This site was archived on 24 April 2012. No new content can be posted. The mailing list remains online and the site will stay in this archived state for the forseeable future. If you find any technical errors on the site, please contact Callum.

Jim Stone on Refunds

In this thread on member verifications, Jim had some interesting things to say about refunding verification money. However, the last three posts have now been removed by an “administrator”. Here’s what they said (I have the full HTML of the page saved if anyone would like a copy).


found a member recently who sent the money but when i verified her, she had her profile already deleted, guess we should refund her the money.



We only refund when asked to do so.



 would you (“we”?) qualify this as fair, serious and professional behaviour?

i would call it a second class behaviour

+ it doesn´t fit to all the wannabee speech…

“we” might wanna reconsider this



As far as I know this person has not asked for a refund. It’s not up to us to decide that they suddenly want their money back unless they ask for it. What do you not get about that?

I don’t appreciate your tone here, Mikky. If you have a problem with me please try to learn to be respectful of your other teammates and take this out of this group where we can deal with this privately.



well i asked a simple question if CS will follow a professional well will spirit of fair trade

you gave a simple answer

easy as that

i don´t think that your privat appreciations are a topic here.
feel free to email me and i would gladly inform you what RESPECT is all about.


34 Responses to “Jim Stone on Refunds”

  • Callum, I’m not sure if this is fair to publish what 2 people may have said impulsively.

    Besides, it’s about a small issue isn’t it? This post makes OCS look like gossips.

  • @azarethroy: As far as I’m aware, ordinary CS users cannot remove their own group posts. Thus if a regular user speaks impulsively, the content of their post remains on the site. If both Mikky and Jim confirm that they spoke impulsively and would like to retract their posts, I’ll remove the text here.

  • i never granted you any license to use my name, copy and publish content of mine on this website, content which have been given to only, i give you 48 hours to remove this before legal action will be taken.


  • 48 hours should be enough for Google-Cache.

  • “48 hours should be enough for Google-Cache.”

    Shame on you guys. One of the people involved that you’re slandering asked to have his words (that you used without permission) removed and you not only ignore him but taunt him. Is this what OCS is all about?

    I’m glad I never signed your petition. I was open to hearing what you guys had to say before but now I’m glad I never bought in.

  • @Rick: You appear to be the same person posting under various aliases. Are you willing to identify yourself?

  • Slander: Verbal defamation of another’s character.
    Libel: Written defamation of another’s character.

    I don’t see anything that is slander, or libelous.
    Also, truth is always an absolute defense to defamation claims (at least in US laws).

    Fair use in that the material is being used as a not-for profit social commentary: “why is there a perception of exceptions (allowing to delete potentially bad public relations statements about self) for a particular ‘class’ of users?” If callum’s statement on CS post policy is correct?

  • I would like to refute it’s a small issue: if volunteer coordinator thinks it’s perfectly fine to not consider a case where someone deleted their profile in a short time period after getting verified, or being a member at all (as far as I understand the situation), that to me doesn’t sound like a very just behavior from the side of CS.

    I believe it would be more fair to contact the member in question at the very least and see if she would care to have the money back.

    Small issue when considering the effect – at least if this for this person 25€ is not that much. However, for those who know me might guess what’s my issue here: choosing to not act with integrity when it was fully well possible – this for me speaks load more than any words or PR ever could.

  • It’s debatable, Anu. I think it’s wonderful that Mikky was thoughtful enough to want to refund the fee when this ex-user didn’t even ask for it. And it would be honorable if CS had that as a standard policy. However, if this ex-user doesn’t even care enough to ask for the money back – I just don’t see it as a huge deal.

    But this issue is about the deleting of posts, not the refund isn’t it?

    Anyway now that Mikky has asked for his comments to be removed, I think OCS should demonstrate integrity but at least removing his posts. This makes OCS look petty.

  • Well for me the point was not the thread itself and the censorship to begin with, but Jim’s reaction to refunding in this situation. And I guess the debate is happening now ;)

    On a further note, I do agree the posts that were asked to be removed should be removed (only fair as it was asked, even if the reason is not what Callum would do it for). So I’m asking the loosely based “us” what they think of this and base further action on that.

  • First of all mikky is not ones name so if someone sues under the name mikky it takes the mikky out of him .

    What is shows its than the someone cares more about money then ethics and principle .Like the latest news about the xxth verified person yay more money for the permanent staff .

  • Ok according to mikky mouths 48 hour threat it can be deleted as it has been mirrored on 20 places waiting for mikky mouths legal action

  • Mikky seems to have forgotten that by writing anything on, he transferred property (copyright) of those comments to Couchsurfing, inc. Read all about it in the Terms of Use. So if anyone can threaten a lawsuit, it’s Couchsurfing inc, not Mikky Mouth.

    But then, I think rationality has little to do with this.

  • Too bad Mikky mouth just does not get it !!! No one respects him no more in cs .

  • Oh well, I think we could delete the censored thread altogether from here, as the reaction to those speaks (by now) louder than the thread itself ;)

  • Agreed, Anu.
    IMO continuing to have this post here is worse PR for OCS than it is for the LT. It could make people feel that Jim & Mikky are being bullied by OCS.

    Anyway where’s an ex-lawyer when you need one, to advice us of the legality of this?

  • azarethroy “where’s an ex-lawyer when you need one, to advice us of the legality of this?”
    Roy what are you trying to do huh ? another veiled “threat ”
    what is the difference between you talking about a lawyer and mikky mouths 48 hour threat ?

  • @azarethroy: I’ve taken legal advice and I’m under no legal obligation to remove the quotes. As I said earlier If Mikky and Jim confirm that they voluntarily chose to retract their posts, I’ll remove them here.

