Shared beds!

@csmbs’s scenario still sounds more like a “Private Room” scenario (perhaps with “mattress” as the sleeping surface), because, if only one guest stays, they will have the room to themselves. “Shared surface” has traditionally meant “shared with host” as people have mentioned above. The playroom scenario is a different case in my view. The host could further clarify what that means with pictures and text/messaging.

I guess that opens up a different technical issue to address: if someone can accommodate more than one guest, they likely have different types of sleeping privacy and surface situations at the same time. What is a good way to communicate that in the profile?

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This 100%!!!

As for making it clear what kind of sleeping surface you’re offering, there is a whole section of your profile under “home” where you can describe your home and the area where the person would sleep. We will also enable the ability to add photos of your home/sleeping surface in the near future which should help make things even more clear.

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I still think it would be valuable to add a checkbox option that describes the type of sleeping surface provided, especially if a guest is expected to bring a sleeping bag (what if a guest neglects to see this information?). Plus, some people may have health conditions or other mobility issues and would like to quickly see if their host can offer an actual bed or futon (I know for sure that my back and neck would really suffer if I had to sleep on a couch).

Although it would be nice to have all the details, part of surfing couches is uncertain and uncomfortable at times. If we add too many checkboxes that aren’t contributing to safety or making it easier to find a host, I think we lose sight of the spirit of couch surfing a little.

Edit to add that I agree with @Jesse - there’s explanation under “my home” for a reason and people should be encouraged to read it!

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I don´t want to sound harsh but, if my profile says you need to bring a sleeping bag and you fail to read it, then it´s your bad. Same if you have any health condition: it´s the surfer´s responsability to make sure the place is appropiate for them. If the host provides clear info on their profile, it´s not their fault or responsability. Surfers need to be responsible for themselves.

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quality of bed is extremely personal. I have sleeps excellently on the most ugly couch and had problem in a very nice and attactive bed.
In my house the best bed is something that every guest refuse when offered, prewferring a more usual bed, and i am happy since i can use it for me (unfortunately only in summer since it is in a room without proper heating)

Okay, that’s a fair point :slight_smile: Now, what if the host does not think to mention that a sleeping bag is expected (or show a picture of the surface)? The mandatory field would just say “Shared Room” vs “Private Room” - the host may assume that it’s “obvious” that the guest will be sleeping on the floor, but the guest may assume (e.g. through their past couch-surfing experiences) that there’s always a soft surface and bedding. I don’t think that should be the surfer’s fault (remember: not everyone has had 10 years of couchsurfing experience like most of y’all :P) Adding that info to the Home checkboxes ensures that it’s not omitted.

To be more clear: at this point I’m advocating for a choice that says
Sleeping surface provided? Yes / BYO

or some paraphrased version of that. If not, there should at least be some heading/guide in the write-in portion of the profile (“My Home”), called “sleeping arrangement” - to ensure that the host doesn’t forget to mention it.

Edit: Oh my gosh. There is already a section called “sleeping arrangement” - I’m dumb. Okay you can ignore me.

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Totally fair point.

It’s true that there is a section about sleeping arrangements, but it’s also true that not everyone fills it in. Maybe we could make mandatory to fill it in, so surfers have at least a remote idea about it besides tge checkboxes? No other platform makes this a requirement before hosting. Maybe we can make it our thing? “The place where you know before hand the sleeping arrangements”. And I like that it’s not a filter, a description feels mpre appropriate for something like this.

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But is it really necessary? I’d guess if the host doesn’t mention it in their profile, they would bring it up in the chat. And if not, people will still figure smth out at the spot and learn from it :slight_smile: I don’t think such situations happen often anyway, and there’s nothing too bad about it. Imho, unnecessary restrictions are worse.

