Policies

Confirmation and Cancellation

Currently in draft form

Introduction

Organising a stay is one of the most important steps in the WWOOFing exchange. Usually there is a conversation about the details of the stay such as previous experience, types of projects, length of stay, start date etc.

When WWOOFers had confirmed arrangements and then cancel at short notice this is a problem for hosts.  Hosts would have bought extra supplies in, organised projects and turned other WWOOFers away.

WWOOFers should make sure that if they are sending more than one message to hosts that they are personal (rather than bulk) and that they honour any arrangements they make!  WWOOFers cannot cancel one agreement because they suddenly get a better offer somewhere else. 

We realise that while travelling and it can be difficult to plan ahead, and of course the majority of WWOOFers are reliable and understand that cancelling at short notice or simply not turning up, is very inconsiderate and really letting the host down – not to mention leaving the host concerned about the WWOOFer’s safety and well being.

For the few who don’t understand this, we are encouraging hosts to place feedback on the WWOOFer’s profile if there was a confirmed agreement in place which was cancelled without good reason or at short notice, or for simply not turning up.

There are a limited number of instances out of a WWOOFer’s control where an agreement needs to be cancelled and this information needs to be sent to the host as soon as possible.

Confirmation and Cancellation Policy

1. Once an confirmed agreement* has been made to arrive on a certain date and time, WWOOFers must make sure they honour this agreement.

2. If a WWOOFers circumstances later change and they need to change the agreed date and time they can contact the host requesting a change. The host may not be in a position where they are able to change the agreed date and time. Agreeing to any changes is at the host’s discretion.

3. If an event occurs that prevents a WWOOFer from arriving on the agreed date and time then they will need to contact the host as soon as possible. Examples of events that might prevent WWOOFers from arriving could include; the means of travel were cancelled, natural disasters, illness, a death in the family. Evidence of the event may be required in the case of dispute.

4. If an agreement to arrive is broken and no acceptable evidence is provided as described in 3. then the host will be able to provide feedback on the WWOOFer’s profile. In this situation the WWOOFer will not be able to provide feedback on the host’s profile.

5. While this policy applies to WWOOFers not arriving as agreed, this policy also applies vise versa where a host cancels an agreed arrival date made with a WWOOFer.

* What is a confirmed agreement?

It’s normal to have a discussion of possible arrival dates. At some point there should be a request from either side to confirm a specific date. There should be a reply to this request which clearly confirms the arrival date and at this point there is a confirmed agreement. Following are some examples. 

Examples of confirmed agreement:

W: “Can I come to your farm on 12th April?”
H: “Yes you can. Can you confirm that you’ll be arriving on that date, so we can make the necessary arrangements?”
W: “Yes, I will arrive on the 12th April, see you then.”

W: “I’m in your area next week, are you able to host me?”
H: “Yes, you can come on Tuesday.  Can you please let me know that this will work for you.”
W: Yes, that’s great, looking forward to meeting you on Tuesday.”

Please note that the following is NOT a confirmed agreement:

W: “Can I come to your farm on 12th February 2016?”
H: “Yes you can.”

W: “I’m in your area next week, are you able to host me?”
H: “Yes, you can come on Tuesday.”

Privacy

Currently under review

Website

WWOOF NZ does not share information, including emails, with third parties.

WWOOF NZ will not use photos and information on the website for publicity, unless permission has been granted by the WWOOF member.

WWOOF NZ’s policy is not to access members messages except in the explicit circumstances listed below:

  • In the case of a missing person WWOOF NZ may check messages to see last known contact, people contacted and future arrangements.
  • In the case of disputes between members, we generally will not read messages. On very rare occasions we may check messages upon request, if we believe that doing so can prevent a crime or otherwise protect the safety of the WWOOF community.

Feedback

Currently under review

Feedback is important, it lets other members know what to expect

What is Feedback?

  • Feedback is when members write on each other’s profiles describing their experiences with each other. 
  • Feedback allows for the sharing of information with other members about their experience, enabling members to make more informed decisions.
  • Feedback should be accurate and relevant to the experience with the member.
  • Personal attacks are not allowed on WWOOF, nor are disrespectful or insulting attacks. Retaliation is not OK. 

We rarely remove feedback. It is not appropriate for us to intervene in members descriptions of their experience. We will however remove feedback if it is from someone who you have not had a WWOOF exchange with, unless provided for under the Confirmation and Cancellation Policy.

