What if…..?

Am a new HO & seem to have been really lucky finding sitters for my upcoming dates :tada:
However a few friends are somewhat sceptical and have asked: ‘what if the sitter just doesn’t turn up & you have made travel plans’
Has anyone ever experienced this? what would you do?

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I haven’t heard of this happening, and if it ever has, I suspect it was very rare and the sitter would likely be kicked off the platform.

Regardless, IMO, it’s always a good idea to have a back up plan in the event of a very unlikely last minute cancellation or delay (almost always for very good reasons). They are rare but in the times of COVID, they do happen. However, those aren’t No-shows, those are valid cancellations.

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That scenario works both ways. On my first sit to an exotic island location, as the plane was landing my husband said ‘What if this was all a hoax? What if there is no homeowner to meet us?’ :scream: My answer was that we’d have to find a hotel, and quickly. However, the homeowner was there to meet us, as arranged.

You will read on the forum that thorough communication is essential. Also, any way you can legally check the authenticity of the information, then go for it. Google searches can sometimes be helpful. If the THS suggested recommended checks and balances are done, and you don’t ignore the red flags, then I think it would be a rare time that someone would do a no-show. That’s my personal opinion anyway.

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At the risk of opening an old wound (b/c it was traumatic and was not handled well by THS), this happened to me as a sitter a few years ago. It’s a long story, but the TL/DR version is that the HO became abusive (during my long, long journey to the home). Since I had committed to the sit and did not want the cats to suffer, I continued on. I arrived at her place, and remained composed, only to be treated to some bizarre psychological manipulation and then told to leave. (She was not a stable person.)
IMO she should have been removed from the platform. I got very mixed messages from THS.

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Ha, yeah we were worried about that the very first time too!

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Hi @Jo27 it is a legitimate concern. We tend to overcommunicate and we always keep the HO in the loop. We’ve had a few scares where the HO stopped responding - in one case the HO didn’t provide their home address and left for a vacation, in another case the HO didn’t communicate when are they are returning and we couldn’t get a hold of them. We had to involve THS membership services to get these resolved.

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Funnily enough I was quite relaxed about it until others started with the what if’s….
But I’m confident that I’ve bagged some great sitters and am happy with my initial contacts.
My first sitter arrives tomorrow and has just txt me😂

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So “What If’s” can happen in every walk of life although the fall out for some are more serious than others. At the risk of stating the obvious communication, doing due diligence and making certain each sit is the right fit for everyone is the key to a success.

With over 200 sits and at least 30 sitters under my belt, the one final element I apply in the process is my intuition, gut feeling, instinct … whatever you call it listen to that inner voice.

We can say with a large degree of certainty that if a sit arrangement goes wrong it usually means i’s have not been dotted, t’s have not been crossed. Life happens of course, when you least expect it and so having that Plan B is also the essential safety net.

Finally … keep the lines of communication open, anything unexpected or that might change the circumstances of what has been mutually agreed, be proactive and communicate if you believe there might be an issue with anything work together to find a solution, before it becomes a problem.

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@Jo27 but it was you who started with the ‘what ifs’. :rofl:

After I posted my response, I gave it more thought. I thought about the relationship I develop with the homeowners, and our chats back and forth after our video chat (by emails and texts), and how we develop a relationship. Part of this is because I’m an occasional sitter, and I realize those with multiple bookings or busy lifestyles may not have the luxury of time.

However, by the time I’m a few days away from a sit, I feel like I know the homeowners fairly well. Our chats often go beyond the basics of the sit. Check-ins are done in the day or two before, and final details are planned. I’ll generalize now, as there are a variety of scenarios, but if flying, I text from the airport before departure, to confirm my flight’s schedule. If I’m driving, I text when I’m leaving home, or if they’re meeting me from a bus, I share my iPhone mapping with the homeowner’s phone. With all the checking in I do, I doubt any homeowner would be concerned that I’m not going to show up. :rofl:

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What if while I was boarding the plane to Texas, the HO texted me that she tested for Covid + 3 days earlier and cancelled the sit.
And she never got in touch again although I called her to ask just how she was doing couple days later.
Never heard from her.

@Snowbird
It was friends who panicked me initially with the what if’s which is why I started the post - more to reassure them than me! :joy:
but it’s interesting to read the different perspectives from sitters and home owners.

@Grandma
Oh my!!! As my northern friends would say… there’s nowt as queer as folk.

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We always have a plan B for this kind of thing. Even if it wouldn’t be (obviously) our first choice, a neighbor would take over, come twice a day and feed the cats.
I strongly recommend to plan for “what if’s”…just in case.

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I don’t find explanation in dictionary.
Help

It’s a Yorkshire expression which basically means people are strange🤣

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Yes and we are dealing with every kind.

This was a huge worry to us on our first international house sit! We belonged to THS for two years before we applied on an international sit - so far so good!

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Years ago when we were home exchanging we heard from skeptics as well. One argument I used then, and it applies to houses sitting as well, is that both parties go to a lot of expense (membership) and effort (profiles, posts, video chats, messaging, etc.) demonstrating that they take this seriously. Not to mention the oversight that membership offers (THS knows more about each party so can follow up, plus there could be consequences for poor behaviour). If someone wanted to do damage to your home or let you down on purpose, this is definitely not the path they would choose to do it!

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:+1: thanks, this is pretty much what I’ve been saying but good to have it endorsed.

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I’ve had around 20 sitters and never experienced this.
Especially if you’ve selected regular sitters who rely on reviews. A review saying they didn’t bother to show up would not be good!