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Wed 16 Jan 2013 03:02 PM

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“We screwed up," admits Better Homes boss

CEO admits to publishing false ads after Arabian Business investigation, blames human error

“We screwed up," admits Better Homes boss
Better Homes CEO Ryan Mahoney.

Better Homes CEO Ryan Mahoney has admitted that the company ran false information in its online Dubai property advertisements, including descriptions of non-existent shopping malls and claims the Dubai Metro ran through the Palm Jumeirah.

But Mahoney - speaking this morning on Dubai Eye’s Business Breakfast show - blamed human error, and made no apologies for the fictional adverts.

“We screwed up, we should know better,” Mahoney told the programme, adding: “There wasn’t anything malicious, it was a human error and system error. There is a big difference between malicious intent and human error. It’s hard to get it right every single time.”

On Tuesday an Arabian Business investigation revealed how the company’s website had published false claims regarding properties on the Palm Jumeirah.

One advertisement, for the property on the Palm’s Oceana development, claims the property “is also within walking distance of the Village Centre shopping mall via a pleasant and safe underground walkway.”  In fact, the Village Centre project was halted five years ago, and has remained a large hole in the ground. No underground walkway exists. Nakheel announced late last year that it is looking to restart the project in 2013.

Another advertisement, also for the Oceana development, claims “residents may also access the Palm Jumeirah’s 60,000 sqm luxury retail complexes via a bright pedestrian underpass.” Again, no such complex or underpass exists.

An advertisement for the Tiara development says the Palm Jumeirah contains “the exclusive Palm Anantara Hotel & Spa”. In fact, the only currently open Anantara Hotel & Spa in the region is located nearly 200km away in Abu Dhabi.

A fourth Better Homes advertisement, for a property on the Golden Mile, says “the metro now runs along the Palm making access to the facility easier.” In fact, the Dubai Metro has never been part of the Palm Jumeirah, the closest station being around 3km away. The existing Palm Monorail is not accessible from outside the development.

However, Mahoney appeared to lay the blame squarely on his agents, saying: “We have 50 different nationalities in our company, and listings are agent led.”

He added: “It’s more for the agent and manger to be sure a shopping mall is there.”

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Mr Anonymous 6 years ago

It is typical for sales agents to lie and practice unethical methods to make a sale, but for a CEO to make an excuse that he employs different nationalities and blame his sales team? that's new! #fail

Lawrence 6 years ago

What about the project Dubai Lagoon with Schon !!!

We paid 80 % of apartment prices since 2005 and still we haven't got our apartments !!

Chris Parkes 6 years ago

Highly unprofessional response from a "CEO." Is this what CEOs have stooped to?

The fact of the matter is, the company has a fiduciary duty to customers that choose to purchase a home based on the information provided on the site to ensure that the information is free from material error as humanly possible.

The fact that the website was not updated is not only unprofessional, but completely the fault of the CEO for not doing his job. Now you're going to tell me that this was just a human error? Are you kidding me? You should be fired for this mishap that made the front page of Arabian Business.

This Boy Rules 6 years ago

Another great expose from Mr Exclusive.

amazed 6 years ago

Fully agree , and he expect me now to even Look at his web site , or even think of him as a broker , at least issue a statment that we will ensure that will not happen again , anayway it's the problem of the buyer and seller that contact him , for me , never trusted a word they siad they simply want to make a buck off anyone , how cares about being in the SERVICE inductry.

Anwar Ali 6 years ago

RERA should take action against this company for misrepresenting in their advertising or even cancel their license. Clients can easily get misled and base their decisions on such false information. Interesting thing is that the misleading information made the advertised property look better than it is and not worse! This is clear fabrication of story.

MI Ahmed 6 years ago

This guy should not be heading a company at all. He should resign becasue he does not realize the gravity of the issue, "misleading public". I can't imagine a CEO giving this kind of response that too on the radio.

Ashfaq Hussain 6 years ago

How come Mr.Mahoney? How many bookings you made on those adverts? It is rediculous to say human error! I think thorough investigations needed on this, on how many people have been cheated? It is a case of cheating.

Ana 6 years ago

Come on Mr. Mahoney - we know better! Please stop firing from from else's shoulder. For a change take ownership for all the lies the company has been saying all these years. Very disappointed by your response. Human error happens with dates / distances etc... not about a matter / situations that does not exist at all.

Asif Sarwar 6 years ago

What about all the investors you have taken money from and run away sign this folks: