Misleading blog articles

On an another thread (which is now closed ) an inaccurate and misleading article was spotted by @pietkuip on the THS blog pages and has now been removed by member services .:clap: https://forum.trustedhousesitters.com/t/your-place-or-mine

I’m here to flag another one .

This article starts by talking about pythons , goes on to state that they are the third most popular pet and finishes with a paragraph that says
“ If you’re looking to add a furry, feathery, or scaly friend to your family, ensure you welcome them with a safe and nurturing environment, and consider reaching out to one of our many weird and wonderful pet-loving members at TrustedHousesitters who are ready to give them all the love they need while you’re away!”

This seems very misleading since Pythons (constrictors) are not permitted on THS sits. Articles like this don’t help but add to the confusion around what is permitted.

Proof of this confusion is that just this week I have seen 7 x live listings with pythons , 1 with a boa constrictor and two with “snakes” whose appearance in the photos shows they are constrictors !!

I’m not a snake fan. I’ve got enough aversion to not take a snake sit, and there is no world where I would ever feed a live mammal to a reptile. However, THS allows sitting for all sorts of potentially dangerous pets, so I don’t really understand the restriction on constrictors. (I’m guessing insurers!)

That’s my assumption too @Marion

Hello, @Silversitters Thank you for spotting this and sharing it! I have passed it on to the Marketing Team and will let you know the outcome.

Also to update you Membership Services has been doing an audit on listings with any pets that are outside of the terms (posting here for those reading as reference)

5.2.11. not have any inherently dangerous pets (such as venomous snakes or constrictors, primates, wolves or wolf hybrids, non-domesticated cats, alligators), banned dog breeds, or any animal with a history of attacks on pets or people;

Thank you to everyone who has spotted listings like these and reported them to Membership Services, it’s appreciated!

I really appreciate you are personally doing your very best @Carla but I am beginning to feel there is a serious issue within THS. First it seems there is a reliance on sitters reporting sits which don’t meet the T&C’s rather than a thorough, proactive checking process before sits go live on the site. Multiple sits have been reported and it seems unlikely there is a ‘net’ through whcih they’ve been slipping but rather no ‘net’ at all.

Now it also appears there have been incredibly misleading blog posts - two have been reported in the last day or so and again sitters are being thanked for alerting the “team” to these. Is this acceptable for an organisation that takes membership fees and is looking to expand further? I do think there needs to be a root and branch review of the operation to ensure it is able to fulfil its key functions rather than focussing on introducing changes such as the 5 application limit and overlapping sits neither of which appear to have been thoroughly thought through and have resulted in unintended consequences.

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I had seen that one about “My place or your place” because an email congratulated me on a confirmed sit. It had a link to this page: House & Pet Sitter Handover Checklist | TrustedHousesitters.com

At the bottom was this. That last link is still there (but now dead):

I intended to report that dead link too, but for some reason the admins were fast to close the thread.

Edited to meet guidelines

Hello, @LizBCN Thank you for your kind words and helpful feedback. I have passed it to the relevant team who owns the blog and also as general feedback to the wider company. If they share anything with me I will let you know.
Feel free to also raise any concerns about listings etc directly to Membership Services as they are likely to know more as the Approvals team is part of Membership Services, so having that feedback directly will also help.

@pietkuip The previous thread was closed as the issue was resolved with that particular blog, if you would like to raise a new issue feel free to start a new topic as the OP did here or reach out to Membership Services.

Thank you for all having keen eyes and finding these things, it is never expected but always appreciated! As a growing company, this type of feedback is very useful. Thank you

@pietkuip Just a quick update for you, the dead link you identified has now been removed - many thanks!

@Silversitters The team are looking into this one a bit more to confirm where the data came from and if it is general state data for unusual pets rather than THS members. Thank you for bearing with us!

@Carla it appears to be general information but the final paragraph goes on to say that if you have any of these pets you can use a pet sitter from THS to look after them when you go away ……Which is not accurate and very misleading

… not to mention we are called “weird”. :roll_eyes:

I suspect that the data is from NPOS (National Pet Owners Survey).

But the blog post does not give a source and mentions “our findings” which suggests THS.

Yes @Peonie19 I was disappointed to see that description of sitters too !

“If you’re looking to add a furry, feathery, or scaly friend to your family, ensure you welcome them with a safe and nurturing environment, and consider reaching out to one of our many weirdand wonderful pet-loving members at TrustedHousesitters who are ready to give them all the love they need while you’re away!”

@Peonie19 & @Silversitters I will share that feedback as well :slight_smile:

Hello, @Silversitters Just an update for you that the blog post has been updated.

I can confirm that it does reflect general pet data across the states rather than THS members data, but now the blog has been updated to include more details at the bottom to make this clearer and also includes the link to the terms regarding what pets are allowed on THS.

@Peonie19 This part has been updated as well. Thank you both for raising this :smiling_face:

Yes, I see that, all the way at the end.

But it still says “new data from TrustedHousesitters has found” and “Explore our findings below”. When I suspect that it is NPOS data.

Thank you for the update @Carla

The edit is a slight improvement on the previous version . However , if the aim of the blog is to improve communication then why has the relevant clause of the T&Cs not been quoted in the article?

The article does not clearly state which pets are not permitted and I can still see that a pet owner could sign up and pay for membership only to find out later that they can’t get a sitter for their python. Does the writer really think that the reader of the blog will actually trawl through all of the terms and conditions ( from the link ) to try to find out what type of pets are not permitted?

Hello @pietkuip & @Silversitters. I’m sorry to hear you still have some concerns about the blog. I can certainly pass on your additional comments and I will get back to you if there are any more updates.