Purplebricks – Is an ASA Ruling beyond their comprehension? . . . or does their business rely completely on misleading people?
It was brought to our attention today that Purplebricks has entirely disregarded the ASA’s plain-English ruling from October of 2017. Check out CIELA’s newly-filed ASA complaint (today) below:
REFERENCING PREVIOUS RULING ON CASE NUMBER A17-384367/NS
(original complaint by CIELA, A17-382588)
You upheld our complaint in a final ruling on 10/10/17.
I represent the Charter for Independent Estate and Letting Agents (CIELA). We now are not only complaining that Purplebricks continues to breach BCAP Code rules 3.1, 3.2, and 3.33, but also that it is blatantly disregarding the ASA’s ruling.
In the ASA’s assessment, under the section that was upheld (CIELA’s complaint), it stated that: “We considered that they (the customer) would likely understand that a fee was payable but not that the fee was always required to be paid upon commissioning Purplebricks services, even when a property had not been sold. We considered the fact that the fee was always payable was material information that would allow consumers to make an informed decision about using Purplebricks services.” . . . “it was not sufficiently clear in the ads that the fee payable to Purplebricks was not conditional on the sale of the property and therefore concluded that the ad was misleading.”
The required action was “We told Purplebricks to ensure that when making a comparison to other fee models in their ads, they made it clear that their flat fee was always payable.”
They have blatantly ignored this ruling. CIELA has attached a screenshot of the Purplebricks homepage website, in which they state “We offer everything you would expect from an estate agent, except for the unfair commission – just one fair fee.” There is nothing here that abides by the ASA’s requirement to list that this is payable regardless of whether the property is sold.
On their “How much could you save?” calculator, Purplebricks compares a high street agent’s commission to their £849 standard fee, WITHOUT stating that the fee is payable regardless of whether the property is sold.