Whistleblower: Estate Agents, BBC1

by | Apr 5, 2006 | All, Reviews

Did we like it?

No because the revelations that some estate agents have unscrupulous tendencies didn’t come as a shock, and there were no Roger Cook-like foot-in-the-door, smack-in-the-mouth confrontations.

What was good about it?

• Confirmation that many estate agents are nasty little flash Harrys and Harriets who’d do anything to bump up their commission

• There was enough evidence in some cases to lead to criminal proceedings. Let’s hope the ‘businessman’ who faked passports, the slimeball who wanted to con a “nice old boy” out of 50K and the Foxtons agents who doctored information given to surveyors all face justice.

• The trainer at Foxtons being hoist by his own petard when he told his eager apprentices: “We are associated with sharp sales tactics. People believe that we are going to try and sell them something for a lot more money than they want to spend, find them somewhere that is completely different to their requirements. And, funnily enough, they’re not wrong in that.”

• Buyers will now be extra cautious – but we can’t imagine blatant rip-offs will ever end however hard we try to stand-up to bullying tactics and misinformation.

What was bad about it?

• Undercover reporter Anna Adams spent too much time worrying about herself rather than coming up with hard facts about misdeeds. Colleague Emma Clarke did a better job, getting Foxtons staff to incriminate themselves on camera. As a journalistic exercise, it seemed lame compared with the TV consumer investigations of the past.

• The lame denials and worthless promises to investigate thoroughly from the thick-skinned, caught-out companies. We wanted to see them squirm and sweat beneath their cheap suits – all we got was platitudinous messages typed out on screen.

Luke Knowles

Luke Knowles

05/04/2006

Editor of the website and host of the podcast. A general TV obsessive. I've been running the site since 2008 and you can usually find me in front of the TV. My Favourite show of all time is Breaking Bad with Cracker coming a close second. I feel so passionately that television can change the world and I'm doing my little bit by running this site. You're Welcome!

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