Babysitter no-show: leave bad review or let it go?
February 18, 2014 6:38 AM   Subscribe

I posted a nanny position on one of the major caregiver sites. One of the candidates failed to show up to her (paid) trial, and did not respond to voicemails or messages following up. Is it worth leaving her a bad review?

On the one hand, I don't want to screw her over. On the other hand, showing up is a rather important part of being a childcare provider, we had to reschedule quite a few things to find a time when she could meet our whole family. I do know from the site that she has logged on, and there were no transit issues that would have prevented her from arriving. I'm assuming she found another job and just didn't let me know. Given the circumstances, is it worth leaving her a bad review?
posted by snickerdoodle to Work & Money (23 answers total)
Yes. That is not OK behavior and I wouldn't want to hire someone like that. You're not screwing her over. She screwed herself over by making a really, really bad impression by not even letting you know she couldn't show up.
posted by needs more cowbell at 6:41 AM on February 18, 2014 [45 favorites]

Yes, it's worth it. It's a marker of her reliability and communications skills, which are relevant to anyone who might look to hire her in the future. Wouldn't you have wanted to know?
posted by Andrhia at 6:41 AM on February 18, 2014 [2 favorites]

No, I don't think so, unless you know for sure what happened. I would give her one more chance to explain herself, whether there was a family emergency, etc.
posted by roomthreeseventeen at 6:42 AM on February 18, 2014

I would DEFINITELY leave the review. Be factual and neutral in tone, pretty much just reporting what you've just told us (but leaving out any assumptions you're making as to the reason for her no-show). If this person wants to make a real go of being a professional babysitter, she needs to know that honoring her time commitments is a huge part of her responsibilities and that failing to do so will have consequences. Moreover, surely other fellow customers would appreciate knowing this so that at the very least, they can give her a trial run at some non-critical time themselves.
posted by DingoMutt at 6:42 AM on February 18, 2014 [16 favorites]

Also, you don't know for sure it was her that was logged on or someone using her computer.
posted by roomthreeseventeen at 6:43 AM on February 18, 2014

I think sending the followup messages on the site, to which she apparently didn't reply, was probably chance enough to explain herself again.
posted by needs more cowbell at 6:43 AM on February 18, 2014 [6 favorites]

Do you think she tried but was unable to show up but to embarrassed to let you know what was going on? That's not quite as bad as a full-on no show.

Several areas of the US have had weather lately so a no-show could happen. A no contact is more worrisome.

I would say something. If you believe there were real reasons she did not show up, allude to those and write that she did not call, text, or email.
posted by Lesser Shrew at 6:44 AM on February 18, 2014

Follow the "A Small Good Thing" Rule: don't act until you hear from her or someone close to her regarding what happened. It's the decent thing to do. If you do NOT receive a damned good, ironclad excuse, however, absolutely leave a bad review.
posted by julthumbscrew at 6:51 AM on February 18, 2014 [4 favorites]

You have no professional relationship with this woman and no basis to judge her competence as a child care provider. You have no understanding of what happened and cannot even confirm that she personally understood the details of your appointment or that she personally has received your messages. Move on and let people who have an actual professional relationship with her evaluate her performance.
posted by crush-onastick at 6:52 AM on February 18, 2014 [8 favorites]

I think "We scheduled a paid trial with this sitter but she did not show up and did not contact us or respond to contact attempts" is a fair and valid review that I would want to know about if I were looking for sitters. I have read and left similar reviews for other kinds of contractors.
posted by muddgirl at 6:56 AM on February 18, 2014 [87 favorites]

While obviously you shouldn't be reviewing her ability to interact with your kids, I think that her reliability is absolutely part of her performance as a babysitter, and you are completely qualified to note that she failed on this most basic thing with you. Towards that end I really wouldn't think of this as "screwing her over" so much as just reporting the fact that she did not show up, did not give you a heads-up that she would not be there, and has not responded to you after the fact. Even in the unlikely event that someone else was using her computer or there was a valid reason for her utter disappearance, I would assume that she could respond to your review to explain this and describe why it was a complete one-off that will not happen again.
posted by DingoMutt at 6:59 AM on February 18, 2014

Yes, absolutely leave a factual review. As you said, an important part of any babysitting job is for the babysitter to show up at the agreed upon place and time. Your potential babysitter did not even let you know she wouldn't be able to make it. That's absolutely unacceptable in any circumstance other than (for example) being involved in a car accident with injury. Since you know she did not have a true emergency like that, I believe it's fair to say that she failed to show up and failed to inform you that she would not show up, without a plausible reason excusing said failures of responsibility and communication.

