Why are owners not reading applications?

I’ve been with THS for a year now and so far have completed 9 sits. The process has been straightforward and I’ve enjoyed using the site. In the last two weeks, I have applied for two separate sits where the owners (apparently) haven’t opened my email. This is odd, because they were both newly published - so owners who were focussed on getting a sitter - and both with a relatively short timescale, so, I presume, a degree of urgency about getting sorted.

I understand people have busy lives but this seems strange. Especially as on one of them, the number of applicants leapt from 0-3 to 4-7, and then, mysteriously, went back to 0-3. My email remains unread a week later. I seriously wonder if there are some technical issues or gliches going on with the website?

How can two people who urgently need a sitter not open their mail?

Hello @Pearl. There are likely answers to your questions that don’t involve any glitches in the system. Oftentimes you can find answers by searching relevant key words using the magnifying glass. The forum has a wide range of topics already covered. For example, if you search ‘unread mail’ a few related posts display.

I’ll just mention points to consider:

  • If the owner is someone who relies on the app, rather than the website, that would affect your ‘unread’ messages. When a message is read via the app, it remains as unread for the sitter. It may have been opened without the owner yet replying to you.

  • The count reverting from 4-7 to 0-3 may simply be someone they chose to decline, for whatever reason. A decline lowers the current count.

As you say, prompt responses would be ideal and respectful. But also as you say, for some people life events delay their reponses. At times that means they miss out on a sitter who in the mean time has accepted another sit, as that happens too.

Volunteer Forum Moderator :canada:

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Thanks Francine. I didn’t know about the app not affecting the ‘unread’ status so that’s useful info, thank you. But in the case where the applicant count rose and then dropped again - the owner didn’t decline me (if they were busy declining people they didn’t want) and as far as I’m aware the sit starts tomorrow. So - something very odd is going on. It makes me not trust the technical aspects of the site sadly. I hope I’m wrong but how would I ever know? Do you publish service disruptions and problems or are they kept hidden from view?

Until yesterday when I had a PM from another sitter, I had never thought about the scenario in which it would not be in the interests of the Housesitting organisation to track and to publish data on non responses from both HOs and Sitters. To do so would potentially be a poor marketing tool and might put off new subscribers.

Hi @Pearl Firstly please note that I am a volunteer and as such am not privy to the data of the business operation. :slightly_smiling_face:

Also, I don’t want disclosure of the many things asked for by some people. My focus is on what the company currently provides for my membership fee and how it fits with my needs. Before the forum existed, I often sent feedback via the website and my comments were acknowledged, I was thanked, and I saw that some were implemented. That satisfies me. Now I can voice my opinion here, give my suggestions, and at times have participated in the focus groups that product development organizes.

As for the count, let me use a hypothetical scenario, as the owner. I had three applications yesterday and a fourth today. The fourth was a definite no, so I declined them straight away. The count drops to 0-3. I may even decline another, as I really don’t think they would be my first choice. Let me hold on to two, as I may be able to work something out with one of them. As for the fact that the sit is tomorrow, unless it’s just a case of an owner who is not respectful of other peoples’ time, then I suspect they may not follow through on this listing. Who knows? :roll_eyes:

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I’ve just seen on another thread that there has been a major product (ie technology) update in June.

Looks like there are more bugs to sort out then! I’m sure this is one of them. I’ll see if I can find somewhere to report it.

The number of potential sitters could also have gone down because some got fed up of not getting a reply so cancelled their applications

Or they have been accepted for another sit and withdrawn their application

It is odd that the sit starts tomorrow. That fact would lead me to believe that the homeowner has decided to have a friend, family member, neighbor, etc, take care of their pets/house for them and they’ve forgotten to take down their listing.

I think Francine means they offered the sit to someone who had applied (other than yourself), and they declined it.

The suggestions of @Smiley @ElsieDownie and @sledgejoyce are also possible reasons. @second_star I didn’t think of that scenario, but again it’s possible.

@Pearl the product development team reviews the forum and so there isn’t a need for you to make a report. That team also periodically releases product updates. In my experience as a user of technology only, addressing anomalies (bugs) is an ongoing part of any tech department.

Volunteer Forum Moderator :canada: