Request message window closed

I also think we should change the mechanics around being able to initiate new chats, as basing it on being friends has several downsides:

  • it’s probably too restrictive overall, as pointed out by comments in this topic
  • it kind of voids the intention and value of a friends list
  • we might avoid message-spamming, but then have to deal with “friends request”-spamming in turn. (and we are already seeing this now)

How about just adding a general “Contact” option (alongside the “Request” options). So when you send a first time message to someone, it is presented similar like the requests. It could also have some reminder note and a few checks (like minimal word count, blocked words…) and recipients could have an easy way to block/reject/report abuse. Something like this:

Or just have one “Connect” button, that expands to several options (Request to stay/Invite to hangout/Write a message)


Nolo I think that is pretty good but I would also add no flirtatious messages or commercial messages(like selling products or network marketing)

I think pick up artists (PUAs) might be like I just want to hook up and not date…no flirtatious messages would then make this type of thing against the rules


I just wanted to say that I also find the current situation very much restrictive. I assume it’s not impossible to just have a possibility to block a person? Then if smb does receive a disturbing message, they could use it. But I don’t see why people should be not allowed to send messages to strangers at all.

Also, as it was already said, with this system there will be spam friend requests instead of spam messages. I actually had those even on CS for I don’t know what reason (like some random people, somehow usually from India, sending friend requests but never writing or anything), but I can’t remember getting a single inappropriate message.


Also, I assume there’s no ‘maybe’ button to answer the requests here? I was using that a lot, usually for situations when I’m pretty busy and will be only available for a short time, but can still host if the person is ok with that.

And why block the person you can’t host? After all, I can answer a ‘no’ not only because I didn’t like the request, but also because I don’t have time or space now. We could still meet up in that case, or I could recommend smth in the city. And even if the problem was the request itself - why block the person for copy&paste messages?


Great point there…I think too many restrictions is a bad idea

At this University there were 2 housing units
On had suite units the other had dorm rooms with shared bathrooms
People were much more social in the dorm rooms because of the physical restrictions

I think the same could be here due to virtual restrictions if that makes sense

The requests module is being worked on right now as it does not currently match the intended design. You will be able to respond with “maybe” and also change your response prior to the start date (for example, if you say “maybe” initially, but after talking to your roommates you have to say “no”). Also, if you respond no, you won’t be “blocking” the person. You can still message with them.


That’s great to know! Thanks you :slight_smile:

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I agree with this. In the 15 years I’ve used CS I never once had to block someone.

As a side note related to the discussion, I regularly go through “Public Trips” on CS and send messages to people with incomplete profiles to give them tips about filling it in and what the community is about. I even give them tips about other hosters or some things to do in my city, as it’s often really tricky for people here (especially around holidays) to find hosters. Without the ability of communication, it’s really hard to build a culture or values in a community.


Hey guys, I just got an admittely very rude request (in the likes of “hey, can I stay with you from x to y” without giving information of the motivation behind the stay in my town and not even writing anything personal) that I would like to decline, but this will cut me off from talking to that person. People are new to this site and hospex and might still want to learn from why I declined (even if I put my reasons up there, they might have some questions after that) but once I decline this option vanishes (unless I send a friend request - not very likely).
The problem is until I formally decline the request the person can still try to negotiate (or be in the unclear) if I will host them or not.

I guess a better option would be to not cancel the conversation thread once you decline but have a button for both persons in the likes of “I had enough” (or something less passive-aggressive) that will manually terminate the conversation but independently of the accept/reject situation.


Hi Niklas! @n.spark and I ran into similar issues. Thank you for bringing this up! I know there are definitely plans to fix this so that it is possible to reply to people even if you decline. This change along with the ability to message anyone will hopefully be coming soon.

Until then, what I’ve been doing is I communicate with the person before clicking “accept” or “decline”. In one case after I got a very low-quality request I messaged with the guy a bit and he actually filled out his entire profile, uploaded a photo, and sent a much more thoughtful request! We ended up hosting him and he was one of the nicest, most friendly couch surfers I’ve hosted! He was brand new to couch surfing and was super excited to try it out. It reminded me a bit of how I got started on couch surfing!


oh thanks for the fast reply, didn’t know there was actually a practially identical topic created :wink: yeah, I made a similar experience on Couch Surfing where I hosted someone I initially rejected. good times!


This might be a different issue, but I will raise it here to see.

