Purplebricks in trouble over fees claims on its own website
Purplebricks has had its corporate knuckles rapped once more by the advertising standards watchdog the ASA after a complaint about an advert on its own website.
The hybrid agency has been contacted by the ASA, which regulates and monitors the truthfulness of advertising, after a complaint from two members of the public.
“We received a complaint about an ad on the Purplebricks website, which stated that customers could defer their payment at no extra cost,” an ASA spokesperson says.
“The complainant challenged whether the claim that payment can be deferred at no extra cost was misleading because they understood that to defer payment customers must agree to use the Purplebricks conveyancing service or pay an admin fee of approximately £350.
“We contacted the advertiser, who agreed to change the wording of the ad. We therefore consider the case to be informally resolved without the need for an investigation.”
Purplebricks has got into varying degrees of hot water since it launched in 2012 on at least a dozen occasions following complaints about its fees claims, although this is its first referral to the ASA since October 2018.
Then, two radio ads were referred to the watchdog because they were not clear enough that the company charges a fee for its service.
But by far the most high profile case came from a group of agents including Hunters in June 2018, whose complaints about the company’s claims in its adverts were upheld.
Purplebricks was told by the ASA that it must not repeat the claim that the company’s service is comparable to traditional agents without making it clear it charges extra for viewings, and that its website must make it much clearer that its fees are paid upfront, not after the sale.
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