Thrift Lodge: Come For The Bed, Stay For The Hypodermic Needles!

Xmitter was checking his Thrift Lodge bed for bed bugs when he discovered a bag filled with hypodermic needles. The clerk on duty refused to offer either an apology or a refund, and explained that “you can even find needles [in] 5 star hotels.” When told that this was an inappropriate response, the clerk asked: “Is this a test?”

The clerk on duty at this time was Phil. Phil seemed pretty annoyed at my intrusion. “There’s a problem with my room, I need to check out.” I said. “*Sigh* what’s the problem with the room?” He said all annoyed.

“Well.” And I admit I was pretty snippy and angry and assholish. “Here, let me show you what I found under my mattress.” and I showed him the photos (still on the camera’s tiny LCD screen)

Phil squinted and looked and puffed and huffed, and said he couldn’t tell what he was looking at. I tried showing him a couple of different ones. He said one definitely looked like some hypodermic needles.

I told him that was pretty crazy and that I wasn’t staying there again, and asked him what he can do for me. He said nothing, and that I would have to speak to a manager, and that the next time a manager would be in would be at 9am tomorrow. I told him to call the manager. He said it was too late and that he couldn’t do that. I told him well how about I call the police? He said to go ahead and call the police and that they would just say they couldn’t do anything and that it was a civil matter.

He said something about how you can even find needles and bed bugs and all that in 5 star hotels and blah blah blah. I told him oh yes, I definitely have found bed bugs in nice hotels.

At this point I was pretty much beyond upset. “You know,” I said. “You haven’t even apologized to me.”

“Oh I see,” he laughed. “Is this a test? You’re testing me?” I pretty much lost control verbally at this point and told him to fuck off or something like that. I’m not sorry about that, I was pretty upset. I couldn’t take any more and left to go sit in the rental car, and he yelled something out about “Oh now you can apologize to me for saying ‘fuck you’!” Feh. So I fled that horrible nasty pee smelling syphilis dart factory, and came out to the suburb of Beaverton, and checked into a room that costs not quite twice what the bed of needles did.

Xmitter acknowledged that he might have been blowing things out of proportion, but we really don’t think it’s unreasonable to expect your hotel room to be free of hypodermic needles.

Update: Xmitter later added:

OK this morning I spoke with Mr Karia, the manager of the Thriftlodge (I incorrectly called it the Budgetlodge, I’ve fixed that.) He said they’ve cancelled any charges and nothing should appear on my bank statement. I thanked him for that and asked what else he could do for me. He said there wasn’t anything else he could do. I told him that I had to find something at the last minute and he should cover the difference in cost for my room that doesn’t smell like pee or have needles in it. He told me that was my decision to go elsewhere and that he didn’t make me do that, so he wasn’t going to pay up.”

Travelodge Sucks. Also the Portland Thriftlodge sucks real bad. But you probably already know this. [Xmitter]


Edit Your Comment

  1. Gmork says:

    “Well.” And I admit I was pretty snippy and angry and assholish. “Here, let me show you what I found under my mattress.” and I showed him the photos (still on the camera’s tiny LCD screen)

    Phil squinted and looked and puffed and huffed, and said he couldn’t tell what he was looking at. I tried showing him a couple of different ones. He said one definitely looked like some hypodermic needles.

    I told him that was pretty crazy and that I wasn’t staying there again, and asked him what he can do for me.

    I don’t understand this, he only showed him pictures? What happened to the actual hypodermic needles? If all he did was show some pictures to the guy the next day then maybe the clerk didn’t believe him.

    • Five says:

      @Gmork: Don’t know about you, but I’d think twice about picking up some needles without some serious gloves on.

      • eddieck says:

        @Five: Not to mention, you’d be leaving fingerprints on the bag.

        I would have taken one look, taken a photograph, and called the police. Let them deal with the front desk and request an explanation.

      • Gmork says:


        I would have thought he could have had the guy go and look at them.

        • morganlh85 says:

          @Gmork: The clerk didnt’ sound too interested in going anywhere.

        • ChuckECheese says:

          @Gmork: Sounds like Phil didn’t want to go look. I suppose Xmitter took a photo rather than handle the needles himself. My favorite hotel medical-device find was a pile of used peritoneal dialysis bags stacked up in the hallway across the door of my Las Vegas hotel room.

    • Stephmo says:

      @Gmork: I would have been afraid to pick up the needles too. And I wouldn’t have been down there looking for an explanation. Just a full refund on my room and a return on my key with the photo to show why I was checking out.

      This just skeeves me thinking about it.

      I’m really wondering what 5 star hotels the clerk has been in with needles.

    • GuinevereRucker says:

      @Gmork: This came up in a previous article.

      I understand people get upset, but a little politeness goes a long way. Being offensive and confrontational only makes things worse. I know because this is a tendency of mine too, and it’s gotten me into trouble before.

      Try manners and common courtesy before resorting to being a jerk. Work *with* employees before getting angry.


