Hotel Bed Bugs Last April (Chargeback)

Hi all, last April I booked a terrible place which had bed bugs.

We took photos of the bed bugs and husband’s bites. He had to go on antibiotics.

Anyway we spent 2 nights and moved to a different place for night 3 and 4. Agoda hasn’t helped at all. We paid with Virgin Money credit card and we filed a chargeback . Initially they refunded us but now they put the charge back.

I also have an email from hotel saying they would refund 3 nights. But no refund was made.

What steps can I take next? I’m going to complain to Virgin money as despite receiving a disgusting stay they are backing Agoda and the Hotel.

Thinking of going to consumer rights and small court. It isn’t much ($600) but still. Husband had a very unpleasant experience and itchy with blisters for days :(

Update: after email the hotel (Swanston on Arrow in Melbourne) threatening to go to consumers law they refunded me 3 nights.

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  • +9

    I’m going to complain to Virgin money


    The issue is between you and the hotel… Not the credit card company…

    • Initially they gave me refund from all documents sent. They charged back.

      • +3

        and where in the PDS for Virgin money does it say they can't charge you for products and services that you buy?

      • +2

        When you do a chargeback, it isn't instant. They give you the money back, and then put your 'claim' to the merchant to prove. If the merchant proves it was a valid charge, then the card takes the money back.

        So what was the reason you used to do the chargeback?

        • Bed bugs supported by photos and email hotel confirming it (they said they would refund 3 nights but didn’t even after getting Agoda involved).

          • +1

            @fozzie: Sorry, should have said category to make it clearer for you. What was your category for doing a chargeback, something like goods not received or unauthorised transaction etc.

            • +1

              @JimmyF: I don’t remember right now. I need to look at the email I sent.

  • +1

    Paris? Or here in Australia?

    • +2


      • +9

        Probably the Paris End.

      • +1

        FML, too close to home.

        Did you take any with you?

        • Ahha. Thanks God I didn’t! I disinfected all the stuff when I came back.

    • You've been following world news huh.

      • You know it's next level bad when you catch bedbugs on public transport

  • Thinking of Omindbus

    Do you mean Omnibus ?

    How would that help?

  • +1

    Your original comment was "Dou you mean Omnibus?" before your edit.

  • I'd take the three-night refund and move on.

    • +1

      Thanks, problem is they didn’t give me any refund at all.

      • +4

        Was it a conditional offer, or did they need to confirm your payment / card details?
        Did you reply accepting their offer?

        We seem to be missing a bit of info.

    • I'd want them to cover medical bills too, and I'd hope for cash prizes for not posting the pictures to all the review sites. Though of course you can't ask for it, but you can still hope.

  • Thinking of Omindbus and small court

    I mean i know what you were trying to spell, but still don't know how you got to this spelling of it.

    Not sure what else you're expecting them to do, they refunded 3 nights that weren't used?

    • They didn’t refund me anything . Sorry I’ll change Main post. Changed the infamous word to lol.

  • +7

    Seems to me the bed bugs had the room first

  • +2

    Maybe the bed bugs morphed into software bugs - or worse - management bugs!

    • I prefer Moreton Bay bugs…

      Hope to find a Hotel full of them one day… Happy to pay…

  • +4

    What steps can I take next? I’m going to complain to Virgin money as despite receiving a disgusting stay they are backing Agoda and the Hotel.

    This has nothing to do with Virgin. You put a chargeback in, the merchant proved it was a valid charge, so they took the money back. It has nothing to do with Virgin picking a side. As above, what was your chargeback reason?

    Thinking of going to consumer rights and small court. It isn’t much ($600) but still.

    Cool… So which company will you be filing against?

    I also have an email from hotel saying they would refund 3 nights. But no refund was made.

    Call them and ask why it hasn't been refunded yet.

    • Thanks I’ll follow that up. I don’t think they want to refund me (even though I don’t know why) as I got Agoda involved and they replied with the policy that if you have started stay no refund.

      I will need to file against hotel then.

      • In which jurisdiction will you be suing?

      • Thanks I’ll follow that up

        Sounds like something you should have done before posting here. Call the hotel and ask for the refund as promised.

        I don’t think they want to refund me (even though I don’t know why) as I got Agoda involved

        You seem to be fighting this on all fronts and may have burnt your bridges doing so. Filing a chargeback, asking Agoda to refund and the hotel refunding directly might have just pissed them off enough now that they will make you fight to the death to get your money back.

