Cancellation of Confirmed Sit

I am fairly new to THS.
Why is it that a Home Owner is able to cancel a confirmed Pet Sit without consulting the Sitter but the same method for cancelling via the website does not apply to the Sitter.
And is that fair?
There must be times when a Sitter has a legitimate reason for having to cancel a Sit.
Of course there can be serious implications to either party cancelling a Sit, as well as the inconvenience but I would like to think that both HO & PS have the same rights & method for cancelling.

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Hello @dma and welcome as a newer member! Please be assured that while the process is in place for owners to cancel a confirmed sit, this is only permitted with the agreement of both parties and in extraordinary circumstances.

I’m not clear on the technical reason as to why the sit is cancelled, on mutual agreement, by the owner but will try to find out when the product team are back next week. I would assume it might be because the owner has “control” of the sit within the software setup. I will come back to you on this.

There are a couple of help desk articles that might help explain the criteria around cancellations but this is a quote from the first…
,

What happens if I need to cancel a sit?

If you have confirmed a sit but need to cancel, you must inform the other member immediately so that they can make any necessary alternative arrangements.

Remember, a sit must only be cancelled if both you and the other member agree, or if there are any extraordinary circumstances. If this is not the case and you cancel outside of these terms, an investigation may take place that could result in disciplinary action against your membership.

The full document is here:

If you need help with cancellations, please do reach out to the membership services team at support@trustedhousesitters.com and they will be able to help.

All the best,and enjoy your weekend. Vanessa

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This can work both ways. I had a phone call earlier today from a confirmed sitter to tell me that she won’t be coming as now that the WA border (Australia) is about to open she has to go see her family. As it is only a couple of weeks from the sit i am to say the least not happy. I would like the opportunity to note on this persons profile that she is not ‘reliable’ as stated. Hopefully another sitter will apply at this short notice.

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Hi @Leoandme. If you have read the link that Vanessa has posted above, titled Can I cancel a sit? both you and your sitter have to agree to it. Perhaps it needs pointing out to the sitter that they are not abiding by the code of conduct and you may need to contact membership services with this.
In saying this, I can also understand the sitter wanting to go to WA to see their family now that the date has been set for the border to finally re-open. Just over two years not seeing family may qualify as extraordinary circumstances.

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Yes i take your point but trying to enforce the contract does not seem a good idea. I feel the sitter should have indicated their intention in regard to border openings when applying. Not the first time I’ve been left high and dry at the last minute. I immediately unconfirmed and have listed on other housesitting sites. Now just hoping for someone suitable.

Hi @Leoandme and I can understand your frustration and disappointment with a short notice cancellation. We do encourage our members not to cancel except in extreme cases, but it can be difficult to define extraordinary circumstances especially during this pandemic. So many people have been restricted from seeing their family, even if sick, due to the border closure that’s gone on far longer than people ever expected in WA.

From reading other threads on this topic you’ll see that most sitters, once booked, pride themselves on not changing arrangements, and as full-timers, Ian and I fall in that category. However, it is somewhat easier when there are two of you, as one can always stay (which is what happened when my father passed a few years ago). But all circumstances are unique in house sitting.

What we need to do now is help you find replacement sitters, and I’m going to tag @Therese-Moderator so that she can get in contact and first of all boost your sit. We can also share it on social media with your consent, to try and help. You can also put a link in your profile here in the forum which many find also helps.

Please be assured we are here to help support you find a replacement. All the best, Vanessa

Hi @Leoandme I have sent you an email via membership services, so please keep in close touch with us. Kind regards Therese

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I do hope you find a great sitter @Leoandme.

Thank you Therese, it appears that your strategy has worked. I have sent a confirmation to a prospective sitter. That was nice and quick. It’s nice to have useful support that moves things along.

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That’s such great news @Leoandme … nd as you say …

Hi. how does a homeowner cancel a confirmed sit if both parties have agreed to the cancellation.

Kind Regards
     David

Hi David (@Draveller) - sorry to hear that your sit isn’t going ahead, but if both parties have mutually agreed to cancel a sit only the owner can instigate the cancellation. You do this by “unconfirming the sit” in your dashboard inbox.

Here’s the information from the helpdesk (this applies to sitter/owner mutual cancellation)

I believe once the sitter is cancelled, and if the sit isn’t proceeding, you’ll also need to cancel your dates. I’m going to tag @Therese-Moderator so that she can confirm this - she will also be able to help if you have any further questions.

All the best, Vanessa and the forum team

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Thanks Vanessa for your reply.

 Kind Regards
       David
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Hi @Draveller … As @Vanessa-ForumCMgr mentions, the homeowner does need to cancel the sit on their side.
However, I have emailed you directly from membership services for the details so I can assist you should you need.
Kind regards
Therese

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It would be only fair for both parties, as part of the cancelling process, before it the cancellation is confirmed, that the other party gets an email to "agree” (or not) and then the sit is cancelled or taken further…
This way seems reasonable.
HO and PS should be able to cancel the sit this way…
“Remember, a sit must only be cancelled if both you and the other member agree…” this is what is written but at the moment there is no way to guarantee or reinforce this. And of course as the HO can cancel and the PS has no control, it is quite unbalanced at the moment.

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The cancellation does have to be agreed by both parties and this will, in most cases, happen through communication channels like email or messaging. I think from memory it’s purely a technical situation that listing dates need to be removed then by the homeowner, because that’s the side of the platform software where the dates are “controlled”.

But thank you for your feedback and suggestion @Jazzys, which we will pass on to the appropriate team for future update consideration :blush:

I know, I am just saying it should

Hi Vanessa, I would be interested to hear how a cancellation can be “agreed”, we had a cancellation for reasons which were outside the owners control and got an email from them to cancel. There was no way this was “agreed”, we had no choice but to accept the cancellation, it wasn’t like we could just turn up and sit anyway ! Similarly when a homeowner announced with less than 72 hours notice they were returning early from their trip, this wasn’t agreed, we had no choice in the matter ?

@adamas Hi there and I’m sure there are some situations where sadly, as you say the word “agreed” doesn’t define the reality. We too have had sits where plans have changed and the only thing to do is to accept the cancellation, as what else can you do? But they were in my mind exceptional reasons that could have happened to us also, and so we put these down to being “Life happens” experiences. After almost a decade of travel and house sitting we’ve adapted to be flexible and to be aware that a “plan b” option may always be required. Our over-riding experience is good which does help. We’ve also been lucky I guess that even in our cancellation situations the owners have offered us alternative accommodation.

But, you are right in your observation and if it’s an unreasonable request “agreement” doesn’t come into it and that’s when I would suggest you get membership support involved. It might not result in a different outcome, as no-one can force an owner not to cancel, nor a sitter for that matter (it happens both ways), but it will I’m sure be noted. As has been written about by the product team, there is now a way for the team to register unreasonable member behaviours. One hopes this will fall into that category but that’s something for membership support to clarify.

I do totally understand your point, some will be agreed, some less than others and some not at all. The word is used “loosely” in the guidance it seems. All the best, Vanessa

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I guess that’s why it is important to remain flexible. It can go both ways, where a sitter has to cancel or modify plans. Not agreed, but has to be accepted.

On our last sit, dates were agreed, as were time of arrivals and departures. Dates changed and times changed. It happens. We pivoted and moved on.

From our perspective, all part of the great adventure of life.