Hi, fellow sitters!
I had a very bad situation as a sitter recently, and I’d like to share here and maybe get some advice If I should make a real review or leave it behind.
For the first time after 25 experiences I’ve had through THS, I was quite disappointed with a HO.
I arrived to a sit where the HO didn’t offer me any necessary itens for my stay, such as a proper bed (an airbed was provided), towels, sheets, pillows and blanket. These last itens were only provided after I asked, and the owner even mocked about the request. Plus, the house had no cleaning products neither itens like a broom, vacuum cleaner, mop and cloths, while the HO highlighted the need of cleaning the house before I left (which I would obviously do like in any other sit). I made what I could to leave the house as clean and tidy as possible, but I think it could’ve got much better If I had the proper products and itens.
I really enjoy being a sitter through THS and I don’t want to risk my profile by giving the HO a bad review for this situation, although I know how bad it is for future sitters not knowing what to expect when they apply for this sit.
Also, I don’t feel like talking directly to the HO about this situation, as she didn’t seem helpful and empathetic about my basic requests.
What would you guys do? Should I give her a true review and get the risk to get a bad feedback from her? (cause I suppose she would make up bad things about me as a retaliation)
Hope to get some good advises about how to go through this situation. Thank you, guys!
Definitely as potentially the next sitter, I would want to know this information . Especially about the bed.
Was this HO new to THS ?
Did photos in listing show a proper bed ?
I don’t know if there is the potential to wait until the new review system is introduced ( which is imminent) because then reviews will be blind ( not seen by the other person ) and posted at the same time . @Angela_L is this possible ?
If you do decide to write a review keep it factual not emotional and if there is any retaliation, others will be able to make their own minds up when they see all your other good reviews.
I think that not providing a bed is maybe something that should be reported to member services as this is a basic requirement. Presumably the HO had a bed themselves and didn’t sleep on an air mattress?
Surely providing a suitable bed and bedding is a basic requirement of any sit?
Yes, write an honest review based on your experience so future HS know.
Additionally, it sounds like you may need to vet your future sits a bit better:
- Moving forward, be thorough when you vet a sit and ask questions…what’s the set up? where would you sleep?
- Get a tour of the property…as HO AND HS, I require a video chat with the other party before confirming.
- Read through the welcome guide and if there’s information missing, ask questions such as where are the cleaning supplies located, what particulars do they have round resetting the house, where the spare linens kept, etc.
If any of the above don’t pass vibe check, cancel/don’t accept and provide your reasoning in the response you give to HO.
I’m shocked to read about this situation with the bed - and mocking you for requesting bedding? I think you should seriously consider reporting this directly, in the first instance, to member services, as the HO may likely have contravened THS terms and conditions - and then take THS’s advice in relation to leaving a review etc.
As HO we want honest reviews to know if there are things we can do better. And with several great reviews as a sitter it is easier to explain a potential bad review from a HO giving a retaliatory bad evaluation in return. I always prefer honesty and there are ways to criticize constructively, it’s all in the wording. And anyway, HOs that wouldn’t want to consider your application as a sitter because of a situation like this are HOs you should avoid anyway.
Hi @mahenchia, you really weren’t well looked after by this owner. Do not write your feedback first. That will most likely see you getting a retaliatory review. Wait until the owner does your review - if they do. We’re all still unsure when the blind review system will begin but you may be able to defer it till then.
Although you have completed 25 sits, it looks like you perhaps need to vet them a little more and ask questions or see photos. We can all learn no matter how many sits we have undertaken.
Yes, I wouldn’t take the chance of writing the first review for this HO. I will definitely get a retaliatory feedback. Although I can still rely on my previous 5 star reviews, It bothers me to have an unfair review and expect the people to look into the whole story to make sure that I am a reliable person.
This only makes me more certain that the vetting process has to be sharper. Thanks @temba for your interaction and comment
That seems like the perfect way to go from now.
I guess this experience was all wrong from the beginning. I forgot to mention on the post that the HO didn’t write a Welcome Guide, so yes, I need to sharpen the vetting process.
I will definitely write an honest review, just getting some great opinions before, so thanks for that
I guess it is a matter of good sense. Housesitting is an exchange and one should provide the best to each side. Many listings don’t even provide a picture of the bedrooms and proper beds, but when you get there, they exist and are provided. So, my fault not going into these questions during the vetting process, but I am sure air mattresses are not usual at THS!
Wow, the blind reviews would be great, just like in Airbnb!
But about your questions: no, it wasn’t a new host, she had previous sitters - who didn’t make a review too (maybe for the same reason?).
