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May 21, 2018 | by  | in News Splash |
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We Got the Price Wrong

Victoria University has pulled an advertisement for a three bedroom Kelburn flat costing $800 per week, after a hostile online reaction.

The advertisement was removed from TradeMe less than a week after it was posted, although the original Vic Deals listing remains online.

The furnished flat was listed on Vic Deals on 26 April as a “student exclusive” and linked to a Trade Me listing. The rent included internet and power. It received unanimous condemnation from Vic Deals commenters, who described the price as “daylight robbery” and “expensive af ”.

VUW tells potential flatters in its online information about private accommodation that the average cost of a three bedroom student flat is $630 to $800 per week. $800 a week for a three bedroom flat is $266.67 per person. Studylink will pay a maximum of $231.92 per week for living costs, making a potential shortfall of $34.74 on a property available only to students.

Salient asked the University why it was charging the upper limit for a flat, and what it had to say in response to the angry commenters. The Director of Student and Campus living, Rainsforth Dix, has issued an apology about the listing. Dix confessed that “We made a mistake and the house should not have been advertised at this price”.

Although she stated that “[w]e are acutely aware of the financial circumstances of students and we take this into account when setting prices,” no explanation was given as to why the mistake occurred and why it was not rectified sooner.

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