Overlapping Sits Discussion Post

Hello everyone!

You might have noticed that our product update post for overlapping sits has reached over 1000 replies.

To make it a bit easier for members to see Trusted Housesitters’ position on the update, we decided to close the old post to new replies, and start a new discussion post which also highlights what the Product team confirmed with us.

Here is the update from the Product team from the end of last year:

We’ve been listening to your valuable feedback about overlapping sits from the Forum, Membership Services, and Social Media. We know that this change has sparked a lot of feelings and concerns about flexibility and convenience.

As Angela has mentioned already, we’ve decided to stick with this policy because our top priority is the well-being of our furry friends. There have been instances where not following this policy posed risks to pet welfare, and that’s something we simply can’t compromise on.

We do genuinely appreciate your feedback, and we’re dedicated to making our platform even better.

We know change can be difficult, but we truly believe these improvements will create a safer and more reliable pet-sitting experience for everyone involved. Your ongoing support means the world to us, and we’re committed to continually striving for the best possible platform for both pet owners and sitters.

Because the update has been widely discussed for a while now, and because Trusted Housesitters have given a final response after reading everyone’s thoughts, this new post is for discussion around overlapping sits only and there will be no further updates given or feedback gathered by the Forum team.

We understand that many of our members feel strongly about the update, and while we’ve done our best to give you a voice and pass along your feedback, we’re unable to do this indefinitely.

We do want to give you a space to continue discussing the update, and we’re happy to let it remain open to new replies as long as they are within our Community Guidelines, but on the understanding that the Forum team won’t be actively passing further feedback to the team about overlapping sits and won’t be providing any further information about the update at this time.

If that changes in future, we’ll be sure to let you know.

Jenny

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I am not affected by this policy change but this message is infuriating. Will they at least fix the problems created by this new rule? I.e. make it easier to change dates that are inaccurate? Allow sitters (paying members) to message pet parents so we can offer help? Nothing? Sigh. I don’t feel valued.

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I agree. It does not really affect me but I find this message so condescending!

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If we sit as a couple (or family) how is the care of the pets compromised when overlapping sits are booked? One adult stays, the other goes? Both sets of pets are well looked after and everyone is happy. I’m not talking about overlapping for weeks. I don’t think anyone would do that. At the most, the overlap would be two days.
It’s so infuriating when sits are being arranged, no one is applying and here we are ready and willing to help.

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No, THS is not going to do that. It would defeat the whole measure.

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3.2. The services we provide for Sitters are:

3.2.5. the ability to communicate with Pet Parentsvia the Platform’s messaging service”

Aren’t THS breaking their own T&Cs by not providing a way for sitters to message homeowners?

6 Likes

I know you know the answer. I am sure you are communicating with HOs via the THS messaging service. You need to be a member to do that.

I assume that it has “always” been like that on THS, that sitters only could make their first contact with a host when they had a listing with active dates. Now a few fewer hosts have become accessible. I don’t see how that would violate the T&Cs.

What I object to is that pet parents can message me anytime they want but I cannot message them unless they have posted sit dates and I apply.

I receive invitations to sit from people all the time, located in suburbs close to my home. I have no desire to sit in Berkeley, El Cerrito or Hercules. Yet sitters cannot message homeowners. This is unequal treatment of paying customers. A reminder that pet parents are customers and sitters are the commodity being sold.

And now, due to this new policy, couples can’t offer to split and overlap for a pet sit that is having trouble finding someone. Which adds insult to injury given the existing inequity.

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I would see that differently. The assets that the company needs to have the most control over are the sits. Especially the most popular listings.

If THS left all communication free, the HOs on the Riviera etc would be inundated with a constant stream of messages and the power sitters would monopolize those listings.

Then those listings would never have public dates. And a simple sitter like me would never see those.

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Sorry, double. I am on a train.

a little tip: To receive invitations from people in your desired locations, you can, like many other sitters, specify your current location to match the desired one.

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I’ve gotta say I agree with this. It doesn’t feel like it’d be in keeping with what THS has said its aims are with the recent changes (i.e letting more sitters get the best sits). I might be wrong as I’m not an owner but if I lived in a popular area I wouldn’t love getting messages from sitters every day. Like you might find 10 to keep on the books but then more would keep coming and maybe some of those would be better. It’d be hard to keep track and I’d end up ignoring the messages. And those owners are valuable to THS so they’re going to want to keep them happy. I do often wish I could message people though - fellow sitters and HOs.

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@pietkuip - love your phrase ‘Power sitters’! How would you define those? :grinning:

It’s even more than getting a lot of messages when you aren’t even going someplace! It’s also the fact that the sitter’s messaging you might not be available when you actually need them. Ask any homeowner who’s unsuccessfully invited sitters who’ve favorited their listing.

There are sitters that get practically every sit they apply for. Those sitters do not like the limit-of-five because before they would have a very good chance of being chosen even when there were dozens of other applicants.

Me on the other hand - I now got declined when I was the only applicant…

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Yeah - what a nightmare. I favourite sits to get earlier notifications when they post dates but do then get messages occasionally asking me about dates I invariably can’t do. Sometimes I wish the favourites weren’t visible as they’re more useful on my end. Or perhaps that saved searches gave better notifications so I didn’t need to rely on saved sits…

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YES, the inability to message HO outside of actually applying for the sits is infuriating. I’m looking at a sit that overlaps by one day. The HO says her dates are flexible, but I can’t message her to discuss. GRRRRR.

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I also see this as a disregard for their own customers who pay money so the THS employees can get their salaries every month. Of course, they deserve it! However, the management has to consider their customers first. Neither sitters nor house owners are children who need to be controlled by a parenting THS.

Suppose it has something to do with THS liability insusurance. I suggest that they rearrange their insurance liabilities instead of their customers’ needs.

Both myself as a sitter and respective pet owners have highly profited from the ability to be communicating about flexible dates.

Compromise sollution:
THS offers overlapping up to 7 days thus enabling communication between sitters and house owners so that they can update their listed dates.

5 Likes

I wonder whether pet owners check my availability before they invite me. Or does the calender with my indicated availability not work?

Why should I, as a sitter, limit myself???