Conclusion Of Pausing Application Test - Updated Post

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A reminder of why this topic was closed and will remain closed.

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Thank you everyone.

This is in reply to the postings by @Twitcher , @Lauraa , @KenandMary1998 and @Wetravel I was wondering how to reply to the “Conclusion of Pausing Application Test.” “Product Updates” seems to be where you do it.

It seems THS may be getting fewer referrals as they have increased the incentive to 30% off and 3 free months.

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Unfortunately you cannot respond to the Conclusion of Pausing Applications Test as the thread was closed a while ago.

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The thing about THS is that it was working just fine as it was. What happens with organisations from governments to companies is they feel they have to DO something. The 5 person limit is universally disliked yet THS are making no moves to alter it (even raising it to 10 or 15 would help). The adage of Keep It Simple should be taped above someone’s work laptop. Sometimes doing nothing at all is the best thing.

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The new limit on sitter applications is very frustrating both for potential sitters and pet parents. I normally get loads of applications for a two-month sit in Venice, Italy and this year only a handful. While 5 might be taking time to decide, your listing is paused until either you or they decline the sit. It leaves you unable to look for other sitters in the meantime that might be available. I finally reached out by messaging those available for a sit in Italy and received more applicants that way, but had to do it one by one, selecting those that looked like probable fits for our home and pets.

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Neither are a lot of people and there’s been a huge discussion about it elsewhere on the forum. It seems it’s here to stay….

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HI @Patsylittle we’re moving your comment only because this is moving the conversation off topic and we don’t want to discourage other members from sharing their 2023 plans.

Thank you

I’m sure this post will get relocated like the rest, but for the love of all the hundreds of posts about how frustrating this change to applicants caps is- please keep a listing open for 24 hours minimum, regardless of the number of applicants- and then the 5 applicant cap can apply if it’s not met. We wake up EVERY DAY to sits that post while we are asleep because they are 7 hours ahead of us and are gone by the time we wake up. We are specifically trying to go to Europe 6 months from now and have certain countries we can go to due to remote work requirements. Being unable to apply without sacrificing a good nights sleep isn’t fair and isn’t what we paid for when we signed up for this membership. If THS is going to advertise the travel aspect of their platform, their business practices should align with that and allow for people across ALL timezones to apply.

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The Conclusion of pausing application test post, which attracted ~1100 replies was closed for further comment a few weeks ago. This is the one I’m referring to:

Unfortunately it doesn’t look like THS is providing further updates to members as to whether the the variety of issues flagged by sitters are going to be addressed.

The 5 application rule continues to incentivize opportunistic behaviour to quickly get an application in before it closes, and makes many popular sits off limits to sitters who don’t spend their days glued to their screen on the website.

I asked THS for an update as to when paused sits - that is sits which have had 5 people responding (which automatically switches it to “reviewing applications”) - will at least start to be shown in the listings. This was something that was promised as an enhancement, but from THS response it looks like there’s currently no timeline for this.

Currently sitters may not even know a sit ‘exists’ (and has not yet been filled) if the sit receives 5 applications -whether opportunistic, high quality, or simply placeholder submissions - before the sitter manages to check/refresh the website again.

I’ve had no success with receiving more details directly via THS. In short, I mostly received the same (copy-paste) answers as in October, although I tried multiple times to further clarify myself. Anyone has had more luck with knowing what’s going on?

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Hi @Bluehorse

We have made quite a few improvements over the last 2-3 months on pausing functionality. All updates have been posted here: Product updates - #60 by RadarInc

We have added the functionality on App and Web where you can see paused Sits within search results and also within the listing page/screen itself.

Many Thanks, Ben

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Are any new sitters actually getting sits they want, if so HOW? Though THS claims to have more sits then other sites, the new 5 sit policy means that although the sit is active they are already paused. Each sit I want to join to apply for is already paused or if available I am afraid if i join to apply by the time I am approved by THS the sit will be gone. I am so disappointed with this site but sometimes there are interesting sits This is so frustrating! Is there really no way to contact a host once their sit is either paused or already taken?

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Hi @Ysa. I joined in late August and it’s been an incredibly positive experience - better than I’d hoped for. I’ve done 7 short-term sits (2-5 days) - beautiful homes, interesting locations, lovely animals. And I have two longer-term sits (10-14 days) lined up for 2023 in dreamy locations.

