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If a host doesn't reply, can I give negative/neutral feedback?

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If a host doesn't reply, can I give negative/neutral feedback?

I've searched this question but could not find it in any other previous thread. If I contact a host and I never get any reply from him/her, can I give him negative or neutral feedback just saying that this host never replied to me? (probably 2 weeks later though)

I do not like contacting multiple hosts simultaneously, so this unresponsiveness makes me lose a lot of time.

Is this type of feedback allowed?

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Don't think you can.

Don't think you can.

The Response rate somewhat covers that, i.e. I usually do not contact a host if they have a low response rate. However, they may be traveling also, in hospital, dead, etc. I usually just contact multiple ones at once but I also do it several weeks in advance instead of last minute. Then I can back out of the ones I do not need assuming anyone actually responded (smile).

Also, remember it goes both ways unfortunately. I have had guests contact me, we arrange the date, buy the food, etc. just for them to no show. As a result, people now have to contact me via the site so I can leave feedback for every guest.

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There is a thread on this

There is a thread on this somewhere but the forum search has been very unreliable since the upgrade - things can be hard to find.

I see plenty of people doing this but I have no idea why as John said this will be reflected in their response rate, no further action is necessary (having said that I see plenty of guests contacting hosts with response rates under 30% expecting a reply - again I have no idea why).

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30%

Well, it makes me wonder why they replied 30% of those messages and not the other 70%

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Well, I can't advise you on

Well, I can't advise you on the utility of wondering about it, only you can decide on that (my theory for the majority of cases would be that it is due to hosts starting out with good intentions and gradually losing interest), but with regards to contacting hosts with reply rates of under one third I can certainly offer some advice: don't waste your time.

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I agree. It ticks me off too

I agree. It ticks me off too. This topic has been addressed occasionally and maybe if you do a forum search you will find out more info.

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Found previous topic

Just an update on this: I found this previous topic that partly covers this:

https://de.warmshowers.org/node/99408

Thank you anyway!

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That's the one I was thinking

That's the one I was thinking of.

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Depends

I think I might... Early on with the site, I contacted a bicycling collective in a small town, and the profile boasted that they would find someone to accommodate a cyclist if there was a request. I sent my request a week in advance, and had no answer. I contacted again before arriving in town, and had no answer. Weeks later, still no response.

I think I would send a neutral review that despite their open willingness in their bio that they were unresponsive in communication. This is something I would have liked to known when originally contacting them.

I think that's the key; as a host or guest, what would you like to have known about this member before arranging a visit?

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If a host doesn't reply, can I give negative/neutral feedback?

Hello M & S,
You are able to give anyone any feedback you want.
Do I recommend you leave feedback for potential hosts who don't get back to you on your schedule? I don't recommend that.
I started with WS before cell phones had all the functionality they now have. I was touring in europe -- I identified my route & potential hosts along it & sent out a bunch of emails. I got about 50% response to my emails (most saying something like, "unavailable".) So this is nothing new.
I heard back from nearly everyone by the end of the summer. I was home already. Several people responded saying they had been out touring when my email came in, so they hadn't seen it.

There are all sorts of reasons a person who has never met you might forget to respond to your host request. You choose how you want to take what response you get.

my $0.02 worth,
Gerhardt in Portland, OR

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No i dont think so

If you mean when a host does not reply to your request, then my opinion is no you cannot leave negative reviews. If you do that you are just going to annoy hosts and they may then not host anyone else.

If you have made contact with the host who have agreed to host you and then they cancel at the last minute. Then you may have a reason for giving negative feedback.

You need to remember that this is WS and not Hotel.com. Its all voluntary and hosts may not want to host all the time and have not changed their settings.

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Information

It's just information to save time to future guests, there is nothing to be annoyed about, it's just a neutral review. An unresponsive host makes guests lose a lot of precious time while waiting for a response (unless you contact several hosts at the same time, which I think is not correct). And I think the responsiveness rate does not really tell much, as I've been hosted by people with low responsiveness rates while others who had 90% did not reply.

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I'm pretty sure if you

I'm pretty sure if you constructed a study with some meaningful sample size you would find that hosts with a response rate <50% tend to respond less than hosts with a response rate >50% either that or everything we know about probability and statistics is bunk.

Incidentally, why do you think contacting several hosts at the same time is incorrect?

