Recently Couch Surfing found a way to kick us out by forcing us a free verification. Why was it so bad? Because we do not like or want verification. We believe that verification is a scam compared to the good old vouches. We asked their support to remove the verification a few weeks ago but they refused by not doing anything.
Why NOT verified?
- Buying yourself Verification won't help to "More easily find hosts to stay with". It might even make it harder.
- Buying yourself Verification won't make CS safer.
- If you need to buy yourself Verification to find/give a couch, something is wrong.
- 94.3% of members are not buying Verification, but most are 100% OK.
- References and vouches say much more about a person than a Verification ever will.
- Verification only checks that the person can receive mail, not the actual location.
- You have no way of knowing how long ago someone was Verified and if they have moved somewhere else since.
- The Verification is there to make you feel bad for using CS the way it was intended: for free.
- In 2008 CS had US$ 800.000 income from Verifications and real donations.
- You can ask CS to have your Verification removed if you did not verify in order to gain "automatic benefits" or "better profile options".
- Many members, including verified members and ambassadors, are uneasy with Verification.
- Certain hosts and surfers give preference to unverified surfers/hosts or don't host/surf at all Verified any more.
- CS refuses to publish the data which allegedly backs up the claim that Verification makes finding/giving a couch easier.
- Verification is promoted so aggressively because references don't sell for money.
If you want to help the company, persuade them to abandon verification and to start accepting donations again. And if you are already verified, you can ask them to have your verification removed and add the list above, or link it, to your profile and state that you will not host or surf with verified members.
We keep hosting and surfing with our friends, Trustroots and BeWelcome members, but no more Couch Surfing members until the verification is removed from our profile.