      • NYGal81 says:

        @GuinevereRucker: I don’t know about this…I agree you probably shouldn’t be an asshole to a front desk clerk over most things that are “typically wrong” or not satisfactory with a hotel room, but this seems to cross more than a few lines. I’m betting most people would have a *serious* problem with finding hypodermic needles in their hotel room. I don’t see the point of being nice if:
        (1) the hotel has so little respect for their customers that they can’t be bothered to care about their safety and security by disposing of biohazard waste found in the rooms and
        (2) I knew I was most assuredly leaving the property after being treated as it appears this guy was treated by the staff. It doesn’t seem like the clerk was remotely interested in hearing what was wrong with the room, and, even after he knew the situation, offered nothing in the way of help or remedy.

        • GuinevereRucker says:

          @NYGal81: Yes, good points. I’d be upset too. But it can’t hurt to at least try courtesy and politeness before getting angry?

      • Baccus83 says:

        @GuinevereRucker: I understand the whole “catch more flies with honey” approach, but I think there are a few things that even I wouldn’t be able to keep my cool about. Strange hypodermic needles in a hotel room would probably be one of them. This isn’t an issue of getting the wrong room service, this is a matter of health and safety.

    • bibliophibian says:

      @Gmork: He didn’t show pictures to the guy the next day. He showed pictures to him right then and there.

      “Xmitter was checking his Thrift Lodge bed for bed bugs when he discovered a bag filled with hypodermic needles.” … “He said … that I would have to speak to a manager, and that the next time a manager would be in would be at 9am tomorrow. I told him to call the manager. He said it was too late and that he couldn’t do that.”

      This was obviously taking place late at night as Xmitter was preparing for bed, and he took pictures of the needles to show the clerk what the problem was without having to handle the needles (or, ah, “tamper with the evidence”) himself.

      I wonder what would have happened if Xmitter had called the cops – surely the presence of hypodermic needles under the mattress would at least warrant a cursory investigation of the premises, thus rendering the room un-occupiable and forcing the clerk to give him a new room.

    • mrearly2 says:

      Yeah, he shoulda gotten a hotel employee to go to the room with him and shown him the stuff, in real life.

  2. takotchi says:

    Doesn’t that tell you they didn’t change the bed sheets either? Surely the maid should have found them while doing that, if they were under the mattress. I assume he meant between the mattress/box springs.

    • Five says:

      @takotchi: Nah, some hotels won’t change the sheets every time. If it looks clean, they’ll just remake the bed. Unless the needles belong to the housekeeping crew…

      • BustangBetty says:

        @Five: This is why I go to the counter when we do stay at a hotel and get fresh linens from them. I would rather change the sheets myself than discover spoo or other fluids from a fun filled evening!

        We are thankful enough to have not checked into a hotel full of bed bugs. (Knock on wood)

        • rewind says:

          @BustangBetty: My wife and I just carry 2 king size flat sheets to sleep between no matter what hotel we go to. 1 or 5 stars doesn’t matter. People of all shapes, sizes and budgets do stupid, creepy things in hotels.

  3. dragonfire81 says:

    This article reminds me of why I refuse to stay in any place of lodging with “budget” in the title.

    • Gmork says:


      I stayed in a Super8 a few days ago and it was pretty grubby. The AC unit made up for it though, it got the unit down to under 60 degrees. It was about 58 all night long. The sheets had holes in them, and half the lights were burnt out, but I’d stay again just for that AC.

      • Vanilla5 says:

        @Gmork: Ah, another meat locker lover. =)

      • Shoelace says:

        @Gmork: Super 8 is the worst chain I’ve ever stayed at and I won’t do it again. The last room did have powerful A/C though. Unfortunately it was about 20 degrees out, the heat barely worked, and it made so much noise I couldn’t sleep. If I hadn’t checked in at about 2 AM (long road trip and I had just decided to not drive through the night) I would have done my usual room check before checking in. When I told the clerk the next morning how bad a night I had had and why she totally didn’t give a damn. Forget them.

    • anduin says:

      motel 6’s aren’t that bad, back when I toured tournaments throughout the north west US we would stay at motel 6’s whenever camp grounds weren’t available and it was quite nice. Swimming pools were always clean and the units were never grimey.

    • Mr_Human says:

      @dragonfire81: Or a number

    • sponica says:

      @dragonfire81: my idea of slumming it is the country inn and suites.

  4. nybiker says:

    Sometimes decorum just goes out the window and I think this is one of those times when I’m with the OP. At least he didn’t say “This is fucking ridiculous.” He actually told the desk clerk to “fuck off or something like that.”

    Makes me wonder what kind of place the clerk sleeps in at home if he’s not even willing to go look at things. Maybe it looked ok to him? Was he thinking the OP tool the pictures somewhere else?

  5. ARP says:

    Am I the only one who found the clerk’s response on finding needles in 5 star hotels funny?

    • BuddyGuyMontag says:

      @ARP: Lindsay Lohan in the Chateau Marmont immiedately comes to mind though.

    • Trai_Dep says:

      @ARP: He’d have earned brownie points from me if the clerk would have handed over a DVD of Sid & Nancy to Xmitter, shrugged and deadpanned, “But… No corpses, right?”
      And/Or, if Xmitter stayed at The Chelsea.

  6. clyde55 says:

    I stayed at a Travelodge once. The room was totally disgusting, and I got an offer from a hooker that looked as if she were in need of a bath but was standing outside my door.

