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Negative feedback to people who don't keep you informed? What do you think?

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Negative feedback to people who don't keep you informed? What do you think?

Someone else posted about not being responded after replies - see the threads below. Do you think its time, hosts started leaving negative feedback for things like when a person contacts you, says they are coming and then doesn't show up? I think it might help change the behaviour of warm showers guests if they started getting negative feedback for these fairly small minor misdemeanors.

Yes they are minor but some people have to wait around and you feel you have to make plans around this commitment so its very annoying if someone doesn't show up even if haven't gone to any extra effort to prepare for them.

Its also annoying when people don't leave feedback promptly - i felt it as a lack of gratitude. And had asked for feedback so was expecting it to be soon. The person did eventually leave feedback but i think its easy enough to leave it if people have smartphones and laptops. They could even do it from your own place before they leave if they are concerned about not having internet connection.

Also when people don't get back to you when it would be polite to do so. Of course if hosts don't reply to initial enquiries from guests that, in my view, would not warrent negative feedback since there is already a system keeping tabs on this.

Given how big the community is now and it seems that quite a lot of people may take their hosts a little bit for granted, there needs to be some way of motivating people to do the right thing. When the carrot doesn't work, there has to be a bit of stick.

WS Member Imagen de WS Member
This has been discussed so

This has been discussed many times here and feedback for no-shows is already easily the most common form of neutral/negative feedback (although most of it seems to be based on misunderstandings and assumptions of the host), so I'll try to keep it short:

If the stay was confirmed by the guest (ie: host responds offering dates, arrival/departure times and other conditions and insists on confirmation and guest subsequently agrees), and the guest does not show with no communication then I would give a short neutral feedback just as a heads up for future hosts. If there is still no explanation or response after several weeks (one should take into account the possibility that some life changing event could have happened to the member concerned) I would probably make the reference negative and expand by explaining the amount of time that had passed with no communication.

If the host is just responding positively to requests and assuming as soon as that positive response is sent that they automatically have a guest staying with them I would suggest they stop wasting their own time and employ the three step confirmation process described above and in many other posts.

The first scenario I do not consider a 'minor misdemeanour' because it is a waste of the host's time and often money hence the necessity for feedback, not as some disciplinary measure (the feedback system is not there to punish or reward members) but as a way to alert future hosts.

WS Member Imagen de WS Member
I suppose my question

I suppose my question/suggestion was that it be made an official method of approach and therefore it would be described in the introduction pages. Is it? I was thinking to be made official, it could warrant a number of responses from hosts, but not necessarily.

I don't generally go scouting around the members pages looking for negative feedback so whatever people like you do already i have no idea.

When you say it has been discussed a lot already, is there are a previous thread similar to this one?

WS Member Imagen de WS Member
Probably best that you have no idea what people like me do...

There is really not much that is official when it comes to feedback guidelines (keep it factual, retaliatory negative feedback tends not to be tolerated etc) each WS member can give feedback as they see fit (similarly any member can appeal the veracity or pertinence of the feedback they receive). There are members of WS who pre-emptively give positive feedback to a host before they have even stayed with them, there are members of WS who give negative or neutral feedback to hosts who do not reply to them, there are members of WS as I described who give neutral or negative feedback because a guest didn't respond to their positive offer of accommodation - there are all kinds of ideas about feedback out there, many with more than a whiff of moral crusade about them, wielding feedback as a stick as you described. Then there are members (certainly on other hospex sites and I have little doubt here also) who think serious breaches of trust up to and including criminal behaviour don't warrant a reference (or a message to admin) to warn others.

None of these approaches seem particularly useful to me, but we ultimately need to rely on common sense (keeping in mind that feedback is primarily for the benefit and safety of the community - if it is what you consider negative behaviour ask yourself how it has impacted you and should the rest of the community be alerted to this) and any instances of feedback where that is lacking should then go to dispute resolution at the behest of the affected party.

