Purplebricks is getting raked through the coals again via an investigation by a consumer watchdog in the Western Australia province, according to a news media in the country in question.
The hybrid agency, which runs a similar business model in Australia to its original UK operation, is being probed by Consumer Protection WA according to the Australia Financial Review publication and the 9News TV station.
Purplebricks charges Aus$5,000 up-front to sell homes in the Perth area; across those parts of Australia where it operates, it claims to have sold over 3,500 homes so far and to have “fantastic reviews”.
This latest controversy follows agency being fined Aus$20,000 in Queensland by a consumer watchdog, the Office of Fair Trading, for misleading customers in that area.
The industry arguments over Purplebricks’ activities in Australia mirror those in the UK – it says it’s disrupting an unnecessarily expensive business model preserved by traditional agents, which High Street operators say is not the case – and that instead, Purplebricks merely gives an appraisal and a listing and then effectively leaves the seller to do the rest of the deal themselves.
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