Terrible guarantee policy - read this before your 14 days are up

Trusted Housesitters has a 14-day guarantee. We signed up, paid the fee, and listed a property within the period.

We immediately got a potential sitter, but before we “accepted” the offer, he withdrew because he got a better offer off-platform. After that, we got a few more applications but none were serious.

One person withdrew when she realized that the service wasn’t going to pay her. Another just never responded to our messages on the platform. And so forth.

When I contacted Trusted Housesitters for a refund, it turns out I was TOO patient. They refused to refund my money because I hadn’t given up on them quickly enough. You have to decide if you’re “in” within the 14 days. After that, even if you get no serious applicants, Trusted Housesitters keeps your money and you have to deal with your petsitting needs another way.

I strongly recommend that people stay away from this service unless you have a primo house and location that will attract lots of sitters, and money to burn just in case the few that are around aren’t interested.

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Hi @wilson_energy

I think you may have misread or misunderstood the money back guarantee.

The guarantee is that if you get no applications within 14 days of publishing your listing then you are entitled to your money back.

As you did get applications, you are not entitled to your money back.

I would suggest you link your listing here and members of this forum will see if they can offer advice on how to improve your listing to make it more appealing to sitters.

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The application I got - within 14 days - was withdrawn before we could act on it. We were literally going online to accept the application (having received our landlord’s permission) when it was withdrawn. Are you saying that an application that is submitted - and then withdrawn say one hour later - means no money-back?

Or maybe you are talking about the application I got that was promptly withdrawn when the applicant realized that Trusted Housesitters wasn’t going to pay her. Talk about misreading!

Yep, you’ve got a nice set of rules that you can hide behind but we tried the process and didn’t get any interest. Don’t try to blame us. We wrote an honest and I think attractive listing. I sell things on Craigslist and Facebook all the time. I know how to write clearly and post informative (honest) photos. No one we communicated with had any issues with our listing. All the issues were on their end. You can check the history in my account and read the messages.

@wilson_energy

I don’t work for THS. I am a sitter that uses their site.

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Most people on the forum will be members of THS

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You received an application, unfortunately they withdrew it, reading the T&C means you are no longer eligible for a refund. Thats my interpretation.
Sorry its not the comment you would like to hear

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I would like to add: don’t give up this quickly on getting a sitter.

Just like new sitters have to put in some extra work to get their first sits in (because they don’t have reviews), the same may be true for HOs. Your listing doesn’t have reviews so it may take a bit longer to attract your first suitable sitters

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@wilson_energy

It does sound like a terrible money back guarantee policy.
I don’t think getting a application that that was canceled or getting a completely lousy application should void the money back guarantee.

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I don’t understand why you’re giving up so soon. From what I gather, you have created a profile and posted your dates about 2-3 weeks ago, have had some interest which hasn’t worked out, but these are still early days.
I find the money back policy very clearly explained, so I don’t know what the misunderstanding was.

Even though you’re very familiar selling things online, in my opinion, you could benefit from receiving some feedback about your profile from the very experienced sitters and house owners that are part of this forum. The forum is meant as a community trying to help each other, we are all either sitters or HO’s, we don’t work for “the company”.
If you think about it, you need to showcase an experience, not an object. You are trying to get quality, serious people interested in your location, your house, your pet, and the responsibilities. You are trying to establish a connection that benefits both parties. It’s way more complicated than selling grandma’s china.

Using the spy glass above you can gather a lot of information from previous posts and comments.

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No longer entitled, but THS can always choose to give a refund when they think it is reasonable.

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What’s your location, how many pets, how long is the sit and are there any special local attractions? All of this brings in applications… also some sitters apply for multiple sits so you need to move fast to secure good sitters.

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I joined because we needed a sitter in our home rather than using a cattery. We didn’t get a sitter apply for more than 14 days but you might not depending on where you live, amenities etc. Tbh, we’ve only had 2 sitters and another booked for next year but it would have saved us more than the cattery would have charged. You need to be patient. Having said that, I have a sitting advertised for September with only 1 applicant who isn’t responding so I’m guessing she’s changed her mind…? Look, I understand you’re disappointed but I think it’s a great way of leaving your pet (ours is traumatised so would be terrified in cattery) in its environment and your home gets looked after too.

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No, @Peonie19, we created a profile and posted in early April. We got some level of interest from (not checking back) about eight or so potential sitters, several of whom had experience with many prior sits. More than half didn’t pursue an application for personal reasons unrelated to our listing. Those that applied and then withdrew gave reasons unrelated to our listing or further communications.

All of this “blame the lister” commentary relies on incorrect facts or assumptions some of it is rather patronizing. I didn’t get any negative feedback on our request in any communication from any sitter. None. Zip. Nada.

And those who suggest we haven’t been patient didn’t read closely. We’ve been TOO patient, waiting over two months instead of two weeks to ask for our money back.

Appreciate comments from @pietkuip and @ExploreDreamDiscover. Both of you seemed to actually consider the point I was trying to make. And apologies to @Colin for thinking you were staff for THS. Your message came across much like a customer service rep but understand you are not staff and just expressing your opinion.

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I’ve noticed in this Forum that many HOs get great advice on their listings from very experienced sitters here and then following the advice they often go on to get great sitters. Could you avail yourself of this opportunity here? If you’re only getting what appear to be very casual lack lustre flakey applications there might be something in your listing that’s a ‘blind spot’ something small that with a small tweak could make all the difference.

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@wilson_energy you can report this sitter to member services .

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Keep the faith, you will get sitters I’m sure

I’m sorry if my comment came across as patronizing, that and “blaming the lister” were not my intention. My comment was based on what I gathered from your first post, there was no indication that you had received about 8 applicants or how much time had gone by from when you first posted.

I do stand by my suggestion of being open to sitters’ opinions of your post, though. It’s clear that an applicant who’d like to get the sit won’t tell a HO that their post could be improved, but a third party, with no vested interest, will.
Even something as simple as noticing in a photo that the dog sleeps in the owner’s bed (or noticing that such bed is actually a sofa bed in the living room), and mentioning that most people don’t love that, asking if an alternative can be offered. Or they could give more general advice, such as that replying to the candidates within 24-48 hours is a great idea since many sitters apply to many sits at any given time (these are only examples, of course).

We are here as a community, we try and help each other. :blush:

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Maybe this person simply misunderstood how THS works?

Agreed this could be so , in which case THS member services need to advise them and also be aware that members are signing up without understanding how it works . Better comms needed from THS. If no one reports it nothing will be done to prevent this from happening again.

Equally if this individual has been previously reported to THS for asking for payment further action can be taken.

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@wilson_energy I initially had the same reaction as you when I signed up as a HO and pet sitter a few months back. I quickly realized that receiving and accepting applicants are two different things so technically, the refund verbiage is accurate though I can totally see where it borders on misleading. However, I readily agree with the comments on here about getting feedback on your listing and holding out for applicants.

My listing received a lot of great feedback on this forum. I, too, list office and rentals regularly on public forums and yet there were perspectives I never considered - words that would attract or deter good sitters. After incorporating said feedback, I secured a wonderful sitter recently and have confidence I’ll find another! Even securing one sit is totally worth the membership in my opinion. Best of luck to you!

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