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

After a fantastic start last month to our Housesitting experience we’ve now arrived at our second sit and it’s awful. Basically, the place is filthy - We arrived yesterday afternoon and were disappointed that the home looked really untidy but the HO was eager to get out. When we started to look around properly we are shocked at how filthy it is. We had to bleach & clean the kitchen area separating two plates and mugs for us to use. We had to strip the bedding and protectors and boil wash them all before we dared use them. -Its horrible - thankfully we are only here for 4 days!

I checked the listing to remind myself how could I have possibly applied for this to see the last sitter in March said in their review " *** made the space so welcoming and cosy. Lovely to have connected. Would definitely recommend and sit again :slight_smile: " I can not believe that to be true - but even worse I’ve checked on the App and the last 2 sitters did not review…I tracked one of their profiles down and the HO has left them a good review - so there is no excuse not to leave a sitter review except for not wanting to offend the HO - It’s mad! sitters should be warning each other about these situations- I feel very let down by my fellow sitters.

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People don’t leave critical reviews because people don’t want to get critical reviews.

I had one sit like yours, I left a review which mentioned the positives and ignored the negatives (which were fairly obvious from the owners’ profile, to be honest).

I think it really is that simple.

Can you provide a link to the review you left, I’d love to see how you worded it!

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The more I see posts like this, the more I think that THS needs to set up reviewing process like Airbnb. I can’t see a downside.

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I completely agree with you @Colin. I’ve never had a bad sit so I can’t know for sure how I would feel about leaving a negative feedback and, although the right thing to do should be to be honest and warn fellow sitters, I consider it’s also unfair to feel worried about a possible “retaliation” and this is something THS should work on.
I have read that sitters usually avoid giving their feedback as a “sign” that not everything was ok, but that’s not always the real reason. I’ve sat for houses/pets where a couple of previous sitters had never left their feedback and the HO, pets and house were just perfect. So I think not leaving feedback as “a secret warning code” for following sitters is not very useful and not always something we can rely on.

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It’s a hard one. We were also in a place where we had much higher cleaning standards than the owners and most people would’ve called the house filthy. So we did like you, cleaned & scrubbed everything. The owners are lovely people, so we didn’t have the heart to leave a comment saying the place was really dirty, cause this was obviously how they lived. Neither did previous sitters…
Of course we should’ve, but we hope like everyone else that future sitters will read through the lines.
How abt a review with stars for different categories (like reviews for sitters):

  • welcome
    -communication
    -cleanliness

  • That might make it easier…
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My point is that i tracked down the profile of the last sitter that stayed recently - The HO gave her a good review …so what is the excuse of the sitter now for not reviewing honestly? - It is so annoying!

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Difficult question, and it would probably be a lot of trouble for TH to have to do but a behind the scenes list of “ not so positive sits” where sitters could actually check in with TH which is already possible I think might be an option. I think I read somewhere in the forum that a number of multiple reported sits had actually been followed up on by TH and the members (in these cases HO’s) had actually been reprimanded and/or taken off the site
I’ve had stuff which up to now I’d consider manageable qua cleanliness issues but reading something like having to prise two plates apart. eeeugh !

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I really feel for you @Colin especially as it was you who started the thread “Red Flags”
Your first sit was fabulous for you, I know because I have just seen the listing and have put it in my favourites.
We have raised the issue of true reviews many times now and I feel that we all owe it to each other to be better at completing them otherwise there is no point in the review system.
I agree with @Els that there should be categories for HOs which would make it easier for the sitter.

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Colin
What an awful experience for you. Thank goodness all my sits have had exceptionally clean homes.
I’m just wondering how I would leave feedback tactfully in your case. Perhaps I would say the home owners cleanliness is not as high as expected? Rather than say they were filthy animals! The owners not the pets lol.
How did you manage to track down the previous sitters and see thier feedback?

Good old fashioned detective work :rofl:

As it was a short sit I guessed the sitter would most likely be local - so went to the ‘find a sitter’ - entered the area and trawled through all the sitters that had listed that as their home area until I found them - then checked their reviews to see if my HO had reviewed - and they had!

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You really are good at detective work
Well done!
I’ll remember that one lol

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Hi @Colin I’m so sorry that you’ve had this experience, the review system is a matter of discussion within the product team with the objective of finding a fair and transparent system which works for both owners and sitters.

