First 4-star review

Got my first 4-star review. No idea why. Here is the review:

Sandra and her daughter arrived and immediately the cats took to them. We had regular photos of both cats being very well looked after and pampered with lots of love and attention. Probably more than they get when we’re with them! - thank you both

I took great care of the cats, the fish, the plants and greenhouse (not mentioned in the listing), did extensive cleaning on day one and left the house far cleaner than I found it. Possibly, she didn’t like that I didn’t allow the internal camera to be used. Or maybe didn’t like that I didn’t go to the restaurants she recommended. I didn’t even complain about the third party (daughter) coming over in the middle of the night to pick up her car keys and car (I figured it was a one-time thing, I was told that she would come in the evening. I waited and finally went to bed around midnight thinking she wasn’t coming. The keys and car were gone in the morning so at some point when we were sleeping, she entered the house).

The stars she took off were one for organization and one for reliability which is just comical, because people make fun of how overly organized I am (spreadsheets, color coded calendar). Organization and reliability are hallmarks of my personality and are critical to my work. We arrived at the agreed upon time, everything was done well and done at the appropriate time. Also, funny because we arrived to find the house in absolute chaos, stuff strewn about everywhere. She couldn’t even remember our names (repeatedly called us by the wrong names that were not even close to either of our names). Kept remembering things she wanted to tell us or show us how to do, and then saying she would show us later and never getting to it. Fortunately, I’m good at figuring things out. She was completely disorganized and chaotic. I wonder if maybe she thought I was going to give her a bad review and so preemptively took a star off mine.

It’s just the worst when you work hard and do everything right and know that it’s completely unappreciated. Makes me want to stop sitting entirely.

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You’ll keep going, and will continue to receive future 5* reviews.
Try not to let it bother you, it’ll happen to everyone at some stage

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As a HO, when I see a sitter has a string of good reviews and 5 stars throughout and then there is one with stars dropped for no discernable reason, I give the sitter the benefit of the doubt.

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@systaran I feel for you. The odd times we’ve had a star knocked off it always feels completely unjustified. E g losing a star on cleaning for a ridiculous reason like a misplaced item or an ice spill in the freezer! Or losing a star on self-sufficiency because of needing to ask several essential questions during a complex sit when the promised WG has not been provided! Drives me nuts when hosts are unreasonable. Its always the difficult sits where you’ve worked the hardest that they still find fault! AARRGH!
Take heart in knowing that most sitters will have negative experiences in some way and at some point. Unfortunately its part of the game. But you know you’re a great sitter!
The last time we had a dropped star I considered responding to it but in the end did not as the overall was 5* and the written part was excellent even though it excluded my husbands name! We figured that commenting on the name omission and the one dropped star would draw unnecessary attention that might not be in our favour…
Sometimes you just have to grit your teeth on the unfairness and move on! :smiling_face_with_three_hearts:

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@Lokstar I do feel like I need to respond because the overall rating is four stars, it’s not just knocking off a star in a couple categories.

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I do kind of feel like the HO will have more repercussions than I will. As a sitter, if I see a host took off a star for a previous sitter for no apparent reason, I probably wouldn’t apply. Especially if the sitter had loads of glowing 5-star reviews. I would think the issue is probably with the host and not the sitter.

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The wording is positive and it doesn’t mention any reason for taking stars off. Could it possibly be a mistake? Sometimes, when using the cell phone, people get it wrong. Last year I had a one star rating with a very positive written review, so I asked the owner and she said it was a mistake, her laptop was being fixed and she did not use her cellphone for emails, so I got in touch with THS, they checked with the owner and changed the rating. Perhaps you could ask the owner if it is correct , maybe some feedback if it is deliberate and then contest the rating. That part is quite tricky and some people on this forum are really good at it, I’m sure you will get great advice. I would not mention the negative aspects about the owner that you chose not to mention in your review, it would probably sound retaliatory, perhaps mention all the positive things you did or perhaps just ask for feedback so that you can “improve” but I am sure you will get better advice than mine.

Some people do not quite seem to have understood that on THS, five stars is the baseline.

I also had a four-star review like this. Four stars in all categories, with only positive remarks, not a word of criticism. I don’t think they meant to “deduct” stars.

