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Canadian Hotel Sues Guest For $95K Over Bad Review, Bed Bugs

samzenpus posted 1 year,23 days | from the don't-let-the-connoisseurs-bite dept.

Social Networks 432

An anonymous reader writes "A guest at at Quebec hotel was bitten by bed bugs, brought some down to the front desk and asked for new room. While the fully booked hotel offers to get him another room in a different hotel, he stays out the night then leaves — telling people at the hotel — some of whom also check out. When he wrote about it on Trip Advisor, the hotel demanded he take it down and when he did they sued him for $95,000."

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Free speech (5, Insightful)

MooseTick (895855) | 1 year,23 days | (#44648413)

Free speech is for those people who know how to keep their mouths shut!

Re:Free speech (5, Funny)

GrBear (63712) | 1 year,23 days | (#44648447)

It was more likely he was sued because his review wasn't bilingual. This IS Quebec we're talking about afterall.

Re:Free speech (1)

CptPicard (680154) | 1 year,23 days | (#44648689)

Brilliant. A bit like Finland these days :-)

Re:Free speech (4, Informative)

JustOK (667959) | 1 year,23 days | (#44648889)

Quebec is NOT bilingual.

Re:Free speech (0)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,23 days | (#44648949)

Quoi?

Re:Free speech (4, Informative)

JustOK (667959) | 1 year,23 days | (#44649109)

New Brunswick is the only bilingual province. Quebec is uni-lingual.

Re:Free speech (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,23 days | (#44648523)

Moot, because there is no "freedom of speech" in Canada. Tons of people think there is, but there is not.

In any case, I doubt this hotel will win the suit, as long as there actually were bed bugs. If this guy made it up, he is screwed.

Re:Free speech (4, Interesting)

FunPika (1551249) | 1 year,23 days | (#44648629)

The hotel is not denying that this guy had bedbugs in his room on the night of his stay. Apparently the hotel's justification for suing comes down to them believing that only his room was infested, and that this was an isolated incident.

Re:Free speech (5, Insightful)

roc97007 (608802) | 1 year,23 days | (#44648955)

The hotel is not denying that this guy had bedbugs in his room on the night of his stay. Apparently the hotel's justification for suing comes down to them believing that only his room was infested, and that this was an isolated incident.

Yeah, I'm pretty sure there's no such thing as "only one room infested with bed bugs" in a hotel. (Think about how they're serviced.) This could be an entertaining lawsuit. The problem I see is that the hotel taking him to court puts even more media attention on the hotel being infested.

Re:Free speech (2, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,23 days | (#44648709)

Just plain wrong.

Link [wikipedia.org]

"Freedom of speech in Canada is protected as a "fundamental freedom" by Section 2 of the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms."

Re:Free speech (1)

Shark (78448) | 1 year,23 days | (#44649021)

The very first paragraph of that document also states clearly that the government only protects those freedoms so long as it deems reasonable to do so. There is no definition of what they think is reasonable. Regardless, the government does not acknowledge that the freedoms are yours to begin with, they are granted to you on their good will to do so and are theirs to offer or deny.

Re:Free speech (0)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,23 days | (#44648749)

Moot...

This isn't 4chan.

Re: Free speech (0)

msmonroe (2511262) | 1 year,23 days | (#44648869)

America is the same as far as possible outcomes, we have free speech and there is huge but, if it was a false accusation things get litigious. It would be odd to accuse someone of this though and if the claim wasn't true I am guessing facts would come out during discovery.

Re: Free speech (1)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,23 days | (#44648919)

I love the me too posts like this one. Why do you always have to bring the US up?

Re:Free speech (1)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,23 days | (#44648893)

What do you call in the Charter of Rights and Freedoms of Canada
Fundamental freedoms

2. Everyone has the following fundamental freedoms:
(a) freedom of conscience and religion;
(b) freedom of thought, belief, opinion and expression, including freedom of the press and other media of communication;
(c) freedom of peaceful assembly; and
(d) freedom of association.

Re:Free speech (1)

Em Adespoton (792954) | 1 year,23 days | (#44649087)

This is trumped by hate speech laws, for example. It stands in all cases where it is not overridden for some reason thought reasonable by the legal system. So lawsuits can happen about anything, and will come to court as long as the plaintiff can convince the judge that the nullification of freedom of expression is reasonable in this instance.

