people not showing up when they say they will?

asked 2017-05-26 10:16:55 -0600


I've been frustrated lately with clients that give me a time and then do not show up to either drop their dog off, or pick them up when they say they'll be here. For example, this morning, a client was originally supposed to arrive at 9-9:30. Around 9:30 I messaged him and asked if I should expect him soon. His answer was that he'd be here by ten. It is now 11:15!!!! What is wrong with people? I don't understand. I sent him a message saying " I hope you didn't get lost!" but he has not replied. I'm so confused.

This is not the first time it has happened and it is so disrespectful. A client was supposed to pick up there dog at 8pm once and didn't show up until 9:30. I'd understand if your plane was delayed, etc.. but she didn't tell me she was going to be late until 8:10!

I think I just needed to rant but does anyone have any suggestions to keep this type of behavior at bay?


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I have low tolerance for flaky behavior--Deb A's. suggestion is very good as an attempt to tighten up the pickup times. But what if the disrespectful behavior continues? This has happened only once so far with me. When they tried to book again I declined and referred them to the free Rover Match.

Cynthia M. & Roger C.'s profile image Cynthia M. & Roger C.  ( 2017-05-26 12:47:51 -0600 ) edit

Life is too short to deal with disrespectful people endlessly, and obviously some sitters are more willing to put up with sh*t than others. Drop the client if they continually don't respect your time. Some sitters also make up appointments to go to so there's more incentive for the client to show up

Sarah B.'s profile image Sarah B.  ( 2017-05-27 21:10:30 -0600 ) edit

If there's a pattern of always late without a very good reason, I definitely stop taking the dog. And by pattern, I mean once or twice and that's it!

Sandra S.'s profile image Sandra S.  ( 2017-06-29 13:23:09 -0600 ) edit

Charge Them Extra. Like they do at child day care........! They'll get the hint.

Tracy G.'s profile image Tracy G.  ( 2017-06-30 06:27:18 -0600 ) edit

6 Answers

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answered 2017-06-02 14:30:17 -0600

I used to have this happen with 2 specific clients and it drove me nuts. Here's what I've been doing and it seems to be working for me. I always text them in advance to confirm the pick up time and add that I'm "trying to plan my day." That puts them in the mind frame that I'm not just sitting around waiting for people to pick up their dogs. Most people are courteous at that point and get it.

Every once in awhile, I'll have someone who just doesn't get it. If I do decide to re-book with them, they get VERY specific instructions. "Just confirming that 9:30am pick up! My dentist appointment that day is at 11:00am so as long as I leave by 10:30, I'll be there in time." Or "Just confirming that 1:00pm pick up! That's the day I have tickets to blah, blah, blah. As long as I leave at 2:00pm I'll be there on time." That almost always gets through to them. They'll either arrange a different time or they'll be there by the latest time I've mentioned. I've only ever had one person still show up long after (3 hours!!!) the pick up time and I really was at the doctor. I warned her!!!! LOL!!!

Remember that your time is valuable. Spell that out for people. And if they're still don't respect that, I wouldn't book with them again. We're not boarding facilities that have a 24 hour check in/check out desk. What we do offer is love and care that they won't get at a boarding facility. So emphasize the care they get while making them aware that we are different.

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answered 2017-05-26 11:27:54 -0600

I'll share what has worked well for me. I use the messaging system to ask for an approximate time (i.e. 9:15 ). Putting a specific time in writing seems to make it more concrete. I ask for them to just let me know by text if the time needs to be adjusted and confirm where we'll meet. I meet all dogs outside upon arrival and also take them outside for departure, which also reinforces that I'm not just sitting around waiting inside. I also do this so the dogs can relieve themselves outside and to limit indoor excitement barking. If 10-15 minutes pass after the time we agreed upon, I'll text message the client to ask if they need directions, plans changed, etc.

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answered 2017-06-18 14:38:47 -0600

People do what you let them do. I reconfirm day of and 5 minutes before. If they don't respond, I give them 5-10 minutes and then send them message that says due to the nonresponse I've moved on to the next client (for meet) For drop-off/pickup I try to make real clear there are extra fees with extra times. All of sudden when you say it'll be an extra $15 for being late they show up within 5 minutes. If they hit me back later with emergency etc, I allow them ONE reschedule.

In this day of technology there is very little excuse to not be able to send update.

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answered 2017-06-14 09:44:06 -0600

When I make a booking with a new client, I clarify this point. I point out that the booking is for a 24hr period and I will need drop off pick up times. any pickup in excess of 24hrs is charged additional fees. I haven't had any problems with flaky clients, but if I did I would not rebook. Quality over quantitiy. I live in a busy urban area, so most people here get that time is money.

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answered 2017-05-26 14:57:19 -0600

People will be people, there is little you can do to control their actions. All you can do is control how you handle it

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This is true. And as luck would have it, today's new client called up two hours before the agreed drop off time beginning a one week stay to ask to bring the pup over NOW. I negotiated that they come just one hour early, dropped the chores I was doing and jumped in the shower. <sigh>

Cynthia M. & Roger C.'s profile image Cynthia M. & Roger C.  ( 2017-05-27 14:28:04 -0600 ) edit
answered 2017-06-26 18:40:31 -0600

I just had a potential client set up for a meet and greet four different times. She canceled twice and was a no call/no show the last two. She used the excuse that she had a chronic pain attack that morning but was feeling great that afternoon....the appointment was for 3pm so she told on herself.

I finally just referred her over to two other sitters to choose from because I was done with it and marked her as an "Owner was not a good fit". Sometimes there are reasons, sometimes people just are rude. I have very little tolerance for rudeness but have some understanding of circumstances.

Not everyone has the home training to call if they will be late so I try to understand if they are a few minutes late but when they are an hour or two without a call, I contact them to ask if they are planning to come over because I have plans. That usually gets an answer.

Rude people get on my nerves!

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