It is a) a difficult problem, b) which italki handles poorly.
I think one approach might be, never to deactivate teachers' accounts simply because of missed appointments, but rather to present the information and let the customer decide. That is, to display, at the time of booking the lesson, something about the number of missed appointments over the last thirty days, together with the teacher's explanations of why. Rather than drawing a identical bright-line standards for teachers in developed and less-developed countries, let the customer decide. There could also be a statistical comparison between other teachers in the same geographical area.
This should be part of the booking screen, not the teacher's profile, so that the student always sees it before booking the lesson.
"Over the last 30 days:
The average italki teacher from Country X has missed 0.5% of scheduled lessons
[Teacher's name] has missed 5 out of 83 = 6.0% of scheduled lessons. Stated reasons:
Power outage 4
Internet outage 1
Student complaints about handling of missed appointments: 0"
Reading this is so disheartening. I've been an iTalki member for 3 years and it has been a huge aid in my language learning and still is. A lot of controversies have stirred up on this platform in such a short period and it's certainly upsetting.
I only hope that this situation is temporary. All iTalki needs to do is just listen to its community, something it has been failing to do, as made clear by these kinds of discussions popping up so frequently.
The future looks bleak if something isn't done about this and iTalki continues to let down its community and own teachers. Please keep us updated on iTalki's response, Nicole, and I truly hope they bring Natalya back.