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Purplebricks (LON:PURP)

  • Share price: 377.625p (+1.4%)
  • No. of shares: 272 million
  • Market cap: £1,027 million

AGM Trading Update

This unusual estate agency issues a bullish headline for its AGM statement:

Strong progress across three continents, on course to meet expectations

UK revenues are still guided to £80 million for the full year (ending in April) and H1 revenues should have more than doubled.

The US launch is underway, having begun on 15 September.

Quick excerpt from the CEO comment:

We are relentless at working to ensure we understand our customers' needs and meet their expectations and are proud of our 27,000 Trustpilot reviews and our NPS score of +80. Considerable progress has been made across the Group in the financial year to date and we are confident in our future and in meeting the Board's full year expectations."

Indeed, I too have referred to the online customer reviews when weighing up the pros and cons of potentially buying shares in Purplebricks.

However, it turns out that Purplebricks has been unhappy with what has been written about it online, when it's less than favourable.

The independent review website AllAgents suspended its coverage of Purplebricks following threats:

Due to repeated threats of legal action forcing the removal of content and negative reviews from our website, we have regrettably taken the unprecedented step in suspending the PurpleBricks profile page until further notice (as of the 18th September 2017). 

It has even taken down the original notice of suspension, following more threats:

Not only, it appears, does Purplebricks not like what our reviewers say about them on allAgents, but they're also rather miffed about what we wrote about the suspension of the Purplebricks profile on our site. So, due to the further threat of litigation from Purplebricks, we've decided to remove it, despite it being entirely factually correct.

And how's this for a rhetorical blow:

In our humble opinion the thousands they're paying their lawyers to write to us might have been better spent responding in a positive way to the criticisms raised by our reviewers.

Ouch!

I already felt that Purplebricks was overvalued, but my conviction is growing. Companies should be able to take criticism, and allow customers to discuss their experiences without trying to shut down debate.

Shutting down debate is…

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