Conclusion Of Pausing Application Test - Updated Post

Even sitters who encounter the 5 app pause probably don’t know it paused after 5 because the listing does not reflect that. All it says is “Reviewing applications” as you see here
Reviewing

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KiwiHouseSitters I know for a fact does this and I believe AussieHouseSitters does too. I’m sure there’s more

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Ben,
Since it is obvious that no one on this forum topic received the survey you reference, would you please be kind enough to:

  • Post the actual survey
  • Post how many were sent to owners and how many to sitters (I thought I saw someone post that only 10 surveys were sent out - 5 to owners and 5 to sitters. Surely that’s not correct!)
  • Post the response rate
  • Post the replies per question

I think that might help everyone on the forum better understand things.

Thanks!

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We are hosts who had completed 7sits over the last 3years. This change with pausing after 5 made the whole process difficult and frustrating. I did not pay premium fees so that THS would lock and pause my listing multiple times a day. All day, every day over a week I watched and declined applications so that listing can be unpaused. I needed to wait in order to interview or meet with applicants and I did not have a choice of qualified sitters but rather ones who are fastest to apply. As a host I pay a fee and this feature limits applicants for me. How many replies from sitters and hosts will it take for THS to re-consider this change?

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Yes, the techies once again do not disappoint. Find a problem for a solution so someone can flex some code (or may a single-digit percentage of homeowners did have an issue in common), assume one size fits all, refer to some obscure “survey,” glorify “the data,” and construct solution that has little to no basis in actual user experience or expectations (homeowner or sitter), as evidence here suggests. Most importantly, never admit you screwed up, because the wisdom of “the data” as the techies interpret it is all-knowing. You’ll be quantifying and qualifying an unexpected batch of data in a few months, if not weeks, looks like. Kudos to whoever thought this would be a selling point for new members.

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I too have been a member for over 3yrs and will not continue my membership under these restrictions. THS changing their policies does hinder us Housesitters tremendously. Many times I am traveling and do not see new notifications until it is too late to apply now. I totally agree that THS is only marketing to get new members and not keep the current ones.

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I agree that every THS sitter and homeowner should have received notification of the testing and implementation plan. We are only hearing about this now through this forum and after the fact.

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I haven’t posted in the forum for a while and instead left a review of THS on Trust Pilot about this very subject.

This is part of their response
“When any changes are made, we consult our members and although we understand that we can’t please everyone, all of the time, we make changes that are for the benefit of our members”
I don’t agree that they consult with members and they certainly don’t communicate with them when they implement changes.

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It seems that most people on this forum do not see this as a benefit however !

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I’m not quite understanding why you can’t compare sits. A short note puts the sit on hold then do all your investigations. Ditto, talking to a pet owner or several pet owners. If you find you don’t want to write a detailed application just message and tell the owners why. Works for us every time. We just got a beauty of a sit in Costa Rica this way. The short message gave me time to find out about the location, amenities nearby, airports etc. when I realised it was exactly what we were looking for I composed a detailed application and sent it.
There’s always a way around obstacles.

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Why should full time sitters pay more than anyone else?
We are there bread and butter. It’s us that hoovers up the majority of the sits, both honey pot and not so popular sits and enhances their reputation for good, reliable, no nonsense sitters. I really don’t know the statistics and I’m sure one of the staff would be able to provide them but if it wasn’t for the full time sitters I don’t think they would have half the sits advertised on the site.
I think it’s time we all just accept the change and either leave or adapt. I’m trying to adapt. It’s frustrating and a big learning curve but I have found ways and means to do it. Some of them are selfish (bagging a spot immediately with a very short message to give myself time to investigate the sit) and I’m sure there must be pet owners scratching their heads wondering what’s going on but I have proved to myself it works.

Something I always have to remind myself. This forum is a representation of less than 10% of the people who use THS. Forums are well known to attract people who have problems or are more militant (in the nicest possible way) than most users. Therefore, we are reading a very small fraction of what THS members think. We cannot second guess what the other 90%+ think. There are over 900 replies in this thread but look at how many individual people have actually written multiple ones.

I think the staff have got the picture. People are not happy about the change but is there any point repeating the same point over and over again? Like the tiered membership I was very against the concept and the wording. I said my piece. I answered a few comments then when I realised it was happening no matter what I walked away. There is no point fighting a loosing battle with a business who is trying to increase their profits.

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@LynKinn that is my issue with this pausing applications test. For me it’s not about the actual test as I don’t have a problem with trying out new ways.

My issue is that this test has never been widely and transparently communicated across ALL THS members in direct communiques. All members have emails so it would be a simple exercise.

