Do I mention in review or not?

Hi everyone.

I am a HO and my petsitters left yesterday . I had confirmed them about 6 months ago for a Christmas sit .
I had communicated with them on initial video call , when confirming the sit , in welcome guide and again in person , when I would need them to arrive and leave the sit. They had confirmed they were ok with the arrangements for arriving and leaving .
Overall the sit went well, however they left the sit a few hours before the agreed time . I had messaged them the night before the sit finished saying when I would be back and confirming again when they could leave .

I didn’t hear anything back until yesterday morning . I got a message saying that they had already left and put the keys through the door .

They had a last minute change of plan which meant they needed to leave sooner . I was disappointed that they didn’t let me know when I messaged them the night before . I just got the message on the last day of the sit saying they had already left .

Should I bother mentioning it in review ? It’s more that they didn’t let me know about their change of plans and I was presented with a fait accompli .

Definitely mention it. That way, hosts can make an informed choice.

FWIW, as a sitter, I don’t consider that OK behavior. They should’ve discussed that with you at the very least.

3 Likes

I could see being a little annoyed, especially because you could have been delayed, but it doesn’t sound like you were. I also think it would depend on how things were left and the needs of a pet. If this was a few hours with cats with automatic feeders left to fend it’s one thing. If this was an anxious dog who peed on everything, that’s something else. Was there a neighbor or emergency contact who could have checked in if you had been delayed and did sitters know about this?

Ultimately, you have to decide, but putting something in a review is a warning to other pet parents. If everything else was okay, this could also be private feedback you share with the sitters matter of factly that could serve as a warning to them to do things differently next time.

7 Likes

Honestly this is what I’m worried about with the review changes now - it prompts people to nitpick.

It doesn’t really sound like any harm was done. Cats or dogs? Personally we prefer to leave before HOs get back as it’s just awkward and people are tired.

Also it’s new year and travel is manic. Lots of cancellations and delays. Last minute plans tend to be last minute maybe they didn’t know until the day.

It doesn’t need to go in the review.

Additionally your review could detrimentally impact your own ability to get future sitters. We almost never sit for HOs that have given poor reviews or missing stars.

8 Likes

I disagree. It’s not ok as there was an agreement for the time they should leave. I agree not so worrying if there are just cats but not with dogs. It should be mentioned in the review but the positives first

8 Likes

Yes I agree they should have informed me .
The reason they gave was that they were surprised with a Christmas gift for a last minute hotel stay about a 5 hour drive away from where I live . They were using public transport and have no car .

The message I got yesterday morning was that they were originally planning to leave yesterday morning ( I never agreed to this plan and it was my first time hearing about it ) as it would take all day to get there on public transport .

My cats get fed 3 times a day . In the same message, they said they would delay leaving so they could feed the cats at midday and leave straight after . Again I never agreed to this

The reason I was unsure if I should mention this is because otherwise, they were excellent , clean home and cats well looked after . Daily updates throughout the sit .

It is just their lack of communication about their change of plans and leaving earlier without checking with me doesn’t sit right with me .

On the other hand I’m not sure if I am being nit picky or not . I am a new owner so not sure what the norm is . They only left a few hours before the agreed time , so not sure how to review .

They also fed my cats turkey ( my cats are on a strict diet which they were aware of ) without checking with me . They sent me photos of them feeding my cats turkey

I am trying to balance being honest and fair . So not sure if I am being overly picky or not . I don’t want to put future petsitters off

1 Like

Reason I am a bit hesitant to mention it is because they were looking after 2 cats.

I didn’t know they were even considering leaving yesterday morning . If they had , my cats would have missed their midday meal .

My cats were fed by them at midday and then they left . So really it was only a few hours early that they left . My issue is they didn’t tell me when I messaged them the night before . By the time I got their message, they had already left

Cat owner. Cat lover. Combined member. I think this is pretty minor. They did inform you. I would’t describe it as a fait accompli, I’d describe it as a courtesy. Generally, unless a cat has a medical condition, getting a meal a few hours late is not an issue. I’m sure there have been times when you’ve been out for the day and your cats got a meal a few hours late. I would not mention this in a review. It will make you look petty to the point where it could disuade future housesitters, and it could also impact on their ability to get other sits.

If you feel you must say something – that the communication could have been better – say it privately.

As for the turkey, that’s also something worth telling them privately, so they can do better next time.

7 Likes

I think for a cat sit - albeit one with three feeds a day - this is a comms issue not a pet care or house care problem. Pets are fine first and foremost. House is good so no 2 objective also fully achieved. Comms are a bit off so talk to them privately and tell them that. If they’re non receptive maybe add that to the end of your review (you have five categories to rate them on). It is worth remembering that they’re not being paid & there needs to be some flex on both sides for it all to work smoothly IMHO #onwardsandupwards @violet123

4 Likes

Completely agree…

If you came home and your home and especially pets were fine,…this is super annoying but it’s a comms issue and it happened (I assuming?) just this instance at the end of the sit? Doesn’t make it ok, but I’d dig a bit more into it/sit with it before posting the review.

Speak with them directly about it first and based off of that conversation, you can determine the tone of the way you talk about it in a potential review…slight miscommunication at the end of the sit VS a miscommunication at the end of the sit that while irksome, your home and cats were great VS pretty disconcerting that even though you felt you overcommunicated and confirmed end time, there still seemed to be a misalignment.

They may also be able to provide some insight into what they thought they heard/where the misinterpretation arose.

On a separate note (and assuming your home allows it), for sits where we’re traveling far, we actually ask that our end date overlaps by a night just in case there’s an issue with our travel, which would have mitigated this problem, but fully get that that may be excessive for you and a lot of people (we have a dog not cats, but just wanted to provide another example!).

