Sitters who repeatedly cancel sits?

@emilygcohen this needs to be immediately reported to Member Services so they can act accordingly with the sitter. This is not excusable UNLESS it was a true emergency.


Hi - I am a relatively new owner, only two sits. my sits so far are on the short side – two weeks or less. what has happened a few times for other sits is I accept an application, we do a video chat, make arrangements, confirm and the sitter cancels, sometimes at the last minute, which makes it hard to rebook and sometimes I am not able to.

I added to my profile a request that sitters let me know if their application is tentative or definite. I recognize that when sitters apply they do not know if their application will be accepted, so they may submit several to different owners, or a work situation may come up that they may want to take advantage of. It would be great to know if a sitter would really like a sit, or mine is one of several they are tentatively considering. I am happy to to work with people and just prefer to know their desires or situation upfront.

I would love to get feedback from both owners and sitters about this or any recommendations. is it acceptable to ask for this kind of info on this platform? or is this just the way it is given the type of exchange?

That’s so funny you say that because as a newer sitter, I booked 14 sits this year and so far 2 have cancelled on me and 1 has changed the dates requiring me to book 2 extra nights at a hotel. I was also wanting to figure out a way to ask whether their need for a sitter was pretty serious or could change on their end. I think THS needs to do a better job when confirming the sit of reminding both sides that it’s important to keep the sit once confirmed. Like a popup message and why it’s important

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thank you for sharing the same experience from the other side! perhaps your suggestion for THS can help with this?

@IHeartAnimals Great suggestion, I am sure when I have confirmed as a sitter lately there is a pop-up advising me that I must be able to attend the sit or something of that nature. I will double-check this with the product team and feedback to you, and if anyone else has seen it let me know I am not dreaming!


Its really not OK for a sitter to cancel after you have both confirmed on the site. This is a commitment that should be honoured on both sides and only cancelled in extreme situations. We have never cancelled a sit.
But just to check- as you are a newbie- have you actually both properly pressed the relevent buttons to confirm the sit? Or was it a verbal agreement after chatting from which they withdrew? I keep hearing now about sitters cancelling last minute- sometimes hosts too. I don’t think this used to happen so often. But as THS grows I guess its attracting a more diverse membership.

Neither owners nor sitters should be cancelling at the last minute, without a very good reason. I think the majority of us wouldn’t do this, specially the more long term members, but unfortunately it does seem to happen quite a lot recently, maybe the newer members don’t realise that once you have confirmed a sit, you are committed.


I agree! Once you make confirmed plans, a cancellation throws a huge wrench into your plans - even if it’s one day more or less!

What if there was an ESCROW deposit or something like that? Personally, I’d be delighted to pay a refundable fee to guarantee that each party takes the commitment to a confirmed sit seriously.

Each party puts up $X for a sit once confirmed. If the sitter cancels, HO gets the sitter’s money; and vice-versa. If they both honor the commitment, then the money can be held until next time, or refunded.

Cancellation of CONFIRMED sits should be something that detracts from either participant’s rating – and I think that there should be some kind of rating; I have no idea why that’s not being tracked/shared.


Hi @folayemi - if I am understanding you correctly - you are saying that you both have the video call, then you send an invitation to sit but the sitter does not accept your invitation.
If I am correct then this is not the sitter cancelling as the sit is not confirmed until the sitter accepts your invitation to sit.

The purpose of the video call is that questions can be asked from both sitters and home hosts, at this point both decide whether or not the sit is a good fit for them.

For the home host, it is best not to decline your other applications until you have completed a video call AND your request is accepted.

If I am mistaken and your sitters are cancelling after having accepted your request to sit then this is unacceptable and you should always report these to THS

That’s a great idea. I think everyone would take the confirmations more seriously if they had some to lose


i am saying colin & lokstar, i have accepted the application, we have made arrangements, they have committed and then after confirming, the sitter cancels.

I always get the pop-up when accepting a sit reminding me that it is a definite commitment and comes with great responsibility. I always take a deep breath (and think of Yoda) before I click yes.


