Harcourts Real Estate Direct Mail Advertisement
9 March 2010
Complainant: I. Owen
Advertisement: Harcourts Real Estate New Zealand
Complaint: The letter was addressed to the residents of a named property. It stated that the property had been identified as a "Harcourts Priority" property, and since Harcourts was unable to know whether the resident/s would be interested in selling or not, a courtesy phone call to the residents to inquire about this, on a particular time and date, had been scheduled.
The letter also went on to say that the agent respected the resident's privacy, and gave contact numbers for people to call to opt out of communication.
A Harcourts agent's business card was stapled to the letter.
Complainant, I. Owen, considered that the advertisement "intruded into my privacy".
The relevant provisions were Basic Principle 4 and Rule 10 of the Code of Ethics.
The Chairman acknowledged the Complainant's concerns about the advertisement, and their view that the advertisement had "intruded into my privacy". However, she said that the advertisement, which notified homeowners that their home was regarded as priority real estate, and also expressly referred to respect for peoples' privacy and accordingly provided a method by which people could opt out of communication, did not raise an issue under the Advertising Codes of Practice. The Chairman ruled that there were no grounds for the complaint to proceed.
Chairman's Ruling: Complaint No Grounds to Proceed