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FAQ

GENERAL

How is GuestVessel different from traditional home exchange services?

What are the different membership options?

Do I have to become a member of a network to join GuestVessel?

What if I am a member of a network that is not listed?

Can I be a member of more than 1 network?

How can I guarantee I will get value from my membership?

Do I have to offer my entire home or can I earn tokens by offering a spare room?

SAFETY

How safe is GuestVessel?

What does the criminal background check involve and how will the results be used? (US members only)

Why do we only complete a criminal background check on US members?

Why and how do I need to verify a property I have added to GuestVessel and how can I do this?

How does the rating system work?

HOSTING

Do I have to list a property?

How do I list my property?

Can I list more than 1 property?

How do I edit my property or user profile pages?

Can I charge members for using my property?

I want to stay at an available property for a week, but only have enough tokens for 4 nights.

How can I gain more GV tokens?

Do I have to host a member that contacts me?

When do I get to use the GV Tokens that I earn?

GUESTS

How do I book a property?

Do members have to use the website to book their accommodation?

How do I cancel a booking?

Why do you penalize members for canceling bookings?

What can I do if I cannot find available properties that suit my needs?

How do I pick up the keys?

What happens if I do not like the home after we get there?

What happens if something accidentally breaks during our stay?

TECHNICAL

What should I do if I did not receive my confirmation email?

What should I do if I forget my username and password?

How can I contact GuestVessel?

GENERAL

How is GuestVessel different from traditional home exchange services?

Most traditional housing swap services force two families to vacation at exactly same time. With other clubs, a member who lets a family from New York City use her home is limited to using only the New Yorker’s home. GuestVessel members can stay at any available GuestVessel property, before or after providing the use of their own home. This increases availability and flexibility for everyone.

What are the different membership options?

GuestVessel has 2 types of membership to fit all your accommodation needs:
Bronze (Free): Use member properties in your home city (when guests or family visit you).
Gold ($99.99 a year): Access to ALL members’ properties (when you need accommodations in another city)

Do I have to become a member of a network to join GuestVessel?

No. GuestVessel is available for anyone to join. Although many people are members of networks, it is up to them who decide they wish to trade with. If you have a completed profile, with your property verified and maybe a user rating, there’s no reason why they wouldn’t trade with you.

What if I am a member of a network that is not listed?

There are hundreds of thousands of potential networks. If you would like a network that your belong to added to GuestVessel, please contact us and we’ll see what we can do. The only stipulation we have is that the network membership must be verifiable.

What can I do if I cannot find available properties that suit my needs?

Yes. As long as you are a verified member of a group you can join that network, and as many networks as you like. The bigger your trusted network, the more accommodation choices you have!

How can I guarantee I will get value from my membership?

The Bronze level is free for everyone and can be used to access member properties in your home city. In the US, Bronze members who book a property allow GuestVessel to run a confidential nationwide criminal background check ($10 fee). All members who verify their address receive 60 free token credits. Once your address is verified you can start booking your GuestVessel stay right away.



Gold members receive two guarantees:
  1. If you do not use the service in the first 6 months we will refund your money. If you decide to keep your membership for the remaining 6 months and still have not used our service, then your 2nd year is on us!
  2. For those members that upgrade from a Bronze to a Gold membership, we guarantee you will find accommodations through GuestVessel. If not, you can receive a full refund.

Bronze members can check availability, contact and even provisionally book properties with all members (even if not in your home city). Once you have lined up free accommodations, just upgrade to a gold membership to receive full GuestVessel privileges. If this transaction gets cancelled by either you or the Host, you receive a full refund. No questions asked

*Cost of completed background check ($10) will be deducted from all refunds

Do I have to offer my entire home or can I earn tokens by offering a spare room?

At GuestVessel the minimum requirements needed to host someone is a private room with a bed. The more people you can accommodate the more tokens you receive, but allowing hosting when you are there, allows you to earn tokens throughout the year.



