Couch surfing

Wow I didn’t see that coming, did you?

If you aren’t aware what couch surfing is: Here’s copy of description from Wikipedia:

Couch surfing is a hospitality service and social networking website. The website provides a platform for members to “surf” on couches by staying as a guest at a host’s home, host travelers, meet other members, or join an event.

I whole heartily believe Couch surfing has benefits for everyone involved.

When you are a Traveler: With Couch surfing, you can stay with locals in every country on earth. Travel like a local, stay in someone’s home and experience the world in a way money can’t buy.

When you are a Host or become one: With couch surfing, you can rediscover your own city, easily meet and make friends from all around the world. Cherry on top when same surfers host you in their country.

For All: There is couch surfing communities in most cities. Usually they will have some events or weekly language exchanges, dance classes, hikes and dinners on calendar. Everybody is welcome to join and have a great time together. Make new friends and make this world little smaller and more happier.

Sounds great yes?

Well I thought the same too and I have been a member for over a year now. I have many good and just a tiny bit of bad experiences but overall it works. Travel spirit among the hosts and travelers is amazing. It is a great community to learn from locals, travelers and share travel experiences at the same time.

However, its been awhile I hadn’t logged in and could vaguely remember reading about couch surfing charging fees. So, today I signed in to find out what all the fuss was about and first thing that came up was to Verify my account. While couch surfing, security and safety are my No 1 priorities. So okay I get it. I understand the importance of verification to check whether surfers and hosts have a verified payment method, home address or mobile no.

But how is that going to help weed out fake profiles or people who verify by providing false information? That should be a major concern! Is background check coming up next? how can you justify $28 AUD for subscription when all these years members have been using it all based on faith, friendship, trust and kindness? What benefits it adds to my travel when I couch surf or host? Oh and now every traveler has to pay confirmation fee every single time they want to surf unless they verify their account. Is this the real spirit of couch surfing mentality?

If you are reading this, I would like to know your thoughts.
Please comment below.

Anna Xx

Couch surfing charging fees now!

16 thoughts on “Couch surfing charging fees now!

  • December 19, 2016 at 3:21 am
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    Hey Anna! I currently have the CS app and I have been a member for over a year. This Verification fee is not mandatory. When I first became a member I thought it was and ended up paying the fee, but after my year it asked me if I wanted to verify again and I opted out. My friend signed up for free. So long story short, it’s optional. Idk why they have it honestly.

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    • December 22, 2016 at 12:45 pm
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      Hi Roxy, thanks for sharing your experience. I am also a member for over a year and i didn’t pay sign up fee. But when i found out about recent change it shocked me! Yes verification fee is optional but when i read it, confirmation fee was mandatory. Couch surfing website says they implemented it to reduce the cancellations done by surfers.

      Reply
  • February 27, 2017 at 2:14 am
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    Thanks for the update. I didn’t know about the fees until now. I know that they have been charging for verification fee. Well, now I need to figure out whether using couch surfing or simply Airbnb. 🙂

    Reply
  • June 3, 2017 at 10:10 am
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    Hi. Verification is not mandatory but you cannot send more than 10requests per week if you won’t apply for subscription which you can cancel any time. However when I canceled it they told me that it’s canceled however I have to pay for a next year. I’m still fighting with them!

    Reply
  • August 3, 2017 at 8:15 pm
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    I’d be interested to learn more about the verification fees.
    I live in France and the verification in August 2017 would cost me 45 €. Annually? Forever? Until the next fee rise?
    $28 AUD = 19 EUR.
    Why such a difference?

    Reply
    • September 2, 2017 at 4:09 pm
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      wow! That sounds terrible! would love to know what you ended up doing fab

      Reply
  • August 30, 2017 at 11:45 pm
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    In the UK, we are being charged £48. Where’s the justice in that !
    As of Aug 2017, 48 GBP = 52 EUR

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    • September 2, 2017 at 4:07 pm
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      Wah! that’s harsh! did you end up paying for it?

      Reply
      • September 3, 2017 at 10:58 pm
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        Nope, I think it is quite high! I’d rather pay AirBNB for a decent place to stay.

        Reply
  • September 3, 2017 at 11:24 pm
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    Exactly my thoughts. Btw, i found an alternative to it, perhaps you already know as well!

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    • September 4, 2017 at 5:22 am
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      I’m not sure what alternative you’re thinking of ?

      Reply
      • October 30, 2017 at 1:07 pm
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        Hi Stef, I have just posted an alternative called Airbnb! Not exactly the same but there are options. Read the full post on the blog! Cheers

        Reply
  • October 5, 2017 at 8:25 pm
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    People have mentioned that it costs US$25 to get verified, but when I tried, it shows Rs.3500 (India) which is about US$50. Can anyone explain?
    Also, is this fee annual or one time?

    Reply
  • October 30, 2017 at 11:36 am
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    It is a annual fee if you choose to remain verified, though as some others have said, you get three months for free for each time you host. I verified just initially but host frequently enough to keep going at no cost.
    Verification certainly helps as a host. I get more requests I believe because of it, but I do not expect my guests to be verified. I gladly accept requests from both verified and non-verified members.
    I would recommend as a traveler, paying the fee once which will be a benefit and it helps support the site and the app which aren’t free to host I expect. It will help you get established, accepted by some hosts and eventually you’ll have enough reviews or recommendations that verification isn’t really critical. I think its a useful and small price to pay as a host. I spend much more on meals and taking my surfers sailing. I am a single male and have hosted many women traveling with and without children. I think verification gives many travelers a little peace of mind.
    Lastly, you certainly can not verify and use AirBNB as some of you have said. That only saves you money though if you’re only in need of one room, for one night in a year. Verification is a single payment, and you can surf over and over again.
    My biggest concern is I’m hearing that the fee was just increased quite a bit. I can’t see the fee because it just says I’m already verified.

    Reply

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