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Problem with bulk and spam messages or lazy wwoofers.


Expired user

Too many wwoofers send out requests to come.
When I then replay I do not get any answer. It is very bad when I say that people are welcome and then do not replay to my mail.

It must be better and better organize, because it takes a lot of time.

And if the situation is the same for many hosts it will be problem.

We need ideas how to make this better.


Expired user

Well Felicia,
This is true also for wwofer offering ti come and getting no answer :(
So could we all agree on the rule that each message will have an answer?
Greeting and... gret wwofing time to all

Expired user

It is not enough. the problem is that people do not follow the rules.
I know very well the problem that host does not answer.
And it must be up to the coordinator to find out a way.
There are many solutions he/she/they can do if they want to do do anything of this growing problem.

They can make a certification for hosts that agree to answer mail within 24 or 48 hours.
They can take away hosts from the system if they do not follow the rules.

For wwoofers they can easily make a public possibility for host to check if the wwoofer has sent same request to many farms. Helpexchange has that system and it helps a little bit.

But it is not enough.

Ground problem is that hosts and wwoofers paid money to an agent (like and then they think they can do and choose what they want. Because they have paid an entrance ticket.

Some host do not answer because they get so many requests and many of them are spam. And many wwoofers send out same request to many host because they do not get many answers.

The second is that it is also a quality problem.
It is a very bad idea to take in as much host as possible because there are so many wwoofers wanting to come out.

I have been a host for many years, but this year I got several complains from wwofers because their farm/host was no good of many reasons. I got it last year also, but now much more. I can not do anything about that. It is a question for coordinator. It seems also like there are coming more "strange" wwoofers. And if they are too strange it is getting problems. The main idea is that people will get knowledge of ecological farming. But it seems that more have other reasons to go out living like a wwoofer.

Coordinator have much responsibility and must do something.



Dear Felicia,

Thanks for posting your opinions on this forum.

When the hosts sign up to Wwoof they agree on answering all the messages. Some hosts don't have internet home, this means they can't answer in 48 hours. Should these hosts be punished because of this?
Most of the communication in Helpex is done inside their system (like our Private Message). In our case most of the wwoofers use email, so it is impossible for us to control how many hosts he/she contact.

The balance between the number of wwoofers and number of hosts is a delicate situation. If we have too many wwoofers, some will not have a farm to volunteer, if we have too many hosts, some will not have wwoofers. The coordinators know this issue and the only thing we can do is to try to gather more hosts (or more wwoofers) to arrive to a adequate rate.

The coordinators have almost no feedback from the hosts and the wwoofers and sometimes we don't know what is happening out there on the Wwoof universe. When you say "I got several complains from wwofers because their farm/host was no good of many reasons". Why don't you report us? The coordinators takes very seriously all the complains.

About the "strange wwoofers". Please report us the serious cases of "strange wwoofers" otherwise we can't do nothing about it!

About the last phrase of your post "Coordinator have much responsibility and must do something." ... Last may the Wwoof Sweden coordinator bring together 19 European Wwoof coordinators to Varmland (Sweden). I can tell you that Wwoof Sweden is one of the best organised and efficient Wwoof organisations in Europe.

Best wishes,


Expired user

1). There is not so much communication between coordinators and host/wwoofers as you said. But as a wwoofer and a host is not much we can do to spread out that communication and feedback is necessary to get a good system. I do my part I think.

Generally I do not believe that there are hosts who do not have daily Internet-access. And for the few who do not have daily Internet access it would be very simple for you (in the database-program) that in their profile should be marked that they do not have Internet.

And in my experience it is very clear that most (over 100%!) of the wwoofers are Internet-addicted. Many of peoples social contacts are now over Internet. And people are generally e-mail-addicted and also very many mobile-addicted.

It is another thing and issue that I as a host or any other host do not like to have connection with Internet every day. Because I/we work or want to be free.

The problem, this question is about, is that no host want to spend time to answer peoples request or plan for people who says they gonna arrive but never will show up. Or spend time with people who do not are specially interested in ecological values in a wide scale, but just do a time at a wwoof-host because it is a cheap way of living and they can go traveling and see something new. If so, they can go through many other sites.

The new handbook is a very good thing for both hosts and wwoofers to read. If host do agreement that they shall answer all mails and do not do it. How do we solve that?? Maybe it is an idea that you in the profile made obligatory cross marks that host fill in (like have Internet-acess and so - just few simple things).

Wwoofers first mails does not say much. Or it is very difficult to see who is behind. Because many of wwoofers who have been here have written mails that I would have prefer others instead to come. And then they show up as very good persons and we became friends for the whole life. And also opposite have happened. So I do not trust what people write. (Much over 100 persons been here during the last 20 years so I should have experience to find out, but no).

2) Most wwoofers want to come during the summer-season. Because they have holidays in some way. And it is also easiest to find some job to be done. During the winter-period it is not so many who ask and it is also difficult to find jobs which do not need special skills.

As a wwoof-host you can not plan your company survival that wwoofers will show up. Your company can not be wwoof-addicted. You can not be depended that wwoofers will come and help you with your work.

I understand that there are mental problems if hosts pay money to have their profile on wwoof-site and no wwoofers want to come. And if wwoofers pay money to get the rights to see the profiles of hosts and there is no space for them any time. They will feel and in one way they also are cheated. In our capitalistic society is a basic law which says that if you pay money for something you shall also have something for it. And put up a profile and look at profiles I do not think is enough. But to stop more wwoofers in a trying to get some balance I think is totally wrong way to go. (article in Dagens Nyheter). The "market" is like it is. As an example: Consumption of ecological products are higher than production. Not enough farmers want to produce. To get a balance is difficult. And one shall go in as little as possible.

