What to do when new members don’t understand the process to confirm a sit?

We were offered a sit from homeowners who are new to THS. Before accepting the sit, we want to chat and go over our questions to be sure we can meet all the owner’s expectations. The problem is the homeowner sent a message after offering the sit (the only message received from them) saying how they are new to THS and looking forward to having us for their sit; and suggesting we can maybe zoom nearer to the sit dates in August. We sent a message advising we’d like to schedule a call before we accept; but our message remains unread. We want to accept the sit but cannot in good conscience agree to a sit without meeting the owners on a call. It hasn’t been long (just a couple of days) but I’m wondering if any else has experienced this? Any suggestions? My fear is they are no longer checking the app as they think it’s all booked.

Yes this happened to me twice recently. Like you, I suggested a video call before accepting. On both occasions I did have one and I accepted both sits.
I’m not sure what you can do if you are not getting a response. Maybe you should apply for other sits anyway rather than hang on waiting and possibly decide not to accept the first one when you do eventually have a video call.
If you get another sit and then decline the first invitation it will be a lesson learned for the owners. I know this sounds harsh but what else can you do. :woman_shrugging:
Hopefully they’ll get in touch soon.

The last 3 sits i did, they confirmed me just after getting my application letter. We had to go back and arrange a call and do the whole process so everyone was comfortable. I think with the sitter shortage, some HOs are getting a bit desperate so if you have a decent profile and references they’ll jump on you. (not implying that a HO would have to be desperate to choose you, BTW, I think it’s just a sign of the times :smiley: )

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@NigelF if you connect with membership services, they may be able to contact the homeowner and assist them. I’ll tag @Lucy and she will follow up with you when she’s next online.

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I find that neither the site nor the app is easy to navigate or user friendly.
There are templates out there which could make the whole process a lot easier.
Not surprising that new members struggle with it.

I had one person accept me with no message at all. So I asked if we could have some more interaction before I accepted, and she didn’t reply. After a few days I withdrew my application as I didn’t know what else to do. She then wrote back a few days later, asking if I was still interested. I hope we’ll get into a conversation now.
I definitely wouldn’t accept any sit if there had been no conversation with the owners first! For me it might not always necessarily be a video call that’s needed, but definitely some kind of dialogue.

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I’m glad to read your info on the site. I also thought it was not so easy to navigate and glad to know it’s not just me! Thank you! :slight_smile:

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Agreed. Which is surprising given how long it has been around.

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I did just that. And at least they have now read my messages … hoping they respond soon. :slight_smile:

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Certainly an option. Hopefully, it won’t come to that!

We had one UK HO do this last week, saying they’d love us to sit for them (in 2023) and we could Facetime closer to the sit. We replied saying we don’t agree to sits without first doing a video call (we did say this in our application). We didn’t hear back before we had a great video call with another HO and accepted their sit. We then withdrew our application with the first HO. HOs need to realise that there are more sits than sitters, sitters have a lot of choice of many sits, if HOs snooze then they lose. Harsh but true!

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Learning by doing…

Just be grateful THS does listen, in the early days it wasn’t a two stage acceptance process.
So when accepted immediately after applying with no communication you could end up in some very strange places!

I am a HO who is new to this site and, while I am still learning the quirks, I don’t think the interface is that difficult. All the guidance provided is also pretty clear about setting up a call and making sure EVERYONE is comfortable. I would think the pet-owners would want to know a bit more, too, before inviting a stranger into their home.

Anyway, that is why I like this forum – because it’s a safe space to raise issues and helps us all learn along the way. <3

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Yeah, I remember. I had a friend who got into a sticky situation once because of that. It was a needed change so everyone is accountable.

Thank goodness that changed! That would seem unworkable.

At least the homeowners have now read our messages! But they have opted to not respond. We have now had five offers to sit without a call first! We have advised all the homeowners that we cannot accept an offer without first having a call. I suspect it’s getting so hard to book a sitter that some homeowners are offering a sit in the hope of pinning a sitter down even before they have spoken.

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Absolutely, @bec . THS is a fabulous service. IMO, despite their imperfections, both the web app and the mobile app are super. But a good thing can always be made better, which is why there are so many suggestions for improvements.

I want to add that I hope @Ben-ProductManager and his team rethink the plan to pause applications. While a good idea in principle, it will create a host of new problems and workarounds devised to defeat the system.

Disagree. I find the site, the calendar, probably the whole site very easy to use. Probably because I’ve taken my time to educate myself about how to do things.
The one thing I do agree with is there is definitely a new desperation coming from pet owners, especially new ones. We have been accepted for sits with minimal contact which is not how we operate. I don’t think it’s because they don’t know how to do things it’s more “a pet sitter applied, better accept them”. This desperation may cause even more problems down the line as nothing has been discussed or agreed.
Even an old fashioned phone call is better than nothing.

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There’s certainly a difference if you use it regularly or just a few times a year. Usually people have other things on their mind than remembering how to browse a website.
I keep forgetting how things work when I don’t use it often.