First 'negative' review

Hey! :wave:t2:

My experience on THS has been incredible…nearly 30 sits. All 5-star reviews, until this last one.

My first ‘negative’ review.

The owners misrepresented the dogs behavior. It had never been left with anyone other than family, and it was an exhausting sit. Daily issues with the dog, that extended into night issues and me not being able to get a decent night’s sleep the majority of the 6 weeks I was there.

What I would like to address here, and ask, is about how to respond to their negative review of me. I have not posted my review of them yet, because I’ve been working on the wording.

I realize that how I respond to their negative review of me, will say more about me than it will about them.

I’d love to hear from the people that have gotten a negative review… How did you respond?

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@faithlotus

*edited to make sense!

You will not be able to post a review of them, if you have seen theirs already

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You missed the two-week window to review, following your sit. You can only reply to their review now that it’s published.

In your reply: Stick with facts and keep your tone neutral. Like if they misrepresented their sit, say that you wish you’d known about X, Y and Z before the sit, because you wouldn’t have taken it. Keep your comments brief, rather than arguing point by point.

You have plenty of strong reviews, so any reasonable host will discern that. I doubt this blip will affect the sits you get going forward.

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After 14 days it is visible.

What I meant to say was ’ You will not be able to post a review of them, if you have seen theirs already

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Sorry this happened to you. I got a 3 star review last summer after a stressful and bad sit. Since then I have done lots of great sits, and generally people are willing to overlook the “bad” one, which is now far down the list anyway.
I’d leave a short reply along the lines of “please look at my other reviews”.
The briefer, the better. If you like, give facts about the dog behaviour and give your side to what they say about the brief handover.
Their review shows the owners in a pretty bad light I think, which goes in your favour too.

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I just had a look at their review - I think you could say something like “sorry you feel that way! I’m a 5* sitter who loves dogs, but you did not disclose [dog name]'s behavioural issues before the sit. It’s important to be transparent about this so your dog gets the correct care.”

You could add a couple of specifics, but don’t go too into detail. Keep it light and upbeat. I’m sorry this happened to you!

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It also looks as if you’re their first ever house sitter @faithlotus so not sure they have a benchmark. They did give you 5 stars for two areas and 4 stars for two more so it seems mean it’s 3 overall. Respond along the lines of “As a highly experienced 5 star dog & cat sitter & long time member of THS, this review seems unrepresentative of the care & love the pets were given alongside their undisclosed additional issues. Please refer to all my other reviews for a balanced viewpoint.” Or similar. They will do themselves a disservice rather than you. #seemsabitmean

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Omg thank you! I’m going to copy and paste your suggestion :joy: THANK YOU!!!

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@faithlotus unfortunately you have left it too late to warn any future sitters by means of a review . However, if you feel that these (new to THS ) owners seriously misrepresented their dog’s behaviour you can raise a member dispute and member services will investigate .

“ 5.2. The following applies only to Pet Parents. You will:

5.2.5. notify a Sitter of any special requirements or behaviours relating to your pet(s) in your Home Listing and when you communicate with any Sitter and during the Handover”;

E-mail : support@TrustedHousesitters.com
Title Member Dispute
Include screenshots of the listing and relevant text messages between yourselves and the owners

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Thank you. I wasn’t aware that after the 14 days I couldn’t leave a review.

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I wouldn’t worry to much about it: most (hopefully) sitters will read HO reviews and then click on the sitters profile. In your case, your name will appear but it’ll look like you left no review, which in THS code is a red flag already.
Then, prospective sitters will click on your profile, read their bad review, see how many 5* reviews you have, read your very brief response and will run for their lives from these homeowners.
You actually did not lose anything by not leaving a review, as it’s almost as bad as a factual bad review. Plus, they shot themselves in the foot by giving you a bad one, even though you’re a very appreciated sitter by older HO.
The ball is fully in your camp to make something that already is in your favour, even more in your favour.

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@Nadia111 I agree entirely here. Many HSs do their due diligence in this respect, and will head for the hills.

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Great response to the review. Very professional and to the point.

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However, for the response there is no time limit.

(I would have taken more time, if only to leave them waiting and maybe worrying for a while…)

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I’m too much of a straight shooter :joy: I just wanna move on. I’m kicking myself for missing the 14 day window. I should have left an honest account of how difficult their dog was.

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Your response is perfect.

They dinged a firefighter. A firefighter!! :slight_smile:

@faithlotus Great response to that poor review! Onwards and upwards! :blush:

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First of all I’m sorry that you have had the experience of feeling misrepresented. I am sure that feels horrible and of course you have the right of reply. But, and this might be controversial, it wasn’t actually that bad a review and, as a home owner, wouldn’t put me off considering you. But i think this thread points to a more general issue where both home owners and pet sitters are terrified of getting less than a 5 star review for fear of not getting a sit or sitter in the future. I have bought into this too. For example, I once had a sitter who was lovely and particularly experienced with dogs but who forgot to water my plants on our terrace and they all died. This wasn’t a big issue for me and it was his first sit. I felt a pressure to give a 5 star review because I didn’t want to spoil his chances of getting another sit. Obviously, if he had not watered the animals it would have been a different story! :blush: I wish it was more acceptable to give 3 and 4 star reviews with a 5 star review being an exception. I am not the perfect home owner (although I try to be) and yet I have all 5 star reviews. In some ways it would be better if prospective pet sitters had a better idea of the strengths and weaknesses in our situation so that they can make an informed choice depending on what’s important to them. As it stands I want those 5 star reviews to keep coming because of the implications of getting a lesser score. I hope I am making sense here and I’m interested in other perspectives on this.

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Hi FaithLotus!

I’m sorry to hear about your misadventure with these homeowners. I read their review, your response, and their ad/post. Rest assured, your outstanding record as a caring, responsible, and experienced dog and cat sitter shines through in all of the other reviews of your services. It will be abundantly clear to homeowners who might wish to invite you that it was the homeowners’ lack of transparency, not your behavior that created the problem. That being said, I think it would be good for you to reach out to member services and let them know about your experience so that they can request that the homeowners be more forthcoming in their ad about their pets special needs. This would help protect future sitters from taking on more than they bargained for. Thank you for your service as a protector of humans and animals!
Skydancer

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