Fear of making an honest 'negative' review

@Twitcher We already left feedback. It was a great sit and we didn’t feel the need to withhold feedback until we received it. This way it’s also a ‘nudge’ to the HO when they receive an email to say they have received a review - we received ours shortly after.


Excellent, glad it went so well.


During my first few sits I left feedback all over the place: TrustPilot, in response to the HOs review, and as a response to their review of me!! The number of super personal reviews on TrustPilot just confuses the issue more, because if a sitter leaves a very positive review there, it looks as though they haven’t reviewed the HO at all. So potential sitters may think it’s a red flag when really it’s the exact opposite.

The language of “feeback” is also generally confusing. On AirBNB when you leave feedback it’s usually something private to the host that you wouldn’t put in a public review, like that they need to fix the leaking sink or that someone else was in the allotted parking space.


Is it confirmed/known if the HO gets an alert email directing them to their profile to read feedback a sitter left for them?

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@HelloOutThere Yes they also receive an email

Hello, @Twitcher here is the new copy that directs members to the profile link to leave feedback for the owner. Hope that helps :slight_smile:


I’ve found that most of our sit/home conditions have been true to the photos I’ve seen, and some not so much. I’ve enjoyed talking with home owners and even had FaceTime turned on the house to get a video view. If I am not comfortable with what I’ve seen from the photos, a real time FaceTime tour is an easy fix.

I too, am pretty OCD regarding cleanliness, but found that if photos are honest in showing that the house is cluttered (and because of this I assume dusty and dirty) and the location is one I would STILL like to visit, I am more comfortable just cleaning the areas we are using and leaving the rest.

I understand that all homeowners do not live up to my standards, and I do not have a problem cleaning a place and leaving it in better shape than I found it. Especially sits where children live, the owner may not have the time or inclination to clean and straighten. I get that.

My only exception was a sit where the carpet was extremely smelly, to the point where we could not be in the home without almost gagging. The photos, home and area were lovely, furniture great, space in our room was wonderful, but the home couldn’t be occupied without all windows open for the best cross breeze. I subsequently left 4* and an explanation of the smell to explain the lower number of stars. Unfortunately photos do not tell this tale. There were a few other issues I won’t go into.

I did not want other sitters to go to this sit without knowing about the odor and I deemed it necessary to explain myself.

I agree that an Airbnb-like system of reviews is necessary to allow full disclosure on both the sitters’ and owners’ parts. Trusted Housesitters could still monitor negative feedback, and we all might feel more comfortable about sits.


This post was created in April 2021. There are 375 comments, it would be great to kniow that 2 years later there might be some progress in improving the feedback/review system.

I understand it might be distracting for the developers to do continual updates but to not have one since the post in Jan 2022 stating it was in the plan for that year is a bit poor.


Hi @Suemog there have been mentions about the Review System included in previous Product updates.

The review system is in the roadmap of priority projects for 2023 which is currently in progress. The Product Team will provide any relevant updates as and when they are available.

We thank everyone for their invaluable feedback, ideas and suggestions and also for your ongoing patience.

I really hope it is not a part of THS branding to boast that all members are five-star quality, and that is why there is no update on the review system.

When I want to check the reviews for a company on Google, and it is just a bunch of 5-star reviews, I know it is something fishy going on because no one is that perfect. That these reviews aren’t from actual customers or that they’ve gotten a discount for them, so they’re not honest. And I think it gives out the same vibe here, it is not trustworthy that all users have got top reviews (or no reviews).

Also, knowing that there’s this all-or-nothing mentality stresses me out and I feel like my partner and I can’t do one small mistake by accident or set any boundaries towards a rude homeowner, because if we don’t get a five-star review as sitters we have failed. And we don’t know if the HO is going to be easygoing or petty.

I really appreciate being given 5-star reviews and I intend to do my best to keep top quality as a sitter and hopefully keep getting them. But I do believe that the community would benefit from the mentality where we are forgiving towards not everything being perfect 100% of the time. Both in terms of that it could be normal to have like 4.8 stars/thumbs on average and also that some people are really trying to give sitters/HO’s a good experience and some are not. The review system should reflect which ones are really trying and which ones are not.

That being said, in my experience most people on here are super nice and fantastic people and I hope we can keep giving top reviews to each other as long as we are trying our best.