My only problem so far is that I want to be doing a lot more sitting & traveling than I have the time for. I’m working on changing that!

I think the 5-application pause actually benefits us newbies. A HO is more likely to read and consider my application if it’s 1 of 5 rather than 1 of 30 or 40. Do I miss out on some sits because of that 5-application window? Sure, but I don’t worry about that and don’t get bothered when my applications aren’t accepted. I don’t set my heart on one particular sit.

You asked how newbies land sits they want. My strategy was to spend many, many hours reading previous posts in this forum. There’s a ton of fantastic advice here from experienced sitters who were once newbies like us. Good luck!

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Hi @Ysa - I am slightly confused by your comment. Have you actually joined THS? If not, I don’tknow how you know which sits are paused - do they now give this information to the general public? It is difficult to credibly be disappointed with THS without even joining first and giving it a go.

To answer your question. No, there is no way to contact a host once their sit is either paused or already taken.

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We joined two months ago and are thrilled. We have secured 6 weeks of sitting ( 2 sits) and look forward to more. I love the 5 application limit as if there were 20 or more we wouldn‘ t have a chance having little experience on this site.

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I appreciate your feedback. Yes you can look for sits before you join and it is super discouraging, more than before when it was just competitive. . I don’t understand how this could be a positive change especially given that sits that are actually not available because they’re paused still show up in the search and every single sit I click on is already under review it does not inspire me to join Trusted house sitters.! I do understand if you are lucky enough to be in the first 5 you may have a shot as a newbie, but having to click through each sit to see it is NOT actually available is a huge waste of time. I also see homeowners complaining that they feel they’re forced to choose from the first five, when it is not true and sitters frustrated that they need to be chained to their phones to get sits. People encourage me to read more here in the forum on how to secure sits, if I can not actually apply because they are on pause this is just more wasted time, there is no way to know if they will become available again. Many people are speaking out against this and telling others not to join It wouldn’t be as frustrating if they weren’t included in the available sit search when they’re not actually available.

Post Moderated to remove link

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Yes - I see lots of ‘reviewing applications’ status now. So if the 5 applicant limit was designed to speed things up for sitters, it isn’t working clearly. Are there any posts about THS thinking about bringing this in - ie why? Who was the demand for it from? Are THS reviewing how it’s working in practice. Perhaps @admins can clarify.

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Very interesting @Ruckusfan and thank you for your analysis.
I am in the 1% group of members with over 30 reviews and I think that the 5 applicants and then pause process is to ensure that these 1% of us don’t get to secure the same amount of sittings in the future. Most of the listings in my saved searches are gone by the time that I can apply,

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About two months ago THS implemented a new feature.

Once a listing receives 5 applications the listing is automatically paused and no more members are able to apply. The homeowner then picks from the lucky five who were able to apply, or they have to reject them all and then reopen the listing. (If they even know that is an option).

THS claimed they notified all members of this new feature “extensively and through all avenues possible”, but the reality is it appeared a an article in one months emailed newsletter, and the majority of the membership, like yourself, is unaware.

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I joined THS just over a year ago and have had a great experience, with four sits under my belt. Upon returning from my last sit (6 months long), I was shocked to learn of this new policy wherein after 5 applications are received, sits are listed as being “reviewed” and sitters can not apply.

Sitters are being denied access to a phenomenal amount of sits, while the yearly charge was not reduced. This is a drastic change and setback for THS, with the trusted reliable sitters being negatively affected. Now it has become a constant battle to stare at the phone all day, trying to be first to see the new sits so we don’t get locked out. Not all of us can do that.

As far as the argument that it helps new sitters… I was a new sitter last year. Sure, I got denied the first couple sits, but I persisted and had great personal references, so it did not take long to get my first sit. That is life. Punishing those of us who made it through the first sit, and have established trusted reliable reviews, is not the answer and is simply not fair. We did nothing wrong, but helped establish THS as a reliable source for house and pet sitting. I am just shocked that we are being dismissed rather than praised for our efforts.

I implore THS to reverse this “new policy” and encorage the sitters to speak up loud and clear so we are heard. This is not what any of us signed up for and paid for.

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I’m finding it a bit frustrating looking for sits and more than half the listings on a page are shown as ‘reviewing’ so it’s not possible to apply for them. They are just taking up space on the page. Is it possible to add a feature to the filter to hide such listings? Or even just not show them at all because it doesn’t serve any purpose. Does anyone else have any thoughts on it?

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