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Keeping hosts informed

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Keeping hosts informed

When you request a stay, please remember to send a "no" if you decide to stay elsewhere, or find another host.
We have wasted several afternoons waiting for cyclists who made a request, and then never showed up. I myself have been guilty of this, sending out numerous requests, hoping to get a "yes," and then after receiving a host's offer of accommodations, I forgot to get back to them AND the other people I requested, especially for the offers that came later.
It's common courtesy to send a note saying you've found other accommodations.
Perhaps WS could figure out a way to make this easier. It can be difficult to find Wifi or even cellphone service in some areas.

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Ask for a confirmation in

Ask for a confirmation in your first reply and only give out your details after that confirmation. I don't lift a finger to prepare for guests until they confirm, then if they still don't show it will be a neutral or negative reference if I don't receive an explanation at some point in the following weeks.

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Keeping hosts informed

We have had only one no show with WS out of 60 visitors in 6 years, we do not give our details until and when the travellers are actually in town and definitely coming to stay.
We have had several no shows with CS so we closed our account.

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Keep in mind that very few

Keep in mind that very few cyclists actually read the forum and they certainly aren't making it a priority when they are on the road. I never give out my address until the cyclist has confirmed and I tell them that is how it works. Since doing this, there is rarely any confusion.

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Well, it happened again

A British couple sent a request and I accepted. They wrote on the 12th of Nov. that they were unsure of the exact arrival time. I had an appointment in Monterey the day before their planned arrival, so the next day I hurried back so I could be here for them. When I arrived home, I found a message sent that very day from 30 miles north saying they were sorry but decided pass on through.
I could have stayed in Monterey an additional day had I known they would flake. I wonder if these inconsiderate cyclists even realize that keeping hosts on a tether and inconveniences them is bad manners. At least they could apologize in person. Somehow, I wonder if because it's free, they react this way.

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Cyclists cancelling because

Cyclists cancelling because they decided to press on a little bit further is nothing unusual. It's quite common, and many are the potential guests I've had who would have stayed at my place, but they found that they weren't as tired as they thought they would be when they reached my town, and they felt they could do another couple of dozen kilometers that day. What would have been rude is if these potential guests of yours just disappeared, but they did the right thing by sending a message to explain and to say "Thanks anyway".

(Hosts on hospex communities cancel from time to time for all kinds of reasons, and respond to any complaints from guests by saying that no one is entitled to the stay. I'd say, looking at it from the other direction, that no one has a right to guests either if the travelers in question feel it would be uncomfortable for them.)

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This guy, Rik Smit, never did answer. He just blew me off in early November. I even wrote to ask if he were OK, hit by a car, jailed or something.
Then the British guys who decided I wrote about above.
The problem with potential guests who commit to a stay is this. THEY expect the host to be there. But they can decide, at the last minute, they have more energy to do an extra 15 miles. If this happens much more I'll have to discontinue offering a place to stay. BTW, I notice far fewer hosts in this area. There used to be many more. Perhaps they too feel taken advantage of. Have any others stopped having guests because of no-shows?

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As I said, deciding to press

As I said, deciding to press on a little bit further than planned is common cyclist behaviour, with the caveat that the cyclist owes the host a message explaining their decision and thanking the host for their offer anyway. The whole point of WarmShowers is that it serves cyclists with their particular needs and quirks, while on other hospex networks they won't find that same understanding. For you to expect cyclists to broadly change their behaviour rather diminishes the utility and harmony of the network.

“The problem with potential guests who commit to a stay is this. THEY expect the host to be there.” No, actually, they don’t, at least not savvy ones. On hospex networks you have to accept the fact that the host may cancel last minute for any reason, and you can’t complain because “no one is entitled to a stay”.

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Keep in mind that many people

Keep in mind that many people assume you have a smart phone and would have seen that message within a few minutes of them sending it. I don't have a cell phone and I point that out to people saying to keep that in mind if I don't answer right away. It's too bad it happened to you - similar things have happened when I have been out and a message has been left at home - not with Warm Showers specifically, just generally missing messages when I had gone out of my way to get back to the house. It is always disappointing. Personally, I wouldn't let it stop me from hosting. It might change how much information I shared with a guest. If I had a guest coming in your situation, I might have made sure to check my email that morning or send them a message just to confirm. But whatever the case, things like this happen.

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If there is a way to make

If there is a way to make original contact, then there should be a way to contact the host, even if a day or two later, to apologize for the change in plans.

The same goes for leaving feedback. I have had several (terrific) guests who had great communication prior to their stay, but failed to log on to leave feedback.

Yes, there are moments when there is no available technology to send a message, but that is no excuse for not sending one when it is possible.

We have 2 cyclists coming in today, Thanksgiving in the US. They have been told we are eating dinner at 2pm. They are welcome to join us, but we are not revolving the day around them. If they are not here at that time, we will continue with our day...

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It's a question of manners

OK. I appreciate all your comments, but I feel it comes down to manners. The fact is that many (most) guests keep us informed. For those who seem sketchy, perhaps I will not take their request and my acceptance as seriously as say, a motel would. In other words, I *might* be here, but if I don't hear anything from them, well, I might not.
It just rubs me the wrong way. I suppose the idea of "social commitment" is vanishing...

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Social commitment is vanishing...

The FAQ of WarmShowers give sufficient information about the intentions of being a host and guest. Nevertheless WS-members use a wide variety of their own interpretation.
Let's see what Hospex ( writes:
"Of course, all visits are subjected to prior private agreements between the affected no hosting individual is under any obligation ever, if time or other factors do not permit being a host at some given moment."
I suppose the opposite party (guests) uses: "No individual guest under any obligation ever, if time or other factors do not permit being a guest at some given moment."

This means here that any agreement between host and guest has no value, and preparations/expectations on both sides can be useless.

Looking here at the different standards, points of view, I can say that being clear in your mails, requests, profiles and calls will prevent a lot of misunderstandings.
The practical rule of John & Trish Bodey will do the trick:
"We do not give our details until and when the travellers are actually in town and definitely coming to stay."

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I agree

I will no longer accept requests from people who have less than two years membership here and at least ten to fifteen feedback postings for biker.
I'm tired of taking my time and energy to try to make my home ready and have a meal or four ready only to be finally contacted two hours before your anticipated arrival and I have to text you to find out if you are going to show up.
What do I get? A call from a bar.....from the sound of the noise in the background....
I am almost positive that if I had not texted this guy he NEVER would have let me know.

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Do not change your plans

I recently had a nine year member with over a dozen positive feedbacks (both host and guest) do the same thing to me. If it wasn't for my reminder message, I don't think I would've heard from them. On the other hand, I have had wonderful visits from people who are being a guest for the very first time. Warm showers has always suggested that you don't make any change in plans when expecting a guest to arrive. This way, if they do not show up, there is nothing lost.

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I like that things are

I like that things are flexible - a host can state just what they expect and a guest can get a good read on whether or not it likely be a positive place to stop. Some of my best guests have been first time tourers. I have gleaned a few things from the people who have things down to a science and it's fun to exchange ideas with people who are new. On the other hand, they sometimes have unrealistic expectations. The more independent and often more decisive guests are easier to host.

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I'm a little late to the

I'm a little late to the party but just to say that I stayed with David and Richard and they are incredible hosts whose concerns should be taken seriously by anyone in this community.

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