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Guest Courtesy

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WS Member imaginea utilizatorului WS Member
Guest Courtesy

It seems that the young folks visiting us have never been taught any manners.

One couple, rather insisted that they sleep in the house when we did not have nor offer a bed. Then they acted like they were going to hang around all morning. We both work, and I work from home and their "hanging out" in our living room was not an option. I had to ask them to get packed and move on because we had work to do. Why, would they think that, with out invitation they could disrupt our life at their leisure.

Another time, a couple came in, we had hosted one of the couple earlier, the new party (to us) immediately went to our refrigerator and searched the shelves for something to eat. Nothing their seemed to suit their discriminating tastes so they asked if we had anything else. I was so shocked that a stranger would have the terminity to "raid" my refrigerator without permission, I could not think of anything to say. Later that same day, the same party inspected my closet and commented on the number of bicycle jerseys that I had.

Touring riders: Think - you are a guest, a stranger in a strange land, pay attention to your manners. Know that without express permission from the host, you have no rights or privleges that you may assume that you have.

If you were not taught to respect others space, privacy and ownership, I suggest that you either take a crash course in manners, or begin staying in motels. For our part with these experiences, if you think that you might be like these touring riders, you may find my attitude rather rude and yourself sleeping outside.

Other rider, don't take me wrong, we love to host, and love to be guests. You will see from our referrals that we do both rather well. Please come visit, we go out of our way to make people with manners welcome.

WS Member imaginea utilizatorului WS Member
Guest Courtesy

Mr. Lang, the Las Cruces hosts could not agree with you more. We understand your frustration, and concur. Sadly, the active hosts here are in the process of limiting hosting as a result.

One other issue we see. Lots, too many, seem to be planning trips and budgets banking heavily on WS stays all along the way. Like you Mr. Lang, Cruces host love to offer hospitality. But most cyclists, having passed the last grocery six miles back (to this home anyway) almost always arrive with no supplies. When food and a certain standard of lodging become expected, the experience moved from hospitality to free hotel. Which may be why common courtesy too often seems to be left behind, too.

Other than this being mere complaining, it seems that our city's experience portends an unwelcome evolution in the program that should be addressed.

What think anyone else???

WS Member imaginea utilizatorului WS Member
I don't know what malevolent

I don't know what malevolent force just swept through Las Cruces on two wheels but you all have my sympathies. As hosts we can always say no so I guess we have to take some responsibility for who comes into our homes. I always look for a well filled out profile (with photo) and something more than a sentence in the request to get an idea of my potential guests. I reserve the right to consider members who don't make any effort in these areas potential pains in the neck and a cut and paste refusal is about all they'll get from me.

All of your expectations (even the obvious ones that you think would be self evident to any reasonable human being) and requirements need to be set out in your profile, and then make sure your potential guests have read through all of it. Beyond that we still need to be ready to ask guests to leave early if their behaviour is unacceptable - I should've done this a couple of times already but just let things pass, but the next dickheads I get will find themselves unexpectedly looking alternative accommodation.

Suerte.

WS Member imaginea utilizatorului WS Member
Paul, I am reluctant to take

Paul, I am reluctant to take your words to heart but you are correct. The hosts here, myself included, focus more on getting people sheltered than we do 'qualifying' them. But that is a foolish shortcut. Thanks for the benefit of your own experience. We all wish it did not have to be so, but it is.

WS Member imaginea utilizatorului WS Member
I know what you mean, and I

I know what you mean, and I know many hosts on WS think like yourselves, and the community wouldn't be what it is without the efforts of people like you welcoming all who pass by into your homes for rest and respite. I think this makes WS somewhat unique compared to other hospex sites where it is more common to evaluate potential guests rather than inviting them regardless on good faith but as WS grows this attitude (for some hosts) may need to be reconsidered to some degree.

I also think my situation being in a huge city is quite different to the traditional core of hosts in the States - I would rarely host anyone for less than three nights, people come here and have errands to run, things to replace or repair, sights to see... I know what its like having a complete boludo in my house for 3-4 days and have irritation upon frustration upon exasperation building up so I am very wary about who stays with us (still, some of the behaviour described on these pages recently has just blown me away!).

I guess the best thing is as a host you are free to make whatever requirements you see necessary (as guests are free to accept them and stay under your roof or look elewhere). I think its essential to have those expectations in your profile and to ensure that they are explicitly understood by guests from the beginning in order to avoid experiences similar to those that have been described here recently.

WS Member imaginea utilizatorului WS Member
Not house trained yet

This is all sounding familiar

We too had one that arrived with nothing even though they'd passed the shops.
We fed them and they didn't help to put any dishes away, and god forbid to actually wash them.

In the morning one opened the fridge and asked what there was to eat. when I stated we had muesli, he said he always ate muesli and wanted something else.
He then proceeded to take the last 3 remaining eggs without asking if we might want one. I had to stop him as they were for a cake.
No review was ever left.

