Purplebricks rapped over ‘fee-saving’ adverts

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Online estate agent Purplebricks has been pulled up by the advertising regulator over claims of how much it could save consumers in fees.

South-eastern estate agent Arun Estate Agencies challenged three claims made in Purplebricks’ online adverts that it had saved consumers up to £7,302 in fees compared to its high street rivals.

Purplebricks told the Advertising Standards Authority that it had worked out the savings based on an estimated average estate agency fee of 1.8 per cent of the property price, compared to Purplebricks’ flat fee system.

The online estate agent said it had worked out the 1.8 per cent figure from its own customer survey and evidence from bodies such as Citizens Advice, which said such fees were often between 1.5 and 2 per cent.

But the ASA said Purplebricks’ evidence was not enough to back its claims.

An ASA statement says: “We acknowledged the evidence provided by Purplebricks in support of the three testimonials. However, we were concerned that the evidence provided by Purplebricks was not adequate to support the basis of the ‘fees saved’ comparison in the ad.”

The ASA told Purplebricks to change the advert. It added that future ads should give consumers more information about fees.

The advertising regulator added: “We also told them to ensure they held adequate evidence to substantiate the basis of comparative claims.”