Estate agents worse for rip-offs than used car salesmen
29 October 2010
In a shocking study released by the European Commission it was revealed that estate agents come second to bottom in being the biggest rip-offs in Britain and across Europe.
According to the autumn 2010 Consumer Markets Scoreboard, a market monitoring survey - in both the UK and throughout the EU - estate agents come just in front of financial investments and behind used cars in terms of value for money.
The purpose of the survey is to identify markets that consumers believe are underperforming, with categories including satisfaction, experience of problems and customer expectations and trust - all of which estate agents were ranked poorly in.
John Dalli, EU commissioner in charge of health and consumer policy said: "The great promise of the Single Market is what it can deliver for consumers in terms of lower prices, greater choice, transparency and satisfaction. Thanks to the Scoreboard we can pinpoint the markets where this does not seem to be happening."
For the first time in 2010, the survey provided data for 50 consumer markets, accounting for over 60% of the consumer household budget, in all 27 EU member states. It based its research among 500 consumers in those countries - all who have recent purchasing experience in each market.
Impressing many consumers across Europe were food and drink, whilst funeral services also scored highly. But other markets with consistently low scores were investments, ‘real estate services', used cars, internet provision, and railways.
Estate agents were ranked bottom in other European countries including the Czech Republic, France, Luxembourg, Latvia and Slovenia. Despite some low scoring markets, the UK received a higher overall EU ranking due to customer's satisfaction with credit and mortgage services.
The next step for the European Commission is to launch in-depth investigations into the market areas where the most problems were found across the board and indentify policy areas for improvement.