New to site sitters refuse to provide contact info

Hi all,
First time poster. We decided to try the site, made a newbie mistake of accepting first reply months in advance. Contacted sitter a few weeks before departure, ghosted.
Now in a pickle, leaving in less than two weeks, activate the request again and got a message from a well reviewed sitter. Great, accepted sit. Again, once sit accepted, no contact, messages unread, now less than a week away. What are we supposed to do? Emailing support desk is useless. And what is the reluctance to provide an email or cell number? One sitter actually replied, would you give your number to an Uber driver, duh!
I have never been in a “professional” situation where you agree to do something, then disappear. Advice?

2 Likes

I’m new here but the reluctance to communicate does seem unreasonable. You are trusting them with your beloved animals and home! What attracts me to this platform is the reciprocal nature of the arrangement. I’ll be following this to see how things unfold. I hope it works out for you. I’m sorry that all I can do at this time is offer my assurance that you are not asking for anything unreasonable! Best of luck.

4 Likes

Welcome @Dogwood
I’m sorry you are having sitter issues. Did you invite the sitter via THS?
As a sitter I always set up a whatsapp video chat prior to confirming any sit. I then have another way to contact and chat with a HO in addition to THS inbox.

2 Likes

Hello @Dogwood and a very warm welcome to the Community Forum and I am sorry to hear of the issues you have had. As you say these were confirmed sits I am assuming then that they were confirmed solely on exchanging messages on the website and that you did not have a telephone or video call prior to confirming your sitters?

I have attached a thread that you should find helpful with regards to video calls prior to confirming. My hubby and I are sitters and we always have a WhatsApp video call before confirming a sit, we have had homeowners send an acceptance without any interaction but we always say we would prefer a video call if possible first prior to confirming so both parties can ensure we are all a good fit and it also gives both parties an opportunity to ask any questions that they might have.

I would also suggest if you could link your TrustedHousesitters profile on to your Forum profile on here by following the attached link, should you wish. This will then enable others on here to offer you helpful advice and feedback and will also give your listing extra exposure.

If you are unsure how to do this, or if you have any questions at all, do not hesitate to ask, we are all more than happy to help.

Also due to your listing being less than a week away, I would also recommend that you add your listing on to the last minute sits section on here and if you wish, you can also give permission to @Angela_L who can then promote your listing on other social media channels.

1 Like

Skype/Whatsapp video call always a good idea indeed. As a sitter, I haven’t had calls for each sit that I accepted, some have gone ahead without that, although I’ve always made sure that I provide my HO with my phone number and email address. Seems logical to me.

I also always make sure that once I’ve accepted the sit, I quickly update them once I have my flight or train ticket booked. Strange that a sitter with good reviews who has accepted the sit, would not get back to you.

On that first sitter who ghosted you: please report them to THS Membership services! And just in case the 2nd sitter does as well, then report them too! It’s against the rules as a sitter to accept a sit and then ghost the HO. It’s unaccepted behaviour so if the first sitter ghosted you, THS should know about it and give them a warning or remove them from the site so others don’t face the same issue with them.

1 Like

@Dogwood sorry to hear of your predicament.

The process for confirming at sitter has 3 stages - I am wondering if these are in fact sits confirmed and appearing on your dashboard?

If the sitter didn’t click “ agree to sit” 3rd and final stage these weren’t in fact confirmed sitters.

  1. A sitter must apply to a set of dates on a pet parent’s listing.
  2. The pet parent must then confirm them as their sitter via the message thread in their inbox.
  3. Lastly, the sitter must then go into their own Inbox and in the message thread click ‘agree to sit’.

Once this confirmation from both members has been made, the sit will be official on the platform and added to members’ dashboards.

I am not excusing the sitters for not informing you of their decision but hopefully explaining the THS process.

3 Likes

Hi Tekla,
Thanks for your kind words, we are trying to remain positive!

1 Like

I am so sorry this has happened! I am coming up on my 11th sit, and probably half of the homeowners I’ve dealt with find the THS inbox communication tricky at best. And the lag time for messages through THS can be unpredictable. So when I apply, I always offer up my cell phone number at the get-go just so they’ll have it on hand if communicating through THS becomes cumbersome. I don’t know how many other sitters do this, but I wonder if it’s time for THS to suggest a second way to contact applicants/confirmed sitters as soon as communication begins — whether that’s email or cell phone for texting/calling.

1 Like

Of course you need to exchange mobile numbers (not necessarily email) as quickly as possible. So you’ve had a lucky escape with one that wouldn’t, that speaks volumes.

