Fear of making an honest 'negative' review

This seems to be the biggest problem with trusted house sitters. I had a very bad sitter that mis-represented herself but my previous house sitters recommended that I not report this person for fear of retribution (bad review to where I could not get another sitter). I’m furious as my pet was afraid of me when I got home. Something was very wrong. All my sitters said that sometimes they KNOW they should leave a negative review but they are afraid. I found NO WAY to call and talk to a person at TH about this. Very very frustrating. There should be some person to contact and if there is I haven’t found it. It’s a lot of $ to belong to TH. I was left feeling angry and hopeless. I don’t want to read between the lines. This person had almost too many excellent reviews. Strange

Welcome barb.minnie. I do think too as both an owner and a sitter it’sbetter to leave a negative review than leaving a blank or avoiding the truth.
When you read other posts about this topic, you realize many sitters don’t dare to be the first to leave a comment (on the pet who bites, on the dirty house) because they fear to receive a bad feed back. And once they receive a positive feed back they feel ashamed to sound negative.

I faced a horrible situation (with another oganization) : the death of my dog while I was away and the sitters did not like I wrote i could not understand WHY they had not warned me the dog had gone ill (they did not have to pay the vet, went 3 times without telling me). They deleted my comment ! What is impossible with THS
With THS I was once a little desappointed our sitters did not send photos as promised, and I complained about the fact they did not answer my calls. They were not happy by my feed back.Although I had given them 5 stars. Due to the bad story evoked above, I’m an anxious owner for sure but all sitters know it. I tell the truth, I wartn them on phone.

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It’s indeed hard to find a bad review on THS, even 4* reviews, which is a real pity.

I definitely think sitters/owners should be honest. Make sure it does sound balanced rather than a personal attack. Start with the positives & then mention, however …

As a sitter I tend to read through the lines. I wouldn’t worry too much about 1 bad retaliated review. I accepted a sit with home owners who only had 1 review and on top of that it wasn’t great.
But reading through the lines, it felt more like the sitter had a problem than the owners, so I went for it & had a lovely sit!

If there’s a pattern of bad reviews, obviously I’d stay well away.

Reviews are such an important part of the community that I think both sitters/owners should be fair but honest!

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Hi @barb.minnie I’m sorry to hear you had an issue with a sitter and thanks for the feedback on the reviews, it is important to us to make sure that reviews are reliable and trustworthy and so are looking at improving them with blind and private reviews. If you have any further concerns or want to discuss it further then please get in touch with @Katie-MembershipServices (Katie in the subject) to support@trustedhousesitters.com

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Hello @barb.minnie Welcome to the forum and I’m sorry to hear of your experience as @Ben-Product said please connect with @Katie-MembershipServices on membership services and we can look into the situation.

Membership Services are always available to help and support during operating hours on Live Chat or telephone and 24 hours via email and they do respond to all messages, I’m sorry you were unable to connect at the time.

Thank you for joining the forum and connecting with other membersI hope this will be the start of a new and very positive experience for you.

Angela & The Team

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I have an airbnb. The way their reviews work is you do not get to see the reviews left for you until you post a review. You cannot change your review once posted so not retaliation type. I try to answer honestly but I have had someone book for their parents. I did not want to ruin that person’s profile so there is a private message which does not appear as part of the review. There is also a private button saying would you host them again and you can say no without a negative review. Does TP have this option. I would like to see the review process - I am thinking of signing up - can anyone shed some light on the process for me?

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Hi @Tjwarriner thank you for joining our community Forum and I will let @Katie-MembershipServices from Membership Services explain how our review system works.

You will find our community members and our Membership Services Team helpful and supportive so please ask any questions as we would love to welcome you as a full member of TrustedHousesitters.

Angela & The Team

On a related note, when I first joined THS, we were able to click on a previous sitter’s name and go to their profile and see other reviews they’d left on people’s sits. I found that gave me a lot of insight. For example, if they’d left a negative review, I could see what reviews they’d given other sitters, was there a pattern? I also liked seeing the profiles of previous sitters because it gave me a better idea of what the pet owner was looking for.

Anyway, that option is no longer available and I’ve been told it’s for privacy reasons, but I still strongly believe it should still be available, I would be fine if other sitters were able to see my profile and the reviews I’d left in the past.

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I agree with you, I found a lot of value in being able to read those reviews to gain insights as well.

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Hi, @Kelownagurl we have reinstated the ability to click on previous sitters or owners reviews. :slight_smile:

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Great news!!! Thanks!

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Could there be a few questions on the review, rather than just the stars?
such as :
Location as described
Pets as described
Facilities

As a sitter, I have in the past commented in a review that “one of the dogs needed a bit more attention than I had expected” or" the house was not as close to the supermarket", " the aircon was old and struggled to cope with the summer heat"
Not negative, but honest.

