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    • MSE Sarah
    • By MSE Sarah 28th Sep 17, 3:55 PM
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    MSE Sarah
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    Money Moral Dilemma: Should we split the bedbug refund?
    • #1
    • 28th Sep 17, 3:55 PM
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    Money Moral Dilemma: Should we split the bedbug refund? 28th Sep 17 at 3:55 PM
    This week's MoneySaver who wants advice asks...

    I recently stayed with five friends in an Airbnb in America for three days. The total per person was roughly $200. One couple stayed in a room that had bedbugs, and were severely bitten, while the rest of us were spared. The owner was extremely apologetic and gave a full refund (minus a cleaning fee). Knowing that four of us had a normal stay, and only two were bitten by bedbugs, should the refund be shared between all of us, or just the two who were bitten?

    Unfortunately the MSE team can't always answer money moral dilemma questions as contributions are often emailed in or suggested in person. They are intended to be enjoyed as a point of debate and discussed at face value.

    If you havenít already, join the forum to reply!

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    Last edited by MSE Luke; 03-10-2017 at 10:26 AM.
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    • happyinflorida
    • By happyinflorida 4th Oct 17, 12:36 PM
    • 706 Posts
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    Bed bugs are a big nightmare.

    They get everywhere - not just on the person in the room but also into your luggage and clothing and everything, so they should have taken their suitcases to a specialist to have them decontaminated, as well as their clothing and everything else.

    Due to the severe nature of what happened to the couple in the effected room and the additional costs they will face, if they deal with the infestation correctly, they should receive all the money.

    I would personally, if I'd been in this hotel, but not thought I was effected, still have everything in my possession checked - that I'd taken with me before taking it back into my own home as these little critters get into everything!

    You do not want them in your home, not under any circumstances as you'll have to have your whole home fumigated.

    My worst nightmare is going anywhere with these horrors.
    • tonybrett
    • By tonybrett 4th Oct 17, 1:58 PM
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    Enjoy the bonus cash doing something fun together
    Goodness me, it's just bedbugs. Unless it's totally ruined the holiday for anyone then I'd just agree to all go away for a weekend together, have a good laugh about it, a few drinks and a nice meal. That sounds like a much more fun way to spend the refund!
    • Showem
    • By Showem 4th Oct 17, 3:23 PM
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    Goodness me, it's just bedbugs. Unless it's totally ruined the holiday for anyone then I'd just agree to all go away for a weekend together, have a good laugh about it, a few drinks and a nice meal.
    Having been bitten by bedbugs, I can assure you that they can well and truly ruin a holiday for someone! It is incredibly stressful, along with the itching, just knowing how difficult they are to get rid of and that you may have inadvertently taken them home to create your own infestation makes it so much worse! It left me feeling creeped out and paranoid for months afterwards. Even now, years later, I always check hotel and B&B beds before I even sit down.

    I would definitely give the couple bitten the majority, refunding them all their costs, the cleaning costs and extra for the effort of clearing their luggage and contents of the possibility of bedbugs. As there's a good chance someone else might have brought the bedbugs back with them, I'd spread some of the rest of the cash to the others for the cost of them to clean their things professionally, but certainly give any left after this to the couple affected.
    • VLM1985
    • By VLM1985 4th Oct 17, 4:56 PM
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    You should all get your own share of the refund, it was to refund everyones holiday and not just the people affected, otherwise they would have only have refunded the couple affected.
    What would be nice is if you let the couple have the full refund and the rest of you foot the bill for the cleaning. At least then they are not out of pocket.
    I think the best suggestion would be to use the refund to do something fun between you all, then you are not in debt with one another, there can be no hard feeling and you get to create some of the memories you missed out on. Perhaps pay for the couple to do the new activity too, just so they do get a little compensation.
    Whatever you decide, think about whether your friendship is worth what you paid for the holiday.
    We went on a biking group holiday of 9 of us. On the way there one of the drivers reversed his car and hit another car and the bikes smashed his back window. We all agreed to pay half towards the cost as it was partly to due with the bikes, and he paid half as it was his fault for not looking when he reversed. There was no hard feeling, we are all still very close and made it not ruin the holiday for anyone.
    • meknowalot-51
    • By meknowalot-51 4th Oct 17, 5:00 PM
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    My gut reaction is full refund for the bitten pair then split the rest between the _six_ of you.
    So if $50 was taken for cleaning, that's $525 each for the two who were bitten and $125 each for the other 4.
    Originally posted by JimmyTheWig
    I think that should be $325 for the bitten pair,then it all adds up to the $1200.
    • Rarity
    • By Rarity 4th Oct 17, 6:18 PM
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    What a nonsensical issue. If you didn't stay in a room with bedbugs and weren't bitten by bedbugs, you had your trip and accommodation exactly as expected. Why would you be compensated? What did you not get that you had paid for? The poor pair who were bitten did not pay their money to experience being bitten by bugs each night. They paid for the same comfort you got. They didn't get it. Let them have their refund and stop being avaricious. Friends would not seek a quick windfall like this.
    PS. I'm assuming that the refund was only the $400 for the two who were bitten. If it was all the money, then just share it out as it was paid. You've then all had practically free accommodation.
    Last edited by Rarity; 04-10-2017 at 6:23 PM. Reason: Extra thoughts
    • gloriouslyhappy
    • By gloriouslyhappy 4th Oct 17, 10:32 PM
    • 378 Posts
    • 751 Thanks
    Goodness me, it's just bedbugs.
    Originally posted by tonybrett
    Just bedbugs? JUST bedbugs?? Yes, and maybe next you'll say headlice is normal! Ugh, don't want to live in your neighbourhood if bedbugs can be dismissed so easily.
    • Taplledraw
    • By Taplledraw 5th Oct 17, 3:38 PM
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    First discuss it amongst you all you must be good friends if you holiday together Next give the two bitten people a full refund after all there would have been no refund if they hadnt been bitten. next decide what to do with the rest whether to A) put it towards the cost of another group holiday saving you all money B) split it 6 ways as it was given to all six of you as a result of the one rooms problem c) Go out for a meal together and discuss the good experiences you had on holiday, plan another and use the money to pay for this and turn it into a positive
    • rmg1
    • By rmg1 6th Oct 17, 2:28 PM
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    Personally, I don't think there's enough information to voice an opinion on this.
    We know the cost of the stay ($200 (ish) per person). That equates to $1200 in total.
    We don't know the extent of the refund.
    There isn't enough information in this sentence:-
    The owner was extremely apologetic and gave a full refund (minus a cleaning fee)
    to make a sensible decision.

