Confusing Inbox Time Stamps

I applied for a housesit around midnight (PST), and now, about 12 hours later, the message still shows Unread.

On the website, the time stamp in the top right corner of my message says, “Aug 25 (4 hours ago).” On the app, the same message says, “5 hours ago” across the top.

I’m racking my brain as to what the “X hours ago” is referring to—I sent the message 12 hours ago, so it’s not that; the message says Unread, so it’s not the time the owner read the message…am I missing something obvious?

I wondered if it might be a simple time zone reference, but THS is based in the UK and those time stamps don’t seem to align with UK times, either. The most confusing part is that the website and app say different things (4 hours ago vs. 5 hours ago). Can anyone solve this mystery for me?

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Update post edited … Hi @IfItFitsISits it would seem that you’ve had your mystery question solved … thank you @Karen-Moderator :clap:

Thank you

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I am in Australia. When I apply for a house sit anywhere in the world, it time stamps my application letter as being sent 9 hours ago, when it has been just seconds ago.

Yeah, the timestamps are always all over the place for me too. And different between the app and the website :joy:

@IfItFitsISits It’s to do with the time zone difference between you and the other party. Like @anon1411559 I’m in Australia and can send a message to a UK HO (9 hours time difference behind Australia) and they respond immediately and my message shows that I sent it 9 hours ago.

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I have noticed the same thing — for a long time now. I’m glad you brought it up.

Because the date and time stamps are so “off,” I find myself overestimating (overcompensating for the error) the time it has actually taken a HO to respond,— as I keep forgetting to keep my own date log ( which shouldn’t be necessary). Because of this I have moved on because it seemed my application had not been read or responded to in a long time, applied for another sit with the same dates, then been offered the first one and have had to decline.

Please correct this.

@Crookie I’m applying for house sits in Oz and NZ. Still time stamped 9 hours ago immediately after I apply.

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In my experience, it seems that communication is time stamped with the time difference between Queensland and the UK. However, doesn’t take into account that it’s a different day. Very confusing and a bit strange for an organization with a global presence.

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Hello @IfItFitsISits. Yes, the timestamps can be confusing. In an earlier discussion about timestamps here’s how @Therese-Moderator

Yes … @thejohnsfam correctly mentions, … As our head office is in the UK, the inbox is set on GMT, so the time difference is the reason this happens. However, always, be assured that the message is sent/received instantly with no delays.

I hope this helps.


Hmm, that would make sense but the message I sent is to a homeowner in the same time zone (only one state away, both PST). That also doesn’t explain why the website and app show different “X hours ago” timestamps.

It seems this is just a THS quirk and timestamps can be ignored as meaningless! I was mainly curious whether “X hours ago” referred to some action taken by the sender or recipient (i.e. reading, editing, etc.)—that seems to not be case.

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@IfItFitsISits refer @Karen-Moderator’s reply above that answers this.

I just looked it up and it appears to me that the home office is currently on BST and that would be GMT+1. This explains the current time difference between Queensland (GMT+10) and the home office. I know my messages are sent when I send them, but curious as to why its set up this way?

Yes, thank you; I understand the issue now (my reply to you was stuck in moderation, during which @Karen-Moderator’s post popped up).

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Thank you. I still wonder about the discrepancy between the time stamps on the website and the app, but that must be a fluke.

I wonder if the time stamps could be rephrased to be eliminate the confusion—e.g. “Sent at 11 am GMT” instead of “9 hours ago”?

I’m not sure why there’s a discrepancy between the website and the app but have submitted your suggestion above to the team for consideration.


Thanks! I see the time stamp issue has been confusing members for quite a while :melting_face:

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Wott?!! Surely, on that basis, you could undertake the sit before the ink is dry on the application!

@LTD according to the time stamp, I can apply for a sit, have a video call with the HO, be selected, confirm the sit, all before the HO even wrote it :wink:

As I mentioned in another thread, the time difference is between whatever time zone you are in and what time the THS office is located in. I’m in the US and all my messages when first sent say “sent 5 hours ago”.

The difference between your computer and your mobile could be a simple settings error. Perhaps your computer is identifying you a time zone ahead/behind what you truly are. Or perhaps it’s a daylight savings issue where it thinks it’s spring/fall, but it’s truly the other.

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