I believe that the badges are discriminatory and are breaching privacy @RoseC and @Angela-CommunityManager. Much as we would like to think an owner (or sitter) will realise the Premium badge displayed is for the membership level, many will not and will interpret it as experience. After all, a badge looks like a reward being given. For many members, Premium membership is beyond their means or they already have the types of insurance covered and therefore do not need extra. Is it anybody’s business which membership tier a person has? If an owner or sitter wants to know about relevant insurance for the sit then maybe that should be discussed in the lead-up before confirming a sit. Background check would be far more relevant to include than airport lounge passes!
This is exactly what we, and another friend who is a homeowner said.
I agree with everything that @RoseC and @temba have said.
I don’t understand why this was trialled with just new members who will have had no experience of using the site.
Surely it would have been better to have trialled it with a range of existing members.
Hello everyone and thank you for all the feedback and comments on this topic. We can see it is causing concern for some members so we want to reassure you that all of your posts will be seen by the team, who will respond to questions and queries after the long weekend. In the meantime, thank you for your patience and we will update you as soon as we can.
Yikes, I don’t like that. It feels like being coerced into paying for a more expensive plan than I would prefer just so my profile gets “boosted” with a premium badge.
Our Home and Contents Protection is available to our classic Owner members. Should there be an issue during a house sit where there is damage to the home or contents while the sitter is staying the owner can use our protection should their own home insurance claim be denied.
You can find out more information here
We did use a company that allowed us to have background checks, unfortunately, they removed the functionality and with background checks needing to be re-run each year this is no longer an option.
We are hoping to bring this back for our sitter members, however, we are a worldwide company and are finding it difficult to find a company to provide worldwide background checks for affordable prices, to avoid having to charge sitters for these extra options.
You can of course get your own background checks each year and provide potential owner’s with it if you prefer.
We have made these changes based on feedback from current and prospective members on what they would like to see as part of their membership. Like with most companies we are trying to provide different price points for each individual’s needs.
As Angela has stated we currently will only have a Premium account showing the badge. But we appreciate your feedback on this and will be discussing your concerns with the product team.
How long before I can get bumped up and pay for a premium account?
I have a few questions re the new plans/pricing which I can’t find on THS site and the bot didn’t answer. We currently are sitters with the basic plan. How much is a sitter only membership with the standard and premium upgrades? I only see “combined memberships” rates on the site with these plans.
Re the insurance offered if anything gets damaged while you are doing a sit. Does this only include damage to the homeowner’s property? If something is damaged that belongs to the sitter it does not cover damage to that - am I correct?
Re the homeowner cancelling the sit and the insurance covers the cost of hotel accommodation - is that all it covers? There is no coverage for cancelled plane flights - is that correct? Thank you.
I have raised a question about THS insurance to @Katie-MembershipServices twice now and still waiting a response.
I understand that a new HO with Basic membership will not have the Ins. Will the listing state that the HO is a basic member? I may not want to apply for a sitting without this cover.
Also @Angela-CommunityManager has stated that existing members will not change. It will change as the sitter will lose out if he/she causes accidental damage to a HO property and the new HO is a basic member with no sitter ins cover
Thanks, Katie. I’m interested that the feedback from current and prospective members wanted free airport lounge passes and a badge beside their name for Premium! It still is discriminatory.
Hi @temba, re the airport lounge pass.
I fly to most of my sits and already pay to have a lounge pass, so for me, if it was included as part of a slightly increased THS membership, I would actually save money in the long term. Obviously doesn’t suit everyone, but if you travel a lot through airports the pass is a great option.
I understand that a lot of credit card companies, especially in the US, include lounge access as part of their deal, but this is not the case in the UK.
Hi @Petermac , I can understand some sitters like yourself who do a lot of flying would find the lounge pass attractive. I do use airport lounges for long haul flights but it is included in the class I fly. There are credit card companies in Australia that include lounge access as part of their deal but they are quite expensive and one would have to weigh up whether it was worth having one, certainly not at present with no international travel for us.
I think it is only 2 passes a year, so one trip if travelling as a couple.
@Itchyfeet. I believe it may be the pass similar to “priority plus”, which gives access to over 600 airports and lounges across the world.
The pass gives you access to the lounge, but you also pay a fixed sum each time per person.
I currently pay £70 a year for priority plus, and then £20 every time I use a lounge.
That £20 gives you unlimited access to a food buffet, tea, coffee, soft drinks and, depending on the lounge, either a number of alcoholic drinks or unlimited alcoholic drinks. Most lounges also have showers etc, some even offer free massage service and other extras (!) depending on location.
£20 may seem a lot, but I know that by the time I buy a coffee and even a sandwich in an airport sometimes it can be more than that. And the chance of a quiet seat before a flight is great.
But I may be wrong…
That is correct that many credit card passes include airport lounge access, I have 2 that do so would not be added benefit. Only speaking from my experience in US. These travel “perks” seemed to have also increased since covid to try and encourage people to travel more.
Hi @Sun42 welcome to our community forum it’s great to have you here and thank you for joining in the conversation.
We did do extensive member research before we introduced the new plans and airport lounge passes came out as one of the top added benefit requests and as you say many credit cards also include this for their members which in many ways endorses it’s popularity.
We look forward to getting to know you better and sharing in your TrustedHousesitters journey. Thank you again for joining and we hope you will enjoy connecting with members from around the world.
Angela & The Team
Having read all of the above, and all the info about the new plans, I would like a comparison with the current plan - is it closer to Basic or Standard? What will the new plans cost? We are happy with the current plan, but will we be disadvantaged if we don’t upgrade. Yes, we have concerns about ‘Premium’ badges being mistaken for premium sitters! Our thoughts are that you don’t change what isn’t broken.
It appears to offer just 2 lounge passes a year. I cannot see any benefit in paying more for just 2 passes. I agree with many of the other comments. As soon as I read about the Premium badge it made me think that Owners will see this as meaning experience. This new tier system seems to me a way of increasing prices to make up for lost revenue.