Listings slipping through the Net

Time and time again I have seen comments from moderators (via membership I guess) when asked about sits which don’t meet THS requirements tell us that it seems another sit “has slipped through the net” of the checking process. This could be relating to third parties, cameras, etc.

I am now wondering what exactly is the process of checking sit opportunities before they are posted as it doesn’t seem to be working effectively. I can well understand that one or two might “slip through” but the number I have seen and reported let alone ones that other people have picked up on seems to suggest that the process is not at all rigorous. Can anyone enlighten me on how these are checked?

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I found several when looking last night including one that wanted the sitters to put in 5 hours ‘work’ a day on their property managing rentals etc.
I used to report them but there are too many and I have better things to do with my time. If there was an easy ‘report’ button I would do that as they really shouldn’t be allowed.

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This one just got posted for London. Like @Kootenaigirl I have better things to do with my time than being a volunteer vetting service, but if anyone signs up for this one, please let us know how you and your new friends get on in the common space, if you agree on a TV show and share some popcorn on Friday night?

Meanwhile the Airbnb person is wondering why there is a stranger in the house who is completely different from the host reviews on Air and why aren’t they being more guest friendly and offering to do things that a host would normally do? :roll_eyes:

“I sometimes let out rooms via AirBnB, so there is a possibility that one of the other rooms might have an AirBnB guest. This means that you might have to share the common areas, but you will have exclusive use of your own bathroom.”

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Just the other day, I tried 3 different options to report a sit that only wanted doggie walks, not overnighting. Honestly, after a few minutes of trying I gave up. I couldn’t remember the membership email address and didn’t feel like searching. I couldn’t find a way to message an admin and the bot doesn’t understand when you want to ‘report a listing’. And then I decided whatever. Not my problem.

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Totally agree and have suggested a few times that a “report” button with a short menu of options would be much more efficient. I gave up reporting as I too don’t want to waste me time and really it shouldn’t be down to members spotting all these “slipping through the net” - there needs to be a robust checking system rather than relying on members reporting these ad hoc.

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Fyi - you just have to say human (not even I want to talk to a human or may I please speak to a human advsior) to the bot a couple of times and it gives up and sends you to a person for escalation.

I saw a sit today that required the sitter to make a 100 Euro deposit, which would be refunded at the completion of the sit?!?!?! Yikes!!!

I’ve seen a few very dodgy sounding sits, but don’t have the first clue how to report them. This website doesn’t do simple, everything is complicated.

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A report button would be an easily implemented and effective step in allowing users of the site identify potentially problematic sits.
The problem is that this will generate additional work for THS which will require more staff and thus cost more money so the leave it as it is policy is always very tempting for a business.

I’ve also seen several sits identified by people here and elsewhere and ones I reported continue on as before so there seems to be a lot of wiggle-room when it comes to what is and what is not allowed. Maybe slipping through the net isn’t accurate and they may be let through.
As THS will tell you the decision is up to them and they can’t tell you what decision they took.

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I’m fairly certain that no one at THS checks the listings nowadays, although believe they used to.

My sentiments exactly. Is there a net in the first place? It appears as if that job is done solely by the members who report inappropriate listings

Yes exactly and yet each time there is a comment about this we are told “it slipped through the net”. Would it not be better simply to say “there is no checking and we are relying on our members to report issues”. Some will choose to give their time for free others will just skip by the listings and gradually all those sits which are not complying will become the norm. No one has been able to tell me what the process of “checking” is so I am fairly certain as @Smiley says that there is no checking going on.

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If THS are only relying on our goodwill to report sits that don’t comply they need to provide a ‘report’ button at the very least.
Also if they want us to consider using the calendar they need to provide a key/legend to explain what the colours mean. Without that the calendar is meaningless.
Not too much to ask surely and both have been requested numerous times over the years.

Totally agree with you @LizBCN . In the past year I have come across many sits that blatantly breach the THS T&Cs . Just like you, I have wondered how it’s possible that so many listings are “slipping through the net” ?
To be clear I am not proactively looking for listings that breach the T&Cs. However whilst searching for a sit I have stumbled across dozens of them.

I reported two listings yesterday -one of them stated in the responsibility section that one of the dogs had a history of attacking the other dogs in the home and attacking people and therefore must be muzzled at all times except when crated.

When I report a listing - I send the link and a couple of words that highlight the violation of the T&Cs.
( e.g Third Party staying in the home / Internal cameras/ Aggressive Dog )

@Chrissie @botvot the e-mail is
Support@trustedhousesitters.com

Most of the listings have been taken down when I have reported them . However some reappear with the information about the third party/ aggressive pet / cameras deleted.

