References for Hosts and Wwoofers

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Sean Ó Briain
References for Hosts and Wwoofers

Hi all,
Is there any facility here for both hosts and wwoofers to leave a reference for the other? I cannot seem to find it. Would it not be a good idea if we did fave this facility? Both and couchsurfing has such a facility and it works well.

Rob website admin
Hello Sean,

Hello Sean,
There is no facility for hosts to leave references or feedback on WWOOFers, but WWOOFers can leave feedback on hosts, positive feedback gets published and negative feedback gets investigated by the WWOOF Ireland team and appropriate action taken.

Please have a look at these previous threads and which go into the pro's and cons.

Website Manager

Eileen Thomas
refernces for wwoofers

I think it is a matter of urgency that references are posted for wwoofers!

Over the years here I have had some truly wonderful wwoofers and sadly some truly dreadful wwoofers! We are not a social charity, we are not a mental health support group, nor are we language schools. For the magnificent wwoofers, even if they never wwoof again, I would love to sing their praises! For the downright lazy and rude and awful wwoofers, hosts must be made aware of them. This system, which is based on 'trust' seems to be no longer be trustworthy.

Perhaps even if the registration fee for wwoofers was raised it may help 'weed out' some of the bad ones. This is said in light of I have never met a poor wwoofer yet! Anyway, I digress...yep references for wwoofers should be part of the system.

Personally, I now ask for references from wwoofers either from previous hosts or from their university/empolyer...I need to be safe and I don't have time for wasters. A bad wwoofer takes away an oppurtunity from the genuine wonderful wwoofers that are still out there!

Former member
refrences for woofers

Eileen I think you have hit the nail on the head I have also had some brilliant woofers and sadly when one gets a bad one it so spoils everything. I think that asking for refrences from previous hosts is a good idea.

I have offered my wwoofers

I have offered my wwoofers references should they need them and would be happy if any host contacted me about them....with their permission.

I have a set of ground rules which seems to weed out timewasters anyway. And so far have gone on gut instinct and been lucky. I don't offer a place to someone with limited information in their profile, I want to know as much as I can about them before I invite them into my home. And it works both ways, I offer as much information about myself and our family as is appropriate. I have been vetted and approved (as has our house) by two other organisations as a host family to take under 18s and I have been Garda vetted for my day job, I let volunteers know this to give them some sense of security when they come to stay.

While we have good anti-discrimination legislation you are not obliged to offer a place on a first come first served basis. Find a good fit and if you are still a little unsure then do as Eileen does and ask for a reference just as you would with any other job.

Isabella and Andy
References for all good and bad wwoofers

I have given references to both good wwoofers and bad wwoofers. Yes it is true, I have done so, with just one difference. Good wwoofers get good reference and we give high praises to many of our wwoofers. Bad wwoofers get bad reference. I post it to them on their email and I tell them the truth, both while they are on our farm if I feel that they are not pulling their weight, slacking, lazying in bed until well past the breakfast time, playing with their mobile phone, etc. I do tell them twice while they are here and the third time I ask them to leave. Then I send them an email to just give them an idea of what kind of reference I would give them. So far, the vast majority of bad wwoofers got a wake up call on the warnings and by the second time things got sorted, and in a period of 14 years hosting we only had to ask 4 people to leave. The most recent one was last year were a rather lazy wwoofer stayed with us for a short while, we kept on asking him to go back and finish his job properly, all he kept on saying to me was that he was lazy. When he was ready to leave he asked for reference. I said that yes sure I would write up a reference for him. Later I emailed the wwoofer with the reference saying: I confirm that this person has been doing the wwoofing experience with us. He is lazy. For more information please contact us. On the email I sent him later I said to him that as he had been lazy and admitted that he was lazy that his reference would also include that he is lazy. I never heard back from him.
My way of approaching this is that they need to hear the truth, and if they don't listen, then let them read it, something sooner or later will sink in.

Jo Fowler

I've followed the thread that pops up from time to time regarding references, either for hosts or WWOOFers. It seems to me that we forget that the very first statement on the WWOOF homepage is that WWOOF is an exchange based on TRUST. There are no guarantees in life. Sometimes all goes well, other times things go belly up!
That's life!

Eileen Thomas

'All goes well' and 'belly up' are both effects which can be selected and life is what you make it. Indeed, it always amazes me when some wwoofers take no heed of the concept of TRUST, that they 'sign up' to. It is for this very reason that I now insist of some sort of reference for potential wwoofers. Things have gone 'belly up' once too often and I worry that things could get dangerous. And to be honest, I don't want to have awful, awful people in my home, and the only time this has happened is when I have awful, awful wwoofers. By awful, I mean aggressive, lazy, rude, greedy, self centered, nasty wwoofers. This has deeply affected me and I don't like it.


We are new to hosting wwoofers in our home, though have done it for years at different places (which is how we know our most recent events are rare). We have a Wwoofer at the moment that has had a very bad attitude after we were not willing to deal with a very inappropriate request and who is now threatening with writting a bad review if we tell him to leave early or let him push us around.
We are new to hosting and don't feel comfortable with a Wwoofer threatening that and feeling powerless to get rid of him, and of course it also makes us uncomfortable inviting others into our home.
We are basically counting the days till he is gone, 3 to go.
Its not nice to be put in to that position be someone. And he is even expecting us to write him a good review or else.
Sometimes we think why did we sign up for joining Wwoof.

References .

Hi folks I think it is important for you to realise that you have no obligation whatsoever to keep a woofer that you are not happy with . The whole system is based on a voluntary agreement between the parties . You are quite entitled to ask the woofer to leave in the same way woofers are entitled to leave any place they don't like. Bad reviews are dealt with as complaints and you will be treated fairly if such arises .