SAFETY

How safe is GuestVessel?

We're very serious about the safety of our members and their properties, which is why we require all members to verify that they own or rent the home at their listed address.

Additionally, with our user-generated member rating system, all members have access to other members' profile pages. Detailed feedback lets you know that your proposed swap partner is trustworthy and honest and will treat you and your property with respect.

If you are worried about accidental breakages in your home, then check your home owners/renters insurance. If you do not own this, then you can request that the member wishing to stay with you takes out our special travel insurance, specifically for the home exchanger. (link to Travel Insurance)

For all US members, we also carry out a nationwide criminal background check.

What does the criminal background check involve and how will the results be used? (US members only)

The information gathered by the check will only be used for screening the member. No information will be passed onto other members, published in any way or used for any other purpose.

Your profile page will show other members whether or not your background check has been completed. No other details are shared with anyone.

Why do we only complete a criminal background check on US members?

The data that is readily available within the US is vastly different from most countries. The level and accuracy of reports also differs immensely from country to country. Currently, it is only feasible to do background checks on US members. All members are asked to verify their addresses.

No other home exchange service does any kind of background check.

Why and how do I need to verify a property I have added to GuestVessel and how can I do this?

GuestVessel gives all new members 60 free tokens once address verification has been completed.

You can send a copy of a recent utility bill (electric or gas) to GuestVessel Property Verification, 237 Flatbush Avenue Suite #174, Brooklyn, NY, 11217 OR scan and email us a copy at support@guestvessel.com OR fax us at (888) 987 4582.

How does the rating system work?

After each stay, both the host and guest will be asked to fill out a short survey rating both the property and the member.

The results are posted on that person’s profile pages, promoting honest and respectful behavior by all members. The information lets you confidently decide where to stay and/or who to allow to stay at your home.

HOSTING

Do I have to list a property?

Yes, all members have to list a property. There is never a charge , either from the host or GuestVessel, for staying at a property, the only way to gain additional credits for free accommodations is to let other members stay in your home.

How do I list my property?

After signing up online, all you need to do is log into the site and go to “My Profile”. Here you will be able to update your personal information and also edit your property’s details, including adding photographs. (Members with profile pictures and photos of their property are significantly more likely to be contacted by other members – which in turn gives you more tokens to use!)

Can I list more than 1 property?

Yes, you can list as many properties you want. Each property will have its own page. There is no additional cost for listing more than 1 property. Each property must provide a separate address verification.

How do I edit my property or user profile pages?

Log onto GuestVessel.com, click on "My Profile" and then "Edit Information". Once you have completed your changes, click on "Submit" to save changes

Can I charge members for using my property?

No, GuestVessel works on a token system. The more you use the service, the more GV tokens you earn for free accommodations.

Each new member starts with 60 tokens, the equivalent of 6 nights for a single person or couple.

I want to stay at an available property for a week, but only have enough tokens for 4 nights.

The host can only earn the number of tokens you have available. If you have enough tokens for your entire proposed stay you must use them. However, many people prefer the security of having someone stay in their home for the entire time they are away. Members can choose, at their sole discretion, to let you stay more nights than the number of tokens you have available.

How can I gain more GV tokens?

We want you to be able to use the service as much as possible, so we've added a few functions to help you gain those valuable tokens.

Visit the "Wanted" board, where members can post their upcoming accommodation needs. Hosting members who have requested a stay in your city lets you earn tokens.

You can also gain extra tokens by referring a friend to GuestVessel. Members receive 1 extra GV token for every new members they refer who joins GuestVessel, including adding a full profile.

Do I have to host a member that contacts me?

There is no obligation to host any member you prefer not to have in your home. Just be sure to note the civil rights guidelines for your country or region. In the USA, the Fair Housing Act prohibits barring people from using a property based on personal characteristics like race or gender.We recommend that, after being contacted by another member, you take a thorough look at their profile. If you feel comfortable with the person, then we’d also recommend that you arrange a phone call with the person. If at any point you are not 100% comfortable with having them stay in your home, then we’d suggest you politely decline their request. Please do let them know, even if you decline, so that they can look for alternative accommodations.

When do I get to use the GV Tokens that I earn?

When a booking is made on GuestVessel, the tokens needed for that particular transaction are put into a holding account. Netiher the host nor guest have access to the tokens until the stay is complete.

Upon completion of the stay, the host’s account will be credited and the user’s debited.

GUESTS

How do I book a property?

Search the site for accommodation when and where you need it. You can search by city, dates, amenities wanted or even interest groups you are affiliated with.

After finding an offer that fits your needs, just click on the "Book Now" button.

You can send other members a message with your housing request.

Do members have to use the website to book their accommodation?

All bookings must be made on the website, so that each member's tokens can be adjusted accordingly. Tokens cannot be earned for stays booked off the GuestVessel site.

How do I cancel a booking?

We understand that plans can change. Log into your profile to cancel the transaction. GuestVessel then notifies the other member of the cancellation.

If a member cancels more than a month in advance, then there is no penalty and all GV tokens will be applied back to the guest.

If a member cancels 2 to 4 weeks before the transaction, 10 GV token will be credited to the non-canceling member's account.

If a member cancels less than 2 weeks before the transaction, 20 GV tokens will be credited to the non-canceling member's account.

If no cancellation notice is given and the guest does not show up for the scheduled stay, the guest member will forfeit all GV tokens that were being held for that transaction.

Why do you penalize members for canceling bookings?

Members are only penalized if they cancel within less than 2 weeks of the booked transaction. Most home exchangers book their travel well in advance. It may be impossible for the members offering accommodations to find someone else to use their home with only two weeks' notice.

The token penalties compensate the non-canceling member for any inconvenience.

If a host cancels, we will do all we can to help the guest find alternative accommodations in that city.

What can I do if I cannot find available properties that suit my needs?

Search again for homes with fewer amenities or less space. Look for homes a bit farther from your target destination. Flexibility with your travel dates can greatly increase your success in finding accommodations.

You can also post an ad on the "Wanted board". Members who want to earn more GV tokens search this board to see if they can make their homes available during other members' chosen dates.

Facebook fans or Twitter followers of GuestVessel can also post an ad on these accounts to reach even more swappers.

How do I pick up the keys?

Members make different arrangements for this, depending on their situation. Once you book, ask the other member what works best.

What happens if I do not like the home after we get there?

Happiness and safety of our members is paramount. If, after you arrive at a members home, you feel that you cannot stay there due to cleanliness or safety concerns please call one of our team on 347-987-0570.

They will do their best to assist you and find you alternative accommodations for the remainder of your trip.

This has never been an issue before, as members build up a trust before committing to the stay, by talking and swapping photographs etc.

What happens if something accidentally breaks during our stay?

Accidents happen. If for some reason you break something whilst in another members’ home, then the best thing to do is immediately contact the other member and tell them. In the majority of cases the damage is small enough not to involve insurance, but if it is larger than this, then in most cases home owners and renters insurance cover breakages. If you do not have your own renters/home owners insurance, then GuestVessel offer insurance for guests visiting other properties for as low as $15. This comes with $1,500 coverage for breakages (with NO deductible!) See Travel Insurance for more details.

TECHNICAL

What should I do if I did not receive my confirmation email?

If you do not receive a confirmation email within 24 hours of signing up, please send an email to support@guestvessel.com.

What should I do if I forget my username and password?

On the login in page, click on “Forgot Username/Password” and you will be sent a new password or username confirmation.

How can I contact GuestVessel?

If you would like to contact GuestVessel for anything, please email us at support@guestvessel.com or call 347-987-0570.

A member of our team will then get back to you as soon as possible.

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