Confirmed sitter will arrive later than agreed

I had a sit confirmed months ago, starting April 4. In the introduction of my listing, I stated that the start date was one day early in order to ensure the sitter was comfortable, and to provide an orientation, and re-review responsibilities, etc. we also discussed this in our FaceTime call prior to confirming the sit. The sitter in now saying that she will arrive extremely late the night of the sit. No explanation given. She even asked me what time I went to bed. I replied that since she agreed to the start date and arriving early for an orientation, her now planned late arrival is unacceptable and will not give us enough time, as I am leaving extremely early the following morning. The sitter is now ghosting me. I have inquired again as to what time she is arriving, no response.
With my trip less than a week away, I am unsure how to proceed. I don’t think there is enough time to find another sitter on THS. I did find a local person to come in twice a day to care for my cat, but at a fairly high cost.
Any advice will be greatly appreciated! Thank you in advance. Happy Easter!

If I understand correctly, you are leaving early morning of the 4th, and now your sitter wants to show up very late at night on the 4th, instead of on the 3rd as verbally agreed?

Or are they now asking to show up late on the 3rd? If it’s the latter, I would be annoyed but work around it, unless they are planning to arrive at like 3am.

It’s not great that the sitter is now ghosting - it’s hard to know the tone of the conversation, and if all he messages are over text/whatsapp/email, there’s a lot of room for inferring tone that might not be there.

Ultimately you need to feel comfortable with whoever is in your home, but I know a bit of grace can go a long way.

If the sitter is now wanting to come on the 4th, that’s a different situation.


That sounds considerate but you seem upset about that question.

I get the impression that there had not been much recent communication. Had you invited the sitter for dinner? Asked her if there was anything she did not eat? If you could pick her up somewhere?


Hi @Sher
I’m sorry you’re having such issues with your sitter at this late stage. I’d reach out to and explain the situation. They may be able to mediate or cancel the sit and let you find a last minute replacement.


@Sher, so if I’m understanding you right, you asked the sitter to show up on the 3rd, and she’s going to, but very late – she asked you what time you went to bed, and you’re leaving very early the next morning? Had you discussed exact arrival times before this? I don’t know how she’s arriving, but is it possible she has just now realized that her schedule on the 3rd plus commuting time simply doesn’t allow her to get there any earlier?

It’s possible if you told the sitter her planned arrival time “is unacceptable”, and indicated you thought she was out of line to ask what time you went to bed, she was so taken aback that it raised a red flag for her. That doesn’t mean she should stop replying, but if her arrival time truly is not something you can accommodate…maybe your choice is a paid sitter.


Hi @Sher unless her 5 or more THS reviews are mind blowing…I admint I would cancel the sitter and activate my plan B.

As a THsitters I would not make changes to my agreements with you without checking with you.
And if you could not accommodate me, I would honor my commitment to you. FULL STOP.

If there was some extenuating circumstance, I would ask you to please try to accommodate me but I would be communicating with you.


Lots of missing info: Did you post the date to start on the 4th? If so, why? Because you actually wanted it to start on the 3rd? Was a time discussed for the Guest to show up early? Is it in writing? Why didn’t you change the posted dates? Did you consider the Guests insurance coverage is for posted dates only?

If you posted dates on THS starting the 4th but verbally told the person to arrive earlier than posted, on the 3rd, it sounds like the mistake is on your part. If you needed someone to arrive earlier, the 3rd, that should have been in the dates posted. Why would any Guest think they needed to be available for an entire day earlier than posted?

So the advice, if you made the mistake, own up to it. Apologize to the Guest if you were aggressive in your tone. Wake up earlier on the 4th to show the Guest what is needed. Be grateful they were willing to show up outside of the dates posted. If you cancel with the other party, it is not the Guest who is breaking the agreement, it is you.

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I am not a vindictive person. I am also a HO (as well as a sitter) and I would do this to let other HOs know of the sitters ghosting and change of arrival time. I have been in this position as a HO, having the sitter change the arrival time, and I know the stress it causes HOs.


@Peg The action that you proposed is incredibly vindictive.

This sitter was going to arrive on the day before the sit, as had been agreed. No ghosting. It does not seem that a time had been agreed.