When this happens, I wonder if my reporting the issue to THS has actually been counterproductive? Will an unsuspecting sitter accept the sit, arrive and find the same issue is still there, although it is no longer disclosed in the listing.:woman_shrugging:t2:

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Hello, @LizBCN Thank you for asking about the approvals process. I’m happy to help clarify how things work as much as possible.

All new listings are manually checked and approved by the Approvals team before they can go live on the site. However, as listings operate in ‘real-time’ any edits after the original approval are not approved again. In an ideal world, it would be great to reapprove every update to listings, but due to the volume of updates this is currently not possible, maybe in the future something like this will be implemented.

Sometimes a listing might appear brand new as it has no sitter feedback, however, they can be older listings that were previously approved and they did not find a sitter last time they posted or withdrew the dates. They might have since the original approval updated their listing requirements. This would then fall under the above process that updates to listings are not currently approved.

I have passed on your feedback to the Approvals team about listings slipping through the net as you mentioned, there can be an occasional human error as with anything in life. The Approvals team thank you for your feedback and will continue to optimise internal processes within the team.

We appreciate any member who flags a listing that is outside of the terms of the site, it’s always appreciated but never expected of any member.

The Product team thanks you for your feedback about a flag listing or profile button, if this is implemented we will share it with you all here.

@cawosey @Silversitters Just to clarify the process Membership Services take when a listing is reported. They will take the listing down and reach out to the owner in question, explaining the site terms that their listing breaches. A lot of this is about education and some owners upon hearing the issues can change their listing to accommodate the terms, such as making sure the third party is not there during the sit and the listing will go live again.
If the owner can not change their requirements such as the third party will need to be present during the sit then their listing won’t be added back to the website.

I know that’s a lot of information, but I wanted to make sure all questions were covered. Hopefully, that helps clarify the process and any updates to this I will let you know. Thank you :slight_smile:

@Carla You wrote “If the owner can not change their requirements such as the third party will need to be present during the sit then their listing won’t be added back to the website.”

Carla, I am so sorry to have to contradict you, but this is not what I’ve experienced.

I’ve gone round and round with member services about a listing that blatantly has the father living in an attached suite – he accesses the same laundry area that the sitter uses and shares the same backyard for his dog while the sitter is there.

How do I know this? I made screenshots of the original listing. Once THS contacted the HO about the third party policy, the HO modified the listing to obscure this. Further, one can ascertain from the listing’s photos that the laundry area is not a separate room – it opens to the kitchen and living area where a sitter should have privacy.

The listing is still on the website and says the father lives in an attached suite but the HO does not mention how the father shares space with the sitters. In their original post – before they were told about the 3rd party policy – they wrote “We do allow him to use the washer/dryer and his dog use the backyard…”

The HO was told about the THS third party policy but the listing is still live.

That sadly has been my experience too @KenandMary1998 .

At the end of last year there was a thread where many concerned forum members flagged a listing because the member was listing on behalf of someone else - pet didn’t belong to them and sit wasn’t taking place at members home and lots of other discrepancies and red flags in the listing . This was reported to member services .

Even when @Carla and @Jenny got involved and followed it up with member services the listing was not taken down.

This is all very disappointing to hear and, as a result, forum members won’t bother reporting such cases to membership services.
It’s my opinion, and from experiences, that a lot of the THS staff have either not been properly trained or don’t understand how THS works/haven’t read and digested the policies.

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Hello, @KenandMary1998 & @Silversitters I’m happy to expand on this a bit more for you all.

I completely understand it can seem this way as you are not privy to the discussions and outcomes between Membership Services and the owners, so I am here to help with that.

I can’t share too many details, but as a general overview, Membership Services was involved with making sure that the third party would make other arrangements and not have access to any shared areas during the sit, among other things that were put in place for that particular sit.

Regarding the other case proof of ownership of the pet in that member’s name along with other information was requested by Membership Services and submitted by the member.

The owners must work with Membership Services to ensure they meet the platform terms or their listings will be removed. In both these cases Membership Services was satisfied after working with the owners that the listings met the Platform terms.

I know you would not be aware of these outcomes, so understand why you would still have concerns, hopefully, that offers you some more reassurance. Thank you for reporting these listings.

Membership Service is always happy to help if you have any more questions or concerns, but to manage expectations they might not be able to share details about their discussions with the owners.

@Smiley Thank you for your feedback, hopefully, the above information clarifies the internal processes when listings are reported.

Thanks for taking the time to respond so thoroughly - it is appreciated. However there does seem to be a gap in the process if sits can be subsequently changed without further checking. I realise that this would be time-heavy but as I have suggested before a simple checklist pop-up when posting or editting sits which reminded owners of the key guidelines (no third parties, cameras etc) would perhaps act as a nudge for those who forgot (or perhaps never knew) that these details are important and need to be complied with.

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