Seems like in this case, they're trying to trump freedom of expression with libel/slander laws. Possible, but not likely in this case, and this is NOT the kind of publicity a hotel should be wanting to bring on itself.

Re:Free speech (4, Funny)

ackthpt (218170) | 1 year,23 days | (#44648727)

Free speech is for those people who know how to keep their mouths shut!

C-eh-N-eh-D-eh, not YOOSA

How did he dare to disturb the bed bugs? (1)

menegator (539434) | 1 year,23 days | (#44648421)

How did he dare to disturb the bed bugs? Fine him!

Babs, look what you did again (4, Insightful)

davebarnes (158106) | 1 year,23 days | (#44648427)

When will businesses learn?
I know, never.

Re:Babs, look what you did again (3, Funny)

slashmydots (2189826) | 1 year,23 days | (#44648527)

Indeed. They couldn't have shot themselves in the foot any harder if Barbara Streissand got in a fight with Anderson Cooper's news crew in the lobby.

You know the Hotel Quebec? (4, Informative)

Joining Yet Again (2992179) | 1 year,23 days | (#44648441)

I read somewhere that it is shit.

is it true that the Hotel Quebec is shit?

Could it be that it's full of cockroaches, and that the waiters ejaculate into the food?

Has anyone said that the manager hurls racial abuse at his staff and non-white customers?

Did anyone find any reports about guests having their personal property stolen by the room cleaners?

Re:You know the Hotel Quebec? (4, Funny)

Shoten (260439) | 1 year,23 days | (#44648711)

I read somewhere that it is shit.

is it true that the Hotel Quebec is shit?

Could it be that it's full of cockroaches, and that the waiters ejaculate into the food?

Has anyone said that the manager hurls racial abuse at his staff and non-white customers?

Did anyone find any reports about guests having their personal property stolen by the room cleaners?

I did know this one waiter there.

"Do not watch. I can't go if you watch."

Apart from seasoning the lobster bisque, he farted on the meringue, sneezed on braised endive, and as for the cream of mushroom soup, well...

(chuckling in the background)

"Go ahead. Say it."

You get the idea.

Re:You know the Hotel Quebec? (0)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,23 days | (#44648813)

Could it be that it's full of cockroaches, and that the waiters ejaculate into the food?

That kind of behavior gets you an extra Michelin star in Quebec.

Re:You know the Hotel Quebec? (2)

tibit (1762298) | 1 year,23 days | (#44648879)

You mean, the food would otherwise be so bad that added semen and cockroaches turs it back into something with nutritional value? Hmm....

mistake in editorial entry (5, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,23 days | (#44648443)

"the hotel demanded he take it down and when he did they sued him for $95,000.""
should be
"the hotel demanded he take it down and when he didn't, they sued him for $95,000.""

Re:mistake in editorial entry (2, Informative)

gweilo8888 (921799) | 1 year,23 days | (#44648489)

Mod parent up. Article summary is wrong.

Re:mistake in editorial entry (5, Funny)

Mitreya (579078) | 1 year,23 days | (#44648859)

Mod parent up. Article summary is wrong.

But that's why we come to slashdot -- Two stories for the price of one!

The summary is usually different from the article and two separate discussion (one about summary another one about article) are carried out in the comments section. I assume this is intentional, because no editor would allow it otherwise, right? :)

Re:mistake in editorial entry (0)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,23 days | (#44648529)

"the hotel demanded he take it down and when he did they sued him for $95,000.""
should be
"the hotel demanded he take it down and when he didn't, they sued him for $95,000.""

His taking it down is proof that he wrote it, which they needed as evidence for their lawsuit.

Re:mistake in editorial entry (5, Informative)

gweilo8888 (921799) | 1 year,23 days | (#44648563)

He hasn't taken it down. It is still online: http://www.tripadvisor.com/ShowUserReviews-g155033-d183336-r158988363-L_hotel_Quebec-Quebec_City_Quebec.html [tripadvisor.com] Therefore the summary is demonstrably wrong.

