Common courtesy

hi @dogangel and welcome to the Forum. This is a subject which comes up quite regularly. There are many reasons for this, some homeowners only use the THS site once, or once a year, so may accept the 1st person to apply, or are just not natural communicators - many reasons listed. @Angela-HeadOfCommunity has moved your post to a thread covering some of this, and another link to a similar thread below.
Unread and declined applications for sits

Hope you enjoy the Forum, lots of good ideas and information to read.

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This is an old topic, but I wonder if we can learn something from companies like Evite. Evite invitations and custom responses

THS has settled on a simple paradigm of “accept” and “decline.” What if they added phrases to increase perceived courtesy, such as “I wish I could, but I have other plans” or “Thank you so much for your interest in being our sitter. We went with an equally awesome person.”


Thank you for your suggestions and feedback @ThreeLittleBirds something for the Product Team to consider … people rarely remember exactly what you say but will always remember how you made them feel.


I’m just wondering if home owners definitely get an email when someone applies for a sit or if they can turn it off?

There are a couple of sits we applied for that had been posted for awhile, still 0-3 applicants, and yet the home owners have yet to read our application. One we un-applied after a week because we found another sit - and a week later, they still haven’t read the initial application. The other one is only 2 days ago so I will give it some more time.

It got me to thinking - do they get an email or do they have to log in to see applications?

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Hi @Kelownagurl tagging @Therese-Moderator who will pick up when she is back online

Over the last year we’ve had to decline about a dozen invites, most around the holidays when we were already booked. Keep in mind during that time some HOs are desperate and send invites to a lot sitters. When we need to decline an invite, we first send a polite message where we explain why and we include some extra information which most HOs do not know and then hit the Decline button. Here is a sample message:

Dear Homeoner {Name},
Thank you for your kind invite. We would have loved to petsit for you, but unfortunately we are already booked for another sit during these dates ( or add your reason, but keep it short). You have a beautiful home and lovely pets so we truly believe you will have no problem finding another sitter. To get more applicants please use the Boost Listing button or if your sit starts soon visit the THS Forum and post it there

We wish you all the best and we hope we can sit for you in the future.

We have received very positive responses even though we were declining the sit. Of course we will support a simple pull down menu with a few canned messages for declining or responding.


Just to be clear, it’s not everyone. We’ve had two respond right away so we’ve got two sits booked! :slight_smile:

Hi @Kelownagurl I wanted to confirm, that homeowners do get sent an email to say there is a message in their inbox. In the same way sitters get their message email. Even if you turn off your email notifications in your settings, these emails are still sent.
Just to mention that we constantly remind homeowners to read and reply to messages.
Kind regards Therese


To be honest, when we get invites to sit and I decline with a message I consider that to be the end of the conversation . Some home hosts do respond to me saying thanks for the response, others don’t - but I am not offended because when they do respond I am always tempted to respond back thanking them for responding to my response…( It may be a British thing …it could go on for ever :rofl: )

That’s great to know then, thanks! I know some people don’t check their email very often but at least I know it’s gone to her.

I might give her a little nudge in the next few days then. I really want this sit - very cute dog and great location - and it fits perfectly between our other two sits.

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Also for consideration, sometimes, at least I do get a phone notification that I can open and see the message without going to the site and that keeps it as “unread” even if it has been seen. I make effort to respond as that acknowledges it as “read”.
But don’t lose sleep over it. Keep moving.


Yes! I was wondering if that is possible too!

I want to say that I have had messages that show as READ and an Inbox that says I have messages but I cannot find them. I had some messages I could not even open. I missed an application by 8 days because of this and only found it by accident. There is something a little buggy about the way Messages work in THS. I felt so bad when I realized this lovely young lady had applied and for 8 days it didn’t show that I had a new application. Its easy to assume that the technology works as advertised. But it often doesn’t.

Yes, we get an email but I have mine set to auto populate a folder so for some people who are not so tech savvy it could be a challenge to stay on top of it.

That would be frustrating. I’m lucky that I’ve never missed an inbox message. I see the notifications on my phone (via the app) and also get emailed when there’s a reply, plus when I’m waiting for a response, I check it obsessively anyway.

@Kerri I’m going to tag @Therese-Moderator who will connect with you for more information when she’s next online.

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The messaging function is glitchy. Sometimes I can see messages on the PC version that don’t show on the mobile app. I have sent messages to people - who confirm receipt - but the messages don’t show on a desktop or mobile app.

There is a bug in the software and I am not sure if this is the same bug that is causing your problem but I have an Inbox that shows unread messages but I cannot find them. I have also had people submit messages but they showed as read and so I missed them. Some of them I cannot even open. All of a sudden the messages items are very buggy. It could be that the backend of the system is messing up and not showing people the right information.

I have 2 unread messages showing on my Dashboard @Kerri that have been there for a number of years. The owner’s dog died so she cancelled her membership but had messaged me about it. However, by the time I went to read her messages that same day, I couldn’t access them because she was no longer an active member. And there they have stayed all this time with no way of removing that notification!

Hi @Kerri I have checked your account and the message was from a former member from 2 years ago. I have taken the liberty of archiving this so it is not in your inbox anymore.
@Kerri @temba If you have any Inactive members in your inbox, you can archive these using the App … in the inbox …press lightly on the inactive member and press ok. This will archive these, so this really helps clear your inbox.
@Lassie the messages should be syncing perfectly from web to App, please do DM me with a screenshot so we can investigate as this should not be happening.
I personally find, using both App and the webpage works well for me. I tend to use both for different functions, so I can keep on top of everything.
I hope this helps
Kind regards


Thank you for this tip @Therese-Moderator. Just tried it out and I’m so happy to see them disappear from my Inbox! Still have quite a few to go but now I know what to do.