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Lack of response from hosts.

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Lack of response from hosts.

I have just completed the Eurovélo 6 and I would like to share my experience. I have really enjoyed hosting cyclists from all over the world and I was hoping to experience things from the other side while I was travelling. I can fully understand that people are not always available or simply want a break from hosting, but most people didn't even reply to my requests. I was beginning to wonder if there was something in my profile that was putting people off before meeting other cyclists who had the same problem! I suppose this isn't really surprising when you see the percentage of replies on some people's profiles. I can only guess that a lot of people are on Warmshowers to get free accomodiation for themselves when they are travelling and I find this very disappointing.

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lack of response

Yup, we have also experienced this problem from time to time. We much prefer a quick, polite "no" to not hearing anything. We strive to respond to every inquiry as hosts, and people seem to appreciate quick replies. And yes, we think that there are more and more people using WS as guests, even though they probably won't ever host. But surprisingly, there are hosts who never tour and are never guests.

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Lack of host response

This is common everywhere, especially in big cities. I have resorted to making all my requests before I even take off. I used to get replies a month after the request and the usual answer was "I haven't been on the site for awhile'. There must be an option to not have messages forwarded from WS. When reading bios, the older the host, the more responsible, especially when one of the hosts is a woman. I don't just send one request per stop, either. I contact everyone who appears to be nice people. If I get no response after a week or so, I politely text and ask if they are still hosting. ...I live in Des Moines, Iowa which is not on any route so I do not get requests other than goofy ones. The other day I had a request for a stay of 12 days. The guy was a 'carnie' coming to work at the Iowa State Fair. ...I guess what I'm saying is don't take it personal. There are a lot of ill-mannered people out there.

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We try to weed out carnival

We try to weed out carnival workers, puppeteers, motorcyclists, homeless people in vans, etc. when reviewing new profiles. Unless they specify that they are touring on a bicycle, they're deleted. Please let me know if any squeak through.

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as a host

I find it frustrating that in this day and age of so easy communication that this is even a topic. When you get an email it literally takes seconds to make a response. As for the excuse " i have not been on the site in a while" is lame, you can have any hosting request sent directly to your email account so even if you do not log on to Warmshowers.org you know if someone is contacting you. I have maintained a 100% response rate ever since I have signed up which has resulted in nearly 100 wonderful people pedaling up and sharing an evening with me. Seems like a simple thing to do if you really are interested in hosting bicyclist.

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New paragraph

There is one thing in your profile that you might want to change: a new paragraph when the text switches to English. Some readers might miss that.

But you have all these enthusiastic references, one would look forward to hosting you.

What is the response rate of the people that do not reply?

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Warmshowers have some

Warmshowers have some technical issues now. My reply by email to a guest never reached him. Then I logged to site and and send a reply. It was ok.

Next my guest tried to reply (apparently by email) to me. I received nothing. I wait about one week, sent a question why you did not show up and gave neutral feedback. Couple day later i got mail telling he had changed the plan and also sent a mail to me.

I wonder how many on tthose no-reply hosts are facing this same problem.

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Help Desk Issue

If you still have these concerns, please contact the warmshowers.org Help Desk

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Lack of response from hosts

We usually never have a problem because when somebody requests to stay, we get an email to my personal email. We try to make it a point to get back to to them within the hour with a reply. Especially because where I live in the High Desert, cell coverage/email may be a little sketchy.

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Quick email response is unrealistic

Expecting email response in less than one hour is unrealistic. Most people have to work during the day which means no access to private email. Most people I know look for email (nearly) every evening. You can't expect more.

But we also had similar experiences. We looked for a host in a bigger french town and I wrote to 5 people who are marked as "available". I got only one answer in two days. Another answer got in 4 weeks later...

But no big deal - sleeping in a tent is always the alternative.

Andreas

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And conversely, when you

And conversely, when you request a stay from several people, and find one who will accommodate you, please remember to send a note to the others saying that you've found accommodations elsewhere.
We have wasted several afternoons waiting for cyclists who made a request, and then never confirmed, nor showed up.
Once you've contacted someone it's common courtesy to send a note saying you've found other accommodations.

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As a host living on a cycling highway

I am living on Danube trail/Eurovelo 6 one of the European cycling highways.
In high season I get several requests a week. Especially last summer some of the requests seemed like spam requests without any informations nor in email nor in WS-profile. It also seemed that they did not read my profile. It seemed they were looking only for free hosting and free food and nothing more. Then I thought why should I waste even seconds of my life for them?!?
But I answered them...

Greetings from Danube valley
Michaela

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https://www.warmshowers.org/node/133054
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and...

and...
-"Host" not answering... | Warmshowers.org
https://www.warmshowers.org/content/host-not-answering.../
-Searching for hosts by feedback | Warmshowers.org
https://www.warmshowers.org/comment/8693
-About trustworthy users | Warmshowers.org
https://www.warmshowers.org/node/51458
-unresponsive "hosts" | Warmshowers.org
https://www.warmshowers.org/node/70359
-Lack of Responsiveness | Warmshowers.org
https://www.warmshowers.org/node/71618
-Member growth and retention | Warmshowers.org
https://www.warmshowers.org/node/77729
-Host searching filters | Warmshowers.org
https://www.warmshowers.org/node/97672
-ws member count vs responsiveness | Warmshowers.org
https://www.warmshowers.org/node/99408
-Unresponsiveness | Warmshowers.org
https://www.warmshowers.org/node/112486
-Currently Available | Warmshowers.org
https://www.warmshowers.org/node/120093
-Lack of answers - Creating regional warmshowers mailing lists? | Warmshowers.org
https://www.warmshowers.org/node/120320
-Membership Growth & Active host ratios | Warmshowers.org
https://www.warmshowers.org/node/131361
-No response | Warmshowers.org
https://www.warmshowers.org/node/136254
-Big cities with many hosts, but none available | Warmshowers.org
https://www.warmshowers.org/node/171093

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response rate

I've had a couple of people rate me non-responsive when I was a few days late replying. I wish there could be some way to warn potential guests about this. It's annoying to be marked unresponsive when I'm just trying to sort out my schedule!

