4 Star Reviews - how to deal with them

Advice: Step one: In your shoes, I would send some private feedback first, very politely reminding her of the circumstances of the sit, how you came in, and the conditions when you arrived. You can politely, mention your disappointment regarding the four star review which given the site culture, will have a negative impact on your ability to get future sits. Within that, you can also point blank ask what you could have/ should have done differently or better, and maybe point out whether or not any of this was communicated to you during the sit. It’s not too late to try to negotiate on this.

Step two – my understanding is that you can still comment on reiviews. If she doesn’t change the rating, you can write feedback which objectlively describes the circumstances you came into and how you dealt with those challenges, but doesn’t sound angry about it.

I have a combined membership. I do look at reviews and if there is an under 5 star, I look at the sitters feedback for the sit. I would be inclined to ignore an occassional 4 star review especially if it wasn’t clear why it was 4 and not 5 and the pets were well treated, AND it didn’t devolve into angry dramatics.

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Yes. . . . . And I do think there are certain personalities who enjoy something of a power trip that may come from writing reviews. . . . . Also, I wonder why the previous sitter left . . .

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Yeah unfortunately I know what you are talking about and I rather not mention it because I feel this is the case here. :confused: I felt like that while I was at at Oregon trip and thankfully I did not request for a review nor did he ask for one since we didn’t really mesh and it was a hostile environment. I swear idk if I’m having such luck with Trusted HouseSitters where people will just find anyone badly cause they are not able to find people regardless if they click or not.

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So sorry you have to deal with this frustration. You know the review system itself is bad when it’s such a letdown to get four stars.


This discussion confirms that the star system does not work. 4 stars is a good review, but people get angry when they don’t get 5, so most people give 5, which makes the whole system useless. Away with those stars. We’re also hosts for warmshowers, a network of long distance cyclists. For a review there you choose “positive” or “negative” and then write a few lines.


I think the fact where you have to get technical with being specific about their performance - tidiness, happy pets, etc. More so when comparing yourself to others with 5-star ratings. You must compete and overstress yourself to get that 5 star - otherwise you are set for failure. Very triggering.

Definitely not an appropriate system for some people who suffer from mental health issues :confused:

I had a similar experience, but where the host gave me 3 out of 5 stars. I am relatively new to THS, and I was shocked by the “bad” review. It was very upsetting. All my other reviews were better. The HO was unresponsive when I tried to get feedback. It was for a very short weekend sit, and the HO rushed out after going through the tasks. She hardly spoke to me. I had wondered if she had cameras hidden. I did everything right, followed directions, took care of her cat, but nothing was good enough for this HO. I was also the only one she ever gave 3 stars to.
What would you do?

I’ve just had a review where I had 5 stars for everything except tidiness where I was given 4, but thankfully overall it was 5. I was surprised at the 4 because I left it tidier than when I arrived (post-Christmas food left on the counter and in the fridge and which was already going off, so I binned it). After a bit of thinking I’m putting it down to finger error - their review was good (I’d be welcome back) and I honestly can’t think of anything more I could have done.


Hello, I thought I would jump onto this thread as I am new. I asked two friends I have housesat for for reviews, and one shows up as a four star in some places, and five stars in others.

How do I drill down and see what she left under the star system?

The text of the review is fine.

Thanks in advance :slight_smile:

Hello @Andree Welcome to the forum! It’s lovely to have you here :smiling_face:

The stars on a reference are an overall rating that the referee gives you. If it is less than 5 stars they might have made a mistake, especially if the write-up is great! I would check with them and they can also reach out to Membership Services and get them to update it to 5 stars if they made a mistake.

I hope that helps and I hope you get a sit soon. Feel free to pop back on the forum with any questions or just to update us on how everything is going finding your first sit.

Lots of people have different feelings about reviews and stars. Your friends could possibly have thought five stars would look fake. Here five stars is often a baseline for nothing bad happened! If your outside references gave you four stars, check with if they are willing to change or delete the reference. Contact member services. You can’t change the rating, but the person who left the rating can.