Worried about unfaithful partners? Our private investigators reveal the tell-tale signs

We’ve partnered with three of our private investigators to create a guide for people who suspect their partner of being unfaithful. These private investigators have extensive experience in catching cheating partners and have been hired through Bark.com in the past for their skills.

We’ve noticed a 39% increase in ‘barks’ this summer, the majority of which are looking for PIs to investigate a potentially cheating spouse.

Studies have shown that 1 in 5 British adults say they’ve had an affair*. Another study found that 25.4% of married men and 18.3% of married women and have cheated on their current partners at least once and that most affairs start in the workplace – 38.8% of women have an affair with a work colleague in comparison to 30.7% of men**.

Signs that your partner may be cheating:

  1. Being protective of phone, social media or email: This highlights that there’s something to hide on these devices. They may also take their phone to the bathroom, keep it on silent or always keep it face down. Any calls are taken in a different room.
  2. Dramatic change in sex drive: This could mean that there’s more or less sex in the relationship. The partner could feel guilty for cheating, so wants to cover it up by initiating or avoiding sex because they’re getting it elsewhere.
  3. Decline in communication: This could be little things, such as what happened in their day that they used to share and no longer do, or big things like refusing to discuss the future.
  4. New clothes and underwear: If new clothes and/or underwear have been purchased, which is unusual in the relationship, it may be that they are wearing it for someone else and making more of an effort.
  5. Change in personality: A change in personality is a big sign of infidelity, it could be that they’re being more secretive, more argumentative and less affectionate. Sometimes it’s as a result of guilt, but it could also be the influence of the person they’re cheating with rubbing off on them.
  6. Working out more: If they suddenly join a gym or increase the amount of times they go, it could be a sign they’re cheating. Taking more pride in their appearance is one thing, but a big shift could indicate it’s because they have someone else to impress, not just you or themselves.
  7. Uninterested in family events: This reveals that the partner doesn’t want to be around family. It could be that this is due to them not caring anymore, feeling guilty, or that they don’t see a future with you so it’s not worth the effort.
  8. Deflecting once confronted about infidelity: Do they accuse you of cheating at the same time you bring up your concerns? This shows that they are feeling guilty and want to move the attention from themselves as quickly as possible.
  9. Fights about money: Money can be a difficult subject within any relationship, but increased fights about finances may be exacerbated thanks to guilty feelings, and the fact they’re spending more dating two people.
  10. They’re not jealous: A lack of interest in a partner and what they’re doing is a sign they don’t care anymore.

What you should do if you’re suspicious:

  1. Have real evidence but respect their privacy – you can’t take back the accusation once you’ve made it, so it’s best to be as sure as possible
  2. Think about what you’re going to say to your partner beforehand
  3. Think about what you want to happen if it’s true and if it’s not true
  4. Calmly confront your partner and discuss why you suspect they’re cheating
  5. Calmly discuss what you should do next in your relationship

You can hire your own private investigator here.

Kai Feller, co-founder of Bark.com, said,

“The 39% increase in PIs that we’ve seen is unusual, as it’s a high increase over a short space of time which is why we looked into it.

“We have a multitude of PIs on our site who have the expertise and knowledge to recognise warning signs for people to be aware of in regards to cheating spouses and what to do next.

“We hope that by putting this guide together, people will be able to see the signs more clearly.”

ENDS

* https://yougov.co.uk/news/2015/05/27/one-five-british-adults-admit-affair/

** https://www.yourtango.com/experts/miss-rosie-freeman-jones/uks-largest-survey-infidelity

Huge rise in demand for private mental health services in UK

 

Mental health has been in the news agenda a lot recently. With celebrities and journalists talking openly about it, the subject has become less taboo.

This got us thinking about whether the underfunded and stretched public mental health service has had an impact on demand for private mental health services. We analysed job request data for private counselors over the last two years, and discovered that demand has increased by 65%!

This is a huge increase, and it makes private counselling services the third fastest-growing category on Bark.com.

To find out why people are opting for private rather than NHS, we surveyed 2,129 counseling clients who booked through Bark.com and the results were eye-opening.