Re:mistake in editorial entry (1)

rahvin112 (446269) | 1 year,23 days | (#44648877)

Welcome to slashdot, enjoy your stay.

Editorial review? Not here!

Re:mistake in editorial entry (1)

ackthpt (218170) | 1 year,23 days | (#44648747)

"the hotel demanded he take it down and when he did they sued him for $95,000.""
should be
"the hotel demanded he take it down and when he didn't, they sued him for $95,000.""

Honesty has its price. Dishonesty has its avarice.

Re:mistake in editorial entry (1)

roc97007 (608802) | 1 year,23 days | (#44648971)

"the hotel demanded he take it down and when he did they sued him for $95,000.""
should be
"the hotel demanded he take it down and when he didn't, they sued him for $95,000.""

I was wondering about that. My first thought was "wow, he shoulda left it up".

Re:mistake in editorial entry (0)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,23 days | (#44649085)

*Should* be:

"the hotel demanded he take the review down, and when it was reported that they sued him for $95000, the Streisand effect cost them more than that"

Notice that I omitted whether he took the review down or not, because at this point it actually doesn't matter. In fact, neither does the outcome of the case.

How can you win over facts? (4, Insightful)

fructose (948996) | 1 year,23 days | (#44648461)

Assuming that the story the guest told was true (and it seems it was, based on the hotel admitting it), how can the hotel possibly win when the reviewer is stating facts? If the review was completely made up, I would assume libel laws would side with the hotel. But when the whole situation is based on facts, and the reviewer is merely passing those facts on to the public, how can the hotel even expect to win?

The article is right, the hotel should have helped him out more from the get go instead of trying to do damage control.

Re:How can you win over facts? (5, Insightful)

gp824 (1146751) | 1 year,23 days | (#44648707)

Don't assume that civil law suits will be treated how they are in the US or in any other provinces in Canada. Quebec treats civil suits under French civil law.... a complex different system that we are used to. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Quebec_law [wikipedia.org]

Re:How can you win over facts? (1)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,23 days | (#44648745)

Depending on the country, he may prove that the situation is true (i.e. in the UK). In effect, the onus of proving that the hotel had bed bugs is on him, not on the hotel proving that it didn't have them.

Re:How can you win over facts? (0)

AK Marc (707885) | 1 year,23 days | (#44648895)

In many places, truth is not a defense. If it harms someone, it did harm. You can't badmouth certain industries in TX or FL, for example, regardless of the truth of the statements. Too bad free speech doesn't exist in the US anymore. We should move to some place more free, like Soviet Russia.

Re:How can you win over facts? (1)

tibit (1762298) | 1 year,23 days | (#44648913)

This guy very much double screwed at this point. Whether he knows it or not, he has brought the bed bugs back home with him. It's only a matter of time until his house will be infested as well. I feel for him.

Re:How can you win over facts? (0)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,23 days | (#44649057)

Assuming that the story the guest told was true (and it seems it was, based on the hotel admitting it), how can the hotel possibly win when the reviewer is stating facts?

Where did the hotel admit it? Did they even sue? All I see is some blog article without any citation beyond the link to the Trip Adviser review. Who's the lawyer, what's the court, under what law? Was there any fact checking done at all? I don't think so given this is a blogger, not a journalist. What wasn't the hotel called to ask for comments?

Re:How can you win over facts? (0)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,23 days | (#44649091)

The article is right, the hotel should have helped him out more from the get go instead of trying to do damage control.

They were already trying to find a room for him (presumably at their own expense), how much more "helping" would you expect?

News for Nerds -- stuff that ....really? (-1, Offtopic)

Nefarious Wheel (628136) | 1 year,23 days | (#44648477)

How can this article possibly be construed as matching the tone and subject matter of this fine journal?

Re:News for Nerds -- stuff that ....really? (1)

BLKMGK (34057) | 1 year,23 days | (#44648865)

Man writes review on internet review site - something many of us do. Man writes truthful review. Man is sued for a great deal of cash as a result. Something that coudl happen to one of us. It matters.

Oh yeah, some of us have to travel while earning our living too :-O

Sue the man, or the website owners? (0)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,23 days | (#44648483)

Why wouldn't they sue the owners of the site that posted his complaint? Also, isn't the 1st amendment available here? Isn't there a health risk here? I'm no genius, but isn't a bed bug to a hotel as a cockroach is to a restaurant?