Sitters should not feel uncomfortable because of a lack of cleanliness nor should they have to start a sit doing a deep clean. It has happened to me. Neither should any member feel that they cannot give fair, objective and honest feedback or reviews.

Personal standards of cleanliness differ greatly, what is acceptable to one person may be totally unacceptable to another however when there are extremes they need to be reported immediately to Membership Services who can reach out to the owners.

Members reading this thread can also post their review ideas and suggestions. Many members propose a model along the lines of AirBnB, but are there any other alternatives?

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Think there should be a star rating on cleaness.
Last September was a nightmare :tired_face:
Soap and water doesn’t cost much.
Sleeping in a flithy bed is a no go area for us.
Having to start deep cleaning .
Heart gos out to you colin
Surely there is some way of messaging other sitters.

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Should we be treating feedback to a HO as you would a work place year end performance review? Nothing should be a surprise in a year end performance review if feedback has been provided on a regular basis. Format, if possible could also follow performance review structure: good - bad - good.

So to that end, perhaps reaching out to the HO as soon as trouble arises, making them aware of what you are having to do for your health and comfort.

Colin, you are right, we are not helping each other by not leaving honest reviews. This is a mutual relationship between HOs and sitters, each relying on reviews.

We have been fortunate not to have had any negative sitting experiences (touch wood), but did have a horrible experience with an Airbnb apartment rental. We met with the representative (we didn’t know she wasn’t the owner until part way through the conversation) a few days into our stay and pointed out the problems. Our review was very negative, with a few positives, starting and ending the review and positive words regarding the representative whose hands were tied by the owners’ ignorance.

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To be honest, on this occasion my gripe is not really the review system. Our HO has left the previous sitter a review so in this case the sitter now had nothing to lose in leaving an honest review. It is not nice to have to say something negative about a person but it can be done in a polite way. It seems that some sitters just don’t want to offend but that is just not fair on future sitters who are not getting honest opinions.

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If a sit has been particularly poor, a sitter will probably not want to do a repeat sit, but since feedback can be seen by a future HO, then you do not want to come across as someone who expects perfection.

Maybe some carefully worded feedback, such as :

The sit was not at all what we had expected.

After spending some time on the first day cleaning the home to an acceptable standard, we were finally able to relax and enjoy time with the pets.

The pets, as had been discussed, were taking some time to accept us in their home.

Facilities were limited, but we managed to work around the situation.

The location was more remote than expected, so a car or scooter is definitely required.

If you are planning to work from home, the WIFI is not that reliable.

and loads more…

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I’m really struggling with leaving a bad review. In another post (or two?) I’ve supported the airbnb model but after thinking about it, I’ve changed my mind.

Hubby and I have done roughly 30 sits, mostly with THS, and have had one that was in an unacceptable state of cleanliness (just to be clear, there’s untidy and there’s dirty - this one was both). Also, we consider ourselves to be clean & tidy but are hardly pathological about it. The HO’s were lovely people, very kind and generous, and their dogs were a blast. We spent a day cleaning and tidying so that we could live comfortably for the fortnight and just got on with it. We were appalled by the state of their house but didn’t know how to mention it’s condition without causing offence so in the end we left a glowing review about the pets and said nothing about the house. Perhaps this “let down” future sitters and for that I apologize but even now, 2 years on, I can’t bring myself to regret the review.

I am grateful for this forum and the opportunity to discuss awkward situations like this one. I hope there’s an answer but suspect not. Still, our ratio of great to not great is 29:1 and even that not great one was pretty good once we applied the elbow grease.

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I’ve done about 40 sits now, 30 with THS. My only negatives have been with another platform and their review/feedback has been almost non-existent, so I now stick to THS.

I think/hope Colin has just been unlucky with his 2nd sit, as most homeowners on THS understand what is expected.

If you are applying to sit for a HO who is using the platform for the 1st time, then it is definitely worth asking a few more questions.

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I also think everyone has different expectations. What one sitter may perceive as filthy another may not. Some sitters may be so delighted my the location they may overlook a filthy house. My husband and I tend to be very tidy so we note that in our profile. A homeowner who is messy may not want us as sitters. We’ve done some sits in homes that weren’t as clean as our expectations but the pets and the location made up for it and we returned. I have read reviews where homeowners said the sitters left their home cleaner than it was. I always leave the home as clean as when I arrived but I avoid going overboard in cleaning as I don’t want to embarrass the homeowners either.

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It’s a great idea but logistically I think it would be a nightmare for THS.