Where SHOULD sitters be asking "important" questions to get answers?

wow. No. My current career is building stuff like this. It takes well longer than a week if you want something full functioning, integrated, scalable, etc. anything else is just a waste of time. better to do it once and do it right - which takes time. slapping a bunch of spaghetti code up isn’t going to solve the problem long term. I outlined above what the development process is for a full featured review system.

FWIW They could probably just slap on a stand alone star rating system quickly. THAT would be a band aid. but that won’t solve the bigger problem. personally I prefer waiting for a real solution than just a quick fix that won’t really help in the long-term.

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I agree that it is not nice to arrive at dirty houses.
I agree that a new review system needs to be introduced.
I agree that it should be possible to give also stars to HOs.
I agree that negative experiences may be shared here on the forum.

But
I also agree, that I think you have brought your point across and it doesn’t help to repeat it in every other thread.

What I am still missing, is a suggestion how THS should handle it, if there are filthy houses. What would you do in their stead?
For you it might seem simple, being a sitter doing sits in your own country.
What about a Bulgarian doing a sit in Thailand? What could THS possibily do about this? How should THS even check each home?

If you use a dating site, do you also blame them if the guy who turned up didn’t shower before the date? All you can do would be giving him a less than 5-star review.
And there we are back again…dog biting it’s tail…they work on it.

All these issues have been addressed and, even if THS weren’t willing to look into them, bringing it up again and again doesn’t change the fact that all of us are grown ups and have to cope with sometimes uncomfortable situations. There is no “have it all nicely” in life. If you don’t want the risk to end up in a dirty house again, don’t apply!

As a HO I also take risks in trusting strangers. The sitters could walk away with my pets, part of the furnishings and make a mess of my house and any criminal background check wouldn’t keep them from doing it. No insurance would pay for this, because I willingly accepted someone to stay at my home, even handed them the keys, so this wouldn’t be covered as a break-in would be.

I have learned a lot just by reading many posts and some things, seen from sitters’ sides, wouldn’t have occurred to me without it.
This forum, together with the very affordable fee for connecting owners and sitters, is a great source of information as various as the people who use it. Thinking positive doesn’t prevent negative things to happen, but the negative voices are always louder than the positive ones. By this the real balance is clouded, because the perception for those, not active several times a day, is negative.

I have experienced a lot of negativity slowly creeping up in other groups or forums as soon as a certain general opinion has taken over and I don’t want this to happen here.

I always ask myself how it could have worked before there were any forums?

In the end it’s simply a site where two parties, brought together by a third, decide to trust each other. But don’t kill the messenger! He isn’t the reason it sometimes doesn’t work out.

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I truly believe people are actually realising now that they can discuss their bad experiences, when someone else has started the ball rolling, it’s only fair that these stories/experiences can be told it how is anything going to change otherwise? The review system I feel is definitely skewed in the HO’s favour. They even the chance to anonymously state if they would invite the sitter back. We don’t even get offered that same service (I.e would you return to this home?). Maybe just maybe therein lies peoples negativity.

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So as a seasoned and experienced sitter, what can you do about it? it seems that in nearly everything you contribute you have had a negative experience. Something just seems off. Perhaps revisit your questions. Look to see where you might be missing an important piece that will help you avoid these recurring situations.
You have shared in other threads that you are a long time sitter, that you actually have lifetime membership to THS, that you have chosen not to be verified, how dissatisfied you are in with many of your sits and are now limited in your functionalities on the site and perhaps, I imagine this also places limitations on the quality of sits you may attracting and/or applying for through other avenues.

With all your experience, I also am willing to bet you have a wealth of valuable information that could help others who are new to home and pet sitting.

Just some food for thought.

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I agree, talk about your bad experiences, but don’t expect THS to be your only solution. Or at least not instantly.

All we seem to get at the moment is Why don’t they do this or Why don’t they do that and Why is taking so long.

This is a Forum to discuss these issues between Home owners and sitters - good and bad. Not a place to constantly moan and expect problems to be magically fixed.,

Going back to the original question

" Where should sitters be asking important questions to get answers".

Here, the Forum.

As @Amparo has said above, you are an experienced sitter, so rather than just ask for help from THS, try to work out what went wrong, and what you would do differently, and share that with us. Or others will help with their thoughts.

But Why Why When Moan doesn’t work

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Nobody said that bad experiences should not be shared. Far from it. It’s the repeated posting and the expectation that a quick solution (whichever this may be) has to be found, which causes the negativity.

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You have no idea how much I’ve contributed already good and bad. I’ve have had 1-2 hour long phone conversations with staff years ago giving lots of helpful suggestions, some even taken on board. I’ve written a piece for their blog, and I have also referred 19+ paid up members. Please don’t assume you know what I have and haven’t contributed based on this forum alone.

I am honestly quite shocked at some of the responses here.

