Estate Agency Database Sparks Complaint To Advertising Watchdog

Date Published 30 January 2013

A firm selling a database of estate agents’ and letting agents’ contact information has been told to withdraw its ‘money back’ offer in its marketing.

A complaint was made to the Advertising Standards Authority about the database, said to consist of over 21,000 estate agent and letting agency records, plus 27,000 email addresses.

The database offered a money back guarantee if any record was duplicated.

The complainant said offering to guarantee a refund if the database contained duplicate records was misleading.

Emails Etc told the advertising watchdog that the refund offer was genuine, because the software had a database so configured as not to allow any duplicates. The firm believed the complainant may have accidentally amended raw data, resulting in duplicates.

The ASA said it had not looked at the firm’s software, but did see spreadsheets provided by the complainant which included some duplication. It therefore concluded that Emails Etc should have refunded the complainant. Because they had not, the ASA said the advertised guarantee was misleading.