In my case, we are always searching for small villages in England and France. Homeowners often put the larger nearby town and maybe, “5 min drive” or “3 miles to…” I ended spending a lot of time zooming over google maps trying to figure out where it is so I know if it’s the kind of village I want to stay in. If I can’t find it, I often don’t both applying.
I get what you’re saying - I also wish there was more detail on the website, perhaps adding few lines to the form, so that all the owners have to do is check off a box that says “free parking onsite” or “street parking with meters” or “no on-site parking available” and so on.
I do hate the feeling of giving a homeowner what feels like a 3rd degree interrogation about the minutia of their home, pets, parking, what-have-you.
Completely reasonable! I don’t understand why it seems to be so difficult to mention the location in the listing. Mine is even in the listing title. The exact address certainly doesn’t have to be posted, however, I see no problem with mentioning the suburb or what’s in the vicinity.
As @Petermac says, THS is nothing more than an introduction service, and do we really want them to be more? I don’t - I’m perfectly happy with the way things work and any issues we or our HO’s have had we’ve sorted between ourselves. As @KC1102 says, there’s really nothing THS can do anyway and to expect them to fix a problem is setting yourself up for disappointment.
I’m really glad we’ve got 4 years of experience under our belts, however. It’s only by the grace of God that we avoided disaster early on. Much easier to pick the right sits now that we know what to look for and what questions to ask…
Undesirable sits? Describe an undesirable sit for you and there will be ten people who immediately say “that sit sounds great”.
It’s up to us as sitters to decide if the sit is what we want. We cannot expect to be hand fed by THS. It takes a lot of time, effort and research to find “the” perfect sit and thank goodness every person has individual ideas about what that is.
I have stopped commenting on certain threads as I feel the ethos of THS is being compromised by some topics. This is an introduction not a travel agent! It’s up to each party to research every aspect - travel to and from, travelling around when sitting, type of dogs, temperament, eating habits, exercise needed, medication, home amenities, extra jobs during sit. It’s all done by good communication. Some pet owners put lots of detail on their listings others don’t so it’s up to us to find out what we want to know and then make a decision.
As someone else said if each list had to be monitored to the extent some folk want the price would increase significantly and it would probably put a lot of people off. Let’s face it, under £100 a year for the travel and pet opportunities listed on this site is fantastic value. People could pay that for a night in an Airbnb.
If you want more pictures-ask
If you want to find out about travel - research
Don’t be lazy, don’t expect THS to do all the work, communicate and research.
This is not aimed at anyone in particular just my individual observations.
I don’t think it’s being princess-like to ask that the HO’s property is where they say it is. If someone is looking to stay in New York City, they shouldn’t be fed page upon page of sits in New Jersey, Connecticut, Westchester, Upstate, etc. just because the HO used NYC as their location to get more views. Sitters have to verify everything but their shoe size, so it’s not a huge ask to expect a sit listed as being in London to actually be in London, and not Surrey, Sussex or Kent.
People say THS shouldn’t do the sitters’ vetting for them. Well, THS does the owners’ vetting for them. They know my exact address, and that it’s where I claim it is. They have a copy of my ID. They know everything about me. I don’t see why that knife can’t cut both ways. Like dating sites, both sides should be vetted.
Yes, I could try to walk away with a HO’s belongings, but it wouldn’t be hard to track me down and arrest me since all my info is on record and verified. But I could also go to a sit as a single woman, be welcomed in by a man who claims to be half the happy couple I saw on that perfect profile, and end up chained in a basement, too. There are risks on both sides, so both sides should really be vetted by the site.
Well said PVGemini. Just as sitters are well vetted, the same should apply to owners without costing any more by have good verification systems in place. I once had notification of a sit in a very desirable area but when the owner contacted, they said they had moved and that the pictures showing on THS were not of the area or the home that they are now living in. I would have thought that accidents occurring during a sit would cause the membership costs to go up more than good vetting.
Why the cost is a little more with THS than other sites may be due to the fact that they are a “house” and not just “pet” sitter agency. You would expect to pay more for a house sitting agency than just a pet sitting agency. Also, other agencies may require that sitters have some professional qualifications and have greater stipulations about what you can and cannot due with a pet. There are a lot factors to consider so we can only do our best with the knowledge and skills we have acquired.
You’ve just given me a brilliant idea for a horror movie script
However, if you have told people exactly where you are going and you contact them to let them know you have arrived, this shouldn’t happen. We also always have a video call to introduce ourselves and pets. THS also has the details of the HOs. Also, we exchange social media handles so the sitters can look us up and we can look up the sitter. You just have to do that in this day and age!
I usually say “50 minutes from London by train” because if you mention the actual location, people from abroad might not have heard of it. It’s surely no big deal to get the address and go on Google street view and have a browse around. Due diligence my friends!
There are such agencies with much more rigorous criteria. They interview sitters personally at their head office and investigate their past employment record going back 20 years. The sitters get paid a food and sitting allowance and travel there. and there are strict rules like not leaving the house for more than 3 hours in the day time and not more than an hour after dark. I think they get to sit in big posh houses.
Sounds like good vetting is done to get good sitters. Are the owners vetted?We all know that a lot of people who live in “posh” houses as you say are not very desirable people. These undesirables often have their home bullet - proofed, loads of cameras and are heavily engaged in undesirable activities. It is safer to do your own research and trust your gut feeling
No. This is not even possible in lots of countries. The only thing which can be verified is that the HO actually is who he claims to be, not more.
And really? What if someone, be it sitter or HO, has the whitest vest possible, is verified by Evidence and five minutes later murders someone? You wouldn’t be the wiser.
In many of the developed countries, you can indeed do a background check on individuals without them even being aware that you did it. The last time I did this sort of check, it answered my question as to why a person could not get a job quite easily as it was in a part of the world that these sort of checks are carried out routinely.