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Hi @Tjwarriner

Thanks for reaching out to find out about our review and feedback system.

Owners leave sitters reviews and sitters leave owners feedback.
We operate a 100% tamper-proof policy to ensure all reviews, feedback, and responses are genuine and reliable. This means members cannot remove or amend feedback or reviews. However, we may look to remove part or all of it, if it violates member guidelines, the Code Of Conduct and Terms and Conditions if a member contacts us regarding a particular review/feedback.

We do not operate the same system as Airbnb, you are able to see the review/feedback the other member left before posting your own. As @Ben-Product has said we are looking at bringing new improvements to our review and feedback system.

We really value our members feedback about our website and look forward to bringing you new things over the next year.

Kind regards,
Katie - Membership Service

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I think you totally missed my point. I know how the review system works and every house sitter I have had has told me that they don’t write truthful negative reviews if the place they sat is bad because they fear the homeowner will review them negatively and they won’t get anymore sits or have a very difficult time getting sits. I don’t like trying to read through the lines as many have suggested. How about bettering the review process?
So what SHOULD I have done about my sitter who put someone else’s photo up for her profile? And refused to admit that there was anything wrong with that? And when I picked her up at the airport she was not the person at the time there was no one at TH that I could get a hold of to get advice.
There has to be a better way and it seems air bnb is on to something. I get it that your reviews are not like Air bna but maybe you should look at their system as a possible way to better your own. How about letting people tell you when something is wrong with a profile?

Hi @barb.minnie thank you and I apologize if my reply didn’t completely address your issue.

We are addressing the review system and looking at ways of how to improve it to make the system fair and foolproof. Airbnb is one system we are looking at for comparison

If the sitter did misrepresent herself by using another person’s image on her profile she broke the Code Of Conduct, a Skype call if it had been possible would have revealed her deception, did you suggest this before confirming the sit, which we advise every owner and sitter to do, to make certain the arrangement is right for everyone involved.

I’m sorry you could not connect with membership services at the time, fortunately you don’t mention any problems about the sitter’s care of your cat and home, I hope your cat was well looked after and the sit went smoothly.

After the sit was completed had you contacted Membership Services about the situation they would have investigated and taken the appropriate action. If at anytime you are unable to connect with them in real time, email is available and messages are checked frequently and responded to in priority.

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I am so glad this was brought up. The last time I made a negative review, the person well deserved it. She retaliated by giving me a negative review that was full of blatant lies. When one comes to housesit to take care of chickens and assures me (in writing), that the count in the coop is correct, I believed her. The morning after our return, I went to the coop to count and there was a chicken missing. I walked around the yard calling for her “Penny? Penny?“ And I heard a chicken noise. It took me a little while to trace it, but it came from underneath a white dish tub that was on our back lawn. I lifted the tub and there was Penny. It was clear she had been there a couple of days from the amount of poop and how dehydrated she was. After I came inside, I calmly wrote the housesitter, and she simply said “I wondered what that was doing there upside down“. She also felt the need to go into our bedroom and our bathroom for some reason, which I was in the middle of remodeling myself. She complained that the whole house was being remodeled! This was clearly inaccurate and I did speak with trustedhousesitters staff about it.

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Thank you @K.Land and for confirming you contacted Membership Services, every pets well being is always absolute priority.

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That’s a very good point. Questions such as those would prompt specific and honest answers/reviews on what other sitters would like to know

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Just so you know my first post mentioned that my own cat was afraid of me when I got home. So other than the false profille photo, the sitter kept all the blinds closed (according to my neighbors) and I asked her specifically to have them opened during the day so the cat could see out. It took my cat days to not jump every time I came into the room. So something was very wrong. The sitter said she would never put her own photo up on TH because she might get stalked , and that you approved and knew about it. An excuse as you said…it’s a breach of policy to put a false photo up. Perhaps it was her 25 years ago but she wouldn’t admit to anything. She also used the ‘fact’ that she was an TH ambassador to get me to shut up. The whole thing was a mess and going in a circle on your sight to file a complaint did not help. thanks for your post.

Interesting subject indeed. I opt for the way @Petermac is dealing with the issue: honest but not negative nor offensive .
No reading between the lines but not launching any rockets. I once put a 4 * for cleanliness because the composting bin in the kitchen was the size of a garbage can and was almost filled when we arrived. Too much for me. But I didn’t have to give the details.
Concerning the fact that a sitter could be obese as long as she/he would be able to take a good care of my cat and my house, I would’nt mind. A recent picture and honest description of course would solve the problem and build a relation of trust between both parties. This particular situation obviously missed that point.

Everything relies on a good judgment. Finally, @barb.minnie , I do think that the 100 $ ish asked by THS yearly is quite a deal. All those contacts between HO and Sitters are priceless. And I personally was supported once when I had to cancel an assignment at the last minute because of a pneumonia which prevented me to fly.

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