My Sitter Was Going to Be A No Show

My sit was supposed to happen today.

A couple of days ago, My sitter messaged me that her flight changed and she could get here on Thursday. I told her that was fine right away and that I could make arrangements until she gets here. However, she didn’t respond to any of my numerous attempts at communication via What’s App or TH messaging. 2 weeks ago, she brought up canceling - but I didn’t think anything of it as there was a small issue that I resolved quickly. I told the sitter that my neighbor could walk my dog on her last day, so she can get to the airport in time.

I emailed Member Support and they told me that they are going to remove the sit from the system. I didn’t want that to happen and I was clear to Member Support as to why. I wanted the sit to remain in the system, so I could warn future owners and leave a review.

I have a problem with Member Support removing the sit. How are other owners supposed to know of this experience? I think there needs to be a system in place where owners and sitters can see when a person canceled and/or didn’t show up. Of course, emergencies happen - but there has to be a way sitters/owners can protect themselves and avoid repeat offenders. People can’t just treat these sits as if they are canceling/not showing up a dinner reservation.

I love Trusted Housesitters as I’ve been a member since 2018. But I can’t ignore the number of bad experiences I had this year. I have filed a member dispute already in Feb and I have to file one for this sitter and another one from Sept. Dealing with 4 sitters who are problematic before the year is even over is just too much.

TH admin has to do more as far as I’m concerned. I was told that they will put this sitter on a watchlist on their end, but again, how is that warning the other members?

This post is not to vent, but to bring awareness and needed honest conversation as to how the system is working now. Bad enough, you have owners and sitters who are afraid to be honest in their reviews fearing retaliation (which I already went through).

As long as people are being respectful in their opinions, I hope this topic will be left open and not closed by forum moderators

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Oh my I would never not show up unless something terrible had happened.With mobiles and internet now why would anyone do that. They should be reported and if no good reason should be taken off ths .just my opinion.

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Hi @Catin88 - I really sympathise with your situation and totally agree that if a sit is confirmed on the site there should be the facility to leave reviews and feedback even when the sit didn’t take place. This gives both the homeowner and the sitter the opportunity to make others aware and for them to see if a pattern is developing.
I feel THS is only interested in promoting positive reviews but I hear of more and more cancellations - probably because of the forum and the homeowner/sitter base expanding greatly.
I do hope consideration is given to a change in the review system as many have commented that it is flawed.

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They do it because they don’t care unfortunately

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@Twitcher Yes, that was the feeling I was getting as well when I was speaking to the Member Support rep. Basically, nothing is going to be done as in consequences for the sitter pulling a no-show. I understand that Trusted Housesitters is based on the honor system. Unfortunately, some people don’t have honor.

The system is for sure flawed. TH Corporate/Admin turning a blind eye to ignore the negative won’t make this go away.

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Please don’t think all sitters are the same - my husband and I actually travelled to a sit on the morning that my mother in law passed away so that we wouldn’t let the homeowner down.
There are good, bad and indifferent sitters as there are homeowners.

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@Twitcher I don’t. I’ve been with TH since 2018, so I obviously have an appreciation and love for the platform. This is just critical feedback that is needed for improvement. This isn’t a sitter vs owner issue at all. One of my repeat sitters who I absolutely love is going to do the sit for me. She is awesome and amazing. I’m totally grateful for her.

And if there is a death in the family or whatever emergency, that is completely understandable to cancel a sit. I’m very sorry to hear about your MIL. As I said, emergencies happen. But for a sitter/owner to not show up/cancel a sit without any warning/communication - not cool at all. How can it be there is nothing in place for people to see these patterns? I agree with you that TH corporate is trying to protect their own interests. However, this is where users of this platform need to be (respectfully) vocal about how a system needs to be in place. The members of this platform who are doing the right thing need to be protected.

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I totally agree with everything you say.

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Hi @Catin88 I am so sorry to hear about your sitter cancellation and more to the point the way the cancellation happened. We know that life happens and sometimes situations are completely unexpected and unavoidable, these can happen on either side of the arrangement of course.

Thank you also for sharing both perspectives, how you have experienced TrustedHousesitters working as it should and how it does most of the time but even one avoidable cancellation is one too many, the stress and concern caused is unacceptable.

There is an internal system we use for recording member’s behavoir and an overhaul of the the review system is on the road map for 2023.

