How to leave sitter's review if they failed primary task?

New member! While we do want to be sitters, we started with needing a CAT sitter. It was fairly last minute, but we did get 3 decent applications in the first 24 hrs. We haven’t been away for 3+ yrs, so our cat needs companionship + attention as she gets separation anxiety. We didn’t want her alone with just a neighbor feeding her during the 12 days. We scrambled to organize the house for a sitter + review the applications. We focused on the two single applicants for this first sit. Of the two, we chose the person who didn’t have ‘reviews’ per se but a very solid linkedin, lots of confirmed background info, great zoom meeting, extensive email about all the animals they had experience with + how they’ve missed having a cat around as well. Our judge of character felt they would be a good fit. Our lunch together & house walkthrough went well too. Thought we’d give them a chance because everyone needs their ‘first sit’… Our house notes asked them to update us every 2nd day or so… No gatherings or other people to stay over. So…problem? Advice I need? How do I leave their 1st review when: 1) They mostly only updated us if we poked them & just said things were fine… 2) We saw from our camera doorbell they had an overnight guest stay with them once, AND 3) They had no real CAT experience! Said they were giving our shy cat, whom we’d explained loves being a lap kitty, ‘space + time’ when she really needed affection and reassurance. Found a week in they had yet to even pet (or ‘pat’) her. We were soooo sad we chose the wrong sitter… Then we texted to ‘call her over + try petting her’. Felt terrible for our sweet cat… Returning home, the house was spotless but we didn’t need a house sitter, our ad was all about our cat… Sitter is friendly, nice, respectful, and neat… but misrepresented being a CAT person. Advice please… Torn about how to leave a review… We’ve been apologizing profusely to our complaining anxious cat since we returned home… Thanks!!!

2 Likes

I am sorry to hear you had a bad experience with your sitter.

If the sitter already left you feedback, then just say whatever you want feel you want to say! But if they haven’t yet, then read on… :wink:

Unfortunately, with the way the THS review system works, if you leave the sitter a bad review and they haven’t left their feedback for you yet, they can very easily ‘retaliate’ by saying negative things about you. It isn’t a guarantee that would happen but it’s a risk. I believe you would be able to respond to the feedback as a sitter can respond to the review, but not sure about that.

You have to decide how comfortable you are with that potential outcome if you don’t already have any positive feedback from previous sitters, and if it might be worth having a problem securing sitters in the future in order to fulfill a perceived ‘duty’ of letting other owners know about your bad experience with this person. I imagine this issue is something the site is trying to work on.

I can’t say for sure how I would be as an owner ,but with my personality in general, and thinking more ‘big picture’ about how certain actions and choices play out, I probably wouldn’t leave a review at all, especially if the person didn’t do anything so horrible I felt like people had to stay away from this person.

You may want to give them some private feedback though, in a ‘friendly advice’ sort of way since they are new to this all, especially letting them know that you know they broke the rule about not having guests–that is a big one to break and it may give them pause in future sits about doing things they were explicitly asked not to do. You don’t owe them any advice, but if there is a part of you that really feels like you need to let them know where they fell short, this might soothe it. Or you can just let it go totally.

5 Likes

Hi. I’m so sorry to hear you had what must have been a traumatic experience. This is certainly not an example of how the majority of us (sitters) take care of things.

In my experience, the sitter first requests a review, and the homeowner responds (or not). You may find that this sitter may not ask for a review, if they realize you’re not happy with them. If so, you then have the option of passing on giving feedback.

If they do ask for a review, I would just choose your words wisely. Maybe focus on overall comments, rather than specifics. For example, you may say that you were disappointed that they disregarded your house rules concerning communication, your pet’s care, and visitors, even though they were clearly outlined in your house notes. Then you have the various areas of the scoring, where you can give them credit for being organized and tidy, showing that you are reasonable. You should then rate them poorly on reliable and pet care. This will get your points across in a reasonable way.

Although we say that everyone has to start somewhere, and to make allowances for a first sit, I would disagree in this case. These are serious differences between your expectations and the actions taken by the sitter and should not be ignored on that basis.

6 Likes

This is good advice @Snowbird . The one thing I wanted to mention was that I have had reviews submitted for me without me requesting them a couple of times. The last one was a sit I just finished last week. I left feedback for them first…I wonder if that has something to do with it? I can’t remember if that was the case for the other ones where this happened.

Hi. I always request a review within hours of leaving a sit, but do add that I realize they are just returning and will have other priorities. However, I have been fortunate that with almost every sit I’ve had my requested review posted within a day or two. I have never left feedback first, but I think that stems from how long I’ve been on the site. The review system has expanded in the time I’ve been with THS, and I don’t think we reviewed the homeowner when I started.

I find it a little confusing that I review the homeowner AND respond to their review of me. It always feel like duplication. However, now the comments I put on the homeowner’s profile focus not only on them but also on giving future sitters more useful information. Hopefully it helps those who sit there after me.

@Travel2Go , I would not leave them a review at all. They may or may not leave one for you. If they do not, I don’t think the sit will even appear on your listing or their profile. It will be almost like it never happened. I also would not contact them again. If you do, you are risking that they could leave you a negative review in retaliation. You’ll be back to square one – you won’t have any feedback/ sitter reviews, but it’s better than having a bad one.