    On a side note, that motel was later consumed in a blazing inferno. Justice was served.

  7. catastrophegirl chooses not to fly says:

    the pics on his blog show that they were between the mattress and box spring. also – he mentions that he doesn’t think diabetics hide their syringes like that. [personally, i don’t, that’s gross] BUT those ARE diabetic insulin needles. two different brands. the ones with the rounded ends on the caps are becton dickinson [the center one facing away in the above pic – i checked the larger ones on his blog,] the one with the flat ended cap is ulticare. i’ve used both brands.
    if you didn’t know already, insulin needles are marked in units of insulin, not cc’s. makes them really hard to use for any other injectable.

    i’ve never done intravenous drugs but those needles are designed for subcutaneous use and won’t go into a vein easily. heck, i’ve bent that kind of needle on my skin before.

    i have no idea what the person who left them there was doing or what they were thinking – but i’d be willing to bet they weren’t using them for anything but insulin.

    still gross and inappropriate to leave them behind, still a biohazard, but not too likely to be for nefarious purposes.

    and yes, i know not everyone is familiar with any of these details, and before i was diagnosed i probably wouldn’t have known the difference either.

    • Vanilla5 says:

      @catastrophegirl – just add kittens: I hear you – but I have seen junkies shoot up with bent needles. The stuff that they put in the needles is brown, so they really don’t care what brand they are or what their intended use is for. My grandma has had people steal her diabetic needles, so I know for a fact that they don’t care.

      • catastrophegirl chooses not to fly says:

        @Vanilla5: wow. oddly, all but 4 states have laws that allow the purchase of up to ten needles at a time without a prescription just to keep junkies from stealing or reusing needles. most of the laws went into place at the height of the AIDS epidemic.
        stealing a grandma’s needles is just wrong in so many ways.
        and potentially life threatening to her if she’s out somewhere when it happens and she’s caught without needles.

        • Vanilla5 says:

          @catastrophegirl – just add kittens: That was my initial thought too. They’re friggin easy to buy. But I guess if they can steal them that’s easy too. She lives in a place where there’s always a nurse on staff so I doubt she’d be without one while she was there but lots of people come in and out of there throughout the day.

    • temporaryerror says:

      @catastrophegirl – just add kittens
      FYI, 1 cc 1/2″ insulin needles are the PREFERRED needle for IV drug use. Just poke around (haha!) online…

    • Anonymous says:

      @catastrophegirl – just add kittens: Now I do not know for sure, but it sounds like this took place in Portland (i live in beaverton, the suburb they slept in) and I know that there are needle exchange programs less then 10 mins public-trans ride from the only Travelodge I know of around here. As per what I have heard all you need is any hypodermic needle to get a clean one. So even if they were not used for drugs they could easily have been intended to be exchanged for ones that could be.

    • Trai_Dep says:

      @catastrophegirl – just add kittens: That’s kind of ironic, since I hide my IV needles in case diabetics break in to steal them…

    • Shoelace says:

      @catastrophegirl – just add kittens: Are you sure these couldn’t be allergy shot needles? Not that it really matters. I don’t think a diabetic or anyone else carrying them for legitimate medical reasons would stash them under a mattress.

      Am wondering why the OP would choose to check into a place that skeevy. Unless I’m in a real fix I always ask to see the room before agreeing to check in. If it looks or smells nasty or the heat/AC/lights don’t work then I say thanks anyway and look for another place.

      The clerk sounds like he was being a real asshole, though the nastier the hotel the less the customer service personnel seem to feel the need to be charming. I don’t fault the OP for being pissed off but I think he should have just asked for his money back, explained why, and been on the road. Threatening to call the police wasn’t useful, but telling the clerk that he was going to file a report with the local health department the next day – with pictures, the clerk’s name, and a description of his ‘don’t care’ attitude – just might have shut the guy up.

      • scarletvirtue says:

        @Shoelace: I don’t know that allergy shots are administered the same as insulin … at least, that’s not how I get my allergy shots!

      • catastrophegirl chooses not to fly says:

        @Shoelace: well i wasn’t there, so i don’t know what the actual use at the time was, as i stated above.
        but when i look at the photos of the syringes as pictured on the OP’s blog – the type and brand of needles is very definitely insulin needles. i don’t have any more of the ulticare needles with the flat ended caps because they hurt to give shots, but here’s the other kind, the becton dickinson [the one pointing away from the camera in the picture above]

        insulin needles are marked in units of insulin, different than any other medication.

        [put my card in the shot so you know this phot didn’t come from somewhere else – that’s my desk at work right now – that’s my needle in my hand]

    • Anonymous says:

      @catastrophegirl – just add kittens: Wrong. These are insulin syringes, but that doesn’t mean they can only be used for insulin.

      They are not marked in units of insulin because units per mL of insulin varies depending on the type. One type of Humulin, for example, comes 200u/mL rather than the standard 100u/mL. The syringes are marked in tenths of a cubic centimeter.

      Junkies do not carefully measure the crap they’re injecting, they eyeball it at best. Remember, these are the people who inject something they bought off the street into their veins with visibly dirty needles they have shared with strangers. A half inch needle is perfectly good for finding an arm vessel on a healthy person, not to mention someone emaciated by drug use.

