CIELA defends Independent Agents from offensive PB report
The Charter for Independent Estate and Letting Agents (CIELA) today expressed its outrage at the grossly misleading and misrepresentative portrayal of high street estate and letting agents by Purplebricks. The wildly inaccurate claims issued by the company’s recent press release cite that high street estate agents are lazy, outdated and are a rip off, as published in the Daily Express and other outlets.
The members of CIELA express genuine dismay and upset by these comments to people who have devoted their lives to providing homeowners with an incomparable service.
“Purplebricks likening their online service to that of dedicated, passionate independent estate agents is like comparing two plastic surgeons when deciding to get major reconstruction… one may be cheaper but has only done the procedure twice, whereas the other costs more but has completed it thousands of times and has a brilliant reputation… who would you enlist your trust in with something so important?”
“I applaud anyone who tries to shake up our industry. God knows we need it. But when it involves unsubstantiated comparisons, borderline lies and bullying I can’t sit back and let a company with a huge marketing spend try to take down the hardworking independents.
“Purplebricks should be applauding these people, but instead they surveyed a tiny fraction of the UK with cleverly worded questions to get the headlines they want. It’s scare tactics. We don’t see them admitting to only having a 30% completion rate yet still taking consumers hard earned money, do we? You can easily quantify an online buy or sell, but you can never put a price on the human element, which ultimately is the most important part of such a huge decision.”
CIELA has issued statements on numerous occasions that Purplebricks are being irresponsibly misleading by comparing the guaranteed listing a seller receives as a result of payment to Purplebricks with the guaranteed sale that occurs if and when a seller gets to the point of paying the high street agent a commission fee. Purplebricks have purposely withheld information about their completion rates and actively pulled the wool over consumer’s eyes with to-good-to-be-true prices and empty promises.
CIELA Founder and CEO, Charles Wright, comments:
“We challenge the validity and reliability of the data upon which Purplebricks’ report relies and would like to question the sample size and whether it’s nationally representative of the UK to qualify for such claims.
This report is profoundly offensive, not only to estate agents, but especially to all the consumers who had money taken by Puprlebricks even though they didn’t sell their home. The sheer nerve of an organisation who is taking millions of pounds a year from people who don’t get a successful sale to suggest estate agents don’t pass on offers to their clients is breath-taking in its hypocrisy, given that this is precisely the complaint we see levelled at them time and again on TrustPilot.
80% of the industry is comprised of small-owner managed businesses who care deeply about their customers yet earn nothing if they don’t achieve a sale. They are unsung heroes helping people navigate one of the most difficult and important processes as people’s lives require a move.
Purplebricks’ behaviour represents the very worst of cynical, disingenuous, corporate behaviour.
I would like to see their CEO, Michael Bruce speak face to face with a first time seller who has handed over their money and got nothing, and explain why that’s ok.
They are taking money from people who can’t afford to lose it if they don’t sell. It’s shameful. CIELA fully intends to do whatever it can to alert the public to the dangers of this parasitic company.”