But yes, it was a bit of a bummer, after I had dealt for a week with two large dogs that were not so easy to control in the beginning.

I did not write a response. And we had no contact after the sit either. Maybe it was that we did not really click.

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Thinking of this for my response:

I’m very surprised you didn’t feel this was a 5-star sit. We arrived at the agreed upon time, took excellent care of the cats, fish, plants/greenhouse, and your home. I sent daily photos and left your home cleaner than I found it. I can’t imagine anything else I could have done to make this a 5-star experience for you. I hope your future sitters meet your expectations.

Thoughts?

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I think you’re too cross at the moment @systaran . It sounds confrontational and makes you seem aggrieved when in fact it’s laughable you didn’t get 5 stars :star2: How about something like “We really enjoyed the sit & loved caring for blah & blah, sending daily updates and feeding all the plants for you as an extra favour. Very surprised not to get our usual perfect score for such fabulous attention to detail. We wish you all the best.” Or similar. Says it all without saying they’re ridiculous! #soannoying

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@cuttlefish I will wait a bit on sending a response. I’m not up for writing anything that nice. I did not enjoy the sit and was in fact counting down the days until I could leave. Maybe I just won’t respond.

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Part of our contract with clients is we manage responding to their reviews on review sites. This is because most business owners don’t have an objective viewpoint. In most cases responding only draws negative attention to the issue. I would just leave it but I would ask the HO why. It may have been a mistake and they can rectify it if so.

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@systaran, sounds unfair. I’m sorry you’ve had that experience. Future hosts will likely see that you’ve got five-star reviews otherwise and overlook this one.

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Exactly the same thing happened to me a while ago. I received a glowing review with no mention of any imperfections, yet (for the first time ever) I got 4 stars overall and 4 stars for cleaning. I was so shocked and hurt and … you name it. It took me a while to leave it behind me. (which I still haven’t quite done it)

At the same time, and unrelated to my story, people were praising another sitter’s (looong) response, which affected me and my response greatly. I wanted my response to be as perfect as that sitter’s. Big mistake. I would feel so much better today if I had waited two more weeks with my response and/or if I had done nothing.

My advice to you is: since there was no mention of any wrongdoings, just ignore it—no response is the best response

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I guess I’ll think on this for a couple days. The only thing I can think of that would have been an issue on her side (plenty of issues from my side) is the internal camera. And obviously she couldn’t put in the review that she was marking me down for being unwilling to be filmed and recorded in the house (or possibly there were other cameras and she heard us complaining about how dirty the house was and how she couldn’t be bothered to learn our names :smiley:).

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I have to agree with everyone else I’m afraid @systaran. I know how you feel about it all, it’s a real kick in the guts and I think anyone would take it personally. But! By responding you will only throw fuel into the fire. You are hurt, the HO isn’t, responding will only hurt you further, the HO will never feel how you do. Any future HO’s will clearly see who you really are. Your personal integrity has been hurt and I’m :100: % in agreeance and understanding of that. But by not responding it shows who the better person is :heartbeat:

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@ziggy You’re right. There is nothing negative in the review to respond to and she doesn’t warrant wasting any more of my time. I’m cutting back on sitting anyway and may just do repeat sits.

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You say you did not enjoy the sit. How did you review them?

I think @Cuttlefish’s answer is not as nice as you see it. The tone is nice, which is good, but it says it all.

If you want to be more specific, perhaps you could say something like

“We really enjoyed the sit & loved caring for blah & blah. I’m sorry we couldn’t agree to the use of the inside camera but otherwise we willingly covered all the responsibilities listed plus a couple of extra favours like taking care of your plants and greenhouse and letting your daughter come in in the middle of the night. That’s why I’m surprised not to get our usual perfect score for such fabulous attention to detail. We wish you all the best.”

I have used part of @Cuttlefish’s suggestion because it sounds very adequate and polite. I hope I haven’t spoiled it too much. I just thought it would be fair for other sitters to know what they risk. If they have taken stars off organization and reliability, this shows that it’s them who are not so organized or reliable.

On the other hand, it may be easier for you to just forget about the whole thing, as most people are suggesting.

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@Newpetlover I like the mention of the indoor camera. Very helpful for future sitters and will assist future HO to ‘get’ the star reduction

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