I’m so sorry you’ve experienced this! I’m extremely sensitive too and even when I KNOW something might be out of my control or not my fault, I STILL take it so personally! It’s extra hard when you KNOW you’re doing your best, or beyond even.
Unfortunately, I think leaving no review is your best bet, for now atleast. No review sits are often assumed to be negative anyways, so many sitters will tread carefully seeing that alone. Once some time has passed and you’ve built up more reviews, if you still feel you want to leave one then atleast it won’t have as much affect on you.
I hope this is your only horrible sit for a good while, I think the majority of us can attest that such bad ones are very very rare!
You can think about some of the positives of the sit, both or your mental health and for your review. I had a HO who didn’t appreciate the hard work I put into caring for their outdoor pets in absolutely awful weather. But I made sure to mention the good things about the sit as well in my review, so it wasn’t a raging diatribe.
I’d also think for a bit about the yellow and red flags this HO might have given off, so that you can be alert for them when feeling out future potential HO’s.
Edited to comply with posting guidelines.
@artgirl ALWAYS BE CHOOSEY!!! It’s up to you to determine your value and self-worth! Life is short and there is nothing more valuable than your time, care, and attention!
I find the best way to warn other sitters is to leave no review. If I see a sit with 5 blank reviews I take it as a warning & will not apply.
I’ve been in a similar situation as you but please don’t let it put you off as your future sit could be a dream
Yes, it is a way to warn others.
My one bad sit now has two blank feedbacks …
Another warning sign is if home owners say very little about themselves. I tend to skip sitting opportunities now if introductions sound too sparse and businesslike.
It’s all a learning curve!
If you feel so uncomfortable and it wasn’t just differences in personality, minor things wrong, etc., I’d talk to customer service. You should not be in fear, feel danger, retaliation, etc of any sort.
For THS: bring up a Airbnb review system where people don’t have to fear retaliation.
@Ckone2541 Watch this space as a new review system is being worked on now. Thank you for your feedback!
Just thought I’d update you all - I just finished another sit that was so beyond wonderful. Polar opposite to the sit this post was originally about. HO has given me a glowing review and wants to make me their regular sitter. Couldn’t be happier. All’s well that ends well
My faith in THS restored!
@artgirl thank you for coming back to update the forum . A great outcome .
Hi @artgirl. I’m so pleased you’ve had a great sit. I do think for every truly horrible sit there are 10’s of great sits and wonderful HO’s.
Hi @artgirl such good news thank you for coming back and sharing your update … we look forward to sharing in more of your THS journey.
Hi @artgirl that’s fantastic news and thank you for the update. Here’s to many more
I agree with Clare that when I see a lot of “no reviews” I do assume things maybe not so perfect…that is unless the no reviews are really old. THS system in the past was funky and it was confusing where to leave a review and I must admit I left “feedback” vs a “review” a few times. Listings that have a mixture of good/no reviews are usually assumed to be ok. If 90% of sit have no reviews… and no repeat sitters, then that is kinda a flag. I think it is rate to have a homeowner not want a review, so not sure I’d think about that.
Personally, I would reach out to THS and let them know about the bad experience and get advice. I believe if the Homeowner does a bad review ,if THS sides with you, they may remove the bad review.
@art girl The main thing is there are more kind and welcoming homeowners than horrible ones. Insist on a Face to face phone call and go with your gut on your next one… or ask a previous positive sit experience if they would like a repeat sit! Go back and have another good experience to shake off the bad.
Sitting needs to be fun!
On the subject of contacting THS about bad experiences: I did that after the only bad experience I have had so far. They said I could make a formal complaint, and asked me to submit lots of proof like photos and documentation. I decided not to do that as it felt really stressful and I was already upset anyway. Apart from that, no support was offered.
The HO did not leave me a review, and I didn’t leave one either. In most cases where THS gets involved, that seems to be the outcome anyway (agree not to review), so it seemed not worth the effort to go through all these formalities.
I am not really happy with that outcome, but at least I got no bad review from them.
Thanks for the feedback! I’ve been lucky that I haven’t had a bad experience yet… so its interesting to hear about your experience.
I have done about 25 sits now and this was the only truly bad experience.
So it does seem to be rare, thankfully. There were some warning signs there before the sit that I chose to ignore at the time, because I really wanted to stay in that particular place. Big mistake. I will be much more careful now.
Just keep in mind that although 99% of home owners seem to be lovely, some are not. Screen them as carefully as they will probably screen you before you commit to a sit!
In an instance like this, I just wouldn’t leave a review at all if you don’t want to get a low score yourself. You have to chalk it up to experience…and no you are not going mad! I’ve been sitting a lot over the last two years and I had a bad experience once, as well (just one in about 50, to put it in perspective). The moderators here would not let me post an honest, relatively mild account of what happened so it is really difficult finding ways to warn other sitters. My advice would be to approach future sits like you are screening them as much as they are interviewing you. You are not obliged to sit for anyone, the sit should not cost you money and the owner is obliged to be respectful. Perhaps creating a list of questions to ask the owners on a Zoom call beforehand would help. I always speak to people on a video call before I accept a sit and, if I can, will meet them in advance. I have certainly saved myself some hassle with that approach.
I’m really sorry this happened to you and that you internalized the mistreatment. I know how awful this feels because I experienced something similar. The stress from encountering a stranger at their worst, while staying in their home, vulnerable and away from what is familiar to you is beyond awful. No one should be subject to verbal abuse or mistreatment. Especially someone at the mercy of a home owner. Unfortunately, there is is a power differential between home owners and sitters. This power differential encourages situations where sitters are mistreated. I do appreciate the Code of Conduct written by THS and hope we see more details of specific behavior that isn’t tolerated. I hope these negative experiences are rare however reading all these comments shows this problem isn’t isolated. I hope we see additional support for sitters at all hours and very quickly get a new review system in. I’m happy to see you had a great experience after this one. Thank you for helping me feel less alone after a bad experience by posting your story.
Yes, it does happen and people need to know about it. I also felt less alone because @artgirl was brave enough to post about it. Thanks again.