Hi everyone .
Am fairly new to THS . I’m a homeowner and have had good experiences with petsitters so far
I recently had a pretty bad experience with my last petsitter .
I have already reported them to THS , and they have given the petsitter a warning and put them on their internal watch system .
I feel so strongly about my negative experience that I feel I should warn other Homeowners about them
My issue is I want to leave a balanced review while outlining the facts . I’m unsure how much detail to give . I’ll explain the issues but will have to keep some areas vague .
I have a detailed welcome guide which I gave to petsitter weeks before the sit . I also did an in person handover weeks before the sit .
Parking in neighbors parking spot for days leaving neighbour with nowhere to park . Neighbor had to contact me to ask me who owned the car in their spot . I had shown petsitter their allocated parking spot at in person handover
Damage to my property ( kitchen )costing $800+ to replace . It can’t be repaired. They didn’t follow cleaning instructions in welcome guide
Missing crockery - was there before sit . Not there after . Petsitter said they didn’t break anything and put everything back in it’s place. They then tried to say my last petsitter probably broke it .
Moved cat litter tray
grimy and grease all over kitchen appliances
Dirty crockery left out in sitting room
grimy bathroom and fridge
Didn’t look as if they hoovered . I normally don’t expect anyone to do this unless it’s a longer sit , say 2 weeks . Cat hair everywhere .
My cat needs routine and doesn’t respond well to changes in her feeding routine and especially moving her litter box
My cat seemed stressed when I came back and hid for hours . She has never done this before . Petsitter completely dismissed me when I raised this with her and said that’s what cats do . My cat has never behaved like this
Anyway I tried to reach out to petsitter to discuss damage to my kitchen . Petsitter is ignoring my messages .
I know I have a lot of detail here so need help with what to include in my review .
The petsitter was great at sending me daily updates . From the daily videos and photos I got , my cat seemed fine .My petsitter had several five star reviews . I got a good impression in our first video call so I was shocked when I came home . They had left before I got home . We had agreed this in advance
I would focus on points one and two in your review, as they are the most severe, cost you money, and potentially goodwill with your neighbors (which can be a huge deal).
The missing crockery can’t be proved, and cleanliness (or lack thereof), while aggravating I’m sure, is so subjective that it’s not worth mentioning when there are far more important issues that happened during the sit.
I go back and forth about the litter box. If the litter box moved slightly, like slid over a foot or two, I would not mention it - if it was moved to an entirely different place in the room, or especially to a different room, definitely mention. Either way, the sitter’s response to your concern is what I’d want to know if I was considering a sitter.
ETA: did the sitter change their parking habits as soon as you told them they were in the wrong spot? How did they receive that information (i.e. were they dismissive or did they acknowledge and apologize?).
They apologised but said that the neighbor should have told them not to park there .
It put me in a tough spot . Thanks for the input . Some of the cleaning stuff can be proven as I had taken photos of the dirt after the sit
Should I just say a general sentence that my house was not left in the same condition as before the sit .
There are so many little things which on their own are annoying. But when you add them all up it paints a picture of somewhere who didn’t show any respect for my home and pretty much ignored my welcome guide. They also left their food and toiletries behind
@violet123 , with the new blind review system, you can write any or all of this without fear of retaliation.
You can succinctly mention your disappointment —- that an expensive item was damaged, the litter tray moved (if moved far enough that the cat may have been upset by the change), house not returned in the condition they received it — they had not cleaned up after themselves, they did not follow instructions w re. to parking space and inconvenienced neighbor.
If you are absolutely sure they broke or took crockery you can include this but is it possible these could still turn up?
Mention you received updates as requested but the cat seemed quite stressed after your return.
Then take off stars in each category and leave the total number of stars you think they deserve. This will be fair warning to other HO.
Of course this was not a good sitter. But the parking space - I have had similar problems with my neighbours. I had misunderstood where on the parking lot owners or guests could park. The rules had changed since I had gotten rid of my car. Anyway, this led to notes on the windshield of my guest.
I don’t think neighbours should make such a big deal out of that.
I think the key with all negative reviews (however tricky to write) is that they’re honest, factual, non emotional, cover the main points and not personal. Then the reader can see how rational & fair the writer is @violet123
I got tagged in this discussion by @cawosey . Sounds like you had a bad experience @violet123
I posted about my situation in the forum .I wasn’t sure if I should write a review. I ended up writing one
It was pretty short . Essentially saying that the experience didn’t go as I had hoped . I didn’t mention everything , just said my property was damaged during the sit and that the petsitter didnt leave my house clean
To be honest I nearly wish I had listed all the areas I wasn’t happy with. Once I gave my review , the petsitter responded to my review pretty much slating my house saying it was dirty when they arrived . It wasn’t it was spotless . They also denied any damage was done . So I’m not really sure what advice to give you . I’ve never had to give a negative review before this .
This is where I need advice . I’m not sure what to include in my review . Do I keep most of it generic? Parts of the house were dirty when I came back Then mention the damage to my property ?
I want to balance being honest but scared I might scare away other petsitters . Even though the reviews are blind, the PS can still respond to my review and I am worried about retaliation there
To be honest I empathise with my neighbours . They had nowhere to park for 4 days . We all have 2 spaces allocated each . Aside from our allocated spaces, there is nowhere else to park . There is no street parking . . This has been the case since I moved in to the estate . The petsitter was shown where my allocated space was at the handover . I would be furious if I had nowhere to park because someone else took my allocated spot for days
@violet123 in response to…I want to balance being honest but scared I might scare away other petsitters… you HAVE to be honest. This is why there is becoming so many issues with sitters recently (and yes, there are HO issues also at times). If people continue to not write honest and reasonable reviews, (for both HO and HS) the bad apples will simply continue with their bad behaviour! This has been one of the reasons the overlap rule was brought in, because a minority of people were doing the wrong thing and now everyone is paying the price. If you don’t take a stand, and the next HO doesn’t take a stand, and the next and the next, bad behaviour will only be passed onto the next unsuspecting HO who will then experience what you have.
I totally get the carpark thing. Once when I was in the UK, I made the same mistake but it was resolved in hours. Only difference was, I hadn’t been told whereas your sitter was.
You need to write an honest review without sounding overly picky as that is where you will come out looking like the bad guy. Forget a few dirty dishes etc, just be diplomatic like "though I left clear written instructions, they were not always adhered to which caused me a lot of issues. Unfortunately expensive and unrepairable damage was also caused due to the sitter not following the clearly written instructions. My home was also not left in the state it was when I departed for my trip and my neighbours were caused stress and inconvenience due to a parking issue, the details of which were clearly outlined to the sitter both verbally and in the Welcome Guide.
Give stars accordingly and move on. Don’t dwell on what MIGHT happen going forward, most people can see through things clearly so I wouldn’t worry about retribution.
Hi @violet123, did your sit finish on or after Nov 14 when the blind review system began? If not, you will be doing it under the old way and could get retaliatory feedback. If it’s the new system, yes, the sitter can reply to her review by you but it will appear on HER profile and not yours.
While THS finally reacted with a blind review system, what they haven’t done which would also be helpful is something like what Airbnb has – a private feedback system that would automatically prompt sitters and homeowners to leave minor negative feedback that they don’t want to discuss publicly. In this case, as embarressing as it is to come home to bad feelings from a neighbor, if the sit had otherwise gone perfectly, a note saying: “I wish you had followed my instructions and parked where I showed you. My neighbor was very upset you parked in his space.” Unfortunately, the sit was far from being otherwise perfect, and IMO the parking should be included in the review as there was a pattern of dismissing written or oral instructions about the care of the home. The pattern led to significant damage which frankly the HO is not going to recover from the sitter. However, some of this stuff could be prevented if people weren’t living in terror of offending each other, and if THS used the tech to prompt honest discussion.
This whole thing is also a reminder that GUESTS, and sitters are in the end guests, can damage your home accidently. (So can your kids, family members and pets.) Insurance usually has deductables. It doesn’t seem like THS even at higher tiers will cover damage caused by a sitter and tells people to have insurance. A lot of – probably most policies won’t cover “petsitters” or any kind of guests using the home when you aren’t there. Guests can also damage your home due to negligence – eg ignoring written instructions about which cleaners to use.