I have had a lot of home owners reach out to me this year due to cancellations from confirmed sitters. One couple also had four cancellations. We had one cancel on us but she was ill and offered to still come if we couldn’t find anyone. I knew I wouldn’t have a problem so didn’t fret about it.
My partner had a family emergency in the states while we were pet sitting in Europe. I gave the home owners of our next sit the opportunity to find another couple since it was a lot of animals and a home off the grid requiring more labor. We had sat for them previously so I knew the amount of work involved. They were nervous but wanted me to still come solo.
Once my partners family member stabilized, he flew back to Europe to do the sit with me. It was very expensive for us but we honor our commitments even when it costs us a lot to do it. Our first sit with them was also costly because of a canceled flight. We ended up having to pay for two Ryan Air connecting flights and a night in a hotel. Trust me, I wanted to cancel when it cost us more to work hard than just stay in Barcelona in our hotel for five more days. However, it was not an option to cancel.
Life does happen and we understand sometimes cancellations on either side can’t be avoided. We purchased the premium membership for this reason.
I admit since the 5 application limit, I have jumped to apply for sits I normally would check airfares, etc… I had two owners respond quickly wanting to set up virtual meets. I scheduled the meets before having an opportunity to do thorough research. I did end up telling the owners I was not interested. I felt bad but this new system forces the quick applications.
I applied to one the other day without even reading the listing because it was in a very popular city and I knew it would be gone quickly. I knew this was a great opportunity just from the caption. I wrote a quick and not up to my standard cover letter. I do not cut and paste. I write an individualized cover letter for every pet sit.
I really feel the 5 person cap is a disservice to both sides. As a home owner, my best applications always came much later in the process. As a pet sitter, I don’t feel I have time to write a thoughtful and personalized cover letter let alone check on flights etc…
We are pretty much just doing repeat pet sits now because I can’t live on my app.
We had an amazing pet sit in Paris in Oct. They had 60 applications in an hour. I wasn’t close to responding at the front of the pack. We were the best fit and today these pet owners would never see our profile based on the new system. I do not know the reason for the change but I hope THS is planning on a survey or some way to measure customer satisfaction.
I would not join today based on the new system. I use to enjoy reading through pet sits and applied for many because something was appealing about them not because it was someplace on my travel wish list. Now by the time I see a notification from my saved search, the home owners are typically already reviewing the 5 applications.