I have recently received 2 invitations to sit. Having replied promptly with my reasons for declining, neither of these home/pet owners had the courtesy to respond. I would expect nothing less from anyone when making an application to sit, but when people have approached me surely an acknowledgement is a given!
Hello @ELNF welcome to the forum and thank you for your feedback, we are looking at the messaging system to see how it can be improved and we do nudge all members to respond to messages, communication between members is so important.
Thank you for joining and we look forward to getting to know you better. Enjoy connecting with other members from all over the world.
Angela & the Team
Welcome @ELNF !
We empathize with your experience. Generally speaking, when we get invites and need to decline, the homeowner tends to respond back. However, that’s not always the case. It sounds like you had a streak of bad luck… but it seems it reinforces your decision not to house sit for them.
As sitters we put in so much time and effort into our applications and our profile, so it’s disappointing when homeowners don’t return a response. We try to give them the benefit of the doubt though, they may not realize the amount of effort put into an application or message, they might be new to the site and it was simply an oversight of courtesy, etc.
Either way, don’t worry Best of luck finding great sits!
I hear you. We get many requests to sit without so much as a message to us! I used to respond with replies for why we couldn’t (usually unavailable, as already listed in our calendar). But after not receiving any responses to those, I have started just hitting the decline button when we receive an invite with no message. We put so much time into personalizing our applications and I’m not even expecting that when being invited. But a simple “Hey, saw your profile and thought it could be a good fit, let us know if you’re available/interested” imho is common courtesy. It’s not a good match for us if the courtesy isn’t mutual.
Thanks for the replies. One of my invites was to sit only 3 days after I received it. As my partner had just had a hip replacement I was unable to leave him to do the sit alone, nor could he risk an unknown dog jumping up at him. I felt these are valid reasons for declining. The second invite, for September - I have a holiday booked to walk Hadrian’s Wall raising funds for charity as well ashopefully meeting up with family & friends I have not seen because of the virus & being unable to travel. Again a valid reason, worthy of a response.
To alternativetravelers - hitting the decline button and leaving no response is not an option for me as it would make me as discourteous as those others and unfortunately that could become the norm!
In my time with Trustedhousesitters I have had many successful sits with sitters asking me to return when possible. I know this is only a minority of owners but hopefully this thread may prompt someone to realise their error. I will continue to act with courtesy towards others and expect it in return
I agree with everyone on here. We’ve received about 7 invitations to sit and I always responded to the homeowners with a polite decline if not interested or available and a couple of times received no response back. It’s definitely not common courtesy to just ignore people.
Hi @Annette improving communication between all members is constantly being reviewed and owners and sitters receive reminders to respond to all messages. On occasions owners can become overwhelmed with applications and making it easier for them to manage their messages is to everyone’s advantage.
Hi everyone, I’m new to the forum but have been house-sitting for many years. I think that when THS changed the website years ago, introducing the “accept / decline” buttons, this invited owners to be blunt and lazy, with the ease of one click rejection.
Prior to the button facility, sitters and owners exchanged messages and it was far less frequent to be rejected without explanation or a short message thanking me for my application.
My point here is that the sitters contacted me, it was not a case of being “overwhelmed with applications”
I agree with @Reubendog - maybe the buttons “accept/decline” should be removed from the site
I agree with Reubendog that these buttons should be removed.
Over the years, I have noticed that the standard of HO’s communications with potential sitters has drastically diminished.
Just last month, I received an invitation from a HO who said I was in her favourites list and was I free. I responded in full advising why I wasn’t available. She hasn’t read it, nor did she read my response to a similar invitation the year before.
It is my opinion that the HO’s on this Forum are lovely. It is the ones that do not participate on this kind of Forum who we need to reach out to. They clearly don’t read the suggestions already on the website addressed to HOs.
@Itchyfeet @ELNF @Angela-CommunityManager
Thanks for your input Angela but I wonder if you have actually understood our three posts…? Each says it would be preferable to remove the buttons as communications have deteriorated since their introduction.
I interpret your “introduced to improve member’s communication management” as not addressing the problem.
Can THS look into having these buttons removed, thereby reverting to the friendlier version?
There’s another consideration to take here. It’s quite subjective that the buttons diminished communication and if accurate it’s probably correlational. While it might be the cause for poorer communication, it also be caused by many other things.
Not by any means justifying the poor behavior or lack of courtesy, it’s simply unnecessary and disappointing.
From our perspective, we appreciate the decline and accept buttons. Especially when they added it to the sitter side as well. We used to have homeowners accept our application without ever speaking with us or introducing themselves further. We felt that it balanced the relationship out a bit more when now a sit requires that a sitter also accept.
Could it be set up to have the button as well as a place to write a comment?
Hi @Reubendog thank you, I did understand your posts I was just explaining the reason for introducing the option, your feedback is valuable and will be passed to product for review.
@ELNF, for what it’s worth, I don’t reply back to declines because that just nudges the other person again! Someone has to be the last one to respond, and as you’ve declined they may feel that ends the conversation satisfactorily and that it doesn’t feel rude at all. I mean, here’s basically what could happen if no one wants to ignore a response:
Them: Hey, can you sit?
You: No, so sorry!
Them: Okay, thanks!
You: Sure thing! Keep me in mind for next time, thanks!
Them: We will, thanks!
You: Thanks! Have a good day!
Them: And you!
I mean, what’s rude about them just accepting the decline?
@Itchyfeet before we had the accept/decline buttons, we, as sitters were at a disadvantage. On more than one occasion We applied for sits, and were accepted by the homeowner immediately, without any conversation. One of these we probably would have declined if there had actually been any conversation, but it was too late!