The August 23, 2010 posting about the Holiday Inn Express unfairly suggests our hotel has current and widespread problems with bedbugs. That is not true. This hotel has not had a verifiable case of bedbugs in one of our rooms since 2008. In fact, there was a pest control convention in Minneapolis in March 2010. This hotel was fully occupied by pest control workers. Not one claim of bedbug activity was reported during that convention!
It is correct that we had a room where bedbugs were de
tected in 2008. The room was promptly treated with heat. Heat is the most effective way of treating and eradicating bedbugs. It is environmentally friendly and kills the pest. It also allows the preservation of furniture and personal property, like a mattress and headboard, where the bedbugs’ prior presence might be detectable to a trained eye. Unfortunately, even when bedbugs are eradicated, it is possible to see evidence that they were there.
Bedbugs have become a problem for everyone in the hospitality industry. With the growth of international travel, and use of more environmentally friendly extermination products, bedbug problems are occurring in hotels, theatres, businesses, and apartment buildings.
Our management and housekeeping staff is prepared to proactively inspect rooms after each guest stay to check for bedbugs. We have a local pest control company, with the most current equipment and technology available, to respond to any problem when and if it is discovered.
The guests that stayed in this hotel on August 21, 2010, did make a report of bedbug activity in his initial room. At the guest’s request, he was moved to a second room. The guest reported finding a live bedbug in this room and requested a refund. The guest subsequently wanted to have us pay for the cost of his room at another different location or the difference between our price and the higher price he paid at a different hotel.
Immediately after the report of seeing a live bedbug we contacted our professional exterminator. A professional inspected both rooms on August 23 and again on August 25 and found no evidence of any prior or current activity in either room.
When I spoke to the guest he was most concerned about getting payment for his room or the additional cost he paid at the second hotel. The guest stated he traveled here on a set budget and wanted to be reimbursed. The guest was also concerned that our front desk staff did not appear to be knowledgeable about bedbugs.
I tried to give the customer the best service possible. I explained that hotel management and housekeeping staff were well trained in the detection in bedbug activity. The front desk staff is not, because they are not the individuals who are in guest rooms daily. I told him that our professional exterimators could find no confirmation of activity. The guest was not pleased with my decision to not pay him. Although customer service is always important to us, we feel we have the right to investigate any claim before we pay for a guest’s stay or costs at another location.
Regrettably, bedbugs will be a continuing challenge for travelers and the hotel industry. We have been, and will be, committed to doing everything we can to have professionals on-staff, and available to us, to detect and treat any problem when it arises. But the suggestion that we have had any unresolved, or ongoing, problem at this hotel is not accurate.