Fear of making an honest 'negative' review

Do you make sure you get a review from the HO first? When I posted my only 4 star review, I waited for them to review me first.

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No never. If I can tell the truth I do a review. If I can’t I don’t review. If I could do them blind I would review everyone. I have been very lucky, which I didn’t realise till I started reading threads on the forum, I can count on one hand, probably two fingers, the bad sits we have done. Yet again my word is communication. That’s what I put it all down to.


I must say, I’ve not really had a bad sit. The 4 star review I gave was because of uncleanliness and not being upfront about the strength of the dog.


This post has so many entries I didn’t go back to see if this was already posted this, but here’s an article:

For fear of retaliation, I won’t review one place because I literally can’t say anything nice.

FWIW I’m also a teacher on an online homeschool platform, and the review system is broken there too (although differently - but it’s so messed up that teachers just advise each other to just cancel a class if a problem kid enrolls, as that’s the only way to have any control over who attends a class and leaves bad reviews.)


I completely sympathise with your position as we had a similar situation last year with a house sitter that also oversold their experience and our pets were not happy when we returned home. We decided for all of the reasons that you have stated not to leave a review at all rather than risk negative feedback. There should be a process for discussing an unsuccessful house sit with someone at THS


Serious question: How do you know/how can you tell?

I can tell right away! Especially our tomcat would be overexcited that we are back. He used to run around and up and down the stairs for hours. At the same time his fur felt oily, which only happens when he is stressed.
When someone is often around and he can have as many cuddles as he wants and when he can snuggle up to someone in bed, he doesn’t even notice that we were gone.

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The goal of TrustedHousesitters is to introduce a workable review system which is fair and credible and works for both sides of the sit arrangement.

This conversation is about the review system and contains valuable feedback, suggestions and ideas for the Product Team, who are currently researching the subject of reviews and working on this very complex project and we would like to thank everyone who has contributed in a positive and constructive way.

This is a gentle reminder that the topic is not about discussing on sit situations between sitters and owners, those are for the Membership Services Team to manage on a closed one to one basis. Members can express their views on the current review system without revealing specific details about individual experiences.

While giving examples of why the current system may not have worked for a specific sit arrangement might be helpful feedback please do not go into specific detail or include personal details about those involved there are privacy issues around sharing other members details, even when the circumstances may seem justified.

This is an open and public forum with both sitters and owners as part of our forum community and we need to protect member’s privacy. Including details that could identify the members involved could compromise a member’s position.

There is always two sides to every situation and when only one is presented in detail it creates an unfair balance. Please be kind, respectful and balanced in your views and narrative, even if they differ from those expressed by other members.


Reviews on sites where both parties review such as TH, Airbnb, etc. are tricky. Both parties fear retaliation and often people feel guilty about giving anything less than five stars and want to be nice because “the HO was really sweet” or “the sitter did try their best” and so on and they don’t want to jeopardize their ability to get future sits or sitters. It’s a completely different dynamic than one-sided customer review sites.

When I joined a few years ago, people who had been using the site for a while warned me that “sitter code” is including something like I highly recommend this sit or I would happily sit for HO Name again. If the sitter doesn’t include something along those lines, then that’s a read-between-the-lines flag about the sit regardless of the number of stars.

I still use this terminology but perhaps it’s not as common anymore?

It would be nice to see a blind review system with a time limit added.

It would also be nice to see canceled sits on profiles. Perhaps allowing one canceled sit per year before it shows up would be acceptable because life does happen, but repeat offenders (both owners and sitters) should be properly flagged as such.

(All of this might have already been said. I did not read all 160+ posts…)


Good point about cancellations being flagged if more than once. There do suddenly seem to be a lot of last minute cancellations, although we may just know about them now because of the existence of the forum.


@Val I just realized - a full year later - that this is my review you’re referring to! That was my first THS housesit and I didn’t know enough to be wary of what I wrote!

I’m in a tough situation now where I’ve had a rough sit and need to review her (to warn others)but she’s just told me today that she won’t review me until I review her first. It may not be too big of an issue - I think she stands to lose a bit more out of a poor review than I do.

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I still very much would like this!! It would alleviate a lot of my anxiety during and after a sit.

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sbwade, a homeowner who refuses to review you until she’s seen your review is a HUGE red flag that others should be aware of. I agree she has more to lose in this situation than you do. I would include that detail in my honest (but as kind as possible) review. Very matter of fact, just the facts, and this is one of the facts: Homeowner told me she won’t review me until I review her first.


@Val Oh, there’s been red flags from beginning to end on this one… A real learning moment for me to trust my gut.


Can we please remind everyone that this thread is about the pros and cons of the current review system and NOT about individual reviews between members or on sit issues.

If any comments contain personal information, references to other members or links to listing or profiles of other members they will be removed.

Thank you.

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≥ The review system is a top priority for next year.

The first quarter of 2022 is over already. Any updates, @Ben-ProductManager ?


Hi @MissChef this is a very large and complex piece of work across a number of teams, when there are any relevant updates Ben and the team will share with members, it is as Ben says a top priority.

I’m sure you’re all working very hard, and I know that the management team has just come back from that business retreat, hopefully energized, refreshed and with lots and lots of ideas!

I just happen to notice that it’s the 1 year anniversary JUST of this thread… with over 170 posts and 16 votes.


That’s why I thought it would be a good idea to close off threads earlier, although people could still read them. It’s just that some of the same things are repeated by people who haven’t read from the beginning and, who has the time to read a year’s worth of posts? :wink:

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Uhh,… what? i guess…this under-employed chef who is currently at her own house, petsitting a 6-month old puppy that won’t sleep (through another service) …but your dates are a little off :wink: I’ve been reading forum posts since Halloween, when this thread was ALSO only 6-months old :joy::rofl::laughing:

Kaizen isn’t a bad word, it’s a way of life!

Insomniac canine in a rare unblurred photo: