Just stumbled across this thread and seen the negative comments made about workaway. We only have good things to say about workaway.
We are workaway hosts in France and have been so for nearly 2 years. We love the concept - and the reality of workaway. We have hosted about 45 people and virtually all have been great. We sometimes receive several emails a day and obviously can't accept everybody wishing to come and stay. There are times that I might take a day or more to respond but I do always respond. Sometimes we turn people down simply because we have no space, others I turn down because we feel from their profile that they will not be a good fit with our family and/or the work that needs to be done.
Our experience with workaway has been and continues to be fantastic. So much so that 2 friends have now started hosting as well.
I found this thread while looking up whether or not WorkAway hosts can choose to hide feedback. I felt compelled to sign up to offer my 2 cents.
I've been on 3 WorkAway trips and 2 out of the 3 ended somewhat in disaster. One time, a host threw all the volunteers out when she was done with us... 5 days before xmas... in the Arctic Circle... and suggesting that we hitchhike home. Another host put me in hospital after he got drunk, had a PTSD episode, and attacked me with an axe.
But that's just people. WorkAway has always been great to me, and I think that it is superior to HelpX in the variety of placements available. The price is negligible for what it offers, and they've always been quick to respond with any queries.
The only bone of contention I really have is that I'd like to be able to critique hosts without their knowing. I worked hard in the Arctic, but if I negatively reviewed the emotionally unstable host, I have no doubt she would smear my profile in revenge. So I do wonder how many other volunteers are afraid to stick their neck out. Of course, it's a vicious circle - hosts could feel similarly. But still...
[ Edit: Edited on 01-Apr-2013, at 08:39 by Teeej ]
I have just joined this forum specifically so I could leave a comment about this topic coz I was so shocked by what I have read.
I googled "workaway reviews" because I was unsure of whether or not to pay the fee (can't be too sure these days). And this topic forum was one of the first hits that came up. I genuinely just wanted to find out whether or not the website was worth paying a fee to or not. After reading this whole post from an outsiders point of view I must say I don't think I will be signing up now.
On one hand I know that when people are annoyed they tend to leave bad feedback far more than people who have enjoyed their experience (why do we rarely leave good feedback??)
However, I can totally see why the original poster is so suspicious of the "positive replies" on here. For example Chris and Jill have ended their posts in the exact same way which is a very weird coincidence?! And how a few have started it with the same "I just stumbled across this site." Plus those that do leave positive comments sound very scripted and factual (or completely OTT).
Well I didn't "just stumble" across it, I searched for reviews and what I have found is some very angry users and some very unprofessional and quite angry (David) employees / owner. David's last post about bullying, I mean come on. Cheap shot there. I could see how you would want to defend yourself and your business of course but that last post of yours you just seemed to lose the plot a bit and show your true colours and I certainly wouldn't feel confident if I had to contact you regarding a problem with "workaway".
Anyway as the person Chris / Jill would say "That's just my 2 cents".
I'm off to "stumble across" another volunteering site that's not so shrouded in conspiracy! Lol! (Jeez, all I wanna do is plant some vegetables and enjoy the sun!)
I haven't read the whole thread... but I've used Workaway for a couple work-exchange placements in Greece and Turkey and actually had to turn down a place in Spain because I had a last minute change of plans. They both worked great. You need to read the host profile very carefully, make sure you fit what they need and write a personalized email to the host, stating why you would fit in with their situation. Think of it as applying for a job. I have also used HelpX for the same thing, finding a placement in Romania and one in Albania. I paid for both sites and got my moneys worth in each case. I also noticed that there are some overlaps of hosts on the two sites and on WOOFing sites. Most exposure gets more qualified workers.
Yes, I sent emails that never were replied to - I've also applied for jobs back home that never gave me the time of day. Get over it. Maybe you don't have the qualifications they need, maybe you might work, but someone more qualified applied to work at the same time. Maybe they don't have any open positions. Maybe they've just stopped keeping up with their posting. The nice thing about Workaway is the calendar feature so you can see if they need workers when you want to be there.
I've also had hosts ask me to come to them because I've kept up with my profile and have good reviews from the work i have done.
I love both sites and the experiences I've had because of them.
Ok I am independent and run a travel website of my own. I'm proud to have Workaway as a link on my site. Also Helpx isn't free, its the same price as Workaway. Both in my opinion are good.
Are Workaway thinking of setting up an affiliate scheme(as you guys are reading this)?
Firstly, Workaway is a good company and I'm not sure where you were looking but I've had lots of great experiences off there. Of course if you go for a host in Thailand you're not going to find many that are available. Have you seen the figures of how many young people go to these countries? Why don't you try a more original place and I promise you get a reply.
[ Edit: Edited on 13-Apr-2013, at 04:34 by thetraveller01 ]
I have a question about workaway and similar pages; what does the money collected through fees go to?
This intrests me since I am a fairly poor student, trying to save money wherever possible, and though workaway seems like a great page, I am as always reluctant about paying.
I tried finding this info, but found it nowhere on the page. I thin that if you request a fee you should always state why, what it is for.
Surely it must be possible to offer the same service for free. The only reason a friend came up with is that it is for safety, they don't want just anyone randomly getting the contact info of the hosts, but that makes little to no sense, since you could fulfill that by making people simply create an account with their details and e-mail, surely there needs to be no fee.
Lastly, I doubt I am the only one in this position, it seems most workawayers are young people looking for cheap travel which to me makes the whole fee thing more out of place.
Thanks for any answers
Thinking practically, I'm sure most of the money goes to covering the cost of running the site (web design, bandwidth stuff, and everything else that goes to running a website) as well as pays the fees/salaries of people who work on it. There are no external advertisements on the site, nor are there any additional services. Same with HelpX.
And thinking of Workaway and like sites as merely a way for cheap travel is not the way to look at it. You are looking for an experience, which has the bonus of making the trip cheaper. Depending on where you go, you will be doing real work. I once worked at a horse farm in Greece and spent a day hauling bales of hay weighing 25 kilos in 35C heat. Just like Couchsurfing is not just a free place to stay, but is a cultural exchange with the bonus of a free couch/bed, a Workaway is work-exchange (and usually a cultural exchange as well).
The fee is also a one-time fee for a year or 2, not fee per host. It pays for itself after one night staying with a host.
Well I want tell my experience,I have a simple opinion about workaway, is a fantastis place for host ,but not as good for volunteers is timeconsuming and tough to find a place most of them are isolated and your possibilities to be stuck in the middle of nowhere are high.
If you arent young, english speaking and travel alone your posssibilities decreasing enoumously...
I was reading this thread about 2 hours ago after typing 'workaway review' into google. This really had me umming and ahhing about joining workaway. I decided to take the risk as there was a particularly suitable job advertised on there, and what the hell it's only 22 euros right?
I sent my first request and had a reply within minutes! (unfortunatly my request was declined) but at least I can say that these adverts are active and I still have 2 years to find a job!
I'll keep looking and update when I find something or correct this if I see anything suspicious.
Well, I have tried make an itinerary trough south of france and I had only a positive answer,I tried again in Portugal , and now in Ireland more or less the rating of success,so I have been bamboozled about the possibilities however reality is depressing...
I have a good profile I was gardener,I have experience farming and I was housekeeping in my twenties during the summers so whats the problem...may be I am not veg not young not english native so resuming instead of travelling this summer I have sour and grapes.
Ah everything is excellent in their reviews,I dont believe it,its a circle of interests,the volunteers dont tell the true because want get places,and the hostess needs cheap hand,its is the pure reality...