Fear of making an honest 'negative' review

Follow up to my Feb '22 and March '22 posts: So my recent sitter left a retaliation review unfortunately. The sitter wrote blatant false claims in her review. Because I can’t respond back to that review, I have filed a dispute with the TH admin. I did this last night.

But this goes to show why a proper rating system is needed. The current one needs to be revamped right away. Sitters and home owners should be able to leave a honest reviews without the fear of retaliation. Transparency is very important. If home owners and sitters fear revenge reviews, they won’t leave accurate ones or won’t rate at all. This means that ratings will be/are skewed.

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You can reply to a review, but it’s hard to find. Look for the “Feedback about you” menu item.
As for your sitter’s claims - I wouldn’t expect a HO to provide food or toiletries for me, so her complaint about those reflects badly on her, not you.

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FWIW, that review wouldn’t really throw up any red flags for me. I expect to provide my own food and toiletries (as should everyone) and I don’t see the point in heating an entire house when you’re only using one room. To me it sounds more like a sitter who wasn’t really prepared for the kinds of behaviors animals can have. Especially older ones.

ETA and if I’d looked at their profile to see other reviews, their most recent would have made me discount anything they’ve said. Seems someone else had a bad experience.

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Yes, I do this as well if I see one bad review amongst a lot of good ones. I read the review given to them, as well as the reviews they’ve given other home owners. It often tells loads.

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@Lassie , you are a Godsend!!

Thank you so much for showing me! The picture that you included was awesome! That’s exactly what I needed. You were right that it was hidden. I just replied to their feedback. It’s lengthy, but I wanted to defend myself and address things. In this TH market where there are FAR more sits than sitters, I want to try not to turn anyone one off or leave someone with a raised eyebrow about me.

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Exactly!! That recent review tells you everything you need to know…

Also, I make sure to be clear of things with sitters so there are no assumptions and surprises. I highly believe in communication. It just makes things easier for everyone involved. I do this in video chats before confirming the sit and also in the welcome guide.

I feel much better about this now. Thank you for your assuring words. Call me naive, but I was just really hurt and disappointed about the retaliation. I like to think I’m a person of honor. I have no problems owning up to things and being accountable. It just really threw me off. I’m a born and raised NYer (NYC), but I guess I just need to get thicker skin :joy_cat: :joy_cat:

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Years ago on THS, a sitter’s profile showed history (date and location) of past sits. So if someone did many sits but only received 2 reviews, to me that indicated an issue, or at least was worth asking the sitter about.

I wish they would bring back that profile feature.

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For what it’s worth, I’d recommend asking THS to remove your response to the sitter’s feedback. Whether justified or not, it might cause future sitters to stay far away.

To me, what the sitter wrote didn’t sound bad. Most will think the comments about toiletries and heat weren’t a real problem. I’d even go so far as to say that the feedback was good for your house profile, in that it will turn away sitters who won’t put in the necessary effort for your particular pets.

I don’t mean to downplay the situation, as I’m sure you were rightfully angry and stressed during that sit, but just my two cents as an objective outsider.

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@AllTheFerretsDied , I beg to differ. @Catin88 ,your reply to the sitter’s feedback is fine. I don’t think you should obsess about it at all. A discerning person who reads the reviews she has received and the feedback she has left will get an accurate picture. Your requirements for care of your pets and home are very reasonable. As was said, HO are not expected to provide food or toiletries for their sitters, It’s not a hotel stay, so this complaint is invalid. Unfortunately, bad experiences happen — everyone I have ever spoken to on here has had some less than ideal situation at some point. You are far from alone. I don’t think you should be concerned that this will put future sitters off. It wouldn’t put me off.

I disagree. @Catin88 wrote a very detailed and absolutely plausible reply to the sitter’s feedback and any other sitter will not be put off by it.
Why should it be removed? It’s the truth and other HOs might be thankful to read it.

I agree with you. I think that Cat has overreacted to the two less-than-five-star sitter reviews she has, and unnecessarily.

The recent sitter has a terrible, more recent review. It would look better for Catin88 to not have that wordy rappinghood response there. I say that as someone who had my home on Airbnb and responded in a similarly reactive and overly wordy to a weird review. A later host brought it up in a humorous way and I acknowledged that I had “gone on a bit” and that a few fact-based non-emotional bullet points would have preferable.

I am a sitter but I agree. I think it would be great if we could see everyone’s past sits: HO and HS, on both platform: website and app; for more transparency.

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As a non native speaker, what do you all mean by toiletries? Toilet paper, shampoo?

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shampoo, conditioner, soap, etc. the stuff you get in hotels

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Toiletries are usually what you get in a hotel, soap, shampoo, conditioner, body wash, toilet paper

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When are you implementing the blind or private reviews? Very good idea.

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Hi @UKLongTermSitOfferers welcome back to the forum it’s been a while, good to have your here again. I’m going to pick this up as Ben is now on vacation and will be off line. The review system is a priority which the team are working on, this is a complex project and will take time, when there is any relevant updates members will be kept advised.

Thank you

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Thank you for your clarifications @CreatureCuddler & @Crookie . I wasn’t aware that you can get these items in a “hotel”, sooo informative :scream: :rofl:

More seriously, I don’t think anyone would expect a HO to provide anything else than a warm and clean home with clean sheets and towels, some basic toiletries: toilet paper and soap (actually a bit like in a hotel :upside_down_face:), some cleaning products, and basic spices such as salt and pepper for instance. At least I wouldn’t.

If a host wants to provide anything more than the basics, it’s a kind gesture. But who wants to bring/buy toilet paper and soap especially for a short sit, seriously?!

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Toilet paper is not a toiletry. Nor is hand soap for washing up after using the toilet. Those are health and hygiene items.

Anything you use for cleaning or grooming yourself is a toiletry. Your travel bag of toiletries might include tiny bottles of shampoo, dental floss, deodorant, and soap.

You’ll often find this word in its plural form, toiletries. Aid organizations often distribute toiletries to disaster victims so they can clean and care for themselves. And when you pack for a trip, your toiletries are nearly as important as your clothing — without them, you can’t brush your teeth or wash your hair! This word stems from toilet and its somewhat old-fashioned meaning, “the process of washing, dressing, and attending to one’s appearance.”

From vocabulary.com

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