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How do I deal with owners who take advantage?

asked 2018-01-01 15:36:04 -0500

Situation 1: doggie day care: "Why can't I drop him off at 8 am and pick him up at 9pm for the day care rate?" (she uses me once, I refuse the second day, she finds another more amenable Rover sitter) Situation 2: Boarding: Owner boards for two days but cannot pick him up until 10:30pm on day two. "I will pick him up tomorrow at 10am" making it a three night stay. She doesn't understand why I would charge for an additional night and instead of dealing with her cheapness I just accept the extension without payment. Situation 3: Holiday season: A booking through Christmas and New Years of 10 days gets cancelled after 4 because the dog needs to smell the "new baby clothes" at the owners home (meaning he probably found a cheaper sitter).

And more: I would like to know how other sitters deal with owners who take advantage then use another sitter to the same end. Why can't we provide testimonials on owners as well?

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This is our business to manage. It's up to us to not be taken advantage of. We set the rules and how those rules are enforced. You need to stand up for yourself.

Molly W.'s profile image Molly W.  ( 2018-01-01 18:53:39 -0500 ) edit

Molly, i am not, by any stretch, a pushover. These were all first time clients, had meet and greets with the exception of the last which was an "emergency" booking. We should, as business owners, be able to write shared testimonials on owners between sitters.

JoAnn C.'s profile image JoAnn C.  ( 2018-01-02 15:41:43 -0500 ) edit

Sitters don't "pay" server bills, clients do. Sitters get free use of the site... if you aren't paying for a product, you're the product. As long as there's sitters to meet demand, it's more important to attract clients. Think Uber (tho even Uber lets u bill cleaning to clients who puke in your car)

Catherine C.'s profile image Catherine C.  ( 2018-01-05 00:24:44 -0500 ) edit

20% of what I make is not "free use of the site". I for one, find that a troublesome number. Million dollar deals are done for less commission. What Rover ought to charge is simply a finder's fee which normally runs about 10%. i would prefer to have more for my extra 10%. Owner reviews included.

Jenni W.'s profile image Jenni W.  ( 2018-04-17 21:00:51 -0500 ) edit

Daycare and overnight care, etc is all decided by us! Rover has never written after a bad review or crazy client and said are you okay, what can we do to help. Only when new client doesn’t know rules and offers cash for adding night,etc why you think that feature was added so fast allowing

Ray S.'s profile image Ray S.  ( 2018-05-03 08:20:55 -0500 ) edit

Us to extend stays, while a dozen other improvements to help pet care professionals aren’t considered. I feel sad when reading some reviews and the pet parent so angry that sitter works full time and leave pets in cages at home. The owners see $45 night boarding plus Rover fees and

Ray S.'s profile image Ray S.  ( 2018-05-03 08:23:47 -0500 ) edit

The company had Walmarted the in home pet care industry by taking huge fees without any sitter support - actually no expansion of education or sitter vetting process either. Just more ads to recruit by asking if you want holiday cash and play with dogs? Clearly it’s more to owners than that

Ray S.'s profile image Ray S.  ( 2018-05-03 08:27:29 -0500 ) edit

5 Answers

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answered 2018-01-03 00:03:23 -0500

To me, Day Care should be defined as a stay that is 12 hours or under. Boarding should be up to 24 hours. So a 18 hours Day Care should be converted to Boarding. And any Boarding day that lasts longer than 24 should have a Day Care charge added on top. However, it is up to you to explain your expectation to the clients.

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AND...Rover needs as well to make this very clear on the Rover introduction to new clients.

JoAnn C.'s profile image JoAnn C.  ( 2018-01-03 05:38:14 -0500 ) edit

Yes! because on the sitter end, it defines Day Care as "Your client's pets stay at your home during the day, Drop offs are around 7-9am, and pick ups are around 4-6pm."

Leigh D.'s profile image Leigh D.  ( 2018-04-18 14:45:35 -0500 ) edit
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answered 2018-04-17 21:07:13 -0500

"Why can't I drop him off at 8 am and pick him up at 9pm for the day care rate?" (she uses me once, I refuse the second day, she finds another more amenable Rover sitter)

I run an actual business. My hours are till 9pm on weekdays. the way I work it is, if you are here by that time, you get daycare rate. If not, I'm headed to bed and your rate is for an overnight.

Owner boards for two days but cannot pick him up until 10:30pm on day two. "I will pick him up tomorrow at 10am" making it a three night stay. She doesn't understand why I would charge for an additional night and instead of dealing with her cheapness I just accept the extension without payment. Insist on payment. Put it through on Rover and if she won't pay report the situation and never work with that person again. Unfortunately, this is one of the downsides to the Rover site. You can't actually put their credit card through yourself so you have to be pro-active and then follow up.

Situation 3: Holiday season: A booking through Christmas and New Years of 10 days gets cancelled after 4 because the dog needs to smell the "new baby clothes" at the owners home (meaning he probably found a cheaper sitter). Adjust your cancellation settings. especially at the holidays when you more than likely turned down other bookings. State the policy on your profile- not that any of the owners read them.

As I said, I'm an actual business outside of Rover and thus have had to come up with policies on this stuff. I suggest you do the same. You can put up an FAQ on your profile or even draw them up and give them to prospective clients at the meet n greet. Tell people things ahead of time and then stick to your guns.