      It is completely naive to say this type of needle can only be used for insulin.

    • NYGal81 says:

      @catastrophegirl – just add kittens: I’m not sure it matters to most people what kind of needles they are. They’re needles. Under your bed. In a hotel room that you presumed was cleaned before you checked in. Do we know, for a fact, that the diabetic who used them has no other diseases that now linger on the needle? Since I don’t know my needle classes very well, I’m going to assume the worst and proceed with caution–i.e. get the hell out of there–rather than take the risk of some kind of exposure of some sort.

      • p75hmsa says:

        @NYGal81: If that picture up at the top is the one taken in the hotel, the needles were used for drug injection. The cuetips give it away.

        • catastrophegirl chooses not to fly says:

          @p75hmsa: why? sometimes i use q-tips to swab my injection site with rubbing alcohol before injecting, if i’m out of alcohol wipes. people use q-tips for lots of reasons. they might be incidental to the needles completely.
          not that i don’t still think leaving used needles of any kind in is wrong and dangerous, whatever they were used for.

    • sqlrob says:

      @catastrophegirl – just add kittens:
      But isn’t insulin in 100 U / mL? That’s an easy conversion.

  8. CaptZ says:

    OMG…..needles in my room! Don’t assume the needles were from some crack smoker or druggie. I am more than sure that I have left syringes behind a time or two when I have stayed in a hotel/motel room. I am diabetic and I hide my syringes when staying out so no one can get to them or find them. They may have just been left behind by some diabetic. And about the maid not finding them…..maybe they were so far under that they didn’t feel them when remaking the bed. I do agree that an apology should have come from the hotel…..but only for not cleaning better.

    • catastrophegirl chooses not to fly says:

      @CaptZ: try a portable sharps container that’s big enough for about three needles and came in a pack of three at CVS for under $5. you’re supposed to turn the lid over to permanently lock it when you use it, but i just use mine to carry them home and dispose of them in a larger puncture resistant container. it makes life so much easier and it has biohazard warning stickers on the outside so if someone sees it they aren’t likely to pick it up when cleaning a room

      • CaptZ says:

        @catastrophegirl – just add kittens: I was talking about unused syringes. I do have a sharps container for my used syringes. When I am not at home I break the tips off and hold them until I can properly dispose of them. But unused I will carry in a ziplock back or the original bag they come in.

        • catastrophegirl chooses not to fly says:

          @CaptZ: yeah, i generally keep in the bag they came in too. not as many, now that i’m on a pump, but i needed a shot a couple of days ago when i had a pump infusion site malfunction, and boy was i glad i had needles in my desk drawer at work.

    • korybing says:

      @CaptZ: I don’t think most diabetics hide their needles in the bed, though.

    • RecordStoreToughGuy_RidesTheWarpOfSpaceIntoTheWombOfNight says:

      @CaptZ: Um, yes, that’s very nice, but how do would I know that they were left behind by you?

    • pattiesmart says:

      @CaptZ: Excuse you? I’m ALWAYS going to assume that some random, left-behind needles are suspicious and I will NOT TOUCH THEM. I can’t exactly know a diabetic left them behind. It’s better to be safe than sorry. Especially if you find a ton HIDING IN A BED.

    • 2 replies says:

      Diabetic needles or not, IT DOES NOT MATTER.

      Needles are DESIGNED to break the skin and therefore pose a severe health risk for anyone else who may come in contact with them.
      Having diabetes in NO WAY excludes the possibility that the person could also have HIV, AIDS, hep, etc.

      So while I understand that some nasty irresponsible people will leave their medical syringes in hotel rooms, it’s the MANAGEMENT’S JOB to ensure the rooms are clean and up to ALL APPLICABLE HEALTH CODES prior to renting them out to the next customer.

      So used syringes (regardless of their use) in ‘cleaned’ hotel rooms, are inexcusable.

      IMO, this is FAR WORSE than any Domino’s pizza-snot.
      That place should be reported and shit down.

      • 2 replies says:

        ahem….SHUT down.

        My appologies.

      • Javin says:

        @Coop: EXACTLY. How do people not get this? I wouldn’t care if they were using the needles as squirt guns containing kool-aid. How are people missing the point entirely that there is no way for the person SLEEPING ON THEM to know what they were used for?

        What if at night they had decided to tuck their sheets in, and while pushing them in stabbed themselves with the needle?

        How do all these people seem to be missing the point that NEEDLES DO NOT BELONG UNDER YOUR MATTRESS in a room that you are PAYING for to have at least semi-clean?

        There’s absolutely no excuse for this.

        And as a side-note, people that use q-tips/cotton to “swab” their injection sites for diabetes will throw it away. Not stash a moistened/used q-tip or swab under a mattress. That’s asinine.

        Additionally, people will have a tendency to always buy the same brand of needles from the same place when diabetic. Not so with those doing crack. So the fact that the needles are of different brands is telling.

        And finally, catastrophegirl, please, please, PLEASE know what you’re talking about before starting to ramble. You just look like a moron.