My issue is that these situations are not so rare anymore, and in highlighting this I feel it should be paramount that TH figures a solution soon so that they don’t lose members over this, as smiling there’s no real protocol their end for these types of occurrences, other than pointing the finger at the HO for not doing their due diligence before accepting the sit.

The disparity between the website and the mobile platform where you can see reviews that have not been left is a huge issue in these cases.

There ARE simple fixes that could be implemented very quickly, but they are not.

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As @Snowbird already wrote several times, if you feel unheard and that your helpful suggestions and quick solutions aren’t heeded, maybe then this site isn’t the one you should use.

It might even be that there are more negative experiences now than before, but I actually doubt it. The forum is just about one year old and before nobody was able to share any experiences, negative or positive, so how would you even know?

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Just want you to know that I do my research. I have seen your blog post in THS, your Instagram and your THS profile. Not because I’m nosy but because I look at the source to better understand.
This is why I chose to address this. I see that you have value to contribute to the community, to the other members who are seeking guidance. You can be such a positive influence to them.Instead of trying to force change in the company create change within its members to improve future outcomes.

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You made all valid, solid and legitimate points here. One :clap: wasn’t enough so :clap: :clap: :clap: :clap: :clap:

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So, what has shocked you? That not everyone agrees with you, that some people have other ideas? Different opinions? Other people do things differently, solve problems rather than complain about them?

That your history with THS, your blog contribution, and your 1-2 hour phone call (I’ve done that too) make you more important?

There have been good selections of contributions to this thread, mostly female I must admit, but from the USA, Canada, Germany, we can’t all be wrong

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I will break that statement down into two sections:

My issue is …
… these situations are not so rare anymore

If you are saying that they are your issues - as opposed to speaking for the whole THS community - then you are experienced enough to know that you need to revisit your processes for approving your selections. Those here who complain about multiple unsatisfactory sits need to take ownership of being part of their own problem. I have had one sit that would receive a low score on cleanliness (but far from unsafe), but I was aware of the red flags and, given the location (my #1 choice) and perks that went with it (vehicle, not money), I was ready to compromise and I adapted. When sitters say they’ve been lucky so far, I don’t put it down to luck; I credit their screening skills.

If by saying, “these situations are not so rare anymore” you are making a statement about the THS community as a whole, then there is no way you have sufficient data to support such a damaging statement. Given the ratio of THS membership to forum membership, even referring to situations mentioned here is not sufficient data. No THS member has access to data to support such a claim.

In my opinion, forum members need to be wary of making statements without having solid data to support them. It poisons an environment that is meant to be productive.

Clare, please don’t waste your time responding to my entry to this post as there is nothing you can say that will change my mind on this point.

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Oh my I would run for the hills. However I have been at a house sit everything was new and spotless they were very particular but I wasn’t very relaxed scared to death in case I left a mark anywhere.

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It was somewhere I wanted to go, I arrived directly from another sit, and had my next one booked - the house was very basic, but just went from bad to worse in a very short time…and the dogs were special.

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Oh dear, this is a terrible analogy :rofl::joy::sweat_smile::joy::rofl:

If it was just a date, I would not have spent 6 hrs traveling to his house (or perhaps his house is in a different country?), and expected to spend the next two weeks living in his house.

What kind of dates are you going on :astonished::grin:

I’ve been married for over 25 years, maybe this is what dating is like now? Hahaha I hope you are laughing with me, because wow.

I’ve been to a house like that too… The house was immaculate and everything was crystal or otherwise fragile… but the cats didn’t use their PRISTINE litter box and I stepped in pee and poo camouflaged by rugs when walking in the kitchen. Yeah, no, i didn’t include it on the review. Sorry for your socks, whoever goes there next, LOL.

I stick to my knowledge of this, as well as a former easy coding suggestion that everyone at the company raved about years ago when I mentioned it, yet still not implemented which is sitters having the ability to make custom URL’s (as LinkedIn and other sites do)

TrustedHousesitters. com / claresitsdogs

For instance. This way sitters could have this printed on their own business cards, and it’s something easy to revert to people in conversation (I meet many interested people with pets in parks) or emails or any marketing for the company… Not as is my current profile URL of:

“https:// www.trustedhousesitters .com/house-and-pet-sitters/united-kingdom/england/sevenoaks/l/xxxxxx/“

It’s simple coding, it doesn’t take years. Believe me!

(Moderation - Post links edited with spaces to prevent linking to non-existent pages. VA)

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How do you know anybody but you would want this?

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If I understand you correctly, you have included in your post a URL to what you have said is your current profile. Forum policy stipulates that members may only embed links to their profiles in the usernames and not in a post. Further, the link, as you have displayed it, does not link to an active page.

Please delete this link entry.

Thank you,

Francine,
Voluntary Forum Moderator
Tagged: @Angela-HeadOfCommunity

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Been there. I put everything I wouldn’t use in cupboards (after taking photos of precise layouts). I walked around on egg shells and drove my husband batty cleaning up as we went and insisting things were put away properly and hung up.
But yet again, the dogs were brilliant.