Why some sitters don't leave feed backs on their sits?

As a sitter I always look at the owners’s feed backs made by the former sitters.
If a few sitters have not responded I really wonder why, if none has ever replied (only the dates of the sits appear, but it’s empty) then I don’t apply.
But still I don’t understand, an answer is always helpful for future sitters.

Did the owner forget to leave a feed back, so the sitter does not send a feed back himself, waiting for a feed back ( (s)he could ask for) ?
Is the sitter furious with a critic made by the owner on his profile and it’s a revenge ? although (s)he could have replied if (s)he disagrees…
Did the sitter find the house dirty, filthy, the location dull, the pets horrible, the task too heavy ? The owners not nice, treating him/her as a domestic ?
We never know. And we have no way to ask the mute sitter, which remains anonymous.

It would be fine if it was possible to ask the sitters the reasons of their silence (sending a private message like on FB, through Messenger)
It’s harder to ask the owner why previous sitters have not written any comment.

As an owner, I always leave a feed back on my sitter(s) but I never received any before my own feed back has been published.
Could THS behave like Airbnb : feedbacks can be read only once people have sent their own feedback to the other part…

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Maybe if the sit was really bad that’s why? I had one sit in NZ where the house was filthy, fridge full of mouldy food which I felt obliged to get rid of and completely clean out. They also hadn’t mentioned just how strong the dog was, fortunately I managed but a weaker sitter may have struggled. I loved the dog and had a great time but only gave the owners 4 stars (should possibly have been 3) and gave a good review about the dog and what we did, not mentioning the dirty house (so difficult to do that!). After a month the owners asked why I’d given them just 4 stars (they had another 4 star review previously) so I had to be honest and explain why as diplomatically as possible, which didn’t go down well!

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Well Simley, at least you explained something, you answered. I’m more suspicious when I only see that the sitter has sitted there but had left no comment at all. It’s empty !

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Out if our near on 50 sits we have been lucky that we’ve had only one Sit where we could have left a not at all glowing review for the owner and how they left their house for us. Luckily it was only a few days. We left all our positive words for the adorable dogs and decided not to comment on the owners. It’s a difficult one isn’t it.

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When you find the house filthy, it can be an information to other sitters. But I guess it’s hard to say that… And cleanliness notion is something that may vary a lot among sitters and owners

Very difficult to publish negative feedback isn’t it? Just focus on any positives. Every one can be judged from optimistic or pessimistic outlooks so we always look for the good things.

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Great answer, we’re of the same thinking.

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I wonder the same as to why owners don’t leave feedback. It’s really frustrating and probably the reason why you’ve found that many sitters don’t leave feedback until you’ve left yours. So many owners do not leave feedback and it can feel very disheartening as a sitter to have done a top notch job and receive no feedback for it. We always ask for feedback, but we don’t always receive it (most times, but not always). I think that many owners don’t understand the importance of reviews for sitters. They’re way less important for owners, since they will always receive plenty of applicants.

I completely agree that it would be great if THS could be like Airbnb with a double blind review system. I’ve suggested this to the THS team in the past and in surveys. Seems like it would be the most fair system. I’ve also suggested that sitters be able to message each other within THS to get this information. People would be able to be much more candid via private message.

But anyways, we do the same - if there are absolutely no reviews from sitters and an owner has had many sitters, we don’t apply. There’s something amiss there. The only time we haven’t left feedback was when an owner didn’t leave feedback and it wasn’t the best experience. I want to leave feedback but I am afraid that the owner might retaliate with negative feedback on our profile. Even though I always am confident that we have provided professional care, always going above and beyond, sometimes people can just be unreasonable, unfortunately.

But I don’t think sugarcoating an experience is a good thing either. I would personally rather someone not leave a review than perhaps leave a misleading one. This is why I think it would be so important if sitters (and owners) could communicate privately amongst each other.

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I live my life trying to focus on the positives, but that’s not the point here. Yes it is VERY hard to leave negative reviews, and some areas are subjective, such as house cleanliness. But the goal of the feedback review system here is to give future sitters a heads up on what they are getting into. If you follow a policy of only being kind, I don’t think that is helpful.

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If sitters don’t want to give negative comment, then empty feedbacks don’t help, we imagine the worse. So…

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I thought about contacting sitters directly but it’s almost impossible. You never know if the Sue or Oliver who had sit in that place live in Gb, Usa or Australia.

As i’m an owner too i may sélect direct ly my sitter on lists of sitters living near me, in my country or anywhere else in the world.

So i could, theorically, try to send an inquiry to members having that Christian name. But how would they react, if i find the right person, which is not easy… They might not appreciate. To get out of anonymous…

---- alternativetravelers via TrustedHousesitters Community Forum a écrit ----

alternativetravelers
September 30

I wonder the same as to why owners don’t leave feedback. It’s really frustrating and probably the reason why you’ve found that many sitters don’t leave feedback until you’ve left yours. So many owners do not leave feedback and it can feel very disheartening as a sitter to have done a top notch job and receive no feedback for it. We always ask for feedback, but we don’t always receive it (most times, but not always). I think that many owners don’t understand the importance of reviews for sitters. They’re way less important for owners, since they will always receive plenty of applicants.

I completely agree that it would be great if THS could be like Airbnb with a double blind review system. I’ve suggested this to the THS team in the past and in surveys. Seems like it would be the most fair system. I’ve also suggested that sitters be able to message each other within THS to get this information. People would be able to be much more candid via private message.

But anyways, we do the same - if there are absolutely no reviews from sitters and an owner has had many sitters, we don’t apply. There’s something amiss there. The only time we haven’t left feedback was when an owner didn’t leave feedback and it wasn’t the best experience. I want to leave feedback but I am afraid that the owner might retaliate with negative feedback on our profile. Even though I always am confident that we have provided professional care, always going above and beyond, sometimes people can just be unreasonable, unfortunately.

But I don’t think sugarcoating an experience is a good thing either. I would personally rather someone not leave a review than perhaps leave a misleading one. This is why I think it would be so important if sitters (and owners) could communicate privately amongst each other.

It’s a lot like eBay isn’t it? I’m a seller and a buyer; as a buyer it seems unimportant to me to do feedback (which it isn’t of course, it just has no relevance to me as a buyer). However, as a seller I never leave feedback until I have my seller feedback from my buyer - it’s almost an insurance policy.
Could you explain the “double blind” that you mention please @alternativetravelers?

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the double blind system on Airbnb is that you are invited after a stay in a home you have rented to leave a feed back to the owner which will be published (+ stars, questions on cleanless and many other topics, do the photos reflect the reality etc.)
The landlord is invited too by Airbnb to leave a comment on the tenants who occupy his flat. Were they tidy, noisy ? Communication was easy ?
But the owner and the tenants cannot read the comment BEFORE they have sent their own comment. If they don’t agree, they can always respond on the site

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OK, thanks for that @Provence

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As others have already said, yes, it’s a tricky one. We accepted a sit on the grounds that a previous sitter had described the apartment as ‘wonderful’. It was far from it, in fact it was awful. Filthy dirty, the only thing in the fridge was a bag of lettuce that had turned to green slime and a mouldy cauliflower. The loo was disgusting, the dishes in the cupboards caked with dry food. We scalded one set of everything and used nothing but those dishes and utensils for our three week stay. The shower was either scalding hot or freezing cold etc etc. The dog was delightful but a dreadful puller (my husband’s chest muscles took weeks to recover) and we had to handle 72 stone steps to get in and out of the building. The dog rarely ‘performed’ outside no matter how many times we took it out but chose to use a puppy-pad on the landing which meant cleaning the floor several times a day. However…the people were delightful as was the dog. Both high-powered professionals with a very glitzy public image. We’d chatted on Skype before we accepted. I feel that it was misleading of the previous sitter to say it was wonderful (maybe he/she lived in a tent and just appreciated a roof over their head?) We just didn’t feel able to leave honest feedback so said nothing. So yes, no review tells me much more than a misleading review.

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After all these explanations coming from different experiences, I’m really sure silent feed backs are meaningfull !!

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You’re right, it’s not helpful to just be kind regardless but there are ways to review and leave feedback that are constructive rather than negative. Suggestions on what could be improved rather than criticisms on what was wrong are the best way to do it.

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@Provence The Airbnb review system works really well doesn’t it? The double blind process seems to prompt both parties to always leave reviews.

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Good call Jon. So then, what is the purpose of the report? Who is it created for? As a feedback mechanism for the homeowner, to assist in his role as a host, you are spot on. What about sitters considering whether to take the listing? Is this the appropriate place for cautionary comments as well? None of us want to offend, yet what is our obligation to provide frank information? I am sincere when I say that I struggle with this, and to date, have followed your guidelines, but I wonder if I am letting my fellow sitters down if I do not disclose the rare discomfort, encountered.

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Silence, omission is to me like a lie.
Sitters need to know if the place is filthy (there is no excuse for that, a sit is decided days in advance if not weeks, the owner has time to clean up), the dog agressive, very hard on the lead, the cat or the horse needs medication .
My reaction to empty feed backs in the future ? I will never apply now that I’m sure it’s not lazyness which explains a few empty feed backs
I much prefer to feel advised, then you can decide…

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