I’ve been going back and forth on whether to write this blog. However, I’ve done my best to approach my Rover.com experience as impartially and as factually as possible.
I have used Rover.com for years at this point. I have not found a singular sitter to go back to, so all of Olivia’s “stays” have been with various people across the greater Atlanta area. We have done two separate two week stays, and a few other 3-4 day stays.
Having worked in both customer service and in marketing, I know that you’re far more likely to have customers reach out and review negatively than you are to receive positive reviews. I have had good stays with Rover.com. It’s mostly been the shorter stays, but the below story is not necessarily indicative of all Rover.com sitters. However, my most recent experience was bad enough that I will be unlikely to use the service again.
I went to visit my sister for a couple of weeks with my parents. Generally, when I go out of town, they’re kind enough to watch her, but they obviously couldn’t this time. As I mentioned, I’ve used Rover.com in the past, and it has worked fairly well for me. I like that Olivia is in someone’s home as opposed to being boarded somewhere.
After researching within my price range, I did find The Sitter I used for the stay. (I am not using her name in this story as that’s just unnecessary.) She seemed super nice, worked from home, and matched the qualifications I look for (no other animals or children under the age of 5).
When I dropped Olivia off, The Sitter was very attentive to my obsessive details. Olivia seemed to take fairly well to her. I don’t like leaving her, but I felt she was in good hands with The Sitter.
In the first week of our travels, I got updates from The Sitter that did include images. Olivia was doing well, but was having some separation issues (super common for her). In the second week, the updates seemed a bit fewer. I get that we’re in a pandemic, so it’s not like people are doing exciting things.
Then, on Thursday, July 30, when I was asking what time I should pick Olivia up the following day, I received an image update that concerned me. I noticed something odd on her tail. I asked The Sitter if Olivia had a cut on her tail. (Now, during Olivia’s other two week stay while I was abroad a few years ago, she came back with a cut on her ear. She plays hard.)
The Sitter replied and said that it was indeed a cut. After I asked her how and when it happened, I was told that Olivia was bitten by another dog on Monday, July 27. DAYS had gone by in which I was not told that my dog was bitten by another dog. She had not been taken to a vet (though I left the details of her local vet with The Sitter and would have happily paid for the visit over the phone). The Sitter had zero information of the other dog who did the biting, so there was nothing on whether the dog was up to date on vaccinations or anything. The Sitter also said, “I’ve been debating on whether or not to tell you.”
From there, I certainly started crying. There was nothing I could do, so I just dealt with it. I made it to her pickup and she was her old self, so excited to see me. However, it resulted in her opening up the wound on her tail.
Now, I’ll save you the gory details. Just know that one of the (many) vets we had seen said that she may have needed to have the end of her tail amputated. We are now almost three weeks past the bite, and Olivia is healing well. Knock on all the wood. We’re just waiting for her tail fur to grow back.
How Rover.com Handled It
I called once I returned home. To put it in perspective, we had just finished a 7 hour driving day, plus two hours at the emergency vet. I was exhausted. I found the Rover.com customer service number and called.
The young woman I spoke to was so kind, apologizing that this had happened and saying how sorry she was that “we” were going through this. I was to wait for an email from their team where I would be asked to submit documentation and a “written statement” on what happened. I hung up the phone feeling like this might work out for me.
When I was handed over to their “Trust & Safety Team” it started to go downhill. I submitted an extensive written report, answering all of their questions and sharing how I felt. I even included pictures as I had documented Olivia’s tail. These are the questions they asked:
- To your knowledge, what happened and when?
- When and how did your sitter notify you?
- Would you use your sitter again, why or why not?
- What follow up care for Olivia is or may be needed?
- Please confirm who submitted payment for the vet bills.
Across five vet visits, I totaled just under $250 (which is amazingly lucky and I am blessed that it was as affordable as it was). I came to learn that the Rover.com “guarantee” does not reimburse anything below $250. In fact, they would only reimburse dollars OVER $250 if the claim was approved. Thus, for my case, there is no financial restitution. I am out the sitter fee, plus Rover.com fees, PLUS the cost of these vet visits.
Now, they said that they would conduct a “safety inspection” of The Sitter. No one told me what this would entail. Honestly, I don’t think they’ll find anything to raise concerns. It was her negligence and the fact that she didn’t tell me what happened that warrants my concern. “Would you use your sitter again?” HELL NO. I can’t leave my dog with someone I can’t trust. Her omission warrants her not being able to be trusted.
After this happened, I did some digging. The fighter in me wanted to leave nasty, negative reviews all over their social media. Guess what. Rover.com does not “allow” public reviews on their social media pages. RED FLAG.
Then, when you type in “rover.com reviews” to a simple Google search, there is a result on their website. They’re all glowing reviews. Sure, I get this. No business is going to publish negative reviews on their own website.
Finally, I happened across another site full of negative reviews. Rover.com had suppressed people so significantly that they had to work to find another outlet to express their grievances. Honestly, I was lucky with what happened to Olivia. The stories other dog owners have shared…it’s just awful. I also found this post with a similar sentiment.
Granted, a lot of the reviews are for them as an “employer” for their sitters, and they tend to vary. Just keep that in mind. I think the greatest mark of the disparity here is their BBB rating. Somehow, they’re A+ rated, but they have a 1 star rating from customers. That’s a company who puts their employees before their customers.
Now, if you’ve made it this far, good for you. I needed a constructive way to share my feelings and experience about Rover.com. If you wish for me to travel to see you, know that my dog and I are now a package deal. If you are blood-related, you are on the short list to be able to watch my dog.