4 Star Reviews - how to deal with them


How do you deal with 4 star reviews when you have done so much in your power to communicate and everything to satisfy the owner yet they give you a bad review?

I swear I have been sharing pictures, sending constant updates, being enthusiastic, do they just not like me as a person? I find this upsetting because I left this gal a 5 star review and I thought she liked me since we vibed well. I turned on to this app to see another 4 star review and it’s destroying me.

I hate to say, but why do some folks get 5 star reviews and it’s always that one person with a 4 star review? Sorry… I’m not having a good day here

@Yuriko , welcome to the forum. I know this was disappointing. Are you a new sitter? Is this your first? Or do you have other 5-star reviews as well so that this one doesn’t stand out so much?

In the past, it was recommended that you request the HO post their review before you post your feedback. This advice still stands until the new review system is up and running. Have you considered asking the HO what they felt you could have done better? This is the only way you will know. Maybe they made a mistake?

Look at their history. What kinds of reviews did they leave their other sitters?

In the web interface, when one hovers above the row of stars, it will show a small text “Ok” at three stars, “Good” at four stars, and “Excellent” at five stars.

Home owners that are not familiar with the THS culture may choose “good” when they were satisfied with the sitter. Especially if it was their first, they may be hesitant to give five stars, thinking that that would be for exceptional experiences.

1 Like

Best to ask the hosts directly, in the spirit of figuring out whether there’s something you’re not aware of that you might consider changing. You can do that politely and constructively. Asking on the forum, people can’t help with random guessing, and you risk repeating such. If your hosts don’t reply, you’ve lost nothing.

In some cases, some hosts might have unrealistic expectations, which you might find out. That’s also good to know, so you can move on better.

1 Like

Hello! I’ve been doing this for 3 years, but I’m more affiliated with Rover and another famous pet sitting platform for 6 years. I have excellent reviews there. I made the mistake by writing her a lovely review because we instantly clicked and she told me her cats missed me as she thanked me a lot for her service.

Yeah what’s weird was she gave a lot of 5/5 star reviews to all her clients and I ended being her worst client. She was in a weird situation where she never met me and her sitter just left due to an emergency so I had to fill in. I was given no note from her or the previous sitter. The bed and bathroom was not hygenic but I still dealt with it. Idk. :confused:
It’s the fact she gave all the previous sitters 5 star ratings that bothered me.

I would ask her if I were you. Did she leave any clues in the review? It could have been a slip of the finger. Worse she can do is ignore you but its not like you want an ongoing relationship anyway. Best case she can change it if it was an error or give you some advice - make it clear in your message that you want to learn more about what happened and are open to hearing feedback, then get your next sit booked ASAP!


Hi there - I agree with other posters, that you should ask her. It does seem odd, given what you say.

That’s exactly how my husband thinks: 5* is for an exceptional sit; if all goes well, it’s ‘good’…

if he were a teacher, his students would complain he’s not very generous in grading papers. :grin:

So, you helped her out in a pinch when the other sitter left AND she still gave you 4*?! One more reason to ask her why.
After all, how could she know what happened under your guard and what happened under the other sitter’s? If she wasn’t happy with the cleaning, for instance, did she really expect you to pick up the slack from the other?


@Peonie19 I’m not really sure if you’re joking but worth mentioning that I check reviews and if the Home Owner leaves 4 star reviews for no obvious reason I won’t apply for the sit. I think a lot of sitters who really care about their track record will be the same so in leaving these reviews you’re limiting your pool of sitters to either people who don’t go into too much detail reading your listing or those who aren’t bothered about taking a hit to their rating.

I’d still apply because of the pressure with the 5 applicant limit but if we then moved to talking I’d look closer and likely withdraw.

I might have misunderstood what you’re saying but thought I’d mention just in case you didn’t realise!

1 Like

What was in the text of the review? Was it positive? Was there anything specific mentioned that might be the reason (whether it seems fair/true or not)?

I agree that you should ask the HO about it, but it would be worth writing a response mentioning coming in last minute, etc. I’d wait to see what the HO has to say before posting it, though.

We are actually sitters, and honestly, once I realized that that’s how he thinks, I now write the feedbacks myself. :smiling_face:

Haha wise!! I bet homeowners do the same in reverse to keep their high ratings

She dinged me on random categories with gave me an overall 4 star rating. I didn’t know I was an emergency sitter, but I had to ask her from time to time how to do this and that since the last sitter left a mess. I had 2 and 3 stars for organization and cleanliness. I cleaned up everything, but the bedding was not set up since the host wasn’t there and the sitter had no time to do it lol. Things were not within my control haha. I don’t know why out of all the other people with 5 stars from her…. I’m the poor soul with the worst rating

Her review for me was fake and peppy too. Very short and no effort idk. I’m just having mixed experiences with TH because I don’t expect people to not give me reviews, but I don’t want to fall in the expectations where we click and everything is fell and I come to a bad review. That’s the worst feeling for me.

1 Like

Now that you have disclosed more details, in my opinion she behaved unfairly before, during and after the sit.

  • She doesn’t tell you that you are replacing another sitter.
  • She didn’t leave clear instructions (was there a welcome guide?) and you had to keep asking her details while on the sit.
  • Cherry on the cake: she gives you a fairly negative review being curt without even acknowledging that you pretty much had her back and saved her!

Have you already written a feedback for/about her? If not, you could address her low rating to you explaining how you came to her rescue, albeit unbeknownst to you since she didn’t even have the decency to tell you (honestly, why didn’t she disclose that?). That you showed up in a messy and dirty house left by the previous person. That you weren’t left with proper instructions.

It seems to me that her behaviour breaks a few THS rules.

You can reply to her review (and people will read it). Just think carefully about what you want to say. Maybe sense check it here?

Yep, you can write a response to her review but she cannot write a response to your response. Hence you have the last word. You could say things like “I was so glad that I was able to help out and finish this sit when the first sitter had to leave early.” My suggestion would be to draft your response but give it a day. Then post it after you’ve had a chance to reflect and/or edit it

1 Like

I can understand how you feel @Yuriko as having 5 star reviews across the board I was upset when given 4 stars for the gardening section of one sit when I hadn’t been asked to do anything with the garden! That was on a different site however.
When you think of it 4 stars is good anyway.
Funnily enough I was discussing reviews with a good friend last night and she said she wouldn’t trust 5 stars across the board. She said if looking at Trip Advisor she’d take all reviews into consideration & a broad view. In a way it’s almost meaningless that most sitters/home owners get 5 stars so when the new review system comes in that will change……

It took me a while to realize this but 4 star reviews really aren’t the end of the world. I know 1,2 and 3 star reviews tend to scare off most HO but I noticed most give grace with 1 or 2 four star reviews. Personally I have two and it hasn’t impacted me as much as I thought it would. With One of the reviews, I provided very matter of fact context in my response and I also left a 1 star review on their profile. The other one the owner kinda shot themselves in the foot because it was incredibly petty stuff and they admitted they never left instructions on the stuff they were upset and acknowledged they need to update their welcome guide literally in the review.

I think once the blind review system kicks in there’s going to be a lot more 4 star reviews on both sides. In my experience I’ve had a lot of 4 star sits but I never actually leave them a review. I only leave a review if I think it’s a 5 star sit (or a 1 star if I think the sit might pose a danger to the health and safety of other sitters).