Remember we only have one side of this dispute. There’s a significant possibility the exchange went like this:

HO: Can you come in the 3rd so I can show you around? I’m leaving very early the 4th.
S: Sure!
–months pass–
S: So it looks like after I get off at 5:30, I can catch a train at 7 which arrives at 9:30, then a taxi to your house can probably be there at 10. Would that work? I don’t know what time you usually go to bed!
HO: 10 is unacceptable, and why does it matter what time I go to bed?


Hi @Sher, sorry to hear that things don’t seem to be working out with your sitter. I’m not sure exactly what was agreed with the sitter and how late she is planning to arrive but I agree with @belluca that unless she was planning to arrive ridiculously late, I probably would have tried to work around it. However, given that she’s no longer replying to your messages, that might not be an option anymore. I would contact THS member services and explain the situation and they should be able to help you. I hope you get things sorted.

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Not replying for now.

She may be trying to rearrange her day. Or she may be trying to get out of an angry mood before she responds.

Yes, Membership Services might need to mediate.

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Thanks to everyone for there feedback. I truly appreciated it.

To clarify, the start date posted in my listing is April 4. I am leaving early April 5. In my Introduction of my listing, I explicitly state that The April 4 start date is the day before my departure to allow sufficient time for the sitter to become comfortable and familiar with my pet and home. My Introduction is clear and transparent as to the arrival date and reason for the arrival date. I did not request that the sitter arrive before the posted date. I fully understand that sitters often make plans months in advance, and therefore posted the April 4 date.

My sitter and I discussed the arrival date and expectations during our FaceTime call prior to confirming the sit, and she agreed to this.

I reached out a week plus ago to re-confirm the sit and other matters.
I again reached out early last week regarding her arrival. Last Friday she informed me that she would be arriving late in the evening in the 4th. She did not provide an explanation.
This does not allow time for the agreed upon meet and greet, etc.
Then she ghosted me, haven’t heard anything.
Regardless of your views on this situation, ghosting is just wrong.
Thank you.


It is the weekend of Easter.

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@Sher, so in your original discussions, did you discuss what time she’d arrive on the 4th? And what time is she saying she can arrive?

By ‘last Friday’ are you saying you haven’t heard from her since Friday 22nd, or Friday 29? She could be travelling/having family time herself this weekend, as it’s a holiday weekend for many.


Was there an agreed upon arrival time? You haven’t mentioned a time. If it was vague the two of you may have had completely different times in mind. Maybe she thought you just needed her there the night before since you are leaving in the morning and didn’t think the time mattered.

Keep in mind that it is a holiday weekend, she may not be ghosting you.


This. I’ve found multiple times that HOs tend to overestimate the amount of time a walkthrough takes. I’ve arrived at sits two hours before the HO needed to leave at their request, and twenty minutes later we’re down to “there are extra batteries for the TV remote in the pantry”. I don’t mind, it’s all part of making the HO comfortable leaving their home and pets, but in my experience most HOs overestimate. And if there’s a pet issue – one who really needs a long meet-and-greet, for instance – then of course I want to provide that extra time. Is that the issue here? An anxious or reactive pet?

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The OP has clarified, and this isn’t their situation, but I wanted to add some context for this possibility:

I almost always depart very early in the morning due to location. Ever since the overlapping dates thing went into effect, I post the day I’m actually leaving, but put at the very top of my listing that the sitter needs to be in town for a handover by the night before AND that I have listed it that way specifically so that sitters with a prior sit in my city ending the day before can apply.

I appreciate learning about the sitter insurance coverage - I’d be happy to change the dates of the sit for a sitter who needs that (2 sits so far post-overlap rule and no problems), but in order to accommodate sitters with a prior sit in my city will continue to list as I have.


Yes, I see that she replied. Perhaps it was just me that found the post confusing!

I really appreciate that you put that you require a hand-off and it needs to be at the time of your request at the top. For someone like me, I would pass on such listing. I work remotely and include in my profile when I can arrive and when I depart; I’ll negotiate when I can, but my schedule can’t be wrapped around the HO’s travel. And unless it was an amazing locale, I wouldn’t pay for the night before for the HO’s early travel. Most of the HO’s I work with don’t really need a hand-off and will cover any time lapse (I leave at noon, the HO flight isn’t until 11p) by having a neighbor check on the animals or even hiring a dog walker if needed. We negotiate and work out a plan for logistics, they don’t dictate and I’m expected to accomodate. So, truly, I think it’s great that if you need that you are 100% upfront.