New Background Check Rules

So all sitters must now give social security details to THS in order for them to conduct background checks. Does this apply to homeowners too?
What has led to this decision? Have there been any questions in the forum asking sitters how they feel about this? Are you offering a refund to people who do not want to pass over this information?

10 Likes

Ive been unable to upload mine as nothing i do enables this upload button to work.

Hi @Rob thank you for your questions on the new ID checks, our sitter ID and background checks have been introduced to build trust and safety in our community, and to help sitters give extra reassurance to owners when they’re searching for the perfect sitter to care for their home and pets.

This blog post www.trustedhousesitters.com/blog/news/trusted-tools-id-background-checks/ will answer any questions you may have and if you need help and information on any other aspects, such as submitting SS details our Membership Services Team are available via Live Chat or email.

4 Likes

Hi Deborah I’m sorry you are having issues with the process, I have forwarded your details to the Membership Services Team and will also tag @Therese-Moderator to pick up when she is back online, if necessary.

2 Likes

I have tried to upload my photos of my passport also not working. Not happy about doing this at all.

1 Like

Should it not be a two way street and therefore HOs have to go through the same ID check to give sitters extra reassurance?

16 Likes

Hi @PetSitterBug , thank you. In this first phase the new application is just for sitters, we will update members with any additional plans around this process when appropriate.

Is it social security or simply ID?
I’m always surprised some sitters sound reluctant to give that info to HO when they accept to do it in hotels, or if they rent a car.
What’s the point?
I think strange, on my side, that sitters can indicate a town which is not the one where they really live, have a home.
HO contact sometimes sitters because they thought they were locals, which is not true. Sitters can change these locations, when they are nomads. Suddenly somebody who was supposed to be a Madrid resident appears as living in Paris or Vienna.
Very confusing for HO who seek locals…

5 Likes

Thank you. I am going to try on other devices belonging to friends. I realise it is an issue with the security firm. I have recevedsome.emails, thank you. I tried on the ipad which asked for my phone number then receved a link via the phine number back to the upload button, which doesn’t work for me. So, back where i started lol.

1 Like

Yes, I agree and was just about to say the same thing!

1 Like

Not sure about a refund but I completely agree with you that it should be a two way thing and also wonder what has led to this decision when it’s worked so well. If there have been problems then I think they’re very much in the minority. Most sitters have a string of 5 star reviews. Surely that’s enough to satisfy house owners?

8 Likes

You will see my thoughts about this from replies to others here, and appreciate this has nothing to do with you so I won’t shoot the messenger.
I’d have thought that TH has plenty of other more urgent issues to look into that have been dragging on for months.
I haven’t been asked for information and I wouldn’t be happy to pass it over at this stage in my housesitting ‘career’.
It would be good if the CEO explained to us just why this change has been implemented.
When I joined in 2018 there had been a company doing CR checks but that wasn’t being used at the time, and I was told Th was sorting it but it never happened.

11 Likes

I am extremely concerned at this mandatory id check.
I took part in @ArjunaTHS survey and this is a short extract from my report:

I strongly oppose the idea of a background check.

My major concern is the security of uploading any documents onto your website. Your IT department has been sadly lacking over the years and I have had problems before including a time where I had to open up a new email address when your IT team interfered with the old one. I have had things get lost on my account. there is never a week goes past where I read that there is a glitch in the system. the idea of uploading any of my documents fills me with dread. The only department that I send documents to is UK Govt.

I have never heard of the third party company that you have used.

It is disturbing to note that @Deborah and @Genevere are having problems with the site already.

In 2010, the original owner of the site, Andy Peck, personally invited me to join the brand new site. My reviews speak for themselves and if a HO has asked for id then I have supplied it personally and securely.
Are you now saying that if I don’t supply a photo of my id then I cannot apply for any more sittings after 12 years?
Surely it is up to the HO whether to accept me or not if I don’t have ID?

What happens to the 7 sittings that I have planned and showing in my dashboard together with the Welcome Packs?

I cannot find any positive reviews of Evident and why on earth would I supply them with my most precious document?
I can understand it if I was joining now with the T&Cs stating that it is mandatory but surely you cannot bring in a new T&C after 12 years?

I look forward to comments from the THS team as to how members will be treated who, like me, @Rob , @PetSitterBug , @Smiley have the same concerns.

17 Likes

Thank you to everyone for your questions and feedback regarding this important trust and safety measure which has been introduced for all sitter members.

These new sitter ID and background checks have been introduced to build trust and safety in our community, and to help sitters give extra reassurance to owners when they’re searching for the perfect sitter to care for their home and pets.

When implementing user testing and gathering feedback from members, the consensus was this is something TrustedHousesitters should have offered in the first place to increase trust within the community.

This article - Trusted Tools: Evident ID and background checks | TrustedHousesitters.com is live on the website Blog to answer your questions and address any concerns members may have regarding Evident and the process for completing check

We understand the need for clarity and if there are any questions not covered in the article please connect directly with the Membership Services Team.

Thank you

Angela and the Forum Team

2 Likes

I am VERY uncomfortable about this move to make ID checks mandatory. It should be up to the homeowner to choose the form of reassurance that they are comfortable with. I’ve been house-sitting with you for many years, so have nearly 60 reviews, plus my character references. If a home-owner wants the ID check too, there are plenty of other sitters they can choose from who have added that. The flexibilty of the system benefits everyone.

ANY company can be hacked, so as far as I am concerned, the fewer people that have my documentation the better. I am not willing to upload my personal documents to this site, to be sent to a company that I’ve never heard of.

Yes, it’s a great idea to have the ID check available to those who want verification from a corporate body. However, making this mandatory would change the whole ethos of TrustedHousesitters, as it removes that baseline level of trust with which we enter this communtiy.

20 Likes

@Angela-CommunityManager Is this ALL sitters, worldwide? This is the 1st I have heard about this, and when I click on the link supplied all I get is an error: Forbidden 403 message.

1 Like

From what I read in the article (very fluffy, marketing spiel IMO) the ID check will simply “make sure your document is valid and ensure that it has not been reported as lost, stolen or compromised”.

I agree with everything everyone before me has so far said, but will add that I don’t feel the ID check is really doing much. There’s no criminal check, which I would think would be more reassuring to HOs (and sitters as I think, per my previous post should be a two way street).

I guess I would like to know how the decision was made? What was the ID check to prove to HOs? What was the burning question the ID check will answer?

And, as others have said on other posts, this ID check is simply a snapshot of the day it is completed. It won’t be valid the next day or 3 years on.

Broodie also made a great point in a post which was subsequently deleted. Is the check done only on the account holder? In our case that would be me, but there are two of us that sit together.

Bottom line, I just don’t get it. I’m sure the service is costing a pretty penny! And I believe reviews tell more and give more reassurance to HOs.

9 Likes

Hi @Angela-CommunityManager
Thank you for your messages and advising us to contact Membership Services with any more questions.
Would it not be better for you to collate all our questions and respond as a whole as you did when the new Tier Memberships came out?

Another thought:
As we all pay by Credit Card, surely that is our ID?

Thanks

7 Likes

Hi @Itchyfeet thank you for your feedback, there seems to be a degree of urgency from some members which the Membership Services team can address on an individual basis.

1 Like

I took it to mean new members would undergo ID checks and existing members would be grandfathered in. I (very hesitantly) sent THS a picture of my driver’s license as ID when I joined. I may have whited out the number, I can’t recall. Under no circumstances will I provide my Social Security number to a third party. I even decline this information to doctors. ID theft is a serious problem and one I would not wish on anyone. In fact, I have my credit information frozen with the three credit reporting agencies because of the Equifax breach a while back. I recommend everyone do this.

A criminal background check by the member’s local police, even if accurate only for the day it is done, might be a good option for new members only. One of the HO I sat for who desperately needed a sitter so chose one who had no prior reviews had a bad experience that may have been prevented if a criminal background check had been done.

12 Likes