        The reason that you were able to bend “that kind of needle on [your] skin before” is because they are generally 25G or smaller. They’re thin needles. They are very, very, very specifically ABSOLUTELY NOT “designed for subcutaneous use and won’t go into a vein easily”. This is the most ignorant dribble I’ve heard on here yet.

        The reason diabetics prefer the 25G needle is because they hurt less when going sub-Q. LARGER gauge (18G etc.) needles are actually preferred for itramuscular injections, while the 25G needles that diabetics have chosen as the needle of choice are SPECIFICALLY DESIGNED FOR IV USE.

        There is a better than 99% chance that if the writer didn’t place the needles there himself, that they were used for illegal drugs.

        • catastrophegirl chooses not to fly says:

          @Javin: as i pointed out, i have no experience with IV drug use. sorry if it wasn’t clear enough to you that i was only stating my own opinion and expectation of their origin. i was identifying the needle types for people who might be unfamiliar.

          and i have used more than one brand of insulin needle at a time when my insurance coverage wouldn’t cover as many needles as i was actually using. i paid for the cheap ones out of pocket and got the nice becton dickinson ones with my insurance. so yes, i used to have two kinds of insulin needles around all the time before i got on an insulin pump.

          i wouldn’t expect someone using a needle for any reason to leave it under a mattress either, so why is it any more telling that the same person was leaving nasty used q-tips when they couldn’t be bothered to clear up their biohazard?

          i used to work in a hotel. and your’e absolutely right, there is no excuse for this. the housekeeper who cleaned a room at my old job and left needles under the mattress would have been fired.

          then again, so would the desk clerk after behaving like that. i saw a coworker fired on the spot once when a manager heard them be rude to a guest at check in. there’s a lot of responsibility floating around for the OP’s feeling disgusted and cheated by this experience.

  9. spoco says:

    I’m all about saving a buck, but geez – Budget Lodge just sounds like a haven for crackhead prostitutes to turn tricks.

    You don’t have to spend hundreds of dollars to stay in a decent hotel room. I just stayed at the Hilton Washington for under $75 a night via

  10. tungstencoil says:

    Why is a needle from a diabetic any less disturbing?

    I agree location has a lot to do with the creepiness factor. An apology was definitely merited.

    What is up with people feeling like they have to apologize for being upset? Sorry, but if you’re in customer service, part of your job is dealing with people when they’re upset. If the first place you go when people get upset is, “You are angry! I’m going to shut down” then you should probably find another line of work.

    Granted, customers don’t have the right to be downright abusive or completely irrational. However, customers do have the right to get angry – even really angry.

  11. kduhtoe says:

    At this point I was pretty much beyond upset. “You know,” I said. “You haven’t even apologized to me.”

    What’s the deal with everyone demanding an apology? Does it really make that much of a difference? I can understand the OP being upset by the needles, but I think he’s trying to make a mountain out of a mole hill. Why not politely request a refund on the grounds the room is not clean and THEN go to the next town for a room? Why get snotty with the clerk and then demand an apology? Although the clerk could have pretended to give a shit, he owed nobody an apology.

    • Vanilla5 says:

      @kduhtoe: I think it does b/c the clerk started OUT being snotty and acting like he didn’t want to be at work before the OP even told him what he wanted. An apology isn’t just an apology – it’s an acknowledgement that there was something wrong with the service being provided.

      “I’m sorry about your experience here at Budget Lodge. Would you mind if I transfer you to a different room? If not, I understand and will refund your money.”

      That’s how that should’ve been handled.

      • kduhtoe says:

        @Vanilla5: “I’m sorry about your experience here at Budget Lodge. Would you mind if I transfer you to a different room? If not, I understand and will refund your money.”

        I think this sentence would work just as well without the apology. “It’s unfortunate the under-paid cleaning staff did not find the previous customer’s diabetic needles between the mattress and the boxspring. I understand this may disturb you and pose a potential hazard. Would you mind if I transfer you to a different room? If not, I understand and will refund your money.”

        Apologies are complete bullshit and mean absolutely nothing, particularly with customers who act like 6 year-old girls. The customer was obviously agitated and made a huge deal out of the situation from the beginning. It doesn’t seem he ever attempted to be polite or considerate. This was made extremely clear when he left the building and “told him to fuck off or something like that.” I like to save my apologies for when I personally make a mistake and for customers who would truly appreciate and are not merely screaming bloody murder with their hands out looking for a freebie.

        • Trai_Dep says:

          @kduhtoe: You realize, of course, that the person would be apologizing in his professional capacity as a representative of the company, and not personally? Big difference, there.

        • Vanilla5 says:

          @kduhtoe: This guy didn’t say he was looking for a freebie. The guy at the front desk was flippant and didn’t even take the time to go and see what the problem was. An apology was warranted here in my opinion. If you don’t agree, then I guess we just don’t agree. I guess I’ll just get more apologies in my life than you will – that whole vinegar and honey thing, y’know.

          • kduhtoe says:

            @Vanilla5: I disagree. I’m glad we can agree to disagree. If collecting apologies is important to you, I hope you get a million. While you’re at it, be sure to collect as many pokemon, pogs and happy meal toys; they’re just as valuable/useful.