3) You say you do not have much feed-back from hosts and wwoofers. I do not know why. I am giving you my feed back. I can not do more.
Yesterday I got a mail from wwoofers who want to leave their host. There should become more than ten more wwoofers. And if the information is correct I understand why they want to leave. In my ears it sounds like an industry. But I do not know. I know that over the world there are too many hosts who use wwoofers like cheap workers on their farms. I can not do anything about it. I think it is wrong.

You have the mail-address to all wwoofers magistrate to you. Maybe it could be a good idea to send out mail to them after some time and politely ask them how they have found this wwoof-period working out for them. In free words they can answer - not for statistics. And the same to the hosts. And ask them what they think can be better. I think some will answer and then you have some feed-back.

4) Strange wwoofers. Maybe the wwoofers and hosts do not get along of some reasons. They have different expectations maybe. This is not a court and one shall not judge like a court. In Helpexchange there is possibility to read of helpers with bad behave. But one will find that one host say this i a very good person and another says opposite. I give you here three examples (I could give more than 30 from different persons) of strange behavior. a) I think it is strange when people take shower. Some do not do that and after a couple of days work they start smelling of dirt if they do that kind of job. After two weeks they smell terrible. I can not write to you and say that this person do not like to take shower and clean itself. It is adult people. b) one guy become very, very angry because during one week we during one day we ate only vegetable dishes. I can not write to you and say that this person become very angry if the host does give him meat every day. c) Some years ago we had a crazy person. drug-user of heavy drugs since many years. Totally mixed up in brain and how to behave and what do to. Many things went wrong. Anyway. Person come back after a couple of years. Fixed the life. Becoming nearly normal. Going on correct life now and in the future. having a job and an apartment. Person is welcome here when wants. Good person. So I will not do any report of strange wwoofers. Because this world, with city-people- living abnormal life is more common than living in the countryside.

5) That Swedish wwoofer-coordinator is one of the best of all coordinators is because he is coming from this culture. He is a mirror of this country. And of course he must do his best. Coordinators and wwoofers from other cultures and countries are also mirrors.

And please do not see this feed-back as a complaining. In this country we speak straight out. Use this feed-back as an information and use the best of it.

Felicia is my mormorsmor (Swedish). mor=mother. mormor=)mothermother So Felica is my mothermothersmother. So for my daughters children Felicia will be morfars mormorsmor. (far=father).
And for my sons children Felica will be farfars mormorsmor.

In this culture it seems to be sometimes important to know is who. If one just want to have some knowledge about the relatives many of us know about five generations. We have cousins and sysslingar (tremänning) and bryllingar (fyrmänning). And sometimes families have some meeting and then there are and then hundred or three hundred of persons meet. But of course, many in Sweden, do not do like they. They are not interested and just have their close friends. And that is also ok of life.




Hi Anders,

Thanks for your big reply ...

1) I just come back from a short travel and visit four hosts. Three of then didn't had Internet because of technical problems.
I agree with you on the other topics.

2) 100% agree

3) I am coordinating Wwoof Portugal, so your feedback is forwarded to Wwoof Sweden.
Sometimes it is not easy to understand what is a personal problem between wwoofer and host and what is a serious problem. After a few serious complains about hosts the coordinator should check (if possible personally) what is going on that farm. This is not an easy and quick process. I guess all coordinators open a process each time they receive a serious complain.

4) 100% agree

5) 100% disagree. Each country and each culture have very good things and very bad things.

Best wishes,


Expired user

5. Not so important. Maybe some misunderstanding what I meant. Of course different cultures have bad and good things and things to learn from each other. At the moment I found it a bit odd that you from Portugal answer in the forum. It is anyway very good that somebody does.

6. New statistics from Sweden. 99% of population between 30 to 65 years have at least one computer in their home. 99% have also Internet access. More than 60% are updated with Internet every day. (I guess younger people have at least two computers and are updated both night and day. :D )




Hi Anders,

This Forum is shared between all the users of Wwoof Sweden, Wwoof Portugal and Wwoof Moldova.

The Internet reality in Portugal is very different. I believe all the hosts have computer but in the more isolated places the telephone line don't support data communication (Internet). In theses cases people uses an GPRS modem (through the mobile phone network) but usually that is only enough bandwidth near the towns.

Bad because don't have Internet, good because not so many radiations :lol:

Best wishes,


Expired user

I know the situation and it is good that it is so. In one way.

If I myself go wwoofing I will definitely go to a place who do not have Internet in an easy way. The most polite wwoofers ask after internet-connection after three days. "Is there any possibility to check my email?"

When I was young and traveling around in North-America and in Europe in the middle of the 60-ies it took about two weeks for a normal letter to arrive to home. Sometimes longer. To use a telephone was no thought about to use. People have now got dependet to a giant control-system like google, facebook and email-connection and survival of life. Maybe good, but I am not sure.


Expired user

Hi Anders,

on the one hand I can understand your assumption that nowadays everyone
has an internet access at any time, but in the other hand it is often good not to
lump everyone together.
Friends of mine often has no access to the internet although they do not live in
an totally rural area, and me myself do not use the internet often even though
I could do so 24h every day.
And - you may believe it or not - there are still people writing letters in times
of new media ;)

I am not alone and that is why it doesn't please me that you vent your frustration
on the young generation :)



When I first started hosting, I had Internet in the house. As soon as WWOOFers had finished their days work they would disappear into their rooms, and come out only when the food was ready on the table and then they'd go back into their rooms as soon as they could.

I don't have Internet in the house any more. Now WWOOFers socialise with each other, and have interesting discussions. Cooking as well as meal times has become a shared activity.

If I ever get Internet in the house again, I simply won't tell WWOOFers I have it.

Guy Miklos