Fear of making an honest 'negative' review

so did anything change?

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Which means there are still 7 months left in 2022.

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After a housesit is completed, the host has the opportunity to leave a review for the sitter, and the sitter has the opportunity to leave feedback for the host. Currently, when the sitter leaves feedback, it gets published publicly immediately, even if the host did not leave a review. This can cause a bias in which the host’s review would be influenced by reading the sitter’s feedback. Airbnb’s approach is to wait until both parties left a review or 14 days have passed. This promotes unbiased, honest reviews from both sides. Therefore, would TrustedHousesitters be willing to create a similar approach in which the review and feedback are private until both sides have written one or 14 days pass?

Thank you for your consideration to help improve the accuracy of reviews for sitters and feedback for hosts.


If it doesn’t feel like ranting but is written considerately and thoughtfully I I would appreciate to read a reply feedback. I think people feel the difference if it is given to clarify things or written angrily because of the missing star.

I have had my eye on a particular sit which has regular dates & near where we’re headed later this year. I’m thankful i’ve not applied yet as just yest a sitter’s review appeared & the info made me rethink applying as I had a similar sit with unplanned sleepless nights for human/pet. As I value my sleep, I will have to write a longer application message with heaps of questions.

This has been said in all forms and colours , mentioned in many topics of the forum so I won’t go into the details so much.
I created a post for it alone (Feedback/ Review -sitter> owner- a fairer format) Feedback/ Review(sitter> owner) a fairer format
to highlight this question because i think it deserves its own emphasis. Clear and SImple but it was blended in here and edited by admin…

First REVIEWS & FEEDBACK should be hidden from one another
re. not able to be seen before written, so everyone is honest and one’s review doesn’t depend on what the other party has written ! sometimes people prefer not to write anything instead which is not right

Sitter > Owner
Feedback/ Review should be as comprehensive as for the Homeowner who reviews the sitter. The owners ALREADY have these categories so to keep the balance between Owners and Sitters in THS, feedback should also include CATEGORIES with STARS

categories and stars would leave awkwardness behind, leave a hint and you can still be nice to the owners written review without offending too much.

example of categories:
-CLEANLINESS: a big & so important one that makes a big difference! Some houses are squeaky clean and others are so depressing the sitter doesn’t want to touch anything.
-accurate description from website
-level of work (some places pet sitting is like pro farming and the number of pets and work goes beyond unpaid work; some are easy going)
-level of trust: sounds logical but not always the case… - after all, isn’t this called TRUSTEDhousesitters?
-generosity (that one sounds strange but so important it is, maybe a better name?) meaning how “spoiled” or well treated the sitter was… for example: big difference between a person who leaves NOTHING in the fridge or pantry, to others who bake you a cake !

Any more suggestions from sitters?


Great post, great ideas but it doesn’t really matter if we vote or not.
THS will get round to it when it’s top of their list. That’s the way they work and the review system is not top yet. In fact the way it is just now works in their favour. Everyone is wonderful and to outsiders this is good.
Patience my friend, patience.


To all who have posted complaints and ideas for improvement, do you really think the admin has any intention of revamping the review system?

Just the addition of categories would satisfy me. I have made this suggestion in writing and in person.


I am trying to restore balance between HO and PS on this site
Pet sitters feel neglected it seems…

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do you really think the admin has any intention of revamping the review system

It would be one thing if they were only collecting money from the homeowners, but the fact that they’re collecting money from both parties, and there is such a disparity, is really frustrating .

If I ran my business in a comparable fashion,
and disregarded the providers, I guess I wouldn’t have a business very long, no one would work for me.

What TH is providing is just a platform. But it should be equitable for both homeowners and sitters. There are plenty of sitters who don’t think this is the case.

The homeowners who are on here should be fighting just as hard to get the administration to revamp, upgrade, and improve this system. Because otherwise, there are going to be a lot less sitters to take care of your pets.


Well said, happy to see am not the only one

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Hi, all. I’m new to THS and thrilled to have my first three house-sits already lined up for my fall trip to England. I’ve been reading through the Feedback and Suggestions category, and wanted to add my voice in urging implementation of blind reviews.

I’m a flexible traveler with easygoing expectations, and all three of my upcoming hosts sound wonderful – but I’m acutely aware that if a house-sit turned out to have serious problems, I would not be able to safely say so. The downside of potentially triggering a retaliatory bad review from a host would be stronger than my altruistic desire to inform other sitters. Instead, I would have to carefully compose a five star review that included coded warnings. Or else just skip leaving a review in hopes that that would communicate something to future sitters. But then, that’s only visible on the app, I guess.

Reviews are so central to THS that it’s vital they be made meaningful. So, I add my vote to revamping the review system so that it works like the Airbnb one.

That said, I’m completely happy that I’ve become a THS member, and so excited about my upcoming travel!


The only reason I read reviews is to glean information on the surrounding area because I sure can’t trust the review itself. I recently read one where the HO gave 2 stars - the sitter was so bad that she even abandoned the pets - yet when I looked at other reviews the sitter had received, they were 5 star. The sitter didn’t review the HO, so it wasn’t a retaliatory review.
The whole review thing is just really weird…

Reading about this here on the forum I don’t give a s…. about the reviews. I rather look for repeat sits, because sitters can’t be bad when they were invited back :wink: and otherwise I rely on my gut feeling.
It is not possible that nearly ALL sitters have 5 star reviews. There must be some foul eggs among them and they will never be sorted out by the current review system.


Probably 5% of sitters are genuine 5 star, and 5% “foul” - the other 90% are somewhere in the middle. A more realistic review system would give HO’s (and sitters) a far better chance of finding someone compatible.

Exactly. But I don’t think anything is going to happen anytime soon.

There isn´t very much admins can do other than stand guard for the company´s policy, watch out for small fires and put them down before they have a chance to flare up, or close down the topic altogether if it gets too uncomfortable/hot or simply ignore posts, or eventually bring some issues to management´s attention. Ultimately it is only the management who may or may not have “any intention of revamping the review system” … I´d put my money on the latter.

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I disagree with this. I think the vast majority of sitters are five star and maybe 10-20% or so are 4 or less.

I think the key to trusting the current review system is reading the content of the reviews. I can tell when sitters/home owners are glowing with specific reasons why they thought the sit/sitter was superb. Other reviews are vague and general.


To me, 5 star is really going above and beyond. Getting such a rating should be something special to strive for. But in the current system it’s meaningless, because everyone gets 5 stars.

But this is exactly the point I was trying to make, Angela. Everyone gets 5 stars so how does anyone reading the reviews know who goes the extra mile(and who doesn’t)?


Well like I said, read the reviews. They say more much more than a few stars do.

Even if we switch to an Airbnb style etc, most people will get/give 5 stars. Even there, if someone gets 4 stars, you wonder what went wrong.