Response from Kate:
After hurricane Sandy, one of the worst natural disasters in decades leaving millions of people without power, it should be understandable that some things may not be 100%. I think it’s worth pointing out that I was not contacted about the hot water until 3 days later, and there was no one to fix it on a weekend, especially after a natural disaster. Sofia was refunded for every day without hot water. Like many users of airbnb, I’m a traveller and was overseas, so I employed a cleaner who was recommended by another airbnb host; so it’s disappointing to hear of a lack of cleanliness, which the cleaner disputes. I was only notified 6 days into their stay that there was a problem with the cleaning, so again, it was difficult to rectify. I’d like to point out, from the beginning, the guest was given a local New York phone number for someone I trust in the airbnb community, to contact in the event of any issues. They did not contact that person. It isn’t fair to be chastised for something when there were options provided for help that weren’t utilised. Also, when I called Sofia regarding check-in, within half an hour of airbnb leaving a message with me, she was eating dinner in a nearby café, and told me everything was fine and she would return to the apartment later. So I question the claim she was waiting at the door for four hours. I have to take responsibility for not screening the guest in the normal way I do, since I’m overseas and the time difference made live conversations more difficult. But I have definitely learned from this experience. I urge people to read my reviews below, and see that every review is positive, so this is an unusual situation to find myself in.