Sitter cancellations seem to be more frequent

Is it just me or has anyone else experienced a greater number of cancellations on the part of the sitters? I have very rarely cancelled on a sitter. But it seems like every sit I have posted for the last few months, the first person I book has to cancel for one reason or another, usually last minute, and I’m scrambling to find a replacement. It is making me think this website is not the great resource it used to be. (I’ve been using it for 4 years.) I would love to hear from other HOs regarding your recent experiences.


Sorry to hear of your experience @colleeninNYC have you told member services about each of the cancellations ?

THS do not know about Sitter cancellations unless PP informs them .

Sitter cancellations has also been discussed in this recent thread where others have noticed a similar trend.


As a sitter, I’m finding that HOs are slow to reply… so are you saying confirmed sits are canceling, or that a sitter is applying and then withdrawing?

Speaking just for myself, I’ve applied for sits, and the HO doesn’t reply! If they don’t reply within 24 hours, I send them a little note to “poke” them. If that poke doesn’t get a response within 24 more hours, I withdraw the application.

48 hours is plenty of time for someone to SIMPLY acknowledge that they received the application message and express interest or disinterest.


Confirmed sits are canceling. Like - confirmed, welcome guide sent, a few days to a week before the start date canceling. It’s incredibly frustrating.


@colleeninNYC please make sure you advise Member Services of this happening as they keep track of sitters who cancel without a valid reason.

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UGH, yeah, that’s a drag. Sorry that you’re having those issues. I wish I could give advice or help. :frowning: just report those people to and get things straightened out.


Thanks. Appreciate the tip.


I think @Catin88 had the same issue.


Thank you. I was not aware that I had any recourse. The first few times it happened, I really didn’t think anything of it, but the cancellations have become commonplace. It makes me wonder how sitters are vetted and why they have become so unreliable.


@colleeninNYC I’m sorry you are experiencing frequent cancellations. This is not generally the norm. Or at least it didn’t use to be!
May I ask- do you have video calls with your sitters? Do you study their profile page? Do you analyse their review and feedback history? Do the sitters show genuine interest in your home & pets- both in their application message & during the call? Its so important to do all the practical research and asked all relevent Qs! And then go with your gut!
My hubby & I have been sitters for 4/5 years with over 70 reviews now and we’ve never let a host down. I think most longer term more experienced sitters will have a similar record of reliability.
There seems to be a new trend of flaky sitters so you need to choose very carefully.
Good luck!


Yes, yes, yes, yes and yes to all your questions. I’ve been on this site for 4 years and I’ve never experienced the number of cancellations I’ve seen in the last 6 months.


@colleeninNYC . I am sorry to hear this has been such a frequent occurrence for you. I think in the grand scheme of things, cancellations are relatively rare. Like others have said, reporting the cancellation is the best course of action so the site can uncover ‘frequent offenders’ and remove them from the site.

As far as ‘vetting’ I think it really important for THS to emphasize the ultimate function of their site, which is to introduce people looking for a service with those willing to provide it, and the limited ways in which it can ‘participate’ in this process. Based on some things I have read in the forum, I don’t always think people realize this–not really your comment though.

And I think one of the reasons for this is because they offer so much more than a ‘regular’ housesitting site-it’s great all the stuff they do, but again, I think it can give some people the impression it is something it isn’t, that it can do things it really can’t do. It is not like an agency that personally interviews the housesitters that work for it and directly places them with an assignment .

Things like having a membership services team to contact are well meaning and may be able to offer lots of help for certain issues, but there isn’t much they can do about the biggest problems, like cancellations, a HO not getting applicants, a sitter leaving early, a house that wasn’t as advertised,etc…

Anyone who can verify their ID --or if a US based sitter-- pass a basic background check, can sign up to be a member. I think this verification is great to ensure the site knows the identity of anyone using it and definitely gives a HO peace of mind, but this alone wouldn’t do anything to enhance the quality of the sitters who join. It is billed as some sort of ‘community’ but it really isn’t.

