We have had sitters cancel on us and read many, many more emails and pleas from homeowners left in the lurch from sitters who have cancelled. Sure, emergencies happen, but all an irresponsible sitter has to do is cry “emergency” to get out of a sit they don’t want to do for some reason. My husband and I take TH sits very seriously and though we wish all did, that’s not always the case. We have long thought that TH should bestow a “SuperSitter” designation upon sitters who have had five 5-star sits in a row with no cancellations. If a sitter has this designation and then has to cancel a sit (no matter how far out the sit is), they lose the designation until they’ve got five more 5-star sits in a row with no cancellations. I know the “5-star” thing can be problematic and perhaps people could make tweaks to this idea to make it better, but some form of this idea should go forward to reward sitters who don’t cancel and to encourage sitters to make a sit work as much as possible without cancelling. TH has insurance for sitters who have homeowners cancel on them, but there’s no protection for homeowners who have sitters cancel on them (often before expensive, unrefundable travel). A SuperSitter status would be a lot like a SuperHost status in Airbnb: just an added layer of reassurance and something members can strive for. TH, please seriously consider this option.
Update I just discovered the welcome news that TH now does provide sitter cancellation in the form of $150/day emergency petsitter/boarding coverage if your sitter cancels. This is wonderful news, though it’s worth noting that this is only at the highest membership level. Even still, I think the SuperSitter designation has merit because a last-minute cancellation can still throw travel plans into disarray and a backup sitter can’t always be found quickly or with ease, even if TH insurance will pay for it (and our cats, for example, don’t take well to boarding).
We are sitters with ten years experience and have never cancelled a sit - even travelling to a sit on the morning my mother in law passed away.
I would certainly be in agreement with homeowners being made aware of sitters who cancel for whatever reason. Also sitters should be made aware of homeowners who make a habit of cancelling.
I think the site is attracting a different type of sitter and I am sure that some cancellations are because the sitter got a better offer. If I was a homeowner I would be checking the sitter’s calendar to see if they booked another sit for the same period. If so I would not be happy.
You should get SuperSitter status for sure!
I wouldn’t dream of cancelling a sit and have done 54 sits so far without having to cancel. I’ve had just 2 cancellations by owners - one because of the pandemic and the second because the dog I was due to sit died. I got a replacement sit for the second.
As for superstar status with 5 star reviews, most sitters have a string of 5 star reviews. This is because of the review system which is eventually going to be revised.
So currently your idea wouldn’t work and I personally don’t like it.
Also reviews and feedback are not permitted on the site for sits that don’t go ahead for whatever reason.
I am blushing @grahampeg but there are a lot of great sitters out there. Unfortunately a minority are letting the side down.
We’ve been full-time sitters for 2 years & have never cancelled! A word is a word and I’m sure most sitters/owners feel the same, even if there does seem to be an increase in sitter cancellations.
I think a good way to deal with this would be to make it impossible to delete a sit from the profile. That way the sitter/owner can still leave feedback, by simply saying ‘sit canceled for x reason’) This can then serve as a warning for future owners/sitters.
We have been sitting for 9 years now, and have only ever once had to cancel a sit, when my husband had to go into hospital. We’ve also had a HO cancel on us once, because of covid. There maybe a few bad apples, but I don’t think this is very common.
Hi @grahampeg thanks for raising this issue and is something we are looking into further and glad you have discovered our cancellation insurance, here are all the details.
Something we have discussed in the past, is to show in the review/feedback section whether an Owner/Sitter canceled (similar to Airbnb)
What are everyone’s thoughts?
I just wanted to suggest this, it could be really helpful! A response rate like on Nomador would also be good but that’s another topic. We have had a number of cancellations by HOs over the years, but all except maybe one had a good reason.
Many of us if not most of us, long timers, have never canceled a sit barring pandemic. Most people in general will verbalize their grief and dissatisfaction vs sharing good experiences.
I would imagine “super sitter” status will be like 5 star reviews in the eyes of some especially when it becomes popular and expected.
It’s a nice tribute but the responsibility of our choices and subsequent outcomes is still the responsibility of the parties involved.
There just aren’t any foolproof guarantees.
This is a great idea @Ben-ProductManager
This is a good idea @Ben-ProductManager, it’d get a yes vote from me.
I think this would be a great idea for both homeowners and sitters. I believe there should be a way to offer an explanation instead of being like airbnb that just says that the sit was cancelled. If I were a homeowner, I’d want to know if a sitter has cancelled and would like to know why. There are reasons that I would understand. As a sitter, it would be nice to also know if homeowners have cancelled sits, too. Again, there might be perfectly acceptable reasons, but too many for either one would be a red flag.
I didn’t know that! I have never cancelled a sit so had always assumed it was possible to leave feedback even in the event of cancellation. That’s really unfortunate to hear.
Thank you for asking - I think this would be a great feature, with the caveat that I think hosts and sitters should be able to leave a comment with an explanation below. I have never cancelled a sit (as a sitter), but appreciate that sometimes genuine emergencies do arise and people should be given the opportunity to explain.
I agree and worry that some people will say it’s a medical emergency or bereavement and perhaps not the real reason. Yes I am a cynic
I agree re the explanation
I think you might be right!