Cancellation statistics

This question is specifically for members of the THS team. I’m not sure which one would have the answer so I’m putting it out generally.

There seems to be a huge increase in cancellations just now, on both sides. I find it very worrying that people are taking on a commitment and then cancelling for their own reason. My deep concern is THS gets a reputation for unreliable sitters and pet owners go elsewhere to advertise their sits. I actually am embarrassed when I read some of the reasons given and want to apologise for the sitters behaviour even though I had nothing to do with it - it’s a British thing. I also quickly check the dates and listing to see if I can help but they are usually last minute and I like to be super organised and try to be booked up three months in advance. I think this increase in cancellations may affect the business and how sitters are perceived. “One bad apple spoils the whole bunch”

Does any of the team have stats for how many sits are being cancelled and why?

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Hi @ElsieDownie. Where are you getting your information about this “huge increase” from?

If it is through reading the Forum, remember that the Forum is a new thing, and growing, so that information wasn’t there a year ago. I don’t believe that there is an increase, there have always been cancellations.

When I first joined back in 2017 I checked out THS on Trustpilot and there were some terrible reviews !! It was enough to put me off a wee bit. But the really bad reviews made up about 2% of the total, with about 95% reviews very good.

I just checked Trustpilot and there has not really been any change - you will always get negative reviews, cancellations, and people unhappy in any business.

The Forum has become a new place where people can come to be negative.

@Angela-HeadOfCommunity posted this on another thread today and I think some of it is relevant to your question above.

Quote " We will also be very happy to hear from members who have positive questions requiring positive answers …

As @Petermac pointed out this forum has been active for one year the more members we have joining and becoming active the greater the benefit for everyone but for that to happen our space needs to be a hive of positive activity, that’s not to say there shouldn’t be honest and open discussions about all issues but there is so much to celebrate about our community and amazing lifestyle and you don’t have to look far to find it … but you wont unless you look! Focus on what you don’t have and you will never have enough.

We have a passionate and caring team working hard behind the scenes to make our product the best it can be much of that takes time, meanwhile there are thousands of happy pets around the world tonight with their loving sitters and with everyone blessing the day they found TrustedHousesitters … our team help make that happen.

I started a new sit with one of my favorite pets today, (I know we shouldn’t have favorites but he’s just so cute, as they all are) his pet parents are very special too and make me feel welcome and part of this family … we have a very special community let’s reach out and touch more pets, people and places with our uniqueness and caring spirit.

Thanks everyone and if you are waiting for chocolate have a very Happy Easter.

Angela and the Team “”

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Hi Petermac
That’s what I’m trying to find out. If there is an increase of cancellations or if it’s always been there and I just haven’t been aware. In my opinion the forum has brought out a lot of positive and negative things about THS. They seem to cycle and we are in a negative loop at the moment. If I was thinking about joining at the moment I would seriously reconsider. This negativity needs to be put into perspective.
All I have is praise for this site. It has helped us achieve our retirement goals and most of the people we sit for are now friends. We love it. We use it as an introduction and find communication usually irons out any potential problems before they happen. Long may it continue.
Elsie

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It stands to reason there would be more cancellations during Covid times than during normal times. I would not turn up sick to a sit and would try to help the owner find a replacement. I have noticed a drop in the quality of the sits becoming available for eg poor quality pictures, no picture of the owner(or owners wearing masks!!), untidy rooms with toys, clutter, old curtains on shower stalls, cluttered kitchen countertops, shaggy or ungroomed dogs, no sign of dog beds or dog toys and very limited info on the dog breed. It is not surprising to see cancelled sits if there is little info supplied or people do not want to maintain good infection control standards.

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I’m curious to see this but my gut guess is that yes, there are more cancellations in the past 2 years, and that 90+% of them are covid-related in some way or other.

I also have no doubt that sitters/home owners who cancel on a whim are few and far between and will eventually get weeded out by THS.

So scroll on by these sits that you don’t find appealing. It’s kind of like “swiping left”.

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Hi @ElsieDownie I don’t have any desire to know cancellation statistics for THS, and also believe it is not my business to know this information. Bottom line is it will not affect the way I manage my time, applications, and confirmation of sits. I will be as selective for applications, and as thorough and cooperative with homeowners as I have always been. Whether cancellations have increased, or will increase or decrease, will not change my philosophy of how I conduct myself as a THS sitter. My values and ethics will be unchanged.

As we all know, so many factors affect cancellations. No doubt there will be some - homeowners or sitters (not just sitters) - who cancel with either lame reasons or unreasonable excuses. That’s life in this world, where some people are unethical. I find it unlikely that those rare bad apples will get THS a “'reputation for unreliable sitters and pet owners”, as they will exist in any and all house sitting sites.

