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How do you handle dog owners that are not prompt about their pick up/drop off time?

asked 2016-05-09 23:00:06 -0500

So, dog owners not showing up at agreed upon times has been an overly common problem with me. It seems like every single booking I have is not showing up when they tell me they will be here and it's to the point of causing problems for me. This evening, my client was an hour and a half late to drop off. While it wasn't a huge deal this time, if I had dogs check-ins to do this evening, I would have been in trouble. This constant lack of promptness is making it difficult for me to plan out my days/bookings.

How do you deal with owners that do not show up at agreed upon times to pick up or drop-off their dog?

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6 Answers

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answered 2016-05-10 22:34:53 -0500

Another tactic you might consider (in addition to other responses and somewhat similar to Laura's) is please call/text me if you're going to be earlier or later than the agreed upon time. Otherwise, I could be out walking and you may end up waiting an hour or more.

[The unspoken message is: My focus is dogS, (Plural) not just one dog.]

Also, I meet all guests outside, so after 15 minutes late, I'll send a text message asking if anything changed.

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I like this, it shows that your focus is on the dogs and also makes it clear that you are running a business that does not revolve around them. I'll have to give that a try.

Nicole L.'s profile imageNicole L. ( 2016-05-11 16:47:05 -0500 )edit
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answered 2016-05-12 13:49:30 -0500

Seems to be one of the most popular dog sitting issues. What I do the night before is send them a text saying "hi, just planning my day for tomorrow and wanted to know what time we can expect you?". This approach makes them commit to a time. Most if not all the times I do this, they come back with a time or ask when i will be available and I send back the window of time I am available for pick up. Don't let them take advantage of your time. Make them commit to their pick up time and hold them to it. If they miss that window, then let them know you will be forced to charge them the extended stay rate.

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Hi rosie, you gave a great response and I have a follow up question. How do you get them to agree to the extended stay rate once they go over your planned pick up time? I'm having such a hard time with this guy and your solution is perfect.

Brigitte E.'s profile imageBrigitte E. ( 2016-06-04 19:04:57 -0500 )edit

Hi Brigitte, I give them an hour buffer.. Then I send them a text saying "Hope all is well.. Just checking in as you confirmed you would be picking pup up at X time. All I ask is a heads up if you will be unable to make your pick up time as I have planned my day to accommodate." Typically they

Rosie C.'s profile imageRosie C. ( 2016-06-06 11:50:45 -0500 )edit

are very sorry and will be there within the hour. Now, if they don't, and the hour has past. A simple "Please note, you have past the hour grace period I generously provided and will have to charge you the extended stay rate." If it gets to this, I'd dump them as a client-they have no respect.

Rosie C.'s profile imageRosie C. ( 2016-06-06 11:55:03 -0500 )edit
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answered 2016-05-14 08:36:07 -0500

Always an issue. I've learned not to wait outside anymore. When they send me the text that they're here then I go downstairs to meet them. They can wait 3 minutes for me since I just waited over half an hour for them.

I don't understand why people will send me a text 5 minutes after they're already late saying they'll be there in an hour. It's crazy.

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answered 2016-05-10 18:37:20 -0500

I have this problem a lot. I don't do drop offs, pick ups or meet and greets EVER even close to the same time - it's chaos. Typically, if I know an owner is typically late for everything I'll put it in their notes and try not to schedule around anything else. If I do, I let them know, and I actually made one person hang out in the back yard with their dog until I got a dog out that was picked up ON TIME by the owners.

You can tell people until you're blue in the face that they need to be there by whenever, but some don't get it. You have to reevaluate these people and decide if you like their pup enough to work around their lateness issues.

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I don't struggle too much with late clients, but if I did, I might actually take a different approach: intentionally plan something shortly after drop off/pick up, so I can tell them I have limited time.

Leighann H.'s profile imageLeighann H. ( 2016-05-11 14:34:21 -0500 )edit

You don't have to plan something for after the pickup, just tell them you have plans afterwards that can't be changed. Your 'plan's may be nothing more than a nap, but they don't need to know what.

Cari C.'s profile imageCari C. ( 2016-05-15 09:13:27 -0500 )edit
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answered 2016-05-10 20:43:16 -0500

I give them one warning when it happens the first time. If it happens again, I don't book them again. I just tell them up front that I plan my day around what we discussed and that I do have obligations outside the dog sitting. If they don't show up on time (either dropping off or picking up), they get a text after 30 minutes - "We had scheduled X at X time, just wanted to make sure everything is OK. When can I expect you?" Fortunately this has only happened to me once and it was because of a flight delay. If they didn't respond after another 30 minutes, they'd get another message. After that, I call Rover Support and ask for help and book an extra day stay.

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answered 2016-05-10 14:48:40 -0500

You could try being more restrictive about the times you are "available" for pick up/drop off. When I have somewhere I need to be, I give owners a hard and fast "I need to leave by X, so Poochy will need to be picked up by Y or unfortunately it won't work out this time." When I tell owners I'll be around all afternoon and ask what time works best for them, no matter what we agree on they're more likely to be early or late because I've given the impression that I'm not otherwise occupied. Maybe try something like "Let me know what time you will arrive and I can plan my other obligations around your preference," to indicate that you are busy, but accommodating. Or, when making arrangements, simply let owners know that you coordinate pick ups and drop offs so they don't overlap, so sticking to your agreed upon times is important to keep everything running smoothly.

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