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Do you *always* leave feedback?

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WS Member Imagen de WS Member
Do you *always* leave feedback?

Dear fellow cyclists,

Do you *always* leave feedback for your hosts/guests? If no, in which cases not?

I'm interested in it because I've had the second guest now already, who just doesn't want to leave feedback though everything was nice during their stay and I provided positive feedback. I am not sure on how to deal with it. When I was a guest, I *always* left feedback - and if it was only to say thank you for the nice encounter.

Cheers
Alex

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WS Member Imagen de WS Member
Giving feedback = supporting the Warmshowers system

Hi Alexander,

This is what we are wondering about too lately. This all is not good for the WS community

We ourselves always leave feedback both as guests and as hosts and lately we started selecting guests on the basis of them giving feedback to others. Because we think feedback is not so much a thank you to the host although it is too.  But feedback is the way to sustain WS and for other guests and hosts a way to learn a lot of things. Such as - has the person which wants to become my guest ever hosted before? - does the person who wants to become my guest take a effort in maintaining the WS system etc. Helping new hosts and guests giving credibility etc. At least so it should work in theory but as you found out too, a lot of people never leave feedback.

We came across some hosts who were absolutely wonderful, which already had hosted other people but never got feedback. Also we had guests who not got feedback when they hosted or were a guest Incredible too me. Those guests were very new so they could get all the help giving them some feedback to help them getting a host on their trip. I think giving feedback is a very good way to sustain WS. But lately there are sadly too many members around who for some reason are not too much reciprocal to the WS system. Also when leaving negative or neutral feedback people are reluctant. In one case I myself left neutral feedback and got imediately repaid with tit-for-tat and got a very negative one back. Afther that the person who gave me the negative feedback left WS (...) But we also got hosted by new hosts which we gave feedback but who did not leave one for us and same thing with our guests. They all where great so the distinction between people not- or -indeed giving feedback is not a straight forward way to tell how they are ...... 

Still we started to be really specific in our profile, since we came across a growing number of guests and avertised hosts which seem not to be active or only in a way to get hosted but never host themselves nor have the intention too. Afther a long thinking that is, because we did not want to be unwelcoming or negative. And surley want to give new comers a chance. We notice more people are restricting their profiles just to try to deal with a certain type of members. So cosidering all of that, we now have writen this in our profile. Time will tell if it works or not ;-)  >>>

 

--- If you enjoy being invited by quick responding reliable hosts on your trip, consider this is only made possible by contributing members. Who respond quickly to requests. Open their houses and host when available. And who leave reviews - to help both future guests and hosts to have an insight in reliability and a mutual click. The more you contribute to the Warmshower community, the more we welcome you ! ;-)  ---

You say they refuse to give feedback. Did you actually ask them and did they say no? 

 

 

WS Member Imagen de WS Member
Giving feedback = supporting the Warmshowers system

Thank you for your thoughts!

Yes, of course I asked them to leave feedback. First time after 2 weeks after my feedback to them. Their response was "Yes, we will when we are at home." Second time 2 months later. Reply "Ok, we will.". And now 3 months later with reply:
"You seem to be obsessed with the references, reflecting the "notation" society nowdays. This is not the obligate procedure, we all have the right to write or not a comment on a service, a warmshowers, a couchsurfing, a uber drive or anything else... But in any case, we spend a very nice night in your place and thank you again for your host!"

I understand their point that we cannot give feedback to everything in our lives - our mailboxes are full of feedback requests. I also don't give feedback to every item or service - that's impossible. However I think that Warmshowers (and also Couchsurfing) is different to Uber, Amazon or Google. Firstly, when a host opens their doors to strangers and let them stay for free and even provides meals, I think the least thing a guest can do is to leave a few words feedback. When I was a guest and didn't get feedback from my host (although I always provided positive feedback), I didn't feel in the position to complain about it. But the other way around is just impolite in my opinion. Secondly, as you stated, Warmshowers (and CS) lives from feedback/references - it wouldn't work without them:

1. Persons, who exploit the service and are always guests, but never host - even if they could.
2. Persons, who just have bad manners - be it hosts or guests. You wouldn't be able to identify them without references.
3. Persons, who are wonderful hosts, are hosting cyclists without getting references and then do a trip themselves and request a Warmshower host and get denied, because the host only accepts guests with good references. Very unfair.