Re:Sue the man, or the website owners? (1)

scream at the sky (989144) | 1 year,23 days | (#44648533)

There is no "First Amendment" in Canada. We have our own set of laws, and American laws don't apply.

Re:Sue the man, or the website owners? (3, Interesting)

Registered Coward v2 (447531) | 1 year,23 days | (#44648595)

There is no "First Amendment" in Canada. We have our own set of laws, and American laws don't apply.

Actually, since tripadvisor is located in the US it is a interesting legal arguement. Would Canada want US law to apply of a Canadian posted something that was actionable under US law simply because the website can be viewed in the US?

Re:Sue the man, or the website owners? (1)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,23 days | (#44648685)

The TOS specify that the laws of the State of Massachusetts apply and you consent to its jurisdiction. http://www.tripadvisor.ca/pages/terms.html

Re:Sue the man, or the website owners? (0)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,23 days | (#44648737)

Yeah, but aren't they printed on colored paper with maple leafs and ducks stamped everywhere?

Re:Sue the man, or the website owners? (1)

jklovanc (1603149) | 1 year,23 days | (#44648821)

In Canada we have Section Two [wikipedia.org] of the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms.

Re: Sue the man, or the website owners? (0)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,23 days | (#44648609)

It may be a shock to you, but Canada is not actually governed by the U.S. Constitution. Hard to believe, I know, but there you have it.

Summary is wrong (4, Insightful)

tompaulco (629533) | 1 year,23 days | (#44648505)

The summary says he took the review down and then they sued him. The article says he did not take the review down. I will admit that I wasn't immediately able to find the review, but there are three others on tripadvisor about the Hotel Quebec having bedbugs. It is a chain, though so not sure if it is the same one.
Aren't bedbugs really tiny and hard to see? Isn't it more likely that these were not bedbugs the species, but some kind of other bugs on the bed?

This is the review and it is still up (5, Informative)

davebarnes (158106) | 1 year,23 days | (#44648537)

"At first this hotel looks ok....until you wake up in the middle of the night at 3:00AM because you've been scratching all over and realize your bed is infested with BED BUGS!
What a nightmare! When I reported the situation to the managing stuff, there were no emergency to handle the situation because the decision maker was not available during the week end and it was a Saturday.
Instead they offered to transfer my son and I to a hotel nearby where a room was available because they were concerned I was going to cause Mayhem
They finally offered to investigate the room despite the 4 BED BUGS I had contained in a glass and pictures and videos I had showed them.
I was supposed to stay one more night but instead chose to move to a hotel nearby; turned out to be cleaner-up to date-bigger room- and cheaper rate and that was the Holiday Inn Express down the road at 3145 Avenue de Hotels.
Beware of BED BUGS! If you are looking for a scratch free night sleep, stay elsewhere, you will be doing you and your loved ones a favour! Trust me...and that's why the Internet is a great tool!
        Stayed April 2013, traveled with family"

And this is the link to the review... (3, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,23 days | (#44648557)

...if anybody wants to read it and/or vote it up on the site in question: http://www.tripadvisor.com/ShowUserReviews-g155033-d183336-r158988363-L_hotel_Quebec-Quebec_City_Quebec.html [tripadvisor.com]

Re:And this is the link to the review... (0)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,23 days | (#44648775)

I don't know, his review looks a bit obsessed or trolling, the way he repeats "BED BUGS" and all that. I just wonder if we actually know the whole story here. Maybe I'm wrong though.

Re:And this is the link to the review... (1)

KiloByte (825081) | 1 year,23 days | (#44648941)

I don't know, his review looks a bit obsessed or trolling, the way he repeats "BED BUGS" and all that.

Like, say, he was upset because of getting ravaged by the little buggers in the middle of the night?

Very Helpful review too! (1)

Guru80 (1579277) | 1 year,23 days | (#44649043)

The review in the link above currently has 278 up votes while the 4 star rating directly below it has 2. /. keep doing what you do!

