Monday, August 23, 2010

When Bed Bugs are Alleged

Recently, I checked on the rates of a hotel in a city where I'm going to be conducting a workshop.

The customer review section had several recent messages of praise and one scathing message alleging that the reviewer had to check out of his room because it was infested with bed bugs. Since bed bugs are getting a lot of attention in the news, I wondered if the report had any merit. Naturally, I looked for the response by management.

Management did write a response. I confess that I didn't read the part "below the fold," so to speak, but only the first paragraph which is probably all that most readers perused. The company rep noted that management had tried and failed to reach the writer to discuss the situation.

That was not a good first paragraph.

I don't care if they tried to reach the unhappy reviewer 300 times a minute. As soon as I read the allegations, I was interested in one thing and one thing only.

A good first paragraph would have started with "Our hotel does not have bed bugs." It could have continued to note how often their room are treated and how professional a job is done. It could also declare that the hotel has a diligent bed bug prevention program and that the staff wouldn't hesitate to recommend the rooms to friends and family members.

Lesson: Don't let a bureaucratic response get in the way of an effective answer.


stoellergirl said...

Wow I can't believe that was their response, well I guess I could believe it depending on what hotel you were communicating with. I found some bed bug prevention tips when traveling online that I've been using because I've heard that even nice hotels can have bed bug problems and it's not like they are going to tell you. You just have to be cautious and check your bed, and that's just doing the minimum.

Michael Wade said...


It caused me to hesitate. I would have preferred to read that they clean their rooms every evening with a flame-thrower.

Thanks for the info.