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Online agent changes website after complaint to ad watchdog

The Advertising Standards Authority has received a complaint about a claim which was on an online letting agency’s website suggesting it offered “24/7 on call maintenance.”

A statement from the ASA says it received a complaint about the Express-Let agency’s website which - at the time - carried the message: “Maintenance. When your property is managed by Express Let, you’ll have perfect peace of mind with 24/7 on-call maintenance.”

The complainant challenged whether the claim “24/7 on-call maintenance” was misleading. 

An ASA spokeswoman says: “We contacted the advertiser who explained that they are not always able to attend call-outs, for example if there is a health and safety risk, but they will always action repairs as soon as possible. We therefore suggested the advertiser amend the claim to “24/7 on-call support.” 

However the ASA says the agency decided to remove the claim completely from the website, leading the complaint to be categorised by the ASA as ‘informally resolved’. 

When LAT looked at the site this morning, it read: “Maintenance. When your property is managed by Express Let, you'll have perfect peace of mind with 7 day on-call maintenance.”

Separately, the ASA also received a complaint about a number of property listings for London and Quadrant Housing Trust on Zoopla which provided details of rental properties in north London under a specific URL.

The specific URL when first visited by the complainant stated: “Sorry the property you are looking for is no longer available”. The webpage provided instead a series of alternative results, including a two-bedroom flat in Dovetail Place, N15, available for £1,545 pcm and another for £1,505 pcm.

The same URL a week later, returned a two-bed flat in Dovetail Place, N15, for £1,505 pcm.

“The complainant challenged whether the ads were misleading and the listings could be substantiated” says the ASA.

The authority then contacted the housing trust which said this was due to an administrative error. 

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