Guaranteed welcome guide

Yes. Our guide includes address, wifi passwords, names and phone numbers of emergency contacts, detailed info of our house, spare keyes etc. So no, I won’t send it before the sit is confirmed. But I’m happy to answer any questions the sitter may have. Just as I can ask anything I need to know, but was not covered in the application or sitter profile. I think that’s what the time between application and confirmation is for. And that’s why sometimes it does take more than a day or two to confirm someone.

2 Likes

@CatsAndDog i prefer to know my duties and HOs expectations before I accept an invite, as then I am making a meaningful & informed commitment when accepting.

Last thing I want to do as a sitter, is to pull out after accepting, due to unexpected duties or other surprises. That would make ME look flaky and give THEM extra work and pressure.

If an invitation is made, then I would hope an HO would trust me at that point, with their deets! My hitting the accept button does not suddenly make me any safer.

1 Like

I think inviting a sitter is a bit different scenario than just receiving application. Although I still wouldn’t be comfortable sharing the WG before confirming, but wouls of course be happy to answer all the questions the sitter might have s well as ask my own questions from them.

So “yes” to sharing all the relevant information as early as possible, “no” to sharing the WG being the best way to do it.

I don’t think anyone would be suggesting receiving a WG on just application. Just upon sending invite.

Logically speaking, nothing changes to make the HS safer as soon as they hit accept.

The leaving it up to HOs to send WGs at their own discretion (some very promptly, but often when you are already on your way) leaves HSs wide open and highlights another imbalance in the HO/HS positions.

This imbalance is not often exploited. But having read the forum with interest, it clearly sometimes is. To the distress and detriment of the HS. This is entirely avoidable. Conversely, how many times has a HS ever used info in a WG to the detriment of a HO? I’d be interested to know of any case.

Logically speaking, it makes no real sense to keep these imbalances in place. It just sends the wrong signal to those rare few HOs would exploit the system & the HSs. So only they would be hampered by any improvements.

2 Likes

Sorry, but I don’t understand the thinking that having a WG makes the HS “safer” from being “exploited”". People can write any fiction they want in the WG, and the HS wouldn’t know it until they are on the sit. The fact that the information has been collected and shared via a THS process/tool is meaningless.

As a HS, the best we can do is vet the HO (ourselves) by communicating with them prior to accepting. That is one of skills needed to be successful at this. If a HS is not comfortable with their ability to accomplish that, no WG is going to help them.

If HS’s have accepted and then pull out because of some piece of info in a WG, that says more about them and their capabilities than is does about the HO.

Thanks for your valid opinion @weirdholyman

To answer your Q comprehensively with real scenarios that took place, do go ahead & read this thread at the end here…

I’d personally rather find out about tending an allotment daily a half hr walk each way away, additional new pets, or solely looking after grandkids, mowing a huge lawn if I have a grass allergy, or as in one personal experience 2 hrs watering every single day when I worked long hours online, before rather than after committing :laughing:.

Alternatively, if something outrageous not in the WG is sprung on me last minute once I arrive, I am in a better position to say I was not aware of that duty and prefer to stick to what’s already been agreed. Not everyone likes a good showdown and some might prefer to have that back up response.

I don’t think that is a reflection of the capabilities of a sitter, but accept if you do.

Likewise I don’t think wishing to mitigate or reduce avoidable issues and potential contention upon arrival, is all that bad a skill to have as a HS…

If it’s not necessary or useful to have things in writing, then why do we have any terms & conditions or checklists at all? Let’s then just do it ALL by spoken word …

But having something submitted in writing that you are being referred to as a duty after a certain point…? :thinking:

1 Like

Thanks for sharing your valuable perspective as well.

I’ve read the thread. Its my opinion that the majority of what is in there could have been avoided by 2 things: The HS asking the right questions prior to acceptance, and the HS having the spine to say “No” when asked to do something that was a surprise and is out of the realm taking care of the pets.

Its not about liking a “good showdown”. For me, it’s about effectively communicating before agreeing. Thats how I mitigate the risks. There is no way to eliminate the risk. Like all exchanges, THS works on faith between the two parties.