I got a last minute/day of couch request. I did not check my email, so did not get the message until AFTER the request is stale - the day after the requested stay. I can neither Accept or Reject because the request is closed or in the past.

I’d like to say I am sorry, but I cannot, and I cannot clear this pending request.

This will be aggravating because I will appear to be unresponsive when I did not get a chance to respond.

Is there any way to qualify the timeliness AND responsiveness?

Let me know if it would help to start a new discussion.



Hi Wylbur! This is a similar problem caused by a related issue. This type of situation will be taken into consideration when we redo the messaging and requests functionality so that you will be able to message the person even if the request has expired. Thank you for bearing with us while our dev team works on improving these features!

The matter of responsiveness is a topic up for discussion: We do plan on displaying a “response rate” metric (in percent) on profiles to show how responsive someone is to requests. But what should be considered a timely response?

Several possibilities come to mind:

  1. Any time before the start of the request (in my opinion this is too strict!)
  2. Anytime before or during the request window
  3. Anytime before, during, or 24 hours after the request window ends
  4. Anytime before, during, or 1 week after the request window ends
  5. Any response at any time regardless of how long after the request was sent

How about:

3.5. Anytime before, during, or 48 hours after the request window ends

Two days seems reasonable to me.


I consider a timely response to be within 24h.

Some negatives here: People might log into their profiles only if they get a request (especially since 2020) so if there is a bug and they do not get a notification- too bad for them! It will negatively affect their response rate. Also life happens and there might be countless situations why someone can’t response ASAP.

A lot of surfers who do not hear from their chosen host within 48 hours usually start searching a different host anyway so I think the host’s response rate should go down after 48h (gjw’s suggestion- the option #3,5 :slight_smile: ) but it would be nice if the response rate could go back up as long as you are able to reply- even if it’s an apology a month later that you weren’t able to reply sooner.


Is there any appetite for having three metrics here?

Click to expand:

Response rate

Includes all responses regardless of timing

Timely response rate

Based solely on timely responses - sent within 96 hrs. This ensures that last minute requests don’t penalize the potential host. For requests made well in advance, this ensures the host does not postpone the response until the last minute.

Acceptance rate

Based on positive timely responses

The overall ‘Response rate’ somewhat satisfies what @michaela was pointing to, while ‘Timely’ and ‘Acceptance’ rates give an idea of how likely the host is to say yes in a timely fashion, in general.

Do you think it’d be possible to contract all 3 into 1 @zrazzaque? I’m not sure even I need that level of granularity.

Please no acceptance rate… While I do accept almost 100% of personal requests that I get, 95% of the total volume are copy and paste requests from people that I am not interested to meet, let alone host. I don’t want to be “punished” by having an incredible low acceptance rate if all it takes to get accepted is to be a decent human being and shoot a thoughtful request (which most people on hospex are not capable of).

Trustroots currently shows your response rate in % and how fast you are able to reply and I think this is all that surfers need to see to get an image about their host, how fast and IF they reply:

Screen Shot 2021-10-05 at 1.01.20 PM


So probably there is no appetite for that sort of detail, :slight_smile: and I agree if I put on my hosting cap. The surfer in me would still like to see those numbers, but I can still rely on the references to infer the hosting frequency for a given host.

Having said that, I still think that there should be an upper cap in time where a response will cease to be considered a valid response. Perhaps max(request window, 1 week)? At the same time, if the host has set their status to ‘Not hosting’, then the request does not count negatively towards the response rate or even the reply time.

I have noticed that since May 2021 this issue has not been updated and fixed yet. I have just received a request. Unfortunately I’m out of city and can’t host. I wanted to tell them that I can help them in different ways and/or incase of an emergency they contact me etc. Which I always do when I reject invitations but it is not possible on Couchers.
First of all, why those two buttons (accept and reject buttons) are located on top of the chat box and not under the box? Would be better if we put the buttons under the char box. So that who ever wants to write something could write and the ones who don’t want to write anything can easily skip, too.
I believe this relocation will help/

Second thing is why do we have to stop all the chat once we reject? I guess the motivation behind is to avoid unwanted conversation, disturbance etc… But there are many times I had to reject the request but continued talking to those people and even met them in person etc. I can not host doesn’t mean that I can not chat? Yes I know I can still continue talking to those people via direct messaging but why would I go to their profile and message. If you insist on your motivation which is a valid point actually then let’s improve it. When I click Reject it can ask me in another pop up window either I want to end the chat or leave it open. I think in this way the platform will be more useful.