Re:Summary is wrong (2)

oldhack (1037484) | 1 year,23 days | (#44648571)

They are about quarter inch long, dark, very visible and recognizable, especially against white hotel sheets.

Re:Summary is wrong (1)

arth1 (260657) | 1 year,23 days | (#44648811)

That's assuming, of course, that the hotel sheets are white.

Re:Summary is wrong (1)

Kleen13 (1006327) | 1 year,23 days | (#44648871)

And will make you scratch and itch more than a hooker sweats in church.

welcome to reality (4, Funny)

slashmydots (2189826) | 1 year,23 days | (#44648511)

If it was me the hotel was suing, I'd tell them to take up the complaint up with my department of go fuck yourself, of which Barbara Streissand is the department head.

Re:welcome to reality (0)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,23 days | (#44649105)

Watch out, folks, we've got a badass here.

Sorry? (1)

Gemdog (1418099) | 1 year,23 days | (#44648513)

Couldn't they just say sorry, it usually works :-P

I will avoid this place like the bedbug plague (5, Insightful)

generic_screenname (2927777) | 1 year,23 days | (#44648515)

I will never stay at a hotel that responds to a complaint on the internet with a $95k lawsuit.

Re:I will avoid this place like the bedbug plague (1)

Mitreya (579078) | 1 year,23 days | (#44648899)

I will never stay at a hotel that responds to a complaint on the internet with a $95k lawsuit.

Ya, I agree, they lack imagination. He could just fight that. Should have sued him for $95M at least to really scare him

Also, I think the lesson here is that it is best to post reviews anonymously, as no good can come from identifying yourself.

NEWS FOR NERDS ?? (-1)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,23 days | (#44648545)

How so ??

Re:NEWS FOR NERDS ?? (2)

AK Marc (707885) | 1 year,23 days | (#44648957)

Getting sued for posting a bad review ON THE INTERNET has the "Internet" word in it, thus news for nerds.

Lawsuit = Billboard saying they have bedbugs (4, Insightful)

JoeyRox (2711699) | 1 year,23 days | (#44648577)

I realize the negative publicity they received from his Trip Advisor review has hurt their business but by filing the lawsuit they're guaranteeing that every person who hasn't read the review will now become aware of their bed bug problem. And with the hotel not denying there were bedbugs the lawsuit is a horrible idea.

Clearly .... (3, Interesting)

King_TJ (85913) | 1 year,23 days | (#44648593)

You're not allowed to remove the bed bugs from the room, since they count as hotel property. If he would have just put them back after showing the front desk, maybe none of this would have happened?

But seriously, businesses are really getting fixated on maintaining good appearances via social media these days. They view the whole thing as a marketing/advertising playground for them, so honest review sites with negative reviews are a real thorn in the side for them. I don't think the hotel has any legal grounds for this lawsuit if the review is truthful .... but that doesn't mean it won't try intimidation tactics anyway.

It amazes me how companies pay people to watch Twitter feeds like a hawk these days. You can be a Twitter user who never tweets a single thing and basically has no followers. But if you have problems with a product or service and figure out the right name to tag on a tweet to get the company's attention? They're almost always right on top of replying and trying to do damage control. Never-mind the fact that same user might have posted something just as negative over on Facebook or elsewhere, and the company never so much as notices that comment.

Re:Clearly .... (0)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,23 days | (#44648907)

Yup, working as an internet provider we often get complaints on our facebook page (sometimes even legitimate ones). We are excessively prompt when dealing with these because bad publicity (deserved or not) spreads like wildfire.

Im just glad we can filter out the trolls since it's our page. Going on the offensive on a bad review is almost certainly going to create more bad publicity than simply dealing with the problem at hand in a satisfying matter.

whoever runs that hotel must be on crack or something.

Yesterday vs. Today (5, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,23 days | (#44648603)

Yesterday: I figured there were hotels in Canada, but I never really thought about it.

Today: If I ever go to Canada, I'd better avoid the Hotel Quebec, because those bastards have bedbugs and sue people out of house and home rather than fix their problems. Either that, or the place attracts crazies with some pathology that causes them to make things up. Regardless, I'll just avoid it.

Next time I post a bad review (0)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,23 days | (#44648607)

I will do it from a Panera, then watch the company bankrupt itself with legal fees trying to track me down when it would be impossible to do so. LOL!

