What to do if sitter arrives and you aren't comfortable with him/her

HO, have you ever confirmed a sitter only to have them show up and then you feel uncomfortable with him/her? This happened with our last sit (only our second time having a house sitter). The first time was perfect; couldn’t have been better! This time, we confirmed the sit, and I kept feeling like something was “off.” For instance, in the welcome guide where I was to put directions to our home, I told him that since there are several routes he could take from his location, to please let me know which route he’d be taking and I would give him directions from that route. He never did, leading me to believe he never read the welcome guide. So I ended up sending him several different routes.
So we get to the day of our departure. He showed up, wearing shorts, and he had a huge sore on his leg! It was very off putting. Honestly, I didn’t want him in my home. I don’t mean to sound rude, but I don’t know what it was and I didn’t want it “leaking” on my furniture, etc. But we felt like we didn’t have a choice, so we left.
The whole thing was a disaster. We’d told him we would be home after lunch; probably around 2 or 3, and he’d said that was fine. He messaged me at 11:15 on the day of our return and said he had to leave at noon and would put our garage door remote in the mailbox! We came home to find a filthy house. We ended up spending about 5 hours cleaning.
I need to know what to do if this type of situation should arise again. My husband and I both felt uneasy as soon as we saw him in person, and our instincts were correct.
Thanks for any insight!!

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As a sitter, whenever I apply to a sitting the first thing I do is suggest we have a videochat as soon as possible before anything is agreed.

In 20+ sittings I have only once agreed to a sitting without having at least a 20 minute VC with the HO first and it felt very disconcerting (although it all went well in the end and I never actually met or spoke with them), its for both parties benefit to do this to ensure you have your first instincts satisfied or not. I will not accept a sitting now without a VC.

Obviously I don’t know if that happened beforehand with your sitter and of course it may not have prevented some of the discomfort you felt on the day but I highly recommend it for your future sits.

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Thank you Martin_S; yes, we did a VC and everything seemed ok at the time. I suppose my discomfort was the issue with his leg and the fact that, once he arrived, he seemed extremely disinterested in any instructions we were giving him.

@kak , did you have a video chat with him beforehand? Did he have good reviews and character references? Were you completely comfortable at the time you selected him?
Or did you choose him because you were worried you wouldn’t find anyone else and it was close to your departure time? Were there any red flags you chose to overlook?

It seems like there has been an influx of new people, both HO and HS, on THS. Since the world is only beginning to resume travel, there are not as many experienced sitters applying—at least this is what two friends of mine, both HO who just signed on to THS, tell me. My advice is to be patient. If you have not received applications from anyone who really seems like a good fit, keep your listing active so other applicants can apply. If it’s getting down to the wire, have a backup plan in case you don’t find anyone who seems right. I believe this will all change once the world returns to normal. Then you will probably have many good applicants.

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Oh dear… that’s very unfortunate, as you say, it would be very awkward on the day if you felt uncomfortable to leave your house and pet.

I make every effort to keep in contact leading up to the sitting and on the day send a link from my sat nav to them so they can see where I am en-route and know that I’m on my way!

Sadly, I’m not sure what else you can do in advance if they pass the VC test.

At the time we confirmed him, he only had one review on THS, but he’d been on another site and had good reviews there.
You’re right though, in thinking I chose to ignore red flags. As my daughter would say, “my spidey senses” were on alert, but since I couldn’t put my finger on why, I chose to ignore it, and I shouldn’t have.

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You sound like a wonderful sitter; if you ever want some peace and quite…hit us up! :slight_smile:

I hope you’re not shy about reviewing him accurately to save other HO’s the same unfortunate experience. You might also report him to THS, leaving the house filthy is unacceptable.

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I don’t think you can knock a guy for wearing shorts and having a sore on his leg that none of us knows the reason for -could it have been a new tattoo? … However, obviously leaving your place in a bad state is totally unacceptable and he should not be sitting. The only way you will stop this cycle and save another HO from having the same terrible experience is by leaving an honest review.

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I definitely left an honest review. And then, he totally bashed me…which I expected.

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Well…it was definitely not a new tattoo and I just don’t like the fact that it could be something that is infectious and he doesn’t have it covered while he’s in someone else’s home. It appears to have been “seeping” and that is just completely unacceptable, I would think, to any homeowner!
Yes, I did leave an honest review regarding the way he left our home, and in return, he bashed me…which I expected.

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How do I report him to THS?

Hi @kak Welcome to our community forum and I’m sorry you have had this experience, it is most unusual when all of the process of communication and mutual agreement that takes place is done thoroughly for a sit not to be successful and meet expectations.

When any member has a situation they are not happy with or they find unacceptable this should always be taken to Membership Services who will discuss, support and advise.

Please email support@trustedhousesitters.com FAO Katie, the team do have a high level of incoming messages at the moment and are working with a reduced team over reduced hours which may cause a delay in response times but every email is read and responded to and Katie will look into this for you.

Once again I am sorry and thank you for joining the forum, I do hope you will stay and be part of more conversations.

Angela and the Team

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What does ‘hit us up’ mean?

Meaning of “Hit us up”: It is a request for social invitation, often posted online to announce that you’re looking for something to do and to encourage others to reach out to you.

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Angela, I mean this in a respectful way. It puzzles me that THS is ‘working with a reduced team over reduced hours’ when apparently there is lots of activity in the way of sitters and homeowners, and membership fees continue to be paid. Why is THS not adequately staffed? The type of service you’re referring to, for online member services, can be home-based work. Why is the system understaffed? Incidences similar to what this homeowner has faced cannot be tolerated. Not only is it a bad experience for them, but also reflects badly to the public for all sitters.

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Hi @Snowbird

The pandemic had an impact on TrustedHousesitters staffing levels, just as it did many other organisations. A priority is to bring the Membership Services Team back up to pre pandemic staffing levels and maintain the excellent level of service we have always provided to all of our members.

The Membership Services role is a complex one requiring many different skills, including great communication and they need to be pet lovers. Recruiting the right staff and training is a process, the key words here are “the right staff” I’m pleased to report that three new staff members started their training last week. and while the role can be remotely based, remote training can and does take longer.

All members messages and incoming communications are responded to, nothing goes unattended, however response times can take longer and we understand how frustrating this can be and how important the communication, contact and service is to all of our members and we can assure you that all urgent matters are attended to as a matter of priority.

The Forum is another source of help and support for our members which we encourage all members to connect with.

This is a priority and we thank all of our members for their patience and understanding … Members like Julia who was helped by James, this is the experience we aim to give every member in need of help and support
.

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That’s good to hear that new staff are being trained. I have always been satisfied with the service I’ve received. Thank you for that. :clap:

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Hi, I know the feeling. I really liked the sitter who is currently in my house and who I have asked to leave. Not that she is unclean but I feel that she has been dishonest. On her profile she inferred that she worked from home and when she arrived it was obvious that she was going to continue with her job which meant leaving my animals for up to 12 hours a day. When I challenged her about this she has become vindictive and unpleasant which has resulted in my daughter having to step into the breach and pick up the pieces, despite a heavy work schedule , because I am now outside the UK. What irritates me is that I very carefully outlined the sit to her in advance, several months ago, and it seems as if she didn’t really look at it closely. I had made a colossal mistake as I have a lodger (a young woman) in a section of the property which I had failed to notice was not allowed, but I even cleared this with her in May and she was entirely happy with it. The resulting fall out has been awful and such a shame as I have had only happy experiences before this.

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Hi @KRK I have sent you a DM …