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Multiple requests

I think contacting multiple hosts can look like "I don't care who hosts me". As hosts, we've received messages addressed to a host nearby, because the person obviously copy-pasted one same message and forgot to change the name. I think the right thing would be to contact one single host because you've read his profile and you have interest in meeting him. I also think it's embarrassing when you have a confirmed stay and another host accepts you and you have to say "sorry someone else replied first so I do not need accommodation for that date any more".

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What is the problem with

What is the problem with contacting multiple hosts with reasonable response rates and mutual points of interest after reading all their profiles? The 'problem' of putting the wrong name in the request could be solved by taking more care with requests or apologising/having a joke about it in subsequent communication. Many hosts are aware and more than sympathetic to the great difficulty in getting responses on Warmshowers at the moment, especially in populated areas.

As for being embarrassed, why get embarrassed about something most hosts would be entirely sympathetic with? If you confirm a stay with someone, write to the other hosts you contacted thanking them and letting them know what happened. Surely this will not lead to off the chart levels of embarrassment?

Sorry, this (unlike giving feedback to members for not responding to you) is just standard practice here and on numerous other hospex sites that have historically been more functional than WS is in its current state. Instead of giving yourself a decent chance of receiving a reply and being accommodated you are arbitrarily restricting yourself to one death or glory shot per destination, getting peeved about it when it doesn't work out (often unsurprisingly such as when you insist on using that one shot on someone with a 0/49 response rate), then devaluing the feedback system by using it for something it wasn't envisioned (despite the suggestions of almost every member on this thread where you apparently came for advice). You seem to be doing little more than creating problems for yourself where there need not be any.

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Just not the same opinion

I'm sorry, I don't have the same opinion. It is also "standard practice" not to answer requests, and it doesn't make it right. I appreciate your opinions but they haven't convinced me.

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No problem, enjoy all those

No problem, enjoy all those embarrassment free nights of not being hosted.

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Out of topic

I'm complaining about people not replying. If I had sent multiple requests, that wouldn't have changed much.

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The topic is unrelated to finding a host?

Again you are claiming some mystical ability to bend the laws of probability (strangely to your own disadvantage), again I do not believe you.

Essentially you are wading in the shallows lunging at solitary fish with your bare hands complaining at your lack of success. The net which lies unused on the shore will not make any difference you say because your annoyance is completely unrelated to your desire to find a new fish for your aquarium rather it is the idea that there are fish out there that are impossible to catch that bothers you.

Your aquarium collector's guide shows you in the first chapter how to identify the fish that are impossible to catch (even with a net). You refuse to pay any attention because you once caught such a fish in your hands. At the same time you feel more effort needs to be made to raise awareness about how hard it is to catch any fish you have trouble snagging with your hands by making mention of them in a footnote somewhere in the chapter about how to clean your aquarium.

You have proven yourself impervious to any and all attempts at assistance or advice but more significantly you seem to have completely lost sight of what it is that you are trying to accomplish.

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This conversation is going

This conversation is going more and more out of topic. My original question was if it was allowed to give neutral (in my case) or negative feedback (as I've seen by other people) if someone doesn't answer a request within a reasonable period of time. But we ended up talking about multiple requests or about the most effective way of finding a bed.

There has been lots of misunderstandings and assumptions here. I never said I don't do multiple requests (please check), but I don't like it so I try not to do it. You have also been assuming that I want to find a free bed at all cost, when this is not my case. There are hosts that I feel I have more things in common than others, or hosts who are closer to my route. Obviously then I prefer them, so I send the first and second requests to them. This is how I chose to do it and I assume my responsibility when it fails.

But what I am trying to say is that Warmshowers has the right tools for hosts to set themselves unavailable if they can't reply or if they need a minimum notice (some people don't check their e-mails often). As far as I know, you can ask people to contact you one month in advance! And that is totally OK. There are ways to avoid this problem but many hosts don't care.

I think feedback about unresponsive hosts is useful. It gives more information than the unresponsive rate. I have been hosted by people with 30% response rate and I have had people with 90% not answer. Probability is a guide but it often fails. Feedback is given about unpleasant situations that you want other guests/hosts to know. So this is exactly the case. This is why I think it should be done.

