Silent treatment by host of confirmed sit

We’ve all seen references on the forum to sitters canceling with much flimsier reasons than yours. In your case, my POV is that you were well within your rights to cancel earlier and THS wouldn’t have dinged you. Other sitters have posted along those lines on your thread. To me, your interpretation shortchanges you, but again, your choice.

1 Like

@Maggie8K
Thanks for your input.

I haven’t seen those references on the forum that you mention.

My only experience on this matter is the past 9 days of email discussion with THS support staff and the question of canceling this sit did not arise until 2 days ago. I have never had this problem before in 41 cat sits completed on THS and one other hosting platform.

1 Like

Yes, the behavior is abnormal in this case. Unfortunately, people who behave that way can’t be treated in normal nice ways, because they’re not normal or nice. And you deserve better.

@cat.tails and @Maggie8K thank goodness! Thought we might need to bring in a referee there for a minute! Glad you could kiss and make up :kiss::joy:

Oh, I didn’t realize we were fighting. I was genuinely trying to understand why give such undeserving HOs so much leniency. My POV is that THS can offer only so much support and that sitters shouldn’t be taken advantage of, but most of that is on sitters.

Adding: FWIW, I don’t see an us-versus-them dynamic between sitters and HOs. HOs can be taken advantage of as well, as we’ve seen in horror stories in the forum. To me, there basically are some folks who ruin things for others and they don’t care about much beyond their needs and preferences. My POV is that such people don’t belong on a platform like THS, but I also understand that THS doesn’t want to do endless policing and it’s trying to balance sitters and HOs and protect and grow revenue.

2 Likes

I can’t answer that question - that is more up to the THS staff than me.

For my part, I have not been lenient - there was a problem, I reported it to THS 9 days ago and now we are trying to solve the problem :slight_smile:

Tbh I feel sorry for the host - I imagine that they have some terrible problems in their life to behave like this.

In case useful to other folks, I encountered dead air with an early sit — one that had been offered to me unsolicited.

This is the nudge I sent them:

Hi, XX and XX. Haven’t heard back from you, so I’m wondering whether I should consider that you’ve changed your minds about your XX plans. No worries, if so. In that case, I’ll pursue other stays during that time. I just didn’t want to assume and leave you hanging.

Best,
Maggie

They got back to me right away. And if they hadn’t, I would’ve considered my part done and moved on, because I don’t feel obligated to keep chasing HOs. I also don’t see why any sitters should have to pay unnecessarily high travel costs because a HO doesn’t respond in a timely manner, for instance.

1 Like

I think I may have felt reluctance to cancel, as cancelling a committed sit is a big deal. And what this HO has done is a big deal too.

It makes me realise how important it is that I always get a phone No from HO and a video call before accepting any invitation. I want us both to see the human at the other end who will be trusting the other. “See the whites of each others eyes…”.

Thank you for sharing your experience @cat.tails as it helps others to know this can happen. I hope you felt supported and heard by the community, during this potentially stressful process of chasing and not hearing back.

I can’t imagine any of the lovely HOs I’ve met online first, ever doing anything like that thankfully.

But a lady who refused a video call & repeatedly insisted I drive 2hrs each way to ‘interview me’, and further, stating that no telephone number would be given to me at any stage of the sit…? Well… alarm bells…! I politely withdrew my application…

I believe your HO did the equivalent of a sitter being a no show with no prior word. There would have been outrage on the forum and the sitter probably barred from THS, to prevent other sitters thinking it would be ok to do the same.

Especially if THS had kindly chased the sitter for contact and established they were alive and well and just not bothering.

I really hope @cat.tails you manage to mitigate and find alternative arrangements as no one deserves to be given this much hassle and cost for sticking to the agreement between HO & HS.

It’s great to note though that you’ve done so many previous great sits and I trust your future ones will be the same…

Sending hugs :hugs:

2 Likes

Thanks for your message @Purdie and yes it was usefull to set up this thread and discuss with forum members as well as THS support staff.

I agree with you ^ Of the 42 sits I have done so far, almost all were done with a video chat before I accepted the sit, a few were done without (can’t remember exactly how many were done without a chat) and they all went well. So in almost all cases, I had the contact details of the host (phone, whatsapp) before accepting the sit.

