Payment to housesitter

I have had a couple of THS sitters asking for payment. I believe this is against the ethos of THS - am I correct?

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Hi @afewbrown
I have messaged you privately for details. Any sitter that asks for payment is in violation of the code of conduct. TrustedHousesitters takes this seriously and will investigate the sitter.
Thanks for bringing this to our attention.
Best wishes
Therese

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Yes, THS doesn’t allow that and there are plenty of commercial sites where sitters can offer their service for a fee.

I am aware of a sitter (who sat in our neighborhood) who used THS to get a few initial sits (at different homes) and then converted those (on later sits) to paying gigs. I think the HOs involved may have subsequently not renewed their THS memberships. I’m not sure whether this violates THS’s terms, but it’s probably not great for business, I imagine it’s an area that probably both undetectable and unenforceable. I’m just bringing to your attention to raise awareness of that MO, perhaps there are enticements to offer to help reduce that. I don’t know why the HOs would have gone for that unless they really liked her services and/or they had emergency situations.

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@BruceT Thank you.
This is an unfortunate situation, and this is often out of our control. This is where we do rely on members informing us if payment is asked, so we can then clamp down quickly. Should a sitter or homeowner leave because they want to receive payment or prepared to pay, will be their own choice. Going forward, the price they have to pay is for a sitter/homeowner, to not receive reviews/feedback, but this then again may not be important to them.
However, It is sad when you hear about people who use and abuse any service without conscious.

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Just a quick reminder:

Homeowners, please let us know if a TrustedHousesitters sitter asks you for payment for their pet sitting services. Whether it be in the initial back-and-forth, or when they arrive. At TrustedHousesitters we believe in a mutual exchange where what is exchanged is love and care for your pets and home, and a place to stay for your sitter.

If you come across anyone who’s trying to work under a pay-for-service model on our platform, we would appreciate knowing about it/them. Thanks.

Surely the HS should be removed as a member immediately?!

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That’s almost extortion, so sad. There are tons of commercial platforms out there, most of them even without a subscription fee.

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@Therese-Moderator can you give us a glimpse into what is done when a homeowner reports that a sitter asked for payment after the sit was already confirmed?

In a case like this. If the Homeowner can contact us immediately, so we can email the sitter, and remind them this is against our Code of Conduct. We also advise that homeowners should not consider paying the sitters.
We give the sitter a first and final warning, that they are not allowed to ask for payment in any form. If we find they continue to ask for payment, they are immediately suspended. We have an internal behaviour log, which will document this.
@meow I am sorry to hear about the last minute scramble of a homeowner who had to cancel and find last minute sitters. I can imagine it being a stressful situation.
if your homeowner believes this sitter may still be charging, please do ask her to email membership services so we can double check on this. We do rely on our members to help us. Always much appreciated.

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This is good to know. I recently had a Housesitter applicant who asked for payment for walking my dog which was never a requirement of the house sit. I had other Applicants so I never responded to her. I will let THS know.

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Does anyone think it’s appropriate to give your house sitter a small, non-monetary “thank you” gift? I wanted to get her a small souvenir from our trip (maybe edible), but my husband thought this may not be allowed, or it’s not the norm. Can I get some advice on what others have done? Thanks!

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Do what your heart says. :purple_heart:

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It’s not uncommon at all to give a little gift, we also appreciate edible items more than souvenirs (eventually we have to leave all of them at my parents’ place since we travel lightly). Chocolate and coffee are some of the common items. Maybe around 1/3 of our hosts bring a gift (in Europe). There is no expectation from our side but it’s always nice, we recently got coffee from Sierra Leona and Galapagos (we are coffee lovers).

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It’s a very nice idea and I’m sure they’d appreciate it. We’ve received homemade baked goods and loved them. Maybe a local item, if your area is known for something specific (I’m thinking of New Mexico/hatch chiles, tea from anywhere, a fun flavor of jam from the PNW)?

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As a sitter I’ve often been given a small gift. I’ve also left small gifts for the homeowners as well. While I always appreciate it I don’t expect it and I don’t think homeowners do either. Do whatever feels right for you.

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Hey Karen,

Whilst I’ve never asked for payment, I do like your use of Mutual Exchange. As a reminder, it’s ok for a HO To Request a ‘contribution’ for utilities for a long sit.

So being devil’s advocate, if the sit was in a very distant place, then a contribution towards petrol could be mutually agreed. Some sits also have a long list of daily chores. So what is expected as part of a sit and what’s over and above?

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