I am a sitter. In the past six months I have cancelled two confirmed sits. I struggled with the decision for each, having multiple sleepless nights, practising the explanation in my head, over and over again. I am choosing not to explain the reasons here, as they are not relevant. What is relevant is that I gave each homeowner as much lead time as possible, rather than wait until the last minute. I then discussed it with them, explaining my logic, and then offered to work with them to find my replacement. I was the first sitter for both sits. They listened to my suggestions, we reviewed the options (I’m purposely keeping details private) and I was replaced within 24 hours for both and they were both pleased with their sitters.

I am also proud to say that both have asked me to sit for their next dates. I don’t feel I should be indiscriminately lumped in with the bad apples, but cancellation statistics would include me. I had hoped I would not have had to share this story, as I still struggle when I read from some that “I would never cancel a sit”. Life happens, and we can only do the best we can in the circumstances.

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My experience is THS sitters have a world wide good reputation. Talking to other sitters on Facebook groups, friends, homeowners all I hear is praise for THSand their sitters and pet owners.
If cancellations increase that reputation will plummet. No matter how helpful we all are to replace the sitter there will always be a doubt in the pet owners mind….will it happen again. I applaud your dedication but you are one of how many? Most of the stories I read or hear are people found something better or just can’t be bothered anymore.
To weed the “bad” ones out THS must keep records. Everyone knows it is a sitters market out there. THS should be taking these negative stories circulating seriously as they will damage all of our reputations. I’m just interested to find out the stats and the reasons given.

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That goes without saying! This is supposed to be a discussion about drop in sitter levels not advice one what people should do!

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.
PS and for that reason I have noticed as much HO cancellations, if not more…

We recently had a sit cancelled but as a sitter, we had no choice but to agree. It’s not like we could just show up and stay there anyway. So, I guess I’m not sure why that line is in there except in situations when the decision is completely mutual for some reason such as during the pandemic lockdowns.

I’d like to see a note on home owner profiles to show when sits were cancelled like they do in Airbnb. I know the sit we recently had cancelled had done it to at least one other sitter (unrelated to COVID) because the sit wasn’t cancelled officially and the sitter was able to leave a review stating her disappointment that the sit had been cancelled at the last minute. I’m now wondering if this home owner has cancelled on other sitters as well and we were just unaware. I asked for THS to look into it when we filed our insurance claim so I’ll be curious to see what happens with that.

am quoting from the web, the book of rules
Yes of course it doesn’t make sense that is why I quoted it

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There is now a closed behavior log on each member’s profile (sitters and owners) where in the case of a formal complaint being raised and fully investigated, incidents such as cancellations are recorded by the Membership Services Team

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@Angela-HeadOfCommunity , does the log specify whether it was the HO or sitter who initiated the cancellation? I ask because I just had my first cancellation. The HO shortened the sit due to a complication on their end and we chose not to accept the abbreviated sit as airfare for that short a stay was too costly. The HO canceled with us and reposted.

The incident is logged in detail @mars

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When a formal complaint is raised to the Membership Services Team the matter is fully investigated and the outcome recorded.

Good questions @meow and lesson now learned on my part. The HO and I texted privately and spoke on the phone so there was really no official communication on the THS email app regarding the situation that brought about the cancellation. Membership services would have seen that the new dates were for a shorter period of time, but I hope this doesn’t look like a black mark on my record.

@mars @meow this is only relative to formal complaints raised by members …

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To @meow and all forum members. In the past year, I have unfortunately had to cancel two of my confirmed sits, booked months apart. After worrying myself sick for days trying to figure out how best to explain it to the homeowners, I contacted each and provided detailed reasons. Both sets of homeowners were understanding and supportive. I worked with them as best I could to explain how to cancel me and gave support as they looked for replacements. One chose to ask my opinion of their chosen sitter, before confirming them. The other kept me in the loop while making their decision. These homeowners were proactive and successful in a short period of time.

This year both sets of homeowners have offered me their sits before posting them (and I’ve accepted). Of course I teased them: Are you sure you want to take a chance on me? :face_with_raised_eyebrow: By the way, the homeowners were totally satisfied with the sitters who replaced me.

I am honoured and proud that they have invited me for their sits. What’s the point of my story? If every cancellation were tracked by THS, I would somewhat unfairly (I think) have had two marks against me. Some cancellations can comfortably be resolved without THS intervention, using honesty, open communication, and respect.

Edit: My apologies in that I’ve just noticed I’ve told the first part of this story earlier in this post. I doubt I’m the only one who repeats themselves. I just do it more often in person. :roll_eyes:

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Great story, thanks for sharing Francine. :grinning:

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