Hi @saasmaka and I also have a theory as to why there are so many five star reviews and feedbacks on the site. Yes there are many excellent sitters and homeowners who go above and beyond what is expected and certainly deserve their ratings.
However I know for a fact a few instances where things didn’t go so well and the sitters and owners agreed to not leave reviews/feedback so it would not affect their ratings.
I checked with the owners I have previously sat for and they confirmed that was the case.
On other occasions sitters and owners will leave five stars in all categories and then mention any issues they had in the dialogue.
Any gaps in reviews and feedback can only be seen in the app and not on the website.

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Agreed, I can’t believe that hasn’t been implemented yet? I find this very worrying. So as it is now, if I give an honest review, the owner sees it and can retaliate? What is the point of reviews at all then??? I thought it would work like Airbnb, so that the reviews are actually trustworthy.


Yes, I’d definitely believe this is definitely the reason for the very similar reviews and the gap in reviews everywhere. If there is any doubt both parties are completely satisfied, it seems that you either give a top review/feedback anyway or you don’t give any at all. Or worse, someone gives a negative review and someone gives a bad one back as revenge, which means the very few negative ones aren’t trustworthy either. And it doesn’t make the site look any better in my opinion.


Yup… that’s her well used strategy by the sounds of things

Question. Do the reviews always appear in the order of sits I have done?
I do a sit in May 2023. No review gets left initially. Then I do 3 more sits in June, July, and August. The owners leave reviews.
If the May person writes a review in September, will it still appear with the May date, meaning will it show up as the 4th review from the top?

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Hi @andrealovesanimals just to confirm yes the reviews appear in the order you have completed them, so your most recent dated review is the first showing and then they date back to your oldest review. To clarify your “May” review would still show in the correct order as your “May” review so your most recent reviews will still show first.

Out of interest, and a completely separate question from yours, can I ask what sort of content you would like to see next on the Forum?


Thanks for confirming. I have recently had a very bad experience with home owners, but if I write honest feedback, I’m sure they’ll say something terrible about me in a review. So far they have not given me one and I have since done another great sit with a five star review. So I might wait until I have a few more good reviews and then write something for them. If/when they retaliate, at least their bad review won’t be immediately obvious but further down.

I’m a bit confused about your forum question. Don’t we users create the content? I’d personally like if the tone was more positive. A lot of posts seem to be complaints and I’m sure lots of mine are too. Perhaps someone could introduce more positive topics?

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Hi @andrealovesanimals you are very welcome.

I am sorry to hear you recently had a bad experience, although I would always advocate leaving honest feedback from your sit experience as soon as possible so that sitters who are looking to apply now can then make their own assessment after reading and taking in to consideration all of the reviews.

I have attached a thread you may also find helpful

Thank you for your reply regarding my question on content. Yes all users can create content but it is helpful for us to understand what sort of content members especially want to see. :blush:


@andrealovesanimals As a fellow sitter, wanting to maintain my good reputation, I agree with you about delaying your feedback till you have more positive reviews following on from that negative experience. Then any retaliation from the HO would have less impact- but you should, ofcourse, also respond on their review- which will appear directly on your page- should they retailate in an unfair way. This will protect you in the near future. Later down the line, when future hosts are no longer looking so far back in your reviews, it will no longer matter.
Whilst I also agree with the point @Samox24 makes that its important to share your feedback quickly I do not agree that it should be done at the expense of your own profile being damaged in a way that might jeopardise future sits for you. The compromise is- delaying your honest feedback until it feels ‘safe’ to share it for the benefit of future sitters. Unfortunately the current review system forces us all into a rather protective position. It is not ideal.
We too are in the position where we had a terrible experience last year on a sit where we had to get THS involved. Long story but end result was an agreement not to review each other at all- or rather WE requested no review because we knew it would be -unfairly- very negative and ours for them would be a killer!
However it has saddened me to see that there have been 3 more sitters after us- all long stay (4-6 weeks) like us- none of whom gave feedback and only 1 received a review which was negative. I am convinced they all had a bad experience like we did and the last ones- who got the bad review- seem to have left the site as their profile no longer opens so that review is no longer visible.
It is reassuring to know that- since the possibility to give feedback/reviews remains open forever- therefore I could still give true & honest feedback now and any retaliation from them would be deeply buried behind the 40+ sits we’ve done since then. Thanks @Samox24 for clarifying reviews are entered in date order whenever they are submitted. That was a concern for us.

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@Lokstar Thanks for your post, I feel really understood and supported by what you wrote. It’s not a black and white situation about writing feedback immediately to protect other sitters. I need to think about myself, my own mental health and my future sitting prospects too. The situation was very upsetting for me and I’d like to get some distance and recover before I potentially stir up that negativity again by engaging with them and their profile. That’s why I thought that giving a later review could be a good compromise.