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Your responsiveness rate is

Your responsiveness rate is just the number of new messages replied to divided by the number of new messages received (over the past year), marking of hosts as unresponsive was abandoned some years ago.

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Sadly, we've come to only

Sadly, we've come to only hosting travelers who have hosted before. Over the years, because of our locale, the very large majority of requests come from profiles 1-3 months in existence, often with previous WS stays numbering a half dozen to nearly two dozen (!), who never seem to have logged in again after their journey was complete. Our declinations are almost always only because someone doesn't read the profile, and/or appears to be abusing WS hospitality in our opinion.

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Susan is right

Pretty simple: if you do not host, or you're never available, or you never reply..... either you pay (a fee, 20$, 30$, 50$, whatever to WS), or you can't be a guest as your account will be atuomatically deleted.

It's morally unfair to be the first to ask and the last one to give. Do you know what I mean?!

And this is a place for sharing, not for saving money while not giving a s%$t about others in need.

Giovanni

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Susan is right, but a small issue

I host, but never operate as a guest, aside from my little campground when I travel I'm one of those 'homeless in a van' types lol. The one thing I see a lot of that causes my complaints about a lack of review though is that they can see my phone number etc and just text me and never actually use the mail on this site, so their responsiveness and lack of review isn't even registered with WS. So I might suggest WS not show contact info unless they use the contact thru WS option or something. Wouldn't matter to me anyways, as I maintain my own website and get a lot of travellers through freecampsites.net and a few others. Just a thought. (I Host so don't delete me rofl)

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Phone info

I removed my phone info from my visible profile years back. It has made a positive difference as people have to send an initial contact through the site.

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That is a good suggestion!

That is a good suggestion! After sending a request, the system could prompt you to send that person also a text message. (Or phone.)

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The response rate on profiles

The response rate on profiles definitely shows that WS is dying as a dependable network even if its membership might be soaring. During a recent tour through Eastern Europe, I considered using WS at times. In some bike-friendly cities with hundreds of thousands or millions of people, there is not a single host with a reply rate of over 50%, and in fact the majority of hosts seem to have reply rates under 10%.

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Response rates under 50%

Quote: " In some bike-friendly cities with hundreds of thousands or millions of people, there is not a single host with a reply rate of over 50%"

Not a single (!!) response rate of over 50%??

If your statement is true, you must have checked 100% of the profiles of the hundreds, (maybe thousands?) WS-members in the by you recently visited cities of the size of "hundreds of thousands or millions of people".
We are really curious. Please mention those huge cities!

This is really a great job in time and effort, Chris. You are worth to fill out all kind of interesting statistics considering the WS results.
The WS-management must be grateful with your contribution and can react on these almost scientific figures to improve the WS as organisation.

Interesting: I just clicked at 10 ( at random) WS-members in Budapest, west of the Donau, so that you can check it yourself and to limit the location.
(Budapest, because it's a "East-European city.)
Of those 10 WS-members there were 6 over 50% and 4 below. Even two of them scored 100%.

I am now even more curious where you've found NO WS-members with a response rate over 50%, Chris.

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It isn't hard at all to check

It isn't hard at all to check all of the hosts in many Eastern European cities. There are not that many WS hosts in the region, and any reasonably competent WS user is going to shift-click on all the dots on the map in order to view all the profiles and decide whether they are even worth messaging.

WS naturally already has quick access to this information. Their IT people can generate reports easily straight from the database.

I think there is a general crisis for website-centered hospitality exchange communities these days. Trustroots is suffering from the same dismal response rates (look at e.g. Helsinki on TR, dear lord.) People are less likely to regularly log in to a site other than their favourite social networking sites, and requests forwarded by e-mail ends to be easily ignored.

WS should be encouraging more people to put their mobile phone numbers on their profiles. A person can inadvertently ignore for months and months a hospex website that he/she signed up for. However, people don't ignore when their phone rings or they get an SMS. The majority of my own WS hosting experiences have come from cyclists ringing me when they are in the area. It disturbs me that Ken discourages a method that makes it much easier for guests and hosts to get in contact and arrange successful stays. And I hope that mobile phone numbers will continue to be visible on the new website to be launched, otherwise I may be less inclined to continue hosting.

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100% response rate is easy if no one contacts you

While having hosted only a couple dozen this year, my response rate shows 100% on all three people who contacted me. (The number keeps falling as maybe only one of those was actually this year) Not sure what the solution is.

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Phone Numbers on Profile

It is an option to have your number on your profile. I personally choose not to have my number public. I want initial contact to be through WS site, and not my phone or Facebook. I want to SEE a profile to know who I am communicating with. I want to see feedback given and received (if there is any). Then I will make a decision to host or not.

If you host a person by accepting a phone call, you really have no trail through the website as to who this person is. If there is theft or poor behavior, there is little way to track the person, leave reference, or work on resolution.

As I have said before (and will just close this thread down as to not have to repeat myself again), much of this (responsiveness issue) will be eliminated when the new website rolls out next month.

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