New Review Category for Sitters who Cancel

I’ve just had sitters cancel after they confirmed by video call they would take my sit, very disappointed and it’s leaving me unsettled and stressed out now. They knew my phone number, but didn’t bother texting me, so I had to find out by logging into THS after I assumed this sit was a certainty. I cannot review them or cannot warn others that they may back out at last minute, what can I do? Does anyone know if there is a category to review sitters for cancelling last minute?

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The simple answer is no, but if you’ve got premium you could claim for the cost of paying professional sitters eg rover or boarding kennels etc. if within 14 days…

Thanks, but I would never leave my animals in a kennel, I’d opt to cancel my vacation plans before I do that! I also am reluctant to hire, as I’ve had equally bad experiences with people I’ve hired. It’s just frustrating, there is no way to let other people know about the unreliability of some sitters, as a home owner I would definitely view their cancelled sit ratio and that would factor into my decision to confirm them, it just makes sense IMO.

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But if a sitter is ill or has a family emergency it wouldn’t be fair to them to blame them for cancelling a series of sits, HOs also cancel sits leaving sitters high and dry.
I agree though it would be nice to see cancelled sits with maybe a one liner next to it eg illness or funeral of close family or maybe for HOs if they cancel: death of pet or house flooded etc

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Exactly - My sitters cancelled because they found a ‘better’ sit, and my response is why did you bother to apply to my sit, if you wanted something different, why bother leading me on and confirming by phone, if you were going to cancel or even consider NOT taking it, but every indication they sent was it was a sure thing. Disappointing and unnerving for sure!

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Sorry this happened to you. Very distressing, indeed.

You state that they said they would accept the Sit during a video chat, but did they actually confirm/accept the Sit within the THS system?

If not, then they reneged only on their verbal commitment. Owners and Sitters need to make sure that they do all the final “clicks” within the THS system to make a Sit official.

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@Myka The THS system actually encourages Sitters to apply to multiple Sits. Unfortunately, you landed on the short end of the stick this time. For Sitters, the application and interview process is dynamic.

Sorry this happened to you.

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Yes, you are correct, their confirmation within the THS system was imminent according to our phone call, but then they cancelled. In the future I certainly will not trust a video call and I will make sure I let my sitters know that until they confirm, it’s not a done deal. The problem is once the owner confirms the sitting, even if the sitter does not confirm, you sit dates are taken OFF the THS website, so no others can apply while you are expecting for the sitter to confirm, so it’s a catch 22. I had to relist my sit with different dates in order for it to show up again!

My point is, I think cancelling stats would be helpful for owners to make better decisions.

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And it would be helpful for sitters to see cancelling stats of owners as well, works both ways.

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I agree with you that there should be some way to understand the number of times that Sitters AND OWNERS cancel for non-legitimate reasons.

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So the sit had not been confirmed in the THS system.

These sitters withdrew their application. That is something different.

I have done that several times. I assumed that it would generate notifications to the HO but I have also always sent a THS message.

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I concur with @pietkuip, the sitters did not cancel, they just withdrew their application, it’s not the same.
If you feel that you don’t want to wait around for a sitter to confirm, you could give them a 12 to 24 hour window after offering them the sit.

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@Myka

The way your title reads infers that the sitters had canceled the sit after they confirmed through THS. However, that is not the case as the sitters had never confirmed your sit and chose another sit.

While it is unfortunate that you were not able to secure the sitters, sitters are allowed to change their minds before committing to sits.

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@Myka Can you give all of us a sense of the timing of all of this? When is your vacation? When did you post your listing? How many hours/days went by between the video chat and when you realized that these Sitters were not committed to you?

It certainly comes across as impolite and disingenuous for these Sitters to not notify the Owner as soon as they changed their minds. I can totally understand the frustration.

Myka,
The sit was never confirmed. An application and subsequent video/audio call is just to find out if you are going to be a good match. The HO can easily never send an invite to the sitter if they did not like them in the video call. There are many HOs who “interview” all applicants and then “choose” a sitter. Some even expect to “interview” the applicants in-person. The same way a sitter can decline if they did not feel comfortable about the sit after the video call. They may have made up their mind or changed their mind after the call due to how they felt about it. Why would you want to “review” someone who never did an actual sit for you? That would be absurd.

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Agree with the above - it sounds like the sit was never officially confirmed on THS, thus all the sitters did, was to withdraw after the video call.

The video call is a normal part of the application process, and only ONCE sitters have then formally confirmed the sit on THS, we can speak of a confirmed sit. Till that time all it is, is 2 parties getting to know each other

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I am sorry to hear you were let down. Tracking cancellation stats sounds good in theory but in reality probably would not be helpful, and may not always represent an accurate picture of either the sitter or host.

For a full-time sitter, or someone who plans on traveling for an extended period while housesitting, one single incidence of illness, injury or a some other problematic situation could put someone in the position of having to cancel numerous sits.

Let’s say this happens to someone who just joined the site and didn’t do any sits yet at all. They get diagnosed with cancer and need to start treatment–would showing a 100 percent cancellation rate be an accurate representation of this person and their reliability?

And the idea of providing context really doesn’t really work either. Unless the site required people to provide proof their reasons for cancelling were ‘legitimate’ everyone will just lie about the reason to be noted on their profile and it would do nothing to help people see who the true flakes are. And THS requiring some sort of proof is just not realistic–should I have to submit a relative’s death certificate or a doctor’s note confirming an illness to a housesitting platform?

THS claims to monitor people who get reported for poor behavior of various kinds, such as cancelling without a good reason, and that is probably the best they can do.

Good luck finding another sitter!

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According to another thread, they had sent a message: “they found a better sit, so took that one instead.” What Features Would You Like to See on THS? - #639 by Myka

Just like sitters can get declined. Also after a video call where one may have the impression that the HO will accept immediately.

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I see the video chat as a process for HO and Sitters to double check a sit is good for both parties. I’ve withdrawn my sit application a few times when things have come to light during this call. I sent a message that after careful thought I didn’t think the sit was a good fit for me and therefore I was withdrawing my application. Btw one HO on the call stated I wasn’t to use the heating in mid winter in the UK or leave the cat for the full 5 days of the sit and the other demanded I arrive a week early and book myself into the resort luxury hotel for a week prior to the sit at over 2000 euro’s I was expected to cover.

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