Tbh I can see that having the phone number and email address of this particular host would not be much help to me. THS staff have those contact details and they also can’t get a proper reply from them :kissing_heart:

@ziggy
Maggie8k and I were not fighting, just discussing :wink:

2 Likes

Sure it would! You would call them on the phone yourself. Directly, without THS as an intermediary.

and when I call them they would say they are busy/in a meeting/whatever, can’t talk now and will send the info / answer to my question, then they wouldn’t send the info / answer to my question. Which is what they are doing to THS support staff now.

If a person doesn’t want to answer a phone call or email, it is easy to not answer. It is getting them to answer that can be the hard bit! And to follow up on what they promise they say they will do.

Tbh I don’t understand why THS cannot give me the phone number or email address of the host as this is a confirmed sit. Then I would contact them myself. But I guess it is against privacy laws or something?

EDIT: what I was trying to say is that simply having the host’s phone number does not solve the problem. Eventually, THS staff had to be involved in this case.

You just tell them: “This does not need to take time. If you do not want to speak to me, I am not coming, and we are done.”

Record it, to send to THS if they need evidence.

THS already have their own evidence, and we are dealing with it

In employment law, there’s this concept known as “constructive dismissal.” It refers to situations when employers create conditions that essentially force people to quit — leaving is not actually their choice, but the employer has made staying impossible.

THS sits aren’t employment and no one should take sits lightly. But when a HO ignores requests for info so you can even coordinate timing and travel, that’s a very similar situation — the HO has created impossible conditions. No one who cancels a sit in such cases is doing it unilaterally or irresponsibly.

My POV: It’s actually of questionable responsibility to yourself to put yourself in situations where you might be left stranded without support and yet responsible for someone’s pets and home, where various serious things can go wrong. That’s why canceling is better.

If I had a phone number and they didn’t answer/reply/follow through etc after my direct and personal contact through phoning & WA, in reasonable time, then I could have my alarm bells ringing sooner, I could log all of these attempted comms and feel in a better/stronger position to then cancel the sit sooner if necessary.

I don’t find the THS app as reliable, immediate and direct for comms as WA or calling. Therefore would give them the benefit of the doubt for longer. Putting me at potential disadvantage if they are just messing me about.

Hence my own rule: no phone, no video call, no sit… removes the issue from the get go. And it’s not a contentious or controversial approach. No reasonable in good faith HO is likely to object.

@cat.tails I know you weren’t fighting, I was only joking :blush:

Thank you @cat.tails for generously giving us a real life case study to watch and discuss. Thank you also @Maggie8K and others for a robust but respectful discussion on opposing points of view…to cancel or not. I’ve been following this with interest,

@cat.tails can you please let us all know how this wraps up so we all have “closure”. Hope you find another sit or are able to claim your accommodation costs on the THS insurance.

3 Likes

This does not surprise me. THS side almost exclusively with the Owner as they are what drive their business model (and essentially all house-sitting sites). When there have been serious issues with a sit they have failed to provide any assistance other than expecting me to continue in an unsafe environment. I left that sit as great personal expense and as it was essentially cancelled no review could be left and the Owner was allowed to continue to post sits in the same environment.

@Keldin I’m sorry to hear you had a bad experience.

In my case, I am not faulting THS support staff - I can see their point and I agree with how this problem this is being processed so far. I am currently looking for a replacement sit (or sits) for the dates of this confirmed week-long assignment.

3 Likes

After being contacted by THS support staff multiple times, the host still has not contacted me let alone log in to their THS account since 18th August. They are not what I would describe as a responsible host for Trusted Housesitters going forward. I feel sorry for the sitter who takes on this sit (if it goes ahead) and hope it does not cause them too many headaches.

I have been cancelled from the 8 day/7 night cat sit and so far I found a partial replacement sit for 4 days/3 nights.

In future I will be more diligent to get a phone number and postcode of a host before I confirm a sit but tbh I think that all THS hosts should be prepared to communicate via the THS platform messaging system as well as whatspp, facetime (or whatever other platform) for additional chat options and sending of photos/images during the sit.

2 Likes