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ws member count vs responsiveness

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WS Member WS Member's picture
ws member count vs responsiveness

We have been cycling now for about 3 months on our rtw tour. Our experiences with ws in eastern Europe and Turkey have been mixed. I had contacted some of the more responsive hosts way early to ask route advice, and we stayed with a couple of these people. Great experiences!
But more generally speaking we find that many hosts out here are completely unresponsive. What is the point of having people listed on this website if they have 0 responses to 25 requests, or 1 response to 37 requests like two of the three hosts I just found in Erzurum? I fully understand not everyone can host, but being responsive with either a yes or a no should be a prerequisite.

Unregistered anon_user's picture
Same thing here in the States

I Agree!
What is the point of listing hosts that are unresponsive.
I am on tour right now and am in Jackson, WY where there are 11 hosts listed.
There is no camping in this town.
Can't rent a hotel room due to lack of funds.
Spent the last week in Yellowstone and the Tetons with no reception.
At the Library and contacted 4 hosts yesterday with no response.
Came back to the Library today and contacted 2 more....
We will see if they are responsive.

This site needs to make a limit to the # of unrepsponses host can have.

WS Member WS Member's picture
I don't think the problem is

I don't think the problem is having them listed (though its quite probable as with many completely unresponsive hosts that they signed up to use WS on a trip or to have a look later and were automatically listed as available to host, that certainly needs to change) the problem is not being able to filter them in searches. If someone wants to host but sees no reason to respond if they are not interested then good luck to them, at least we have the data now and hopefully one day we can apply useful default filters to searches to find responsive members with a history of logging in. Certainly nobody should be messaging a member with a 0/25 response rate expecting anything other than crickets.

For more discussion on this see this thread:

Unregistered anon_user's picture

I have to disagree.
We have 2 IDs in WS. The second came about when it was modernized a while back. According to the records we have not hosted anyone.

Are you merely trying the email in WS, or the phone or email listed/ I am curious.


WS Member WS Member's picture
reply rate

The reply rate is somewhat dubious as such. We replied to all requests and messages (not a single one turns up as unanswered) but still only have 67% in the profile. Looks like this was due to somebody requesting to stay with us and deleting his profile before we even got a chance to reply ...

It would be nice if one could filter the search results for an area a little more, for example availability and number of guests and if you could add a calendar where people can enter their availabilities and also travelling time when they are looking for host in a certain area.

Furthermore, in the search many profile turn up that haven't even been active in the past two or more years. Give them one chance to update and then kick them out.

WS Member WS Member's picture
I'm sure someone in admin

I'm sure someone in admin could look at the response rate for you. As for inactive members - every January, those who haven't logged in for more than 1 year should be removed automatically after being sent a warning mail.

WS Member WS Member's picture
when I searched in Toronto

when I searched in Toronto recently some of the people listed had not been logged in for 2 years ...

WS Member WS Member's picture
I've seen that once or twice

I've seen that once or twice myself, not sure why it happens. Perhaps members only have to respond to the warning mail and therefore don't have to log in.

WS Member Piotras's picture

I think it is worthwhile making following distinction:

1. members who don’t response to requests because they are not active members.

2. active members who don’t response to requests .

ad 1. When I see such figures like “0 responses to 20 requests over the past year” and “Active 20 weeks and 4 hours ago” the only thing I can say about the person is that he/she is not an active member. It is irritating but, if not longer than a couple of months, I don’t think it is a sign of a nonchalant attitude to the WS community (as it certainly is if this lack of interest is a year or more long); such passivity probably means that this member has something much more important to think about in his/her daily life than to check WS account or the email address he/she attached to it. (not everyone has privilege to be retired from its active life´s obligations with nothing better to do than to take care of its WS account :-))

I don’t think such passivity gives a reason to such strong reaction like writing a negative feedback. What I would probably do if I had got a request from such member is responding with a question what was the reason that he/she neglected so many requests… and waiting with interest to his/her answer …

ad 2. This is a completely different situation. When you have sent a request to member “X” and never got any response , but checking your message box you see that “X” was active already the next day, what means that “X” with all certainty had to read your request, but still, “X” did not bother to respond to it… No doubts, such disregard justifies a negative feedback, even if it happened to be the only of this kind among ten others , super positive ones.

