Negative Reviews and Responses

I had a pretty horrible sit and the HO left a negative review as retaliation. Now, HO decline me immediately or are asking about my last review.

I reported the HO to TH, so there would be documentation of the HOs behavior, attitude, and home for future sitters. TH wanted pictures of the house which I sent them. I had no plans on reviewing this HO, I only wanted TH to know what I encountered. I had problems giving her back the key because she did not show up when she said she would be back home. Her arrival date and she told me 3 days before she was to return. One of the dogs had severe anxiety and would not eat consistently. When I texted her about it she wanted to send someone over to see the dog. None of this is in the Welcome Guide. The HO told me I needed to coax the dog to eat and fed the dog by hand. None of the issues that came up were in the Welcome Guide and when I texted her about it, she seemed to be blaming me for the dogs behavior.
The house was not clean, and I do not mean a light dust. Dog hair was everywhere. The refrigerator was not clean, there was no way 2 medium-large sized dog and myself could fit in a bed that was a bit bigger than a twin. But that was her expectation.
It is a rabbit hole. B

I’m sorry you had this happen. Maybe you’ll get some feedback from sitters with similar experiences. Here are my suggestions as HO: respond calmly and honestly to their negative review. Your post here is a bit confusing so try to be very clear but keep it simple and unemotional. You should also write honest feedback.

I read reviews and look at feedback left whenever a sitter applies. If you don’t do the above things I have no way of knowing your side of the story. I wouldn’t automatically decline someone if I also saw that the homeowner had repeated missing feedback or complaints from other sitters. Some of us really do dig into profiles and try to stay open-minded! Good luck, I hope this helps.


Yes, do what @Shafofo says. Response to the review that clearly and objectively explains your side of the experience. And then you provide your review of the sit and once again clearly explain your experience

1 Like

hi, i´d love to hear best practices for leaving a reply to a “negative” Review… I don´t agee with much of what was said, but when i read some replies, i find that it doesn´t seem like getting in to a tit for tat is a good idea…
here´s the review…
John is a kind-hearted person who clearly cared a lot for our pets. There was a lot he did right, but a few significant things he did wrong that would make us not want to have him sit for us again.

The biggest concern was that he let our elderly indoor cat outside, and the cat remained outside for what we think was overnight. Somehow he got the misunderstanding that it was ok for the cat to go outside. On the positive side of this, John did communicate through text that he had not seen Morris all morning, after which we discovered the misunderstanding, and then he was diligent about searching outside for him. He did find the cat near our house and communicated with us immediately that the cat was found. This was a pretty emotional event for us.

In general, there were some communication concerns. For the first half of the sit (and when we were first trying to get in touch about the cat misunderstanding), it was hard to reach John through a phone call because his phone kept going straight to voicemail. There was some sort of issue with a phone setting that he was able to resolve by midway through the sit. Additionally, while we appreciate that John reached out with questions about electronics operation at the home, we found it it was difficult to communicate effectively about how things worked. We were concerned he had forgotten how to use the front door keypad sensor to lock and unlock the house-- But in fairness, the sensor part of the front door keypad was something we had only shown him (physically before leaving) and did not describe in the welcome guide.

We got the impression that John had been looking through personal items (closets in office and bedroom) because he asked about contents of the office closet and also had borrowed one of my hats from my bedroom closet.

I rated tidiness lower because while it was clear John did make an effort clean up, there was a residue smeared across the kitchen counters. However, he deserves bonus points because the dog had a diarrhea accident in the house and he was resourceful about finding the carpet cleaner and taking care of it himself.

For other positives, John seemed like a kind and sweet person, and he showed a lot of genuine love for our pets. Neighbors confirmed he was out walking the dog regularly, and both cat and dog seemed happy when we got home. He was not phased by the fact that our dog was having diarrhea/eating issues when we left. So I feel badly giving lower ratings because I think he is a genuinely good guy, but I would be hesitant to recommend for the reasons described above. If you have him sit, I would make sure you have really clear instructions written down on a printout for all critical things.

here´s my response…
“Dear …
I am so sorry you had to experience the stress of Morris getting out.
I think your last sentence sums it up. Leaving great instructions is crucial, esp. if there are things you really care about.
Not one time, in the welcome guide, in our phone calls, or in the 90 minutes we spent going over the home and the tasks, did anyone ever say anything at all about Morris not being allowed outside. The good news is that he was only gone for a few morning hours. i Know that because his automated food tray was empty in the morning so had eaten breakfast inside.
I have responses to all the other concerns, but i think the fact that this is the only remotely negative review i have received on any of the sites i get sits on says more than having the reader listen to my tit for tats…
Kitchen wasn´t clean when i arrived, dishes in the dishwasher, clothes in the drye4r, food in the sink stopper. i sent photos every day.
Also, finding a drawer full of fliers for a Missing Cat indicates to me that you guys have had some issues in the past. That must have made this event much harder on you. i deeply apologize.”


Spot on! Elegantly responded to @dancer4life without too much emotional or as you say, tit for tat, detail. Great job :raised_hands:t3::raised_hands:t3::raised_hands:t3:

Brilliant punchline!


I have just had a negative review too and I agree with the advice you got.
Respond in clear language, write about what happened (factual, not emotional) and find a way to refer to past good reviews, or things you did right during the sit.

1 Like

@dancer4life, bravo!

Hi @dancer4life .

Well done on keeping it short and polite however if I were you I would cut it even shorter - very polite, very short and to the point is the objective of a great review response-

“Dear …
Thank you for your review. I am truly sorry you had to experience the stress of Morris getting out. As you say, Leaving great instructions is crucial, At no time did you mention to me that Morris was not allowed outside and, the drawer full of fliers I found in your home for a missing cat does indicate to me that this is not the first time he has gone missing.

There is no need to say this as all prospective future hosts will be able to see this for themselves

Don’t say this because it feels as if you are itching to get into a tit-for-tat argument having just said that you don’t want to!


Everything that Colin said

1 Like

I think the home owners’s review says a lot about them and I would give them a wide berth. The most important thing is caring for the animals which you obviously did. Your response is excellent.


@dancer4life Your reply is good but I think @Colin’s is better for the reasons he states


@dancer4life If I read the HO’s review on its own, it seems clear that they did not do a great handoff. I might, as a prospective PP, ask about what happened, but balanced with other reviews, I think it reflects more on them than you.

Completely agree with Colin’s recommendations for a reply. The shorter and drier, the better. Makes them look more ridiculous, actually.

1 Like

My first impression of the review, without knowing the context, was that the PP’s characterization of the sitter is of someone unable to walk and chew gum at the same time. Based on John’s response, it’s clear that this is not the case. So, yes, a brief and fact-based* response is appropriate.

*There is much speculation in the review, and how do they “know” that a hat was borrowed?

1 Like

The part that stood out for me in this “review” was the HO knocking points off for tidiness due to finding residue smeared on the kitchen counter . . . before going onto casually mention that the sitter cleaned up their dog’s diarrhoea.

Jeezo - think a bit of perspective was called for here! :roll_eyes:


Sounds like they freaked out about the cat being outside, and that colored everything else.


hi Colin, thanks for taking the time to help out…looks like you get the prize!!! if you don´t mind, i will edit my response along the lines you recommended…thanks again!