Didn't know sitters cancellations could be so easy

A sitter I had confirmed last summer just cancelled this morning. She warned me by mail then officially via THS. I did not know how I could publish again an advert for next Xmas, as I felt I could not do it as I had confirmed her

She sent me the link of THS help, it took me a few minutes to find in my messages box the way to cancel myself, it was so easy to “unconfirm” i really found that strange.

In that case, I have been warned 75 days before the sit, but is it as easy when it’s only a few days before ?

My previous sitters cancellations were not made on THS but on another web site so I did not know the procedure…

I understand now why so many members on the forum complain about cancellations…

Yes, it is very easy for both sides to cancel at anytime. It’s just the nature of what we do and the world we live in. Things and happenings get in the way of the joyful moments in life.

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It states within the Code of Conduct that a sitter or home owner cannot cancel without extenuating circumstances.

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Well, and how do you know if this isn’t the case? You can get “proof” for anything if you want to.
I think as long as there is enough time left to find someone else, it’s understandable. Sitters also might have changing circumstances in their lives and even if they really wanted to come and sit, there might be a reason why they have to cancel.
In case someone canceled on short notice we always have a plan B. There will always be a neighbor who can step in with feeding the cats twice a day. It’s not our preferred way of cat sitting, obviously, but they would survive it.
It can happen the other way round as well. There might always be something, which can cause us to cancel a trip…especially during this pandemic, which isn’t over yet.
I think if both parties are aware of this and talk about it previously, the disappointment isn’t too bad.
I asked our accepted sitters for December what they would do if we had to cancel our trip due to COVID-19. They said we shouldn’t worry. Of course we don’t want to cancel but I feel better to know it would not be a problem for them.

@Itchyfeet @ElsieDownie @Provence
This might help clarify the situation about cancellations. Once a sit has been agreed and accepted it can only be cancelled on the website by the owner and when both in agreement. The sitter cannot cancel the sit on the website.

Here’s a link to the help desk description …

What to do if my sitter cancels

"As part of the code of conduct that all members commit to, both owners and sitters agree not to cancel a sit unless faced with extraordinary circumstances. This mutual agreement means it’s rare that sitters cancel. If they do, they must let you know as soon as possible and provide their reason.

If the reason for the cancellation is not for ‘extraordinary circumstances’ or if you feel the reason for this cancellation requires further investigation do just let us know. We have a duty to uphold our Code of Conduct for the benefit of all members and so we need to be made aware of situations like these."

Hope that helps.

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It’s the link my sitter sent to me this morning as i did not know i could cancel myself without warning the team !

So i unconfirmed her following THS explanations. But she sent me another message à few minutes later telling me she had cancelled the sit too.

You may watch these messages, Vanessa, in my inbox. I know as an administrator you can do it. I have nothing to hide

Even on the owner’s side, i think it’s too simple. She was the one who wanted to cancel and i had to do it?
Don’t i seem as not reliable ? I was surprised THS did not ask the reason…
Next time i shall sit, if i book an overseasflight i will not feel confortable… fearing an owner’s cancellation…

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I’ll get some feedback from MS and update you tomorrow.

We had 3 sits booked last spring and of course they all had to be cancelled. I contacted each home owner and told them we wouldn’t be able to come, and asked them to cancel the sits online. However one homeowner was new to THS and I guess didn’t realize this so the sit just sat there, looking like it was going to go ahead.

Finally I messaged THS and asked them to contact the home owners directly so the sit could be officially cancelled because I didn’t want to have it look like we didn’t get a review. (I didn’t have any method of contact other than THS Messaging to which they weren’t responding.)

Anyway, I guess it doesn’t really matter to me which one of us has the ability to cancel the sit officially, so long as they do it. I doubt THS wants to get involved in every cancellation and would rather save their contact for the rare situation where there is a disagreement?

