Thanks @anon80172330 and I do understand and thank you for explaining. Let’s finish here as we have hijacked the thread somewhat but if you do want to continue, please know I am happy to chat and talk about this more - we want to learn also how best to help our members here in the forum too - so please know that offer and option is open. Just DM me and we’ll sort something - but only if you want to. Take care.
So pleased I am not alone. I thought I was just becoming a grumpy old(er) woman but seems like I am in good company in detesting the terms pet parent or fur babies. I certainly wouldn’t want it foisted on me if I was a home owner rather than a sitter (or should that be ‘temporary pet parent’?? ha, ha).
Hello all and particularly in answer to those who wanted to know the reasoning behind the recent change. We reached out to the marketing department for some feedback:
“We did extensive research and discovered that this is the language a lot of our members now use. It’s seen in profiles, listings, communications and across social media, and so it makes perfect sense as a business that our website and the language used, reflects this.
At TrustedHousesitters we truly see our pets as members of the family, and from talking to and observing our members we know that many of them do too.
The term “Pet parent” is commonly used by other pet businesses, and many of our contemporaries also use this kind of language.
But we do recognise that not everyone identifies with this language - it is very subjective and even varies across cultures, so it’s absolutely fine by us if you want to continue to use other terms like “owner” or “host”. This is simply the preference of the company as we evolve and grow as a pet-focused business.”
Please don’t shoot the messenger
I have also checked @Crookie and it doesn’t look like this can be removed, so it’s one to take up with Membership Services I’m afraid.
@Vanessa-PartnershipsMgr You see Pet Parent when you check the dates or apply
No shooting intended, but please take my core question back to those who are making these decisions.
Why does the member who has a listing posted need to be labelled at all?
This ‘extensive research’ rarely seems to reach forum members.
My question is respectfully submitted and deserves a response from whoever determines the wording on the website listings (rather than marketing). Thank you.
@Vanessa-PartnershipsMgr, Thank you for quoting the marketing department’s reasoning.
In today’s world, it’s not OK to impose an identifying label on a person against that person’s will.
Many users are telling you that they find it inappropriate or unpleasant to be identified as a “pet parent.” If THS is striving to adhere to best social media practices, and be sensitive to all their users, then they need to allow each person to self-identify.
I do not identify as a parent to my pets. If someone refers to me that way, I feel disrespected. I claim the right to define my own relationship with my animals.
The marketers say that THS members can “continue to use other terms like ‘owner’ and 'host.” That is simply not true. Every THS host has a label right next to their name and profile photo that says “Pet Parent.” And apparently this label is not removable?
The marketers say that many Individuals and businesses use “pet parent” and “fur baby” in what they write online. That’s fine – everyone has the right to use whatever words they want. But I challenge the marketing team to tell me a social media context in which a user has an unwanted, inappropriate personal identity label forced on them.
I know that in terms of platform functionality, this is obviously not a pressing issue. It is, however, a matter of respect. Your THS members should have the right to self-identify on this platform.
@Betsy you make good points - and generally about labels. I am about to go off shift, but we have already shared this thread with the marketing team so they will be reading responses and taking this feedback onboard. All the best, Vanessa
@Betsy Thank you for stating this so clearly. I live in Canada and had a similar interaction with my bank and my university alumni department. I asked for my name to be shown on my account and in correspondence merely by my first and last name. I was refused and I received lame answers from both institutions. Their representatives insisted that I had to select ‘Miss, Mrs, or Ms’. I fail to see why my marital status is relevant in those cases.
I escalated my request both times and it was resolved. The person who told me there wasn’t an option to remove it was certainly wrong.
TrustedHousesitters can also remove the labelling on the listings, as it serves no purpose there. What they do in marketing does not interest me and is not my focus.
This point may not affect me directly, but fighting for what is right is something that gets me heated.
I’m a sitter only. Host that don’t like the pet parent identification should start listing the disclaimer * I am not a pet parent, I have a home and a pet (pets) live here. .(home can mean anywhere someone lives)
Unfortunately I don’t see things getting better. What ever is going on with THS, decisions are not being made with the members taken in to consideration. I personally do not believe that research about the pet parent term shows that the majority of people like this title.
Is this something else being done to keep investors happy?
Thank you for the feedback @Vanessa-PartnershipsMgr. I’m very unhappy about THS’s stance and will be writing to membership services as you suggest requesting this label be removed from my profile. i hope others who are similarly impacted also write to them.
As a dual member with premium membership I expect to be treated in a more respectful manner. THS need to take a good long look at how they are upsetting members and losing clients, evidenced by the numerous negative reviews on Trust Pilot where my review will soon be posted if my label isn’t changed.
Well done @Betsy in clearly explaining how many of us feel on this thread. And as @Snowbird says, why do we need a label anyway? We have names!
It’s interesting that the marketing team say they did “extensive research and discovered that this is the language a lot of our members now use.” Were members ever asked this?? (Yet, the product team referred to the 1000+ negative comments against the 5 Application Pause as representing only a small number of members)!
It’s a wonder the company doesn’t change its name to include the word Pet where it’s wanting to “evolve and grow as a pet-focused business.” I thought pets have always been the focus of the business!
By association we sitters must now be ‘proxy pet parents’ or ‘fur baby nannies’ which goes to show how silly the titles are. I agree that ‘sitters’ and ‘hosts’ should be reinstated, or no titles at all, just first names.
I have just read an interesting article in yesterdays Telegraph newspaper, Ask A Lawyer in the Money pages.
It deals with ownership of a dog in a divorce case.
It states: In law a dog is a “chattel” which means it is an item of property and so is capable of being owned by an individual human. Like other chattels, dogs can be bought and sold.
Please let us stop this woke parent nonsense
You are misusing the word ‘woke’.
@Pips , agree
Hello @Vanessa-PartnershipsMgr, at your suggestion, I sent an email to membership services on 6 October with the title “very very unhappy premium member” formally requesting THS immediately remove the label “pet parent” from my home owner profile as I don’t have any pets. It was a lengthy email expressing my displeasure and advising them that I will be putting a negative review on Trust Pilot if my label of “pet parent” wasn’t immediately removed.
Well, I’ve waited over a week for a reply and nothing…silence… Clearly THS don’t care about their members, premium or otherwise. The stupid pet parent tiltle is still on my owner profile so the time has come for a Trust Pilot review
Hi @Crookie, I am sorry for any delayed response from the Membership Services Team, I will pick this up and forward to the team for their attention as @Vanessa-PartnershipsMgr is having a very well earned vacation.
So the response I got via email from one of the Member Experience Executives about my ridiculous pet parent label (when I don’t have any pets) is:
"Whilst I appreciate your concern, the decision has been made by our management and marketing team to change the term of the homeowner to pet-parent, so this pulls through to all aspects of the website automatically. Unfortunately, we cannot make changes on an individual basis, as our systems cannot accommodate this.
I really am so sorry for this inconvenience, and I can certainly understand your frustration especially, as you do not have any pets.
I do know you have made marketing aware via Angela, and I will once again pass your feedback on to management and marketing."
It’s a very disappointing response and just affirms my opinion that THS just don’t give a damn about their members and how they impact them. They only care about numbers, stats and dollars and bugger who they trample on in the process. That’s not good customer service it’s just revenue chasing. Eventually the clients will leave and go elsewhere or legal action will ensue.