Booking.com accused of misleading customers as couple ‘eaten alive by bed bugs’

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Booking.com have said they offer accommodation for all budgets

 

The Roker Hotel in Blackpool said "people are always looking for an excuse not to pay"
The Roker Hotel in Blackpool said “people are always looking for an excuse not to pay”

Booking.com have been accused of misleading customers after a couple claim they were “eaten alive by bed bugs” at the Roker Hotel in Blackpool.

After staying at the two-star hotel, Charlotte May shared a post to the Blackpool Nightmare Holidays Facebook group asking if “anyone else had problems” with both Booking.com and the Roker Hotel on the New South Promenade.

The owner of The Roker hotel has responded to claims that both Charlotte and her family were “eaten alive” during their stay – Roberto, owner, told Lancs Live that he believed guests were “making excuses” not to pay the cost of their stay. He said “otherwise everything is in order.”

 

Charlotte claimed that after being refunded by Roberto, she was then charged for two rooms through Booking.com.

Charlotte wrote: “He charged us at start of stay, he finally gave refund tried fobbing us off about bills high, only him there doing everything etc (not my problem), but then got home to find he was trying to charge me for both rooms again after giving refund to my other cards for the rooms through booking.com saying we hadn’t paid.

“So booking.com charging my card on file as obviously you agree to when you sign up with booking.com but you don’t expect health hazard and death trap hotels to be falsely advertised on their site.”

During her stay at The Roker Hotel, Charlotte shared photographs of food behind the bed, mould on the walls, brown stains on the bed sheets, out of date PAT tests and doors propped open by towels on the floor.

Food was found behind the bed at The Roker Hotel
Food was found behind the bed at The Roker Hotel

In a video also recorded and shared by Charlotte, small black bugs are seen to have gathered beneath the buttons on the mattress.

As she lifts the button, Charlotte can be heard saying: “Today’s date is the 14th of November, and they’re jumping. But there’s no bed bugs here at all, is there? And this is what we’ve all been bitten by.”

She also shared a photograph of her partner’s stomach, which was covered in bite marks.

Charlotte said "they're jumping" as she lifted the button on the mattress
Charlotte said “they’re jumping” as she lifted the button on the mattress

Charlotte would not be the first to allege the hotel of having bed bugs.

Another guest who left a review on TripAdvisor in November said: “The morning after we got there me and my wife were bitten by bed bugs and so too were our friends who went with us. They were in a different room on a different floor. When the owner was approached about the bed bug issues he said it’s not bed bugs it’s an allergy to the bedding which we said was unlikely not for all 4 of us to have the same issue. The owner said he would go and check the rooms.”

Alison M, a second guest who left a review on TripAdvisor, said: “Supposed to stay 2 nights. Could only stay 1. Room cold, felt damp, poor condition. Bed bugs found first morning – fortunately hadn’t slept in that bed (family room with 3 beds, only 2 of us). Owner rude when sent emails since.”

Roberto, the owner, said: “In this hotel, we give them everything for £30. We’re not saying we are the Hilton, we are a two-star hotel.”

Roberto denied the presence of bed bugs in the hotel but admitted he had spent over £1,200 a long time ago to make sure everything was perfectly fine.

On Booking.com, the Roker Hotel is rated 5.8 out of 10, branding it as “passable” accommodation.

Out of the seven categories rated by previous guests, The Roker is highly rated for its staff and location.

Its facilities are rated 5.8, its cleanliness 5.6, comfort 5.9, value for money 6.7 and its free wifi 6.0. It is considered a low score for Blackpool according to Booking.com.

Of the 768 reviews left by previous guests, 141 rate the hotel as ‘superb’ whilst 153 rate it as ‘very poor’.

Among its 215 ‘Good’ reviews, the cleanliness and dated interior of the hotel is most often cited as its downfall. It is otherwise considered “good value for money”.

The average cost for a double room, booked via Booking.com, is £33.

A spokesperson for Booking.com said: We offer the broadest selection of accommodation for all budgets, alongside thousands of reviews with this property scoring 5.8 out of 10 from previous guests.

“As part of our aim to facilitate smooth and enjoyable travel experiences, our customer service team is available 24/7 to answer questions and support before, during or after a trip, just as we have done in this case.

“Due to the customers’ dissatisfaction with their stay, the accommodation has acknowledged the complaint and processed the refund for both reservations.”