It does seem many use hosts as hotels, and think nothing to freeload.
I have no problem to supply a meal but do appreciate something in return. Even to just clear the table.

WS Member imaginea utilizatorului WS Member
Scary

I am new to WS and reading this forum thread has caused me to be a bit concerned about what I am getting myself into.

I hope that in cases like Wendy's the hosts leave a negative review for the guest so that future hosts have a better idea of whether they want to host that guest or not.

Unregistered imaginea utilizatorului anon_user
show your conditions

I am a member of over 12 years and I had visitors too that just "used" me as a free hotel.
A couple of years ago I started my WSL-account with this sentence:
"Before you contact me, read the conditions below."

Although I change the conditions sometimes because of new (bad) experiences, there are rules like:
--If I accept your visit, confirm my message within 12 hours. If not, the reservation is cancelled.
--No nicknames or alias, only WSL-members.
--I prepare local Dutch food, which you will survive. No hamburgers, no T-bone steaks, no drugs
--Next morning breakfast is at 8.00. and at 9.00 you have to leave because of my work.

These rules in advance show that I want to stay in charge of my own time,my house, the food and the time scedule.

WS Member imaginea utilizatorului chromebright@gmail.com
Warmshowers No Shows

I have been a host for less than 6 months and while most of the guests have been absolutely great, the last two potential guests never confirmed and never showed up. I have two more potentials coming this week and hope they will be more responsible.

I like your rules, Peter. Unfortunately I've found I have to be more and more strict as I get taken advantage of. I don't list my address on Warmshowers and now ask potential guests who request lodging to call me from a town about 1-2 hours away to get directions to my home. If no call, then I don't worry about them. On my profile I ask that guests bring food and notify them that there are decent markets nearby. Almost everyone so far has pitched in to clean up after meals, but one or two just sat at the table and watched me cook and clean up (I was on crutches, too, at the time!).

What to do about feedback for the no shows? I probably should warn other hosts about the lack of communication skills of these folks, but I suppose I'll just let it ride.

WS Member imaginea utilizatorului chromebright@gmail.com
more no shows

I'm up to 7 no shows in a row this Spring. I'm probably going to stop hosting.............

Ken

Unregistered imaginea utilizatorului anon_user
incredible

This is really terrible.

Maybe because you live so close to a frequent biked road, you have so many no shows.

Although I also live along the Dutch coast, it never happened to me.

I hope you mention all these comments on the accounts of the WSL-people.

Incredible!

Peter de Visser

The Netherlands

WS Member imaginea utilizatorului chromebright@gmail.com
just quit

I just quit being a host.

Good luck all.

Ken

WS Member imaginea utilizatorului WS Member
Seems like we lost. Good

Seems like we lost. Good host.

WS Member imaginea utilizatorului wsadmin
Please leave feedback everybody!

Sadly, when I check the complaints here I regularly see *no* negative feedback given.

Please, people, be responsible and don't just post your sadness about being abused. If somebody is a bad guest or a bad host, please leave negative feedback. Kenneth left no negative feedback for *anybody* to date. So if those people were standing him up, perhaps they'll do it to other unsuspecting hosts, who don't get notified that there are bad guests out there.

Second, hosts, please, please do not assume that you have a visitor coming unless they have confirmed that they are coming. So often I see thing like this:

* Guest: Could I stay on xxx
* Host: Yes
* No confirmation from guest

This situation is *not* a confirmed stay, and the host should not even plan for it. In fact, I recommend following up with "Hosting no longer available" if no confirmation comes from the guest after a reasonable time.

Unregistered imaginea utilizatorului anon_user
I agree

I agree completely with this comment of Randy Fay.
That's why, after several experiences, I've written "conditions" at my account for a stay overnight.
Actually I hated to do that, it sounds somewhat "unfriendly", but now it's clear to future guests.
My first condition is:
--...."if I accept your request for a one night stay, send a confirmation within 12 hours.
If you don't, your request is deleted. My time is too valuable."...

Perhaps a little strickt, but it prevents a lot of frustration and it urges the guest to react soon.
The period of reacting "within 12 hours" is, with our modern communication gadgets, no problem.
I live in Europe where every streetcorner has wifi and/or a good cellphone connection.

WS Member imaginea utilizatorului WS Member
I could not agree more. If

I could not agree more. If hosts started giving those people negative feedback - which is the appropiate, useful way to "complain" about it, BTW -, those user´s behaviour would improve, or they would stop finding accommodation, thus helping out the entire community in the long run, and particularly those uninformed hosts who are generous enough to offer their help.

On the very same note, Randy, and like I have expressed in the past, not having a "blind" system to give feedback might as well the n1 reason why people don´t do it: since the number of comments is very low to begin with, one or two negative votes, given or taken, seriously damage the user´s reputation, particularly if it´s a newbie like me.

