Unexpected responsibilities

My take away from this is requesting that welcome guide. I’d requested it and let it go. Lesson learned.

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She goes out front near a busy street and I do need to stand with her until she goes and then carry her back up.

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Yeah, I could tell from your post. Too many similarities. You’re better at turning the other cheek than I would be. THS knew about the issues, so both the HO and THS were negligent regarding transparency. I can send you the unwelcome guide if you want a copy!

And not sure if the HO brought up her demand for a call after the sit to “close the loop” and discuss any issues. This was said to me numerous times and was a red flag. For me the HO was saying, she wanted to know if I was going to leave any negative feedback. Because all their sitter/guest feedback is from 2024, I think they had another account with a lot of bad feedback, so opened a new one.

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I was completely direct with them by text that I had no expectation of cleaning pee every day and was disappointed this was not disclosed (soft word, I know) I was absolutely straight forward about how disrespectful, stressful and thoughtless it was to tell, not ask, me a handyman was coming to do completely unimportant and unnecessary work. Sent them the policy as well. Their tune changed entirely since I’ve done that. They are no longer bothering to be polite. Honestly, I cant imagine leaving an older dog for three weeks in this situation with someone, fingers crossed they’ll stay. For the dog. I’ve never left a sit, but this week has felt like 6 weeks… Thank you again and yes I would love to see the guide.

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Ohhhh fascinating! A call to close the loop. Standard fare :wink: They didn’t suggest this to me. Though they were very clear about washing their sheets and making their bed at the end of this 24 day stay, which I’d have no problem with normally, but found it to be funny considering the ridiculous nature of the sit. It’s a particular flavor of entitlement.

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THS should not allow that.

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Never been asked for a post call. It normally goes well, we exchange texts saying so, they thank me. Nice feedback both ways. The end.

Washing the sheets…because I told the HO I don’t wash sheets, I don’t have time with dog care/working. It’s in my bio/info, along with arrival/departure times. However, she still tried to negotiate my clear boundaries even though she couldn’t find anyone else. And her tone changed from first reach out (lovely, accommodating) to employer/employee immediately prior to the start. The lack of respect and understanding of equitable exchange became glaring very quickly.

Thanks for this. I didn’t realize that I had to escalate. I did send THS Support the HO unwelcome guide and screenshots of their listing, to compare the vast difference. And the fact I did not agree with the HO cancelling without discussion or notification, against policy. I don’t think I sent our email/text/message communication. But, I will and ask to escalate.

You are one of the people on these forums who made me aware of how important seeing that guide is before stepping foot in the home. Just wish THS made it mandatory BEFORE confirming. It is hard to get HO’s to send prior.

And please don’t take this following comment as aimed at you specifically, but it’s my frustration with these boards and THS overall. We can all say things like, you “dodged a bullet” but my schedule was planned out, including sits before and after. It meant, since I honor my word, I past up much more favorable sits at better locations. So the HO hiding facts and cancelling disrupted my life a great deal during a busy time. And since THS didn’t step in as they should have, making the HO put all info in their listing for a special needs dog, another person didn’t get to dodge that bullet and is dealing with the stress.

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I certainly don’t condone a homeowner hiding important information from a sitter or THS not acting on it when raised by a sitter .

When a homeowner or sitter cancels a sit it is not without implications for the other party . We sit full time and have had two curtailments so I fully understand the stress and disruption that a cancellation causes . In this situation if the the homeowner hadn’t cancelled were you happy to have gone ahead with the sit once you found out the full details of the responsibilities ?

It’s commendable that you tried to raise the alarm and warn THS to protect future sitters . It is a very disappointing response from THS that they did nothing about what you told them and allowed another sitter to experience this . It doesn’t really feel as if sitters are supported at all by member services .

Ask to speak to a manager and use the specific words “member dispute”. I hope that this time your concerns are properly dealt with by member services once escalated.

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@Silversitters 100% don’t think you condone it and your post don’t even hint at that. I would have completed it if they would have made accommodations so I could leave for more than 2 hours at a time.

Having tons of dog experience, leaving 5-8 hours is in the normal range when needed. If they wanted to have a dog walker come a couple times a day, that would have been a solve. IMO a dog walking service would be the HO obligation since they hadn’t disclosed that their dog was special needs prior to confirmation; just the opposite, they sold me on the dog being older but totally healthy. Plus, their requests are outside of the concept of equitable exchange. Let me add, these HO’s are financially well off, so treating an unpaid sitter/guest this way isn’t about tight finances.

I’ll try what you suggest and see if anything comes of it. Thank you for the advice!

Update: I did actually ask THS support to investigate this situation and they confirmed they were. That was a month ago.

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Hands down not equitable. Not even close. This is a sit you pay someone for. They certainly know that’s the best option.

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I don’t think they are in denial. Otherwise they would have just notated it in the listing. I ask during the application process how many times the dogs need to go out to do their business, whether they have accidents in the house and how often, and whether or not they need nightime care when I’m supposed to be sleeping. Not sure what I would do in your situation. I would probably finish the sit, write a factual review, then next time I apply for a sit, ask more detailed questions.

