Purplebricks, a U.K.-founded discount brokerage that’s had its fair share of public troubles, is a recipient of the annual “Trusted Service” awards given by customer review website Feefo.

The announcement comes just one week after a report alleged Purplebricks Canada has sent out emails asking staff to write good reviews on Facebook and Google in exchange for days off.

The Feefo awards are given annually by the website to recognize businesses that, “deliver exceptional experiences, as rated by real customers,” according to the company. Past recipients of the award included TravelZoo, Expedia and Mazda.

Last week, a leaked email was obtained by Forbes that asked employees to leave reviews on Purplebricks Canada’s Facebook pages or 5-star rating reviews on Google Reviews but told employees not to leave them under their own names or fake names since that would violate the websites’ terms and conditions. Employees were instead encouraged to get family and friends to write the reviews, take screenshots of them and send them in as proof.

“No need to fabricate stories, just an ‘I think Purplebricks is great,’ or ‘Purplebricks is the future of real estate’ would be fantastic!” the email, reportedly sent out by a company marketing director in March 2019, reads. It goes on to say that the employee who gets its family and friends to write the most reviews will get a paid day off.

Feefo has operations in the U.K., Australia and U.S., so it’s possible that the faux good reviews from Canadian employees wouldn’t have tilted the field in the company’s favor. Purplebrick’s inclusion on the list was first reported by Estate Agent Today, a trade publication that reported that the company received more than 5,000 reviews with an average score of 4.1 and more than 3,000 five-star reviews.

Feefo, in a statement, told Estate Agent Today that all reviews are verified as genuine and the accreditation is a reflection of Purplebricks’ commitment to outstanding service.

Email Patrick Kearns

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