposed to what his staff are doing.

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    2. cyberduck46

      >AgencyInsider
       
      There’s a difference between making a point that upsets people to posting in order to upset people.
       
      Your post is more of a troll.
       
       

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      1. Property Pundit

        HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA

        Report
  4. Moveaside01

    That aside, have you made any money yet PB? Let’s discuss how good you are when your investors get some Divi’s…….

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  5. cyberduck46

    >What’s needed is an independent audit of both the reviews of Purplebricks on allAgents, and on Trustpilot.

     

    What about all the other Agents?

     

    AllAgents should review all their reviews rather than the few they have for PurpleBricks. When they retrospectively reviewed PurpleBricks some of the reviews never made it back.

     

    What’s Allagents’ idea behind having different systems for different Agents?. Don’t they claim to be unbiased?

     

     

     

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    1. Property Pundit

      ZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZz

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    2. Room101

      cyberduck46 / Dompritch134 – so you pair are saying that PB are not gaming the system?  If that is your statement of fact then should there have been anyone sitting on the fence about the depth of your integrity and accuracy of your moral compass, they can now make an informed decision.

      You don’t have to look far to see just one way the system is being gamed.  Here is one in the last couple of hours –

      https://uk.trustpilot.com/users/5ad8e6924de5666d3404ca8e

      That is two five star reviews 11 days apart saying the same thing about the same service.  Now if Fritha Tigerlilly Quinn has had a good service from PB then fair play, but this is not fair play of the review system and another example of the integrity of Trustpilot being called into question.  What was Fritha’s incentive to post not one, but two reviews?  So will you take this up with Trustpilot and point out how their system is being gamed or do sweet FA knowing that this sort of behaviour plus the suffocation of bad reviews keeps an artificially high score?  I and many others suspect the latter.

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      1. PeeBee

        More’s to the point, Room101…

        IF EVERY PURPLEBRICKS REVIEW on Trustpilot is checked and verified – as claimed by MrLister… Kenneth Bruce… Michael Bruce… Lee Wainwright… Uncle Tom Cobley and all – THEN WHY WAS THIS “CUSTOMER” CLEARLY ASKED BY THE COMPANY TO POST THE MOST RECENT REVIEW?
         

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      2. Property Pundit

        Yet neither review gives any indication that the house sale had completed. One to watch me thinks.

        Report
  6. PeeBee

    Want a 5-star TRUSTpilot review, guys?

    Here you go:

    ebay.co.uk/itm/1-5-Star-Trustpilot-Review/232747454168?hash=item3630d44ed8:g:GpAAAOSwNSJa4fsi

    1 – 5 Star Trustpilot Review.

    Will do review in 24hours

    Ideally message me exactly what you want me to write or we can just put something generic but rest assured, it’ll be professionally done. Please message me your business link.

    WE DO REVIEWS 7 DAYS A WEEK !!!

    It’s done naturally and is safe!

    Please contact me for any questions

    Thanks for looking

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    1. PeeBee

      OR you can have TEN Google ones for a tenner… or the same money will buy you ten for YELL.

      Report
      1. PeeBee

        So… at two quid a pop – how much would it cost to get you to #VEGAS_BABY I wonder?

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      2. smile please

        To be honest, i have thought of doing it in the past, ‘cant beat them join them’ and all that jazz.

        The only thing to put me off was the possibility Google would see this happening and then penalise me / my business.

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        1. PeeBee

          NO, smile please.  You are wrong.  Wrong as, to be precise.

          The only thing that put you off was that you believe in honesty and integrity.

          Admit it… get used to it – they are the fatal flaws in your plan to embrace tw@st@rdness in order to compete with the masters of the art.

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  7. PeeBee

    “Manoff said that Trustpilot removes 20,000 reviews a month and uses technology to spot fakes.”

    But their “technology currently fails to spot these:

    uk.trustpilot.com/review/m.clubfactory.com (144 “reviews” – and rising quickly)

    uk.trustpilot.com/review/www.clubfactory.com (8 “reviews”) –

    uk.trustpilot.com/review/clubfactoryapp.com (8 “reviews”)

    uk.trustpilot.com/review/clubfactory.co.uk (1 “review”)

    uk.trustpilot.com/review/www.clubfactorycustomercare.com (3 “reviews”)

    uk.trustpilot.com/review/clubfactory.in (1 “review”)

    #Funny_That…

     

     

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  8. Woodentop

    The programme also said that an estimated £23bn spend a year is influenced by reviews

     

    Isn’t that a good enough reason why review companies should be regulated and audited in this consumer protected political environment? Any fraud that influences a risk to that amount, is bewildering to just be allowed to go on.

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  9. PeeBee

    As seen on Twitter:

    “I had a bad experience with @PurpleBricksUK, left them a negative review on @TrustPilot reflecting my experience. This has now been removed until I provide further evidence as PurpleBricks have flagged it as a fake.” Kat_O.

    The #NUKE_SQUAD

    Coming to a town near you.

    Report
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