Fairfax wrapped over knuckles by ACCC

Fairfax Digital have been wrapped over the knuckles by the ACCC and have agreed not to advertise as ‘FREE’ a new mobile search service launched by Domain.com.au.

Using the advertised service users of the site could view properties from domain.com.au on their mobile phone (http://m.domain.com.au)and receive ‘free’ SMS alerts. Only one problem, SMS alerts actually cost the user 0.55c per alert and of course downloading or viewing listings on your mobile phone could also incur charges under most pathetic data plans offered by Telco’s, which is nothing short of pathetic.

I have a spanking new 16G iPhone and the service is quite good. Pity that about a 1/4 of the screen is taken up by ads from Commonwealth Bank and links on property pages to Home Loans (which by big thumb clicked on average 3 times per listing by accident). Still it is another one up on REA and I have to say the RSS feed service from Domain.com.au (for searches) is a beauty and saves a lot of time for myself/my friends and this has been up for a long time now and not replicated on REA.

So apart from a totally misleading advert (who from Fairfax seriously thought this one would get past the umpire?) it is quite a nice little service. I am still completely unconvinced about mobile phones for real estate – despite so many companies pushing it as I have not seen anything truly ground breaking (or useful) in this space.

In other news: Cuil goes live
A new search engine developed by some seasoned ex Google employees went live. Cuil.com is the new service and it is glaringly lacking in Australian content but getting some serious coverage on news websites. Has some nice features, but nothing really exciting here.

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4 Comments

  • Glen Barnes
    Posted July 30, 2008 at 6:38 am 0Likes

    Have you tried Puluwai yet? The iPhone really does change the game in terms of real estate applications on mobile. As a person looking for a home the ability to see the details of a house while on the road is invaluable. With an application like Puluwai while not perfect does show the direction in which iPhone real estate applications can go.

    The problem to date with mobile has been the sub-par screen quality, bad keyboards and small screen size. The iPhone solves that.

  • Dave Platter
    Posted July 30, 2008 at 8:50 am 0Likes

    Peter, that seems like an accurate review of m.domain.

    Would you be willing to share which iPhone plan you got and whether you think it’s a good deal?

    Glen, I just checked out your blog. Great work! I love your innovative use of old VCRs–although I have to say I don’t understand most of it. 😉

    dave

  • Peter Ricci
    Posted July 30, 2008 at 10:41 am 0Likes

    Thanks Dave.

    Domain Mobile:
    I think Domain can just clean up this offering by simply separating the links a little bit (give them some more room above/below) and make it more about the property rather than Commonwealth Bank.

    iPhone Plans
    I have a good deal with data because I pay for it ($400 per month) and get 500 megs per month of data. This is still wauy to low and you will see a lot of plans with like 50 megs and the like. So make sure whoever you deal with you get high data plans, because more and more mobile pages are getting damn heavy on images.

    It would be great if phone companies were more about surprising customers with great plans than surprising them with additional charges. Plans will get better but anything less than 1 gig is pathetic as far as I am concerned.

  • SSSR
    Posted July 31, 2008 at 1:25 pm 0Likes

    Peter, I was reading a storey today that indicated watching a YouTube video on the Iphone, under the current 3g plans could cost as much as $15! Understandably costs will come down with competition and patronage, but it still doesnt make much sense when you can get 1g wireless internet, which is just as fast as 3g, for 30 bucks a month.

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