I am sorry, but I cannot agree with you just because most people share your opinion. As I said, I appreciate your contributions but I can't be forced to agree with them. I have said very clearly why I think this should be done and my only question was whether this was allowed or not.

There is obviously a lot of people who are uncomfortable (if not angry) about unresponsive hosts. You know this very well because you've been replying to all threads about unresponsive hosts. This is clearly a current problem of Warmshowers and it should be solved.

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So the guy with the 90%

So the guy with the 90% response rate gets a neutral reference to warn other members for being unresponsive? Are you saying your lived experience trumps the accumulated record of someone who has replied to 9 out of 10 requests? Again if you keep contacting hosts with 30% response rate your rate of response will increasingly tend towards 30%, you are not a human improbability drive.

As I am trying to retrace my footsteps out of here me allow me to furnish you with a summary of this thread:

You: Can I give negative or neutral feedback to hosts who don't reply to my requests. I lose a lot of time because I don't like to make multiple requests
Reply: I don't think so, it is covered by response rate
Reply: +1 (see above)
Reply: I get annoyed with unresponsive hosts too.
Reply: I think I might.
Reply: You can do what you like but I would not recommend it.
Reply: I don't think so.
Reply: +1 (see above)
Reply: +1 (see above)
Reply: I don't think so, why don't you send multiple requests, plan ahead etc
Reply: I don't think so
You: But an unresponsive host makes guests lose time waiting for a response (I believe contacting multiple hosts at once is not correct)
Reply: Why do you think multiple requests are incorrect?
You: I would get embarrassed turning other hosts down, I could write the wrong name, it looks like you don't care who hosts you, the right thing to do would be to contact just one host who interests you...
...
...
You: I contact multiple hosts at intervals of 24 hours, after waiting on the third host I send requests to all the rest.

When your (repeated) argument in favour of doing this is that you (and, you assume, others) waste a lot of time waiting for replies because you prefer to only send one request at a time don't be surprised that people respond telling you it's completely OK to make multiple requests. Now that you have revealed that is precisely what you do it seems your previous arguments no longer apply. But you are correct, the problem of unresponsive hosts needs to be solved, why not offer some solutions?

As for references, you are free to, for example, give me a negative reference because you don't like my punctuation. Just as I am free to contact WS and ask them to remove a frivolous reference given by someone who has never met me - which, incidentally, is precisely what I would do if I received a neutral reference for not getting back to a member by their definition of 'on time' or if I received a positive reference just for replying to a request (as another member here has taken it upon himself to dish out).

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I think you are mixing

I think you are mixing concepts here. One thing is the way I choose to contact hosts (not simultaneously, and therefore slower) and the other is the fact that hosts don't reply to requests. If all hosts replied within a reasonable time, the way I choose to contact them wouldn't be a problem at all.

I don't think there's anywhere on Warmshowers where it's established that you need to have met someone in order to give him feedback. I've myself given feedback to a guest who failed to appear. The feedback can be given to hosts, guests, people you met on the road, and "others".

I think comparing feedback on punctuation with feedback on something that is obviously a problem for lots of guests (just check the forum) is a joke.

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And just to clear something

And just to clear something up, I never gave feedback on someone just because he didn't reply "on time". I only give feedback to people who don't reply at all.

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I really don't have the

I really don't have the stamina to continue collapsing your Schrödinger's WS Request. As I said, I'm off to the gift shop, good day.

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I can only say the same to

I can only say the same to you :)

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Your expectations are very

Your expectations are very unusual. Even when a hospex site is much smaller and a more close-knit community with fewer ghost profiles, sending out multiple requests has always been standard practice. If the cyclist failed to change the name on the copy/paste, that's pretty careless, but people have always sent out copy/paste requests with some details changed for each specific host contacted. And as someone who has been active as a hospex host for well over a decade now, I have never found potential guests saying “thanks, but I already found someone” a problem.

Furthermore, unlike hospex communities like Couchsurfing or Servas that emphasize cultural exchange and friendship, WS is a support network that aims primarily to match tired cyclists with a shower and a place to sleep, with some enjoyable conversation being just a bonus on top of that. When you look for a WS host, you are not looking to meet a new friend (if friendship does result, then great), instead you are looking for a place to rest, where the host’s profile suggests that your stay will go smoothly for both you and your host.

