A Missouri woman says she and her son were put out on the street by motel management after she complained about finding bedbugs in her room.
Mandy Donlan told KMBC News recently that she was down on her luck and between homes earlier this month when she checked into the Super Budget Inn, in the city of Independence, with her dog and son.
She said she paid in advance on July 2 for a week’s stay but claims to have found bedbugs in the room and recorded video of them to show to the management.
“I was, like, this is ridiculous,” she said, adding that she was asked to leave after complaining about the alleged infestation.
Donlan showed KMBC reporters her video, as well as red bites on her son’s arm and torso and claimed they were from their stay at the motel.
Manager Olivia Schnirch didn’t deny there were bugs in the room when she spoke with KMBC about Donlan’s situation, but said the room had been treated by an exterminator.
“It is embarrassing, but this particular person made a mountain out of a molehill,” she said.
“The health department came by,” she added. “They checked the rooms. They said they were good to go.”
She said the health department gave them the go-ahead the same day Donlan checked in.
“Three of us went in there and there was nothing to be found in [Donlan's] room," Schnirch said. "Those bugs magically appeared."
She added that she never saw the bites on Donlan’s son.
But health department records, obtained by KMBC, contradict what Schnirch told reporters. Those documents reportedly indicate that the rooms were last inspected June 23 and that city inspectors had found bedbugs at the motel at that time as well as two other times since 2013.
And two anonymous individuals also reported finding bedbugs at the Super Budget Inn this year, according to the website BedBugReports.com.
“Was gonna [sic] stay in the room and pulled covers back and there was little black spots on sheets went back to office and demanded my money back, room was disgusting,” read one report, posted Feb. 2. “Next day I woke up with bites all over my arms, went to ER to confirm.”
“Found a few when we were in bed for a bit as I started itching and looked to see why,” read the other report, which was posted in May.
Donlan said her experience with the motel was much more than a simple inconvenience.
“I’m homeless for five days until we move into our house because of what they did to us,” she said.
Donlan said she asked for a refund for the nights she didn’t stay in the room but the motel refused, citing a no-refund policy.
The motel eventually did refund the money after the news crew began asking questions, according to KMBC.
Photo Credit: KMBC News