Unfortunately the forum search has been dysfunctional since the Drupal upgrade so there is a lot of content that I know once existed that is impossible or at least very difficult to find, so this is only a sample and mostly found by trawling back through my own postings:

-Visitor Concern |
-Guest Courtesy |
-guests not turning up |
-No-shows |
-Host who do not leave Feedback |

WS Member Imagen de WS Member
Its sort of shocking to read

Its sort of shocking to read your interpretation of what i wrote Paul though i can see how you might arrive at that very harsh way of looking at it. I do not think my approach is harsh but one doesn't like to feel mucked about. When i say a bit of stick, i'm pretty capable of assessing fairly whether someone has been slack and careless or not. I am not in the habit of punishing people. Certainly i don't think i'd fit in the list of people who you described though i do admit to being quite upset recently when one guest took a long time to get around to the feedback she said she'd leave upon returning home which was imminent.

This post is actually pretty much I feel. Its from one of your threads above by Marie someone or other. I can't remember her name.

Its starts off wiht these words "I am saddened... The second thing that would help greatly is the feedback section... If we have an unpleasant experience, negative or neutral feedback and a comment is what let's the community know what to expect based on actual experience. The other benefit to leaving such feedback is that the guest can assess their actions and think about how they will behave with their next host. ..... Leaving less than positive feedback is hard, but it helps everybody. There are 6 ways to leave feedback...

That was on a thread about no shows.

WS Member Imagen de WS Member
Sorry, you've lost me there,

Sorry, you've lost me there, I'm not really sure what you would be shocked about. If it needs any further clarification I am in agreement with you, guests who no-show on confirmed stays with no attempt at communication should at the least get a neutral reference pending any further communication and quite probably a negative some time later if none is forthcoming. Furthermore, in the vast majority of discussions on this, other members - including admin and board members - have expressed similar views.

What I don't agree with is giving feedback for no-shows when the stay was not confirmed - this is really a faulty assumption and misunderstanding on behalf of the host. Hosts need to ensure that there is explicit understanding between them and guests that includes making conditions, departure/arrival times clear, demanding confirmation in their response message (and not giving out their address until confirmation is received), and if hosting in busy areas establishing a minimum period of time that the host is prepared to hold their offer whilst awaiting confirmation so that others may not miss out on accommodation because of the failure of a guest to follow up and confirm (for me when I received ~4 request per day when Couchsurfing was functional this was 24 hours).

As for feedback, keep in mind that it is primarily a safety feature for the community, I also find it is a good way of record keeping host/guest interactions but try not to get too personally invested in it, what we must be vigilant about is giving negative or neutral feedback where it is warranted (ie - does the community need to know about this? will this behaviour negatively impact other guests or hosts in the future in a significant way?).

So, to summarise, yes feel free to give neutral or negative feedback if a confirmed stay doesn't show up and fails to communicate in advance - this is not a controversial use of feedback by any means. If the member on the receiving end somehow feels aggrieved they are free to appeal through dispute resolution though I doubt, if the cirucmstances are something similar to what you have previously described, that they will get much sympathy


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I don't think it should be an

I don't think it should be an official policy. Travelling by bicycle is rather precarious and many do not have internet connections in places where problems occur which might slow a person down.

The priority is the cyclist, not the host. If the cyclist doesn't show up, I might have some extra food or have missed an activity because I stayed home to meet them. For the cyclist, it could be a breakdown or an accident or illness that made them unable to get to your home. If someone is simply negligent or disorganized, well sure, give them a neutral feedback and explain why. But a "negative" for not showing up? To me that is way too severe.

For many, leaving feedback is impossible. You need wifit or an internet connection to do that. I don't think you can do it from the app. I'm always happy to get feedback and realize that many do that after their trip. Any efforts to remind cyclists and hosts that feedback is a good idea - well, that's a great idea.

WS Member Imagen de WS Member
Susan, thanks for providing

Susan, thanks for providing your opinion. As Paul said its unlikely to become official policy anyway since its already come up before apparently.

Nevertheless here's my views on your position:

I don't know a great deal about smart phones yet but i think if someone can get it together to organise a bed for themselves with a mobile phone using email, they can get it together to send feedback in fair time, which is a kind of public thanks in my book. Certainly i will do my utmost to leave feedback in good time when i get to be the guest.

If someone is leaving my place its not very far away before the next wifi spot or mobile phone range. I suspect this is reasonably common in western countries nowadays too. But each will know what the situation is in their own district and can tailor their expectations accordingly.

If people are contacting many people at once to make requests (host fishing), then when they get a reply from a prospective and are able to read it, that is a good time to reply with a negative or positive. From what i can see, host fishing does not seem a very good strategy to me. Its not actually easy to email a lot of people from this site. Its quite time consuming but once a message comes through, you can reply straight away with ease.