It’s not a “question of disagreement”, i’m not expecting THS to be involved, i’m only surprised how easy it is without needing to give any reason (to THS, i know why my sitter can’t make it, she explained why although i’m not sûre it’s true as one hour before we evoked a dinner together…).
It could be putting a simple cross in a case, such as Covid, illness, accident etc.
When you unscribe a service (such as a newspaper subscription) you’re often asked why you stop.
Don’t you think somebody who cancels very often could draw the attention of the team ?
I wonder whether a sitter may confirm a sit then cancels it seeing a more attractive one a few days later…

It’s possible that someone could cancel to take a better opportunity that arose in the interim. THS asks for a code of honor, you just hope people abide by it. Since there have been so many cancellations for various reasons during the pandemic, it could be useful if there were a way to see these cancellations, who initiated them (sitter or homeowner), the amount of advance notice given and the reason, but I suspect the IT team at THS has more pressing things to deal with. @Provence , did the sitter(s) who canceled have many previous sits/reviews?

She had nice reviews. I confirmed her quickly à few months ago. Something went wrong suddenly during an exchange of mails. suddenly she prefered to cancel. I was astonished…
OK it’s 75 days before the sit, it could have been worse, the day before !
I only hope i’ll find a new sitter for xmas. We leave for sûre on the 26th and booked on our side hôtels…
So as HO do we need to ask sitters, do you plan to cancel ? Have you cancelled before? What was the reason ? It’s impossible…
I have no way to check if her explanation is true or not. I’m not a cop !
It would be rather easy of course to see if she has sat somewhere else, if she has got reviews at the same dates… but what’s the use?

I wonder if it’s possible to contact THS and ask them if she has cancelled before? At least that would give them a heads up if she’s a chronic canceller.

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She is probably not as she does not sit often.

Hi @Kelownagurl that’s something the team would be aware of and would manage but would not discuss with other members, I’m sure you can understand the reasoning behind that.

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You have to have plan B.

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tell an owner he needs to have a plan B when he takes a flight fo go overseas, books hotels and have no relatives around…
Generally when you have a cancellation and it’s a big holiday period, all other solutions are difficult (even kennels or family pensions which can be full)

Just for information to newcomers.

Most of us sitters (and pet companions) do not cancel unless there is a lock down or something very serious happening personally. Cancellations by a serious pet sitter are a rarity. Once the acceptance button is pressed I see it as a commitment that both parties will honour. To give the pet companion confidence I usually try to update them when I book tickets or confirm the way I will travel there. I talk about the time they want me there, the time they are leaving and our plans immediately before and after the sit, showing them that what I’m planning is a definite and not a pipe dream. I try to keep everyone informed every step of the way. This gives everyone confidence this is going to happen. I have to admit, there are some who do not take this approach and seem to apply on a whim. If something better comes along they will make excuses and cancel. I think the staff at THS can weed these people out and make the process a seamless experience.
Communication is the key to both parties enjoying their break.

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As a sitter, I am a reliable person, I never cancelled (only 11 sits made)

As an owner I’ve been unlucky lately (3 cancellations but 11 couples of sitters)

i thought once somebody applies, yes, you do EVERYTHING to respect your parole. Problem is when a sitter behaves badly, then you fear other ones will cancel too. Your trust has been cheated !!

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You make some great points @ElsieDownie.
Again, this is one of those situations where there is always going to be that “bad apple” or my new fav, that grain of sand in your pants that make the rest of us look bad. It is what we give our attention to. But I do believe eventually those things clear themselves up.
I too have never cancelled a sit in. I have actually lost track but probably in the over 70 sits range now, (new category? :grin:). Except for the mandatory cancellations due to the pandemic, (Can’t go if the country is closed you know?).
My sits are a commitment. I do my very best to adhere to no matter what. I make great effort to calculate and strategize every step to make sure I fulfill my obligations.

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Add me to the “a sit is a serious commitment” camp. I am aghast at the stories I’m reading about sitters cancelling. Perhaps it happened BC (before Covid) but I didn’t know as the forum didn’t exist then.

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