Prospective sitter has multiple 4 star and 3 star reviews recently

Offer compensation.

My POV: If someone accumulated bad reviews that made the host cancel the sit, there’s no reason the host should be offering compensation — the sitter created the need to cancel in that case. And I say that as a sitter, not a host.

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It is just a way to solve the problem that @Bookbabe88 mentioned.

Yes, I agree that the HO would do wise to cancel.

Given this additional info and your wariness, better to cancel sooner than later. Gives the sitter more time to figure out what next.

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@Kernit - A sitter is entitled to cancel a sit if negative information / changes in responsibilities/ accommodation etc comes to light after a sit has been agreed and if this will have a negative impact on the sitter’s experience.

The same applies to a homeowner-*negative information has now been disclosed this information was not available when you made the decision to confirm the sitter . In light of the new information you can decide to unconfirm the sitter+
Informing them of the reason why and giving them as much notice as possible .

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I would cancel immediately. Something seems to have changed and I would not loose much more time.

Personally I always look at each review in the full length with every item and I am honest: If there is one 4* item among 10 5* sits I declene the application.

It’s always a big stress for me to leave my pets and I try the best to avoid more stress.

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I would be very careful about the way that you cancel. If the sitter has been aggressive in the past, then they may very well raise a formal complaint against you. As @Bookbabe88 says, what if they have booked flights and other expenses

I would run it by Membership Services first to ensure it falls within the cancellation remit.

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Thank you

Its 3.5 months away and they are in the same country as me, I’m wary of contacting them to ask about the recent reviews as they have been quite aggressive in responding to them on THS. They have denied any issues and or blamed HO, one bad review maybe 2 I might think unlucky but its 5 in a row.

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The worry is they may not find it easy to get new sits as most HO will certainly look at the last few reviews and if they have other applicants will decline. I know if they were a new applicant i certainly would.

@Kernit Well this your conundrum:

Either you feel sorry for the sitter that they might not find another sit based on these latest poor reviews. You need to decide if you can live with the decision to let a ‘less than stellar sitter’ sit your home and pets.

Or you decide that your home/pets are not worth the risk of a troubled sitter, and cancel as soon as possible to give them the opportunity to find another sit.

It seems it’s an easy decision for most people who responded here, but for you it doesn’t come as easy. Good luck with your decision and keep us posted, please.

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@Kernit, and possibly they shouldn’t. If they sort of reboot and apply for low-demand sits – and especially if they start replying to bad reviews with an apologetic rather than aggressive tone – they may be able to recover. But your choices are:

  • Keep the sit, possibly risking 3.5 more months of worry, a not-great sitter at your home with your animals for a month and that worry while you’re out of town, and then an aggressive response if you provide an honest review
  • Cancel and relist, explaining to the sitter that the reviews, and especially their responses to them, were extremely unsettling and you are no longer comfortable with the sit
  • Cancel without explanation

Personally I’d go with cancel, with explanation. It’s kinder than cancelling with no explanation, but it protects you from six months of worry and possible drama.

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Kernit, the more you prolong your decision-making, the less time the sitter has to figure out their alternatives. That would be a problem that you’re contributing to.

By contrast, the sitter’s alternatives (whether finding another sit or otherwise), as well as whether they’ll be able to easily find sits given their record of sitting, aren’t your responsibility unless you fall into a trap of martyr complex or such.

Ultimately, they’re your pets and home, so if you want to risk them on potentially helping this sitter avoid the consequences of their behavior, that would be generous of you. For many of us, we’d consider our responsibilities to our pets first.

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With all due respect @Kernit .
That is their worry not yours -

Not all homeowners are worried about cleanliness so having a lower rating for that category will not put off all homeowners, so if they still want to house sit they may find sits that they are better suited to .

They may already have other sits confirmed - or they may have decided that house sitting and the responsibilities that come with it - doesn’t suit them but are continuing to honour their commitments ( perhaps resentfully ).

It’s best for all parties that if you are going to unconfirm them that you do it soon .

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Thanks everyone for your thoughts

I have contacted them on THS and on whatsapp saying that in light of reviews since December 2023 and their reponses to these reviews from HOs I am no longer comfortable that they sit with my pets for a month. Wished them well.

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In addition to there being more than one 4 or 3 star, the reactions are a big red flag. In the only “bad” experience I’ve had on this site, there was one bad review which the sitter explained away to me, but I didn’t read her reaction until later and was truly shocked by her vitriol. As things turned out, she canceled the sit, and I got another sitter. I feel like I dodged a bullet. I know it’s difficult because you feel you owe her an explanation. You could give her an honest one: “Blah blah is important to us. In light of the recent reviews and your responses, I don’t think this is going to work out for either of us…”

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Hey @Kernit did you cancel the sit on your dashboard?

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@Maggie8K I agree that if the HO feels uncomfortable they should reconsider, after all there’s plenty of time. I also agree that things happen in people’s lives, bereavement for example, that may lead to some disorganisation. The problem with her so called ‘aggressive’ behavior (I don’t know as I haven’t seen it) is that she may simply be trying to defend herself. One person’s sticking up for themselves is another person’s idea of aggression. That said end of day if you, HO here, aren’t happy don’t have them sit. Plenty of sitters would be willing to step in.

A pattern of that seems much less likely than a one-off.

Ive seen the HO cancelled so that’s good. Re pattern with responses. I just feel it’s so hard to judge if they are aggressive without seeing them.

You don’t have to judge whether they’re aggressive. If the host finds them aggressive, that’s enough for them to decide on.

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