Had this been an actual babysitting gig rather than a trial run, you would have missed out on your plans as you would not have had ample time to secure alternate childcare arrangements. This failed trial run ensures she will not get the real gig.
posted by tckma at 7:02 AM on February 18, 2014

Is it the kind of site where the caregiver can respond to the reviews? If so I wouldn't hesitate to leave a neutrally-word review like muddgirl suggested. If she has a good explanation she can respond there.
posted by mullacc at 7:03 AM on February 18, 2014

Absolutely. It's not necessarily the no-show that is the issue, it's the fact that she never communicated that she would not be able to make it.

This is the bare minimum necessary to be a professional. She was not professional and the only reason she didn't put your family in a bad bind is that it was a trial run. As a soon-to-be mom, this is exactly the kind of information I'd want about a potential babysitter: did not show up for a scheduled visit and then fell off the face of the earth and didn't return calls/emails.
posted by lydhre at 7:19 AM on February 18, 2014 [2 favorites]

There are plenty of good reasons why she might not have shown up.

There are very few good reasons for why she didn't follow up proactively or respond to your messages or phone calls.
posted by grouse at 7:26 AM on February 18, 2014 [13 favorites]

Every website that allows users to leave reviews has a mechanism to modify, follow up, or at least remove a review after the fact. I would absolutely state the facts of what happened in the form of a review. If the caregiver contacts you afterward with an ironclad excuse that makes you wish you hadn't left the review, it can be removed then.
posted by telegraph at 7:33 AM on February 18, 2014 [3 favorites]

People are considering leaving their children in her care. Leaving a review with the facts of the missed trial is 100% appropriate.
posted by kavasa at 8:00 AM on February 18, 2014 [4 favorites]

For me as a parent, the whole reason to use one of those sites instead of Craigslist is the feedback part -- knowing that if someone did have a bad experience with a potential caregiver, that I am going to find out about it in the feedback section. And yes, not showing up and failing to give notice or explain are all bad experiences that I would want to know about before considering them as a family employee.
posted by fingersandtoes at 8:24 AM on February 18, 2014

Will the website allow you to remove or edit your review after it is posted? If so, you could post something like muddgirl's suggestion, and amend it if she does contact you with a reasonable explanation.
posted by BrashTech at 8:49 AM on February 18, 2014

"My expectation was X, what happened was Y" is not a bad review, it is a factual review. I agree with others that there could be lots of things to explain why she didn't show, but nothing excuses the fact that she didn't contact you, even well after the fact. I say this as a person who has a really hard time, personally, making uncomfortable phone calls - even I know this is way wrong.
posted by ersatzkat at 9:16 AM on February 18, 2014 [2 favorites]

I would leave a review saying exactly what muddgirl suggested!

You are not helping anyone, including yourself and your child, by simply quietly assuming the cost of this. I know you want to be nice, but consider this: Other, just as qualified and more responsible and reliable nannies may already be losing out on opportunities because of this nanny. She may have done this before to other parents like you, who may also have felt bad about leaving a negative review! So customers could just be choosing not to use this caregiver service again. The service doesn't know why, and the other nannies they represent don't know why, either. That's hardly fair, right?

I'd also be looking into getting the amount you paid for that trial refunded from the caregiving company, if you haven't already. But then, I would have called and complained when the nanny failed to show, too. Suppose you were working and took time off to meet the nanny and she never showed up? Even if the company doesn't respond appropriately, if you charged the amount, you can dispute the charge with your credit card company.

Your time is as important as anyone else's. Don't undervalue yourself and just write this loss off.
posted by misha at 9:20 AM on February 18, 2014 [1 favorite]

This is exactly the sort of thing I'd want to know if I were looking for a sitter. Leave a matter-of-fact review without the least bit of guilt and be done with it.
posted by futureisunwritten at 10:06 AM on February 18, 2014 [1 favorite]

failed to show up to her (paid) trial, and did not respond to voicemails or messages following up.

Just add "it's now x days later and we have not heard from them", and you've got a factual and useful review.

Do you think she tried but was unable to show up but to embarrassed to let you know what was going on? That's not quite as bad as a full-on no show.

I'm not sure how one would tell the difference between a full-on no show and a no-show where the person had some reason for not showing up that they never told you about. However, writing a fact based review stating only your own experiences will avoid anything about why the person did not show up or contact you -- readers can draw their own conclusions about how bad that is.
posted by yohko at 12:30 PM on February 18, 2014 [5 favorites]

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