Also, there are a lot of WS hosts who don’t want to spend time with their guests. My wife and I just finished a long tour where we stayed with a number of WS hosts who just showed us to the guest area and then essentially disappeared for the rest of our stay. We would have actually liked to talk more, as some of the hosts seemed remarkable people, but they indicated that they were too busy. So, encouraging cyclists to contact only hosts that they really want to talk with, might just be setting them up for disappointment!

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I normally contact the first

I normally contact the first host one week in advance and I choose someone who has a reasonably high responsiveness rate. Normally I wait for 24 hours until I contact the next host. After contacting the 3rd host, if I have no reply on the next day, then I send multiple requests to all the rest (who have very low response rates, so this hardly ever works, although I should say that have been hosted by people with as low as 30% response rate).

This is just an example of how I normally do it. I normally get hosted by the first or second host and I don't have to say no to anyone.

I know there are people on Warmshowers who see the site as a mere offer of bed/shower, and that is totally okay and valid, but there are others like us who like to meet locals when we travel or who like to host other cyclists and expect to spend some time with them getting to know them. Anything is okay as long as you make it clear on your profile or in your reply. We have also been busy sometimes as hosts but we normally tell the guest when we reply to the request. I think this subject depends a lot on each person's view on Warmshowers.

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Wait... so you've been

Wait... so you've been contacting multiple hosts in parallel all along? This whole thread is a labyrinth I no longer wish to understand - time to retrace my steps out of here and head for the gift shop...

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+1

Agreed.

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I would be annoyed

I would be annoyed if I was left a negative review for not answering an e mail and I think a lot of hosts would be. IMO reviews should only be used if you have either made an arrangement with a host and either the arrangement is cancelled at short notice without any reasonable explanation or you actually stay with the host.

What happens if you get in touch with a host who replies and tells you he cannot host you? Does he get a negative review as well?

We need as many hosts as possible. Being petty will not help that cause. Getting negative reviews will bother some people but not others. But if we lose one host for this type of feedback, it is one too many. It is the idea of "Negative" feedback which is the problem.

But there was an interesting point raised and I will start a seperate thread on that as I would like to know other People's opinions.

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We need less unresponsive hosts

I don't agree with you, we don't need as many hosts as possible, we need hosts who are able to reply, whatever their answer is. If we lose one host who takes one week to reply, honestly I won't miss him.

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It is a double edged sword

Macia or Steve,
Realize that the more negative feedback you give, the more likely you will not be considered for being hosted.

A Host should not be penalized for simply not getting back to you on your own personal schedule... remember it is still only a REQUEST by you for someone to do you a FAVOR... strictly on Blind Faith, through their kindness, and with no warning of your interjection into their own life, routine, and home.

There are several ways to avoid your annoyance:.
Plan far enough ahead so you have time to adjust accordingly.
Make multiple requests in the area at one time (I have had the opportunity to enjoy exploring an area better and to rest an extra day by accepting consecutive offers when more than one Host was willing... it's not all about the miles, all the time!)
Have a backup plan like a campground, going stealth, finding a 24hr haven, or even riding through the night.
Ask a non WS world to host you... kind and generous people are EVERYWHERE... and some don't ride bikes!

Realize that stuff happens... and sometimes it doesn't!
Work through it and be appreciative of who and what you do get.

If it was always easy and went as planned... it wouldn't be an adventure!

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Different view

Kathryn Silvia: I do not question the hospitality and great effort that most hosts dedicate when it comes to hosting other people. I am very happy with the experiences I've had on Warmshowers. I am just not happy with people who are on Warmshowers but do not reply. What's the point?

Before my trips, I contact the Warmshowers host several months in advance, as soon as I've booked my flight. But during my trips, I cannot contact them with so much notice because dates change or I could even change my route, and I think (this is just my opinion as a host) that it's better to contact a host 5 days before the date (he can always say no) but commit to that date instead of contacting the host 3 weeks in advance and then change the date some days before or cancel it.

The solution that you suggest about sending multiple requests at once and then staying with everyone who said yes would mean being late to future Warmshowers stays (or cycling huge distances to be there by the date I committed to). It is not as easy as it sounds.

I just think that other guests will be interested in knowing which hosts did not reply after 7 days. It is not a negative comment but information on responsiveness. I am not saying "you are a bad host", but "you do not check your e-mails once a week".