        Why didn't you just move rooms if your first room had bed bugs?

        • They had no other room. They refused to refund after promising to give us back 3 nights (they applied the Agoda policy).

  • +4

    I think what happen is the hotel intended to issue you a refund but you initiated a chargeback with virgin money and they (the hotel) won, so now they don't give a f**k anymore. you should wait for their refund, if nothing happens then do a chargeback.

    • I waited for the refund and Agoda was also involved but the answer was : “sorry you initiated stay”. They ignored the documentation and details I provided.

  • Was the mattress from hard rubbish?

  • Not sure why a charge back will be successful for a bad experience. You booked a room and you got it.

    • Having a service that poses an health risk hazard it’s not just a bad experience. All good, will go to fair trading and see how that goes.

  • +3

    Can we ask which hotel?

    • Swanston On Arrow, avoid. It was awful. Totally my fault for booking something with mixed reviews.

  • ACL. Service provided not fit for purpose.

    • Would the actions of OP in staying two nights have an effect on that deliberation?

  • Follow them up.. remind them that going public is going to have a significant impact on their business (I know I wouldn't stay there).

    But for the public good, it's more important that you name and shame than to get a refund.

  • +1

    TLDR - ignore my post its just my version of a similar story that may help OP.

    Hi, I have experience with similar on a Mastercard. Bank reviewed and applied credit while it was processing. Hotel told Mastercard they would provide evidence to dispute chargeback (despite on many times having emailed me confirming they have miss-charged me). They failed to provide anything within timeframe. Mastercard gave them an extension. They eventually provided stacks of generic stuff in micro-print that I couldn't even read most of when I eventually got to see it, ALL of which was completely irrelevant to the dispute (EG they provided evidence that I had agreed I booked it, when that was not in dispute!). Mastercard ruled in their favour. Bank contacted me to say they would reverse my refund within 14 days. I contacted bank and lady said she would pause it while she gets a copy of the mastercard report and details of the hotel evidence, then forwards it to me and says she hasn't gone through it all (it was like 90 pages and they had paid a legal company to produce it for them - probably costing them more than they had already agreed they had overcharged me!) but basically says she agrees with me and if I review it and email her a further reply disputing it she would take it to Mastercard International for a review - who reviewed it and ruled 100% in my favour awarding me a full refund (not the partial refund I was claiming) on the basis that the hotel had failed in its agreement for the entire stay and thus the entire charge was invalid (but bank advised me technically hotel could try to recharge me for the bit that I had not disputed - but they never did and I ended up with several times more refund than I had claimed).
    Hopefully above helps you. If its Mastercard your bank can challenge it for a further review (don't know about visa). Add additional evidence disputing their reply and adding more stuff you may not have put in first claim (such as they have already agreed to refund you the 3 days thus this charge needs adjusting as they haven't done it, claim that whole stay was not of suitable quality, not fit for purpose etc (does their website have anything about cleaning - put in a screenshot and a request for proof of cleaning (don't even mention bed bug cleaning, just add more stuff so it can be escalated) its not what you booked (you booked a clean safe room), just add everything you can even if its not relevant because I don't think the people who deal with these things actually read it based on my original claim failing when the hotel provided a nonsense reply after their time cutoff). I kept my further info really simple and said I dispute all their evidence on the basis that none of it is relevant - I didn't waste time going through their evidence line by line I just added more of my own. Good Luck.

    • Thanks Webber very useful! Hotel replied back saying they would refund me the 3 nights. I’m just waiting for them to do it and If they don’t I will tech to my bank and see how that goes. Thank you!

  • +1

    I used to live in Arrow on Swanston in Melbourne (albeit their residential tower, not the short term accommodation but I'm sure they are pretty much the same) and their rooms are awful. Never go to that place.

    It all went to shit when a few floors became public housing accommodation. It led to junkies and randos entering/exiting the building, arsons in the semi public accessible laundry room (which the cleaners used to clean the building laundry) and drastic decrease in upkeep quality. I used to chat with the fillipino cleaner who worked there and he straight up told me he didn't get paid enough for the shit happening there.

    Sorry about your experience OP

    • Thanks Kremleen, yes absolutely abysmal

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