Sit date changes

I’m getting really tired of date changes. HOs please don’t change the dates after the sit is confirmed. I just reached out to an HO about an upcoming sit to confirm arrival and departure times. She responded that her flight is in the evening to arrive by 4 in the afternoon, but the date is now the day before the agreed start date (and listed date). When we talked, she said she had her flight already and was flying out on the date the sit was scheduled to start. Since then she either changed her flight or didn’t have it yet and didn’t at any point feel the need to let me know she would like the sit to start a day earlier. I tend to book at least a few months out and I periodically check-in as it gets closer. At this point we are about 5 weeks out and if I hadn’t checked-in with her, I would not even have known that she’s leaving a day earlier.

So, I’m irritated and deciding how to respond. I do have a non-sitting trip planned the week before her sit. I could feasibly cut a day off of it, but I don’t want to. And I’m assuming she isn’t going to want to change her flight. This is one with a pet with a health condition and we both agreed an in-person handoff would be best. I suppose I will just tell her I’m not available to arrive a day earlier than agreed and let her decide how she wants to proceed from there. I find it very disrespectful that she didn’t bother informing me of the change and she never asked me if it was ok.

HOs please don’t just assume sitters can be available any day or time if you change your plans. I’ve had date changes on about half of my sits. I always try and be accommodating when possible and have agreed to date changes on many sits, provided I was available. However, I do expect to be asked, not told.

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Yes I think this is right. I’m pretty assertive and think I’d say, ‘Thank you for letting me know your new plans, and I do hope you manage to cover the time between then and our previously agreed handover time/date, as I’m pretty busy up to arriving at your place, best wishes.’

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For this sit we had agreed to an in-person handoff since one of the pets has a health condition/medication and I believe there are some quirks with the home that she wanted to show me in person. So, having a blind handover, or a neighbor give me the keys is also a change to what was agreed.

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I suppose they could arrange another video chat and do the handover that way….the point being it needs to be at your convenience now.
I’m all about holding agreed boundaries.

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You are absolutely right about feeling stressed out. If you can’t make it the day before, I would ask for videos of everything that is related to the pet’s meds and routine/home tour and do it that way. That’s what we did with a sit where the HO couldn’t be there in person and everything went smoothly. I also now ask if the dates include the night before for a handoff. It makes HO’s think twice about their dates so that there are no gaps in care. I also arrange my house sits like that when possible.

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@Ckone2541 I guess I’ll see what solution she proposes. I’ve done blind handoffs on other sits and it’s normally not an issue. However, she was very clear in our chat that she wanted an in-person handoff because there were things she needed to show me in person. The sit dates were clear, she hasn’t added night before arrival, she decided to leave a full day earlier. Since I’m not available to arrive a day earlier, she will just have to honor the agreed upon dates if she wants the in-person handoff.

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It might have been an honest mistake on her part, all along. I have had that happen.

Sit listing stated end date of June 1. Sit confirmed.

Message a few weeks later from the Owner mentioned June 3. I asked if that was a typo? June 3? or June 1?

“Aaaaaaah,” he said. “My bad. Sorry.”

It is very frustrating to have date changes. We have had many of them too.

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Sorry about having to deal with this, it must be frustrating. I have never encountered a situation like this before so can’t say for sure what I would do.

In this particular case, where as you said, altering your plans would be possible–even though you rightfully don’t want to–I may opt for that.

And the only reason I say that is because if not having the in-person handover–which seems to be important-- could increase the chance of problems and stresses, I would rather make myself available for it than say I couldn’t make it strictly ‘out of principle’ and make a harder time for myself.

But that is just me. Ultimately this is her problem and you are within your rights to say it is not possible to come.

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It can get very frustrating especially when the HO lists it many Months in advance and you agree, you touch base and clarify Dates/Times of departure and return and they are different.
When we were full time, It was hard work and quite often arrive at sit with a Key left somewhere, I always try to stay for handover at the end even if I don’t meet the HO prior. After Lockdown HO’s, maybe sitters too, idk why it changed, it did though, I often get HO who change the dates and times and don’t update the listing that makes me check in with them again, the listing shows a 7 day sit and it will be 10days or they decide to leave a day earlier or come home a day earlier etc or are leaving in the late evening and want you to arrive that evening or early in the morning because the Dog needs medication. I think they just honestly don’t think about it, they are too busy with everyday life and then getting ready for their trip they don’t think about the sitter/s because in their mind “it’s taken care of” it’s a hard one that each of us have to decide on.
Happy sitting

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@PVGemini In this case I don’t think it’s an oversight. She already changed the end date and when I agreed to that I sent a message verifying the final sit start and end dates. Now she’s decided to change the start date without consulting me at all.

