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In breaking news today, Forbes uncovered that Purplebricks Canada has been soliciting fake reviews on Google and Facebook to manipulate Canadian Buyers and Sellers. In March 2019, they offered their 200 employees an extra day of vacation for getting their family and friends to leave glowing reviews “whether or not” they were Purplebricks customers. They also gave very specific direction as to how to manipulate the reviews system. Gross!
From the Purplebricks employee email:
According to the Forbes article:
“Purplebricks was therefore asking its employees to help “boost our online reviews” and “inspire the trust that will win us more signs in the ground! “Thanks for helping our company grow,” the email concluded.
What a great way to build ‘trust’ – by lying to your consumers. WOW!!!!
Purplebricks Canada issued the following statement:
[This] was an isolated and misguided initiative. It followed the name change from Comfree to Purplebricks and the refusal of Google and Facebook to transfer the reviews that were already on their sites; it will never happen again. Purplebricks Canada recognises that it’s vital for all reviews to be genuine and authentic—and we work hard to earn positive feedback from our customers through our expertise and great service.”
The Forbes article also states: “A spokesperson for the company said that the email, “though sent in good faith”, was “a complete one-off” and was “an error of judgement.”
Why Purplebrick’s Fake Review Deception is Wrong
Purplebricks Canada soliciting fake reviews is wrong on so many levels:
- It violates REALTOR ethics codes (hopefully RECO, TREB and CREA are watching and ready to take action). Purplebricks is a brokerage – and they should know better and need to be held accountable.
- It violates the Competition Bureau’s laws – they have the power to levy HUGE fines to individuals and corporations who fake reviews.
- Most importantly, it violates the public’s trust.
If you need to use fake reviews to win customers and/or counter bad legit reviews – it’s time to take a look at your business model.
The BREL Experience with Purplebricks Canada Clients
Our team is regularly brought in to sell properties after failed attempts with Purplebricks. The stories our clients tell of their experience with Purplebricks – well let’s just say, I guess that’s why they need to fake reviews.
Fake Reviews = Not Cool
Some of us work really hard to provide fabulous experiences and service to our customers – and get rewarded with stellar 5-star reviews. Brokerages and agents who try to game the system hurt themselves and their clients. Here’s a great article that explains why it’s a bad idea to fake reviews – REALTORS take note.