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How to give feedback for dirty accommodations?

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WS Member WS Member's picture
How to give feedback for dirty accommodations?

In all of our stays with hosts over the years (about 75) we have had varying levels of cleanliness. We don't expect every place to be spotless, but until our last trip we had only one other time when we felt really uncomfortable staying. And that time, we didn't stay. Luckily the host was not at home when we arrived but had left the door open for us. Upon seeing the place, we left a nice note saying we decided to ride further, then went and found a motel. But on our latest trip we couldn't easily leave. The place was so filthy, really disgusting. I left positive feedback because I felt badly leaving negative. The host was very nice and helpful. The host has had well over 100 guests, with over 70 positive reviews, some of them glowing. Not one of those mentioned the filth, as I didn't. What is the best way to leave feedback to reflect the filth, so that future guests can know about this and decide if they want to put up with it? I realize I could have said that it was not the tidiest place, or some other nicety. But that wouldn't be the truth either and wouldn't help guests trying to decide among hosts.

Suggestions please.

WS Member WS Member's picture
If it was bad enough that you

If it was bad enough that you think other cyclists should know about it before making a decision then you should probably make the reference at least neutral - and just state the facts about the condition of the place, I'm not sure how else you could do it.

If you want inspiration type negative in the search box and go through the references, there have been a few for untidy places of late (I just do it for chuckles).

WS Member WS Member's picture
where to search?

Sounds interesting Paul, where do I type in negative? Curious to see what others have said.

WS Member WS Member's picture
feedback

It serves no purpose to cover up your personal experience and opinion. WSL has a lot of people who think different. That's our freedom, reality and shows the diversity of us all. I prefer your geniune comment, whatever it is. It's up to me to judge if I will visit this host.

WS Member WS Member's picture
OK So now I ¨get it¨

So you would just tell it like it is. You are right about American´s polite ways of not being up-front about things. The problem with our culture is that we won´t say something to a person but we sure will say it behind their backs! Not good!

WS Member WS Member's picture
Honest yet tactful

I believe that you can be creative in your review to give the flavor of your experience without being offensive or rude.

"I enjoyed the hospitality and my hosts were great! However, there was a build up of dust in the house which set off my allergies..."

"Our host wasn't able to accommodate us but found accommodations for us with 2 recent college grads who had been living in an abandoned house in the center of town. The shower didn't work and the floors hadn't been vacuumed in probably 30 years, but we found shelter from the rain and a place to stay dry." (one of my actual experiences)

WS Member WS Member's picture
Perhaps something like, ¨...

Perhaps something like, ¨....was very hospitable and very laid back. If you are easy going about housekeeping, it´s a good place. Germaphobes and neat freaks probably wouldn´t be comfortable...¨

WS Member jeffwinnevada@yahoo.com's picture
Maybe take a picture before

Maybe take a picture before you leave and attach it to your feedback? Perhaps that would not likely offend the host if they were comfy with their place?

P.S. My camping gear includes a ground cloth--I have visited places where I just spread it out before rolling out my pad and sleeping bag.

WS Member WS Member's picture
I'm not sure that taking a

I'm not sure that taking a picture of someone's private home and posting it is a good idea, regardless of how filthy it is.

...Michelle

WS Member WS Member's picture
Posting pictures of dirt

Posting pictures of dirt would be outrageous. I was kind of pissed off when a guest (not WS) described me as "nutty and messy" in his blog. You should have seen the mess in the car that he lived in. He is not welcome back.

WS Member WS Member's picture
I guess you can allways

I guess you can allways excuse yourself and go out to sleep in your tent, out on the beach, or up on the tree... or take an room in hotel like you did.

Salute.

WS Member WS Member's picture
Yesterday when I post my

Yesterday when I post my oppinion on this topic I was thinking should I say it or not, but as more as I think about it I am sure I need to, so in shortly, WS comunity hosts (at least in my head) are not "free hotels" nor lonely travelers "entertainment"!

I think that 99% of WS guests/travelers are more then happy when they recieve positive answer for overnight or even just a pass for camp site on someones backyard. Offcourse there would allways be people, that will expect for hosts to fill fridge for them, make a dinner and vacum their house before his/her majesty arrives....,and for those folks I can only say go to hotel and you can allways chat with receptionar or people that sits on towns park benches...

WS comunnity (again in my head) is for people who try to travel as much as possible and to be able to do that they (or big part of them) try to save money on accomodation - so they sleep outside in their tents or ask for hospitality on sites like this one, and they are more then happy when they have firm roof above their head for free and even just a cold shower like it is in my place right now bc of broken heater...

We/hosts open our houses to total stranges and do not expect anything back, so who ever doesnt like what he gets for free, can allways excuse himself for what ever reason he would like to express and go somewhere else.

Salute, over and out.

WS Member WS Member's picture
I knew someone would post

I knew someone would post here the argument that guests should be grateful for anything they get. I myself generally believe that guests shouldn't nitpick when the host is helping them out. But if you've traveled a great deal through hospitality exchange and stayed with dozens or hundreds of hosts, you find that some hosts are more than just messy: their homes are seriously filthy, and staying in them a disgusting and potentially unhealthy experience: moldy food, numerous cockroaches, etc. There are a lot of people in the world with psychological problems, and some “hoarders” are hospitality-exchange hosts. It's a tiny, tiny percentage of hosts, but the community would be grateful if there was some warning about it in their feedback.

"[The guest] can allways excuse himself for what ever reason he would like to express and go somewhere else."

It is worth mentioning that some hosts take it personally when the guest leaves early. Though not on WarmShowers yet, I have seen hosts on other hospex networks leave guests negative feedback for politely saying “This isn’t working out, I should go.” According to such hosts, guests are obliged to do everything to make the stay pleasant for both parties, and to stay the whole period of time they said that they would.

WS Member WS Member's picture
There is a purpose for reviews.

While I agree posting photos of someone's home is outrageous, there is a reason WS includes Reviews. That is, I assume, so cyclists can make an informed decision. If a home is filthy, there is clearly a reason cyclists should be informed before requesting to be hosted there. If a host chooses to participate in this process, the host understands this. Like it or not. This is not to allow guests to have an entitled attitude but that's the way this works. Guests leave themselves open to negative reviews also, when they participate in WS. Let's say they left all kind of garbage around the host's home. I doubt one would say, "If the host doesn't like it, they shouldn't be a host." WS works with a Review process and it's there for a purpose.

WS Member WS Member's picture
Thanks

Wow, seems I opened a can of worms here. But I appreciate the many suggestions. I won't be posting any photos, but I am going to be more honest if this happens again. Otherwise there is no reason for reviews. I now know I can be honest but tactful. Thanks for all the suggestions.

WS Member WS Member's picture
I personally do not think

People make themselves vulnerable by welcoming strangers into their homes. If they treat you decently and enable you to save money by giving you a place to pitch your tent for the night, then you owe them the respect not to publicly humiliate them.

If you arrive at a place and its not to your taste. Leave!

This is not an issue that i believe others need be warned of. Those issues that people need to know about are security issues, interpersonal unpleasantness, and difficulties with getting to and from the location.