The listing didn’t provide pictures of the bedrooms, but yeah, the house has 3 dorms with proper beds. Not sure if providing a real bed is a requirement from the THS, but I judge it as a matter of good sense. We all know housesitting is not just about having a place to sleep, it’s an exchange between two sides and one should provide the best they can to the other side. Maybe I need to improve the vetting process for the next sits and ask more questions about it - which I didn’t think would be necessary after so many sits without this kind of concern.
Thanks for commenting
Hi @gchampagne, I couldn’t agree more with your advice! I do want to make an honest review, but I am just concerned about the retaliation, so I’ll just figure it out how to make it without emotion, just stick to the facts. And of course, the vetting process should be sharper from now
I don’t think that you need to worry about a retaliation, even if the HOs do write one. Write your feedback honestly but not emotionally. As a HO myself I certainly look at the reviews other HOs wrote and it is quite easy by the way they are written to discern who is telling the truth and who wants to bash the other party in retaliation. 25 positive reviews will not be ignored.
I strongly believe that a feedback system can only work if everyone is truthful. What sense does it make if only 5 star reviews are given all the time? Even very good sitters or HOs can’t be perfect all the time, no matter if their intention was to be so.
I am currently away for 3 months and have sitters staying in the house and, even if I tried to tell them everything there is to know, i simply forgot some minor issues…that’s human! I don’t think these will affect my feedback from them but I am aware of not being perfect all the time.
I would definitely not worry about one review which might not be 5 star but rather stick to the truth and let your fellow sitters know what to expect.
What appaling hosts. They mistreated and used you. I’m sorry to hear it.
I’d definitely suggest asking for your review first before giving the host any feedback. Why risk retaliation… ? Think of yourself first ,and your own reputation, before thinking of warning others (& I speak as a fellow sitter). Everyone needs to be responsible for doing their own research. Depending on how they review you’ll also be able to respond to it i.e two possibilities to share your side of the experience. And in your feedback be factual and unemotional. It shows a distance from the situation which gives you more integrity.
As others have said this is an important reminder of the need to thoroughly vet any host/sit- especially one with no previous feedback! In future that’s a red flag- avoid!! Many hosts don’t show bedroom pics so we always ask for them during our initial interaction. You learn more and more as you go!
If you write your feedback before they do, say so in your feedback. Otherwise it is sometimes a bit difficult to find that out for a reader.
One cannot edit one’s feedback, but one could add a link in it to some external site. I have seen Google docs. Or maybe one’s own travel blog, that is where I write.
A bed and bedding should be seen as a basic requirement. I always check on the listing to see if towels are provided. They always have been.
I would give an honest, factual review. You have enough excellent reviews to let future PO know your true worth.
I’m assuming this PO was new and didn’t appreciate how THS works
The HO may not leave a review. Have you checked out the reviews from them on former sitters profiles?
Personally I’d go for it. A bed and linens are basic. Unless you’ve agreed to that it’s unacceptable.
The review system here is unacceptable. It should be blinded.
Hi @Silversitters and everyone here thanks for stepping in and giving helpful suggestions to @mahenchia … @mahenchia we are really sorry to hear about your recent experience.
The new review system is very much in progress whether or not it could be applicable for use as suggested by @Silversitters is not an update we would have. You could reach out to Membership Services who would be able to guide you if they that have the information.
That’s a pretty bad experience. You dont have to leave a ‘bad’ review, but you could say there were aspects you were uncomfortable with. Four stars not five.
Eg, start with what you liked (otherwise nice people? House? Pets? Neighbourhood?). Then something like “Unfortunately xx was not able to let me use one of the three bedrooms but did provide an airbed to use in the sitting/dining/bedroom*, pillows, a duvet, some bedlinen and towels.” (*Delete as appropriate. Im having visions of you camped out in the kitchen, Cinderella style. I hope not!)
I dont think you can say much about the welcome guide - it’s not compulsory, you would or should have been aware in advance there wasnt one and requested it. You could possibly say “whilst you had a good handover meeting with xx, in hindsight it would have been helpful to have had a completed welcome guide to refer back to”.
Similarly on the cleaning products, maybe that’s just what they have… It might not meet your standards but it meets theirs.
It sounds pretty simple to me, check their profile & photos to see if an airbed appears anywhere. We’re no spring chickens so if me and my partner turned up and it was an airbed we would have to ask them if we could use their bed instead, why should we end up with additional aches and pains for no reason when we are giving our time for free. If we were turning up to a charity then fair enough, but this isn’t a charity it’s an exchange based on goodwill.