I now also added the precondition in my profile, to leave feedback. Let's see whether it works out.

The only thing I have to decide now is whether I give neutral feedback to those guys reluctant to giving feedback, warning other Warmshowers hosts: "In addition to my positive feedback I want to add that XY denies to provide any feedback for his hosts, which in my opinion is not how WS works.". I think, I will do that.

Alex

EDIT: Also read the official statement regarding feedback: "The entire Warmshowers community depends on your feedback about other members." - https://www.warmshowers.org/faq#t26n3821

WS Member Imagen de WS Member
Yes, I would communicate in

Yes, I would communicate in your feedback that even though you asked for feedback, the cyclists did not leave it.

I had a woman request to stay once.  She left 8 feedbacks but only recieved 2.  I wrote the 6 users and asked if she was OK and if there was a reason they did not leave feedback.  The 6 responded saying basically the reason they didn't respond was that they were just "lazy".  How hard is it to just type.  "Good guest.  Would recommend"?

WS Member Imagen de WS Member
Totally agree

Ken, I totally agree with you.  It takes less than 2 minutes to log on and write a short review.  Tailwind, John

WS Member Imagen de WS Member
I completely agree with you

I completely agree with you on all of that Alexander.
For us being so firmly in our bio, is also because in this way we try to send the message. Good luck and be welcome when around ;-) 

And to compare giving feedback to a warmshower hosts with a commercial hosts is completely out of line in my opinion. 

WS Member Imagen de WS Member
Yes, always

I always give feedback.  However, when I decide whether to accept someone or not, part of the review is whether the potential guest has left review also.  I am more likely not to accept them if I see they have stayed with people numerous times but have not left feedback. Tailwinds, John

WS Member Imagen de WS Member
I tell my guests and hosts

I tell my guests and hosts that the only metric WS knows how many hospitality exchanges there are is through the number of feedback given.  If giving feedback is the "cost" of staying with someone, I think this is still a value!

If I have a potential guest contact me, and I see they have been given much feedback, but never left any, I may choose to not host them.  I certainly have enough positive feedback to make me a valid WS user, so it's not that I need it... I have also chosen to not contact a host based on their feedback.  If it sounds like I would not feel comfortable, I choose to avoid the experience.  Feedback is how we communicate to other users.  The feedback is for the organization and community, not just me!

WS Member Imagen de WS Member
I have almost never left

I have almost never left feedback for my guests, and only a minority of my guests have left feedback for me. Who cares. Guests or hosts should feel like old friends, and to me it has always felt odd to rate friends like they were an Uber driver or a restaurant. And I have already done my part for hospitality exchange by giving guests my home and my time, so once the guest leaves, I don’t want anyone expecting any more from me.

Also, for well over a decade WS had no feedback system at all (until Randy bolted it onto the website) and it worked just fine, and some of the most reliable hospitality exchange networks, with the least drama, still lack any feedback system at all.

WS Member Imagen de WS Member
I don't always leave feedback

I always leave feedback when the member does not have any feedback yet. I also always leave feedback when I am the guest.

When I am the host, I now usually wait until the guest leaves feedback. Yet another reference does not add much to my profile, but I may ask the first guest of the season to write one, just so that my profile page shows that I am still an active host.

WS Member Imagen de WS Member
Feedback is a nice gesture but shouldn't be necessary.

My husband and I are almost eight months into a year long tour circumnavigating the United States and have frequently stayed with Warm Showers hosts. After every visit I made it a habit to leave feedback for our hosts as our way of saying "thanks," and sometimes to let other cyclists know what to expect. However, one host told me they didn't expect feedback because they host so many cyclists, they don't need it. The notes of appreciation in their guest book were plenty of thanks.

I am always appreciative of the positive feedback hosts have left for us, but I certainly don't expect it. They opened up their homes to us and often fed us. Why should we expect more?

Regarding the expectation that guests should also host, the reality in our case is that we do not live on a major bicycling route. My husband and I volunteer our time in other ways so I feel like that is our way of giving back. And there are many cyclists who have living situations that may not be conducive to hosting.

The majority of the folks who have hosted us this year will never be Warm Showers guests. They host out of a love for the cycling community that comes their way. Often all they ask is something written in their guest book and a photo.