What a surprise, the summary is wrong. (0)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,23 days | (#44648613)

When he wrote about it on Trip Advisor, the hotel demanded he take it down and when he did

Err, no he didn't.

Despite entreaties, the review remains; Mr. Azoulay refuses to take it down

I can't say I have any sympathy for the hotel at all. The guy sounds like a bit of an arse for saying the directorr should "get on her knees and beg him not to tell this story to anyone", but if you're running a hotel you should damn well know that bedbugs are a major ewwww factor for many people and won't exactly appeal to guests. Instead of suing they should use the reply function on TripAdvisor to apologise and stress that they've had the entire problem meticulously dealt with.

The guest will win (1)

jones_supa (887896) | 1 year,23 days | (#44648645)

Well, the hotel guest will probably win the lawsuit, right? I don't see how writing a review about experiences in a hotel could be illegal.

Re:The guest will win (1)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,23 days | (#44648777)

If it were in the UK, the guest would have to prove that there are bed bugs. Othewise he is guilty of defamation. See http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/English_defamation_law

Re:The guest will win (1)

jones_supa (887896) | 1 year,23 days | (#44648799)

I see. According to his review he has "pictures and videos" of the bugs, I hope he kept them...

How about the tailor who threatened an author (0)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,23 days | (#44648665)

A tailor in NYC threatened an author who left a negative review on Yelp. Apparently the author has a new novel coming out soon, and the tailor said he and his friends would leave tons of negative reviews on Amazon once the novel came out:

http://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/style-blog/wp/2013/08/16/authors-beware-bad-reviews-dont-suit-you/

Managing reputation 101 (0)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,23 days | (#44648671)

How does this still happen in 2013? If I were responsible for a hotel chain and one of my GMs did something so idiotic and damaging to my brand I don't see how he gets to keep his job.

So where's the actual story? (1)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,23 days | (#44648681)

You know, to the news site covering the lawsuit.

So far all we have is an anonymous comment on a review site and a few blogs linking to that comment. That's it. That's all the "proof" there is. Where is the link to a story with actual details on the lawsuit?

For all we know, the reviewer got kicked out for being a drunken buffoon and is retaliating by making up claims about a lawsuit.

Funny how everyone is so quick to jump on the bandwagon without any actual documentation.

Re:So where's the actual story? (0)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,23 days | (#44648705)

"I read a news report yesterday" is apparently good enough. In related news, I read a news report yesterday that informed me that Linux is not to be trusted, that Windows 8 is the greatest OS ever, and that we need to return to the days of pay-per-hour dialup Internet.

I Call Bullshit! (0)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,23 days | (#44648719)

If this were really a Canadian hotel, they would not have sued. Instead the patron would have apologized for contracting bedbugs and the hotel would have apologized to the patron.

QED

Re:I Call Bullshit! (1)

jklovanc (1603149) | 1 year,23 days | (#44648999)

It is a french hotel; the french never apologize.

why (0)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,23 days | (#44648729)

Why would anyone take this seriously? Why would any Canadian Judge take this seriously? Why is anyone bothering to allow public squabling and hurt feelings to be something worth sueing over 'damages'.

If I were served with those papers, they'd be ignored hard core. I'd laugh at you. Try bringing me to court. I'd laugh at you in cort, i'd laugh at the judge, and then i'd laugh while you try to get money from me any way (legalized extortion) possible. You won't get it. Fuck you.

missing point (1)

Zurd3 (574979) | 1 year,23 days | (#44648763)

Article doesn't talk about the hotel's point of view, what if the customer brings bed bugs and just try to get a rebate. If the hotel had an expert that same day certifying that there's no bed bugs, they could win in court. Also, bed bugs happens in every hotel even 5 stars hey're a nuisance but they won't kill you.

News for nerds (0)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,23 days | (#44648785)

If this is news for nerds, then EVERYTHING is news for nerds.

New insecticide (2)

mirix (1649853) | 1 year,23 days | (#44648795)

They really need to come up with a new insecticide for bed bugs.

When I was a kid, bed bugs were some sort of myth, they just didn't exist anymore, like smallpox.
That just may have been because I grew up in BFE, though, with almost no immigration and little international travel. Now they are widespread through Canadian cities, not just flophouses either.

