kontosmurfy (kontosmurfy) wrote in bad_service,

don't let the bedbugs bite

for the last couple of months i've been in and out of three different hospitals. one of them was bradley memorial hospital in connecticut, and since it was too far to drive every day, my husband and i had to find a motel for two weeks while i was being treated there.

the first motel we tried was the red carpet inn in southington where the hospital was. we checked in at night after my first round of tests, and they gave us a room on the second floor. hubby came and got me out of the car and pushed me to the elevator...which was broken. that's when things started going bad.

we headed for the lobby and the desk clerk just kind of brushed it off like "oh yeah, that's been broken for days. you'll have to use the stairs." my husband pointed out that i'm in a wheelchair, and the guy actually asked if hubby could *carry* me up the stairs because he'd have to refund our card for the first room and run it again for the second, and also we might have two charges on our card as a result.

long paperwork-y story later, i'm dozing in my chair while hubby carries the luggage in from the car. we talked for a while, watched a little tv...and then hubby goes to help me into bed, which was when we discovered the bugs.

it's not like he peeled back the covers and they all came swarming out like those ants in the indiana jones movie, but there wasn't any way you could miss them. hubby said he counted 8, a couple black, red, all small but not all the same size. we had no idea what they were (we now know they were bedbugs.)

hubby got a little scary right then. he went downstairs alone, but he asked me first if i wanted a new room or just to leave, and even though we were so tired i said let's leave. who would feel safe there, right?

again cutting a story short, they wouldn't refund the room because we were in there longer than 20 minutes and that's their cutoff. nice. and two nights of charges went on our credit card. hello dispute.

anyway, we found a different motel, but hubby was still seething the next day and googled the place. turns out there's a report on ripoffreport about that same motel and bedbugs. the person who wrote the complaint said they'd contacted the health inspector, so we looked up the address and i sent an email explaining what happened. i wasn't even expecting a reply, but they got back to us a few days later and said, in short, they'd inspected the room we stayed in and nothing was amiss, plus there hadn't been any other complaints for that motel.

okay, it's possible the person who complained on that site never actually got around to calling or emailing the health inspector like they said, but the rest was a lie. it's very unlikely they inspected our room because i didn't think to give it in the email. when you complain a place has bugs, you don't think to specify which room had them, you know? it's not like if a restaurant had a cockroach you'd say "and we were at table 6" because the roach would never move, right? and even if the motel could say who was in which room (i assume there are privacy laws about that, but then again they might not follow them), i realized after i thought about it awhile that the email address i used still had my maiden name because it's the name i always used when i had my business. so am i to believe they called the motel and said "we got a complaint about bugs" and the clerk said "oh, right, it was so and so in room XXX. come by and cite us!"

even if they did find our room, obviously the staff would have cleaned it after what happened. i think the room had probably been empty for awhile and that's why the bugs had congregated? i don't know how bedbugs work so i don't know how fast it happens. finally, that complaint on the site was posted almost two years ago. i find it hard to believe that not one person had complained about bugs in that much time.

anyway, i also found out that we had no grounds for complaint, because when i called to talk to the manager a few days later (but before we heard back from the health inspector) he told me that "all commercial lodgings" can't help bedbugs to some degree because of all the "traffic".

i'm sorry. i didn't know. i guess the place we ended up at had invisible ones. that's why it was $5 more a night.

(seriously, is that true? that all hotels and motels have them and just can't help it?)

still pissed off at the health inspector because it sounds very much like they didn't actually go check, and pissed off at the motel for saying that paying $50 a night for a bed of bugs is normal and okay. i'd like to take the health inspector thing further but don't know who they report to.
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