Last night, I received an email from a pet sitting app with revisions to their terms and conditions, and their terms got me thinking, “Would you trust your pet’s care to an app?”
Who do you call if you have a problem?
At Pet Heroes, we have an office manager or an owner at the office to answer your phone calls and emails from 9am to 5pm Monday through Friday, and emails are checked after each of our four pet sitting time slots outside of our office hours to handle emergency schedule changes.
With an app, each pet sitter works independently, so who can you contact if you notice an injury on your pet when you arrive home? What happens if you see the app sitter sitting on your couch instead of walking the dog? Who can you contact?
Where is the accountability?
Pet Heroes staff members are employees of our company with a steady schedule every week that they know they can depend on. We provide safe working conditions, a reliable schedule, workman’s compensation, liability insurance, and ongoing support to our staff members. Our pet care professionals know we are there for them at any time. They answer to our management for any issues, and we do whatever we can to make the situation right for our clients and our employees.
When someone has to fight for jobs on an app, what motivates them to be loyal to the company they are working for? Who is accountable if the independent pet sitter makes a mistake? If you read the app’s terms and conditions “makes no representation, warranty, or guarantee as to the reliability, timeliness, quality, suitability, availability, accuracy or completeness of the services,” it doesn’t look like they plan to be held accountable.
Are they reliable?
After 14 years in business, Pet Heroes has perfected a system to make sure no visits are ever missed. Our managers check our GPS tracking after every visit time slot 365 days per year. We always have a back up sitter in place to step in at a moment’s notice to make sure your pet’s visit is completed in a timely manner. Once your appointment is approved, you can rest at ease knowing we will be there as scheduled!
We have been asked to step in several times for people who have booked a pet sitter through an app who cancelled on them the day before their long anticipated vacation because “something came up,” or they decided they didn’t want to continue as a pet sitter. Would you want to come home from your vacation when your app sitter bailed on you?
Is there any consistency?
Every staff member at Pet Heroes goes through a rigorous hiring process. All applicants go through a survey, application, several emails, a pre-employment screening, nationwide, state, and county background checks, and in person interviews before they get a chance to be a part of our team! Once we bring a new staff member on board, they must complete pet first aid certification, testing on our handbook and manual, dog behavior training, and orientation. We don’t allow anyone to enter your home until they are completely comfortable caring for your pets! Our pet sitters know exactly what protocols they need to follow, and we stand by our standards of care.
What training does an app pet sitter have? Their statement says, “they do not warrant that: the quality of any services purchased by you through the services will meet your requirements or expectations” or that “errors or defects in the services will be corrected.” Do you feel comfortable with that guarantee?
Who is in your home?
Each of Pet Heroes’ clients have a primary pet care professional. Whenever you book online, we automatically contact your usual pet sitter to check their availability and assign that sitter. If your pet sitter is not available, we make sure your instructions are updated with information from your primary pet sitter to make sure you always receive the same standard of care. Whenever a client is out of town, we assign the same sitter to the entire trip, so that pet care professional will notice any subtle changes in your pet that may signal stress or a health problem before the situation becomes more serious. Did I mention our pet sitters are all certified in pet first aid?
Is the app pet sitter background checked or screened? Has anyone at the app company ever even met the person representing their app? If this person stole something from your home, how would you know which sitter it was if several different sitters handled the pet sitting visits while you were away?
Call someone you can trust!
Your pets are very important to us here at Pet Heroes. We cherish the human animal bond, so please don’t let what looks convenient put your pet at risk. We are just a phone call away or email away 365 days per year. Pet Heroes has been around for 14 years, and we will continue to be available for you, our valued clients! Our online scheduling software is just as convenient as any app, and you can feel confident in the company behind the visits you are scheduling. Our office is near your home, and you can stop by anytime to talk to us in person. The owners of Pet Heroes come to your home to get you set up for your initial appointment, and we always make sure our customers are absolutely thrilled with our services. Give us a call today, so we will be ready when you need us! 847-776-7387 or firstname.lastname@example.org
Check out our shiny new website and our blog about pet care apps!
Posted by Tailchasers Pet Heroes on Thursday, March 15, 2018