The most common conditions requiring treatment from a private counsellor through Bark.com are depression and anxiety, followed by eating disorders and then stress. Two thirds (65%) of the patients who booked a counsellor through Bark.com are women and more than half (55%) are between the age of 18 and 35 years old.

We analysed the data by region and found that London received the most ‘barks’ for counselling services, followed by Birmingham and then Liverpool. We also noted a 34% increase in demand for online counselling, where sessions are carried out over Skype or FaceTime.

77% of respondents said they booked a private mental healthcare professional because NHS mental health waiting lists are too long. 30% said they didn’t trust the service the NHS provides and 17% said they always book health services privately.

We spoke to one of our counselors to get some insight and this is what he said.

“I’ve treated hundreds of patients for mental health conditions like depression, anxiety, OCD and insomnia in my 30 year career. I used to work in the NHS a long time ago but left because I became disillusioned with the way it was being ran. Mental health has always been a ‘taboo’ subject, and consequently underserviced sector within medicine. I think because you can’t see physical illness people don’t consider it an illness, which is ludicrous.

“Within the last 10 years I have noticed a real increase in young people requesting my counseling. Before that the majority of my patients were 40+ suffering from severe stress and depression associated with work and lifestyle. I have to say it’s concerning. I often wonder whether young people have always suffered with mental health or whether this is a modern problem. From my experience it’s the latter, and we need to address it quickly.”

You can book a counselor in your local area here.

Kai Feller, co-founder of Bark.com said,

“We hadn’t anticipated just how many people are booking private counsellors through the site. It’s become one of the most in demand services on Bark.com now. This is great for counsellors on our site, but I think it shines a light on how the NHS mental health service is failing people when they need it.

“There will be thousands of people in the UK that can’t afford to pay privately for help. Hopefully our data will show the impact poor funding for NHS mental health services is having.”

Do you have a pampered pooch? UK dog owners spend £57bn on their pets every year

We’ve recently revealed that UK pet owners spend a total of £57 billion on their pets every year, excluding food and medical costs.

Through analysing our internal data, we discovered that on average UK pet owners spend £3,304.12 on dog walking, training, pet sitting and grooming every year.

There are 66.5 million people in the UK and 26% own a dog*, meaning that 17 million people in the UK are dog owners. With the average salary in the UK being £27,271 per annum**, it works out that on average UK pet owners spend 12.11% of their salaries on these services every year.

Top 10 cheapest places per session for dog training are:

  1. Kirklees, Calderdale, Bradford, Rochdale, Gosport – £25
  2. Lancaster – £30
  3. Charnwood – £38
  4. Weymouth and Portland – £40
  5. Woking, Guildford, Mole Valley, Waverley, East Hampshire, Elmbridge, Hart, Rushmoor, St Albans – £45
  6. Oxford – £48
  7. Fareham – £50
  8. Hertsmere – £50
  9. Havant – £57
  10. Surrey – £60

To hire a dog trainer in your area, click here.

Top 10 cheapest places for dog walking per hour are:

  1. Dumfries and Galloway – £3
  2. Hartlepool – £7.50
  3. Angus – £8
  4. Inverclyde, Stafford, Ryedale, Gosport – £8
  5. East Renfoewshire – £8.33
  6. Preston, Fylde – £8.50
  7. Barnsley, Charnwood – £9
  8. Torbay – £9.11
  9. North Somerset – £9.13
  10. Lancashire – £9.73

To hire a dog walker in your area, click here.

Top 10 cheapest places for pet sitting per hour are:

  1. Salford – £4
  2. Surrey Heath – £7
  3. Trafford – £8
  4. Walsall – £8.50
  5. Havant, Reigate and Banstead – £10
  6. Leeds – £11.33
  7. Wakefield – £12
  8. North Lincolnshire – £14.17
  9. Portsmouth – £14.33
  10. Harrogate – £15

To hire a pet sitter in your area, click here.

