Did I handle this the right way? Terrified of bad review?

asked 2017-02-22 11:22:21 -0600

I've been a Rover sitter for a couple of years and love it. I've never had a bad review. We've had situation where we've dealt with aggressive dogs but we know how to handle that. Then we tend to just not take them again. What we've never dealt with is a truly difficult owner.

We had a pair of dogs stay with us over the weekend and they were super sweet. We had a massive storm on Monday night and one was so scared I stayed up all night with her. I really thought we did well with both dogs. We followed instructions, gave medications. They don't wear tags (red flag) so we kept them in our yard for potty breaks. One had a blast playing with our younger dog and they both seemed happy and relaxed.

The day after pick up, I got a complaint from the owner that her younger dog's fur was matted underneath. (The dog is a long haired dog.) I had told her at pick up that we had tried to brush her but that it was impossible (the dog nipped and wiggled 2 much). Even she admitted that she's the only one who can brush her. So in this message, she demanded to know if the dog got wet. Ummm...we had a massive storm so yes. When we took the dogs potty in the morning, even I got wet!! The dog is also 10 months old and played half the day with our younger dog. That would cause matting too.

I was professional in my response but she just kept at me. I think what she wanted was a refund of some sort. I finally responded that it sounded like we aren't the best sitter for her dogs. That we loved watching them and that we appreciated her allowing us to do so. But that Rover could potentially find someone with more grooming experience.

Did I handle this the right way?? We only made $79 dollars from the stay so I wasn't going to give her a refund. I stayed up all night with one of the dogs! That same dog had to have her rear end wiped after every potty break. I earned that money!! But now I'm terrified of getting my first bad review. I'm dumbfounded by this. How does she expect a long haired dog who refuses to be brushed to NOT get matted?? This whole experience has been so confusing!!!

Does anyone know how Rover handles unwarranted reviews?? She hasn't reviewed us yet but I'm very concerned. And has anyone lost business because of one bad review??

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Rover doesn't remove reviews even when you prove that the owners lied. You handled it perfectly but unfortunately it does affect business. You can respond to their review to explain your side. I wish Rover did more, or at least let sitters access other sitters' review of the dogs and owners.

Mary Anna M.'s profile image Mary Anna M.  ( 2017-03-29 22:07:03 -0600 ) edit

No matter WHAT business your in there will always be someone you just cannot make happy no matter what you do. Sounds to me that you had done everything possible for these little fur babies

Ginger P.'s profile image Ginger P.  ( 2018-05-23 22:56:34 -0600 ) edit

9 Answers

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answered 2017-02-22 17:50:35 -0600

It sounds to me like you handled the situation professionally and as best you could given the circumstances of the storms. You did everything within your power to make sure the dogs were safe during the storm. Some people are just going to argue and complain regardless of the situation. You were professional in your explanation, which is all that's required. If it were me, one message from me and then I'm done. She wants to argue, she can call Rover HQ. Sounds like you don't need them as a client anyway,

I would not be worried about the review, especially if you have a lot of good reviews to balance it out. And definitely do not offer or grant a refund of any sort, especially since she told you she was the only one who could brush the dog.

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answered 2017-04-05 10:08:47 -0600

were there any red flags at the meet and greet, or with communication ? I don't just evaluate the dogs, I steer clear of difficult owners and do not book.

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answered 2017-02-23 14:25:57 -0600

You get a chance to review the dog that only Rover sees, you should add all the details in there. Don't worry about one bad review. I got a 4 star review from an owner with an aggressive dog who we kept for a week and the entire time did not hear anything from the owner. I was worried he wasn't going to pick her up at the end of the stay. His words in the review were positive but for some reason he felt my service was 4 starred.

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Some people just refuse to give anything 5 star on principle... maybe you ran into one of those types

Sarah B.'s profile image Sarah B.  ( 2017-04-05 19:27:39 -0600 ) edit
answered 2017-02-23 12:44:18 -0600

I absolutely agree with Cari. I think you handled the situation perfectly and there's really nothing more you can do. Even if she does give you a bad review, most people who are viewing your profile have enough sense to understand that some people are very difficult; your good reviews will outshine the bad.

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Nothing would have pleased that type of person and 1 bad review with a lot of great ones might only trigger someone to ask what happened giving you a chance to explain. Don't worry about this.

Heather K.'s profile image Heather K.  ( 2017-02-23 18:23:04 -0600 ) edit
answered 2017-02-23 13:26:45 -0600

A refund or excellent follow up service cannot save your review at this point if she wants to give a negative one. Seems like she would be upset no matter what happened. If she complains that the dog's hair got wet or matted, most people will probably not see that as a valid complaint against your care.

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answered 2017-04-17 12:39:50 -0600

At meet & greets I not only evaluate the dog(s) but owners also. I listen very closely to what they tell me. Anything that gives me concern from what they say I won't take the dog(s). Even if the owner gives you a bad review, depending on what she says, people viewing all your (great) reviews will see that she it a "problem" dog owner. And, you get a chance to review the dog(s) -privately- for rover. If the owner was a problem, I not only review the dog(s) but the owner also. I believe rover wants to know about both dogs and owners. They will also know you did an excellent job in the best interest of the dogs. Don't worry about a bad review. Mention to your repeats that rover sends a request to review and ask them to respond with the star rating and review. You can also have friends, family, etc. give a "testimonial" and it would move the bad review down. A bad review could turn out to be a good thing so don't worry about it.

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answered 2017-05-14 15:31:35 -0600

I have the same fear: a bad review if I say something negative to the owners about their dog(s). I had cases where the dogs were very difficult to handle, and/or the owner's demands for care were too much. I had a client who asked me to change diapers 4x a day to her dog b/c she never took the time to potty train her. She also asked me to prepare each meal mixing ingredients and making sure it was "warm enough b/c her dog doesn't eat cold food". She also called me every single night to ask about the activities I did with her dog, expecting me to do something exciting and new each day. It's worth to clarify that during the meet and greet, she said her dog was "normal, low key, standard care". This owner only brought all these complications the moment she was dropping the dog. Rover should allow us sitters to "flag" a customer for not being honest, being rude, or for having dogs that present aggressive issues once the owner is gone.

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Fyi 90% of owners think their dog is an angel. And even if the dog IS an angel being at a new place can disrupt even the best dog. Next time ask better questions. Keep in mind on the platform although people can look at all the reviews, the last 4/5 are what people see and focus on.

Serina R.'s profile image Serina R.  ( 2017-06-18 10:52:28 -0600 ) edit
answered 2017-04-06 00:35:10 -0600

Just an FYI in case it would help in the future: In your Profile go to Rates, then under Boarding click "More Rate Options". There is a spot to set grooming rates there. I think if someone expects you to groom their dog when you have them for just a couple days they should definitely pay for it. Otherwise they are getting WAY more than what a couple nights boarding costs.

Absolutely do NOT give a refund. Your care was proper, professional, loving and above and beyond what they would get from an impersonal kennel where BTW they would have had to pay extra for grooming.

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answered 2017-04-05 19:25:45 -0600

I agree with what everyone else has said & would also recommend that if you get bad/difficult/super neurotic vibes on the meet-n-greet from the owner that you just don't book with them. Ask the owner about their past experiences boarding their dog and you can often get a good sense of how they deal with things. Also, how many demands and finicky needs they have. Meet-n-greets can be super useful in large part for this purpose; of course, unfortunately you sometimes just don't know how the owner will turn out to be! Sorry that you're dealing with this :/

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