Owners rate answers would be appreciated

It’s very disturbing when owners don’t even answer to potential sitters. It’s not courteous, it’s really rude
It’s so easy to answer, If not to each candidate, when they are many, to all of them with a sole message. Explaining why, your criteria of choice, at least thanking the applicants to have applied.
Otherwise, applicants receive only a message from THS telling them “you’ve not been successful that time” but you really wonder why.
THS allows group answers (I know that as I’m a sitter and also an owner who seek sitters when I travel or do myself a pet sit with my husband)
On other sites, the answering rate appears, like that you don’t waste your time contacting unpolited owners.
I’m sure that if owners would see they appear as not answering members, they would change their attitude. At least I hope so. Please THS, make the rate appear.
I have already written to THS, asking that, I received an answer : I copy it below.

I greatly appreciate your feedback around this and understand how helpful this would be for our sitters. I have passed on your suggestion to our website developers to look into implementing into our platform. I cannot guarantee if it will be a feature on our platform but please be assured that it will be considered!

On my side, as an owner, I do answer individually to all applicants and I make my choice in a week time. No use to wait for 50 applicants. Once I made my choice the first day of my publishing, because a couple seemed to fulfill my needs (experience, speaking french enough in order to face any emeregency, few people do understand english around)
A potential sitter complained a few hours later I had already made my choice. As I had explained my reasons, he was really mean : “Nobody chooses the first day
Why not ?

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I entirely agree and something I’ve been ranting about for ages. There has also occasionally been ads that just sit there with applicants building up. Something could well have happened to the owner…

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Great idea to rate owners answers, really like it. It’s just rudeness when they don’t bother to reply. Think that ads should only remain live for a fixed time (week or two) before the owners have to log in and review.

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Yes, I agree it would be helpful to rate owners’ answers but maybe that could be just a tad intrusive. I’ve had to contact TH on 2 occasions drawing them to ads that have just been sitting on the site for weeks (and that was before Lockdown) and they said they’d contact the owners. But I doubt they could contact the owners either or rather get a response! I’ve also noticed that some of my responses haven’t even been read by owners - what’s that about?
Maybe if owners or sitters make a habit of not responding they should be banned? Is that a stretch too far?

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I think a good few people don’t know how to use the Website systems & facilities - and I include myself in that too!
When we were completely new, in the first week, we had to ask THS what the 1-3, 4-6 etc applications meant on listings. It seems obvious now but we thought maybe it was a restriction on how many applications could be made :laughing:
Also, we have been chosen for a sit but the owner just removed the listing instead of confirming us.
And we saw a listing that appeared contradictory; the dates were for just 1 day but the description said one week. I used the “apply now” system to ask about the duration but just got back that my application was not successful- no actual answer, although the listing remained live for a week or so longer. Was that my fault? Is there a way to contact an owner without actually applying for the sit?
What’s more, IMHO owners don’t put as much effort into their listings as we do as sitters applying. The same description header is used over & over for new listings & can be misleading or no longer relevant.

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Ah one of our pet hates is the old listing header being used with new dates. Makes everything so confusing. You are so right about owners, not all of them, generally not putting in as much effort as sitters. Perhaps they just don’t need to?

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I have thought the same thing! On other sites (I’m thinking of Couchsurfing but I’m sure there are others), reply rate appears, and it’s super helpful. It would really incentivize people to respond.

I do think a big factor is what @Saltrams mentioned - so many people don’t know how to use the site. I’ve spoken to so many owners that have no idea you could send a group message, that you could close down the listing to applicants while reviewing, many even don’t know how to leave a review. Not sure how to fix this other than sending out more information emails and yeah, implementing features that puts the onus on people to have more considerate behavior. Love the idea of a fixed time up @Jon-JWalking. Or maybe if someone hasn’t logged into the site for a couple weeks, they get follow up emails, and if those go unanswered, the sit is deactivated.

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It’s THS computer systèm which will make the rate. It’s also THS who is able to write how many days are left, before our next sit, how many reviews, stars we’ve got. You don’t need to do it your self . I think owners and sitters don’t understand the rules because they don’t read the explanations given by THS. Very clear on the devoted page and FAQ…

---- alternativetravelers via TrustedHousesitters Community Forum a écrit ----

alternativetravelers
September 30

I have thought the same thing! On other sites (I’m thinking of Couchsurfing but I’m sure there are others), reply rate appears, and it’s super helpful. It would really incentivize people to respond.

I do think a big factor is what @Saltrams mentioned - so many people don’t know how to use the site. I’ve spoken to so many owners that have no idea you could send a group message, that you could close down the listing to applicants while reviewing, many even don’t know how to leave a review. Not sure how to fix this other than sending out more information emails and yeah, implementing features that puts the onus on people to have more considerate behavior. Love the idea of a fixed time up @Jon-JWalking. Or maybe if someone hasn’t logged into the site for a couple weeks, they get follow up emails, and if those go unanswered, the sit is deactivated.

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Fixed time-up :+1:

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It took me a minute to understand what this topic was about, but now I get it. You’re recommending that homeowners response time (responsiveness) should be rated, like in other platforms like AirBnb, where it actually matters quite a lot to know how responsive the homeowner is when we’re making these life plans. I personally take negative responsiveness ratings very seriously, which impacts whether I want to engage further. I could see that may have great value (and implications) in THS for sitters and homeowners alike. I presume, then, that this proposed rating system would also go both ways. Just a thought.

That said, I have never taken the lack of responsiveness personally or think of it in terms of rudeness. I find it discourteous, inattentive, and unfortunate, yes, but I always consider that have no idea what they are up against, what their lives are like and that sometimes navigating a site like this isn’t always clear. There could be many reasons.

Even if, or particularly if, I have poured my heart out in a sit application, and receive no response, I’m grateful I wasn’t chosen if the homeowner ultimately found a match that suited their needs best.

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I must confess i am not “grateful” when an owner does not take time to answer ALL sitters.there is a group answer s/he can use without being obliged to write a different message to each person
When there are 30 applicants or more, why has not s/he decided earlier and stopped the publishing of the offer ?

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Oh yes mine too! You’d think owners would want to make sure that all the details are correct and up to date to make sure they get the right sitters but not always the case! We’ve applied for sits and it turned out one of the dogs wasn’t even alive anymore…

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That happens quite a lot doesn’t it? Some pets not around anymore and often new pets not listed.

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Yes you only find out in the description when they start talking about a dog that isn’t even listed that they now have 3 dogs not 2 and ones a puppy!

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Am still waiting on 2
One from Nov19 Feb20
On a different site to make matters worse it was the same couple

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You may send them a request. It’s often more efficient than waiting…

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I agree. I also think that better instructions and maybe a short video for the owners could help them better understand the functionality. They did a nice video to explain the sitter profile updates. Perhaps publish “best practices” suggestions for both sitters and homeowners, the first one being make your selection in a timely manner and respond to all of your candidates to thank them for their time and interest.

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@Angela-CommunityManager
It’s not that hard to find a solution for this if you want to.
Just block the invitation button or the application button if there are still unread first contact emails. That way, everyone has to read all emails.
Show the average response time for first contact emails in the profiles of HO or Sitter. Then everyone can decide for himself if he/she is willing to accept these response times of his counterpart.
With this simple solution, a large part of frustration would not arise.

I fully agree with @Reubendog. If someone does not answer, it is certainly not because he is not well versed in computers and mails.

And when I read the terms of service this should not be a problem either.

5.1.13 respond to communications from other Members in a timely manner, but in any event, within 72 hours

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