Safety First: 8 Tips for Staying Safe as a Meowtel Sitter

Safety First: 8 Tips for Staying Safe as a Meowtel Sitter

Ensuring your safety should be your top priority (as it is ours!), and while we take measures to maintain the safety of our sitters and clients, it's important for you to be aware of potential risks and how to avoid them. Here are some key tips for staying safe while you are out and about and getting ready for some quality kitty care.

Trust Your Feline Instincts

If a potential client's behavior or communication raises red flags at any time, trust your intuition and contact us via [email protected] or 1-844-MEOWTEL as soon as anything feels off. Red flags may include unrealistic expectations set by the client, a lack of information about the cats or their needs, or any requests that seem off such as filling out an external form or a request to be messaged on Snapchat, Instagram, text, or e-mail prior to them booking a reservation with you. If something doesn't feel right, it's okay to decline their requests and report the client to Meowtel.

Not every client who has the above issues is necessarily “up to something,” as some may still be in the process of completing their profiles, etc. However, if anything sticks out to you as strange and you are unsure, always let us know and we will be happy to help you assess the situation.

Don't Let Scammers Get Their Claws On You!

Unfortunately, some scammers may try to contact you through the Meowtel platform, posing as potential clients. They may ask for personal information such as your phone number or email address or ask you to contact them outside the app before making a reservation, and it's very important not to share any personal details until a reservation has been confirmed through the platform. When they do, you’ll have access to their user profile, reviews, vet release form, address, and contact information. In addition to them filling out their information, they also have to pay for the reservation in full, which is another thing that shows that their intent and need for cat care is serious. That’s why you should always keep your communication on the Meowtel chat with all prospective clients.

Watch Out For Empty Profiles

Before accepting a reservation, take a closer look at their profile. Although it’s not unusual for some customers to leave out some details, very empty profiles or profiles with little information can sometimes be a red flag. Additionally, verify if the address listed matches your location. Requests with addresses that are out of your state are often BIG red flags. If something seems off, don't hesitate to contact Meowtel Support so we can review the suspicious account, provide guidance, or block them from using the platform.

Choose Your Service Zone Carefully

Be mindful of the areas you're comfortable working in, and consider your mode of transportation and familiarity with using it in your service area because you don't want to get lost or stranded in an unfamiliar place. It's important to avoid areas or places where you may not feel safe working alone – since you are the only individual that can access clients’ homes, take the time to research the neighborhoods you'll be working in and familiarize yourself with the local area.

Additionally, if you are able and it matches the client's needs, try to make your visits while it is still daylight outside. Meowtel has outlined our acceptable service hours as follows:

  • Morning Visits: 6am - 12pm
  • Evening Visits: 4pm - 10pm
  • Anytime Visits: 6am - 10pm

Don't Be Afraid To Hiss If You Are Uncomfortable

If you don’t feel comfortable with the interactions with someone, report it to Meowtel immediately by dialing 1-844-MEOWTEL. Meowtel takes such reports very seriously and has a dedicated support team available 24/7 to assist our community with any concerns. If you need assistance outside business hours, which are from 8 am to 6 pm PST, you can send us an SMS or leave a voicemail.

Keep Your Personal Information Secure

It's important not to send any personal identification documents, send payments, or provide sensitive information to other users (even if they ask for it). If a client should insist, we recommend verifying your identity in person, during the Meet & Greet, after you have accepted their reservation request.

Share Your Location With a Friend or Family Member

Want to take an extra step to cover your paws? Try dropping a location pin to a trusted friend or family member via text before heading out to your Meet & Greet. Google Maps provides the option of sharing your location so that others can know where you are. Simply open up your Google Maps app, find the location, tap the location on the map, and hit share. Then just text it to the person of your choice.

From there you can discuss with your friend how long you anticipate that you will be at the location, and when or if they should reach out to you/seek help if they haven’t heard from you. We do our best to ensure our sitters’ and clients' safety, but it never hurts to have a backup plan in place.

Don't Meet Up Before Having a Reservation

It's very impurrtant not to meet potential clients in person before they have confirmed a reservation through the Meowtel platform – you can always remind them it’s Meowtel’s policy to meet only after a reservation has been placed and politely share our Meowtel Satisfaction Guarantee. Meeting someone in person before they've confirmed their reservation could put you at risk, and it's not necessary to meet in person before a reservation is made – remember we can always cancel it and refund the client if either one of you feels you weren’t the purrfect fit.

With that said, we want you to put your best paw forward, and prioritize your safety by following this advice. By staying alert for potential red flags, reporting any concerns to Meowtel, and following these safety guidelines, you can help ensure that every reservation you get is a pawsitive and safe experience!

We are committed to providing a kind and secure space for all sitters and clients alike, so by working together and following these tips, we can help ensure Meowtel remains a trusted marketplace for everyone.

Photo from Canva

Categories: For Sitters