  • @royal
    chill out man. I was refering to Pickwick to give us his opinion! He’s an ex-lawyer. Sheesh.

    p.s. On a side note, who are these cowards who post comments but can’t be man enough to say who they are?

    alright mate, your call.

  • This thread might practically confirm that the “Mikky” in these comments was not really Mikky, and that the “real Mikky” is actually offended by the deletion of his posts in the CS group.

  • I wonder if that thread will survive, or if it too will be censored by Jim. I have a backup copy just in case! ;-)

  • In an interesting twist, Jim has un-deleted the posts, so they’re now back on CouchSurfing.

  • I don’t think there should be refunds at all, (except in case of obvious error) since its a donation.
    Not payment for a service.

    Its never fair to post other people’s email chat or post without their knowledge. Of course this is the Internet. But in best form, a single line and a summary is commonly done.

    Just change the names to protect the innocent.
    M#, J$

    For this to be constructive and open, needs to be at least a bit polite.

  • @uaflyer: You make an interesting point, there should not be refunds “since its a donation” [sic]. So called “verification” is not described as a donation on CouchSurfing, it’s described as a way to “make CouchSurfing safer”, yet I agree with you, it is clearly a donation and has little to do with safety. This is one of my key complaints.

  • Hmm.

    * How about donation that were made under false pretenses? (CS was not, and is still not an official organization with a charitable mission. Furthermore, since it’s not possible to get a refund on my non-monetary donations I do feel entitled to get my donation back)

    * Verification IS a donation in surplus of what providing this service actually takes. Otherwise why would there be the need for sliding scale verifications? (if it’s allowed for Indian people to pay less, I call to question the actual amount of money actually necessary to cover ONLY the costs).

    ** FYI: they are also offering “scholarships” for those who can’t afford to “be secure” at this time for the full fee.

    I would be curious to know how exactly new members see the verification fee – obligatory or not. (I’ve seen some signs that it’s taken as an obligation, and people with financial constrains are worried if they can be members if they can’t make the payment…)

  • I think even thinking about those questions is not worth while as his highness Casey nor the LT will answer the questions.

    I don’t get it people move from state to state ever year in the united states and all the Americans on board (except Casey?) know that .

    So security ha . Even the credit card companies do not use addresses as security as people move so often .

  • Kasper said:
    >>This thread might practically confirm that the “Mikky” in these comments was not really Mikky, and that the “real Mikky” is actually offended by the deletion of his posts in the CS group.

    well clearly he WAS offended, Kasper.. but i think that’s a far cry from his wanting it to be used as ammunition against CS. SO it’s pretty likely his request to remove the thread on here was real.

    Personally, I feel that if OCS is set up to criticize CS into being more open, then it should have higher standards than the organization it is criticizing. That includes following standard netiquette, which means not publishing semi-privileged communications (group threads are not google-searchable, thus not truly ‘public’) without at least, as UAFLYER suggested, blocking names. Aditya on Brainstorm did a good job addressing the issue here:

    If OCS is about principles and standards, how about this site holding itself to the high ground? It can only assist the cause. Show what you want by behaving that way – maybe examples really are needed to demonstrate that respect while disagreeing CAN be shown to others.
    JMHO!! :)

  • Valerie “That includes following standard netiquette, which means not publishing semi-privileged communications”

    This would never be needed had people not taken arbitrary decisions and deception to hoodwink the general membership examples :- the farewell letter(not written by Casey), the “accidental” deletion of the database ,the writing of the NDA (not written by the LT),the sneaky proposal of the super star system by ttt to merge two of caseys websites .

    Pickwick sums it up really nicely here
    “how Jim paddled back on social pressure reminds of the English saying “adding insult to injury”. The man has no remorse, he has no clue that he did anything wrong, and he tells us he’ll do it again.”

    If this was not documented Jim would have gotten away with it . As no one would have ever know the contents of that post.

    netiquette is a two way street ,just like respect goes both ways. It has to be gained. And if cons are not documented here it is definitely being documented else.It wouldn’t but a long pattern of deception since the crash it has become mandatory to document every actions .Till the deception stops ,which with the silence shows it is never going to stops. When there is silence there is always something brewing (more surprise announcements) .

  • Speaking of censorship and LT hiding things – is anyone wondering what happened to the hyperboards that were running for the week following the crash? (I don’t mean the anonymous ones at thecouchsurfingbuildingblocks whatever). Since the membership in general wasn’t asked if the boards should be deleted, this could be considered as censorship.

    Those were, for the first time, providing at least some open conversation of many issues I wasn’t aware of yet, and which might make a pretty enlightening reading experience right about now.

  • @Valeri: I’ve checked and group posts are searchable. Try this search for Jim Stone and note result number 5, a group post on Open Organisation. Further, it’s quite within “Netiquette” to quote what people have said. This is the basis of most blogging. Talking about what other people have said. In the case of short posts like these, it’s commonplace to quote them in their entirety.

    The bottom line is, both Mikky and Jim made the statements, in a public forum, and neither one has retracted their statement, so they stand. There’s really nothing else to talk about.

  • *off-topic*

    @Daz & Anu.
    Perhaps if you could write a blog post for OCS to provide details on your comments, the general readership will have a bit more clarity on the history of CS.

  • @roy: funny you should ask ;) check back within a few days… any specific questions about such stuff can be directed to me through the (proxy) email address visible on my profile (in case of wanting to avoid going through the CS system)

  • azarethroy the general readership does not need bit more clarity on the history of CS ;) .You just need to go across Canada to those who were there at the collective and ask them .You are one of the few people to transcend the great divide between the LT and the OCS and should get all the clarification you need from the source.

    most of that history is lost of hidden from those who do not want to see it . :)

Comments are currently closed.