Update: The reviews have been returned to their Facebook page, for now….
Update: Speculation that purplebricks.com have in the past offered payment to remove negative reviews. We are gaining evidence on this.
The UK has been hit with a wave of next generation “online estate agents” — It would seem there are a number of entrepreneurs and wealthy punters alike looking to take on the disliked high street estate agent, in favour of lower, fixed fees for a seemingly similar service.
purplebricks.com made headlines back in December when they announced that they would be listing on the London AIM (Alternative Investment Market), which can be thought of as the ‘baby’ stock exchange. With trading starting at 8am on the 17th of December 2014, purplebricks.com demanded a market capitalisation of £240.3 million.
That’s right, almost a quarter of a billion pounds. One would assume this is quite the successful enterprise.
Here is a copy of their lastest income statement, dated 30th April 2015:
Yes I know unicorns can exist, and there are many huge startups that are yet to turn a profit, but lets have a look at some other things concerning myself and many others online about purplebricks.com.
1. The directors of the firm are far from business successes, each involved in up to dozens of failed companies.
Meet Michael Bruce, he is the CEO and founder of purplebricks.com and after the recent IPO last month, probably has quite a comfy wallet:
And here is his company house record … not sure I would want to be backing this guy. Can’t seem to keep a business open more than a few years …
2. In their first month of trading, purplebricks.com went from an IPO of £1 per share to dropping almost 27%. Yep they wiped over £60m off their valuation in their first month of trading. It means investors aren’t happy. And I think I know why…
3. The online reviews are simply horrible.
TrustPilot is a sham, and quite obviously manipulated by purplebricks.com. I spoke to a number of people who said they placed negative reviews, only to have them taken down and have their invoices etc demanded. Rather the reviews on their facebook page were so bad that they had to change their pages settings to a different category just to hide the negative reviews. At the same time they deleted all of the negative comments written on their page. Luckily we were able to screenshot some of them. There were over 60 negative complaints on their facebook page prior to deletion this evening, here are just a sample few:
I have a few dozen of these saved, I requested comment from purplebricks.com as to why they decided to hide these reviews, however they failed to respond, despite reading my messages.
This saga is going to end in tears unfortunately, and it won’t be purplebricks.com handing out the tissues. Reading online their are stories of people missing out on their dream properties due to incompetence, undervalued and overvalued properties, shocking customer service, lies, hiding reviews, false marketing and the list goes on.
This is developing…