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How to handle freeloaders

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Unfortunately there seem to be some people who are trying to abuse the system. First of all: If you suspect someone is trying to freeload, feel free to say "No!" But, "the only way to solve problems is to first voice them." (Kate L.) Try to find out the reasons for a special way of behavior and decide case by case how to handle freeloaders on CouchSurfing.


What is a freeloader?

Freeloaders are people who only use CouchSurfing as a way to stay for free at someone's house. These kind of people do not care that much about the people hosting them. The most important thing to them is saving money, rather then to respect were the couchsurf community stands for.

Freeloaders spend their money only for their own pleasure, without sharing or at least as little as possible. Telling you they run out of cash, have been robbed, or other sad/ interesting stories, making you feel sorry for them or willing to support them.

As well there are Freeloaders traveling without money or just a little, for real. Those freeloaders know that there is always somebody (mostly starters or naif people) willing to host them. Some Freeloaders, but other guests as well, don't interact with their hosts, don't even try to, known as the Couch-Potatoes. As a matter of fact they might leave your house without a word of thanks.

Another excuse is that they hate money telling you that money is not important to them at all. They want you to believe they really hate it and there should be a way different system according them. Think again!! Taking them in they do not care about money as long as you pay for them. People living on you! You will recognize them soon enough!

Finally there are the experienced freeloaders, using all the techniques above, with their best smile and a helping hand. They are the best actors. It is hard to recognize them but one thing is for sure..... They try to safe money were ever they can, starting being your guest!

Most freeloaders do not have a confirmed account (Green Lock) Their Profile tells you just a little or a lot of made-up stuff. It is wise to Google you guest before taking him in by using the information mentioned on his profile.

Like by Name, Nickname in combination with EMAIL, Town hobby other profile's etc. If nothing shows up, and you are not sure about, you better refuse the person. and tell him first to update his profile. The profile pictures of course has to correspond with the person asking for a couch, once you meet him in real life time. Otherwise meet in public first.

Now remember this! If you go for a vacation you always know how to contact home/ family, how to contact your bank, how to use money-transfer-services, how to contact your embassy. You always have the responsibility to have an extra budget in case a host is not able to host you for what reason. If you have no possibilities to travel or do not know how to coop with changing, you should never lean on other people's goodness, and delay your plans until you can!


Then there are COUCHSCROOGERS ( See How to handle Couchscroogers

A couchscrooger is someone taking in guests, but not willing to be involved otherwise, not sharing their culture, not trying to give the guest a feel like home feeling. Complaining on everything, offering nothing! Creating very complicated rules and demanding too much. They are couchpotatoes on their own couch.

CouchSurfers report requests for couches that just annoy them. CouchSurfing is a homelessness site so be patient and try to find out more. You can't lose very much by being friendly to a person you don't know (yet?).

Warnings in the profile

Putting aggressive warnings against copy-paste messages seems to be a rather negative way of dealing with the issue of bulk requests.

It is understandable that people get extremely annoyed, specially in popular destination cities, by getting messages from members that just want free accommodation.

But this shouldn't be the solution. The profile is a precious space for communication with other members and for making nice contacts.

It seems best to deal with the messages one by one, without exteriorizing anger in the profile.

Moneyless doesn't mean freeloading

There are quite a few people who live completely without money, or with very little. They are not necessarily freeloaders. A lot of people "give back" in other ways such as bringing in food through dumpster diving, helping out with tasks or fixing your computer. It's good to be considerate of moneyless people. They shouldn't be confused with freeloaders, also, most moneyless people manage to survive because they are nice and do NOT behave like freeloaders. There's a whole website about living this way: Moneyless.org.


Also See: