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Pet Sitter Lied & Will Not Return Keys!

Discussion in 'The Cat Lounge' started by Luna6, Jul 6, 2018.

  1. Luna6

    Luna6 Thread Starter TCS Member Young Cat

    Jul 6, 2018
    We have been using the same sitting service for about a year without issue. This week, our regular sitter wasn't available so the assigned someone else. The first night, she was supposed to get to our house by 7pm and send us an update via text. By 8, we heard nothing and the motion sensors on our security cameras had not triggered. I text her and she responded that she had already been to the house. She claimed she was just about to text me and said the camera on her phone wasn't working which is why we didn't get pictures. Then, at 10pm, the motion sensor triggered and the camera sent us a screenshot of her in the house. We inquired and she said she thought she didn't give our cat enough food the first time. The next morning we called the owner of the business and explained what happened and told her we were coming home because we didn't trust our sitter. The owner defended the sitter but said she understood and apologized and reimbursed us for our remaining visits. When we got home, the litter box hadn't been touched and the sitter claimed to have cleaned it out the night before and that morning.

    She was supposed to return our keys under the door the night we got home and we had to call the owner again the next morning because we never got the keys. The owner told us she said that she returned them and doesn't seem to believe that we didn't get them back. Now we need to have our door re-keyed which is several hundred dollars and the company refuses to reimburse us!

  2. Kieka

    Kieka Snowshoe Servant Staff Member Forum Helper

    Sep 6, 2016
    Southern California
    I'd contact a lawyer to have them send a demand letter for reimbursement for the rekeying. If they don't reimburse you can follow through with civil court. The only problem with that is long term on if you plan on using their services again.

  3. Daisy6

    Daisy6 A cat's best friend Super Cat

    Jun 2, 2018
    I guarantee the OP will not be using her services again.
    Antonio65, dustydiamond1, neely and 3 others purraised this.

  4. Luna6

    Luna6 Thread Starter TCS Member Young Cat

    Jul 6, 2018
    I do not plan on using their services again due to the reaction of the owner. I had hoped to avoid involving lawyers :-(
    dustydiamond1, tarasgirl06 and ArchyCat purraised this.

  5. Kieka

    Kieka Snowshoe Servant Staff Member Forum Helper

    Sep 6, 2016
    Southern California
    You could by just going through civil court but many times a demand letter will work. You could write one yourself explaining the situation with details. You have video of the property (don't be specific on where if you don't have the key return location), the sitter lied about services and you did not receive the key back. When the company refused to assist you, you were forced by their in action to change the locks for the safety and security of your home. It could work especially if sent directly to the owner. Maybe.

    I didn't think you'd use their services again but I know how hard a good sitter is to find and you liked a different sitter.
    dustydiamond1, catsknowme and tarasgirl06 purraised this.

  6. 1CatOverTheLine

    1CatOverTheLine TCS Member Top Cat

    Feb 6, 2017
    @Luna6 - In most cases, the police department can be pretty persuasive. I'd be surprised to learn that your keys didn't come back to you once the officer who took your police report had finished interviewing the pet-sitting company and the substitute sitter.
    Caspers Human, dustydiamond1, neely and 6 others purraised this.

  7. Luna6

    Luna6 Thread Starter TCS Member Young Cat

    Jul 6, 2018
    A good sitter is hard to find and we LOVED our regular sitter through that service. We had planned on just not using that particular sitter again but the owner seems sketchy also. I saw a Google review from a couple months ago stating that a sitter "lost" the clients keys. Wonder if it's the same girl and she's planning a heist!

  8. Kieka

    Kieka Snowshoe Servant Staff Member Forum Helper

    Sep 6, 2016
    Southern California
    Make sure you print and save that review. If you do go to civil court it could be used to show a trend.
    dustydiamond1, catsknowme and tarasgirl06 purraised this.

  9. maggie101

    maggie101 3 cats Top Cat

    Apr 20, 2014
    When I was on vacation I gave another set of keys to a good friend of mine in case something happened. . Good idea to have a monitor.
    dustydiamond1, catsknowme and tarasgirl06 purraised this.

  10. Margret

    Margret TCS Member Top Cat

    Jul 17, 2014
    Littleton, CO
    When I needed to have my doors re-keyed it did not cost several hundred dollars. Just go to Home Depot (or the hardware store of your choice) and buy new knobs for all the doors you need to have re-keyed. You can probably install them yourself, and they come with keys. If it's more than one knob you need to replace, speak with a clerk and he or she can help you get knobs that all use the same key, which gives you extras.

    That said, you should definitely call the cops about this.

    Antonio65, dustydiamond1, neely and 7 others purraised this.

  11. verna davies

    verna davies TCS Member Staff Member Forum Helper

    Feb 23, 2016
    Wales uk
    I would have new locks even if I had the keys back. She could have had copies made.
    r-kins, Antonio65, raysmyheart and 9 others purraised this.

  12. daisyd

    daisyd TCS Member Top Cat

    Jan 21, 2017
    That’s awful !!! Can’t stand dishonest people - you have used the company before so not sure why they believed her not you . Can you not use the good sitter privately ?
    Royalty, dustydiamond1, foxxycat and 2 others purraised this.

  13. Willowy

    Willowy TCS Member Top Cat

    Mar 1, 2009
    South Dakota
    And/or, maybe call a different locksmith? I know someone who had a locksmith out to re-key their doors and they said it was substantially less expensive than buying new doorknobs, which isn't very expensive to begin with.

  14. PushPurrCatPaws

    PushPurrCatPaws TCS Member Top Cat

    May 22, 2015
    I don't know how this sitting service works, but how did the sitter obtain your keys initially? Was it a direct hand-off of the keys at a meeting with the sitter in person? I would always recommend that a return of the keys be an in-person delivery of your keys -- supposedly having an agreement that the keys be slid under a door is just not reliable. In fact, a good sitting service should have a standardized, more reliable way to have this key thing set up.

    And I agree with @verna davie- I would just, as a matter of course, always rekey your home/apartment after any sitting service arrangement, just for peace of mind. There are ways anyone can circumvent a locksmith and get copies made of your keys.

  15. Luna6

    Luna6 Thread Starter TCS Member Young Cat

    Jul 6, 2018
    She came to our apartment to get the keys prior to the visit. I spoke again to the owner who told me that the sitter later told her she had not dropped off the keys but would do so today. She gave us a specific time and if we don't have them back, we are to call her again and she would pay to have our locks re-keyed. Based on our last conversation, she seems more understanding of our frustration and concern with the situation.

    We rent our home and must go through our landlord for replacement keys and re-keying which is why it's more expensive. Plus, it's the weekend and we'd need to call an emergency weekend service to get anything done. Otherwise, we'd have to wait until Monday.
    dustydiamond1, foxxycat, catsknowme and 4 others purraised this.

  16. Luna6

    Luna6 Thread Starter TCS Member Young Cat

    Jul 6, 2018
    We thought about calling the police, but not sure they can do anything since we willingly gave her the keys.
    dustydiamond1 and catsknowme purraised this.

  17. ArchyCat

    ArchyCat TCS Member Alpha Cat

    Nov 22, 2017
    Is the pet siting service a member of the Better Business Bureau? Or any other business group? If so, make a written complaint to them if the owner doesn't'resolve the issues to your satisfaction.

  18. Kat0121

    Kat0121 Advisor Staff Member Advisor

    Feb 23, 2014
    Sunny Florida
    It never hurts to ask. If that pet sitting company has a page on Yelp, leave a review. Leave a review anywhere you can. I'm sorry that you're having to go through this. @Margret is right about just changing the knobs. Ask your landlord if they will allow this as long as you give them a set of keys. You can get keys made at Walmart. Most stores have that over by the auto section.
    dustydiamond1, neely, catsknowme and 2 others purraised this.

  19. MargoLane

    MargoLane TCS Member Adult Cat

    Apr 10, 2018
    If they have an online presence, I would definitely write a review. Businesses are pretty reliant on the reviews - especially google reviews. It affects their SEO standing, their ratings and an have a big impact on how many new customers they get. I would explain that you have always had good service before this, and lay out what went wrong and what they could do to remedy the situation. On most platforms, businesses often have an opportunity to respond (google, yelp, etc.) and because they want to show they fixed the problem, it might spur the manager to deal with this quickly. Good luck!
    neely, foxxycat, catsknowme and 2 others purraised this.

  20. PushPurrCatPaws

    PushPurrCatPaws TCS Member Top Cat

    May 22, 2015
    Actually, if the house is a rental, it's very possible that the locks need to be rekeyed to also match with the owner's master key. At least, that is how it works in my apt building. A tenant isn't allowed to rekey the locks without manager's consult and consent, and the locksmith needs access to the owner or manager's master key to proceed.
    catsknowme, margecat and tarasgirl06 purraised this.

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