The majority of members don’t know anything about this test, that’s now no longer a test but a change as apparently forum members only represent less than 10% of the membership cohort. It’s like THS are avoiding being transparent at all costs and that just breeds suspicion. I know I’m suspicious about why they aren’t communicating directly with each member.

I haven’t been able to get a plain yes/no answer to my question about whether members will be emailed. All I keep getting is there is a comms plan utilising multiple communications channels and it will be in the newsletter that many people don’t get, can’t find or don’t read. I just want to know why they won’t email every single member on their database. I believe it’s because they fear customers will leave in droves but then I’m suspicious of their motives because of their poor communication.

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I agree. I am very dubious that THS will notify all members of the change. If they haven’t done it by now, I dont think it’s going to happen.

A simple email blast to all members would take maybe an hour of someone’s time.

They haven’t done it because they know that there will be a deluge of complaints. It’s dishonest and disingenuous and generating lots of ill will, not just here but on other social media platforms.

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Of course there is always a workaround! I can be the fastest to pull the trigger on “apply” but I’d rather be able to read a whole positing, navigate away to a map, check transit links, look at where the dates fall in the week, etc. before I have to do that.

But if I can’t toggle between a few open sits (because they disappear so quickly, or are being reposted again by savvy owners) without worrying they’ll immediately close, then I have to take up a valuable slot to “hold” my position without doing due diligence. This wastes everyone’s time and is unfair to other sitters who may be interested in the same region or dates. I want to provide the best care I can for the animals, not spend my time competing with other sitters to be the first through the gate.

Plus, now I can’t even see the dates of sits I’ve already applied to any more without going into my inbox and opening up the message thread. So now I have to have 4-6 windows open to compare 2 sits on my laptop – forget about mobile! Or more than that!

Other people may not have this issue, but I’m finding it a real challenge. I have some flexibility with dates and regions, but others may have more limitations on their time.

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Hi @Crookie - my sentiments exactly.
The cap is described by THS as a ‘benefit’ for members. Quite how limiting choice for hosts and sitters can be of benefit is beyond me.
Well the cap is a done deal so the sooner an email is sent to all members explaining their new ‘benefit’ the better for all concerned.
The other 90% of members who don’t avail themselves of the forum are paying members and are entitled to know about this important change.

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I was thinking about what you said here and remembering back to where Ben mentioned one of the reasons that they’ve implemented this new policy is because a small group of sitters do a large number of the sits.

Last week he said:

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This is a great idea and makes it smoother for sitters. I sit mainly in London, applying for very popular sits, where 1 good sit had at least 15 applicants , and by end of the day owners didnt decide for anyone. So it was extremely time consuming to apply, many good sitters got fed up, and this new thing is fair to anyone. The sitters doing a free help after all and writing applications takes effort and should be taken seriously.

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Your subscribers have been very annoyed and upset by this experiment. Not sure if you can read their grievances here: Pet + House Sitting, Travel and Digital Nomads | Facebook

I myself do NOT welcome this change at all. I am not able to apply for any popular sits because they stop accepting applications in two hours or less after they are listed.

Nobody is able to check the THS app 24/7 and what about users in other time zones?

At least set the maximum to 10. Five is an absurdly low limit.

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Weird lack of information for potential new members

As both an owner and a sitter i think about subscribing, so i went on THS web site and clicked on the link « how do I search for a sitter” which explained the process :

(…) you would want to register under our Owner Membership - there is an annual subscription and this gives you unlimited access to the site meaning you can post as many dates as you like to look for a sitter.

(…) Once you have joined the community, you can start your search for your perfect sitter:

1.) The first step is creating your home listing. (…)

2.) Then once your listing has been approved by us, it will go live on the site for sitters to start applying directly to you via your inbox on the site.

3.) You can then get to know different sitters via phone/video call to find out if it is the right fit for you both.

NO INFORMATION IS GIVEN AT THIS STEP about the amount of applications an owner may receive


I’m curious so I wanted to know more, i clicked on a second link

2. Alternatively you can use the ‘Find A House Sitter’ tool on your Dashboard, to filter and search for sitters that match your requirements, and reach out to them directly!

All communication is done via your online inbox on the site, for your convenience.

Has this resolved your problem? »


NOWHERE any indication is given on the 5 applicants limit and the pause system

I’ve looked at the forum, as I was invited to by THS, and discovered the new rules (pausing system)

I found in another section on the web site the explanation about the pausing system, but it’s not indicated at all for new owners who would like to subscribe ! Why ?

Last but not least, 3 days ago I had seen more than 1000 posts on thiss thread, to day they are "only "979, so more than 30 have been deleted ? By whom ??

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Good points. Also, the THS landing page is misleading: “Sit as often as you like, wherever you like.” Umm - not really.

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