I had an application come through for a sit and the folks seemed great! As we moved on to text each other off the app, the sitter said they required that we provide transportation (which currently isn’t in the cards as our car’s getting fixed and “sitters need a car” is a tag in our listing) and due to our location, we needed to pay their flights.
That… didn’t sit well with me, so I declined the application.
I couldn’t find this prominently in the THS forums, and not as easy in the guidelines, but, is a sitter requiring a HO to pay for flights to accept a sit against the THS rules?
An owner is NOT expected to pay for travel and I believe it is stated somewhere on the site that sitters are responsible for their own travel arrangements. So the sitter was wrong in making that request and giving the impression that would be expected of you. Now if an owner wanted to offer to pay for part or all of the travel cost, that would be their choice, and something that could be worked out between the two parties–I don’t think THS ‘regulates’ something like that or at least they shouldn’t if they do. As far as I know, that isn’t very common.
As well as the transportation, many HO may offer the use of their vehicle, but it definitely is not expected, as you can see by the option to use the ‘sitter needs a car’ tag.
I see your sit is in less than a week. I obviously know nothing about the people with whom you were speaking, but I’m curious if they thought that because you were probably anxious to secure a sitter, they wanted to try their luck on getting free flights and you offering up a car. Or if they were relatively new to the ‘game’, maybe they thought it was okay to ask those things when it isn’t standard.
As a sitter myself, I am very surprised to hear some of the things sitters say and request.
@PrettyKitty13 I wonder if the sitters are new and don’t get it yet. Of course the homeowners do not pay for transportation nor are they required to provide a car. It sounds like you dodged a bullet by declining the invite. (BTW, we are HOs and sitters.)
There has been some talk on the forum about the quality of new sitters. THS has done much marketing to increase member numbers. They advertise pet-house sitting as “free vacations” and “cheaper than AirBnB.” This can make sitters think it IS a free vacation. Which this is not.
Please take your time, vet sitters carefully and conduct a video chat as you ask questions designed to probe their commitment. Sitters’ FIRST priorities are to take care of your pets and home. Not insisting on free travels expenses, cars and food.
Hello @PrettyKitty13, it sounds like you trusted your gut regarding this sit as both parties need to feel comfortable moving forward. I am sorry to hear there was any confusion about travel expenses and the use of a car.
They may as previously mentioned be newer members of the website. This doesn’t necessarily mean that they do not fit with the ethos of THS, but maybe they needed some guidance and education. If you feel that any member is not understanding or using the site as it is intended you can always let Membership Services know at firstname.lastname@example.org and they can reach out to them and guide them when using the site.
Here is a help desk article that talks about travel expenses:
You can also post your sit in the last-minute sit category on the forum:
I can see that you have one new applicant and I hope that you secure a sitter soon. If you need any more help please feel free to let me know
With regards to transport, I think if you are arriving by plane it is normal for a home owner to offer to collect from the airport and take you back but not pay for your flights. I have been collected from airports twice now.
The HO/PO does not pay for the sitter’s transportation. It is very kind and much appreciated if they offer to collect the sitter from the airport or train station and/or take them back, but this is not required, nor should it be expected.
Hi, I’m new to this forum. I’ve recently renewed my membership with THS. I’ve just confirmed a sitter and now she’s asking for fuel costs for the three hour journey there and back. I’ve had sitters before and this has never happened. Are the sitters given guidelines or are they being cheeky? Especially as I’ve had enquiries from Australia!
Hi @Columbocat1 and welcome to the forum! On first read, I thought the sitter was asking so she would know how much to budget, in which case I would suggest using Google maps or Rome2Rio to figure out the mileage, then looking up the average price of gas/petrol and as they say in the UK, “Do the maths!” Rome2Rio also includes this info in its search.
But now I see she’s asking you to pay. Unfortunately, this is not part of the exchange here on THS nor is it permitted in the code of conduct. Is this sitter new? If not, s/he should already know this. If so you can inform her/him that this is not permitted.
Unless you feel completely comfortable following this exchange, my advice would be to unconfirm this sitter and resume your search.
As a new forum member, you can add your listing to your forum profile by following these instructions: How to add your listing or profile to your forum profile
This will give you more exposure, as readers of the forum who might otherwise not have seen your listing will have a chance to see it and you will also be able to get helpful feedback from members.
Hello @Columbocat1 and a warm welcome to the Community Forum
As @mars said, this is not the ethos of TrustedHousesitters and nor is it permitted in the code of conduct so unless you are happy with this you should inform the sitter that this is not permitted incase they are new to the platform and are unaware.
I have also attached a thread below, it would be great if you could join in with this as we think you could offer great feedback and your input would be a great addition