Nightmare sit

I am on my 2nd sit ever. My first was amazing. The homeowners were welcoming, gracious, and gave me a written detail of everything I could have ever asked for. I could see they took the time to make sure I had what I needed to have a successful sit and they even tried to tip me and invited me to sit again.

Not this one. I came to a beautiful home and met the dogs and they were awesome. The wife did all the talking and I could sense she was sizing me up but when they invited me to sit I thought all was well. I asked for the Welcome Manual but never got it. When I arrived the day before the sit I was then told the doors were difficult to unlock, open, and lock because they stuck and needed repair but she said it was hard to find someone that could do it. I have been struggling with those doors since I started and realized if I needed to exit immediately I couldn’t. I was already informed in advance that the bathroom outside my room had old plumbing and I could not do #2 there but could use the other restroom. After that I was told the washing machine was leaking and I should not use it. At this point I was concerned but made a commitment and wanted to see it through. Long story longer, there was a lack of clear expectations and specifics regarding my responsibilities and what was critical vs. not. I was given a one page sheet with very limited information and still did not have a solid understanding but as the owner had a client stop by during my visit I ended it quickly and thought we could fill in the gaps communicating online.

I came to find out later the owner had very specific ideas of what they wanted and what was expected and was scolded by them and their neighbor for not meeting their expectations.

The HO had been communicating with me on Whatapp and suddenly switched to the TH platform to scold me. All of this was a surprise to me and I realized the cameras on the property were being used to monitor me and the dogs. I since have had multiple issues with the home and for the first time felt like I was also being watched inside the home. I can’t prove it without a scanner but when I mentioned it I then noticed the WiFi stopped working and then most of the cameras were turned off outside. The owner had previously told me all the cameras were disabled except for the one by the gate but I saw the cameras lights and motion detection sensors so I knew that wasn’t true.

Regardless more issues with the home and lack of space or habitability along with a concern of the cameras and feeling a lack of trust by the homeowner. Many things like reluctance to show me how to use their coffee/espresso maker because it was delicate, no room to put my clothes, plumbing issues, and now concern I’m being watched and still not clear about details, I was concerned.

I then checked their past sitters and though some had excellent reviews saw that they never gave a review and then 2 other members had left TH with lower ratings. They had 4 sitters last year so I thought they would be familiar with how things work.

I did not feel welcome I felt tolerated and was surprised none of those sitters ever came back. I now know that owners have review too and the only one they had was from a former member.

This entire stay has been a nightmare that seems entirely one sided for the HO with no regard for what a sitter needs.

It has been very uncomfortable but the dogs are great. I can’t stay here with the home issues and possibly inside cameras watching me. It’s just a huge bummer.

I assumed this was a platform similiar to Airbnb where hosts try to make you feel welcome and comfortable and guests understand the parameters and are respectful of the owners wishes. Instead I feel set up to fail and now will be leaving this site because this has been so horrible for me.

I’m a respectful, attentive, and conscientious person and genuinely came into this with good intentions. I feel like I’ve been misled, uninformed, and now thrown under the bus and have been highly stressed. I’m tt TH and the owner and looking to leave asap because of this knowing I’m ruining my membership but need my sanity more. I won’t abandon these dogs but I think this all could have been avoided if the owner took the time to document in writing the Whats and what nots in advance and understand how this platform works. Some people should just hire a professional.

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I feel sorry that you are in this situation and I know that you are new but checking past reviews is something that experienced sitters do before they even apply.

It is also very unfortunate (or even scandalous) that THS does not show missing reviews in the web interface. Only in the app one can see whether there were any.

Please leave an honest review of this HO.

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@Lovedogscats, I’m so sorry you’re having this experience, and especially on your second sit before you’d had enough experience on the platform to know how to check out a potential sit to see if it’s a good fit. If after it’s behind you, you decide you want to give it another try, come on back in here. There are multiple people who would be happy to help you increase the likelihood a sit you accept will be a good one.

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I’m really sorry this is going on for you, it sounds awful and you definitely need to raise a complaint with Member Services. You’ll need to ask to speak to a human and then send them any and all documentation you have re the cameras and lack of handover/welcome guide. We had one experience that I’d class as a similar nightmare out of 30 and a couple that I chalked up to experience that I should have read between the lines on reviews better to see red flags re cleanliness or ‘spirited’ animal behaviour. The rest have been overwhelmingly positive and I’m sure you can get this back on track and have some wonderful experiences sitting for one of the vast majority of home owners who are considerate and appreciative of the service you are offering. Good luck

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Hi @Lovedogscats
Sorry this has happened to you. I think many of us starting on THS make mistakes and get the odd poor sit. Yours sounds truly bad.
In future always check reviews and if you apply have a chat pre sit to determine what the HO’s expect and maybe a little insight into their property. I have declined a sit after a video chat when the HO advised me not to use the heating in her flat during December in the UK. She also asked me not to leave the property for the whole 5 day sit.
Fortunately there are more great HO’s than bad on THS so hopefully you can find a great next sit.