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answered 2018-01-01 21:30:33 -0500

I do understand your frustration. I think that there are some areas to stand your ground and other areas where you may want to be flexible. During the meet and greets I will ask the owners what time they were wanting to drop off and pick up. Sometimes the owners do not know exactly which I tell them, " that is no problem, if they could double check their schedule and let you know. Rover chargers based off a 24 hour period so we normally try to keep the drop off time and pick up time right about the same. If you are going to need a late pick up, no problem just let me know and what we can do is rather than charge an extra full boarding, we can put it down as doggie day care for the last night this way it gives you the extra time to pick up." (or if you are specific about picking up at a certain time for doggie day care you can tell them it gives them until xx time.) I think that a lot of times it can be how its worded that makes a difference in the owners mind. Keeping it positive and how it benefits the owners so they can see the positive side. As far as them picking up early. Once they stay starts and the decide to pick up early you still get a portion of the say even though the pet is not there. Yes, it does suck but you are in a sense getting paid something for not even having the pet there. I don't think that it is because the owner found someone else to watch the dog cheaper because keep in mind that the owner still needs to pay a percentage to Rover 5-7% for each booking. And it is going to take some time for rover to issue a credit back depending on how many days are left based on when they cancel. As far as Day care. It is completely up to you but I personally let clients drop off at 8am and pick up at 9 sometimes even 10pm. I don't mind, I am up anyways. If you are not a late owl you can let the owners know at meet and greets your hours that you are available for drop off and the latest they can pick up. As long as you are upfront with the owners and let them know at the meet and greet than you should be fine. What clients hate is not knowing. Feeling as if we as sitter as trying to pull a fast one on them and change our policy or prices.
I personally am really flexible with the owners and will allow them to drop off early and do late pick ups if needed. I don't mind if the owners want to pick up at 10:30 pm. I know with my own pet I want him home with ... (more)

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I have no difficulty being flexible for what I consider to be my 5 star owners, those who

JoAnn C.'s profile image JoAnn C.  ( 2018-01-03 05:40:25 -0500 ) edit

Respect my time and see the benefit in my skills in caring for their charge. The issue lies with those whose perception is that a sitter has a limited temporal value and are disposable commodities.

JoAnn C.'s profile image JoAnn C.  ( 2018-01-03 05:45:57 -0500 ) edit
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answered 2018-01-04 05:37:15 -0500

I started putting it in my profile, that helps a lot. It's all in the wording. I want to be flexible but I also have a life and have plans and others that need me.

One thing that owners tend to understand when I explain my policy is that while maybe it doesn't require that much more work to extend a few hours (although it does, assuming you walk the dog every 4 hours or so), it also can keep me from taking another client for that night that may need to drop off at 5 or 6 pm but their (I personally don't take more than 1 dog for boarding. So there's opportunity cost potentially as well.

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answered 2018-01-02 09:44:05 -0500

Given that you are in NYC, you are probably going to run into more than your fair share of people who are either pushy or try to take advantage. Not to generalize (although I know your city well), but that's the nature of the beast.

That is why it is so important to get dropoff and pickup times established from the outset, even before it is booked so that you can adjust the bill to account for overtime situations.

(1) With daycare, I suggest you put into your profile the hours your rate covers (dropoffs no earlier than x and pickups no later than x) and that early/late fees may be assessed as required. Rover's guidelines on daycare are from 7-9am to 4-6pm. Regular daycare facilities' operating hours are very strict. Just because you operate from your home doesn't mean a dog can stay there all day. Any dog dropped off at 8 am and not picked up until late evening should be charged a full boarding rate in my opinion.

(2) For regular boarding, again, knowing dropoff and pickup times is critical for proper billing. Explain that one "nightly" charge is good for up to 24 hours of care and that you'll bill them either your daycare or some pro rata amount for the overtime.

(3) Not much you can do about cancellations. The customer gets a refund according to the policy stated in your profile.

https://support.rover.com/hc/en-us/ar...

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Thank you. This is useful. I do however continue to feel that sitters should be able to share information on owners who are less than forthright, have dogs who are improperly described (in particular aggressive ones), or those who try to game the Rover system.

JoAnn C.'s profile image JoAnn C.  ( 2018-01-02 15:45:17 -0500 ) edit

Rover will never do that. It is not in Rover's best interests.

Karen R.'s profile image Karen R.  ( 2018-01-03 00:43:25 -0500 ) edit

It is in Rover's interest to sustain, support, and incentivize a reputable base of quality sitters who stay long term with them.

JoAnn C.'s profile image JoAnn C.  ( 2018-01-03 05:49:14 -0500 ) edit

Not their business model. They have tons of sitters, more and more signing up each day. If a sitter cancels one job, they're suspended. So we're a commodity to them.

Karen R.'s profile image Karen R.  ( 2018-01-04 08:42:46 -0500 ) edit

It is probably their belief that there is a sitter out there who can deal with a problematic owner/dog. If it doesn't work out with one, there are plenty more to try. Read the TOS, especially Section 2.

Karen R.'s profile image Karen R.  ( 2018-01-04 08:45:51 -0500 ) edit

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