We will hide feedback if it does not follow our Code of Conduct. It will remain hidden until the member who left it has edited it to meet the Code of Conduct.

If you disagree with feedback on your profile that does not break our Code of Conduct, please remember that anyone reading it will also be able to read your response. In your response for that person, clearly and calmly explain your side of the story. People who visit your profile will be able to read both  and decide for themselves what they think.

In some cases, WWOOF may moderate, temporarily hide, or remove feedback content if it violates our Feedback Code of Conduct. If you do receive feedback or a feedback response that violates our Feedback Code of Conduct,  you can email the office. If the content you are reporting violates the Feedback Code of Conduct, it will be removed from your profile.

WWOOF does not delete a profile with negative feedback

We believe that each member of our community has the responsibility to make decisions about who they want to host or stay with. All feedback, even negative ones, share information with the community. A situation or way of behaving that one person finds incompatible may not bother others, which is why we believe our role is not to make judgments in the case of disputes but rather to encourage both parties to share information openly with the community. (Or one members worst WWOOF experience might anthers best!)

If you would like to make a formal complaint against another member due to a violation of our Terms of Use or Complaints Policy please contact us directly.

Can you remove feedback from my profile?

WWOOF does not usually interfere with feedback and will only consider doing so if it does not meet the Code of Conduct

Guidelines we consider when reviewing feedback disagreements:

  • The feedback is abusive or uses inappropriate language
  • The feedback is a personal attack or contains threats
  • The feedback was left when an exchange did not happen
  • The feedback reflects the experience of someone other than the author
  • The feedback discloses inappropriate or private information
  • The feedback is false

How to write feedback:  Check Jo’s post on forum

References should be factual, descriptive, and informative. The following is useful to consider:

  • Is the information on this member’s profile accurate?
  • If WWOOFed with them, did you find their home environment safe and welcoming?
  • If you hosted them, did you find them helpful and pleasant?
  • Describe your overall experience. What specifically made you feel that the experience was positive, neutral, or negative?
  • Would you host or WWOOF with this person again? Would you recommend this person to a friend or neighbour?
  • What personal qualities stand out about this person? Did you find them to be Positive? Respectful? Knowledgable?
  • What particular activities did you enjoy sharing with this person?

Complaints

Currently under review

WWOOF is committed to providing a safe, educational and enjoyable service. If something goes wrong, please contact us. All complaints are kept strictly confidential and a mediation process will start immediately.

Zero Tolerance

WWOOF has a zero tolerance policy on serious offences, including sexual harassment, verbal and physical abuse, assault, theft, criminal activity and threats to health and safety. In serious cases the police will be involved so they can take appropriate actions. WWOOF reserves the right to suspend membership pending a review. WWOOF reserves the right to remove offenders from the database and cancel their WWOOF membership.

Obligations

There are certain obligations for hosts and volunteers. If you fee these have not been meet you can contact us directly. If you make a complaint we will take it seriously.

Hosts are expected to:

  • Provide a welcoming and safe environment for their WWOOFers.
  • Provide experiences and knowledge in organic production techniques.
  • Provide dry, clean accommodation.
  • Provide adequate, nourishing food.
  • Understand that the function of WWOOF is limited to facilitating the contact between the Host and the WWOOFer.

WWOOFers are expected to:

  • Adapt to their hosts work and family life.
  • Behave respectfully on their hosts property.
  • Ask permission before using or taking anything that belongs to their host.
  • Have adequate health, travel and liability insurance.
  • Understand that the function of WWOOF is limited to facilitating the contact between the WWOOFer and the host.

The Complaints Process

1. Once your complaint is received you will be sent a confirmation of receipt email.

2. The member whom you are complaining about will be contacted. They will be told the nature of the complaint and they will be invited to tell their side of the story. Your identity is kept confidential at all times.

3. Other members may also be contacted to see if they are able to provide relevant information.

4. If it is reasonably clear that there is unacceptable behaviour then the membership will be cancelled. If the situation is not clear or there are simply two different sides to the story then the member will be placed on probation and a record of the situation will be kept.

5. If further independent complaints are received about the same member then membership cancellation will be a likely result.

Being a member of WWOOF means that you are going to live in someone else’s house or welcome someone else into your family. Be aware of personal and cultural differences! It is a great opportunity to learn how others live.