The Age followed up on a reader’s tip about the agency – inspecting a CBD rental property it was marketing at 705/25 Wills Street, for $450 per week.
The online advertisement showed pictures of an oversized apartment with separate kitchen, dining and living rooms, all with polished floorboards. There were also several photos of a dramatic and panoramic view the apartment had of the CBD and Docklands.
The advertisement attracted an enthusiastic crowd of around 40 people. However smiles quickly turned to disappointment when prospective renters entered the apartment to find it was pokey, fully carpeted, on a much lower level of the building – and faced the opposite direction to the apartment advertised online.
Despite the leasing agent being told by an irate house hunter that the apartment was not the same as the apartment online, the agency failed to make any pictorial changes – even after it updated the advertisement with a new inspection time later in the week.
A BP Real Estate spokeswoman immediately acknowledged the error when told by Secret
Agent on Friday and the ad was swiftly removed. She said she “was not aware” of which photos were advertised online as the uploading of images was managed by a separate person in the office.
The Real Estate Institute of Victoria says advertisements must not be false, deceptive or misleading and said consumers are within their legal rights to lodge complaints with Consumer Affairs Victoria.