Current ways of killing them seem to be:
1. pyrethin? (plant based) insecticide, they are more or less immune
2. something else, but has to be applied by extermintor 3 times to kill, as it doesn't kill eggs. Cheapass slumlords never pay for three treatments, so this solves nothing, generally.
3. Heat. Heating the whole apartment block to 45 degrees (uhh.. 110? or 120F) for an hour or two kills them all dead, including eggs. expensive.
4. higher test stuff that is illegal to use indoors, maybe cause neurotoxicity or cancer or who knows what.

Doesn't seem like anyone does research on this, maybe they do and I just don't know about it. I'd certainly say this is going to get worse before it gets better, though.

Re:New insecticide (5, Informative)

suutar (1860506) | 1 year,23 days | (#44648969)

no, it's because DDT worked really well against bedbugs while it was legal. It's taken a while for the survivors to repopulate.

Re:New insecticide (0)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,23 days | (#44649077)

They were rare because they were being killed off with DDT, which was later found to be wreaking havoc on the environment.

Re:New insecticide (4, Interesting)

puppetman (131489) | 1 year,23 days | (#44649079)

What about diatomaceous earth? It's fossilized algae, and a natural insecticide, absorbing the lipids from the exoskeletons of insects.

I've read that if you pull your bed from the wall, take 4 empty/clean tuna cans with diatomaceous earth in them, and put one under each leg of the bed, you can get rid of them. They crawl in and out of it on their way to feast on you.

If I had them, in addition to the cans-under-legs, I'd be dusting the floors, the sheets, the bed-frame, the bed-boards, the electrical sockets, etc, to get rid of them.

There was also a BBC show, either Edwardian Farm, or Victorian Farm, where they showed the housewife scrubbing bed frames down twice a year with lye to keep them under control.

Hotel is wrong but customer sounds like a dick (3, Insightful)

multiben (1916126) | 1 year,23 days | (#44648823)

The hotel is clearly stupid and they will also lose this battle. But why did the customer refuse to move to another hotel? They chose to stay in a bed which they knew had bed bugs? And suggested that the hotel manager get down on her knees and beg him not to tell anyone? Sounds like a serial victim on a power trip to me. Can't wait for something bad to happen to them so they can become the outraged centre of attention.

Re:Hotel is wrong but customer sounds like a dick (2)

puppetman (131489) | 1 year,23 days | (#44649095)

It was 3am - I guess they didn't want to pack up and move. Personally, I'm not sure how they got back to sleep.

Hotels don't handle this stuff very well IMO (3, Interesting)

BLKMGK (34057) | 1 year,23 days | (#44648841)

I stayed at a hotel in Vegas recently, one right on the strip. While taking a dump one evening I caught motion out the corner of my eye and a bug larger than my thumb was found to be racing at me! I had to lift my feet for the damn thing to run by before it became trapped in the corner behind the toilet. The lights were full on too, he was bold as brass.

I trapped the bastard in a glass and called down to the front desk a bit freaked out - it was after midnight. I explained there was a bug issue and they sent up some poor guy from maintenance, he arrived with a vacuum cleaner. Imagine his surprise when I showed him the bug! I told him I had no idea what it was and that I hoped it was some sort of weird mutant Vegas bug. His eyes big as saucers he told me "no sir, that's a cockaroach!". He stepped back out of the room and radioed his superiors - who told him they wanted him to bring the bug to them! (lol)

He covered it with a washcloth and off he went none too happy. Management promptly called offering to move me but I was tired and declined, I spent the night with the lights on clothed.

The next morning I went down to speak to a manager and was again offered a different room, I took one close by so I wouldn't have to schlep my stuff too far. Within the next three days I saw a "Do Not Disturb" sign back on that door. The room was out of service for maybe two nights and I was able to confirm this when I found it noted on my bill. Two days was all they spent cleaning up. Now this wasn't bed bugs which are hard as hell to kill but it was the largest roach I've ever seen and the damn thing had wings too! No way in hell did this sucker grow up and spend his life in that room and no way in hell did he get in through some sort of crack, I looked all over for possible entryways with a flashlight. This fucker HAD to have squeezed under the door from the adjoining room or from the hall - asshats leaving their room service out in the hall probably provided him a damn good sustenance.