Sorry but I disagree with Snowbird
Travel2Go you should tell the truth and you have them
on video for having people over, also you asked them
for email updates. that should of been discuss before the house sit.
The Home owner is always in the Driver’s Seat
there will Always be more sitters than House Sits.
So you shouldn’t have a problem getting a sitter
and you could put the problem you had with the previous
in your next AD to go away
You leave your feedback, you can tell them before hand
but don’t get bully.
But I will say it is your fault for looking at references or a joke -solid linkedin account

For references the sitter can make up there own references
since you can make up as many email account as you want for references

I always tell people if not sure go by reviews or your Gut

BTW I am a Sitter with 11 or 12 --5 star reviews

1 Like

Leave your review, don’t get Bullied

1 Like

How did you @Purpleh2 come by your reviews without the first HO to give you a chance?
I agree to post an honest review but telling it’s “your own fault” when @Travel2Go made clear what was expected from the sitter beforehand isn’t fair.

4 Likes

Welcome to the forum @Purpleh2 - we hope you enjoy contributing and connecting with the community here.

A friendly reminder: We do encourage open, honest debate but always with respect for other people’s opinions, choices and actions. We appreciate and value everyone’s feedback, but as @Düsenzofe mentioned, Travel2Go did do everything possible to ensure this was a well-matched sit with an opportunity given to a first-timer, so constructive rather than critical advice is the most helpful response, and the way to keep this forum a friendly, helpful space for all. Thank you for understanding.

4 Likes

Hi Travel2Go,

Firstly we are sorry for the recent loss of your beloved Makena, this must have been so hard for you and Chanel. Our thoughts are with you all at this very sad time.

We are also very sorry that your first post and introduction to the forum is because of a less that perfect first sit experience. This is not want we want to hear from any of our members.

Every sit should be the best possible experience for everyone involved and that is why our members return time and time again to our community and why TrustedHousesitters works so well, with pets being the real winners. We are sorry this didn’t happen for you on this occasion.

Our review system is under discussion and review, meanwhile it would be wrong of us to influence any owner in the way they craft their review or a sitter their sit experience feedback and members will have advice on how they would review the sitter, or not.

Looking at the situation objectively the sitter should not have had an overnight guest without permission, especially as this had been plainly positioned, please connect with our Membership Services Team regarding this matter.

Owners know their pets better than anyone and this must have a been a particularly difficult decision to leave Chanel soon after Makena’s passing and you of course needed extra assurance that she was being cared and comforted and was feeling safe and secure.

Since your return have you discussed any of this with the sitter? I would like to call and speak with you both, when it’s convenient, to get a complete understanding of the situation and will Direct Message you to arrange.

All members have the opportunity to leave honest, fair and impersonal reviews or feedback. The star rating system is representative of the level of satisfaction and we would encourage you to use this system combined with written explanation behind your choices.

If we can help further then please don’t hesitate to reach out.

2 Likes

Hi @Travel2Go I note your question was advice as you are"torn about how to leave a review". Some answers have recommended NOT to leave a review. You must leave an honest review and I understand @Angela-CommunityManager is going to contact you.
I wonder what the sitters motives were, maybe she just wanted free accommodation with her friend.
Future HOs will want to know what kind of sitter she is and the HOs may have the same experience that you have had if you don’t leave an accurate review, which I am sure is not what you want.
Also, although the app will show that you have had a sitter even if they don’t leave a review so that is not the answer.
Just state honestly what she did correctly and incorrectly. If she then cannot obtain another sit, then she has brought it on herself.

2 Likes

I’m sorry that was to Blunt and should of worded a different way
But don’t believe everything you read on the internet
The only real way is by Reviews, there is no other way to be 100%
and even that can fail.
This site is built on Trust and it will never be perfect 100% of the time

4 Likes

Thank you for responding as you have @Purpleh2 it’s greatly appreciated.

1 Like

Thanks so so much for all the helpful feedback. We really appreciate it, esp being from both sides. It’s hard to put negative things in someone’s first review, hence our hesitation. We thought the sitter’s motivation for applying for our local sit was a combination of starting on this site (ie getting a review), trying out the sitting experience, and enjoying time with a cat. Our cat has been so clingy / anxious since we returned. So we think the sitter is a really nice person, but we’re remorseful they’re clearly not a CAT person and our cat is the one who needed the attention. Anyway, someone did mention have we spoken to them. We’ve been home just over a day + digesting it. My husband is very good with calls and has decided to go ahead with that to share our general disappointment. After that, maybe we’ll have a better feeling about how to word a review. Thank you @Angela-CommunityManager, I did get your PM and will reply shortly. Also, is there a time limit on the review process? ie it has to be completed within 14 days or anything? Again, really appreciate the supportive notes. Will post back later after chatting with the sitter…

4 Likes

There is no time limit on the review process

2 Likes

Mars I believe you are right. I have chosen to not leave a review of a HomeOwner and a sit which I did a few weeks ago. The HO has not left me a review either. It is as if the sit never happened. I know I’m letting down other sitters for future sits in respect of this HO but I’ve chosen to walk away from the experience. I would not normally do this but I don’t think this HO deserves a response.

@LTD , Like me, you probably also feel this is not the ideal response to irresponsible and inexcusable behavior by a sitter who demonstrated untrustworthy behavior, but this is unfortunately how the review system works. This may be a situation where sitter has to be permanently removed from THS.

The big issue for me is the fact that the sitter invited onto the property a visitor. Anything could have happened to the property, as well as to the cat. In fact it’s tantamount to trespass in my opinion.

2 Likes

I’ve sent feedbacks as a sitter before i had received any from the owner when i found the sit extra

I’ve never waited for any sitter request to send à review, i do it just after the sitters are gone when i am the owner

Yes even when you are an owner you can reply to a feed back left by a sitter (after you had yourself left a review)