Most adverts on holiday websites, or the ever-growing social media "holiday-market" may look 100% genuine... but are they? + HOW do you tell if they're not?
This is something ETK take very seriously indeed & have done ever since we launched... There's more information on our "Scamming" blog post, which details exactly what to check for BEFORE you book...
But just as a quick reminder as to just how easy it is to be "taken in" - the advert below looks like a lovely holiday to book, doesn't it?
In actual fact - this is an "advert" that was placed on the internet very recently by another listing site and is completely false! The details of the Holiday Home Listing Website where it was published have been removed from the images - but all other details remain exactly as it was shown "live" on the internet.
Unfortunately - the photo featured happened to be none other than ETK's Sharon & Simon Steed's Holiday Home! (Which is actually sited at Ty Mawr in North Wales - not Blackpool as the ad would have you believe!) But despite the photograph being copyrighted, it was still used without permission & published in the above advert, god knows how many people were duped!
The company concerned have now removed the listing, but only after contact was made from the genuine Owner.
This just highlights the amount of Holiday Home Rental sites that don't verify their Owners before accepting a listing to their websites and in fact, some of those that do "don't do it properly". ETK at it's concept started to verify all owners and were pioneers in the process, as a result, many other listing companies decided to do their own versions.
Which obviously raises concerns for both Owners & Guests.
ETK have ALWAYS included a verification scheme with every Owner that submits a listing. For 2016, we have taken this a step further to protect both the Owner + the Guest.
ETK Verification means, that as each Holiday Home is submitted - proof of ownership + photo ID that relates to the proof of ownership is required to be sent to the ETK Management Team. If the Owner is acting as an agent on behalf of other Owners, ETK require written confirmation of this in addition to the usual proof of ownership. We require all verification documentation to be completed within 14-days of the Owner submitting their listing to ETK. There are other checks done behind the scenes to ensure we validate people properly, obviously we cannot divulge these as we don't want anyone trying to bypass the system now do we ;-)
Whilst this process is being completed - the Owner is issued with a "Pending Verification" badge against their listing, & to use on their advertising:
Once verification has been made - the ETK Owner is issued with a generic badge to use on their advertising, PLUS a unique badge is now issued against every Holiday Home they have with ETK. Each showing a unique ID number, which is only valid for that individual Holiday Home:
Should the ETK Owner not complete verification within 14 days, a "not-verified" badge is shown against their listing. This does not imply that they are not genuine Owners, but simply that the Ownership documents have not been supplied to the ETK Management Team....