Skiers warned over rogue website

21st September 2015, by Abi Butcher

The Alpine Club's Chalet Abode is advertised on the site as 'Chalet Abel

The Alpine Club's Chalet Abode is advertised on the site as 'Chalet Abel"

Chalet owners are warning skiers of the importance of booking directly or using reputable, established tour operators after reporting a website to Trading Standards for mis-selling their properties.

Where to Ski and Snowboard has been contacted by three separate chalet owners who want to warn skiers that the website is listing their properties without permission, at the wrong prices and with fake names and reviews. On it’s homepage, the website is offering 40 per cent of next season’s prices when skier book “today”.

Susanna Scott, owner of Pine Lodge Dolomites has reported to Trading Standards.

“The website is portraying our chalet’s images obtained from Google under the fake listing ‘Chalet Nerio in Selva Gardena’, however a lot of the information and pricing on the page is incorrect.  The guest reviews are clearly fake as they go back to 2013 when we only opened in December 2014!”said Ms Scott.

“We became aware of the website’s existence last week and have reported to Trading Standards after our own efforts to contact the company directly failed — Pine Lodge Dolomites has not at any point agreed to work with I really do hope that nobody has been affected by this elaborate fraud”

Helen Raemers from The Alpine Club which has three luxury chalets in in St Martin de Belleville said: “Please spread the word so holidaymakers don’t lose their money and their holiday. Our chalets are listed but we do not have a relationship with this company.”

Nicky from Serenity Management offers a range of services to high-end chalets said: “I’ve seen two of my chalets on it and that of some colleagues. My partner called them and asked about the chalets but they asked him to correspond via email. He said no and then asked why they were advertising the chalets without permission and the person on the other end just hung up.”

She added: “This happens all too often, its not the first time at all and no doubt wont be the last but I have been told that until a fraud is committed there is nothing that can be done.”

Clare Meaney, marketing manager at Consensio Chalets, told WTSS a number of people had alerted them to the problem. But, she said, the website is not unique in its efforts.

“It’s really difficult to keep track of them all. As soon as we get rid of one, another one appears. We’ve had a situation where people have booked through AirBnB and the scammers have embedded their email into the photo as a way of luring people away from the AirBnb website,” she said. [Click here to see the BBC story from 2013]

“People need to learn that if something looks too good to be true, it almost certainly is!”

Where to Ski and Snowboard tried to contact for a comment, but received no response.

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