If you choose to give a gift, it should be with no strings attached. Otherwise it is not a gift. If you feel that your gift is not appreciated, then it is certainly your choice to stop giving.

Connie

WS Member Imagen de WS Member
Warmshowers depends on feedback

Connie,

I totally agree with your first two paragraphs.

Ad your 3rd paragraph: That's why I wrote in my post: "1. Persons, who exploit the service and are always guests, but never host - even if they could." So if for any reason somebody just cannot host, that's okay of course. However, if I were in this situation, I would reason that clearly in my profile.

Ad your 4th paragraph: I consider my feedback wall as a guest book.

Ad your 5th paragraph: Hopefully, I won't stop giving only because of a few black sheeps.

I just provided neutral feedback to those guests, who denied providing any feedback: "In addition to my positive feedback below and though X told me that I hosted them in a kind way, I need to add that they deny to provide feedback, which in my opinion is not how WS works. (see WS fundamentals https://www.warmshowers.org/faq#t26n3821)"

Best wishes,
Alex

WS Member Imagen de WS Member
Alexander, if you provide

Alexander, if you provide anything less than positive feedback to guests who were polite based simply on them not leaving feedback, then (along with other details of your long and strident profile) you run the risk that some hosts will deny you lodging when you travel through WS. I tend to accept nearly all WS requests, but if I get a sense that the cyclist is so strongly opinionated and is not chill, then I would be inclined to deny the request. Those feedback practices augur much worse than never leaving feedback at all.

Also, WS feedback is not a guestbook, which even WS leadership has pointed out here over the years. If you want a guestbook, then do what the casas de ciclistas do and buy a nice paper scrapbook where guests can write something and paste their photos.

WS Member Imagen de WS Member
Dear Christopher

If a host denies me based on my profile text or references, then it really is better that way.

Also, please provide a quote/source, why someone shouldn't add their experiences about their stay in guestbook-style in a positive feedback. I always did it like that and I often got the feedback from my hosts, that they really liked my feedbacks. I don't like paper books - personal choice.

WS Member Imagen de WS Member
Profiles and feedback help members to see if there is a click

Profiles are next to feedback a good way  to figure out if host and guest will match so yeah if you feel strong about something, you should indeed put this in your profile, Christopher. There are Warmshower memebers with strong opinions about giving feedback on WS which receive 75+ requests like Ken Francis in this tread. So we don't think it makes people less apealing. It will only attrackt the guests and hosts who fit eachother. 

Feedback is also a good source to see wath to expect from a host/guest so you can estimate if you would feel comfortable with them. Next to see if a  host /guest is actually active in the community. And just like Alexander's case, all the hosts and guests which we gave a feedback were happy about it and thanked us. We are also happy about getting feedback! ;-)

WS Member Imagen de WS Member
I just hosted someone through

I just hosted someone through AirBnB.  He was new and had no feedback.  He also did not write a contact letter.  I approved the reservation on good faith.

This guy left our apartment a shambles.  Clogged the toilet and did nothing to clean up the messes he had made.  I will never host anyone again who provides so little information.  And AirBnB is the same as Warmshowers.  You are taking a risk when you let someone inside.  The more information provided, the easier it is to take the risk (I clearly state in my WS profile that I will not accept anyone who does not have a profile picture).  Providing feedback is how we provide the information to other users.  Please leave feedback ;-)

WS Member Imagen de WS Member
@Ken - sorry to hear about

@Ken - sorry to hear about your experience Ken

@Others - We recently spoke to somebody who is actively hosting and lives near to us. Apparantly at first glance he had never hosted because there was no feedback on his profile page. But in reality he hosted several times but non of his guests ever left feedback. Yet another example of an active host which appears to be inactive because nobody left feedback. Just saying ... 

WS Member Imagen de WS Member
Quote from the current newsletter:

"3. Feedback: The entire Warmshowers community depends on your feedback about other members. We operate on trust, and it's easier to trust someone if you can see what others have said about them.

To provide feedback about a member, visit their profile page (use the "search by name or email" or other capabilities to find them.) Then click the "Provide Feedback" button on the right side of their profile page. 

Although most feedback is just a thank-you, there are times when feedback is (and should be) neutral or negative. If a guest might be a problem for other hosts or other members might not think a host was appropriate, please go ahead and say this. Feedback of this type is essential to the community."

 

Word.

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