Unable to communicate in the app

We had a frustrating application experience recently that I thought others sitters and hosts might find educational. In short, we as sitters and a host we applied to were unable to communicate in the app. Here’s the story.

We applied for a sit and heard back from the host saying we sounded great for them and asking when would be a good time to talk. Unfortunately, when we typed a reply and hit send, our reply would just disappear.

We tried all the things anyone else would. Phone off and back on, different phone, laptop. Nothing worked. Meanwhile we also noticed we could no longer see details of the sit.

A chat with the help desk yielded that someone had reported the listing, so THS had sent the host an email about it and suspended the listing until it was taken care of. They told us the host would be unable to see our messages or anyone else’s until it was fixed. We asked if they would relay a message to the host, but they said they were unable/not permitted to do so.

Meanwhile, apparently all the host got was this email. When they sent a message to us, everything looked fine on their end. Little did they know we couldn’t respond.

We kept checking back to see if the listing was back up. We got two more messages from the host who was wondering if we were still interested, and we still couldn’t respond. We tried the help desk again with no better result. We were stuck.

The hosts are now sorted and back online and we’ve communicated, but meanwhile we accepted a sit right before theirs that doesn’t leave us room to be sure we could make it to theirs on time. So we missed out on what looked like a nice sit, and they missed out on their preferred sitters. Fortunately they have plenty of time before their upcoming dates. Hopefully we’ll link up again in the future.

Anyway, if you should ever see odd things like this from either sitter or host perspective, this may be what’s going on.

For hosts, if sitters aren’t answering you, you may just be unable to receive messages - check your email and/or contact THS.

For sitters, not sure I have any advice. Just a frustrating place to be for everyone.

For THS, in addition to the email to the host, it would be nice if both parties got an auto reply from the system telling them what’s going on.

The THS messaging system is a mess. They know that, they are working on a replacement. A beta test was supposed to start a few weeks ago.

This is yet another reason to give contact details in other channels. I usually give my phone number (for Whatsapp etc). An email address would also work.

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We always go “off-app” once we establish that we want to talk to each other beyond the initial application and reply. Sadly we never got to that point. Timing is everything…

@Michael1 do you know what the issue was with the listing that caused member services to suspend the account ?

Really frustrating experience. It could have been avoided if THS had notified them and you that they were under investigation and wouldn’t be able to receive any messages.

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Very frustrating indeed.

I always include our phone number in our initial application and invite home hosts to contine our conversations either through the THS system or directly if they prefer.

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Help desk indicated it was because they didn’t have five photos showing the indoors. But, they still don’t, so not sure about that.

To be fair, if Member Services were investigating an issue with this pet parent or listing, they were right to suspend communications until it was sorted, to safeguard sitters. I agree with @Peonie19 , that communicating the situation to both parties would have been a good move by THS

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