In the event of breakdown, accident or illness, the host will find out about it in due course and then no ordinary person would leave negative feedback under such circumstances so I don't think we need be concered about those sorts of situations here. We are talking about general carelessness and inconsiderateness.

Although i am quite a forgiving person, I seem not to be as forgiving as you about these sorts of things and I can see on this forum how others are negatively effected too. I think its good manners to be considerate of the host. I don't agree that its all about the cyclist. I am my own priority and i think its the case for everyone here.

I've done eight tours already so I understand pretty well how precarious or not it is. That is why when i organise myself to stay at someone's place if i'm not confident I can make it on a set date without stress, I won't be locking myself or them in. There's is nothing worse than having to rush to arrive somewhere at a certain date/time. When I am sure i can make it, i can promise a date. Up until that time its a rough idea and I don't expect more of my guests than that.

Once i had guests arrive a day early even though i'd asked them not to arrive on that day. I know that due to language issues, people do sometimes make honest mistakes. This is not something i would give anyone neutral or negative feedback over.

WS Member Imagen de WS Member
Next time you have a cyclist

Next time you have a cyclist at your house, get them to show you how they book with the app. It has nothing to do with the website. Booking a spot and messaging is very simple. Giving feedback requires wifi or a computer and a browser. They are very different actions. I live in a place with very limited wifi and precarious connections with a 12 km shuttle over a bridge or a ferry. I've learned my lesson about expectations and life is much easier when I lower my expectations to meet reality.

This summer I had a no-show and it took a few days before I figured out that they had left in frustration over the cold weather. My initial reaction was like yours but a day or two of thinking about being out in the wind and rain on a bike made me a lot more forgiving. When they got home, they wrote to apologize. That's just fine with me. Of all of the people I have hosted, they were the first ones to confirm but not come.

Host-fishing, as you call it, is pretty much required here as there are very few hosts and so many will tailor their trip based on who can host them when. I'm not out there trying to plan the next day after a day on my bike. All I have to do is make sure the bathroom is clean and there is milk for breakfast. :)

Unregistered Imagen de anon_user
a response

It pisses me off to no end when someone says they will be over, you wait all day for them, and they blow you off. It is bullshit to be treated that way.

WS Member Imagen de WS Member
I completely agree with you.

I completely agree with you. I've stopped having problems since I hid my street address and require confirmation before I send it out. Works for me.

Unregistered Imagen de anon_user
in the desert

We are in the desert and a major stopover on the American Cycling Route. There is no change in the weather. If you're headed to Las Cruces, we are an oasis. You can't miss us. To "book a reservation" and then blow it off by staying elsewhere is just plain rude and I have no tolerance for persons who take advantage of what warmshowers has to offer in a similar manner. I actually look forward to meeting a new person and when I can't because of some decision that impacts on our hospitality here in New Mexico, it is disappointing and pretty much a classic piss-off. They could take the moment to say they were not coming a day or so in advance. But not at all, is pretty much unacceptable for what I offer a touring cyclist. --John Demirjian, Las Cruces, New Mexico

WS Member Imagen de WS Member
So John can you answer the

So John can you answer the question at the heart of the post. Would you give such a guest negative feedback or at best neutral. If not, why not? And do you think it should become the usual practice in order to get people to behave better.

With regard to susan's last couple of posts, we all live in different situations, sensible people take into account the difficulties of their own situations and make allowances accordingly. This question in this post assumes all that as given. We are here talking about when people have no reasonable excuse based around local conditions. As to leaving becuase of the weather, i coudln't follow your story very well. . Anyway even if a person doesn't have wifi, they can phone you to say they are not coming as soon as they get coverage or phone to apologise for not arriving.

Unregistered Imagen de anon_user
no negative feedback

I usually just blow it off, Andrea. I don't hold a grudge with those people. I'm just disappointed for a moment and move on. There's much more to life than worrying about warmshowers visits.

WS Member Imagen de WS Member
I admit i find it hard to

I admit i find it hard to blow things of this kind off. Particularly when i go beyond the call of duty. I dunno i think its a personality thing how well you cope with being let down or not.

Unregistered Imagen de anon_user

Andrea-- I'm 70 now. If something isn't life-threatening, I just let it go and move on. It is the healthy thing to do at my age.

