Truthful Review for HO and Sitter

One of the experiences we had was with a sitter who asked me to not provide feedback in exchange for my not providing feedback for her. Then I asked myself I did not do anything wrong and while I might not need her raving reviews, I wonder how many of these she has asked in the past that was why I did not see the truth about the sitter. So I decided I will write a truthful/factual review. Wondering if any HO or sitter has experienced similar situation?

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That sounds strange. I’ve been sitting for over 5 years and only recently, one owner said they’ll refrain from writing a review because they were not happy with me, which I guess is fine for both of us since I felt their feedback was not accurate and unfair.
I have over 50 five star reviews, and they criticized a trait of mine that I always thought was my strength and even been called the “a” word by some of my friends. And what they complained about - I felt something they did themselves and did not realize. So I felt it would not be productive for me to leave a feedback since they were convinced I was in the wrong. I just politely apologized. But it is frustrating since I went beyond the usual duties of my other sits and even left them presents.
I had brought up how TH could benefit from Airbnb model - where you don’t see the reviews until after a designated date.

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It has been asked several times but never followed… (the blind system where HO and HS would discover after they publish their own comments, the review and feed back left by HO & HS)

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I like the idea of a way to offer truthful feedback without repercussions for the HO or HS. Not sure that is possible here on THS.

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Hi @FaithHopeLove. First, love your username! =)

Ultimately, I think we each have to go with our conscience, and not judge what criteria others use for leaving reviews/not. There are just so many unknowns. So, I’ll just say what I’m currently doing for reviews/feedback as a sitter.

Reviews of me: I’m a scientist by training, so I believe in more data = better. So even if an HO/PP thought I did a 1-star job, and I thought I did a 5-star job, I’d want them to be truthful and review me. At the least, TH lets us write a reply to a review.

That said, if a poor review may be due to a miscommunication, I’d appreciate having the chance to work that out first. So I practice the Golden Rule and do that for feedback of HOs/PPs.

Feedback of HOs/PPs by me: I write detailed feedback, which I plan to post, and then I send that to the PPs first. If they have any constructive criticism, I’m open to listening. So far that hasn’t happened, and I’ve posted what I sent them. Also, I do this regardless of whether they’ve reviewed me yet.

I also send the PPs negative feedback which I don’t think needs to be said in the feedback, because I’m pretty sure it’ll be fixed. As a simple example, suppose a bathroom had no towel rack. And I’m pretty sure once I mention it, the PPs will realize it’s a good idea and add it.

All that said, as a sitter, I’d love if every sitter gave feedback for every PP. Like I said, more (honest) data = better. I’d also feel really bad if something happened (or could happen) because I didn’t let other sitters know. For example, if a pet was much more aggressive and could bite, more so than noted in the listing. Thankfully, all the sits I’ve done so far (four) have had wonderful PPs and pets.

So yeah, I personally applaud you writing a truthful/factual review. You can rest better knowing your fellow PPs are better informed.

BTW, here are the official guidelines for reviews and feedback:

the highlights being:

  • Focus on facts, not emotion
  • Be respectful and polite
  • Be carefully considered
  • Relate only to the house and pet sit

Best of luck!

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Let’s remember, we all do the best we can as sitters and most Home Owners also do their best but no one is perfect. We all have our moments. One sit I was on, was not very good, I got a black and blue mark from bumping my leg in a dark room I was sleeping in, the cat peed outside his litter box, the dogs fought a bit with my dog so I just kept them separate, etc., but guess what…I didnt report any of that because it really was odd things that happened (mostly) and I didnt think that there was anything that would endanger another sitter. Thats where I would draw the line; lack of safety. No smoke/gas detectors, large fighting dogs, a high crime neighborhood, anything drug related or illegal, etc. THAT’S when we need to speak up whether youre a sitter or a home owner, if you feel uncomfortable or in danger, then speak up so that you let everyone know what to expect. Maybe these things would not bother another person, but at least they know. Don’t sweat the small stuff like no food in the house, no vehicle to use, late getting picked up at the airport, didn’t make the bed or pick up the dog poop, etc. Life experiences will give you something to talk about when you can no longer travel. Most often, that day will come.

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Very well said and the priorities of considering safety for the sitter. I think when people are truth to themselves and others there are always ways to improve to compromise and communicate so both parties met their needs. :slight_smile:

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Thank you I appreciate the scientific approach, facts not emotions. I agree truthful feedback can be two ways but helps both parties improve what is needed.

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I love the idea of sending your review privately first, in order to clear up any miscommunications. And I agree that not every little complaint needs to go out to the public. As a HO, I would very much appreciate it if someone said, “Hey, you probably didn’t notice because you never shower in your own guest bathroom, but it would be great if it had a towel rack.”

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I agree. I think the system could be improved by adopting some of the Airbnb model for reviews. In addition to double blind public reviews, HS and HO should be able to provide private feedback as part of the review process. This is where they can be given an option to say things like “hey, for future HS it would be good for you to do a better job cleaning before they arrive” so this doesn’t have to come out in the public review as harshly.

There are soooooo may threads about the review process being flawed. Why isn’t THS addressing this?

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Hello, @NomadSitters I would like to wish you a warm welcome to the community forum and thank you for contributing to your first topic. Your feedback is important to us and will be passed on to the Product team.

You can also add your TrustedHousesitters sitters profile to your forum profile and that way other members can give you tips and advice. Here is how:

https://forum.trustedhousesitters.com/t/how-to-add-a-listing-or-profile-link-to-your-forum-profile

Best wishes Carla

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Nice advice @geoff.hom about providing constructive feedback. When I am doing a Sit, I make a few notes while I am doing the Sit, as they come up, as I might not remember on the last day of the Sit. Most of these are simply Suggestions for the HO in order to make things better (ultimately for the Pets or for the Safety of their house).

Example: HO did not show me where to find placemats or a tablecloth for their wood dining table and did not advise me to use any placemats or tablecloth. Their dinner plates were fancy, handmade with a rough surface on the bottom which scuffed the wood table. After I noticed this, I found some placemats to use. So…I left a suggestion that they should mention this to future Sitters. It was not in my Review; just a note left at the end of the Sit with a few suggestions.

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@Greensheep OMG, you are so right about that. I think homeowners should stay in their own guest rooms (bedroom and bath) to see how they function ergonomically. Whether they need to add towel racks, get rid of clutter on horizontal surfaces so sitters have room for their own stuff; whether the mattress is comfy, are there night stands on each side of the bed, adequate outlets to recharge phone, adequate bedside lighting, a place for suitcases (NOT the floor), :stuck_out_tongue_winking_eye:hangers in the closet, etc. etc.!! :smile:

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I have actually read that that’s the best way to make sure your guest room is really ready for guests! It definitely makes sense! (And oh… the horizontal surfaces… sometimes I feel like pedestal sinks should be outlawed! :joy:)