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Try not to negate the useful info just to be contrary

S & M
It might behoove you to reread posts before you respond so you don't misconstrue the message.

I offered several ways I used on my tour in order to avoid the "inconvenience" of not getting timely responses or committed WS hosting. I only spent 3 nights out of 9 months in anything even remotely resembling a temporary "hardship"... and that was with the extra restrictions of traveling with a dog!

However, as you claim; I never "suggested" the "solution" was "staying with everyone who said yes" after sending out multiple requests to an area. I simply stated that I occasionally had arranged with several Hosts consecutive nights in the same area so that I could further rest or explore prior to traveling on. My schedule was very flexible for most of that adventure and along with the added depth of the experience, it also gave me extra time to contact Hosts further along my route... and to receive their replies!

There is a place to record a response rate for the Hosts... it is there because it can supply useful "information on responsiveness" in an appropriately neutral manner.

To leave negative feedback is another thing in itself, for any reason.
What most of us seem to agree on is that it is not warranted for a lack of response to a request.
That it should be reserved for an actual Host/Guest experience.
Used to shed light on real issues of accommodation, for vetting, and safety warnings if need be.

There are a plethora of reasons to not/not be able to get back to a request, especially in what any particular person may think is a "reasonable" time... ad nauseum!
It is diligent for you to have a backup plan... where you prepare for the worst and can still hope for the best...
and then just roll with it!

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Different opinion

I think you are wrong with your comment "try not to negate the useful info just to be contrary".

I appreciate your ideas and suggestions, but they do not work in my case. Not everyone travels in the same way. When you say "it's not all about the miles", it is for some people. We can't always afford to spend an extra day somewhere. And we always have a backup plan, that is not the question.

When you say "not getting back to you on your own personal schedule", I am not asking them to reply in 1 or 2 days, but I think taking more than 7 days to reply is too much. When I message a host, I respect his/her expected period of notice. Some people ask to be contacted 7 days in advance (or more!) and that is fine.

I do not force anyone to host me, I just think that having a profile on Warmshowers as host carries some responsibility. Both guests and hosts have responsibilities. Hosts are not sacred just because they offer free accommodation. Warmshowers has all the necessary options to set yourself unavailable, to establish how much time you want to be contacted in advance, etc. so there is absolutely no reason (unless in very serious circumstances) why someone would do this. In my opinion, it is very unpolite.

But the reason why I opened this thread is to know if there are rules on why feedback should be given and I still don't know whether this is the case or not. I hear all the time that feedback is to give information to future guests/hosts about something unpleasant. This is the case. This is an unpleasant situation that is a problem for us guests when planning our trip.

Having said that, we have been discussing how useful it is to other guests. As Paul Harper said, someone who has less than 20% is unlikely to reply. But then I've been hosted by people with 30% and 40%.

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Some people on here act like

Some people on here act like children. We all have different opinions and people should accept that without making underhand comments.

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Wow what a thread.

Wow what a thread. It sure went all over the place. I want to hit a few of the issues people brought up here.

1. First of all there are no RULES on this. It is all a matter of personal opinion and how the traveler or host feels. So because it effects how we feel it becomes passionate and a matter of contention. So remember there is no right answer.

2. People may not respond because of being out on tour. Right there is a major NO NO. If you are out on tour and unable to host then change your status to unavailable. I have another thread for this issue.

3. People don’t read their emails that often. That is fine but I do agree with the argument that if you are taking the time to put yourself up as a host that you do have a responsibility to check emails and get back with travelers. If you are not willing to do that then don’t host.

I learned about WS on my trip around the US. So in over 12K miles I ended up only using WS about 4% of the time. For me personally, I was unable to contact someone months or weeks out. On a trip of that magnitude I had no idea where I would be when. I was lucky to contact people a day or two out. I did use the profiles the most to determine if I would contact the host or not. However, the reviews are telling to me when I’m on my bike on the side of the road looking for a place to stay. (That too is another issue on another thread.)

FYI, I did end up riding with one of the guys who runs WS. Sorry I can’t remember his name now. Anyway he said that WS is aware of the issue of people signing up and then disappearing. They are working on how to handle the problem. The percentage of “active” host vs the total number of people signed up to be host is actually rather low.

