June 18, 2024

Can I Trust Services Like Couchsurfing When Looking for Accommodation During My Trip?

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Generally speaking, yes you can. Apps that offer services like Couchsurfing have security systems to help protect their users. A lot of users expressed that the experiences they had were not only safe but also life-changing. Today, we want to explore the different reasons to prove that Couchsurfing is a safe application to use if you are a traveller.

Blocking Other Members

It is true that there is no way you can block members from seeing your profile. This policy is in place so people from around the world or those looking for help in your area can see what you have to offer.

Despite the absence of a blocking mechanism, you can always deactivate your account temporarily. This way, no one will see your profile. If you want to use Couchsurfing again, all you have to do is to re-activate your account.

If there is a nuisance member and you really do not want that person to see your profile, all you have to do is to contact the Couchsurfing admin. They will work out a solution for you. There is no guaranteed solution for this. They will block the member immediately after you make a report. They will first try to understand the situation. If you have proof that the member is harassing you, then they may block it for you.

Safety Warnings

Couchsurfing has several posts about safety. In these posts, you will learn how to stay safe. They cover topics like how you should review the profiles of users, how to check for references and how you should trust your instincts.

The website also provides information that you should study the culture of the place you are visiting. You need to be aware of the religious beliefs, practices, traditions and sensitivities of your hosts.

On top of that, they have links to resources that you can use such as the U.S. Department of State where you can find travel advisories. The same thing goes for the United Kingdom and Canada. If the information you are looking for is not there, then you have to surf the website of your own government foreign affairs department.

The world also provides help. There are many experiences you can read on Quora, Twitter and other social media sites. If you want to be safe, you can communicate with these users and ask them about their experiences.

Reporting Negative Experiences

The platform also allows you to report negative experiences. The same process happens in many websites, including entertainment businesses like GGbet bookies.

Couchsurfing has a department called Trust and Safety Team. This is the department that you have to contact if you had a bad experience with a member. If you do this, the team will take action, and you will help other users stay safe from this person or member. Reports like this are always confidential. The member you reported will never know that you filed a complaint.  

Earlier, we mentioned that there are users who share their stories online. If you find one who happens to have stayed with the same host you are investigating, then, by all means, have a chat with this person. The benefit of this is that you get a first-hand account of what happened.

If you go through the Couchsurfing admin, it is not likely that they will reveal specific details about a member who has bad feedback.

Verification Process

The system has a verification process. Those who go through this process are trustworthy. Otherwise, why else would they give their personal information if they are not legit, right?

To become a Verified Member, one must upgrade. There is a one-time payment of $60 to get verified. Another option is to pay $2 per month or $15 per year.

As you can see, these people who verify their identity are exposed. Couchsurfing knows who they are and that they are who they say they are. Their credit card information is stored in the system, and there is little reason they will do something shady, knowing that their identities are recorded in the system.

Always stay safe and do your due diligence before making commitments. If it is too good to be true, then it probably is.

Despite the safety processes in place, one cannot help but still experience some bad things. This is part of life. To have the best experience, take your time in searching for the right hosts. Read their profile and the feedback about them. If you cannot do all these, then you are better off staying at a hotel. 

author avatar
Bernard - Side-Line Staff Chief editor
Bernard Van Isacker is the Chief Editor of Side-Line Magazine. With a career spanning more than two decades, Van Isacker has established himself as a respected figure in the darkwave scene.

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