Sunday, December 12, 2010

What if you forget a pet sitting visit?

Nate and Roup destroy a dog bed

One of the discussion groups I am on recently featured a question from a distraught pet sitter. She missed a visit, and felt TERRIBLE about it. How could she ever make it up to the owner, and how could they ever trust her again?

Her excuses weren’t extraordinary. She had a cold, was tired, had a busy day, and just plain forgot to go let the dog out. She was pretty hard on herself, and the rest of us were sympathetic.

Why? Because many of us have done the exact same thing. We are human, and humans sometimes make mistakes. So how should you handle it when you screw up?

Admit it and apologize. Tell the clients, and make no elaborate excuses. Unless you were in the hospital, anything else you say isn’t going to impress them much.  Eat crow and be humble. Don't lie.

Don’t charge them. Either give them a free day or the entire assignment at no charge, depending on how much trouble your mistake caused. Did the dog mess on the carpet? It is your responsibility to pay for cleaning. Did the cat have to go to the vet because of missed meds? Pay for the vet visit. Accept responsibility and do what you can to salvage the situation.

 Let go of it. Either they forgive you or they don’t. If they never book you again, there’s not much you can do about it.

One thing I learned from the time I forgot a visit, similar to the time I locked myself out. You’ll pay more attention and won’t let it happen again anytime soon. 

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© 2010 Terry Albert. All Rights Reserved.


Anonymous said...

Ugh, this happened to me once. I told the owner as soon as I realized and also offered a free visit in the future. It all turned out well!

Tailor Made Pet Sitting said...

great post! I am thankful that this has not happened to me but it's a big fear of mine.

Valerie Pegg said...

Yeah, really great post! I haven't missed one and I know if I did I would be so hard on myself. It's definitely one of my biggest fears. That and red wasps. :)