At the end of the day this hotel, which I had thought pretty decent, seemed pretty nonplussed by this whole thing and not the slightest bit embarrassed. Room out of service a bare minimum and no effort I could see to do anything about adjoining rooms or the source of this issue. I have to say I'm not sure I'll be staying there again!

P.S. I used to travel with a blacklight. I found one or two memorable things with it and honestly I no longer carry it - some things I just don't want to know!

Bye bye Jaro chain (1)

EmperorOfCanada (1332175) | 1 year,23 days | (#44648845)

Hello Jaro chain, do you know what I prize even more than a bedbug free hotel? My right to free speech. I wouldn't be mad if this suit was about some guy faking the bedbugs but now you have escalated it to an attack on a fundamental human right. So any time I am forced to stay in Quebec city I will make sure to avoid any of your 6 anti-free-speech zones.

The guy is the perp; the company the victim (0)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,23 days | (#44648853)

The company made two mistakes. 1) they didn't clean the room sufficiently and as such there were bed bugs. This happens, it's unfortunate but companies are made up of fallible people and mistakes happen. 2) they offered too little; they should have offered a full refund and to be put up at the other hotel, not for what was roughly 1/2 price.

But the guy was a dick about it. What did he want? They had a full hotel so they couldn't give him another room in that facility, and they couldn't magically wave a wand and make the bed bugs go away; that would require pesticides and would not make the room able to be slept in. And so what if he brought 4 bugs in a glass? How does the receptionist or the manager know that they came from the room and he's not some crank from outside? They offered to investigate and put him up somewhere else. What else could they have reasonably done?

Instead, the guy decides to not take the offer, bad mouths the hotel rudely to other guests, then writes a scathing review that omits his own bad behavior that directly results in loss of profit to the company. The hotel could have done better, but this guy is no saint or Robin Hood.

Interesting Anecdote (5, Interesting)

wbr1 (2538558) | 1 year,23 days | (#44648937)

My girlfriend and I take weekend trips often during the summer, and we use hotels.com to book lodging. While in Ohio earlier this summer, one of the places we stayed was terrible. No bedbugs, but poor repair, smelly room, bad service, the list goes on and on. IN addition, thier entry on hotels.com stated that they offered contentinal breakfast, which they did not.

Upon returning from our trip, we decided to rate and write a hotels.com review to warn others. We were not disrespectful or profane. We stated the facts and our displeasure with them only. A week or so later, my GF noticed the review still had not posted. Then she received an email stating that it would not because it violated the TOS of hotels.com. No explanation of how, just that we had. There were no names given (except the name of the hotel), and as I stated earlier, nothing but facts about ther visit, and our displeasure (admittedly and opinion).

I know where hotels.com gets its bread buttered now, and it is not from us customers. A chain hotel can exert much more fiscal pressure than a single customer.

I am owed a free night from them, and I am thinking of booking hotels using another source after that, but will the result be any different? My cynical brain says no.

Re:Interesting Anecdote (1)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,23 days | (#44649055)

Yelp. Tripadvisor. Bookings.com. I'm not so sure Bookings.com isn't in the same pot as hotels.com, but Yelp at least knows they live and die by the customer satisfaction first. They don't have a good global presence so Tripadvisor is better outside of the US, but inside the US Yelp is #1 for reviews. And since they're not a booking agent, they have nothing to gain by supporting the business and lots to lose if they don't maintain their impartial reputation with the customers.

Other posts? (3, Interesting)

jklovanc (1603149) | 1 year,23 days | (#44648945)

If you look at the review site [tripadvisor.com] you will find a total of 28 reviews that grade the hotel as poor or terrible.Why only sue one reviewer?

Two words... (2)

pslytely psycho (1699190) | 1 year,23 days | (#44648947)

Counter suit.

SLAPP (3, Informative)

jklovanc (1603149) | 1 year,23 days | (#44648985)

Quebec has an anti-SLAPP [wikipedia.org] law.

Streisand Effect (0)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,23 days | (#44649019)

Will people never learn

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