          • kduhtoe says:

            @Vanilla5: BTW, check the update. The OP is definitely looking for a handout which he does not deserve. After the money was refunded the OP asked the hotel manager what else he could do for him. Why the hell would the company pay for his room at another hotel after refunding his purchase? I would have laughed in this guy’s face. It is important to keep customers, but some customers you just do not want.

            • shanoaravendare says:

              @kduhtoe: Actually, he only asked for the difference in price between the two hotels. That isn’t an unreasonable request given the situation.

              • kduhtoe says:

                @shanoaravendare: The hotel has no responsibility to pay for the difference in the price of rooms. This is a ridiculous request and unreasonable. The OP is obviously a cheapskate with unrealistic expectations for a discount hotel who is looking for a handout.

                • Trai_Dep says:

                  @kduhtoe: Except for, if there isn’t a financial disincentive for a company to not have their rooms littered with used needles – the more immediate and stinging, the better – why bother paying to get employees professional enough to do a decent job?
                  This, incidentally, is why trials have allowed for punitive damages for hundreds of years. Bitter reality has shown that, for some, unless it hurts, they’ll do bad things.
                  If you or your mom was scammed in such a fashion, would you shrug and say, “Ha – good one, fellah! Thanks for pro-rating my rental by 1/3. Maybe next time I find needles under mom’s mattress, you’ll comp the cleaning fees? Thanks!”

                  • kduhtoe says:

                    @Trai_Dep: For starters, I would never stay in a Thriftlodge. If I ever found needles in my room though, I would simply request a different room. The OP never attempted to resolve the issue and immediately sought restitution. No harm was done though. The OP needs to be thankful for his refund and drop it.

    • WorldHarmony says:

      @kduhtoe: I once had to stay in an uncleaned, spiderweb-infested “suite” in Sedona. Believe me, when I called to complain I was not only angry about the nonchalant service, but about the lack of an apology. An apology is an easy and cheap thing for an employee to give; it should be the first thing out of the staff’s mouth. To not even give one of those is classless and reprehensible.

  12. microcars says:

    if it was me, I would not leave it up to the clerk to “figure out” what he could”do” for me.
    I would have simply asked for another room.

  13. tenners says:

    Some friends and I stayed at a Microtel in Atlanta a few years ago and noticed a hypodermic needle in the light fixture above the bed. We laughed about how disgusted we were (still do), but we didn’t complain. I guess you get what you pay for.

    • Vanilla5 says:

      @tenners: OH. MY. GOD. I stayed there once in a freak layover gone wrong and I swear it was the most terrifying hotel I’ve ever been in. And one would like to think that I was exaggerating but I’m absolutely not. I’m looking for the photos I took of the room but can’t seem to find them on my laptop.

      The first thing I saw when I got out of the sweltering lobby was 2 junkies get off the elevator. How do I know they were junkies? Nobody else half-sits in the corner of an elevator, holding their arm, eyes rolled back in their head. People on my floor were yelling at each other all the way down the hall in a foreign language. Like seriously yelling. That place is a dump.

      • kduhtoe says:

        @Vanilla5: Damn foreigners, how dare they speak their devil’s tongue in a country with no official language?!

        • Vanilla5 says:

          @kduhtoe: Wow – that’s pretty unfortunate that that’s the only thing you took away from what I said.

          Look, I could really care less what language somebody speaks. Not really my concern unless I’m trying to communicate or have a conversation with them. But compound that with the other insanity that was going on at this Microtel Inn (the one at the airport, not the one on Camp Creek, btw), it didn’t help matters much. If some sh!t were to go down, I’d like to know beforehand what was going on – because I doubt those guys were yelling at each other over spilled milk. It’s a compounded situation.

          • kduhtoe says:

            @Vanilla5: As unfortunate as it may be for you, that was a pivotal point of your rant that I chose to focus on. I understand the hotel was a dump. You should expect that from Microtel in Atlanta. I still don’t understand how people speaking in a foreign language (not to you, might I add) is any sort of compounding factor.

            • Adrienne Willis says:

              @kduhtoe: because it adds to the 3rd world feel of the place. I conjured up the image of some shady place in [insert 3rd world city here] where gun fire, stabbings or anything else can erupt at any moment. Grant it you have the same risk with your “english speaking folks” but it is still a little scary to encounter that.

              • Trai_Dep says:

                @Adrienne Willis: You’re generally quite safe in Developing countries, despite what the tabloids scream. Scams, sure, but there aren’t a lot of these places that allow concealed firearms or assault-ready rifles to be commonly had. That does wonders to the murder rate (in the right direction).

  14. supergaijin says:

    Pfft. Needles. We once found dried blood splattered on the doorframe to the bathroom at the Days Inn, as well as the baseboards. There were also dried white “mystery fluids” on the furniture. We didn’t even let the kids sit down. Back to the office to inform them, then we left. Why would we want another room at a place with that lax of standards?

    BTW, the clerk didn’t seem surprised. It was the last Days Inn we ever tried.

  15. temporaryerror says:

    If I were a house keeper at a place like that, after a few times of almost/actually jabbing myself on a needle, I would just quit looking in the places that people commonly stick them… Mebbe that is the case here?