So my suggestion is to go ahead and contact multiple hosts. In your initial correspondence tell them up front that you are contacting several possibilities and thank them ahead of time for their wiliness to host. Then the hard part comes after you accept a hosting offer, and that is to contact the rest back and let them know.

To be completely open here, I have left a couple of neutral reviews for the lack of a response. It was only a couple of times, and only for people who really didn’t have a history to start with. That way if someone else is looking they can use that info how they will.

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'The percentage of “active”

'The percentage of “active” host vs the total number of people signed up to be host is actually rather low. '

That does seem to be the case. While a decline in host ratio is generally expected as hospex sites age and grow, the relative fall away in functionality of WS has been marked. I believe one of the principal reasons is that other hospex sites do not tend to sign up new members as available to host by default so as to avoid accumulating increasing numbers of false positives in their host lists. This combined with the huge growth the site has experienced since 2013 and the lack of any smart sorting or filtering in searches has made finding active hosts an increasingly difficult task.

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members are notified of negative feedback.

I believe members are notified if someone has given them negative feedback. If for some reason they hadn't checked their email or been in a coma or something like that they could contact the aggrieved party and explain themselves and maybe even apologize. Then the aggrieved party would most likely be happy to remove the negative feedback from the site. I have commented on several members unresponsiveness and none of them have contacted me in return. You'd think they would want to eliminate the negative feedback but they can't even be bothered to do that.

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.

I'm coming to this a bit late ...but I believe I may be the member who gives "...a positive reference just for replying to a request (as another member here has taken it upon himself to dish out)..."

Dish out ..? Is that what I am doing ? You see, I thought I was valuing a Responsive Member - "adding value" to that member's profile....

Anyway, I see that some members may be looking for a "simpatico" Hosting, while others are less interested in SoulMates than they are in a shower...we'll just have to accept the difference in expectations.I do think tho that many Profiles appear to be aimed at a "soulmates" outcome, and - I have to say it - some seem to be modelled on *dating sites* given the level of (irrelevant) personal details they include. I think this is mostly unconcious on the part of the Profile writers.

As to " multiple requests", you won't get many answers *without* issuing such multiple requests [ assuming you accept Probability Theory]. I use a template for my Requests, explaining my situation in a few dot points ( like my profile). Of course, I have no way of knowing if this is any more effective at providing Stays than the "One Shot" method. But al least, it saves a lot of waiting time ... 

FWIW : my dot point " multiple" request is based on : where / when/ who/ what ....that's it ....where I want a Stay / when I want it / who I am / what  I prefer ( usually, a tent site)

Cheers all ! 

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Not a stick, nor a carrot nor a trophy for the cabinet

I still haven't seen an argument as to how this is useful beyond, trust me its a great idea (this despite by your own admission being told by WS admin not to use feedback in this way). Again, if you wish to express thanks then surely a personal message would suffice.

Giving out feedback to unknown members for whatever takes your fancy is just devaluing feedback. Imagine if everyone did it, the amount of irrelevant messages one would have to wade through to get to actual evaluations of members as guests or hosts would make things impractical. Taking into account that anyone can view a member's response record over the past 12 months before clicking on any hypothetical 'advance feedback' vouching for just a single response, I think this practice can safely be filed under redundant.

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Warmshowers Admin has

Warmshowers Admin has repeatedly stated that feedback, along with a strong/complete profile, represent the communication in this community.  Communication is also pertinent to the safety of members in this community.

If people gave a fraction of the time leaving feedback that has been spent on this thread, this thread would be irrevelant.  

WS Üyesi WS Üyesi kullanıcısının resmi
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Thanks Paul ....

Well - while this is slighly off topic - in fact I would say that in giving Feedback for a (mere) Reply I am NOT "...Giving out feedback to unknown members for whatever takes your fancy .."

I will give Feedback for a helpful and timely reply, as opposed to the other kind...even when that does NOT lead to a Stay.

As , by general consensus, getting ANY reply seems to be increasingly *rare* in WS, I believe it is completely appropriate to give FB for a ( mere) reply, when that ( mere) reply is generous and helpful. That is far from "...whatever takes your fancy .

As for being advised NOT to give this appreciation, such advice was from the previous Management. Should the current Management wish to repeat that advice, they know where to find me.

BTW : seeing you can give FB for someone " ..met while travelling.." [ or one used to be able to do so, anyway] , I find your castigation rather odd.

Tailwinds....