1 Like

I’m a sitter as well and I include my WhatsApp number in my application inviting my pet parents to schedule a video call with me.

1 Like

Yes, on accepting both sitters, I immediately offered my email and cell
and asked for a chat. Neither responded to numerous emails saying we
would really like to talk and even arrange a visit if they lived nearby.
I honestly don’t get it, it’s bizarre to me. thanks for your reply, Dianne

Hi kimshady, I’m glad to hear this because that is what I expected to
happen, but it didn’t!

1 Like

Hi @Samox24,
Thanks for your feedback and tips. Again, as a newbie, I accepted the
sit, but immediately asked if we could chat and provided email and cell
#. Both times we never received another response from the sitter. Now we
are a week away and we don’t know if this guy is coming. I am starting
to think I need to cancel and try again. I am also trying to make a
back-up plan with a friend. This was supposed to be a “trip of a
lifetime” but this uncertainty is ruining the trip before we eveb pack
our bags.

Hi @Bluehore, yes we made THS membership aware of the first ghost. The second sitter is more problematic because he has good reviews. He said he is arriving by train or plane ( I forget which) so would need directions to our place. He has none of this info, we have none of his info. It’s a week away.

@Dogwood oh I feel your pain :sob: This is a shocking situation to be in and though it’s helpful to give advice, it’s a bit late after the race has run. In this case your race has run and you may have lost :pensive:

Have you contacted TH to ask if they can contact this guy who is supposedly en route to you? They can do that in these circumstances.
This is a really horrible situation. Maybe he is still flying? Where is he coming from do you know? These type of sitters really need to be removed from the platform, it’s just not on.

Contact TH and ask them to contact him ASAP and if no response, ask to advertise on Last Minute Sits and forget him and try to find an alternative, time is not on your side as you are well aware I’m sorry :pensive: He doesn’t have your address or phone number so he doesn’t even know where he is going, what plane, train or automobile.

So very sorry this has happened to you, my sitter rang the night before I was flying to the UK from Australia to say she had a funeral to go to (understandable but horrible) and wouldn’t be coming for a few more days. I was beside myself so I totally get where you are coming from. Hugs :hugs:

2 Likes

@dogwood when you confirmed these sitters applications did they then click accept the sit - is it showing on your dashboard as confirmed?

@Dogwood I’m so sorry you are having this very stressful experience- what a nightmare. I really hope you find a solution in time.
Others have given you lots of suggestions for the current situation so I’d like to offer some tips for the future.
My husband and I are very experienced sitters and one thing we never do, and do not recommend, is to accept a sit (or in your case a sitter) without some interaction first. We always include our WhatsApp number in our application and suggest further contact directly that way. We always try to shift the connection as fast as possible off THS as the site is glitchy at times & message notification is often delayed or messages lost etc
We don’t always have a phone call/video call before confirming a sit but always like to at least have some message exchange. But we do always ask for the phone number and address directly before or after confirming. This gives everyone more a feeling of connection and security.
If we confirm a sit that is months away we usually check in with the hosts once a month or so to keep the connection alive & firm up precise arrive details as the start date approaches . If we are flying in we will always send flight details as soon as we have them. Or if driving, e g recently sitting around Europe, we update hosts when we arrive in their country and are getting closer. We always try to imagine being in the hosts shoes and offer as much reassurance as we feel is needed.
If it ever happens for you again that a potential sitter refuses to give a phone number- reject them immediately! And don’t leave long gaps in contact- keep the connection alive. Make sure you know the sitters travel plans and that you confirm concrete arrival and departure details with them.
Choose sitters with a good track record of great reviews to help build your confidence and most important of all- follow your gut!
Wishing you all the best for future sits :pray:

2 Likes

@Dogwood , have you reached a live person from Membership Services?

Why don’t you post your listing here in the forum. Perhaps a good sitter will see it and offer to step in if need be. Follow these instructions:
How to add your listing to your forum profile

If you have a problem, one of the moderators will be able to assist you.

After you’ve done this we’ll be able to offer more help.

It’s good to have a plan B but this may still work out.

Hi @Dogwood I am sorry to hear this. I would suggest that you contact Membership Services immediately and ask them to try to get in touch with him. Otherwise you will need to cancel this sit and I advise you then to list on Last Minute Sits on here and if you are happy to you can also give @Angela_L permission to list on other social media channels for you. You certainly still have time to find a replacement sitter should MS not be able to get in touch with him. These things are all a learning curve.

The email for Membership Services is support@trustedhousesitters.com

Thanks for your kind words Ziggy, yes I am contacting support again today. Time to make a decision!

1 Like