In 12 years I have never cancelled a sit and never would. When I hear of a situation like yours I take it personally because it casts a bad light over our sitter member community, the vast majority of whom are dedicated, committed, reliable and would never cancel a sit unless 110% unavoidable.

Thankfully you had a solution, once again I am sorry this happened to you.

If there is anything I can do please feel free to Direct Message me.

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I feel really hesitant knowing that there is no way to tell if a sitter has cancelled on owners before. That should be public on their profile, like how you can see on AirBnB if a host has cancelled a stay. I never book those places. This makes me really nervous about using this platform.

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Totally agree. And flagged on a HOs profile too. We’ve just had two international sits cancelled after WE chased them up a month before they were due to start. A casual “ oh no, we don’t need you anymore” despite flights being booked & agreed 5 months previously for 2 different countries :triumph: Beyond thoughtless……a month of scrabbling to fill the gaps with alternatives!

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That is disgraceful behaviour. For what it’s worth I would officially report both incidents to THS Membership Services. It appears they keep an internal log of such incidents which unfortunately is of no use to potential future sitters.

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@Cuttlefish That’s outrageous! To just cancel those sits without bothering to inform you or discuss with you! Its beyond discourteous and totally disrespectful. I’m so sorry you had that experience and I sincerely hope you reported the hosts to THS. If those hosts had paid for your services they would never have been so casual- that kind of attitude really makes me angry. I’m a sitter and could never imagine cancelling a sit- just like that- and throwing the hosts plans into disarray. The whole concept of THS is to be able to trust each other and rely on each others word.

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@Lokstar @Twitcher thanks for the support! It’s being dealt with by membership services. It was the casual disregard for the detailed planning it took & the costs incurred to accommodate two back to back international sits in different countries. You’re right, if they were paying they wouldn’t have behaved in the same way. I hope there are consequences.

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Wow, that is absolutely awful! I’m so sorry to hear that. See, this is exactly what I’m talking about. Some people have no respect or consideration when using this platform. There needs to be a way to see this type of pattern.

HO and sitters profiles should be flagged. The internal system doesn’t help us at all. Also with that internal system…What is it? 2, 3, or 4 strikes you are out? That type of transparency with structure should be clearly marked in the Code of Conduct.

When someone pulls a no-show or cancels a sit without any good reason, I think they should be removed from the platform or at least suspended for a few months for the first offense. After the second member dispute, they should be removed completely.

With the sitter that I had in Feb, the one that I filed a dispute against - they are still on this platform…even though a HO left a horrible review for them. This was directly after my sit.

I think TH can send a better message that this type of behavior will not be tolerated. I know currently, they say that a cancelation needs to be agreed upon for it to happen, but that doesn’t work. There are no consequences for people who have bad behavior.

We (owners and sitters) also need to do our part by leaving honest reviews to call out the bad behavior and file member disputes if/when necessary. HO and sitters need to start leaving the paper trail. The good people who use this platform have nothing to feel guilty about. It’s the right thing to do.

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@Lokstar Exactly. So rude and inconsiderate to just casually cancel like this. That’s exactly my point…Trusted Housesitters is getting bigger and more well-known. So I do think that it was inevitable for these things to happen.

TH was built on the honor system and was a small community at first. Those policies and protocols need to change to reflect current times and deal with mass people using the platform. Especially when TH is being advertised as “You get to travel for free” in many markets currently. I think this is pulling more disingenuous people.

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Hi @Catin88 and @Cuttlefish I’m sorry you both experienced such awful situations. As a sitter I make sure before confirming that I definitely want the sit and can get there. I then expect the sit to happen unless something drastic happens like a death. For THS to work both parties need to have open and honest feedback. It’s terrible if a sitter confirms a sit books flights etc and then a HO cancels a sit, same as is for HO that has a holiday booked and suddenly no sitter. Fortunately there seems a small number of members that don’t seem to respect others. Although in my short experience many more fantastic sitters and HO’s.

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:100: @richten1 - & as you say, most of the time it does. I think the main thing is that there is recourse if either party don’t follow the rules otherwise they’ll simply do it time and time again!

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A case as per usual a few bad apples ruin it for all.

I’m APPALLED!! And honestly so anxious about my sitter cancelling their sit for my 5 week trip I’m wondering if I should just pay someone. :persevere: