Star calculation

The new blind review system seems a great improvement. One thing that doesn’t make sense (to me) is the overall star rating for hosts. Currently the individual ratings for cleanliness, communication, hospitality etc doesn’t aggregate to the overall top score. So let’s say each category gets one star yet you can select five stars overall. Most other review systems I’m aware of averages all the subset scores into an overall score. Your thoughts?

Makes no sense to me either @Oztravels
Do you know if it is the same system for homeowners and sitters?

I don’t but I would guess it’s the same.

See my comment @Oztravels in your other post re this. The same thing happens whether you’re an owner or a sitter giving the review.

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Thanks for the clarification

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I like the system as it is.

The five categories don’t cover every aspect of a completed sit so it is entirely possible that Communication, Hospitality,Cleanliness,Pet behaviour, and Accuracy of listing all deserve five stars, so surely its a five star for ‘overall’?

But wait! The next-door neighbours were really noisy, the bed I found to be really uncomfortable and the water temperature was not hot enough for me and could not be adjusted

All this might not bother the next sitter but, for me, overall, I’d give this sit a generous and honest 4 stars.

The best way is to think of it as six categories.

Give each of the five specific categories, plus the sixth, ‘overall’ category your honest individual star rating.

If any is less than five stars, explain why in your review.


The new system allows weighting as the reviewer sees fit, not an overall rating forced by averages. That makes sense to me. But it also allows more mistakes and it’s hard to tell how the reviewer is using the star ratings, so what they write is more important than ever.

To me, if there are discernible patterns over time as each person rates and writes, that will be increasingly useful. Right now, goof-ups are more possible as everyone adjusts.


It’s the same for sitters as well. Let’s say a homeowner wasn’t 100% satisfied with the sitter’s communication skills and gave the person a 4 in that category, they still have the right to give them a 5 overall – and usually do. If it meant giving them a 4.8, I think HOs might be reluctant to ding the star in the first place, and sitters would be more reactive if they did get the ding.

It works the same way for sitters. You want to say the host was lovely but you had to clean the stovetop before you felt comfortable using it. You could ding a star on cleanliness which already means they might not invite you back, but if they wound up with 4.8, you’d feel like you were being ungrateful for the bottle of wine they left and the car they loaned, and the companionship of a really good dog.

The aim of the reviews IMO shouldn’t be numbers of stars. It should be honesty in what is written. I want to know how sitters experienced the sit. I want to know how petparents experienced the sit. Allowing people to ding a star in a category but keep the overall high to me makes people more likely to be honest and think about the bad as well as the good.

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