You are tired after a long day of traveling and cannot wait to go to your hotel’s room that you have booked online to enjoy a hot bath, have a good meal, and get some sleep. While you may be in no mood to inspect your hotel room for the presence of bed bugs, not doing this would make you regret later. Bed bugs can crawl on to your luggage and go home with you. This might lead to a heavy infestation that demands a lot of your time and money. Moreover, if you suspect the presence of bed bugs in your hotel room, you can get a refund or have it changed at least.
Ideally, you should not stay in a dirty, infested hotel. If you notice a musty smell pervading in your room, find debris in the corners, and see traces of hair along the tub, do not ignore all this just because you are tired. You have to understand that you have some legal rights and can ask for a refund instead of staying at a dirty hotel.
To avoid putting yourself in any trouble, be sure to keep the following points in mind.
- Confirm the presence of bed bugs in your room. For this, you will have to look for the signs or actual bed bugs in your room. It is best to leave your luggage in the bathroom while inspecting the room. You can check the area around your bed and underneath the sheets to look for the signs of bed bugs. You are likely to have a bed bug infestation if you notice yellowing cast-off bed bug skins or dark pellets on your bedding.
- Collect some evidence. It is important because this puts you in a better bargaining position when confronting your hotel’s manager. You can try grabbing one of the bed bugs – it is never easy to locate or grab them, as they can be as small as 2mm. If you find it difficult, you can at least use your smartphone and take a few pictures of your room, especially with a timestamp AND with something from the hotel to show it was in this location). You can use these photos as evidence when you decide to seek legal assistance,
- Once you have gathered some evidence, you should go talk to the manager. Tell them what you have found in your room. If they do not cooperate, show them the evidence you have collected. Make it very clear that you are not going to accept this situation. They may offer you to have another room, but it is better to refuse it, as other rooms may also be infested. Simply ask them to give you a full refund.
Asking For a Compensation
It is usually easy to make a hotel’s management offer you a refund if you have booked your room online and have just checked-in. You are likely to find yourself in a bit of trouble if you have already stayed for a few nights and then realized that the room has a bed bug infestation. You may have bed bug bites on your body and may have your luggage infested too. Even in this case, you should first collect whatever evidence you can find in the room. Then, go discuss your concern with the manager.
Tell them you truly believe that they tried to rip you off by offering an infested room. You should not only ask for a refund for any nights you have already stayed, but also ask to compensate for any medication you might have to buy to treat bed bug bites. You can also ask them to compensate for what you will have to spend to get your belongings de-infested – it can actually cost you a bit, as you have to get your clothes and luggage fumigated properly to avoid taking bed bugs home.
Any good hotel will help you in this situation. Not only will they compensate for all your inconvenience, they will also help you find new accommodation. They do it because their reputation is at stake. Unfortunately, not all hotels would agree to offer a refund. In this situation, you can decide to take a legal action against them.
Report Bed Bugs to Our Hotel Registry
You should also go to our Bed Bug Registry and search for the hotel and write a detailed bed bug report about the hotel. At the very least, you can threaten to file the report if the hotel does not offer compensation as a bargaining chip.
Taking the Legal Route
It is important to bear in mind that not all states have laws that protect guests from bed bug infestations. Therefore, you need to check the laws first and then proceed accordingly. The good thing is that more and more states have now introduced sanitary laws and ordinances that compel hotel owners and managers to provide a place of residence that is safe and free of bed bugs.
It is worth mentioning that in some states, bed bug bites are actually considered serious injuries, just like injuries resulting from a slip and fall. Therefore, you have every right to file personal injury lawsuits against your hotel manager, owner, staff, and their insurance carriers. Here are some steps to follow when you decide to file a lawsuit:
- Gather some evidence of the infestation. Take pictures of the furniture, bed, walls, and carpeting to confirm the presence of bed bugs.
- Take pictures of any bed bug bites you may have. Be sure to seek medical attention, as they can result in permanent scarring and even lead to infections.
- Ask the local authorities, such as local health and sanitation department to visit the location. Do not forget to get a copy of the report once they have completed their inspection.
- Tell the hotel management about your properly and file and injury report. Be sure to obtain important details, including the name of the manager, their phone number, email address, etc.
- Contact a bed bug lawyer to get legal consultation. Be sure to select a lawyer with an experience in handling litigation against hotels, motels, and long-term stay hotels for bed bugs.
Provided that you have collected all evidence and hired a right legal representative, you can get a full refund as well as compensation for medical room expenses, future cost of medical care, pain arising from bed bug bites, and property damage.
The fact of the matter is that you should not assume that a hotel is free of bed bugs just because you have selected a high-end hotel. Since bed bugs are very smart to hitch a ride in the luggage of guests, they can always make their way into hotel rooms. It is possible that the hotel administration is not already aware of an infestation, as a previous guest may have brought those tiny crawlers with them. Therefore, it is better to inspect your room thoroughly to avoid dealing with all the hassle of getting a refund or taking the administration to the court.