Silent treatment by host of confirmed sit

@cat.tails what support / advice / suggestions have member services provided you thus far ?

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contact TH corporate

@Silversitters
After I contacted THS, Therese emailed the host then telephoned them the next day and apparently the host said they would contact me.
Three days later I contacted Therese again to say I still had not heard from the host, and then Therese said she sent the host an email marked urgent. That was 2 days ago and I still have not heard from the host.
THS have done as much as they can so far - they are just the go-between and I don’t fault THS in this matter. The problem is the host. I contacted the host on 18 August with some questions and have not had a reply since then, so that is 5 weeks waiting for a reply. I doubt that many hosts would be happy if a confirmed sitter took more than 5 weeks to reply to a message regarding the sit.

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You absolutely need to have THS cancel the sit and make other arrangements. The HO has shown you how important you are to them. At this point, I wouldn’t even consider sitting for them if it was a perfect sit in a perfect location.
Dan

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Just to give a view as HO…

If you send a message they should answer as that’s just rude. But I would say this…

As a HO I wouldn’t share the guide until the week of the sit, but of course you should get all the address details you need to plan your travel. I would usually get their number and communicate over WhatsApp to make it easier for us both.

Lots of messages and questions from sitters over a long period of time before the sit would make me feel nervous as a HO. It suggests to me they may be “high maintenance” once the sit starts or maybe disorganised because they didn’t ask all the questions when we initially discussed the sit. There are always things that people only remember later and that’s fine but I wouldn’t expect to get lots of messages over a long period of time.

I’ve had a lot of sitters over the last 7 years and even if we organise the sit 6 months in advance we don’t tend to talk again until the few weeks before the sit.

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Here is another and potentially useful thread. Where THS are asking for feedback. As a dedicated team are going to look at these issues and are asking for our input.

So let’s use it everyone! THS are listening, so let’s use this opportunity to make some positive changes!

(I think the title of this thread needs to change, so we know better what it’s about…)

Hi @jolerrs
I am interested to know why you don’t share your Welcome Guide until the week of the sit.
You state lots of messages and questions over a long period of time would make you nervous but if the sitter had the guide as soon as the sit is confirmed then there would be no need for questions in the later months.
I have had to ask owners on at least 2 occasions to cancel the sits because information in the Guide differed from their listing and my initial questions, It didn’t cause any problems as the owner then had plenty of time to relist.
If I received the Guide the week of the sit and there were any discrepancies then that would give little time to overcome them.

i am not in any way suggesting that your own Guide differs from your initial listing but it is my own opinion

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@jolerrs
I can imagine it is irritating for you as HO to get lots of questions from a sitter.

My messages to this HO were basically the same question asked again and again because they have not replied to me since 18th August. I wanted to know if it was convenient for them if I arrive at 3pm. Their reply would allow me to know which train to catch from London to their location.

My messages were sent on 18 August, 6 Sept, 10 Sept, 17 Sept, 18 Sept, 20 Sept. If the HO had replied to my message on 18 August, I would not have needed to send the others. In fact, they did not even read any of these messages yet - all the messages show up as UNREAD at my end until today

Of the 41 sits I have done so far, most times the HO sent me the Welcome Guide well ahead of time (ie not just one week beforehand). I need to know the address so that I can work out how to get there by train and/or bus. Ideally, that info will be given to me more than one month ahead of time so that I can buy an Advance fare rail ticket which is a lot cheaper than buying a rail ticket at the last moment or even one week beforehand (annoying for the passenger but that is how it works in the UK).

I tend to agree with @Itchyfeet who wrote above that

You state lots of messages and questions over a long period of time would make you nervous but if the sitter had the guide as soon as the sit is confirmed then there would be no need for questions in the later months.

One question I have for you, jolerrs - as a HO, how would you feel if you sent your confirmed sitter a message and they did not reply to you for 5+ weeks? Would that make you feel nervous?

