"A Place for Rover, Inc." (a.k.a. Rover.com) makes it appear to consumers looking for pet-sitters that all of their "5-star pet sitters" are carefully chosen with "pet safety their number one concern." That is simply false (curiously, not one of their sitters appears to have below 5 stars, including the sitter I recently gave 1 star).
If one digs deeply enough, one finds that the company does not seem to check anything their sitters post on the Rover.com website nor carefully check a sitter's background to see whether the sitter can provide reasonable or safe services, and the company disclaims all liability for any fraud perpetrated via their website. Analysis of the company website, its ad's for pet-sitters to join them, and communications I have had with the company reveal numerous contradictions about whether sitters are vetted at all, but the bottom line seems to be this: the appearance crafted for the general public is of a company that carefully ensures the highest pet-sitter qualifications with pet-safety and quality of care given priority in "hiring" pet-sitters (except that sitters are "independent contractors," wink-wink) while the company makes no effort to ensure anything of the sort.
I will lodge a complaint with the relevant regulatory bodies for what appears to be internet fraud by the company. I'm not sure about the legal status of individuals who engage in fraud via the company website, but that merits a complaint as well.
One of my dogs has been slowly dying for two months after a stay with a Rover.com sitter whose abilities do not match her advertising (some people would call that "lying," but it might be a case of "puffery," arrogance, lack of self-awareness, ignorance, lack of common sense, and greed). This is the review I posted on the Rover.com website after my two dogs stayed at the house of a Rover.com sitter, Sheila C., here in San Diego while we were out of town for Thanksgiving:
"Scott L. January 16, 2018 Verified Stay Zero stars. One of our dogs might not survive after being poisoned by extremely toxic plants in Sheila C’s yard. Contrary to her false profile, Sheila isn’t really “intuitive with any potential medical symptoms that might arise and comfortable providing any medical treatments that might be necessary.” She explicitly claims knowing pet “first aid” but if she knew about basic canine medical problems, bothered to examine her yard for dangers or to see what my dog had eaten once he became sick (rather than passively stumbling upon the cause on the fourth day of illness), or called the Rover.com support line for veterinary advice (per Rover.com protocol) when my dog was on his second day of ghastly bright yellow diarrhea, my dog might not be slowly dying from damage to his GI tract going on two months now. Nor was it true that Sheila’s yard is fully enclosed: our two dogs walked out of her yard on the first day, one dog crossed a dangerous street to return home but, fortunately, was found uninjured by another dog-sitter whom Sheila had no previous acquaintance with but had sub-contracted for the first few days while Sheila was out of town; the sub-contracted sitter had to find boards to block the gap in the yard’s enclosure. Most recently, in a hurtful and presumptuous response yesterday to my request for her gardener’s contact info to see what other toxins my dog might have ingested, she refused to provide the information and asserted, with zero basis and falsely, that I am “trying to cast blame for a medical condition that was already present prior to Mufasa's stay with us.”
Sheila is irresponsible, negligent, and untruthful, and our previously perfectly healthy two-and-a-half-year-old dog, Mufasa, is now suffering the consequences as we pay mounting vet bills in a desperate attempt to save him. And yes, Sheila, NOW I am casting blame."
Bottom Line: No, I would not recommend this to a friend
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