@IHeartAnimals Per THS: “If your pet needs special care or medication, simply make sure you clearly detail this in your listing under the sitter’s responsibilities section . This will help sitters decide whether they are the right person to care for your pet before they apply.”

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I agree with insisting on a Welcome Guide, but this is not provided until after a sit is confirmed. Also, dishonest homeowners will not fully disclose the extent of problems in their welcome guide. We had a sit where the Welcome Guide was not provided until 2 weeks before a sit that was confirmed several months in advance. The Welcome Guide mentioned “occasional accidents” and the need to keep a close eye on one of the dogs. This had not been previously disclosed. We went on the sit anyway and the dog peed and pooped in the house several times a day, despite being taken out every few hours, often right after being taken out and walked for 20-30 minutes. The owner’s housekeeper came during our stay and we mentioned the problem and the housekeeper volunteered that this was typical behavior for this dog.

We have learned to ask when the last time the pet had an accident in the home was, and unless they say “never” or “when the dog was a puppy being housebroken”, we do not accept the sit.

We chose to finish out the sit, which lasted 3 weeks. We reported the issue to THS. I saw recently that the homeowner is still posting sits so not sure what action, if any, THS took against the HO.

Another red flag is whether there are prior sits with no reviews. This sit had one 5 star review and several other sitters who left no review. I’m guessing they didn’t want to confront the HO for fear of retaliation. Now we do not apply for sits without multiple five star reviews or if the sit has more than one former sit with no reviews.

So sorry you are dealing with this. It was very frustrating. Fortunately on our sit, the owner had mentioned that they kept the dog in a playpen lined with pads when they left the house. After a couple of days of these excessive “accidents”, we decided to keep the dog in the pen at all times except during walks and when we could completely focus on petting or playing with the dog. It was still gross, but at least the accidents were on pads within the dog’s pen.

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Nice people and good people are two (at times very) different things.
This is not what THS is for, at this point, they need to pay for an in house sitter. This is a JOB, and this can’t be disclosed after the sit has started. I’m surprised though if you’d discussed this in the interview how it didn’t come up on your end to ask what that schedule might be. The second i learn one of the pets is senior i have a hundred questions myself, not the least of which what is the exact routine and time requirements.
I seriously hope you disclose this in the review and rate accordingly.
Seems to me like people who just want to get away with not paying for something at your expense.
Unacceptable.

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Update: I left the sit. I ended up speaking with their daughter, who they needed me to coordinate something with.When she asked how things were going I told her. The daughter referenced the two past sitters and how much they had loved their experiences, expressed concern about the dog and called her parents (The HO’s). The HO’s then called me and said they’d heard I’d been “suffering” which made me laugh. I let them know how wrong it was not to disclose the schedule when we spoke or mention she needed to pee every two hours, the regular accidents I’d be cleaning up, the laundering…I told them this was a FT job for a paid professional and I felt taken advantage of and misled. They told me their daughter would pick up the dog and asked how much time I needed. We then discussed cleaning protocols etc. No concern about where I’d go that night or if leaving immediately worked for me. Luckily, I did have a place to go. HO wanted to make sure we were leaving amicably and on good terms (for her review) I look forward to leaving an honest review. I fought for the blind review system and am thrilled it’s been implemented. No need to advise me on how to write it, I’ve got it :slight_smile: So, never again will I take a sit without a written guide. I’m putting together a more curated list of specific questions for the initial interview. I have 35 five star reviews and have been sitting for 20 years. This was a rare circumstance and a good learning experience and unfortunate for me. It was also validating that someone else on the forum experienced dealing with these HO’s and reported them to TH. Yes, to a point someone made earlier. Good people v nice people. And other valuable lessons. Thanks everyone!

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:muscle:t2: go you - here’s to knowing your worth and standing up for yourself!

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In case useful for future sits:

I won’t go on any sit without a welcome guide well ahead of the stay. If they don’t send one, I’m prepared to cancel. I nudge in a friendly way, if needed. For example:

“Our sit is drawing near and I’ve not received a welcome guide. Unfortunately, I can’t go into sits blind. Please send, because I’d love to see our sit go forward as planned.”

Before a sit, the sitter has leverage to press for a guide (doesn’t matter to me whether it’s via the THS template, a Word or Google doc, a PDF, a video or whatever). I’ve never had a host not send me one when nudged.

I simply don’t get why it’s so hard to get a welcome guide ahead of a sit if a sitter wants one. Neither a host nor THS can force any sitter to show up for a sit. We have agency and it’s up to us to decide whether we use it.

If anyone asks me to do anything I consider out of bounds or an unreasonable surprise, my pushback would be: Unfortunately, we didn’t discuss that ahead of our sit and I wouldn’t have accepted knowing that.

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Thank you! I find this stuff fascinating. It’s a good barometer of my own personal growth. To say what I mean. I don’t feel taken advantage of often so when I do it’s because it’s happening, which is also to say I don’t take this personally, but these people are used to bulldozing over others, and it felt great to take care of myself. And to sleep in :slight_smile:

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I love this. Great to have language around this ask. Now of course had they sent me the welcome guide they left me with day of, I never would have done the sit, so I see the advantage for them.

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