  16. temporaryerror says:

    Oh, one more thing…
    The qtip with bits of the cotton torn off pretty much guarantee that these were used by an IV drug user… They pull the tips off the qtips to filter the dope after they
    cook it. Also, portland is apparently has a big heroin problem.

  17. twophrasebark says:

    “I pretty much lost control verbally at this point and told him to fuck off or something like that.”

    I think you wanted a confrontation and you got a confrontation. Perhaps the next time you’re in such a situation, take a moment to think about what you want the end result to be before you speak to someone about something that’s upsetting you.

    You were the victim in this situation, so why did you act like the aggressor? Sometimes we project what we fear the end result of a situation will be. In other words, perhaps you felt the hotel clerk would not care and so you fulfilled that scenario.

    This certainly sounds like an unpleasant experience but it doesn’t mean you can’t learn anything from it.

    • LostTurntable says:

      @twophrasebark: Yeah, telling him to fuck off probably wasn’t the wisest thing to do, but I bet it made him feel a hell of a lot better.

      You know those annoying car warranty phone calls (that are illegal)? I usually threaten bodily harm on the person’s mother. Does it help? No. But it makes my afternoon a little brighter.

    • Corporate_guy says:

      @twophrasebark: The hotel is also a victim. They didn’t put needles under the mattress.

      • burnedout says:

        @Corporate_guy: yeah, but how did housekeeping not find them when they changed the sheets? Wait…did they CHANGE the sheets?? GROSS!

        • There's room to move as a fry cook says:

          @burnedout: The syringes were in a bag under the middle the mattress. Typically maids don’t flip the mattress when changing the sheets. If everyone looked under their mattress this blog would be full of their stories. Put a magazine under your mattress and see how long it takes for your spouse to find it.

  18. Silica says:

    It does not matter if the syringes were clean, used for insulin, or used for illicit drugs. Under the mattress, they were a negligible hazard. If Xmitter thought that was a reflection of the general level of hygiene of the motel, that’s perfectly OK. But his behavior was extreme given the situation. The clerk probably had a more realistic assessment of the actual level of hazard, but unfortunately gave illogical and arcane excuses.

  19. Anonymous says:

    As someone working at the desk of a kinda crappy budget motel (as we speak, actually), I’ve got a bit of sympathy for both sides of the story. Obviously the situation is unacceptable, I’d be mortified to have to deal with that sort of thing on my shift – you feel like a bit of an arse when you constantly have to make up for the shortcomings of your hotel to the guests. However, I can’t say I have any sympathy for people flying off the handle at desk clerks either. People at the front desk of a hotel (esp. the crap budget ones) are often quite limited in their power to resolve things independent of a manager. I can’t say much for the gentleman mentioned, but contacting my manager is next to impossible unless he’s standing right next to me. So, yes, take steps to resolve situations as you will, but please don’t yell at the desk clerks. We’re frequently caught in situations where we’re given great responsibility without the great power to back it up. A helpful question to ask is – “So, what can we do right now to fix it up, and what needs to wait until morning?” Any clerk will be able to change your room, that’s fairly basic, so unless the hotel is full up you can ask for that.

    Demanding a personal apology from a clerk, like the OP did, would frankly just irritate me and reduce my drive to help. It sounds like the clerk in the story was a bit of a dick, sure, but animosity against him only exacerbated the situation.

  20. Ronin-Democrat says:

    I’m sorry for that Sir. let me put you in another room.
    problem solved and you are not the butt of jokes on Consumerist or the rest of the web.

    I am always amazed at the thought process people use -or not used as the result confirms- when being fuck ups.

  21. Corporate_guy says:

    Strange that they didn’t just transfer him to a different room. Was the customer asking to be moved rooms or was he asking for monetary compensation. This really is a case where a room wasn’t completely cleaned. The only solution is to switch rooms. But if the customer is demanding more than a room switch, it makes sense to not accommodate them.

    You can’t really say much as the hotel didn’t put those needles there and it’s naive to think every hotel room is brand new and has never had guests in them.

  22. Mr_Human says:

    I once found a box of half-eaten fried chicken under the bed at the Motel 6 in Augusta, Maine. There weren’t even any towels in the room. Apologies? I think not. And they told me to come get the towels.

    You get what you pay for.

    • kduhtoe says:

      @Mr_Human: Word.

    • Charles Mousseau says:

      @Mr_Human: When I go on a gambling and drinking bender in SE Washington, I stay in the Motel 6 on the east end of Pasco. It’s quiet (being about two miles off of the freeway), clean, secure, has free Wi Fi, and a nice swimming pool, for $50 a night or $250 a week.

      In other words, not all Motel 6s are created equal. Such as the Motel 6 in Everett (north of Seattle), for whom the term ‘gong show’ was likely coined, or even the Motel 6 on the west end of Tri-Cities in Richland, that was (to this day) the first hotel/motel I’ve ever seen that adopted the airline’s policy of ‘overbooking for fun and profit’.

      • PittDragon says:

        @Charles Mousseau: Meh, I prefer to call airline overbooking the Clown Car Business Model (CCBM). It works great until you go bankrupt!

        • Charles Mousseau says:

          @PittDragon: Well, hopefully my polite but firm letter to Motel 6 corporate (who, I should point out, handled it immediately and a refund was out within 24 hours) suggested that the CCBM was inappropriate for a hotel to use.

