Why do sitters choose not to leave a bad review even after they have received theirs - I feel let down by my fellow sitters

@Shafofo geeat suggestions!

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Maybe the house wasn’t filthy on the last seven occasions when the pet owner had sitters. They may have had time to clean and tidy the place then but something stopped them this time. Highly unlikely but there might be a reason.
I have sat twice for a pet owner who is an older lady looking after her disabled husband. The first time the house was untidy but clean the second time I scrubbed the rooms we were going to be using. When I arrived the second time I noticed a district change in her behaviour. She was anxious and distracted. We sat down for a cup of tea and she started to tell me how she was feeling - overwhelmed with caring for her husband, depressed because of the long lockdown. I’m no psychiatrist but I felt she was more than low, clinically depressed so I shooed her out the door and told her to go see her family and have a great break away. Should I have given her a bad review to warn others?

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As you say, highly unlikely - and if the 4 sitters that did not leave reviews, actually did so honestly - then we would not need to be having this discussion

Yes you are correct.
However, a review is a personal opinion not a statement of fact. I have already discussed that in a previous post.
In my very humble opinion, if a house sitter takes the time and effort to fully research the sit with video chat and questions they can avoid nasty surprises unless the pet owner takes great care in hiding the state of the place and lies, then that is a different story and should be dealt with by THS management.
The onus is on us as pet sitters to make sure we are comfortable with the sit and all the arrangements. We cannot blame previous sitters who’s reviews, or lack of reviews, did not mention something another sitter might find unacceptable. But that is only my personal opinion not a statement of fact. Your personal opinion is different and I accept that.

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My main thing is, I don’t understand why home owners get vague categories to rate people on and sitters don’t have the same option. Most of the animals I’ve sit haven’t been potty trained, and I’ve sat in fairly dirty homes. I didn’t want to take away a star but I’d like a category rating like homeowners get

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Oh dear, as a HO I’m starting to feel a little bit worried. I’ll admit that I’m not that tidy, though I do try to make my home presentable (by my standards) when someone is coming, but is it clean enough? I have a cleaner come in every week and she always says that she has to look for things to clean but are her standards adequate? I know that she never looks up. I have to point out cobwebs to her to get them removed. I do know that my oven is in a terrible state, I’m going to have it professionally cleaned before I have another sitter come but will the state of my frying pan cause worry, it is never washed just scraped clean of any burnt bits and wiped out with kitchen paper. There are other pans but the ordinary stainless steel frying pan is never washed, that makes it really non stick.

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Further to that, I hit the wrong button, as a HO I would love people to tell me if my home is not up to standard. I’m not going to be upset, I’d only be upset if people who came to my home felt uncomfortable in it.

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Frying pans are not supposed to be cleaned, it adds taste to the food.

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@Peter , I think we’re referring to very dirty homes. As for me, I expect clean toilets, shower/tub, refrigerator and kitchen. If the oven has cooked-on stuff, as long as it’s not excessive, I’m ok with it. It’s nice if the place has been dusted and vacuumed and floors don’t have dried up messes stuck to them.
I don’t like piles of junk on kitchen counters or dirty dishes in the sink. Anybody, unless you’re 7 feet tall, can easily miss cleaning cobwebs.

In my experience, the only frying pans that don’t get cleaned are cast iron that you have seasoned. These get washed with water only and immediately dried to prevent them from rusting. My last sit had a non-stick pan that wasn’t really cleaned. I figured they wanted it that way so as not to damage the non-stick surface with vigorous cleaning. In my opinion, ceramic, ceramic-coated cast iron, like Le Creuset, stainless steel, aluminum and glass cookware should be well-cleaned. Personally, I avoid non-stick and aluminum as both can leach into your food. I bring a can of Barkeepers Friend (great product, by the way) to clean stainless steel pots. You may want to mention that you do not clean the stainless steel frying pan and prefer it that way, so your sitters don’t try to clean it.

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Hi Colin

One of the first questions that comes to mind is did you view the home before taking the sit? We visit where possible and, where not possible, ask for a tour of the home by video call. (Rarely, we feel that the pictures on the site are enough.) This process also alerts the home owners to the expectation that we have a standard and we are looking to see if the home meets that standard. Only twice someone asked why we want to look around and we just tell them straight up - it’s important to us that the house is clean and tidy. One of these didn’t want to show us around so we decided not to do the sit.

Allowing for differences in standards, we’ve had only two (out of well over 60 sits) that were bad. We didn’t visit or view the home in either of these cases.

Also - where there are lots of sitters but no reviews we don’t apply.

Hope this is useful.

Kirsty

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I read your post and all the replies and it made me think what I would do in the same situation. Before I apply for a sit I read the reviews thoroughly both in what is and is not said. I look at the photos and dismiss the sits with no internal house photos (even though the owner may have deliberately done this for security reasons) and the ones who use real estate photos. Just as I have updated my profile to say I am fully Covid vaccinated, what I think I need to do is say explicitly in my profile that I am a very clean and tidy person and expect the same from the HO. If this means I don’t get accepted for applied sits or miss out on direct invitations from HOs who are a bit too casual with cleanliness but have a to-die-for location, so be it.

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I look at the reviews left by sitters and also cross-reference the review left by homeowner for their sitters. I presume some homeowners do the same, and may not choose someone who is critical.

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Hi Kirsty. We don’t have time to visit homes before sit but agree, a video tour is a good idea. We are new housesitters and did not think this a necessity as thought previous housesitters would have commented on this in their reviews. I had presumed this was the whole point of reviewing but have quickly learned this is not the case on THS and we are expected to rely on what is not said. Much of this is to do with the way the review system works on THS but in this case, at least one sitter that has been reviewed by the HO still chose to say nothing! - it’s bizarre. As you say we should be looking for how many sitters don’t leave a review, unfortunately, this information is not available on the webite, only on the App which I now have for the future

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I agree - I know the difference between untidy and filthy. Ironically, there was lots of cleaning product under the sink. I’m wondering now if the HO has a clever scam going on the get their home cleaned for free every few weeks!

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Now that you have completed your sitting, I am curious as to what review you have left them. You may have some clever way of wording it with your Airbnb experience.
Thanks

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I’m now in the trap of not being able to leave a review until they do! - As new sitters I can not risk a bad retaliation tit for tat review. As I have seen this HO has previously left a review and has not been reviewed in return I am waiting and still hoping they will review us… when and if that happens I will just politely comment that there are cleanliness issues with the accomodation

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Good luck with it all. For what it’s worth, our experience has been really good and we’ve met some great people but you do have to accept that people all have different standards/comfort levels. The other thing that might help is that we are not shy about asking anything we want to ask. It’s much better to get it out there than to sit for someone who isn’t right for you.

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I think it’s important that people remember these are our homes not hotels! I always try and leave things clean tidy and in working order but there may the odd thing that isn’t perfect (house sitters arriving tomorrow and there is a leaking tap on a sink they shouldn’t need to use that someone was meant to come and fix and haven’t) Of course things shouldn’t be unpleasant or a health hazard but they may not be brand new and immaculate either

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I think all sitters are aware that we are going into peoples lived in homes and don’t think any sitter is expecting hotel cleanliness, what have you seen that has given you that idea?

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That is not a typical experience. You seem to have been unusually unlucky. On the plus side, your next sits are bound to be better :slight_smile:

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