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@jolerrs, as a highly rated and responsible HS, I ask my pertinent Qs upfront, precisely because I am organised and aim to be low maintenance moving forwards. And also because I want to make a meaningful & informed commitment when I accept.

Broadly speaking (though not always I hasten to add) I find it a good initial Indication or “tell” that the HO are mainly focusing on their own needs/perspective/convenience and not equally on their sitter’s’, when I see that pattern emerge of not wishing to provide timely vital details.

I found it is often (though not always) a sign of needing to control and lack of empathy for what a sitter might need. There are plenty of inexperienced or naive sitters (as I was) to ensure that those HOs are also catered for.

We are all different. There are a lot of naive sitters who will accept that sort of thing. I know I am still learning and growing on this journey. Each to their own.

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Host continues to be silent even after being contacted by THS by email and telephone at least three times in the past week. The host did not even log in to their THS account to read my messages from 18 August onwards yet. It’s so weird.

THS will probably unconfirm/cancel this sit in the next 24 hours unless the host replies today.

I feel sorry for any sitter who takes on this sit, and hope they have better luck than me in actually hearing from this host. I would rate this host 1/10 for communication. Even having their phone number and email address (as THS do), they do not reply :frowning:

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Hopefully THS will put a mark at least against this owner’s name @cat.tails but it really warrants more serious action.

Agree 100% with you @itchyfeet about it being a must to get the Welcome Guide as soon as the sit is confirmed.

@jolerrs Sitters wouldn’t need to ask lots of questions leading up to the sit if you shared the WG as soon as you confirmed a sit. It’s a huge red flag for us if a home owner doesn’t send the WG early as to us it looks like the owner is hiding information from us or holding off so they can add extra responsibilities not agreed to.

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@temba I wonder if THS reminded them about the code of conduct to reply within 72 hours? They should be suspended for their terrible behaviour.

That’s a very good question @Crookie!!

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@cat.tails, I am relieved for you. Would have been concerned had you gone ahead. Well done. Onwards and upwards 🫶🏼👏🏼.

And yes, there should be some reasonable action taken. For the good of all responsible HOs & HSs. This is not for anyone’s interests, to leave as is, as it signals that we can all just ignore the terms and nothing will happen

Tbh the most annoying thing about this whole episode is that it has been very time-consuming to deal with it - various emails to THS plus checking airbnb for accommodation during the dates (one week) in the event this cat sit is cancelled, checking THS for potential sits during those dates - none of which have materialised yet and may be unlikely as the dates of course are very specific. So far, from what I have seen, hosts are going away for 2 or 3 nights not 7 nights at that time of October.

In some ways it would be easier if this sit went ahead but I wonder when the host will get in touch with me…

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In your place, I would’ve cancelled the sit much sooner and avoided what I consider unnecessary drama. I’m curious why stick it out for so long for HOs who don’t seem to give a rat’s behind about their sitter.

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@Maggie8K
Sure, everyone reacts differently. I was willing to give this host the benefit of doubt or assume they were very busy etc etc - perhaps I was wrong to do that?

As it is, I did what was suggested at the top of this thread 9 days ago: I got in contact with THS member support and then followed what they recommended. It is only on Monday 25 Sept that it was suggested by the admin that THS unconfirm this sit. It was not up to me to cancel the sit before then because serious efforts were being made by THS to get this host to communicate.

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We see things differently then. I don’t think it’s a good dynamic for sitters to think they’re at the mercy of instructions — we have agency and THS is entirely voluntary. But I respect that your sitting experience is yours to own.

@Maggie8K
Sure, but we all need to follow THS terms and conditions, right?

Until 25 Sept, THS did not appear to think that I had the right to unconfirm this sit, ie the reasons were not strong enough until then. And at that point they were thinking to unconfirm the sit in 12 hours (late on Monday night UK time).

Tbh it was only mildly annoying that this host was not replying to my messages until 9 days ago when I wanted to buy my train ticket one month in advance of the sit commencement date. It was not my plan to cancel this sit 9 days ago.

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