Introduction and about to start a repeat sit

Hello I’m Phil, I’ve applied and been accepted for a number of house sits which were thwarted by Covid and lockdown restrictions.

I start a new house sit tomorrow which has a few dates through until next year. They were keen to have the same person for their new pups and property.

I word of caution I responded to a last minute advertisement. The couple had been let down and wanted to travel to their daughters wedding. At least that is what I was told. They had a lot of animals and pets. I went to an initial meeting which was a substantial journey and investment in time. I was given two days notice and we agreed to meet the following morning to go through their animals morning routines etc.

Having invested hours in trying to help this couple. I received a text a few hours later cancelling the sit. Which I felt was an abuse of the time invested given their need to travel soon and possibly extend their stay.

So I would suggest using the phone or zoom. Covering all necessary topics and points before committing to a meeting. I’ve never experienced this before and trust no one else has such an experience. Best to cover all expectations and anything else in a call or zoom before committing to travel to a meeting. Which may prove a waste having invested time energy and resources to help a couple who clearly had their own agenda.

Best wishes,
P

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Sorry that has happened.

For what it’s worth, if I see a last-minute listing and they’re bagging out the sitter “who abandoned us at the last minute!” or they say something similar in an exchange-- I consider that a red flag.

That said, I think it’s better for all involved that if one side does not feel comfortable after connecting to cancel rather than go through with it.

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Thank you Katie,

It was an elderly couple and I was genuinely trying to help them get to their daughters wedding. I think there was more going on than a wedding. Access to the property was not easy and it certainly was not an easy property to find.

I trust others will heed your advice and also be encouraged to call and zoom before investing time, energy and money in meetings. Which appear to go well yet prove fruitless.

The main point I think we are both making is to proceed with caution. To not always believe everything you are told. As the truth often lies somewhere in between.

Best wishes,
P

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Hello @Phillc and welcome to the community. Happy to see you are off to a repeat sit … they are among our favorites too, it often feels to us a bit like going home to family!!

Thank you also for the feedback about your recent experience and for trying to help owners with their important travel arrangements. It’s disappointing to hear that they changed their minds. I think your suggestion of first having a video chat is a wise one. It’s how we approach all our sits now unless we happen to be very close-by, and your advice is sound.

We are also in a time where changes can happen outside of our control (both sitters and owners), so as part of that video chat, asking what might possibly change the outcome of travel is probably prudent too. We are all learning from each other I think about the best ways to approach sits and sitters during uncertain times, so these are great exchanges to be having together here in this space.

Thank you for contributing and we look forward to following your journey with TrustedHousesitters and here in the forum. All the best!

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@Phillc @Vanessa-Admin @Angela-CommunityManager thats not good Phil and of course they did not offer to meet some of your costs I bet? I posted a comment awhile back where I said that some HOs must think that sitters live in a cupboard and can just be brought out to suit their needs with no regard for the time and cost that might be involved for a visit that never leads to a sit being offered or a sit that you are told is not going ahead and only told when you have arrived! I was picked up at a train station once and driven to the home and when we got there was told they were not going but offered me dinner before dropping me back at the station! I had travelled across London in peak hours, waited at the station well past the arranged pick-up time and they had known they were not travelling earlier in the day and could easily have saved me the trip; no offer was made to cover my costs! I hope HOs are reading this thread. There are some great HOs out there and this is not directed at you; its directed at those few who see sitters as disposable in one way or another. To those people I say please treat others with respect and consideration.

Hi @Phillc
I am also sorry about your experience. The only time we have met a HO in advance is when I have suggested it and we were in the area.
We received a private invitation for a cat sitting in an apartment in London one Christmas. It was ideal, so I replied that I was interested. She then asked me when I was in London next so I could have an interview. I don’t "pop " down to London as it is 200 miles away so that didn’t progress.

I wish there was a smiley face icon to reply to this story! I’d have told the HO I’d be happy to ‘pop down’ to London … if she was paying the train fare!

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:slight_smile: - just use the colon and right bracket

@LTD anything is possible and it pays to ask about covering costs like that…I once had a HO pay my return flights from London to Faro to look after a sweet little kitten…and I did’nt even ask! Some HOs are incredibly generous and appreciative.

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@carpediem The woman in St Petersburg who wants to use my Cavalier at stud has just offered to fly me anywhere in Europe with my dog so that the mating can take place. We are talking thousands and thousands! Since Brexit and the end of Pet Passports and with C19, it’s now almost impossible to travel, with a dog, to and within Europe … although Austria has just opened its borders so a ski week with my dog could be a possibility!

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In reading these stories, I feel extremely fortunate so far in having done over 30 house sits and only one has been cancelled due to the homeowner injuring herself and the cost of my flights were covered by insurance. We’ve only had positive experiences with homeowners so far - fingers crossed!

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