Navigating bad review

I just received a vengeful review from my last housesitter. This is a shock to me because there were some issues, but I thought she and I had come to an understanding post sit. Her review will certainly make potential sitters quite nervous. How do I address this successfully without rancor?

Be factual and matter of fact. Be brief. No feelings. No venting. Move on. If there is anything in the review that you can and should take responsibility for, then include that in your response making it clear what you’ve learned for future sitters. Then rewrite your profile with those changes and clarifications in mind.

If you are in a competitive area, the review won’t make any difference because frankly people will apply before they even read it. If you are not in a competitive area, but you have lots of good reviews from previous sitters, it won’t matter. If there are other things you could do to make your listing more attractive, do those things. You have control over those things. You don’t have control over what the sitter said.

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Sorry to hear that @EASTBAYCA - why don’t you open the review with “future sitters please read this review in full. There were some issues for both sitter and HO on this sit which we discussed in length prior to writing this. We agreed that we had both learnt lessons from this experience. From our perspective this is what happened (& then a factual, non emotional, non personal review of the sit) Anyone with a brain will see you’re being impartial and balanced and that the sitter is just malicious. You can of course also respond to their feedback with a comment along the lines of “Sorry to see that you didn’t adhere to our shared learning experience as we agreed.” (Or similar) Best of luck :crossed_fingers:t3:

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Thanks Marion

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Why do you say “vengeful”? Did you leave her a bad review first or something? Is anything in the review true? Just asking because sitters are always encouraging sitters to leave forthright reviews that include the negative, and this person may just genuinely be warning us about something serious, which personally I’d appreciate.

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You can read the whole thing on my listing review if you’d like. Initially I was fair but restrained. She did not; it was damaging so I had to respond.

@EASTBAYCA I don’t think sitters can view HO’s listings or profiles, unless a sitter is registered as both an owner and sitter on the site?

Can someone advise me on this if I am incorrect?

One review will hardly put people off unless it’s at the very beginning of you having sitters and even then, my wife and I never only read one review.

As a sitter who’s had some tough sits, we still try to be as clear and clean about the issues without making it about the homeowner.

For example, we’ve been flat out lied to about pet behavior, cleanliness, and more, but we make it as objective as possible and reflect that in the review.

If you came to an accord with your sitter and they disrespected that, I’m sorry, that’s a bummer. That said, I think most people will read a review that’s clearly disgruntled and can tell the person went over the top, particularly if you have other positive reviews. Most of us have natural BS meters built in and we can tell when something is off.

Marion and Cuttlefish both gave some great feedback and here’s mine echoing and a small addition.

  1. Don’t take it personally, although easier said than done.
  2. As Marion said, give a factual review for the sitter and do your best to leave emotion out of it. Use a tool like ChatGPT if you need to, write out your response, then tell it to remove any emotional language.
  3. Cuttlefish gave a great reply to use although I would skip the “Sorry to see…” as that leans close to passive aggressive and you’re doing your best to leave this with as little rancor as possible.
  4. Update your profile with all the feedback. Treat your profile like you’re selling your home and trying to find the perfect buyer.

Hopefully the answers you got help sort this out.

Brady

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I know just how you feel, having had one similar problem. I kept all my remarks factual but the sitter sent me a very personally insulting email which made me think I was being unkind. Since then, I have had a lovely sitter who has restored my faith in human nature and my damaged self esteem.

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Cant see your profile to read the reviews. Can you add a link please?

Thank you all for your kind support.:pray::pray::pray: I really needed it and will lean on it. Thank you all for your constructive advice. I have left a factual response to her review. I’m not sure how to post a link to the review. Suffice it to say that she went on and on about how ants were everywhere in my house(and we have a large house!), including in her car, which was parked on the driveway! It was so damaging because if you read her review, you would not want to step foot near my house at all! Of course she never even mentioned ants until her review!!! Thank goodness I have two upcoming sitters who I believe will be excellent and hopefully those reviews will add balance to her scathing review.

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Figured out how to do it!

Edited to remove the listing link as per posting guidelines

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@EASTBAYCA That is great you found the link to your listing, I have added it to your forum profile for you. If you click on your user name you will see it there and so can other members. If you need any more help just let me know :smiling_face:

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Thank you, Carla! So much easier to find on PC than phone!

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I get ants in my place just about every spring. It is when I must be really careful not to leave anything sweet in the kitchen or in other places. And to get the garbage out.

So I suspect that the sitter had a sweet tooth and left some crumbs etc.

(Or it was greatly exaggerated, just to write a revenge. A few ants are not the worst thing. I also see how she did a character assassination of Jim.)

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@EASTBAYCA , you handled this well. Your reply to her feedback was straightforward and factual as was the review you left for her.

My reaction is that the ant problem was a freak occurrence and while not pleasant, should have been communicated by the sitter to you or your emergency contacts, who would have helped remedy the situation. Your plant care schedule would be no problem at all for me nor would your need to receive frequent updates – if I were the pet owner I would want the same. The fact that she went five days without a word, shows that your concerns were warranted.

What might make me wonder is the fact that you subtracted stars for both this sitter and the one right before her. I might be concerned that you were very demanding, although I know you left good reviews for the many sitters you had before them.

My advice is to choose your sitters very carefully so you will be pleased with their care and be able to leave them good reviews. And if the sitters you have currently scheduled work out well, good reviews and feedback will negate these.

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I don’t see that. If I look on the web interface, the one right before her was 17 Jun - 07 Jul. To whom OP gave a glowing review with five times five stars.

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So many people don’t understand how fast ants invade. Our old apartment in Playa del Carmen was on the third floor and we had a rooftop patio. If a guest left a drink on the patio, or we didn’t immediately clean up crumbs inside, we had ants the next day by the thousands. :grimacing:

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You sound nice and i doubt you’ll have problems getting sitters in the future. To be honest I probably wouldn’t apply because of the low rating for the other guy with no explanation as to why. And I’m also so confused about the bin thing! First how did you know she hadn’t put it out? That level of surveillance would be off putting. And was her explanation (it was a long sit and the bin was mostly empty) not understandable?

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Critters are critters and just need to be dealt with. I brought in some flowers from the garden and subsequently found ants all over my kitchen for about 3 days… I just got ant powder and made sure I got rid of them That was months ago and I have not seen one since.

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