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@KC1102 I could feasibly change my plans, but that doesn’t mean it’s no problem to do so. I have hotel reservations and train tickets for a trip I spent a lot of time planning and am looking forward to. My plans are not less important than the HO’s plans. She has chosen to change the dates to dates that I am not available. My plans the week before could have just as easily been another sit and there wouldn’t be an option to change it. This is really the HOs issue to solve. I’m happy to honor the agreed start date or she can certainly relist with the actual dates (both the start and end dates are different than the listing). I just wish HOs wouldn’t change dates all the time. Of the 38 sits I’ve done about 20 have had date changes of anywhere from 1-7 days.

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You aren’t compelled to agree the earlier sit start date. Advise the pet parent to revise her sit dates via THS and then you can either negotiate arrival times etc or decline to apply for the new dates. There are always other sits, with more considerate pet parents.

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Crikey that’s a very high rate of date change! Is this normal or just a ‘thing’ in the locations where you apply to sit? I find that very odd indeed…. the HOs would certainly risk me as a sitter cancelling as I have a tightly knitted together diary… with non sitting commitments either side of planned sits.

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@BonnyinBrighton
We are on our 15th sit with 6 more confirmed .
We have had date changes ( different to listed dates ) on 7 of them so far !!!
Mostly that they would start a day later than listed or arriving back a day earlier.

The worst one was when HO came back 3 days early than agreed date and we didn’t find out about their change of plans until mid sit .

We always confirm by mentioning the day of the week as well as the date …what time would you like us to arrive on Monday 2nd and leave on Sunday 6th ? We do this in our video chat and follow up messages . That’s when we have got back the reply oh we aren’t leaving until the Tuesday or we will be coming back on Saturday!

For our next sit it’s due to end on a Sunday but when we checked about their arrival time they told us it will be early hours of the morning so “we might as well leave the day before” … that’s fine because we asked and found out in advance so have planned accordingly… however if we hadn’t asked I don’t know when we would have found out this information.

For another sit we withdrew our application because the 10 day sit included a 3 day overlap with HOs at the start - we only found this out late into the discussions -

So yes it happens more often than you’d expect that the actual sit doesn’t match the sit listing dates - but it is easily managed with good communication at the outset .

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Hmm I’ll now be sending the same message to ALL x8 sits I’ve got confirmed asking Time/Day/Date and letting them know that I can’t accommodate changes. At least they can cancel me in advance if that’s going to be a problem for them…

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@systaran
This is exactly what you need to say to HO - that you are happy to go ahead with the agreed start date and as you both agreed an in-person handoff would be best as the pet with a health condition .
That whilst you have been flexible and agreed to accommodate her changes to the end date - you are not available to arrive any early than agreed date ( you don’t have to give reasons ) and that you are not comfortable to go ahead with the sit if she isn’t going to be there for an in person hand over at the start .
Give her the option that she should re-list and look for another sitter if she isn’t able to be there for the start date that you agreed.

She should also correct the dates on THS to accurately reflect the sits dates so that you are both covered by THS for this sit .

Oh my!

I am on my 16th sit and I have not encountered this problem at all. One date change compared to listed, but that was already clear from the listing, months in advance.

But yes, always use redundancy. Next sit starts on Wednesday May 29th.

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That is a good plan. We are fairly flexible since we have family nearby where we can stay for a few days. It is our “secret weapon.” I am not really sure if Owners understand our weapon, but we deploy it when necesssary! :rofl:

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We’re doing mostly local sits but we play in a Saxophone band plus I volunteer at a museum and we have social engagements so have many fixed commitments I wouldn’t want to break. Do HOs imagine that sitters are simply waiting around doing nothing in between sits….

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Just an update. The HO decided to stay with the previously agreed start date once she realized that I was not going to change my plans. I don’t think it ever occurred to her that I would have plans for the days prior to her sit. :thinking:

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