Jalan Besar hotel guest disagrees bedbug incident was ‘isolated’, hotel doubles up – Mothership.SG

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A woman who stayed at a hotel in Jalan Besar and was bitten by bed bugs has been angered and dismayed by the hotel’s response after the hotel pointed out that the guests themselves could have been carriers of the insects.

Phia Boo had stayed at ST Signature, a co-living hotel in Jalan Besar, with a friend after traveling to Singapore from Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia.

The couple were covered in bed bug bites after staying there for two nights, and later posted a complaint about their experience on Facebook on June 18.

What happened

The hotel staff offered to upgrade them to a bigger room after Boo informed them of the bites. However, they found another bed bug on the bed in the second bedroom.

The marks on Boo’s friend also spread and got worse.

ST Signature confirmed they offered free laundry services once Boo complained about bed bug bites.

They also shared that they perform a weekly pest control service or maintenance and claimed that they have a strict protocol in place when such incidents occur.

Apparently felt itchy after lying on bed

ST Signature says Mothership in a June 28 statement that this incident was an “isolated report of [a] guest,” and said that so far, no further bedbug activity has been observed at the premises.

Upon inspecting the affected rooms, their pest control supplier found only “a few” adult bedbugs and no eggs.

As such, the hotel believes the bedbugs were “most likely” brought in with Boo’s luggage prior to the incident.

Talk to Mothership on June 29, Boo said she was “very disappointed” that the hotel blamed its guests and accused them of lying.

Boo and her friend, both Malaysian, had come here to meet old colleagues and friends. They had traveled to Johor Bahru and then taken a shuttle bus to Singapore.

When the couple had just quit their jobs and were trying to be frugal with their expenses, they had chosen a “budget” hotel, she said.

Boo also shared that she apparently immediately felt itchy right after lying on the bed in the room they booked.

Although she had trouble sleeping, her friend “slept like a log”, which she says was the reason her bites turned out to be more numerous and more severe.

The hotel received no further reports of bedbugs during this time.

Boo also took issue with ST Signature’s statement that their bed bug case was “isolated.”

She pointed to several social media comments and past reviews where previous customers had similar negative experiences.

In response to MothershipST Signature said they described the case as “isolated” because they had not received any other similar bed bug reports “during the same period”.

They also detected no other bed bug activity during their weekly pest control services prior to the incident.

The hotel added that “picking and choosing screenshots can be a little unfair to us.”

“Some of these comments may not be substantiated, nor do we have the full context to provide further clarification or an appropriate response,” the hotel said.

Hotel doubled

ST Signature continued that bedbugs “can occur for a variety of reasons”, such as hitchhiking on a person’s clothes, bags and shoes, and can be picked up from anywhere. , such as cinemas, buses or taxis.

The hotel said it was taking the matter seriously and as such immediately activated its pest control service in the affected rooms once Boo complained.

They added that with the high volume of human traffic, the appearance of bed bugs in the hotel is inevitable, which is why the hotel has pest control protocols in place.

“As a hotel with guests coming in and out daily, we cannot avoid bed bugs, but we have strict protocols in place to ensure cleanliness and that regular pest checks are in order, as well as ‘quick action to minimize the effect.’

The hotel also doubled down on its suggestion that the bed bugs were brought by Boo and her friend.

Also, the hotel’s pest control company did not find any bed bug eggs in the affected rooms.

This result “almost certainly rules out an infestation”, the hotel said, and led them to conclude that the bed bug found in the second bedroom was “most likely” transferred by the guest.

Refunded a different amount than they paid

Boo also shared that although the staff were friendly and helpful, the hotel did not offer any monetary compensation or refunds.

The hotel first shared in its statement that since their stay, Boo has not contacted ST Signature directly or through AirBnB to request a refund or monetary compensation, other than posting on Facebook and leaving a review on AirBnB.

Although she acknowledged that she hadn’t contacted the hotel directly, she had hoped their AirBnB host would make the offer after seeing the photos they had sent in of their bedbug bites.

ST Signature then said in its first statement that it had refunded Boo and her friend a full refund of S$165.53.

Photo courtesy of Phia Boo

However, Boo shared that the refunded amount was incorrect as she and her friend had paid RM622 (S$196.33) for the room, which is around S$31 more than the one refunded.

Photo courtesy of Phia Boo

The hotel responded in its second statement that since it had not received any form of direct communication from Boo requesting a refund or compensation, the refund was processed out of goodwill based on the amount it received from Boo. ‘AirBnB.

They said the amount paid by Boo included platform fees and could have been higher due to exchange rates as well.

Wish to warn others

Boo said she was asked to share her experience at ST Signature after seeing the severity of the bites her friend had received.

“We want to warn others and don’t want others to experience what we did,” she said of the “nightmare” she experienced.

She also wanted the hotel to close to carry out a more thorough cleaning of its premises.

Top photo by Phia Boo/FB

Kasandra J. Stone