1 Like

@violet123 could this be a simple misunderstanding? Whilst you told them that you would be home at x o’clock they didn’t realise that you expected them to stay until you got home?

Up until now we have not been requested by a homeowner to stay until late afternoon or evening at the end of a sit since they have been aware that we also need to travel home ( or on to our next sit ). This has included sits for dogs as well as cats.

For example if a homeowner says I’ll be home at 7pm but knows that I have a 5 hour journey home or to next sit . It’s reasonable to assume that I am going to need to leave before they get home so that I can get back home at a reasonable hour . We would discuss this with the HO before starting the sit .

Maybe the sitter could have been clearer in communicating with you about their planned departure time. However you also could have clarified with them before the sit started about what time they would need to leave to get home and be reasonable in your expectations as the sitters need to be able to travel home at a reasonable time too.

If you decide to put this in your review it may deter some potential sitters for future sits who feel you are being unreasonable in your expectations.

1 Like

I don’t love the avoidance of communication involved here, but it sounds like the sit went pretty well, so yeah, it’s nitpicky.

As an HO, I’d be more interested in knowing that a sitter did not follow your pet’s diet instructions than concerned about leaving a few hours early - for my current pet it’s not a big deal, but for the dog I used to have it would be a huge issue.

OTOH, it’s unclear whether you gave them feedback after seeing the turkey photos. If you reiterated to not feed them turkey and they took that well, or if you didn’t mention it to them at the time, I would not mention it in the review.

4 Likes

Thanks for the insight .

Unfortunately my place doesn’t have space to accommodate guests overnight, otherwise I would happily have people stay

I believe what happened is that they got a last minute surprise Christmas hotel gift . Buses were on a holiday schedule so they were tight for time to get to destination . I completely understand that and would have been fine with them leaving earlier .

For me it’s a communication issue . They knew on Christmas Day about the gift and that they needed to leave earlier but I only heard about it yesterday .

They had already left the sit when they sent me the message that they needed to leave earlier than agreed

Cat was fine , home was clean , got daily updates .

If you would have them back as Tsitters or not could be a guidline for mentoning it or not.

Writing factual reviews is not nit picky. The blind reviews actually cause this reflection, which I think is good.

I think they didn’t tell you on purpose; kinda like the “permission / forgiveness” tactic.

The turkey vs. strict diet is unclear to me in your post.

Write a free thought draft…sit on it…then revise as you like…just do it in 14 days.

Being a TSitter…I would have been in contact with you about a change. My priority is the sit. Unless you were ok with me leaving early…I would not.

I was on a 10 day sit and checked the instructions a few days until it felt like a routine to me so that I got the pet care right.

Reviews are meant to help other folks, so they can make informed decisions. If a sitter unilaterally decides to leave early and doesn’t let the host know till after they’ve left, without discussion, that’s someone who’ll do what’s convenient for them, regardless of what had been previously agreed on.

If I were other hosts, that would be the key thing I’d want to know regardless of whether anything happened to the pets in this particular case. Such hosts might decide to overlook that. Some might not, because you want as a host to be able to trust sitters to do what they say they will.

They didn’t discuss it, because they weren’t interested in the possibility that you’d hold them to their word. To me, that’s not being nitpicky.

1 Like

If I were you:

  1. I would be upset the strict diet wasn’t followed
  2. I would be annoyed they left before the agreed upon date but would privately have a conversation with them about it
  3. Be grateful that they did a good job taking care of the house and pets

I had a sit last year where the pet parent decided they wanted to come back home a day later and asked if we could stay one more day. I said I couldn’t because I had another sit that started back to back. She asked me to put out double the amount of cat food and water and she came back 1 day past the original. The point is that if this was a dog, I doubt she would have done that especially if they didn’t have a doggie door

Thank you Maggie
That’s what I was struggling with . Overall I was happy with them .
It’s just the communication at the end , where they didn’t ask or let me know if they wanted to leave early .
I got the message with the reason why they needed to leave early after they had already left .

Not sure how to word it in a review . Everything else was fine , just wished they had asked first before giving the cats turkey .

I had their feeding routine written in welcome guide , went through it in video call before confirming sit and then again at in person handover . The cats weren’t harmed nor did they get sick . It’s just that my vet has a nutrition plan for them , including what food they eat etc. Again this is more a communication issue

My view - any change in previously agreed arrangements should be requested asap, and also not expected that it’s just ok to change, whatever the circumstances. As you say, it’s a communication issue.

I’d mention it in the review. It’s doesn’t need to be a big thing, but as a HO I’d certainly want to know it had happened previously. Something like: ‘cats and the house turned out to be perfectly cared for even though the sitters unexpectedly needed to leave earlier than anticipated due to a last minute change in their plans’.

Also the turkey thing is not ok. My dog was violently sick when it was fed turkey. They’re a reason animals are fed certain things.

2 Likes

I agree with what @BJane suggests.

Were the sitters specifically told no meat or no turkey? If not it might just be something you need to make sure you have written down clearly in your notes. I’ve had plenty of conversations with HOs where I’m told their pets only eat feed pet food and no table scraps etc but then they admit that fluffy does get the crust of the toast every morning and a piece of cheese at night and a slice of ham and so on. If it was Christmas the sitters were likely just trying to make it special for the pets and send you a cute picture. A private word with them would be plenty, although it would have made more sense to raise it at the time they sent the photos rather than after the sit is done.

On the leaving early point, while I agree that they could have handled that better I must say that if I read that in a review of a cat sit (and experienced HS do sometimes read the reviews HOs have left for previous sitters) I’d pass on the sit, especially if it was a Christmas sit. Sitters tend to have plenty of choice at that time of year and seeing something like that called out could easily be a deal breaker… doesn’t mean you shouldn’t mention it but worth keeping in mind and considering the bigger picture as well

2 Likes