Ghosting by HO

I’ve been with THS since 2017, 20+ sits. Recently HOs haven’t bothered to send an email to let me know when I’m unsuccessful (which seems rude really, especially as I write really personalised emails) and in one recent case a HO emailed to say they were eager to take things forward and arranged a date for a zoom call (so I cancelled something I was doing) and then they never got back to me. I sent 3 messages which were read but not replied to. Bit weird?


Some people are just rude.


Simple but true, unfortunately.


Some people are rude and / or they suck at telling people things they think they won’t want to hear. That doesn’t make it OK, but it’s about them, not you.

And I suggest not bothering to repeatedly pursue people. If I send a msg to nudge anyone, all they get is one msg. Then I move on. In the case of a sit, why should I as a sitter care more about a sit than the HO? I can always pursue another sit with people who have better manners or who have their crap together.


Yes, thanks. Of course you are right. It’s just I wouldn’t treat someone like that so I find it hard to process :blush:. I was on edge waiting for them to get back, kept checking emails. In the end I withdrew my application as I thought if that’s how they see me (not worthy of a brief reply) then I’d rather not sit for them. Thanks people for your thoughts x


a moderator could correct me, but I believe once a HO invites a sitter in the system, and the Sitter agrees to sit (final step), the system will turn the listing in “currently no sitter needed” and decline the rest of applicants automatically, hence why you see in your inbox"declined" without a message.
Sometimes, you may receive a message, sometimes not. That message was probably written after the system declined everyone, as HO might want to secure a sitter before sending “thank you messages”.
I can’t talk on behalf of a HO as I have a sitter profile, but I believe they never intended to reject you, they just selected someone else and in their mind, the process is finished. For some, the process isn’t finished and they reply to unsuccessful candidates.
But a “declined” without a message wasn’t a manual action to actually reject you, without a word. Necessarily :wink:


I do understand @Reliablesitter, about what you are saying and it is indeed a shame.

THS is teaching me how different we all are and what different standards people can have. I went through a similar learning curve when joining last year.

At first I was shocked, as it seems so rude, and no different than speaking to someone in person and they just ignoring you.

Then I thought it best to see it as a good way of sorting the wheat from the chaff.

If they’re bad mannered, unreliable, dismissive or entitled, etc then I find out early on through their conduct. Then it’s better to simply walk away and cut your losses quickly and as early as possible. And think of it as having dodged a bullet or problems further down the line.

I make a note of their behaviour/details, in case I am ever approached by them in future, so that I can avoid them. It wouldn’t be a good fit anyway, right?

It is hard at first, especially if you yourself have good manners and are considerate, but you do get used to it and can even be grateful that you found out early. Plenty of sitters have sadly been ghosted after buying expensive flights and arranging other sits around that particular one etc.

I also now feel it’s vital that I only agree to a video call AFTER we have exchanged phone numbers. That seems to have sorted that particular problem, because I found that the thankfully, small number of time wasting /uncommitted/unreasonable/controlling/untrusting HOs will not want to do that and I can politely withdraw at that point. The majority are thankfully very decent and lovely.

Wishing you all the best in your THS adventures and learnings.


I see that as an instant red flag and just move on.


Very rude, yes… and disappointing,
I know sometimes you get so many replies as an HO that you aren’t able to answer all…but I always try especially if you feel there us a deep interest…
to avoid that I think it’s recently limited to 5 applicants to give time to think and answer…before you get further…


@Nadia111 yes that’s the system,I’ve been with THS since 2017 so I’m offset to it, I’m also used to most people sending a personal message saying, not this time, as well. In this case i hadn’t got to that point as i say, we were arranging a zoom call on a particular day at their request and then they just disappeared.

@Purdie so true! Thanks for that. Very good advice. Maybe I’ve just been lucky up until now always to have had a good experience. It just seems recently there’s has been a couple of blanks and obvs this particular one. You are so right though, although i thought it looked like a lovely sit, really cute terrier and nice house and area, the guy’s profile was all about him and what a great person he was, plus he just told me that we were going to have a zoom call Wednesday evening, he didn’t ask when was convenient etc which is already a red flag… Thanks again for tips x


I wanted to ask a technical question that is somewhat related to the OP. I’m rather new to THS and at the start when I would apply I’d pretty quick responses. Like the OP I have had a few applications that are just not conscientious, letting you know where they are in the process.

