Has anyone had ongoing communication problems with a client while they're out of town?

asked 2017-07-28 12:37:13 -0500

I am currently on the 8th day of a 10 day stay with a client who's been nothing but a problem from the get-go. The stay was booked with the following expectations:

I'd be making 2 visits per day; 1 short visit in the morning to attend to the cats basic needs and 1 30 minute visit in the evening for playtime. In the evening, one of the cats was to be locked in the laundry room to give the other cat time to eat (they don't get along). Before the booking, there was lots of back and forth about payment (they didn't want to pay ahead of time, didn't want to pay $40 for two visits, etc) so we finally agreed on $30 to encompass everything. There was no clarification on what time of day these visits needed to be made, how far apart they needed to be, etc. All I got was a list of rules and an agenda to follow while I was there (instructions on where their food was kept, watering plants, where to put mail, etc...even though we had an hour and 1/2 M&G...FOR CATS!).

The problems began on the third day of the visit: I went in the morning, stayed for 7 minutes to do cleanup (they can tell when I'm coming and going because of their alarm logs on their phones) and to let one cat out of the laundry room, and went again in the evening around 11pm for 30 minutes (as instructed). I get a call from the owners around 12:30am that same night asking why I didn't stay for 45-50 minutes. I told them I was confused. They said "well it takes you at least 15 minutes for cleanup and the other 30 needs to be spent playing with the cats." I informed them that's not how I interpreted things and that I would continue doing the job they paid me for. Since then, they've reached out to me 2 more times to complain about my short morning visits and insinuate that I wasn't doing my job.

So, I finally sent them a long message a few days ago reiterating what our stay agreement was and ensured them that everything was being taken care of. I haven't heard from them since.

There are other things that have happened along the way as well (ie a peeping Tom neighbor, accusations about me forgetting to set the alarm when in fact it went out because of a storm, etc) and I don't know where to go from here. I'm afraid that he'll give me a bad review or contact Rover himself and ask for a refund.

Any help/advice would be appreciated!

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Wow 7 mins is indeed a "short visit"! I think a short visit should be at least 15 mins.

Melanie B.'s profile image Melanie B.  ( 2019-08-28 21:31:48 -0500 ) edit

4 Answers

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answered 2017-07-31 08:43:35 -0500

I would actually clarify what they meant by a short visit. Some people might expect you to come for 5 minutes. Maybe these owners wants you to stay for 15 minutes. I always ask in a written form through rover in the beginning. I would also be as nice as possible through the stay just to avoid any problems. Then I would never provide services to them!

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answered 2017-07-28 12:59:27 -0500

Welcome to the service industry. Sadly some clients, and please know they are extremely rare, but some are just impossible, same goes for certain bookings that go array or dogs that have melt downs, its the hard side of a other wise wonderful job.

For cases like these, its a good thing you did all your communications through Rover so you have a record of everything in case things are contested. I am not certain how it works with Rover but I had a case of a vindictive client leaving a bad review out of spite and full of lies and when I communicated this to Dogvacay, they were able to see through our messages that this person was not truthful and they removed the fake bad review.

So if you had agreed to two visits a day, one short and one of 30 min and that is what you have been doing, then you are in the clear, if you always spoke to them politely and with good customer service skills, you shouldnt worry. Just keep doing the good work you have been doing and rejoice when you are done with this booking.

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answered 2017-07-30 21:54:44 -0500

I agree with Fannie as well. You are doing the job you agreed to do and everything is being documented within Rover's system. I recently boarded a dog for 4 nights and had some major communication issues with the owner. She contacted Rover and wrote a bunch of nasty things and lies about me and the situation in general in an attempt to get a full refund. Rover reviewed the situation and did not grant her a refund. She did mess up my star rating, but I'm confident it'll bounce back in time. I hope everything turns out well for you!

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answered 2017-07-29 08:06:15 -0500

Fannie's answer is fantastic. Additionally, your positive reviews from other clients will (eventually) outweigh any dip in ratings or percentages. Hang in there!

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