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Hi! Maggie and I are professionals (teachers) from Washington DC visiting London annually.
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The guest informed he was not going to make it to NYC the night before his arrival.
Because it was a special situation (being the days after Hurricane Sandy) I offered the guest to refund him fully or move his reservation to any other day.
The guest said he wanted to move his reservation to some other day, I agreed and asked him to provide me with the new dates by that night so that I could move the reservation. He did NOT do it.
He did not show up at the check in (as he announced by email the night before) and waited almost 2 days to communicate me the new dates he wanted (basically on the second day of his reservation).
I explained to him that by waiting that his reservation started he made me lose those nights and I could not move his reservation anymore. But since I wanted to believe that there was a misunderstanding I only charged him for one night and I reimbursed him one night and the cleaning fee.
He still wrote a bad review about me and mentioned the fact that some hosts offered their place for free during the hurricane while I didn't.
The idea to give shelter for free applies mainly to Newyorkers stranded by the hurricane and not to people coming from out of town that booked the place before and are now trying to take advantage of the situation getting the place for free. Moreover I had my calendar occupied by his dates that I couldn't move until he finally decided to notify me with the new dates he wanted to switch with. I could not offer shelter to other people if the dates look booked on my calendar.
Unfortunately some people want to be right no matter what and take revenge by writing bad reviews.