    There are two lines of thought in my head (yes, there's just about enough room on a Friday afternoon! )
    1) If the refund was just for the couple who were bitten (i.e. $400) then they get to keep it all
    2) If the entire trip was refunded (i.e. the full $1200 was returned - minus the "cleaning fee") then everyone gets their cash back (with maybe a little extra to the couple who were bitten, i.e. a meal out paid for by the others, thrown in).
    Flagellation, necrophilia and bestiality - Am I flogging a dead horse?

    Any posts are my opinion and only that. Please read at your own risk.
    • Bythelight
    • By Bythelight 6th Oct 17, 3:04 PM
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    • 12 Thanks
    I think you need a bit more information, but on what you've said, I think the two who were bitten should get it all:

    Refund. Their accommodation was substandard (i.e. they should get their $400 back for that) and there was nothing wrong with your accommodation (i.e. so you get $0 here)

    Next, I suspect they will have spent some money checking that bed bugs haven't followed them home. They should get the money to cover that. You haven't said if you've spent cleaning costs - but if the other 4 have paid cleaning costs to check for bed bugs as well, then everyone should get their cleaning costs (assuming people have been sensible and not fumigated the entire street etc).

    So of a $1200 booking minus
    the cleaning fee charged by the host,
    minus the $400 refund to the 2 bitten
    minus covering post holiday bed bug cleaning costs

    you will have sum ($0-$800).

    I think this should be used to make up for the ruined holiday. The two who were bitten suffered the distress of a holiday with bed bugs (with the pain of the bites and the fear that this will continue, both on holiday and at home). You haven't mentioned any distress - although I imagine that it was not pleasant watching your friends go through this. Personally, I would offer the two who were bitten the whole amount left: even if it was unpleasant for you, it was much worse for them. If you took some money here you would be taking money from them for the distress of seeing their distress!

    With that money, the two who were bitten might decide to treat you all to dinner; or they might not (e.g. they might need it to fund some unpaid leave to recover from this holiday!) but that will be their decision to make.
    • georget84
    • By georget84 8th Oct 17, 10:25 PM
    • 6 Posts
    • 2 Thanks
    The extra has not, and will never be their money. They are essentially stealing from their friends. Now if it was my buddy, I'd probably let them keep it for the inconvenience and hassle - however I'd like to be asked and it's important to be asked.
    • melanzana
    • By melanzana 8th Oct 17, 10:44 PM
    • 2,641 Posts
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    Just to add ( as the compensation Q is ridiculous, should only be paid to those affected IMO) but how the rest of you escaped being bitten is beyond me!

    If you get bites, and they can be nasty, use the "hot spoon method"

    I am just back from Cadiz and they are nasty blighters but I am talking mosquitos here. But I am sure this applies to any bite that has a mad itch. So what do you do...

    Run a hot tap or boil a kettle. Then run the very hot water over the back of a spoon and place it while very hot over the bite. The itch will go in a minute. I know, I have used this method over the last two weeks.

    Once the itch is gone you don't care about the mark, the redness or whatever. It is absolutely amazing. Apparently it changes the enzymes in the bite.

    Hope that helps someone.
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