CIELA – the aspiring new trade body for the industry, the Charter for Independent Estate and Letting Agents – says that its complaint about Purplebricks to the Advertising Standards Authority has passed the first hurdle.
It submitted a complaint about Purplebricks’ ‘commisery’ TV advertising and website to the ASA on March 9.
Yesterday, CIELA said: “Our complaint contained five points. The ASA accepted to review four of these points, and has decided to escalate two of them for further investigation.
“The other two points had been raised already by other complainants and were already being investigated.”
CIELA said that the ASA has advised that its investigation could take ‘considerable time’.
Meanwhile, the matter has reached no less a publication than Eye – no, not us, but the current edition of Private Eye.
According to Private Eye, “online estate agents Purplebricks’ advertising involves plenty of attacks on rivals, but the company can’t take criticism itself”.
The piece in Private Eye refers to the CIELA complaint and also to Purplebricks’ Trustpilot ratings.
Private Eye says that Purplebricks’ 9.5 out of 10 ratings are based on “an astonishing 15,000 five-star customer reviews (a large proportion from unverified first-time users of the review site), which helpfully overshadow the 372 one-star reviews, many of which are lengthy detailed complaints from verified users”.
The Private Eye story also mentions “estate agent blogger” Chris Wood and the “various questions” he has asked.