WS Member Imagen de WS Member
Ok maybe its not a

Ok maybe its not a personality thing. Maybe its an age thing. I am sure when i'm 70 i'll feel the same way as you. Certainly it is the buddhist way but I don't care any more about being a really good buddhist. Its too hard. :-) I just do the best i can and that means sometimes i get disappointed with people.

WS Member Imagen de WS Member
I'm not sure how a question

I'm not sure how a question over whether or not to leave feedback and alert the rest of the community about guest behaviour that has been described just on this thread as annoying, unacceptable, rude and something that left hosts feeling upset and pissed off to no end became equated with a choice between holding a grudge and moving on.

Again, I can't say it better than it was said here:

WS Member Imagen de WS Member
I don't know that i'd call it

I don't know that i'd call it holding a grudge but I want them to change their behaviour and if i want that to happen, i have to change my behaviour and i'm calling on warm showers hosts to change their behaviours too so that we can get the guests to behave better towards us.

Well shortly its my turn to be a grateful guest. I have three lined up for my city situations. I'm already feeling well treated by these people and hope i cannot disappoint them.

WS Member Imagen de WS Member
From another who hosts because he enjoys it.

Two experienced hosts (Ken and Susan) have already given you great advice here, at the risk of repeating what they have said I would recommend that you focus on what you can change, that is take personal responsibility: examine your expectations, assumptions and behaviours and ask yourself how you can alter any of these to avoid future disappointment.

I think there are certain beliefs held by some hospex members about the host guest relationship that are just plain unhelpful. I've seen a number of hosts get burnt out and quit because of what they believed to be self evident ideas of what guests should and shouldn't be. Playing whack-a-mole with or without the feedback stick and expecting to see results site-wide looks to me like a recipe for further resentment and frustration. Trust me, as someone who has received literally thousands of requests across numerous hospex networks they will just keep coming. Change your approach, communicate expectations clearly, screen them out, warn other hosts with feedback etc but don't expect to change them.

Find the path of least resistance.

WS Member Imagen de WS Member
The heart of warm showers

I think we host because it something we enjoy doing and enjoy giving back to our own community. When we have expectations above and beyond simple hosting we can get ourselves burned out quickly.

The rule has always been, don't make changes in what you do. Meaning, don't wait around for guests to arrive. Just state a time, agree upon that, and just make sure that your home at that time. It's easy to build resentments when we stop our daily life to cater to somebody who does not show up.

The same is true for feedback. As a board member, all of my guests get the speech about how important it is to leave feedback and how it is the only way that we have any idea how often people are actually being hosted in the organization. And even after the speech, some of my best guests still do not leave feedback. I just don't let that ruin my overall experience with them.

WS Member Imagen de WS Member
No shows

Ok let’s start with negative feedback for no shows. If you are asking the question should negative feedback be given to no shows then you already know the answer. It’s NO. Why is that? Well it’s simply bad form or a potential host with a desire for retribution/pay back. I also don’t feel feedback has anything to do with safety but enjoyment of the experience.
Hosts should assess each situation individually and act accordingly. If you’re uneasy put them in a tent in the yard or simply turn them away. When I initially started hosting I would meet them in the city park and lead guests to my home. This way I could asses their character and leave if felt uncomfortable, which has never happened.
In addition if you are sitting around all day waiting because a guest has not communicated with you that’s a choice choice but don’t let this hosting experience consume you. I have boundaries that don’t get crossed. No address posted on WS, no address revealed until the day of arrival but only with confirmation of arrival, arrival “window” received from guest, sometimes I meet them away from my home. I don’t wait for guests to arrive but go on with my day and let them know when they MAY arrive.
So what is a host to do with no-shows? Well I think neutral feedback rating is acceptable, but no rant just a simple response that says; “No show, no communication” Karma my friends, KARMA!

WS Member Imagen de WS Member
No shows, Thanks Marty

Your strategy makes sense.
Frequent problem situation. We live at the south end of Big Sur in California, about 130 miles from Monterey. There is little phone or internet between Monterey & here. This highly beautiful, scenic ride takes two or more days. Cycling guests frequently do not arrive on the arranged date, then ask if they can stay the following day.
Writing this has given me an idea. I should send this information, or similar, along with my acceptance message.
Thanks for helping!

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