Top 10 cheapest places for dog grooming per hour are:

  1. Flintshire – £15
  2. Kingston-upon-Thames – £17.50
  3. Stoke-on-Trent – £23.67
  4. Exeter, Cotswald, North Lincolnshire, South Yorkshire, St Edmundsbury, Braintree – £25
  5. Maldon – £25.25
  6. Suffolk – £25.40
  7. Lincolnshire – £26.25
  8. Cheshire East – £27.50
  9. Redbridge – £29
  10. Canterbury, West Sussex, Bracknell Forest, Dover – £30

To hire a dog groomer in your area, click here.

Kai Feller, co-founder of Bark.com, said,

Pet services are extremely popular on our site. There’s always been a buzzing community of pet enthusiasts buying and selling services, which shows just how much this country loves their dogs!

“It’s quite surprising when you see the percentage of the average salary that is spent on pet services, but this is also dependant on location and salary, so you might spend less or even more than the national average dog owner.

* https://www.statista.com/statistics/308229/estimated-pet-population-in-the-united-kingdom-uk/

** https://www.lsbf.org.uk/blog/news/education-careers/ons-figures-reveal-average-pay-jobs-in-uk/109969

Rise of the Pro House Sitter: Get paid to live in other peoples’ houses

Ever been getting ready to go on holiday on realised you haven’t sorted where the dog’s staying? Or been worried about posting photos whilst you’re away because you’re worried about getting burgled? Well having someone house sit for you is the perfect way to not have to worry about anything whilst you’re away – and Pro House Sitting is a service which has been on the up for a while.

We’ve been tracking our Pro House Sitting service since this time last year, and our findings have revealed that demand for ‘Professional House Sitters’ has increased by 340% since June 2017, and  that some Pro Sitters are currently earning more than £200 a day – just for living in other peoples’ houses.

We also found that Cheshire and London are the most in-demand places in the UK, and to meet demand we’re now looking for members of the public who’d like to become a ‘Professional House Sitter’ in order to meet demand.

If you’d like to get paid to live in other peoples’ houses, you can sign up here.

When speaking to our ‘Pro House Sitters’, we also found that more than a third (34%) said they house sit full time, and don’t have place of their own, and that more than half (57%) of our house sitters who don’t have their own place, also don’t have a job outside of Professional House Sitting.

Research from Santander Mortgages has revealed that it is now cheaper to buy a house than rent one in every area of the UK, with homeowners set to save £2,268 a year, on average*. When speaking to people who had hired a house sitter through the site, we also found that more than three quarters (77%) of respondents said that fear of burglary was their main reason for doing so.

More than half (61%) of respondents also said not wanting to take their pet out of its home environment as a reason for hiring a Pro House Sitter.

People looking to become a ‘Pro House Sitter’ will need to undergo comprehensive background checks and must not have any previous or unspent criminal convictions. The job will involve travelling around the UK, dependent on demand, and looking after peoples’ homes whilst they’re away.

Responsibilities for a ‘Pro House Sitter’ can include; feeding and taking care of pets, recording television programmes, monitoring CCTV from security cameras, and cleaning. However, because of the nature of Bark.com and how it works every job will be different and involve alternative responsibilities.

For people looking to employ a ‘Pro House Sitter’ they will need to answer a number of questions relating to their location, length of leave, and talk about any special requirements. Once a homeowner has selected a ‘Pro House Sitter’, Bark.com recommends they meet them at least once before they leave, in order to exchange keys and run through any additional details for the stay.

If you fancy trying out the service, you can hire a house sitter here.

It’s expected that ‘Pro House Sitters’ will earn upwards of £50 a day, based on our findings, however as with all Bark.com professionals, prices are up to them, and some are currently earning upwards of £200 a day.

Kai Feller, co-founder of Bark.com, said,

“Housesitting tends to be something that relatives and friends do when someone’s on holiday. However, in recent years there’s been an upward trend in people looking elsewhere for the service, and for people without close family or friends, finding a house sitter can be extremely difficult.

“The housing market is ever-changing, and just recently Santander Mortgages revealed that it is actually cheaper to buy a house than rent in every area in the UK, so it’s no wonder people are looking for alternative ways to live.

“There are thousands of people in the UK who want to see more places and travel but don’t have the time or money – but hopefully our service helps fix both of those problems.”