I know you can always "intervene" if negative feedback is given in spite, but to be perfeclty honest with you, nobody wants to deal with that kind of BS. I know you have lots of things to implement first and foremost, but I do think being "free" to say what we really think, without fear to "repercussions" or having lenghty conversations with mods, is pretty much "a must" feature, and probably one of the main reasons why the amount of feedback in this places is not low, but abnormally low, IMO.

Cheers.

WS Member imaginea utilizatorului WS Member
Hosting

I agree that I would rather see strict house rules imposed, rather than stopping hosting. I have stretched the rules with short notice by email, but have always tried to be a pleasant guest. I hope that more of us continue hosting, I find the rewards worth the effort required to host.

WS Member imaginea utilizatorului WS Member
No-shows

Thanks to this discussion and the constructive suggestions, I have updated my profile with clear rules about reservations and cancellations/changes. I have had several contacts that failed to show after confirming their intention to stay. I also left negative feedback for the latest offender.
I want them to know that my time is valuable and I won't tolerate people who do not respect my time.
Here is what I added to my profile. I'll update this discussion if I make future changes.

--Before you contact me to be a guest, read the conditions below.--

--If I accept your visit, confirm my message within 12 hours. If not, the reservation is cancelled.
--Failure to cancel or change a confirmed reservation at least 12 hours before scheduled arrival will result in negative feedback.
--When I leave the house, you leave the house until I return.
--No smoking
--No pets
--Shoes off indoors.
--Be respectful and careful of my home and furnishings.
--Food: Bring your own first meal. We can discuss sharing subsequent meals.

Unregistered imaginea utilizatorului anon_user
Why so negative...

I like your set of rules, they are very clear and cannot be misinterpreted! The one about feedback sounds rough though... Maybe you could try leaving neutral feedback with a comment such as "no show after confirming". Things happen, routes change, weather changes, and other things that can't be helped. Feedback should be just as clear as our own profiles!

Unregistered imaginea utilizatorului anon_user
Feedback and profile info

I am saddened that hosts are having negative experiences. I just had my first guest and it was wonderful. I think having conversations and being clear about accommodations is the first thing we can do to save ourselves trouble, and I suppose you all are pretty good at that already, having been hosts for some time! 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 feedback also lets us know how often a cyclist stays with people instead of camping (even if it's neutral feedback with no comment). Some guests want to meet as many people as possible and hang out while others are out there to experience the whole of camping and making their own way. Likewise, hosts are sometimes into accommodating to the hilt, while others are bare bones and want to help out when a cyclist needs a rest after 1,000 miles of roughing it. For example... as a cyclist/guest I used warm showers once in my 1,300 miles. I was offered a bed, I took a bath and the host cooked breakfast and it was more than I expected! I thought I was just going to camp in their yard and use the shower. Now, when I host, I want to feed my guests and show them a good time, letting them help themselves to whatever is in my fridge and cupboards. I'm less likely to accommodate a guest if they are using warm showers more often than they camp, so the feedback section is how I assess/confirm their possible need. Leaving less than positive feedback is hard, but it helps everybody. There are 6 ways to leave feedback...

Positive with comment
Positive, no comment
Neutral, no comment
Neutral with comment
Negative, no comment
Negative with comment

WS Member imaginea utilizatorului WS Member
Just a thought...

Just a thought,

Traveling as a woman solo, I tend to prefer staying with folks who I get a good vibe from, rather than camp alone, though I've certainly done it. Just wanted to say that, because unfortunately it isn't my choice that it is simply less safe to be a woman in this world, and I try not to let it stop me from living my life. But it would be a bummer if I was seen as a potentially less than ideal guest just because of my lower rate of choosing to camp alone. That said, I've been a host more often than a guest (informally, still new to WS), and I don't judge people for their choices about their criteria for guests. Just wanted to offer my perspective.

Thanks for listening.

WS Member imaginea utilizatorului WS Member
I wouldn't be too concerned

I wouldn't be too concerned Mars.

All hosts are free to evaluate their potential guests as they please but I think it would be safe to say that most wouldn't place undue emphasis on the aspects described above. Perhaps I should just speak for myself and say that I would place far more importance on the fact that as a recently signed up member you have taken the time to write several paragraphs about yourself and your home (in which you demonstrate a willingness to host cyclists yourself) than how often you have been hosted on your travels. That alone would give you a far better chance of being hosted than the vast majority of requests that float into my inbox (where a single sentence along the lines of 'Travelling around the world, hope you can host me' is apparently considered an adequate profile).

Really, I think it will be a non-issue for you.

WS Member imaginea utilizatorului WS Member
rudeness

On behalf of the riders who need/want the hospitality of the kind hosting community please accept my apology for the rude, selfish attitude of those less than considerate riders. It is to your credit that you aspire to continue to host. As one who has hosted and been hosted I am clueless to try and understand or explain such behavior.Thank you for hosting. All the Best Len

WS Member imaginea utilizatorului WS Member
Earl.lang I'm wondering

Earl.lang I'm wondering what you said in the feedback. The behavior you described is despicable!