“I have been marketing my property with this agency since ......”

Jun 27,2013
By: 'Thierry CHAMS'
Jun 27,2013
2 people found
this helpful
I have been marketing my property with this agency since March, and I have been through many issues not written at all in their websites and terms and conitions :

1- Premium LIsting incur an additional charge if modification is not done between 9am-12pm or 3pm-6pm or if the property is removed again to remarket - It is supposed to be a 24H 7days estate agent but you have to do modifications when you are at your work place.

2-Pause Button, comment on website stated 1 week, they said that this button will pause the marketing of the property for up to 3 months, and the guidance listed on the website is incorrect. It should not take 5 mn to update a website and to avoid confusing customers.

3-Enquiries about properties are sent to you with name and phone, however there is clear concern of quality as they are not in touch with these people on the phone prior to inform the owner. On 4 enquiries, 2 have never answered the phone and even SMS, we have left messages an called more than 5 times. On 2 visits we had, UrbanSalesanLettings was not able to get in touch with one of the people who had visited the property to get their feedback.

4- Premium listing on rightmove cover only web portal and not mobile phone application, again nothing clear in their term and conditions, and no price displayed for mobile application, you must request it separately.

5- Price has increased more than 25% between March an June, and nothing is clearly highlighted on their website for future customer, a real ripped off. Was 219+vat changed to 269+vat, premium right move was 39.95+vat changed to 49.95+vat, 3D plans was 19.95+vat changed to 29.95+vat, Sale board was free before now you must pay 14.95+vat.

6- Bad customer service from a people called Bethan, disrespectful and agressive.

7- Blocked phone number when they called you and even don\'t leave any message, unfortunately I don\'t reply to blocked phone number.

8- Visit of your property before to be on internet has been done by another company in charge of the 3D plan I have ordered, I have to write my advert as this was planned, but nobody from the agency has visite my house before and they are not able to tell if the content of the advert is correct or misleading.
Was this helpful? Yes
By: UrbanSandL
Jul 04, 2013
Dear Mr Chams,

Thank you for your comments and feedback and sorry you have experienced issues.

Unfortunately you have not raised any of these issues to us directly but only through this review. At the point of this review we had tried to contact you via phone and email several times to no avail. The most recent email is one asking for your bank account details so I can process a full refund of all monies paid to us.

It is worth noting that we are one of the oldest Online Estate Agents and are voluntary members of several bodies including the Property Ombudsman, we are proud to say have never had a customer refer to their adjudication in the time we have been trading but would always adhere to their decision.

We welcome feedback in the public domain as it helps us answer concerns and questions that potential new customers may have.

I would like to answer all of your concerns.

1- A premium listing is purchased from Rightmove by Urban Sales and Lettings. We feed over 700 properties to 400 different websites twice a day. We advise customers of these feed times in order for their updates to be processed as efficiently as possible. If the premium listing falls away we are happy to add it again at no additional charge and believe we did so several times in your case. We are releasing a new upgrade to the website to improve this process this month, this will increase the daily feeds and ensure that premium upgrades will never fall away if amendments are made.

2- We do not currently offer mobile premium upgrades only standard website upgrades. We do not state that we offer mobile upgrades anywhere on our website. It may be something we offer in the future.

3- The pause function. For a sale you are able to pause your marketing for 3 months. You are able to pause and reactivate at any time as many times as you like, for whatever reason you like. You can login to your account 24/7 to pause and reactivate your listing. It will be live again anywhere between 2 & 12 hours. The 3 months limit is to comply with the property miss-descriptions act as the property may have had substantial changes if customers paused for long periods of time.

4- Our clients host their own viewings, this is no secret and the process is clearly explained on our “How does it work” page. In addition to this you raised this question to us over the phone at the initial stages and we explained this . Unfortunately a drawback of doing your own viewings is that sometimes you will have time wasters and no shows. We offer advice on how to avoid this by working with the customer to ask a short list of questions before setting up the viewing. However the major advantage of conducting your own viewings can be explained with a recent client of ours; he received a request to view through our automated system at 8pm on a Saturday night. He called the potential buyer straight away and setup a viewing for Sunday morning. We took an offer for his property on the Monday morning, perhaps even before a high street agent would be responding to the initial request to view. This is a major advantage of our system and gives our clients a competitive edge. We have a market leading system which lets the Vendor have access to the potential buyers details almost instantly via email and as soon as we receive the details over the phone. The Vendor then contacts the potential buyer to arrange the viewing. We gain as much information as the potential buyer is willing to leave, this is usually limited to a phone number and email address. I believe you wanted people to give you their home address before responding to their viewing, unfortunately this is not something we do and gaining someone’s home address at the initial stage is off putting to the potential buyer. If a potential buyer does wish to leave their address they would not let us pass this on to the Vendor of a property they wish to view and under the data protection act we would not be able to pass on information without their permission.

5- We have increased our prices recently; this does not affect existing customers as they have already paid their fee, if a for sale board is included in the pack you have purchased you are still entitled to the board. All our prices are clearly explained on our website. We are still one of the most competitively priced online estate agents.

6- The staff member you dealt with is a ARLA and NAEA qualified estate agent and our longest serving team member. Her customer service skills are mentioned in many of our 5 star reviews. She always welcomes feed back and thanks you for this. As mentioned before though we have had a lot of trouble in contacting you . You mention you were not happy with the level of phone calls you were receiving from us and refer to it as “Hassling”, to be clear, minutes after being made aware of this complaint two directors attempted to call you out of office hours to try and resolve the issues. We do prefer to talk to our customers in order to assist in the sale. Unfortunately we have been unable to get through to you on most occasions. I will be working with Bethan to see what went wrong in this instance.

7- We do sometimes use local contractors to visit the properties. This is to match the best quality person with the area and we have worked with most contractors for many years and have great relationships with them. Over the past 8 years we have built a database of contacts so we can provide the highest quality of service for the best possible price.

Thank you for raising the point about an upfront fee as this is something customers often debate. Once a customer has paid a fee it gives them greater recourse to the company and means the company has an increased obligation to provide a service. We have to pay a monthly fee for every advert to the major portals as well as other costly over heads i.e. free phone number, NAEA qualified staff. We actually lose money on a property if it is not sold within 12 weeks (our average time to under offer is 6 weeks, this statistic is provided by Zoopla). This is a clear incentive for us to sell the property, possibly more so than a high street agent who has the promise of a large commission at the end.

We have had no complaint from you before this review. I have tried to call to discuss to no avail. I have now sent an email requesting your bank details to give you a full refund.
Thank you again for your review and feedback. We remain at your disposal if you wish to get in touch.

Sarah Male
Urban Sales and Lettings

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UrbanSalesandLettings Ltd

Calverley House 55 Calverley Road Tunbridge Wells

0845 2997265

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