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Bed Bugs: Residence Inn Hartford Manchester, CT

Question asked by jen_messick on Jun 23, 2015
Latest reply on Jun 24, 2015 by barrpat

I stayed at the Residence Inn Monday 6/8/15 through the following Thursday 6/18/15. The first night I had killed a bug on the bed skirt and it left a red blood stain. I didn't think much of it since most the time bugs don't bother me and I had already seen a few silver fish in the room. On Wednesday, I started noticing bumps all over my neck but I thought it was a break out or a reaction to some product. Friday I noticed four very obvious bites on my left hand. These looked more like the pics you see of bed bug bites and I realized they had all been very itchy. At this point my fiancé had joined me at the hotel for some sightseeing over the weekend and we distracted ourselves through the weekend.  On Tuesday, I woke up with bites on my shoulder, arms, and knee. It took me a while to realize that they could actually be bed bug bites and since I'm really not the complaining type (at least to service providers) I wanted to make sure the bites were coming from the hotel before I said anything. Tuesday morning, I asked my fiancé to switch rooms while I was at work that day. We both checked in with the front desk that morning asking to switch rooms because of bugs. I was very hesitant to call them bed bugs but I was fairly convinced at this point. The front desk was very apologetic, offered to get the room checked out by an exterminator, and offered to comp the prior night if the exterminator found anything. anything. Unfortunately, a room was not available until noon that day. My fiancé (not yet convinced these were bed bugs) was sitting on the bed using his computer when he felt a bug crawl on his leg. He was able to catch it and provided it to hotel management. The hotel staff then brought up quarters and laundry detergent for us to wash all of our clothes. My fiance and I would have preferred it if the hotel staff/management would have offered to do the laundry for us as this was a very time consuming process considering I had two weeks worth of clothes (I do not pack light!) and we were trying to figure out how to keep from spreading the bugs/excrement/larva. The hotel did have my suit jackets dry cleaned and returned the same day at no cost to us. In the meantime, my fiancé had captured another one and sent the attached pictures. He was able to take the clothes from our first room, 328, straight to the laundry and then after drying them, straight to our new room 207. This seemed to be an acceptable way to "decontaminate" our clothes but we had no idea how to deal with our luggage/toiletry bags/shoes and other items that may house bed bugs. We also weren't getting much advice from the hotel outside of "wash all of your clothes." So all morning on Tuesday, I'm sitting at work itching and freaking out about potential bed bug bites and waiting to hear back from the hotel regarding the exterminators findings. Early afternoon, before communicating what the exterminator had found, hotel staff returned to our room giving my fiancé more quarters and telling him that he need to dry all our clothes a second time on high heat. Finally, around 2 pm, after a few attempts to contact the manager of the hotel, the assistant general manager, Justin Blanchard, met with my fiancé and confirmed that they were in fact bed bugs. He offered to replace all of our luggage (4 bags total), find us some guidance on how to treat footwear, get us a new room at the Courtyard next door (same ownership/management group) for the rest of the stay, comp the room by crediting my account 20k points for each night I had stayed in the room with bed bugs (140k total), and produce a document stating that they will be financially responsible for bed bugs should we bring them home to our house. This brought me some relief, like I knew I would be taken care of. That feeling was short lived! Around 4 pm, hotel management had withdrawn their previous offer, replacing it with a $100 credit to replace luggage, no room at the Courtyard due to full occupancy, and 20k points total. I don't know what happened over that two hour time frame but I know the bugs and bites did not go away! When I got back to the hotel after work that day, I met with the assistant general manager, Justin B., to discuss this in person and show him the bites. At that time he informed me that Ecolab was coming to the hotel the next day (Wednesday) to inspect and treat both rooms and my luggage. Justin told me that the representative would be onsite for a few hours and to call over my lunch break if I'd like to talk to him. My fiance was leaving the next morning to go back home so we used the $100 credit to get him a bag to transport his clothes. The next day I called the hotel at 12:40 and the representative had already left. Justin also informed me that now I couldn't speak to him directly anyway as he is a third party vendor. Instead, Justin asked that I email him my list of questions for Ecolab and he would try to get the answers. My questions were mostly about how they inspected the room, what they did to treat it and my belongings, and what I should do to make sure these don't come home with me. I still hadn't heard back by the time I got back to the hotel around 6pm. I walked into my room to find the bedding thrown all over the room and a bare mattress. This was not how I expected them to inspect and treat the room for bed bugs. Sheets were piled up on the table near my food!!! I've attached a photo. I couldn't believe the complete lack of communication with this on top of it. I had had about as much as I could take. I was supposed to be spending my evenings working and socializin with my coworkers rather than continuously dealing with bed bugs in my hotel room. The front desk sent someone up to make the bed for me while I tried to figure out what had actually been done. I called the general manager, Peter Marks, at this point trying to figure out what happened. He was very short and informed me that my room was "inspected" but nothing in the room was treated because no evidence of bed bugs was found. I asked about my prior room and he informed me that additional bed bugs were found there and that room along with all adjacent rooms were treated (despite a lack of bed bug evidence in the adjacent rooms). I'm not sure why they couldn't treat my room like previously discussed if nothing more than to give me a level of comfort when taking my belonging home. I had spent the last two days completely consumed by this situation, both mentally and physically with over 25 bites on my body. I was incredibly stressed out and concerned for my health, the safety and cleanliness of my home, and indescribably frustrated with the amount of time it had taken for me to personally try to remedy the situation. Not to mention, sleeping the past two night was near impossible between the long list of to-do items in order to get rid of the bugs, constant itching, and the unescapable feeling of bugs crawling all over me. The general manager, Peter M., was completely cold to the situation. He even accused me of bringing the bed bugs to his hotel stating that one could have jumped on me or my luggage on the flight to CT. He felt that he was an expert on bed bugs and I should direct my Ecolab questions directly to him instead. This almost felt like he was hiding something. He had previously told my fiancé to just wipe everything down with alcohol which is not an effective way to treat bed begs according to my research. The worst part was that he started telling me that he offered things (to do our laundry) to my fiancé and suggested that my fiancé was lying. This was by far the worst customer service I had experienced and I was extremely disappointed that it was coming from the general manager. A little compassion would have gone a long way that evening given my stress levels. Regardless, I contacted customer care who took a report. This process is a little confusing to me. From what I understand, I never get to read the report. It is just documented and mailed to the general manager and then handed over to a supervisor who will be contacting me in 3-5 days. I still haven't heard anything from them. Is there a reason I can read this report? Can I call to talk to them again since it has been over 5 days? Customer care was able to get me a room at near by Fairfield Inn that was under different ownership and management than the Residence Inn I was staying at and the Courtyard next door. The assistant general manager, Justin, was again very apologetic and offered to help with anything but at that point it was too late. I had already done everything I could find on how to keep from bringing these home. I checked out Thursday and the hotel was able to help ship items to the Fairfield and home. I'm looking for advice in dealing with customer care supervisors going forward. For now, the damage is done and I don't have to go back to that hotel for the rest of my trip. I just think 20k points doesn't come anywhere close to compensating for 25 bites, lost sleep, a potential bed bug infestation at home since they refused to treat my belongings, and hours I spent doing laundry/cleaning and trying to pack my things in plastic bags.