I’m just not clear on how the WG or any other document helps in this regard. It’s hardly a binding agreement. And the T&C’s? Comforting words, but again not anything I’m expecting to be enforceable (by whom?) and certainly not something I’m going to wave in a HO’s face.
From what I’ve read here it’s a mistake to expect THS to resolve issues between parties. I accept that it’s on me to use a combination of resolve, problem solving, and flexibility to handle whatever comes up.

1 Like

@Sitandsat Those details are in the Welcome Guide ONLY IF the Owner has placed them in the Welcome Guide.

I have only received a Welcome Guide in 2 of 10 Sits.

4 Likes

What does your form ask for exactly? To be honest, if I as a HO have multiple people to choose from I would not go for the person asking me to fill in a form. Wouldn’t it be better to have the form for yourself and ask all of your questions in the video chat?

When I first joined here it took me a very long time to complete the welcome guide. I wanted it to be specific and complete but at the same time not overwhelming for the sitters.

I agree with you that the HOs should send the welcome guide ASAP after confirming the sit. Or maybe it would be a good option to be able to add it to the listing? My only issue with that would be that it contains a lot of information (like my address, the layout and contents of my flat, my contacts, etc. ) that I don’t just want to give out to anyone on the internet. But sending the welcome guide when you invite sitters seems fair to me.

1 Like

Please elaborate @Sitandsat what is your reasoning for that POV?

Hm, maybe security concerns would be more appropriate. Sometimes we have to exchange personal information when doing calls outside the app (but not always). I just like being able to do all my communications through the app/platform if possible, just in case an issue arises and I can reach out to TH support. Although it’s clunky, I feel more protected when using official TH channels and tools.

1 Like

Typically when services incorporate video call functionality into their app/website, the user has to agree that any call, and the contents of the call, become the property of the service.

In my opinion, thats a larger invasion of my privacy/security than sharing my contact info so a different method can be used.

But for that THS would need to keep recordings of the video chats. I would be a bit uneasy about that.

I have no problem with sharing my phone number, email address or street address. It is all on the internet anyway, in the Swedish phone directory etcetera.

I would keep in mind (everyone) that if you solely communicate via the THS messaging platform, and you do not exchange phone numbers nor email addresses, that you are relying 100% on the THS messaging platform working, in order to be communicating.

I always get the cell number and email address of the Owner. It is just easier. Important communications ahead of the Sit can still be on the THS platform, but think about what needs might arise while the Owner is away, in another country?

I agree it’s good to have alternative ways to communicate outside of the THS platform- for example if a sitter had been on their way to a sit with the address and contact details only the app on their phone what would they have done when the app crashed for several hours last week ?

1 Like

Where I currently am, the HO originally contacted me via THREE communications i.e. the TH messaging, phone number and WhatsApp. What has happened is, because she was talking to me on all three, her return date got confused and because of that, I would have left the sit three days before their arrival home! Luckily I reconfirmed arrival date on our last communication (we use WhatsApp when HO is travelling internationally) and discovered the discrepancy.

So I have said to her that we must only communicate on one platform to avoid this in the future as it could have caused a real issue. This is a return sit and there will no doubt be a third. Relying on just the messaging system can cause problems as I have just learnt. I always communicate via email/phone/text after confirming a sit as I find it much easier.

I like the idea of video calling within the app (though not at the expense of other fixes and improvements.) I use other apps with video built in and I like that because it gives me an audit trail and it makes the process easy. I’ve had challenges at times coordinating between FaceTime, WhatsApp and other video programs because folks don’t always know how to use them or we don’t have the same one. Also people might be more inclined to video chat because it’s easy and they don’t have to disclose their user names or phone numbers at an early stage of the process.

Too many “fixes and improvements” going on at once, my head is spinning and I’m still needing that double Scotch :face_with_spiral_eyes::face_with_spiral_eyes:

Or one could say that you found out because of the different channels that there was a discrepancy :slight_smile:

Redundancy is good, and it is easy to make a mistake in writing a date. That is why I think it should be standard to write the day of the week too, for example in booking systems of trains and airlines. I try to always write dates in this way “Saturday September 29”. And then the other side sees that I made a mistake “That date is on a Friday!”

2 Likes

@pietkuip in my particular instance, it was because the HO forgot about time zones. So she flies out of Europe on the 14th but doesn’t get to Oz until early on the 17th so that message got lost unfortunately.

This does happen a bit for me with HO’s returning internationally, it’s a loooong way to Australia :kangaroo::joy: