New Membership Plans for Sitters

Hi everyone,

As many of you know already, we have been testing new sitter membership plans with groups of new sitters joining TrustedHousesitters. After a number of weeks of extensive testing, we are very excited to let you know that today we will be concluding the sitter membership test, and will be rolling out sitter membership tiers for all new sitters joining our platform.

If you need a recap on what the sitter membership plans include, please [click here]. For our existing sitter members, nothing has changed and you are welcome to stay on your current plan if you wish to. If you haven’t already, you may want to read our recent Blog Post which includes some FAQs what this means for our existing members.

The other exciting piece news we have to share with you is that the option to upgrade your account is now available for existing members. This option is now available via your member Dashboard.

Please note, while we roll out this exciting new functionality, there will be a very small group of members that will either be unable to upgrade, or unable to upgrade on a pro-rated basis. If you do try to upgrade and notice this option isn’t available, please just contact your friendly Membership Services team who will be happy to look into this for you.

If you have any further questions or queries on the new sitter membership plans or on membership upgrades, then please ask your questions below, or you can of course contact our friendly Membership Services team.

@Paul-Admin I find this a little disappointing to think members of the Forum took time to raise issues and concerns, especially in relation to “THE BADGE”, and yet we have not been listened to. Why did we bother when it was a fait accompli.

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Thanks, Paul. I’m guess I’m one of the ones who doesn’t have the option to upgrade yet. Should I contact someone or just give it a little more time for it to roll out?

My thoughts exactly. There was very little positive feedback on the threads I read. Most of it was negative or neutral. THS staff kept on answering concerns with the statement they would be taken on board and looked at. But the new memberships have gone ahead without any “tweaks”.
I suppose it makes the management feel better, they have asked, we have given them our opinion, they have ignored. Personally I think this is the beginning of the slippery slope. The next thing will be that only premium membership sitters will see premium pet owners listings. I am very disappointed in the management’s response to our feedback. But being a very vocal person here and on Facebook I will still keep chipping away and letting other members know of the negative (in my opinion) changes. This is a very bad day for Trusted House Sitters.
Elsie

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It says on your membership explained page that premium members sitters get their listings boosted. Does that mean that even in applications they will always be at the top of the pile even though they applied later than everyone else?

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I haven’t yet looked at this issue. But do sitters think it is a money making scheme? ie to encourage some sitters and HOs to pay more money to allegedly receive premium listings? Will HOs be convinced that a premium-listed sitter will care for their home and pets better than a sitter who has not paid this premium?

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Exactly my initial concern.

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Well! I’ve just appraised myself of the proposed updated plans for tiered membership as a sitter.
The ONLY thing which I care about is the insurance issue: it is NOT for sitters to arrange this insurance. This should be an organisation- triggered thing. THS should have insurance as a basic, not as an add-on.
The second (and far less imprtant0 issue is the offer of these airport lounge passes: as I ALWAYS travel alone, how would two passes on two occasions benefit me? I would be subsidising these passes for a couple, surely?

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This is another example of launching a new system before it works!

I must be sounding boring but I have raised this THS Insurance issue 4 times on this forum now and the only response has been “We have not thought about that”
How does a sitter know whether a HO has this insurance?
I agree with you LTD, it should not now be an add on which affects both HO and sitter

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The way I am reading the insurance thing … if a sitter has the enhanced membership, this will surely be displayed on their profile (I guess?) , with an icon like a badge or the words ‘Standard Sitter member’ ( having paid the extra, I would want people to know !).
BUT: this would adversely impact the ‘Basic’ sitters because if I was a HO, I would want someone WITH insurance rather than WITHOUT … just in case. No five star reviews would make me choose a sitter without insurance over a sitter with insurance.
My point is that THS should, as good practice, be offering all their sitters the protection of insurance AS STANDARD. IF the unthinkable happened, would a HO take me to court for the loss of their beloved pet or damage to their property? Possibly so. It shouldn’t be an add-on for a sitter.

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Some great points Ltd

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@Windtalker thanks. I was putting off reading up about the tiered sitter proposals. But now that I have done so, I think this issue of insurance is VERY SIGNIFICANT. I wonder if people who are sitters have really thought through the consequences?
I’ll give you an example of what I mean: two weekends ago, my own little Cavalier was attacked by a Bull Mastiff, who was off lead, in a residential street close to a busy town centre here in England. The Police and Dog Warden don’t want t know. My vet bills came to nearly £200 and although I know who the person responsible for the mastiff is, I don’t know her name or where she lives. But I
have pet insurance. But not knowing her name means I cannot take her to court to get back my vet costs. If a THS sitter, WITH INSURANCE (a proposed ‘Standard’ sitter/member) was walking my dog I could take him/her to court to get my costs back from them, claiming contributory negligence. If the sitter was only a ‘Basic’ member without insurance, this is a serious situation for them. Your pet insurance probably doesn’t cover a THS sitter walking your dog. At the very least, you’d have to check your policy!

Thank you all for your comments and feedback.

I do genuinely appreciate the concerns that some of you have. That said, I must remind you that the introduction of the membership tiers is based on feedback we received about additional products that members would like to see.

I acknowledge the sentiment about the premium badge and have raised this internally. Although I can’t make any guarantees on what decision will be made, I can assure you that it is being discussed at some length.

With regards to the additional insurance products, it is fair to say that this could give some advantage to members who have these. One challenge we have always faced is how to offer as much reassurance and trust as possible. Especially to new members who may also be new to the concept of housesitting. We feel these insurance products help offer that extra layer of reassurance and trust. These products all cost us money to implement and maintain and therefore we are unable to offer them across all of the new membership tiers. However, we believe the cost to upgrade to a higher tier is a fair one and offers great value for money. We also recognise that many members will be happy remaining on their current plan, so we have not removed anything from those plans.

I hope that this goes some way towards answering some of your concerns. I am very aware that we will never be able to please everyone, all of the time but I assure you that we value all of our members and our wonderful housesitting community.

Thank you
Paul

Hi, I have double checked and unfortunately, you are one of the few who can’t currently upgrade. This is a system issue rather than anything else and I do apologise for the inconvenience.

I will make a note to personally monitor this on your behalf and let you know as soon as this becomes available.

Thank you for your patience
Paul

It’s absolutely an attempt to make more money. Which is totally fine! TH is a business, one that was likely hit quite hard over the last year and a half, and they have every right to grow their business, increase their bottom line, etc. I’ve got no issue with that. However, I think I would have preferred a price rise across the board so everyone could stay on a level playing field.

The badge issue really irks me as it will 100% give the impression that sitters without this premium listing are somehow less than those with it. The blog post says “rest assured no member will ever be at a disadvantage as a result of their membership level” - I do not believe this to be the case at all.

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OK thanks, no rush. It’s not like I can go anywhere right now anyway. Any chance you can tell me the cost of the levels (unless the info is available someplace and I missed it?)

I too, cannot find the cost of the tiers anywhere. I’d be interested. But perhaps like you I am excluded because I have only v v recently renewed my membership. When @Paul-Admin above talks about a survey of users, I certainly wasn’t included in that survey!

Thanks for your understanding. You should be able to view the prices here

Please let me know if you don’t see these by following this link.

Paul

Thanks, that works fine!