The furore follows three complaints against an advert on the Purplebricks website by rival firm Hunters.
The complaints included whether a claim that ‘Instruct us to sell for £849’ could be substantiated, and whether a savings comparison infographic was misleading as it did not make clear that the £849 fee had to paid irrespective of whether the property actually sold or not.
Following an investigation, the ASA upheld all three complaints and ordered that the ad must not appear again in the same form.
It stated: “We told Purplebricks Group plc to ensure they made clear immediately and prominently that their viewings service had a separate fee, payable in addition to the £849 ‘standard’ price, and that fees would always be payable whether or not a consumer’s property was sold and potentially before a sale was complete.”
However, Purplebricks has hit back and promised to appeal against the decision.
It responded: “We are extremely disappointed with this ruling change and the process adopted. The complaint, which came from a rival estate agency, was resolved four months ago in partnership with the ASA, made public by them and mutually agreed minor changes made to our website.
“We were surprised when, only a day after reaching this agreed position and announcing it publicly, the same rival estate agent appealed this decision and their demands were met by the ASA. We believe this is unprecedented and unfair. We will appeal the ruling.”