 

Help the homeless in your area by nominating them to learn how to busk!

We have partnered with almost 50 of our music, dance and singing tutors to offer free tuition to homeless people, so they can learn a skill and busk for money!

We have tutors signed up to the scheme from across the UK, so homeless people can learn a variety of entertainment skills that gives them the capabilities to successfully busk for money rather than beg.

You can nominate homeless people or a homeless shelter in your area who you want to learn how to busk here.

More than 300,000 people in Britain were officially recorded as homeless or living in inadequate homes in 2017 according to figures from government data and homeless charity Shelter. This is the equivalent to one in every 200th person sleeping rough or accommodated in temporary housing, bed and breakfast rooms, or hostels – an increase of 13,000 from 2016. *

We already have tutors signed up to the scheme in most of the UK’s major cities, however if you are a music teacher who wants to be part of the scheme you can sign up here.

Tutors must be willing to give up at least one hour a week of their time to teach a homeless person. In return for their time, we will give them 20 free credits to use on the site.

Kai Feller, co-founder of Bark.com, said,

“The homeless crisis in Britain is a growing problem and many people feel there isn’t they can do to help stop it. We hope by bringing in this initiative we can help homeless people learn new skills so they can busk instead of beg, with the intention people will be more generous.

“We have some fantastic tutors onsite who want to gift their services to those in need. Hopefully we’ll get even more signed up, so we can help educate the growing homeless population in the UK!”

Want to earn £10k? All you have to do is put on 5 stone and lose it in 6 months!

We’re recruiting a member of the public to put on five stone in 3 months then lose it in 3 months and we will pay you £10,000 to do it!

We’ve launched this to showcase that losing a considerable amount of weight is possible in a short space of time, after the UK was revealed as the most overweight country in Western Europe. It might seem like an unrealistic venture, but we’ve partnered with our top personal trainers to help you achieve this goal.

Candidates need to be 18 years old or older and able to attend PT sessions at least five times a week. You must be willing to do whatever it takes and capable of completing all types of activities, such as cycling, swimming and boxing.

You will be required to eat an extra 3,500 calories a day approximately in the three month ‘weight gain’ period. However, this will be dependent on your body type, height, gender and age, which will be assessed at the start. The process will be completed in a safe manner under the supervision of your GP and personal trainer.

The successful candidate will be required to have a check-up at their doctors prior to putting on weight to ensure they are healthy to do so. If your GP does not agree you are physically or emotionally fit to take on this challenge, we have the right to terminate the contract immediately.

A 5% advance of the £10,000 will be given to the selected applicant at the start of the process and will receive the remaining balance once they’ve successfully lost the weight at the end of the six months.

If you’d like the chance to take on this challenge and earn some extra cash, please tell us a little bit about yourself and why you’d like to be involved by filling in a form here.

Personal trainers who are interested in taking part in the challenge can register as a Bark.com service provider here, however their participation is dependent on the successful candidate’s location.  

Kai Feller, co-founder of Bark.com, said,

“We have some incredible personal trainers onsite and we hope this project will demonstrate how attainable losing a large amount of weight is with the right help and support.

“This is a life changing opportunity for someone to gain invaluable knowledge, get fit and healthy and earn a considerable amount of extra cash!”

Outsource your job and don’t miss a minute of the World Cup!

Want to watch all of the World Cup games, but can’t get the time off work? Well we’ve just launched the perfect service for you!

We’re giving members of the public the chance to hire freelance professionals to take over their job, whilst they watch this year’s World Cup matches. We’re launching it across the UK, and we expect professionals will be charging from around £15 an hour.

You can book your World Cup Worker here.

The service, which will be available nationwide, lets people watch matches without having to use up their precious holiday days. Workers will be available across a number of sectors, including data input and analysis, where work can be outsourced remotely.

Our ‘World Cup Worker’ service will be available from Thursday 14th June, when Russia take on Saudi Arabia in the first round of the tournament.

If you’d like to book a World Cup Worker, you’ll have to answer a few questions, such as; how many matches you want covered, what profession you work in, if the job can be done remotely, and which games you’d like to watch during the Tournament.

