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How do you handle when owners are stuck in another state because of storm? Charge more for the nights proceeding? Same rate?

asked 2014-11-10 21:23:10 -0500

So I am currently watching a dog and the owners called saying that they are under and severe winter storm warning and are hoping the flights don't get postponed or cancelled. My question is how do you handle this situation? They are lucky I am able to keep the dog. But do you continue to charge your regular rate or charge an additional fee?

I never really thought of this until now. But what do you do when the owners can't physically get back to you?

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10 Answers

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answered 2014-12-05 09:32:10 -0500

I've had this happen a number of times and have never had to turn a dog away. I typically only sit for one other dog at a time, although I will have two dogs during peak holiday times. I've found that, aside from taking excellent care of their baby (a given), being accommodating to their needs matters a great deal. Express concern but also state that you'd have no problem keeping their dog until they return and will do a new stay request on Rover for them. He/'she is a welcome guest at your place.

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answered 2014-11-10 21:33:18 -0500

I would try to put myself in their shoes. I am sure they would love to come home to be with their pups instead of sitting in a cold crowded airport, but they have no choice in the matter. I believe it would be fair to charge your normal nightly rate. You should of course be compensated for your time and flexibility, but at the same time the owners could not have foreseen a winter storm that would delay their flight. Also, by being flexible and accommodating, you will most likely receive a stellar review and a loyal client for life.

If you were unable to watch their dogs longer, it would be best to ask the owners if they have an emergency contact that could possibly take over care or if they have a different sitter in the past they have used who might be available.

Good luck! I hope the weather clears up soon for the owners.

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2
answered 2014-11-17 16:15:11 -0500

I've had this happen to me on many occasions, flights get delayed ALL the time. Since I only book dogs that are dog friendly (I have one of my own), I haven't had a problem when stays overlap. I always ask the owner to go on Rover and book another night with me at my regular rate. They are always super appreciative and usually tip well on top of that.

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answered 2014-12-04 18:40:32 -0500

I'd vary my approach depending on how well I knew the client and how well their dog got along in my home. We don't sit full time, and we don't take more than 2 dogs at a time, so I can't envision a situation where we really couldn't accommodate a dog for an extra night or two if need be. I'd set up a new stay for the extra nights, at my normal rate for non-regulars, and at a discounted rate for the dogs we really like. I would certainly expect some compensation, but at the same time, pet care isn't cheap, and extra costs could be a huge burden for an owner already dealing with the airlines. If the owners are up front about not being able to afford it, I'd work with them, knowing that a grateful client is far more valuable than the money we get from booking one or two nights.

If for some reason we couldn't keep the dog longer, I'd see if they had an emergency contact who could take the dog, check with their vet office to see if they offer overnight care, or reach out to other sitters in the area to help the owners scout for other arrangements.

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answered 2014-11-10 21:36:35 -0500

That's what I am doing I have no problem keeping her. I just know others will experience this same situation especially with a unpredictable winter coming up. It's a good discussion to have that way others will know what to do.

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answered 2015-09-03 19:10:19 -0500

Thank you for asking this question! I haven't had it happen to me yet, but it could this winter. I'm glad to know now what to do! Thanks for all the great responses, sitters!

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answered 2014-11-11 20:24:28 -0500

Hi Kara,

This is a great question. You should always feel free to contact the Rover customer experience team if you have any questions. They will be happy to help support you. Here is some info on how to contact them: https://support.rover.com/hc/en-us?re...

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answered 2014-11-11 17:33:54 -0500

Kara, I had this happen only once so far. I charged one additional nights rate (the regular rate) and it worked out well. The owner was beyond apprechaitive. I too was lucky that I was available to keep the pup the additional night and day. Since then, I try my best to plan for these events by leaving one night open prior to their stay (in the event they need to leave sooner) and 1-2 nights available at the end of the stay (in the event they can't get back in time). Best of luck!

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answered 2015-08-29 10:43:14 -0500

I too have had this happen, especially with the winter we had last year (I am in New England). I have 'extended stay' rates, so if the extra time goes into that, then the extended stay rate applies. The owners were extremely appreciative, and more than willing to pay the fee. They were relieved to know their baby was in good hands. And have been back here on several occasions since then!

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answered 2015-09-04 18:48:09 -0500

Like the others, this has happened to me a couple of times. Since I only sit one dog at a time, it's not been a problem to keep their pup for another night. I charge the regular rate. On each occasion where this has happened, they have also given me a nice tip for being flexible and helping them out in a bad situation.

I agree with the comments that if you can't keep the dog another night, you should ask for an emergency contact. When I put my dog with a sitter, I ask friends to back me up in case something goes horribly wrong and I can't get home and the sitter can't keep him. I've always made it home (even if later than expected), but everyone should have a back-up plan in case things go wildly wrong. Rover can probably help you if it gets to the point that you can't keep the dog and the client has no one who can help them (I've been called for emergency sitting when a sitter canceled on a client at the last minute).

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