Sitter dislike Smart Home Devices

Hi all,
I encountered an experience that would like to know how to improve for the next sitter, I have included on the welcome guide as to how the patio lights are on a schedule and there are numerous google devices in the house. I checked in with the sitter before her arrival (hand off) if she has any questions about the welcome guide, and she repeated said no questions nor comments. Yet she unplugged all google devices and proceed to reset the WiFi Router on her own and ended up unplugging the modem instead which created a domino effect for all other devices. Ended up shipping replacement bulbs (6) while I was overseas.

My question for the community is should we provide non-smart lighting in case sitters are not comfortable?

3 Likes

Personally, as a sitter, I don’t really want the responsibility of managing smart devices. If I want a light on, I want to hit the switch when I want, not on a timer! And if the internet is acting up, we will restart the router. More technology things, I don’t really want to deal with, unless you explain to us why it’s necessary to have it (flow on effects). Hubby is in IT and he would be fine to follow your instructions. The best kind is where the owner says: the garden watering system is on a timer, you don’t need to do anything :blush: great!

But please understand, many of us move from housesit to housesit. It is hard to learn the ins and outs of every home’s technology. Mostly, we just want to turn on the TV/lights/microwave/radio/shower etc without having to refer to a document! Especially for short sits.

Ps. Most of us might also be nervous that we’d break it, or that it has recording or video functions, which we hate! Imagine staying in a stranger’s home and not being sure if you are being watched/listened to or not. (It is against THS code of conduct to have such devices in the homes - switched on, of course)

15 Likes

We haven’t been in any truly “smart” home but always unplug any Alexa devices. They are basically spy devices IMHO, would feel very uncomfortable with them being switched on. We would approach other devices on a case-by-case basis, but most likely we would just not apply.

7 Likes

I didn’t realise that. In what way is Alexa a ‘spy device’?

3 Likes

@botvot Totally agree!
I already struggle if households have more than 1 remote for the TV! :rofl:

If you have a smart house, as a sitter I’d definitely like a manual of all the ins and outs!

7 Likes

They create profiles on “users” meaning anyone they have ever listened to and it doesn’t matter if you own such a device or are a customer. Amazon staff can also listen to your conversations, supposedly to improve voice recognition etc.

4 Likes

Thank you for your feedback. It helps me to understand various perspectives better.

2 Likes

I can see that and thank you for sharing your experience and perspectives. This was a long sit and I understand everyone might feel differently about smart devices. Just curious, would you unplug smart devices without notifying or communicating with the owners?

1 Like

Thank you for sharing your perspective, I am more than willing to unplug the smart devices. Just did not like the fact that they were unplugged without communication. I appreciate your sharing your perspective.

2 Likes

Hi @FaithHopeLove yes, we would probably unplug without notifying the owner, unless the owner told us of serious implications if unplugged or in case of a power outage, then of course not.

2 Likes

Gotcha. I am learning here. :slight_smile: Thanks for your feedback.

4 Likes

I’m a tech geek. I have smart tvs, smart lights, with the Google Nest Hub Max and minis. With that said, I unplug my Hub Max and Nest minis when a sitter takes over.

The lights are very easy to operate by switching with the regular switch on the lamp/lights.

My sitters have never had any issues. When the sit is finished, I plug everything back again. My router/Nest WiFi is to remain plugged, but everything else is detached. I don’t expect my sitter to use the smart devices.

With how people’s phones are tracking them already, I don’t think people should be paranoid this.

2 Likes

We did one sit where the smart devices would not take our voices. We really tried but in the end we just used the light switches which was said to be a problem for the system. We dont have smart devices at home and honestly just want to flip a switch…we should have worked with the devices while the pepple were still home to make sure they worked for us. If we cant het the internet to work we use the hitsppt on our phones, not ideal but wouldn’t want to mess up someones network

1 Like

I have a different opinion here: smart devices are here to make life easier. There is nothing to “manage”.

However it should be communicated beforehand from both side to determine whether the owner should deactivate them and setup a standard light. Personally I wouldn’t change all the bulbs etc for the sitter, but if I know before I can find alternatives.

But not saying anything and just messing everything everything up in my view is not very nice.

4 Likes

We use smart lights throughout the house but when the sitter arrives (the night before our departure), we offer them the choice: yes or no. We have no problem disabling them for a sitter. Some sitters are OK with them, so we give them the voice commands to turn them on, off. :slight_smile:

3 Likes

I feel like we learn something with each sit we do. We have now learned that if there are smart devices we really need to work with them while the people are home. They seem simple but if you are not used to them, or they dont recognize your voice it can be a problem.

3 Likes

Hmm, thanks for the heads up!!
I actually didn’t think that people would be living in Smart Homes. It’s really happening already?
So that’s something we should ask before saying yes to a sit.
Huh, imagine that :thinking:
What a world.

3 Likes

yes, I do it all the time because it conflicts with me talking to my OWN phone or listening to my preferred music.

I told google (which is also on my phone) OPEN PANDORA and the house device replied, and said someone is already using it, so I just unplugged it and let my phone do it’s thing.

MY home is “smart” and I have switches that control just about everything, and bulbs that go on and off on command as well as on timers. and I have a non-nest smart thermostat and voice-activated fans… all the things I use are programmed for my comfort and ease.

but you can always use a switch to turn on/off at any time.

• EXACTLY •