Pro World Cup Workers can expect to earn around £15p/h, however as with all Bark.com professionals, they can set their own rates.

Our service is primarily aimed at remote and freelance working, however it is open to all sectors and job roles.

Once a customer has selected a service provider to fulfil their duties at work, World Cup Workers will be expected to set up a physical or virtual meeting with them, to establish exactly what the work will entail and run through any additional points not mentioned in the original hiring request.

Kai Feller, co-founder of Bark.com, said,

“The World Cup is one of the biggest sporting events in the world and every four years millions of people in the UK sit down to watch it. However, for some people out there finding the time to watch the games can be almost impossible, especially when they kick off during work hours.

“On the other hand you have people who couldn’t care less about football and the World Cup. So, we thought why not combine the two groups and create a service that lets people watch matches, whilst someone else earns money doing their job.

“I think it’s going to be interesting to see what professions and trades people outsource for the tournament.”

Freelance workers looking to become a ‘World Cup Worker’ can apply here.

Hate football but like working? Well we’ve got just the job for you!

Despite its popularity, we know that football isn’t for everyone, and with the World Cup just around the corner some aren’t going to be as excited as others. That’s why we’re giving members of the public the chance to hire freelance professionals to take over their job, whilst they watch this year’s matches.

The service, which will be available nationwide, lets some people watch matches without having to use up their precious holiday days, and allows others to earn whilst the games are on. We’re recruiting for workers across a number of sectors where work can be outsourced remotely.

Our ‘World Cup Worker’ service will be available from Thursday 14th June, when Russia take on Saudi Arabia in the first round of the tournament.

Pro World Cup Workers can expect to earn around £15p/h, however as with all Bark.com professionals, they can set their own rates. Our service is primarily aimed at remote and freelance working, however it is open to all sectors and job roles.

Once a customer has selected a service provider to fulfil their duties at work, World Cup Workers will be expected to set up a physical or virtual meeting with them, to establish exactly what the work will entail and run through any additional points not mentioned in the original hiring request.

To be eligible as a ‘World Cup Worker’ you’ll be required to provide proof of your profession, as well as any relevant experience. Customers may ask you for additional evidence, such as qualification certificates and work history. You must also be willing to have a full background check, state any current or previous criminal convictions and be able to work remotely.

As a World Cup Worker, you’ll need to fill in at work for a member of the public, for up to 105 minutes of each chosen football match to cover both halves of the game and half time. We recommend that the service is primarily aimed at remote and freelance working, however it is open to all sectors and job roles.

If you think this sounds like the job for you, please sign up here.

Kai Feller, co-founder of Bark.com, said,

“The World Cup is one of the biggest sporting events in the world and every four years millions of people in the UK sit down to watch it. However, for some people out there finding the time to watch the games can be almost impossible, especially when they kick off during work hours.

“On the other hand you have people who couldn’t care less about football and the World Cup. So, we thought why not combine the two groups and create a service that lets people watch matches, whilst someone else earns money doing their job.

“I think it’s going to be interesting to see what professions and trades people outsource for the tournament.”

Members of the public can request a professional ‘World Cup Worker’ here.

Going away this summer? Burgle-proof your home with this guide from ex-offenders

We’ve spoken with two former burglars to create a guide to help you protect your home from burglary this summer, after recent crime statistics show that burglary increased by 9%* last year.

In addition, our internal data has shown a 42% increase in demand for home security services.

Here are the tips from the former burglars:

  1. Take passports and driving licenses away with you: Criminals can easily commit identity fraud with this information. It’s a modern-day crime that is less risky and growing in popularity.
  2. Have a recording of a dog barking: A dog’s bark will make thieves think twice about breaking in. They’ll think that someone else is in the house or that the dog will attract unwanted attention to them.
  3. Install a deadlock: The installation of a deadlock will make it a lot harder and time-consuming to pick a lock. In most cases, a burglar will move on when they realise they’re up against a deadlock.
  4. Don’t post on social media: Too many people freely put information about their schedules on social media, which helps burglars when it comes to figuring out when to steal from a property. Check your home insurance policy too, as some may pay out less or not at all if you’ve published that you’re away on social media.
  5. Keep on top of your gardening: If the lawn is freshly mowed, then burglars will question whether a house is in fact vacant. It also gets rid of any potential hiding spots. Burglars will watch houses for a few days to see patterns of the occupants so it’s a good idea to hire a gardener to come around whilst you’re away.
  6. Install a burglar alarm/put a fake one up: This will deter any burglars from even attempting to break into your home. If you’re put off by the cost, sometimes just the sight of one will put a thief off so you don’t necessarily need to fork out for a real one.
  7. Install CCTV/put a fake camera up: Like with burglar alarms, these don’t always need to be functioning. If a burglar is casing your home, they’ll likely avoid yours because of the increased risk of getting caught.
  8. Make sure keys are hidden from sight: If someone can see keys from your window they’re more likely to break in. Keys will also give intruders access to other areas of your home, such as your garage, and your car.
  9. Buy motion activated lights: These lights will come on when anyone comes near your property, making sure that burglars can’t break in without being seen.
  10. Put WD-40 on your window sills: An unconventional but effective way to get rid of thieves trying to get in your home! The WD-40 will make it difficult for them to grip and use the window sill to climb into your home.

If you’d like to install security systems in your home, click here:

Get security system quotes now

Kai Feller, co-founder of Bark.com, said,

“No one likes to think about their home being burgled, but it is definitely something that should be considered before you go on holiday for a week or two. With peak holiday season coming up, we wanted to make sure everyone’s home is as protected as it can be. Luckily, there’s a lot you can do yourself to keep burglars away.

“When we noticed the increase in demand for home security services like intruder alarm and CCTV installation on Bark.com, we decided to speak with former offenders to help make people’s homes as safe as possible.

“The resulting guide highlights potential weaknesses that burglars will exploit if given the chance and shows you what to do to help prevent someone breaking into your home while you’re away. We hope it helps give families around the UK peace of mind, so they can enjoy their well-deserved holidays!”  

*https://www.ons.gov.uk/peoplepopulationandcommunity/crimeandjustice/bulletins/crimeinenglandandwales/yearendingdecember2017

RHS Chelsea Flower Show increases business for gardening pros on Bark.com

The RHS Chelsea Flower Show is the biggest gardening event in the UK, some might even say the world and attracts thousands of visitors every year, even royalty.

The show has been the highlight of the gardening industry since 1912 and runs for five days every May, with the 2018 show kicking off yesterday till Saturday 26th May.

This annual showcase of the world’s best gardening talent, cutting edge designs and latest trends has coincided with an increase in demand for gardening professionals on Bark.com – it seems that the show has inspired the public to improve their outdoor space!

To get more specific, there’s been a:

  • 37% spike in requests for gardeners
  • 25% increase for landscape designers
  • 18% increase for fence and gate installers

Overall, service requests are up 38% on this time last year.

If you’re looking for a gardening pro, you can place your own Bark here.

Turfing requests were the most popular from consumers, followed by fence installation, patio laying and pond installation. Our data also shows that consumers in the West Midlands are the most keen to improve their gardens, with 11% of job requests across all services being made in that region. Where as homeowners in the South East are wanting fence and gate installations, and account for 7% of the job requests in that field.

We decided to do some investigating, and spoke to our network of UK gardening professionals about why they thought demand for their services has increased so dramatically. More than two fifths (42%) said that the RHS Chelsea Flower Show inspires people to improve their outdoor space and a third (33%) said the hot weather, a quarter (25%) answered they didn’t know.

If you have been inspired to reinvent your garden, you can hire professionals in your local area on Bark.com that can help with:

Kai Feller, co-founder of Bark.com, said,

“I’m not the least bit surprised that gardening professionals have been experiencing a surge in demand for their services. The weather is better earlier this year, summer is around the corner and people want to spend more time outside.

“The RHS Chelsea Flower Show is an incredibly popular event, which has been around for more than 100 years, so it makes sense that it would have a lot of influence over consumer buying habits. I think it’s great that our gardening pros across the UK are experiencing a positive effect from it.”