Clear guidelines

for myself one of my biggest frustrations is homeowners who never write their location. for instance i live in perth, western australia and i may be looking for a specific area in melbourne or even in Perth. telling me your house is close to shops and bus stops doesn’t give me a clue where you are and with only 5 ppl allowed to apply i can’t spoil one of your applications asking. it happens over and over.

also if ppl don’t want you from overseas, interstate, please state that in your initial advert as again it gives us all clarity.

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I don’t care about that. It is their problem. They could have written where the sit was.

(But yes, it is much less likely that I would apply. Because if it was a nice spot, they would probably have said so.)

The real problem is THS programming. When I have a saved search for one small town, I get notifications for sits 50 kilometers away. When the HOs have done everything right, THS is messing it up.

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Hi @bubble I see this happening a lot now and its extremely frustrating. I live in Sydney and I find that HO either want to be vague because they are in an unfavourable area or a really popular area (which doesnt help!) Mostly its unfavourable.

Maybe THS can send a reminder in the newsletter or email to HO (which i cant see that happening) that HO need to state the name of their physical location for sitters.

Sitters need all the information to decide whether
the sit will suit all of their needs. It seems very time wasting for everyone involved otherwise.

@Carla is this something THS can do please? To remind HOs they need to state the name of their physical location for sitters.

I wonder if its only in Australia that this happens? Can sitters in other countries let us know if this happens to them too?

I skip all listings where the hosts don’t mention their neighborhood. That’s because without such info, it’s safer for a sitter to assume that the area is undesirable. Unfortunately, a number of hosts in various parts of the world neglect to share such info. But there are enough who do, so I gravitate toward their listings.

It happens all over. It is frustrating, and when I leave a review of a sit, I mention location. I might say, for eample, 'I loved sitting for Fluffy in High Point, Denver." This (a) helps future sitters and (b) helps if the HO moves to a different location after my sit. In the latter scenario, if the HO moves from Denver to Dubai, it would look as though my sit occurred in Dubai.

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It used to peeve me too until I realised that previous sitters’ reviews give clues to precise location.

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There may all kinds of reasons that homeowners in large cities do or don’t mention their neighborhoods. Instead of putting the burden on Homeowners, as has been discussed on other threads, THS really needs a more accurate mapping system. This could be similar to the system on Craigslist for instance which provides a circle with the exact location somewhere within the circle but not pinpointed. There could even be options for HOs in widening the circle if they had privacy concerns. The Craigslist site uses such a feature that really help to clarify where something is, but also respect the lister’s privacy preferences.

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Whatever their reasons, it still doesn’t make their listing as useful. In big cities, you could say something like “I live in SoHo,” or the Upper Eastside or such. There’s housing enough to still remain fuzzy.

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This puzzled me indeed!! I saw a number of reviews for me on THS in places that I never sat! Till I realized that the review will be listed under the name of the city/town that the HO CURRENTLY lives in, not the place that I actually sat at.

It does create a bit weird impression though when other HOs read my reviews, and some of them are listed under cities/towns that actually do not match with the place where the sit took place

I just confirmed a sit in Chicago and the hosts clearly stated their neighborhood in the intro section. If they had not included the neighborhood I would not have applied. I’m not going to waste my time writing a thoughtful application only to find out it’s a neighborhood I don’t want to stay in. If the sit is in a large city, I think it’s up to the host to at least provide a general area.

As HO it’s frustrating too. I have to list the nearest city according to my US zip code, but my home is actually in a tiny blip of a town 20 minutes from downtown. I make it clear in my listing that we’re in a small, semi-rural town, and I follow up by requesting prospective sitters look up my actual town on a map and see if it’s still a good fit before we get too far. Some people are still surprised when they get here, but that’s the best I can do. It’s a faulty system for sure.

i live in Australia and our suburban areas are truly expansive. telling me you’re close to shops and buses but nothing to say if you’re north, east, south etc. how would i know! i’m getting like you, because it’s a waste of time even reading the sit as i’m not any wiser at the end. where i want to go could be a pack lunch from the sit. thanks those of you who have replied

I’m a homeowner and I specify my location pretty precisely which seems obvious in the process of finding good sitters.
I just want to add that I’m a bit bothered by the fact that the homeowners’ profiles are public, including first name, profile picture and all pictures of you’re house and pets, including your location specifiers.
I would feel much more comfortable if the location part was only shared with paying subscribers.
I know that sits are not listed when no dates are live, but through direct link it’s still live. I’m also not convinced that this is necessary to attract new users to the site, and even if it is, it doesn’t sound worth it in terms of the privacy compromise.

It’s not necessary to publicly share your address. For instance, you could give the location of a major intersection, business, gas station, etc., that you’re near. Then when you’ve got a committed sitter, share your address.

It would be rare that there’d be nothing close by that you could refer to, unless you live in the boonies. And in that case, prospective sitters would need to know that you’re not close to any amenities and such from the start.

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The locations listed are pretty nuts around Greater London sits. My current cat sit is a different from what’s listed, on a different train branch, etc. It’s a good lesson for me to clarify in advance.

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THS should make it mandatory that owners input their zip code/postal code when they are preparing a listing. Not to show the postal code, but for the THS to then list the city & neighborhood & map it. Just like Google or any mapping system would do. And to not allow the HO to switch the address from what their original application was without approval.

I’ve encountered at least half a dozen in which the owners put a different, neighboring, more popular city. It’s not ok. The HO’s are misleading people with intent.

I did report one HO in which they put their city in a different U.S. state; one that was more popular with better public transportation. I knew they were not being truthful, but someone not familiar with the area wouldn’t know. THS had it changed that day. But it’s not members job to this, it shouldn’t be allowed at all.

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@teal That particular situation makes me wonder if the Owner moved and failed to update their listing. We should all be able to trust that the information provided is accurate!

Long discussion on mapping issues here: HO that live in the wrong city as they say in the sitting
And if you go toward the end of the thread you’ll see some interesting discussion on how the mapping system apparently changed over time so it’s more accurate for some legacy HOs. Ironically, everyone seemed to agree that a technical update relating mapping to the homeowner’s verified address would be the solution. However, because some Homeowners have more than one residence, there probably would also need be an option to change the mapping as well.

Hello @Cat_Lover Apologies I was out of the office for a couple of days. I can certainly raise this with the Product team and see if there is a way to make this clearer on the owner’s dashboard or other methods. I can’t guarantee anything but will pass it on to them :slight_smile:

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many thanks.