@folayemi unfortunately if you read the thread above , although the minority ; there does seem to be some sitters and HOs who do cancel sits without good reason and at the last minute.

The current process for dealing with this ; is to notify member services who monitor it .

There have been suggestions made in previous posts in this thread about how this information could be made available in some form so that future HO/ sitters could make an informed choice about whether to invite them / apply for for a future sit with the knowledge of the number of times they have previously cancelled or cancelled at last minute.


Folayemi - So just to be clear are you saying the sitter lets you know they can’t complete the sit after you have both confirmed and then you need to cancel the sit on the site?
As far as I know there is no way for a sitter to formally cancel the sit on the site the home owner has to do that.
If they are doing that it is very unfortunate and not the way most sitters work unless there is an emergency.

I have been with TH less than a year. I started sits near my home, but actively look for sits across the country, near my son. It is an area which has few sits. I applied to a sit out there which was perfect. Amazingly, another came along which would have allowed me to do both back to back. Unfortunately, the first did not accept me. So I scrapped that plan. I took two in a much less desirable location. The DAY BEFORE I was to leave, my perfect sit said her sitter canceled and could I still come? The other sit I couldn’t take (and didn’t apply for) also reached out as his sitter had canceled. He knew from bio I was interested in his area. A THIRD cancelation at home reached out, even though she knew I was going to be away. Of course I DID NOT cancel my arranged sits. I stuck to the sits I confirmed the woman who originally went with someone else ended up rescheduling her vacation and I then could confirm her dates. The sit for whom I never applied and I agreed to keep in touch for next time. My point is this past month I have known of THREE cancelations, which affected owners tremendously (NONE) were emergencies, and affected me to a lesser extent. I would NEVER cancel a sit for a better location, or ANY reason except an emergency and always fill in for regulars when I can (which happened twice in April for one of my regulars who had them scheduled before she met me.) In my opinion, sitters who never cancel, or step in at the last minute should absolutely be acknowledged. Perhaps in the review section? And sitters who cancel should be noted, if there is a pattern. It doesn’t have to be public. But perhaps a reliability indicator? No sitter should be considered unreliable if an emergency arises. But sitters who never cancel, or step in, should absolutely be recognized publicly, with maybe a badge or some other indication. Thanks!


It just goes back to the same thing that is raised constantly on the forum. If you cancel confirmed sits on either side, then it’s logged against your profile as part of your track record. Perhaps 3 or more and it’s a red flag. Some kind of record is essential @Angela_L @Carla this is happening so much now! We’ve had super complex, expensive international sits made 7 months in advance with flights agreed, then cancelled for flaky reasons & only because we checked in with them a month before departure did we find out……. :triumph::triumph: And their consequences were nil, just a “please don’t do that again”……current system is totally ineffective.


I think that newer members are being sold the idea that TH is a great way to get free holidays, and are treating it as such. Unless there are some sort of consequences for repeated cancellations for no good reason, this will continue, or even get worse.

@Cuttlefish @Nixnews
I entirely agree with you both.
Reliable sitters should absolutely be acknowledged in some way. If I was a host I would feel so much more reassured to confirm a sitter with a perfect track record of reliability like we have. Emergancies can still happen to anyone but that’s completely different.
@Nixnews Those two hosts who reached out to you after last minute cancellations could become regulars for you in future- especially as they see your reliability in honouring the other commitments made- even if they had been your original first choice. Also that your son lives in the area should help. We had a lovely sit once near our son & grandkids and the host said she who chose us especially to support the family connection!
Sometimes things unfold in unexpected ways!


@Cuttlefish I agree the current system with regard to cancellations isn’t working. We are told that cancellations are rare but it doesn’t appear to be the case. Of course as the membership base increases the cancellations will also increase.
The point I would like to make is that THS only hear about a fraction of the cancellations. Most cancellations are just dealt with between homeowners and sitters and never reported to THS.


@Cuttlefish apologies for the delay in responding to your tag …

I am so sorry this happened to you have passed your’ comment/feedback on to the Product Team who constantly and closely monitor all aspects of sit arrangements and member experience, including cancellations.

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