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I didn’t surf much but it happened to me that I ended up in a place where I slept on a bare couch and had to use my jacket instead of blanket. While it would have been nice if the host provided the information it was also my fault because I didn’t ask. “Hey I didn’t find any info on your profile, do you have some pillow or a blanket?”. It was a good lesson for me and learnt from it. As Aleja mentioned, it’s surfer’s responsibility to make sure the place is suitable for them. If the host doesn’t provide that information- guest should ask and do not automatically assume that they will get beddings, towels or a shampoo.

Also, I have hosted over 100 guests and 95% of them were traveling without sleeping bags and majority of them without towels (which wasn’t problem for me, I was offering them) but I can imagine it would have caused a lot of misunderstanding (and possibly some negative references for me as well) if I didn’t have any beddings/towels and didn’t provide such an important information neither on my profile nor in our conversation.

We should definitely encourage active hosts to provide this kind of information either in “About my home”, “Sleeping arrangements” or “Additional information”. I like the idea you proposed: it would be nice to have some “hints” when filling out the home section: “Where will your guests sleep?”, “Describe your couch”, “Do your guests need to bring their sleeping bags/towels?” There might be people who never hosted before. This can be useful for new Couchers.

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Hey, it’s not a hotel! I’m having a hard time imagining someone leaving a bad reference because you haven’t given them a towel, but if they would, they’d be total jerks.

Yeah, I agree.

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It’s not a hotel but I have read so many ridiculous negative references like: “The host didn’t give me keys”, “The host was working and didn’t show me around” or “The couch wasn’t very comfortable”. Of course those were from surfers who were using CouchSurfing for a very first (and most likely last) time and kinda expected that CouchSurfing was a free hotel. I don’t think this will be an issue here, just saying that people have different standards and expectations and it’s good to be crystal clear about what you do and do not offer to your guests.

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I think it’s reasonable to make this a mandatory field if the person has their hosting status set to “can host” or “maybe can host”. After all, people can provide as little or as much detail as they want. In my opinion it’s better to be up-front with people so they know what to expect. At the same time, people need not be super detailed since this isn’t airbnb. After all, couch surfing is about the people, not the accommodations! :slight_smile:

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I have not seen this myself but I do understand the point of that being silly. Personally I cover all of these things in the house rules, which is a field already available on the home sub-page.

I keep it simple with the following themes for the house rules:

  • Communication
  • Shoes
  • Smoking
  • Sleeping area
  • Showers, laundry, linens
  • Outside guests
  • Key & Time access

Perhaps I could have more but I didn’t want to appear too picky. I just believe in transparency.

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Telling these rules often for the host could be enbarassing since it would show too openly its uses and could scare people.
There are many rules that are common. It would be extremely useful to collect a list of “common rules” each one with a two letter code so in the profile the host can just put “apply standard rules ab ac bf bg bh” is a bit more indirect and could help being more informative. also one could do a search on there rules, to avoit people that have certin rules, or prefer who has some (avoiding who does not supply lines or looking for a no smoker)

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In my opinion, having to “decode” a crucial piece of info via another site is a no-go. I can see absolutely no benefit in this - for either party, because the host also has to look up those codes when writing his profile. Also, room for error - you mean rule “ab”, but accidentally put “ac” in… No.

I also honestly can’t see how stating house rules could be embarrassing. Or scare people away who wouldn’t also be scared away by having to do a puzzle first and then getting the rules anyway…

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Post-pandemic, people aren’t feeling that “Shared bed” situation, anymore. We can do without that feature.

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I think people that want to share bed, should save money and buy a couch for visitors… easy. If the user doesnt have another couch… just participate in events and surf, but they wouldn’t be able to host.

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If you don´t fill in “private / shared space”, the default is “ask me”, am I right? To me it suggests “ask me if we can share sleeping surface”, which looks strange to me. Whatever the final decision by Couchers, it would be better if that space was left blank without the automatic “ask me”. If “ask me” is an alternative, just erase it.

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There are plans to update this section of the profile so “ask me” never appears. “ask me” doesn’t tell anyone anything, so there is no point displaying it (you can always ask someone about anything!) The options will also be clarified, specifically what these options mean: “private”, “shared room” and “shared space”.

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