WS Member WS Member's picture
Negative feedback because a

Negative feedback because a host doesn't respond and subsequently logs in? That seems a little extreme. How long do you wait for a response? What if your request stinks?

References really should be limited to people you have had face to face interactions with. The only time I would give a reference to someone I hadn't met is if a guest arranged accommodation with me and then didn't show without any expanation or apology (and even then I'd wait a good month after messaging them).

WS Member WS Member's picture
Re: Negative response

I had previously had two negative remarks on my file regarding no response. It was my horrible error, I had changed email accounts and forgotten to change my warmshowers account. I emailed those involved and offered my apologies. Their negative remarks, thankfully, no longer appear and I have 100% response listed once again. Just another example of a possible reason. Mind you, if they had texted which is a preference for me (in addition to email) I would have been alerted to the problem that much sooner.

WS Member WS Member's picture
Two separate negative

Two separate negative references for not responding? Wow, that's really rough treatment in my book. Even a neutral reference would be an extreme response. I know there is a problem with response rates but I just don't agree that this is the way to remedy it.

WS Member Piotras's picture
Stinky request

Reply to #20

”Stinky request ”? It looks like a quite new concept… can you give us its interpretation? With some examples, possible from your own experience.

WS Member WS Member's picture
It's the oldest concept in

It's the oldest concept in hospex:
'Hi, I'm coming to your city next week. You seem interesting, can you host me?'
When Couchsurfing was functional I would receive about 1000 requests per year across all hospex sites so I've seen hundreds of these zero effort, cut and paste beauties (usually accompanied by a similarly fascinating profile along the lines of 'I'm easy going an open minded.'). I reply to all of them (with about as much effort) but I know other hosts in high demand areas who see no reason to waste their time - I see no problem with that (even if the request doesn't stink). There is already a consequence - it will be reflected in the host's response rate, and each prospective guest can subsequently evaluate if it's worth their own time making a request. I don't see why any further action is necessary.

You are of course free to do as you see fit but if I received a negative reference from someone I'd never met for the crime of not responding to their request I'd be contacting dispute resolution with a few questions post haste.

WS Member WS Member's picture
I aim for 100% response rate,

I aim for 100% response rate, but I gave up on CS due to loads of one and two liner requests from dubious sources.
I wish there was some (maybe there is and I'm just blind/stupid, and don't use WS as guest yet) feature to sort and search (like show all hosts with minimum 60% reply and atleast one guest/host feedback), could filter out all non responsive members.

WS Member WS Member's picture
Not yet, but apparently it is

Not yet, but apparently it is in the pipeline.

WS Member WS Member's picture
It's a good idea but there

It's a good idea but there are some possible "complications". Let's say someone has received one request over the past 12 months and has responded, giving them a 100% response rate. I now contact them and their response rate immediately drops to 50%, until they respond to my message. So anyone who then searches based on a more than 60% response rate will not come up with this individual's profile, even though they may simply be away for a few days and would otherwise have a perfect response rate.

There should really be a "delay" built in so that a message not replied to will only affect your response rate after a set number of days.


WS Member WS Member's picture
This has been discussed

This has been discussed previously, what I have proposed doesn't filter any member out of results, rather it gives priority to a randomly sorted group who fall within a fairly permissive default set of filters (and yes, those with few requests are taken into consideration) see my post above in this thread for example:

WS Member WS Member's picture
my example of 60% was just a

my example of 60% was just a number out of the hat, for all I care it could be show all that has replied the last two years and has given or received feedback, the point being to get a manual filter to apply, and it would even be better to get a sorting in stead of a result, so the closest to your filter shows on top of the list, then gets less and less close the further you scroll.

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