@Peaches welcome and I’m sorry for your bad experience. As others have pointed out, there are many wonderful sitters out there and if I saw a person with a 1 star rating, I would look closely at what both said and certainly not rule out what was clearly a retaliatory post. I have seen another person who had a bad review and discussed it in there listing to be able to give their side of the situation.
One thing I’d throw out there is not eliminating full time nomad sitters with gaps. We have been traveling full time with no fixed abode and have gaps. Don’t assume gaps are bad sits. We utilize airbnbs, hotels, and hotels in our travels so we don’t always have back to back sits. Read the reviews and try to get a feel by what isn’t said because everyone isn’t as honest in their reviews for exactly the reason you experienced.
I do think in the matter of a first sit experience it’s probably up to The TH admin to intervene to try to salvage the situation for both parties Everyone deserves a second chance and first time home owners and sitters may really be on a steep learning curve re what’s expected and a reasonable ask for both parties I’m thinking unless circumstances were truely diabolical degrading or life threatening in which case TH could terminate the members registration Maybe there can be agreement between both parties if it is a first time sit to omit leaving a review altogether Cheers WW😊
Hi @wendywindow, I believe @Peaches said on another thread the sitter hadn’t taken care of their fur baby and damaged their property. If that’s the case then that sitter doesn’t deserve to be on THS in my view.
Agree with @richten1. No one is automatically entitled to sit or to have good sitters. If someone can’t respect someone else’s home or they neglect pets, they don’t need to be on THS at all. Likewise, if a HO can’t treat sitters with respect, I couldn’t care less whether they’re able to get a sitter. That’s their problem.
People’s experiences and expectations are all very arbitrary and subjective I try to reserve judgement without hearing both sides of a dispute Everyone deserves a right of reply and we are only hearing one side of the story
@Peaches, I’d recommend that in your profile you mention the review so new sitters hear your side. For example: “I’ve only used THS once and had a less than stellar experience which resulted in receiving a retaliatory review for being honest. I hope that you can see beyond this experience as the review is not representative of my home and treatment of sitters.”
Also I commend you for leaving an honest review for the sitter, we all (sitters & HOs) need to be honest to improve everyone’s experience.
@Peaches Hi new HO ! I am sorry that this happened to you. Thankfully, most sitters are great. I hope THS takes your feedback and is able to improve insight into a sitter’s history.
I am glad that they gave you 12 m. THS is great and other sitters will understand. Best wishes to you and your family.
“Sauce for the goose is sauce for the gander” is a saying from the 1670’s and it still holds true.
The dichotomy between how homeowners and sitters can access information or communicate in general should be even, equal, and fair. It is not right now, and that is one of the biggest problems I have with the platform.
Gaps don’t automatically mean something fishy. There might be gaps in sitters and HOs feedback if either have fulfilled their side of the sit well, but held back on giving feedback to avoid retaliation.
So sorry to hear about your negative sitter experience. The retaliatory review issue is something that frustrates THS sitters and homeowners alike. I wish they would use a blind review process like the one Air BnB uses. On Air BnB, you can’t see your own review until you have left your review for the other person. It makes the review process more honest and transparent. People are so afraid of retaliatory reviews that they often don’t leave a review if the sit was unsatisfactory. I’m a sitter and have been in this boat a number of times with sits in houses that were unclean or with animals that were a nightmare to care for.
I’ve also had several HO’s tell me they loved me and then not fill out the review. I’ve requested it, but they don’t do it out of laziness or forgetfulness. In one case, the HO asked if I would write my own review. I had sat for them for an entire summer, and it was my first year sitting. I really needed reviews, and this would have been such a great one to get. But I wasn’t going to write my own review. The guy thought since I was a writer I could do a better job than he could. That request made me so uncomfortable, so I just gave up asking for the review. There are some that turn up on my page as requested by me but unwritten, by people who expressed they were happy with me. Who can say why some people don’t bother?
I agree that gaps don’t inherently mean anything bad happened, and that someone could not leave a review for any number of reasons. But since gaps do show in HO profiles (albeit only in the app), why shouldn’t they also appear in sitter profiles? I can’t see any reason for the difference, because either a sitter or HO-- as an individual-- is equally likely to leave or not leave a review for whatever reason, be it good, bad, or completely unrelated to the quality of the sit.
It’s worth noting that a string of gaps, or a gap from a someone who otherwise always leaves reviews, can potentially be a red flag. This is applicable to both the sitter and HO side. There’s some more discussion here:
It’s entirely possible that Peaches’ sitter could have had a string of gaps that would have prevented Peaches from booking. Maybe not, but there’s no way to know since sitter gaps don’t appear.
I wasn’t aware you could see gaps in a HO profile because I don’t use the app. I have been sitting for 7 years, almost full-time, and I was completely oblivious that this bit of info was provided anywhere!
I have two thoughts about your question. You could do a video chat with the homeowner and ask them about the lack of reviews, then pay attention to how it feels when they respond, as to whether you think they are being straight with you. Also, if it’s a short sit of a week or less, maybe it’s worth the risk. If it’s a longer sit, I would proceed with caution, but there might be a reasonable explanation for the lack of reviews.
I say also don’t give up! However I too as a HO using TH for years am struggling how forthright to be in a review. There was something with my pet that was so off but everything else was fine. BTW I don’t pay much attention if there are gaps in reviews, as housesitter’s use Airbn’s and even other apps too.
@GillianWings we had one host who sent us a copy of her review for our pre-approval before posting it! In the case of the host who wanted you to write you own review- it is clearly unusual but why not?! You could send him a draft copy of what you think he should say about you! Don’t be shy- you know what you did to earn a great review! He can either edit it to his liking or just copy & paste!. Its not cheating because ultimately its him who would post it- you’re just giving ideas of what’s important for future hosts to know about you!
When we started out- before we had any reviews we got two friends (one from hubbys side, one from mine) to write references for us. Both asked us what kind of things they should write! So we drafted a suggested reference for each- one was just happy to post as written and the other took it, elaborated on it & it was much better than ours! Those references got us off to a great start!
Regarding hosts not writing you a review- have you ever told them how important it is for you to receive a review? How much it will help your future as a sitter? Occasionally when having to send a reminder for a review we have told hosts that we’ll happily give them great feedback once we’ve received their review- as their review feels like the completion of the sit for us- its a little bargaining power! This usually works well & a review follows shortly!
We actually always wait for our review before giving feedback as - for us- the sit only feels really complete when we’ve received our review. This is because a great review- (in this not monetary exchange)- is the best way for a host to acknowledge, and show appreciation for, our care and commitment to their pets & home. It really is the smallest thing a host can do- to spend a few minutes after the sit writing a great review in a timely manner!
My point was that, unlike a sitter is able to see all HO’s past sitters, with or without a Review, a HO is ONLY able to see a sitter’s previous sits where a HO left Feedback.
Note this is only possible on the THS App. On the website a sitter would see only those sits where a previous sitter left a Review. An idiosyncrasy many Sitters seem unaware.
Previous (lengthy) discussions have suggested that, where a HO has numerous past sitters who have not left a Review, this might be for some future potential sitters a red flag.
The current system does not afford a HO the same due diligence nor transparency by seeing a sitter’s past sits, with or without Feedback, ONLY sits where a HO has left Feedback. The discussion would be similar, I would conclude, that a sitter’s sits without Feedback might raise a red flag for a potential HO.
Does not seem to be an even playing field for full disclosure for both HOs and Sitters. And dare I say, most HOs are unaware of the lack of transparency of a sitter’s history.