The Australian arm of Purplebricks has been hit with a $20,000 (£11,215) fine by Trading Standards in Queensland.
It has avoided possible court action after entering into two enforceable undertakings after alleged possible breaches of the Australian Consumer Law and the Property Occupations Act.
The OFT said in a statement: “Between November 2016 and June 2017, Purplebricks Australia Pty Ltd, entered into agreements with consumers who were not made aware of the terms of the fees charged.
“Consumers were also misled about additional services offered by Purplebricks, despite the agency advertising ‘low, fixed fees’ for their services when selling property.”
The OFT said it had received “several” complaints from consumers “alleging false and misleading representations on the Purplebricks website and advertising regarding their fees, particularly that the fixed fees were payable regardless of whether a property was sold, or their services were cancelled”.
Purplebricks Australia CEO Ryan Dinsdale told the Financial Review: “Purplebricks has liaised and positively collaborated with Queensland OFT to be open and transparent in communicating our disruptive, customer-focused, flat-fee service in the clearest way possible.
“Understanding that in many cases traditional real estate agents do not publish their fees and terms of business, our rates are prominently disclosed on our home page and we will always act on feedback to ensure we display everything as clearly as possible.
“Accordingly we have agreed to make some adjustments to wording to improve clarity and understanding,”
Purplebricks entered the Australian market in late 2016.