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PurpleBricks threatens legal action over ‘fake not negative’ AllAgent reviews

by: Chris Menon
  • 20/09/2017
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PurpleBricks threatens legal action over ‘fake not negative’ AllAgent reviews
Britain’s largest independent estate agent reviews site AllAgents has removed the PurpleBricks’ profile page from its website following legal threats from the online-based estate agent.

PurpleBricks argued that it was challenging AllAgents to address “fake” reviews, rather than negative ones which included complaints and criticism of PurpleBricks’ service.

The spat follows a difficult few months for PurpleBricks which include mis-leading advertising claims and criticism from BBC’s Watchdog programme based on a raft of consumer complaints.

PurpleBricks has been keen to promote its customer reviews, even going so far as to highlight them in its annual report.

In place of the review page AllAgents has posted a statement. It says: “Due to repeated threats of legal action forcing the removal of content and negative reviews from our website, we have regrettably taken the unprecedented step in suspending the PurpleBricks profile page until further notice (as of the 18th September 2017). We will continue to accept genuine customer reviews for PurpleBricks, however at this time we will not be willing to publish them.” (See below.)

Martin McKenzie, director at AllAgents commented: “Our business is founded on trust, and we will never let the impartiality of our reviews be compromised in any way. Our customers trust AllAgents, because they know the reviews are genuine, and unfiltered.”

“AllAgents provided a managed profile page for PurpleBricks PLC at no cost to them. We did so in order to provide a truly independent and open platform for their customers to share their experiences, good and bad.”

Stringent checks

As to the suggestion that there are flaws in the process for posting reviews, McKenzie replied: “AllAgents’ highly experienced moderators carry out stringent checks to ensure that reviews are genuine, including the analysis of the reviewer’s email and IP address.”

A spokesperson did concede: “False reviews are always a possibility (as it is with any other review site), but we’re certain the vast majority of PurpleBricks reviews are genuine. Genuine ones can’t be manipulated.

For its part, PurpleBricks commented: “We encourage all of our customers to leave their feedback, good or bad, on Trustpilot, rather than other sites whose procedures appear less robust. Following an audit of 95 reviews on AllAgents, 29% appeared to be fake whilst 23% lacked sufficient detail to authenticate.

“Having followed the proper appeals process and received no response from AllAgents, we followed up with a legal letter to which we still await a formal response. Our dispute centres on fake not negative reviews. Purplebricks is proud of its reputation and the quality of the service that it delivers  and will defend this reputation vigorously from smears and fake news.”

The AllAgents statement on PurpleBricks. (Click to expand.)

AllAgents-PurpleBricks-200917

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