Sooooo, before I print this and mail it to Choice Hotels, do any of you have any edits you think I should make? Perhaps stronger language, not so polite??! I also sent "customer comments regarding my recent stay" via their website this evening.
January 12, 2010
Choice Hotels International
Guest Relations Service Center
P.O. Box 1748
Minot, ND 5801
Re: Unsatisfactory Comfort Inn Stay
To Whom It May Concern:
Unfortunately, I find I must write this letter to document a more than unsatisfactory recent stay at a Comfort Inn in Indiana. I found myself in a situation that would be every hotel guest’s worst nightmare – unwanted and unwelcome guests were waiting in my hotel room on the evening of January 5th, 2010.
Some background: I make two annual trips to Ohio to visit family and friends. Over the past year, I have been staying at the Comfort Inn brand, as I found it satisfactory and usually quite clean. I have stayed at the Plainfield, Indiana, location several times now. My perception was that it was newer and very clean.
Last Tuesday this perception was shattered to smithereens. I woke around midnight, quite warm, and so I arose to turn down the room heat. As I walked into the bathroom, I could see in the large mirror that there were numerous bugs on my pajama top. Needless to say, I rapidly pulled off my pajamas, including my underwear. You can imagine my dismay, chagrin, and utter disgust when I found a bug INSIDE my underwear. I walked back to look at the bed, and lo and behold… bedbugs, all over the pillows and the sheets. Mind you, not just a few, but probably upwards of 15-20. Hindsight is 20/20, and I now wish I would have taken a photo. But I’m sure you can imagine my scattered and fragmented mind at that point in time.
After ensuring there were no more bedbugs on me or in my hair, I dressed and went down to the front desk. The night clerk was on her cell phone and there was a customer walking away from the desk. I waited until that customer was out of earshot, then I calmly told the night clerk my predicament. She offered me another room – upon my inspection, this room was quite unsatisfactory. There was a rag laying on the floor when I walked into the room, another rag laying on the bathroom floor, newspaper spread out all over the bathroom vanity, along with a ceiling fixture laying on the bathroom vanity and obviously in the middle of repair.
I went back to the front desk and told her this room was not satisfactory, upon which she asked to see my room with the bedbugs. I took her upstairs and her only response upon seeing the bedbugs on the bed was “Eww”. At that time I told her I would be checking out and would like a refund.
My pajamas were still lying on the bathroom floor, so I inspected them and was sure to remove every bedbug I could see before I put them into the laundry bag provided in my hotel room. I threw the bag into the back of my car and left it there for the next 3 days; since we were having subzero temperatures, I assumed any remaining bedbugs would be killed by the cold. On the contrary, upon dumping my clothes into the utility sink at my mother’s house 3 days later, there was still one surviving bug. We washed my pajamas in hot water, but to this day they still sit in the back of my car as I am afraid to wear them again.
When I went down to the front desk to check out, the night clerk had me sign a memo to the manager indicating the bedbug situation in my room. She said she was putting the memo on his desk so he would see it first thing in the morning. I thought he might call me to apologize, but he did not contact me.
Re: Unsatisfactory Comfort Inn Stay
I ended up staying at a Hometown Suites by Hilton for the remainder of the night. It was quite a sleepless night, as I woke up almost every half hour and checked my new bed for any signs of bugs. Upon my return trip to Ohio on January 11/12, I stayed at a Quality Inn in Kansas City and again, found it difficult to sleep. I left a light on in the room, and every time I awoke, I would check the bed sheets to be sure there were no bugs.
Bottom line: It’s going to take some time for me to feel comfortable in ANY hotel room again. I have always checked the bed before I would make myself comfortable but I have never seen anything. Trust me, I did check the bed at the Comfort Inn in Indiana before I retired on January 5th, but I did not see anything before I turned out the lights that would merit any concern on my part.
I was shocked and disappointed in the Comfort Inn brand, and I hope that you will take the necessary steps to ensure this terrible experience does not happen to future hotel guests at any of your hotel brands.
Susan D. Garten