HO’s travel dates are different to those advertised

Arrived at a house sit today at about 1.30pm. This was at the agreed time. But in the course of the afternoon I became aware of the fact that the HO was not actually leaving. So I asked ( v v politely). They are leaving to go camping a full 24 hours later than the date they advertised. They have asked me to muck out the animals at 9.00am tomorrow morning. To do so I have to walk from the little lodge house I’m staying at the bottom of their driveway and past the main house. But they are not leaving until about 1.00pm! Similarly, they are returning early afternoon on Thursday but want me to stay until Friday morning. I hadn’t known this and so am I within my rights to ask them if I can leave on Thursday upon their actual return?

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I’d confirm with Member Services but I’d say yes, for sure! IMO they are taking advantage of the swap agreement.

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Hi @LTD these changes to your confirmed arrangements are not part of the agreement, please connect with Membership Services via email meanwhile @Katie-MembershipServices is back on line tomorrow and can advise also @Snowbird has an excellent perspective and suggestion for “turning the situation around” negative into positive and positioning yourself as the problem solver.

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Sorry to hear that, as it doesn’t sit well from the start. If I was in that situation, I’d say that I’d be happy to come with them tomorrow morning and work along with them, so that I can see how they like things done. That way, you don’t let them off the hook for what seems like them taking advantage of you :wink: Also, I tell homeowners that I like to be out of their way as soon as they arrive home (if the timing is right) so that they can have their privacy as I’m sure they’ll be tired. Turn it around so that you’re showing them kindness and consideration. What can they say then? :slightly_smiling_face: I hope you enjoy your stay there.

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I’m curious to know if you asked them when they were leaving and arriving when you had your initial chat? If so, then they’ve changed the dates without your approval, and I think you’d be within your rights to leave when they return if you want to.

If it wasn’t discussed outright, you might want to add that to your list of things to talk about pre-acceptance. When we are having our interview, we always establish the family’s date/time of departure and arrival, in addition to the dates/times they would like us to arrive. I like to be aware of any overlap as well as the amount of time we have for handover. There should be no surprises like you’ve experienced unless they let you know before the sit and find out if you approve.

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Hi @Kelownagurl,
The HO and I had a video chat about 10 days ago. In that, I simply assumed that the dates I was applying for were her concrete dates. The 4th to the 9th. In the video call she said in passing that she’d be arriving home ahead of her husband on the 8th but that I could stay until after breakfast on the 9th then leave. I followed up that video call with a message on THS to confirm I’d be arriving on the 4th at about midday. I’m a bit cross because I finished school only on Friday and I’ve bust a gut
to start the sit today as she asked me to, but really, I need not have rushed to this extent.
Having had a jolly and mutually beneficial 20 minute video call, I’m wondering why it is she needs me here a full 24 hours before and after her arrangements.

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Yeah, that makes sense. It is strange that she wants you to stay the extra day then eh?

Perhaps it is because I am resident in her extremely plush AirBandB coach house at the bottom of her driveway and she has already admitted that recent Air B & B guests have broken a few things in the bungalow. Also, this is her very first THS event and I am her first THS sitter.

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I think your last sentence speaks volumes @LTD … as experienced members, sitters and owners we sometimes forget what it was like as a completely new member and user. As experienced members we can do a lot to help support them in their first “Leap Of Faith”

She has a great sitter and will be much more confident and familiar with the process after a successful first experience … and will wonder how she ever “lived without TrustedHousesitters”

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As HO we always make sure that we discuss arrival and departure dates with our sitters well in advance. We tend to ask that the sitter arrive the evening before we head out so we can introduce the babies to them. And we always offer to have dinner together which is always great! I can honestly say that all our sitters have become friends through our love of travel and dogs! And several of them have done multiple sits for us which we love as the babies are already acquainted with them. Bottom line is communication is key as in all things! :grin:

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Please advise ! This HO’s dates are very, very mixed up. My booking as her sitter was for 4th to 9th inclusive (July) but when I arrived on 4th she still hadn’t left at about 9.00pm. I had a conversation with THS community (above) at the time. I decided to sleep on things and address the issue the next morning. On Monday, the error was explained and the HO admitted she had got her leaving date mixed up. She had had a call at about 7.00pm the night before from her campsite and they had been expecting her that afternoon and she was staying until Wednesday when she would be home. She was going to ask the campsite if she could stay until Thursday to make up for missing her stay on Sunday but she was unsure the campsite would not have availability for that. WE had a very distinct conversation just before she left on Monday where I expressed it was a shame that she would have only 48 hours away. I heard no more after she departed on Monday apart from me sending photos of her chickens on whattsapp and me asking for advice on a security issue.
Today, I started messaging her asking what time she would be returning and she insists that 1) my booking was 4th to 9th July (correct) and 2) those dates notwithstanding, I could leave on the 8th if I wanted and 3) she is not returning today but is doing so tomorrow the 8th.
She has texted that I may leave today as long as I lock everything etc etc which of course I will do, but I am disappointed that obviously I will get no review, at least, not a positive review for this sit.
The HO really has got her dates mixed up.

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As a homeowner I always ask our pet sitters to arrive at least 24 hours before we leave so they can meet the pets, see how things work, settle in after what is often a long journey and ask any questions. I also encourage an overlap at the end of the stay so we can catch up on how things went and ask the pet sitters either out for a meal or for a meal at home. Maybe that’s what they want to do?

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I agree with an overlap, but as I
live only 40 minutes from her, I think that arriving and remaining for a 24 hours is a wee bit excessive! If I was travelling across the Pond then an additional 24 hours either side would be justifiable.

I agree. It’s nice to arrive early to get acclimated, but I don’t think it’s necessary to stay very long after the owners arrive home, unless the sitter wants to. Twenty-four hours is way too long unless the sitter needs to stay in order to catch a flight or if the sitter and HO like each other so much, they want to extend the visit. A HO friend of mine hit it off so well with her last sitter, she invited her to come back to visit even when they’re not going away. I’ve had many sits work out quite well with me leaving shortly before the owner arrives back. I let them know the pet’s status by text or phone and leave a long, detailed note.

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Perhaps you can preempt a mediocre review by reviewing her first and acknowledging that there were some communication errors and an unexpected date change. Don’t bash her, just be clear and honest - this was her first THS experience, the HO had some confusion about scheduling, you tried to accommodate her last minute schedule changes but were unable to do so. I don’t see how she can review you poorly after that, and if she does people can read both sides. Good luck, at least it’s almost over :slightly_smiling_face:

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Such an annoying situation! It’s happened to me only once, when the HO changed both start and end dates, fortunately on a sit not too far from home. I’ve checked the HO/sitters agreement which clearly states this is not allowed, but there’s not much you can do when it happens and you’re already there! When it happened to me, it also impacted on a follow-on sit. Maybe I was too flexible in accepting their initial changes to the start date, so they assumed I wouldn’t mind the change to the end date!

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The problem is how do you “demand” that they keep the original dates. It would be either do the new dates or don’t do the sit. I have to say this time the system is definitely in favour of the pet owners. There are times flight times change but that’s the only thing I can think of that would change dates and be an acceptable reason to change dates.
Try messaging them a week before a sit and changing the date or the time you agreed to sit …… all **** would break lose.

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This is something that could happen to us, although I would definitely try to avoid it. As I am working for an airline I don’t always book flights, meaning that we travel on stand by. We don’t like to do it and always prefer confirmed flights but sometimes that’s the price you pay for traveling cheap.

If this was the case I would certainly make the sitter aware of the chance that we might be coming back when the flight we tried to get on is full. Then we would either arrange for a hotel room for the sitters or go to a different place ourselves, especially when there are two sitters as we cannot sleep with four people in the house.

If this happened it wouldn’t come completely unexpected and I would have made the sitters aware of this in a video call beforehand.

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