Currently have one I’ve applied for and the listing is removed from searches, but it is still viewable on my Dashboard. It still lists the dates and states the HO still needs a sitter. Does this mean HO has just maxed their applications, so it’s removed from the general search?

Maybe because the system discourages this.

When as a sitter I try to send a message, I may get this popup:

It is similar it seems when HOs try to “connect without house sit dates”. And maybe it is a recent change.

@pietkuip I think you might be slightly confused regarding this pop-up and how the application system works. I do not want members to think that owners are discouraged or do not have the option to send a personal message when they decline an application.

As a sitter when you are invited to a sit and click decline it asks if you want to decline with a message or just decline. I always select ‘decline with a message’. This should be the same process as the owner in that they get the option to decline with a message or just decline.

The exception to this is when an owner confirms a sitter then all of the other applicants get an auto-decline message from the system, but the owner can still message the individual applications as well if they choose to.

The message you shared above is when you try and connect with an owner you have previously messaged and they do not have any current dates, so this is a different pop-up to the one either side of the network gets when it is about declining an active application.

I hope that helps clarify things for you, if you check out this thread from Ben one of the Product Managers, they will be working on the application and inbox in the future so you can pop any ideas there Messaging & Applications - #7 by Megg

I feel your frustration. I’ve been a member just a year but have several positive reviews now and even have some inviting me to sit out of the blue… The pain point I have noticed lately with some HOs is almost a sense of entitlement, and often along with that comes disrespect. As if TH is not a mutual business relationship, but we are there simply to do them a favor because we love animals, especially if they have a million dollar+ home or fabulous view - as if it’s not a 2-way interview process. Common courtesy communication that you would expect in a business relationship is not always there. I would agree with some other comments, be vigilant with red flags early on, like not responding after invites, inquiries or messages, little information about the pets but tons of pictures of their fabulous city and home, etc, or vice versa! I recently had an interview that was fairly different from her listing. She indicated I would need to be with the dog 24/7 and that the pictures were actually of him as a very young dog - now he was a very large dog (and I have a small car). She, too, had a fabulous location, and full applicant list, and offered me the sit but she seemed insulted when I said I would need a day to think about it. 2 hours later I get a message that I was declined and no other message. When I asked, she said she went with someone who could make a decision right away. Sometimes, we are probably better off not getting these sits. I hate to be skeptical but I am over 55 and have learned a bit in life. Unfortunately unacceptable behavior and entitlement is becoming more common everywhere. Some of these sits look great at first, but none of them are worth potential frustrations long term. Use caution. Move on to the next one. There are still many caring and kind pet owners looking for the perfect match.


Regarding the case of the person who didn’t get back to you regarding the Zoom call, that was pretty rude, for sure. But these situations are very few far and far between in my experience. You could take it as a blessing that they have revealed something which is potentially telling about themselves before the sit starts rather than during.
As for the replies to applications, I wouldn’t worry about it too much. It’s never personal. Some people just choose to answer by way of no answer. I personally wouldn’t do that but each to their own I guess.
May I suggest having a standard email which you can modify for each application. I mean the information about you and your values, your approach to pet sitting and so on does not need to be adapted to each sit. You can then of course personalize the email by editing this standard email. It will save you a lot of time, take nothing away from the information provided to the HO and it won’t feel as personal when you don’t receive a reply.

As. HO I’ve had sitters do similar things, such as not be there for arranged meetings. Although I don’t follow up with them. However I had a HO contact me recently, as we also sit, very frustrated as they had exactly your experience but with sitters showing real interest and then not getting back, so they were trying to directly contact profiles that interested them. I always try and be prompt and respond, it’s just polite. However if people don’t, I always keep at the back of my mind that something really major might have happened in their lives. And if it didn’t, it’s their bad for not being polite.

Yeah, i did think maybe somethings happened but when the HO had read the 3 messages and still not got back i think rude is the conclusion. To be honest you only need to say, we are taking to someone else so we aren’t going to meet etc. I was involved in a horrible car crash (teenager drove into me at 50mph) on my way to a sit once. My vehicle was written off but i still got to the sit by the next morning (after contacting the HO and saying I couldn’t make it that day, they were the ones who suggested I didn’t in fact). I guess my point is be considerate. As it is its a blessing as i got the most wonderful sit somewhere I’ve never been for several weeks with lovely looking pets and fab HOs, met online. SO nice. So there we go :blush:

Do agree with you! I had something similar recently and felt just like you.