Rookie Mistake?

Feeling a little unsure. I’ll explain the background - we joined in May and immediately were offered our first sit when HO got in touch with us. Completed it and now on a second sit. Back in May we also applied for a Christmas sit - heard nothing and then a few weeks later HO got in touch and we suggested we could meet up as we were already in London for a sit. I was already a little unsure given the lack of communication but thought a meeting could sort things out one way or the other so accepted the sit. She liked the idea of meeting face to face but was going on holiday so I suggested she get in touch when she got back - six weeks on and nothing. Now today I get another request from a sit we also applied for in May for Christmas asking if we are still interested. I obviously don’t want to let down the first HO but given their lack of communication I really don’t want to lose the other opportunity. I realise I shouldn’t have accepted the sit without a call or visit first but at least lesson learned for the future! Has anyone had similar problem and what did you do?

Have you actually pressed the button to accept the sit on the system or just verbally accepted?
We accept sits up to six months in the future but never hear from most of them till about a couple of weeks before the sit begins. Once the initial contact has been made and each party has had their questions answered there’s not much else to say or do u til final arrangements are made. I just accept it’s normal behaviour but that is sits that have been accepted on the system.

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It was all a bit confusing. The sitter withdrew the sit and then contacted me added it again. I did accept on the system after she wrote “I have tentatively invited you for now” which suggested to me it wasn’t 100% certain. Also given she seemed keen to meet face-to-face and then we heard nothing made me wonder even more. However I think whilst writing my original post I realise I should just message her and ask if it is all still on and that we are leaving at the end of next week so time is short for a face to face meeting. Thanks for your input

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The red flag is the word “tentatively”. Yes, message them and be brutally truthful. Tell them about the other invite and you need to know for certain if their sit is on or off.

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Hi @LizBCN and firstly congrats on getting your first sit completed and your second underway! As far as making mistakes, don’t see it as that, see it as ongoing learning :slight_smile: After 10 years I still find opportunities to learn on house sits! There’s so much to think about when starting out it’s hard not to miss something. But, knowing to have those pre-acceptance chats is a good one to make part of the routine sooner rather than later. Something we do (and many others) is use that opportunity to get an alternative method of contact in case you don’t hear from owners through the platform.

In this situation and as @ElsieDownie says, I would definitely get in touch and explain your concern, that although the sit has been confirmed on the website, it wasn’t ever quite clear whether this was more than a “tentative” invite. Explain that you are leaving London shortly and the window for a pre-sit meetup is closing, and also that you do have another offer. If it were me, in light of the lack of response so far, I would put a deadline on this.

No-one wants to let anyone down, but it’s important that two-way communication is established so there are no surprises along the line. You’ve probably discovered this, but you can check on the website to see that your messages have been read by the owner, which gives a bit of a clue as to whether it’s a case of simply not replying. If they don’t read the message you could also try reaching out to membership services to see if they can make contact on your behalf. Good luck, and let us know how you get on!

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Thanks for your feedback. I think we were a bit surprised to get our first sit so quickly and easily (we joined THS on a Saturday in May, had an invite from HO’s on Sunday, a Zoom call on Monday and everything was sorted) that we got a bit blasé and assumed they were all going to be straightforward like that! I totally agree about checking the read/unread note as it took the HO over a week to even read my first message for the sit I have posted about. I did respond to her stating we had been offered another sit and to let me know if it was definitely going ahead. If I don’t hear shortly I will message again with a deadline and also ask member services to follow up as I don’t have an alternative means of contact for her (a tip from you I will certainly follow in future!). Thanks for your detailed reply!

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Personally I think there are too many red flags with the first Christmas sit. There have been occasions when sitters have posted here that they’ve struggled to communicate with owners right up to the date of the sit. I find it surprising that, even if the owners have busy lives, they don’t prioritise communicating in a timely manner with people looking after their beloved pets. If you can wriggle out of the first one now I would, and I’m sure that THS would understand your reasoning.
As you say, lesson learnt for the future. Always have a video chat (even better if you can go in person to meet the owners) before accepting a sit as you do get a proper feel for them and the sit.
Good luck!

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Thanks Smiley - my thoughts exactly! We were also disappointed as we offered a face to face meeting as we are currently in London on another sit before returning to Barcelona where we live. She seemed really keen and then nothing. Anyway I forced the issue last evening and we have (fingers firmly crossed) a short Zoom call this morning. I will follow through with this one as it wouldn’t be a disaster if it didn’t work out but will certainly be much more aware of ‘red flags’ and go with my instinct next time!

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Well just to finish off the conversation happy to say a Zoom call worked this morning and we’ve clarified the sit. So, some useful lessons learned and our third sit confirmed. We have been so lucky to have been offered each of the three sits we applied for and so quickly after joining. Beginners luck probably but really enjoying the experience! Thanks to everyone who took the time to add their thoughts on the situation.

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Hope it all works out for you :crossed_fingers:

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