So, the authority on complaints against estate agents, The Property Ombudsman, reveals that formal gripes against the industry increased by 23% during 2013, despite this being a year where transactions were actually low in relative terms.

But surely some mistake? I mean, I’ve been debating with a number of bricks and mortar estate agents of late over how great they are. They must be, apparently, because they charge so much.

Yes, this is the argument from the mainstream traditionalists – Pay me more and I will get you a higher price and offer better customer service – they say.

But if this were really the case (no-one’s fooled by such a sloppy contention) really, then why are their customers complaining about them at such a rate?

In fact, the statistics show that high street agency fees are at their highest now, due to the bonkers approach whereby their fees rise with house prices (nice work if you can get it). And even though their efforts decrease as the market improves because it becomes easier to find buyers.

Let’s get this straight. Just so that we all understand the reality. Estate agency fees peddled by high street agents are higher than ever. And complaints against the have risen massively too.

This, then, is to charge sellers more, for less and whilst ensuring that customers are unhappier.

That seems to be OK by our high street colleagues as justifiable in their Dickensian property world.

But not in the real world I fear. Where smarter, nicer, better value competitors are circling to pick them off.

The astonishing thing is the level of protest from those sat presiding over multiple branch office empires. They ignore their faults and refuse to acknowledge that their sector of the estate agency industry is broken and out of touch.

History tells us that their apathy is unlikely to stand them in good stead.

Because there’s only so long that you can bury your head in the sand before you suffocate.