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guests not turning up

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Unregistered anon_user's picture
guests not turning up

It has occurred several times recently that cyclists asked whether they could stay, announcing their arrival for a certain day but in the end never turned up even though I had confirmed they would be welcome and I would be present at a given time to let them in. It is annoying (to me) because I might have used my evening more profitably than waiting in vain for anyone to turn up, but more so (to other cyclists) because I several times I had to turn down other requests for the same day.
Should it not be part of Warmshower etiquette to let your host know if you can't make it or have changed your plan?

WS Member WS Member's picture
Back when I received 4-5

Back when I received 4-5 requests per day on CS alone and had a calendar with all kinds of overlapping pending requests for indeterminate amounts of time, instead of hiring a secretary I made it a rule that I had entered into no obligation until the potential guest had written back to me accepting the dates I had offered them. Just make it clear in your first response that they need to communicate with you again to confirm dates/times and forget worrying about the folks that don't get back to you.

WS Member WS Member's picture
You set the rules for your home

Hosting is usually a great pleasure that I dearly enjoy. Thank you for hosting and for posting this problem.

This is a perennial problem caused, at times, by the vagaries of bicycle touring, but most often by a callous disregard for the hosts or a simple lack of understanding of a guest's duties. Either way, it's a problem for the host and an unpleasant experience.

To help mitigate this problem I do a couple of things:

- I try to answer the potential guest's message quickly and ask a question that requires their reply;
- If they reply, I give them my cell number so we can text, which I prefer
- Once I get a text from someone they almost always arrive.

There are times when things go sideways and a guest shows up late. I try not to let my desire to be a good host get in the way of my usual routine. I don't hold dinner, for instance.

It would help if you put in your "About me" that you expect to hear from a potential guest when they plan to arrive AND when they can't make a previously set arrival.

Add that you leave feedback appropriate to your experience with guests then be sure to leave feedback for ALL guests regardless of the quality of the visit. That is, positive feedback for a good visit, neutral for so-so, and negative for bad. No shows are, in my book, a negative feedback.

When leaving neutral or negative feedback stick with the facts and DO NOT engage in personal attacks. We do monitor feedback and will intercede if a "tit for tat" situation develops.

Unregistered anon_user's picture
no shows, etc.

As a member of over 12 years I can say to have experience with "no shows' and other nuisance.
That's why I've put some "conditions" at my account. That helps.
Our time as hosts is valuable and our hospitality is free.
The idea is: you, as guest, visit me and I offer MY house, time, food and drinks for free. If you don't like them, please find another free place to stay.
Maybe for some WSL-members this sounds less friendly, but my conditions works.(Unless guests don't read my account...)

IMPORTANT CONDITIONS before you contact me:
--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, my workscedule rather tight and I don't like doubtfull requests.
--your message at least 5 days before arrival.
--next morning, depending of my work, we may leave at 8.00 or 9.00 after the breakfast.
--I have a "happy-hour" around 17.00 h.with liquor, Dutch beer or soft drinks while you tell your adventures (mandatory !).
--you are welcome in between 17.00 - 18.00 o'clock (= 5.00 - 6.00 P.M). If you think to arrive later, please call me! I count on dinner.

I prepare dinner and breakfast in local Dutch style, as our old farmers and ancestors did.
(No hamburgers, no T-bone steaks,no junkfood, no pizza's, no cornflakes, no chocolate chip cookies.)
You are in a different country, so you'll experience different food and habits.
Are you picky, spoiled or vegetarian? ...Don't come. You will starve.
Most WSL-members survived my meals !

WS Member WS Member's picture
Your "Conditions"

I LOVE your "Conditions".... Just wanted to say so! I especially like the part about "Dutch style" food. Good for you! And you sound like an amazing Host! Makes me want to be your guest! I personally can't begin to wrap my mind around guests who would make such requests....Such rudeness!

Unregistered anon_user's picture

Hi Linda,

Thanks for your comment.

We just (27 th of June) put up our tent in the vicinity of the Mackinaw bridge, Michigan. Part of our 3-month cross-country tour in US. (Seattle - Boston)

As said before in my former forum contributions: My WSL-conditions are generated by experience.
If you want to visit MY country and MY place, than I give you the "Dutch experience" There is no room for 'personal wishes". Visiting me must be special and that's the reason I decided (and tell clearly ahead in my account) that you can expect something 'different'.
I am not 'just a place to sleep for free'...

WS Member WS Member's picture
I offer a space for a tent.

I offer a space for a tent. There are water spigots outside, as well as an enclosed flushing toilet.
These riders are on their own before they get to my place, and I figure they are on their own when they get to my place unless I can be there with them.
I hope to be here when they arrive and in the morning as well.

What this means to me is that I don't have to feel put out if they don't show up, or if I am committed at work.
I can also feel free to live my life separately from my Warm Showers guests… if necessary… but again, I would rather be here with them than not.

At first I was fretting over them not having me around for whatever they needed… then I realized I was creating more stress for myself by building up my importance… thinking I was something/someone important.

It can be 'nice enough' for me to provide a free, safe place for these travelers to stay the evening and night.
It's nice that I can provide a space that also has water and toilet facilities (I leave toilet paper and hand wipes in a sealed container there also).
None of that requires I disrupt my life for them to have these things available to them… so if they show up or not… nothing changes for me.

I realize other hosts have different arrangements than mine… what I'm trying to say is that as hosts, we set ourselves up for happiness or annoyance… if you can… perhaps you can change the arrangement you have to provide for the guests so that if they show up or not.. you are not so bothered.

Unless we hear from our missed-guests afterwards, there's little chance to know what happened in their lives to keep them from visiting or contacting us.

WS Member WS Member's picture
no show

Had my first no show after 5 e-mails making suitable arrangements. I usually have a meal ready as I would like this when I've done a few miles. His loss and my lodgers gain as there was pud too. Politeness doesn't cost much and makes the world a kinder place.

WS Member WS Member's picture
No shows and negative feedback?

So ... what is the protocol with a no show? Or worse? Should I put a negative feedback on their profile? We recently had a no show. After finally connecting with the cyclist, I got the sense that they are not entirely on the level.

Oddly enough, my wife just happened to meet with him in a town 200km from us a few of days later at a Tim Horton's. He disclosed that he had been evicted from his apartment ... so apparently his address and hosting information was totally bogus.

I've considered posting a negative comment, but his aggressive responses by email has me considering otherwise. Personally, I'd just like to see his account closed. We are not new to WS. And we have hosted quite a number of guests over the years. First bad egg. Is there a way to initiate this process? And how would any review not turn into a "he said, she said"?

WS Member WS Member's picture
Have a look at the

Have a look at the FAQ:

'We do not allow retaliatory or tit-for-tat feedback. Please use the contact form to let us know if you experience this kind of feedback and we'll remove or moderate it.'

But it sounds like you should probably report this behaviour straight to the WS help desk:

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