I think as more people live nomadically, or discover something like housesitting as an alternative to a ‘regular’ vacation, or a way to deal with tight finances, more and more will join, and many of these people aren’t a great fit for this. They don’t realize how problematic it is to cancel, probably assuming the person can easily find someone else on the site.

There is risk involved on both ends and I do think the overwhelming majority of sits go as planned and are a good experience for both parties. Besides tracking the ‘frequent offenders’ I don’t know if the site can do very much about preventing cancellations. I hope your experience gets better!


I think if every home owner who has a sitter cancel last minute for no good reason should report the sitter. I agree there does seem to be a lot of last minute cancellations by sitters which didn’t used to be the case, although of course we didn’t used to have the forum so may not have been aware.
Sitters who have cancelled with no good reason, putting the owner in a difficult position and last minute scrambling for another sitter, should be banned.


Yes @Smiley I agree and I also think that when homeowners cancel a confirmed sit for reasons that contravene the THS Code of Conduct it should also be reported and monitored. We hear on the forum of sitters who have committed and made expensive travel arrangements to reach the sit to have their plans left in ruins.
Occasionally cancellations on either side are unavoidable but recently we are definitely hearing of many more.


Yes, I meant to say same for home owners but I’m not sure that happens so frequently and for no good reason.


The fact is that only THS has the data, and the data they have is only as good as the information passed on to them by both home hosts and sitters that have been cancelled on.

I think ( and it can only ever be a guess) that cancellations are, relatively, very rare. To be cancelled on once is really unlucky. To be cancelled on numerous times? Something seems to be amiss although I have no idea what!

Definitely let customer services know about all occasions and they may be able to spot a link that can explain why it is happening to you so often


THS is not set up to get good data about cancellations. Their system does not make it possible for sitters to cancel, so they are almost blind to that.

THS only sees cancellations by owners, but many of these are probably just done for adjusting the dates a bit. That is also strange, that the system does not have a different way to do this.

An individual HO cannot see a pattern. The sitter may cancel by giving a legitimate reason (true or bogus) but an HO cannot know how often they invoke covid or things like that. So in such cases is it is probably rare that THS gets a message with a complaint.


Yes, I have noticed that the sitter cancelations have been out of control this year in my experience. I had a sitter cancel 24 hrs after confirming the sit - yes 24 hrs. She said she needed to be honest and that she couldn’t commit to walking my dog 3 times a day…Even though she originally said she mostly would be working from home and had no problems with the schedule.

Yes, the schedule is in my profile.

I’m glad that she was honest instead of leaving my pet inside all that time. I suspect that she really wanted to be out and about for hrs. But yes 24 hrs is a record lol.

I have had 6 sitters cancel on me after a confirmed sit this year alone. I traveled almost every month. That’s pretty frequent. Before last year, I would say it was rare and with a good excuse. Now, I feel like they do it without any thought.

I always do a video chat before confirming to see if we are a good fit. All of these sitters had positive reviews too, but in the 2-4 review mark.

It would be nice if users could see when an owner or sitter has canceled on the profile. That way we can avoid them like the plague lol.

Yes, I did report each sitter…but again that does nothing for the user as we can’t see this data.


Judging by the recent explosion of cancellation-related posts on this forum, I’d say, yes, indeed.

Firstly, members’ dissatisfaction with management’s new policies has resulted in a drop in loyalty, morale, engagement, solidarity, and community feeling. People are no longer invested in the cause the way they used to, they don´t seem to care anymore.

Secondly, thousands of new members have been attracted to the site by the promise of free vacation accommodation. These members have an entirely different mindset and are most probably not even aware of the original concept.


Hi @RadarInc I agree with your comments.
Speaking as a sitter who has been with THS since its concept I still care but definitely not engaging as I used to. For the first few years on average I completed 12 sits a year but over the last couple of years it has dwindled to around two or three at the most. I think this would also tie in with the topic of ‘where have all the experienced sitters gone’. Some of us are disillusioned and no longer feel valued or listened to.