Realtor.com Accused of Selling “Useless” Leads in New Class-Action Lawsuit
By Maggie Wilson @ Real Estate Daily
May 2, 2018

Last week, realtor.com was hit with a class-action lawsuit from two disgruntled real estate agents. The agents accuse realtor.com operator Move Inc. of defrauding thousands of agents by selling them non-viable leads.

The two plaintiffs, agents John Herkenrath and Tina Wilson, claim they paid monthly for a specific amount of viable buyer leads but were given “useless” leads. The lawsuit claims that Move Inc. fails to remove duplicate leads, counts individuals as separate leads every time they submit a contact form, and provides the same lead to multiple agents despite promising “exclusive leads.”

Key Takeaways

  • Two real estate agents are suing realtor.com operator Move Inc. for defrauding agents with numerous useless leads
  • The plaintiffs allege that Move Inc. wittingly sold duplicate leads and contact information for people with no interest in purchasing a home
  • A former Move sales rep recently filed a separate lawsuit claiming he was wrongfully terminated for refusing to lie to agents and deliver “bogus” leads

Excerpt

Realtor.com “frequently fails to deliver what it claims to be selling,” according to the three-count complaint filed last week in Los Angeles Superior Court, by California agent John Herkenrath and Ohio agent Tina Wilson.

The plaintiffs allege that they paid Move $500 and $120 a month respectively for a certain number of buyer leads from realtor.com, and over the course of months realized that most of the leads the company was providing were “useless” either because the contact information was inaccurate or the people that were reached had no interest in purchasing a home.

Specifically, the suit says that Move:

  • Counts the same individual as separate leads each time that person submits a contact form for a listing, whether the listings are in different ZIP codes or not and whether or not that person was already previously provided as a lead
  • Fails to remove duplicate leads that, though they may have different contact information, are clearly the same lead based on IP address and time of contact form submission
  • Fails to remove clearly fraudulent or fake leads based on IP address, the person’s geographic location, the information submitted on the contact form, and history of submissions from the same device or IP address
  • Provides the same person as a lead to multiple Move customers despite promising one or more of those customers “exclusive leads”

Move promises its customers a minimum number of leads per month and assures them that it has tested each market area in advance to know that there will be a regular supply of leads, according to the complaint. But: “At the time that it makes these assurances, Move eithers [sic] lacks the information that it claims to possess regarding the number of leads that it is able to generate or affirmatively knows that it cannot supply the number of leads that it promises,” the complaint says.

The plaintiffs have asked the court to order Move to stop its alleged unlawful and deceptive business practices and require Move to give back the funds it obtained from the plaintiffs and members of the class.

The allegations in the agents’ complaint echo those made by former Move sales rep Brian Bobik in a lawsuit filed in January. Bobik alleged he was wrongfully terminated from Move in retaliation for objecting to and refusing to participate in what he believed to be unlawful conduct, including lying to real estate agents to get them to pay for leads, delivering “bogus” leads, charging agents for services they never ordered or received, and billing agents’ credit cards without authorization.

View the original article at WFG National Title