Thank you @Gina
And what is a good reason? In December we had to cancel our booked vacation on very short notice because of Omikron. We would not have been able to travel and even if we were, we would have had to do 14 days of quarantine, which would have meant 14 days no pay, because I can’t work from home. We talked about this possibility with the confirmed sitters beforehand and they agreed to it knowing about the risk. It was no big deal for them that we had to cancel. We both agreed about this before but might have had to face a penalty?
What would happen if THS demanded penalties is that sits would be confirmed just prior to their beginning. Like this both parties could confirm in private and do the official thing when it looks like it’s going to work out.
Some things need to be thought through. It’s not always that easy as it seems.
Let’s look it another way.
Dating sites. An introduction to your ideal partner.
Do they post negative reviews in their introductory page? Do you read about the guy that’s been on the site for three years and never got a date once? Of course not.
Is the site blamed if someone gets stood up? Or if the match is unsuccessful or unsuitable? Of course not
What happens if a physo connects? Is that the sites fault? No it’s your pure judgement.
Sometimes in life people have to make choices on their own. These choices are better made with good communication, trust and probably research and above all instinct. A site like THS are not going to relate negative stories about themselves and their members. It even happens on the forum. Is there any negative threads started by THS employees or volunteer representatives ? No of course not. They want this public forum to be upbeat and positive.
I have had a very positive experience on THS. Long mayit continue. Maybe I’ve been lucky. Or maybe I invest a lot of time in finding out how the site works, researching where and when I want to go, reading very carefully the listings and communicating very clearly and truthfully with the other party.
Things like ideal partners and perfect pet sits or wonderful sitters don’t just fall into your lap. It takes a lot of time, effort and trust to find them.
I’m sorry you are finding the THS system unrewarding and have loads of problems. Maybe delve into the forum and see how others overcame these issues instead of insisting that THS fixes them all.
All the information is there and I for one find it a good source of helping me improve my pet sitting life.
Hope you find what your looking for.
I am glad you mentioned dating sites because sometimes I do find some similarities…but the difference is I take housesitting and petsitting much more seriously than dating. On a dating site, not much is at stake. You go out on a few dates and if something is off, you can back out easily.
Dating is based on personal chemistry. Housesitting and petsitting is an assignment to be taken seriously. If housesitting works just like dating, why is a reviewing system even necessary on THS? Just use your judgment then
But housesitting is much more different: both parties are committed to honoring an engagement and there should be some kind of mechanism in place to address those who back out without a good reason. Somebody mentioned about COVID. That’s an extenuating circumstance. What I am talking about are those people who filp out and back out without even giving a good reason (like what happened to me). I invested a good amount of time and money to honor a commitment but was left in a lurch (“I just don’t want you anymore” is NOT a good reason). Shouldn’t the HO be responsible for this? And vice versa.
Anyway, I am just sharing how I feel about using this site for years as a sitter. I just think THS should have done a lot more to improve the site. I can only think it only benefits everyone if the platform can become ore transparent and trustworthy.
We don’t rely on THS for our communication after a sit has been confirmed, but immediately set up a group on Telegram/Signal/WhatsApp etc. Not everyone checks their THS or Email often, but people are usually glued to their phones and see notifications from messenger services almost instantly. PS: We never ask for the address before we confirm, some HOs are not comfortable with that. PPS: Not sure if anyone ever cancelled or came back early without a good reason after 50+ sits that we did on THS and other platforms. I can only think of one instance where the HO forgot to ask if we were vaccinated, she didn’t get the “correct” answer and cancelled the sit 2 days before the start.
You made my day!!!
@MissRien did you report your unfortunate situation to THS?
I had a similar situation, canceled by a HO for no valid reason. She confirmed us one day, and canceled us the next. It was outside of the 14 day windows for making a claim on our THS cancelation insurance but we found another sit, so no biggie. I reported her to THS and they followed up with her to my complete satisfaction. I won’t get into details but rest assured, THS does not condone this type of behavior from Ho’s or sitters, but only if they know about it.
No I didn’t. It happened years ago, I thought I had no support then. Can I still make a report now? Probably that member is no longer on the site.
I think both sides can cancel easily because they don’t suffer any consequences for their actions. Good to know you sorted it out, maybe from now on I will report members who display bad behavior to THS to see if they take it seriously. I just had a very unpleasant exchange with a HO recently. My interactions with him was totally opposite from what was described in his reviews. I got the whatsapp conversations as evidence.
Fingers crossed it will work out. I can understand you getting cold feet. Please let us know. I am waiting t o hear from an an application we made for a last minute sit - next weekend - absolutely no response - unread message - how do people not read their emails? or is there a glitch?
Vetting of the applicants is paramount. TRUSTED is the key word. I have learned to read between the lines on applications for sits and so far it has worked well. Video chats, verified sitters, reviews, getting to know the sitters beforehand, maybe using locals. We were let down once when a younger couple changed their availabilty 3 weeks before we were due to fly off, meaning they would be out working for 10 hours of the day so now I prefer retirees or home workers.
We get some weird applications so it is a case of ‘owner beware’ :
I had an interesting applicant a few years back. I rejected her and thanked her - my reason being I had chosen someone more local. She retorted extremely rudely saying that I was denying sitters the right to travel (that was the abridged version)! My reply to her was that my pets were my priority and not her holiday (an abridged version).
Good point! I think THS still has a long way to go to earn the word “Trusted”. Reviews tell nothing about a person, BTW. They would say, listen to your gut, There’s really no way to tell…you just do your best and hope things will go alright.
I think she might get rejected for too many times. She shouldn’t have taken it out on you, but I can relate to her frustration. It’s what happened to me when I applied for sits in NYC…most HOs just want local sitters or sitters within the country.
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I LOVE THS and I adore the people I have met both in the physical and in this forum, even those that are new and learning. We have all been there. We have all made mistakes and we are growing together.
Where the heck are you these days?
THS code of conduct is very clear that both parties have to agree if a sit is to be cancelled or dates amended. So what happens when one of the parties doesn’t agree?
As part of the code of conduct that all TrustedHousesitters members agree to, a confirmed sit cannot be cancelled unless both owner and sitter agree or there are extraordinary circumstances.
If one or the other doesn’t agree, the sit will obviously still get cancelled but the person who got cancelled should contact THS and let them know so it is recorded on the offending person’s account. (THS now keeps track of this.)
Then they likely try to find another sit/sitter. If they are premium members and it’s short notice cancellation etc, the sitter/home owner can apply for insurance to cover dates there were unable to fill.