A sitter is telling me, she is cancelling her already booked sit next month and wants to sit for me. The sitter has great reviews, etc. I said once I see her availability calendar free up, I will confirm her. She says once I confirm her the calendar will show. How do I know that is how the calendar works. Instead of messing around with only giving HO 5 applicants, maybe THS should be blocking sitters from double booking in the first place. It was I who noticed the applicants calendar and mentioned it.
Cancellations should only occur for extraordinary circumstances, not because a sitter has found a better sit. This goes against the ethos of THS. Who’s to say she won’t cancel on you also should something more attractive be advertised?
If she is an experienced sitter, she should know the protocol.
I agree. I do not know the circumstances other than she said her Homeowner had a backup sitter. I did express my fear of being cancelled as I have no Plan B but was assured it won’t. I confirmed so we shall see. But I really believe THS should not allow sitters to apply for sits if they are already confirmed elsewhere. So two of five applicants applied when they were already confirmed elsewhere. I guess it’s nice I live in a sort out area but seriously…
I believe that THS allows double-booking because some sitters are 2 people who could sit separately. I wish it could be prevented for solo sitters.
I had a solo sitter do concurrent sits a few weeks ago. I noticed the other sit after she had allegedly stayed at my house. Investigation showed that she stayed at the other house, not mine, but she claimed she stayed at mine. The sitter has been suspended from THS now because of her dishonesty.
I was trying to weigh whether to say anything, as just another sitter. But I think the goal here is a healthy community, and if this sit went bad, @trekker954, I’d feel bad for not speaking my mind.
First, @Lassie raises a great point I’d forgotten: Couples often double-book the ends of sits, as it allows them to avoid staying in Airbnbs between sits. Of course, such couple presumably communicate the situation to both sets of HOs. @Colin: Have you guys double-booked before?
Second, here’s the official note on how availability calendars work:
Third, we might understand the context better if you have your listing linked to your forum profile. But I realize you’re not specifically asking for listing advice.
Back to the current sitter situation:
- A sitter with “great reviews, etc.” wanted to cancel a January sit with another HO to sit for you.
- She didn’t mention her calendar being blocked, but you did.
- You asked for her calendar availability to free up, but she said to just confirm her first.
- She said the first HO had a backup sitter.
A sitter can’t cancel a confirmed sit; only an HO can. Assuming your sit and the first sit don’t match dates exactly, the sitter’s calendar could look like this:
- She’s blocked only for your sit, so the first HO indeed unconfirmed her.
- She’s blocked for both sets of dates, so the first HO is still waiting for some reason, not bothering because it doesn’t matter, or the sitter just lied and plans to do both sits. (E.g., what happened to Lassie.)
Note that the sitter could have had the first HO unconfirm their sit before you confirmed her, thus fulfilling your request for a proper calendar availability. This would have been risky for the sitter because you might have changed your mind first. But it was certainly possible. Because the sitter didn’t present this option, she’s either ignorant or lied to you. Maybe there’s a third option, but I don’t see it positively.
- This sitter has assured you she won’t cancel you.
- You have no Plan B.
- You live in a “sort out area” which I assume is like a popular area? sold-out area?
- You had at least 5 applicants before.
You should always have a plan B.
Any good sitter should require that, probably mentioned in your Welcome Guide. Like emergency contacts. What if the sitter gets in a head-on collision? (Recently happened to an HO maybe a week before I was to sit for her. Thankfully she walked away okay.)
What actual assurance do you have that the sitter won’t cancel on you? Is she God? She cancelled on the first sitter. Or again, she might get RSV/COVID/flu. Did she send you a deposit to cover a backup sitter? Did she promise you that in writing via TH mail, with all her personal info?
Frankly, I would cut my losses short. Avoid the sunken costs fallacy:
The right move now would be to contact THS to explain why you are unconfirming the current sitter, and also you should politely explain to her your reasoning. Then you should re-open your listing. The listing sounds past Christmas and in a popular area, so you should be fine.
And if you didn’t know, when you get 5 applicants it pauses, but you can just reject a few and unpause. Even the ones you reject you can still communicate with, if you change your mind later.
And you should work on a Plan B as well. For example, perhaps there’s interest from local sitters, but you choose a farther sitter. Ask the local sitters for their contact info just in case for the future.
That’s just my opinion. I’m not saying it can’t work with your current sitter. It’d be like a guy cheats on his girlfriend/wife to be with you, and he’s done that 3 times before. 4th time might be the charm. Or you can listen to the red flags from less-biased people just trying to help.
@geoff.hom - we often overlap sits, as full-time sitters it saves us a fortune on hotel/Airbnb costs.
Another scenario, which in fact has happened to me TREE times (incl my current sit). Advertised dates are approximate and oftentimes require alteration once the tickets are purchased … which are as often forgotten. Consequently, the calendar will erroneously display a double booking of back-to-back sits when the dates are changed. Thus, one should never rely solely on the calendar.
In addition, changing the dates of a confirmed sit is not a very straightforward task. You either need to cancel the sit altogether and start afresh or contact THS and ask for help. This is why many people don´t even bother
Begs the question, why did you accept her knowing that she’s cancelled a sit to do yours?
Hi @trekker954 I hope that you’ve managed to clarify the sitter’s situation as it applies to you and your sit.
Should you have any other questions or concerns, including the calendar’s functionality, please connect with the Membership Services Team who will be happy to help.
Thanks for the feedback and advice given to @trekker954 this conversation is now closed.