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Hi @CatsAndDog welcome to the forum. As others have said, sorry you are dealing with this difficult sit.

You said couple times that you would not abandon the dogs, you sound like a thsitter that would only get better and better with more experience. As @Val says forum members are here to help and support and there are tons of past threads to read with good info.

Probably not your biggest concern right now but as @pietkuip says, please do leave an honest factual review within the 14 day window to help future sitters.

Are you going to stick it out or do you need help to leave early thru the THS process?

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Thank you! I’m worn out and just don’t have it in me to do this again.

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Thank you. It would be nice to be able to contact previous sitters too.

Thank you. I realize this owner has churned through many sitters and their negative review damages my credibility and the hassle just isn’t worth it.

I continually asked for a welcome manual so I had clear directions of their expectations. I never received this and then was admonished for not meeting their expectations and they did this on the TH platform without trying to speak with me first.

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Hello @Lovedogscats

I am sorry to hear of your current on sit issues. I know that you have mentioned already that you are talking to TrustedHousesitters and the owner and I just wanted you to know that this thread has been passed to the Membership Services team who will be in touch with you so please keep a look out for their email. You can also chat with them by clicking this link.

I hope that you manage to get this resolved very soon and please feel free to keep us updated here.

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Hello
I am sorry to hear you are having a bad experience. It sounds like you met them in person before confirming the sit and had some reservations based on how the wife was interacting with you and some other issues that came up on that first visit.

As someone who has been sitting for a decade and has had an overwhelmingly positive experience during this time, one of the most important pieces of advice I can give to sitters is trust your intuition even if there is nothing definitively you can point to on the outside to ‘justify’ it. If anything seems off when reading a listing, don’t apply. If anything seems off when communicating with the HO prior to confirming, don’t take it.

Just yesterday I was considering applying for a sit that seemed perfectly fine on the surface–nothing questionable about the content of the listing, the wording,etc. The house looked fine. They had one review that was very nice. But something kept telling me not to apply.

I then looked at the HO’s review of the one sitter they had, which is something I don’t do normally, and I saw that after a 7 week sit, their review was nothing more than two sentences complaining the sitter moved things and didn’t put them back in their original location and docked them stars in a few categories. That was a huge red flag for me indicating this person might be difficult. And the content of the sitter’s response, which was very measured, contained additional information that strengthened my belief this person may be challenging no matter how good a job we did.

So in this case I had my intuition validated by checking the review. But we may not always get that feedback, which means we have to really be willing to trust those feelings, and trust the best and most fitting opportunities will come along. In my experience, they always do.

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It sounds like you’re resolved to leave THS. It makes sense to do what works best for you, and you can always change your mind later.

If possible, please leave a factual review about what you discovered. That way, you can potentially help other sitters avoid such a terrible sit.

Bigger picture, there are some terrible people in the world, whether on THS or otherwise. That includes Airbnb or whatever else. Rather than assuming the best based on good experiences, it helps to also consider what if worst case happens. That way, you’ll do better due diligence and potentially better protect yourself. In this case, it sounds like you could’ve learned more about THS and how reviews work before applying for sits. Not that there’s any guarantee of great sits, but it’s always important to do what you reasonably can to protect yourself, whether on THS or beyond.

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I am going to not continue on the platform. I just renewed my membership and had the owner been held accountable this all could have been avoided. I feel it’s fair to request a refund for my unused balance. It is also exhausting to get TH to expedite this sit to end. The owner is not agreeing and I am being asked to make calls and efforts to relieve myself. I asked TH to step in and take this on since we are all paying them and I don’t feel it’s my responsibility to fix the problem the owner created.

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I’m wondering if there is anything else I should do to protect myself legally. I’m not sure if this owner is going to try to sue me in small claims for some frivolous reason, etc. and I really just want this behind me forever. I’m taking videos and pictures of the home and issues and have made TH aware of them and the missing Welcome Guide, Turnover, etc. I’m surprised the Guide is not mandatory for the owners because it lays out the expectations and gives you what you want and need to know to have a good sit.

It could be an idea to get personal liability insurance if you’re that worried and it gives you peace of mind. There’s plenty of affordable options for au pairs, workawayers, sitters & travelers. I use pro-trip world (Dr.walter) insurance (health insurance, but not sure if they do liability). You can take out the insurance before or during your travels, and be insured from the day you purchase it.
I don’t think there’s anything to worry about though - I highly doubt anyone would try to sue you.
Hope that helps!

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Nothing would have stopped you from making it a requirement for this sit.

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About insurance: You normally can’t buy insurance to protect you from liability retroactively. And it seems highly unlikely that the owner would sue you, unless there’s something you did that you’ve not mentioned. Just because they’re unhappy with you doesn’t mean that’s lawsuit material.

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Totally agree with you!

It would be interesting to make a note of this particular Sit and mark your calendar to check and see the reviews after it is over!

The whole thing is like a social and psychological experiment!

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(Yes, sorry, should’ve clarified - you can’t be insured for days already passed on the sit. Just from the day you purchase onwards).

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