No Review Blues

I am licking my wounds today I finished a sit yesterday It was for two weeks There was this huge garden and pool beautiful to stay in but had to be diligently watered on a daily basis and pool and garden took about 90 minutes to tend to daily with a rather complicated watering schedule to master for all the different plants I also had to look after a lovely old cat.

The sit went really well and I simply knew I had done a great job in keeping both cat and garden alive and happy for the owners return …I also worked like a trojan to leave house sparkling clean for them and did little extras like typing up the sporadic hand written haphazard notes they left me into a better organized easy to read proper watering schedule for the garden for future sitters and purchasing a couple of new dish washing brushes for them I loved the house and surrounds and was very vocal in expressing my appreciation to the owners for the opportunity to stay here
Anyway the day after the sit I got this message
I got the following messages on my phone after the owners had returned home

***HI Wendy ***
***We got home late last night **** was waiting contentedly on the lounge We were happy to see him. Just wanted to thank you for looking after him and our property. You did a great job ***
Again thank you so much and all the best to you

I duly wrote back said what a pleasure it had been and asked for a review

The message I got back was a s follows

I’m not big on writing reviews but if you ever need a reference Feel free to give out my number so they can call me

I do have loads of lovely reviews but this is perhaps the third time his has happened to me where owners have expressed their gratitude via a text to me directly but not been committed to leaving me a public review I feel little blue about it and am wondering how to change this not very gratifying dynamic


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oh wow, I am so sorry to hear that. I do not understand how difficult it is to write: “Wendy was an amazing sitter, we recommend strongly her and would love to have her back.” or even just “Amazing, strongly recommend”
I don’t care how technologically confused you are, if you made it that far on THS, you can WRITE A REVIEW!!!". This is very different from a person who just ignores or has no time to write one, this is someone who loved your services yet can’t bring themselves to help you out by getting out of their comfort zone. I’m sure they enjoyed reading reviews about you! I’m sure these reviews helped them feel good about their selection of sitter!
I am sooooo sorry this happened as there is literally nothing you can do about it, other than negotiate longer to get one. You can’t say to people “the last one loves being contacted but doesn’T like leaving reviews, so feel free to message her to ask about me” who has time for that these days!
I hope you find the words to make her understand nobody will ask for a reference from her, but a review is the base of this website and the only way to make the entire system…work?


How about something like “Thanks for the lovely compliments, happy to have been so much help. If you’re not a big review writer could I draft something for you instead and you can pop it in my profile? As I’m sure you know, the THS reviews are a sitters currency and the first thing my next host will read. Gaps can be red flags so it would mean a lot. Thanks in advance.” @wendywindow


this is so amazing and polite! I agree this is the best thing she could do. Explaining the system is the best chance to get a review from the HO!

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@wendywindow I’m referring to @Cuttlefish message, but it doesn’t look like I’m replying to it, even though I wrote it twice after clicking on “reply” …(just for info :rofl:)

Surely, such HOs are selecting sitters based on reviews??

Maybe they do not know that missing reviews are visible in the app, and that missing reviews are often a red flag? You should tell them that. Maybe also as a bit of a tip and a warning, to be careful when they are looking for sitters.

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Thankyou for your understanding Nadia it is hard when you know that you have done an amazing job and as you say poeple cant get out of their comfort zone to press a link and state publically what they were happy to say in a text .
I think the guy probably is a bit old school and doesnt realize the way housesitters work they are not out in the everyday workaday world where a prospective boss might ring a previous employer for a reference Its a different paradigm I also am liking something I read on someones profile which read treat your sitter like a guest not an employee lt sort of shifts the power dynamic to a more empowered and reciprocal win win scenario as I believe a sit should be .

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Thankyou Cuttlefish I am realizing I need to be a bit more direct in conveying how the review system works as currency and validation and acknowledgement for a job well done and therefore very important to a sitter I am having to up my assertion game A challenge for me

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Yes you are right they probably chose me in part because of my former reviews ??? I will certainly factor that point in when explainign why reviews are important for a job well done in future

So sorry to hear the pet-owner’s attitude to your request. I now always check before even applying for a sit whether the owner has left reviews for previous sitters. If they don’t - regardless of how good the sit looks - I scroll on by. Not worth the hassle. X


Hi Wendy,

I do feel for you on this one, I really do. Whilst I’m not honestly sure what to suggest for the best here, I can say that I have experienced this exact feeling you describe numerous times.

As of today, I have completed 38 sits but ‘only’ 22 reviews. Quite a few of these have been repeat sits where I honestly think a bit of slackness set in. Others where I’ve received a very appreciative text like you did but they’re clearly not compelled in any way to write a review. It is very disheartening.

I can honestly say that of the ten sits I’ve done over the last year, only three of those HOs have been forthcoming about doing a review without having to be prompted. Yet, I got a very gushing text in each case saying how happy they were with how everything had gone post sit.

I have wondered if there is a general lack of understanding in the community that reviews are just what we do and that it is an important part of the process. There are probably other factors at play here but this whole review thing has been quite a bugbear of mine for a while now!


Smart move! :clap:

One thing is that people get tired of all these requests in general. When I order take-out, I get a review request. When I sat on a bench somewhere, Google asks me “How was the University?”

But home owners on THS are themselves using and reading the references. They may be unaware, but missing reviews stick out like sore thumbs on a sitter’s profile in the app. That actually damages our chances to get other sits.

THS should tell them this. Or even better: make missing reviews also visible in the web interface. And also for home owners - maybe that would teach them.

HI Chat set Chiens
After reading peoples comments I am actually encouraged to go back to the owners and write to them and see if I can change the situation ? Someone I know on Trusted Housesitters even if she receives an overall five star review but one less star in one of the minor categories eg tidiness or whatever will ring the owner and demand an explanation over the loss of a minor star Maybe it takes being a bit more assertive about getting the proper acknowledgement and ratings you know in your heart you are fully deserving of or at least a clear understanding I am sorry to hear about your experiences too and maybe someone has shared something on this thread which can be of value to you in discussing the matter with future homeowners Thankyou Wendy

Good thought !!

I do hope you get your much deserved 5 star review from them!

I can’t imagine doing what your acquaintance does but good on her though. It can be infuriating when it feels so unjustified. My style in that same situation is more to just move on and NEVER go back there again!

Best of luck to you getting this sorted out! :crossed_fingers:

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Yes I can relate I get a bit grumpy with all the requests for reviews after the smallest of customer service exchanges ? but its bit different when you have spent a decent length of time in someones home looking after their most precious of possessions next to their kids ??


It might be worth having one more go, ask them, how did you pick me, was it through my reviews? Some sitters are also guilty of never leaving reviews. I think TH should make it clearer that all members are expected to leave a review after a sit has finished. If all else fails, leave feedback saying, although this host appreciated my services, they don’t leave reviews, so other sitters are warned.

Wow that is just such a shame I am really sad for you. It feels like a real slap in the face for a sitter considering we are the ones who go to all the effort and keep in good contact providing updates and making sure the home and pets are safe and well. The very least a PP could do is spare 5 minutes to write a nice detailed review.

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Thanks Chrissie
I felt really supported by the feedback I got from the community forum and have actually written a good letter which covers the point you make and I feel may really do some good