  23. ajlei says:

    I wouldn’t expect anything less from a hotel on 9th and E Burnside. But yeah, hopefully Beaverton worked out better.

    • There's room to move as a fry cook says:

      @ajlei: Wrong hotel ajlei. The article originally said Thrift Lodge but now says Budget Lodge. Anyone have a Google Streetview shot?

      • catastrophegirl chooses not to fly says:

        @IfThenElvis: the OP’s original blog first said budget lodge and then he updated it after he called the hotel manager – he had misstated himself and it was thrift lodge that he found the needles at.
        carey changed the title on the main page but for some reason it didn’t carry over onto this page.
        just follow the link at the end of the story to the OP’s blog for the updates.

  24. ajlei says:

    @undefined: @Teira: @CCS: You guys are insane. I live here in Portland so you’d think I’d love the mid-60s, but I am happy between 75 and 80.

  25. Chuck Thorne says:

    This could be a whole new service for Priceline.

    (William Shatner) Check to get a four-star whore at a two-star price!

    See, I could have gone with a priceline/mainline joke there, but I decided to stay classy.

  26. baristabrawl says:

    I ask once and if the clerk is a douche I leave and check into another hotel and do a charge back. If there’s a problem I stayed in another hotel and I didn’t make a scene.

    Then you can go back over at 7 am and have breakfast for free, because you have your receipt. Win/win.

  27. Michael Ortega says:

    At least the story wasnt about how they charged him a fee for the needles.

  28. spoco says:

    When I was in college I stayed at a Master’s Inn in Tuscaloosa, Alabama on a road trip for a football game. It was a dump, but we paid like $35 bucks a night for it.

    Like another poster, we had to go to the front office to get towels, there was no housekeeping service (it costs an extra $10/night and we were only there two nights) and it was generally disgusting. You just sleep on top of the bedspread and thank goodness you paid $35/night for a hotel in a college town on a football weekend.

    Would I go there again? Probably not, but as a poor college kid that wanted to see his alma mater beat Alabama on the road, I was happy to split that room at the Master’s Inn with three other guys.


    Ironically, most of these type hotels are in bad parts of town and this one was not. It was a dump but it was on the main highway about a mile from campus right by an upscale mall. Alabama, I guess.

    • econobiker says:

      @spoco: Wife and I may have stayed at the same place on a trip down to New Orleans around St. Patricks day March 2008. We used one of those free coupon books from a rest stop to purchase a less than $40 night room there in Tuscaloosa on a Tuesday night. We checked in at 12:30am-1am and there were still young children running around outside one room down the building from us. We were awakened by someone pounding on our door at about 2:30am and, fortunately for him, I had not brought a side arm with us (much wishing I had at that point). Turns out it was the high/drunk boyfriend of the woman in the room next door to us. She opened her door and started yelling at him “Stupid m-f-er, you gots tha’ wrongs door. Ov’hera, baby.” About 30 minutes after that a torrential rain with nasty thunder and lightening started. I told my wife, “Thank god for that storm.” and she asked “Why?”. I knew that type of storm would discourage further idiots and also reduce the chance of vehicle breakin as crack heads don’t like getting drenched either.

      We got what we paid for… but did leave some hidden magic marker graffiti.

      • econobiker says:

        @econobiker: Just checked Google Streets and that was absolutely the same hotel where we stayed in 2008. Sure is nice to know that their service hasn’t “declined” since when you were there. As it was we paid less for the room than a full tank of $3.00 gas- in a Hyundai Elantra…

        I forgot that we did sleep on top of the sheets too with a couple of blankets we had brought. One other thing I remember is that the shower hot water was running more than a drip and was the hottest water I ever showered in. I did shower before bed because of the chance of running out of hot water in the morning…

  29. Blue387 says:

    Hey, those needles were complimentary!

  30. kabuk1 says:

    i have found needles, pills, pot, crack pipes, and more in “budget” rooms. i have never found more than an errant dust bunny in a high end hotel. why? because they pay the maids in actual money, not pesos & rupees, so they actually give a shit if you get a needle in the asscheek when you sit on the bed. i once stayed at a hotel where the non english-speaking maid had her KIDS trailing behind her as she worked. there were no towels at that hotel, and a nice crack pipe.

    that said, i do think the op overreacted just a tad, especially at the end after he got his refund & apology, then still demanded more compensation. i wouldnt have given him anything either. talk about entitlement, yeesh.

  31. jamesdenver says:

    OP sounds like a dick. But disclaimer I’m a type 1 diabetic, and use syringes like this daily. Unless other nefarious drug material was found I’d assume to it belonged to a diabetic.

    1. I’m lost at why they would be under the mattress. Unless the previous guest wanted to hide them as not to freak out the maid during cleaning, and simply forget them.

    2. Why threaten to call the police? It is a civil matter. There’s nothing the police can or would do.

    I travel with a blood sugar meter, finger pricker, syringes, and test strips. Any good diabetic is going to have test strips with dried blood on the ends found in the crevices of their bathroom, or in the counter, or next to the trash (that didn’t make it in the bin.)

    It probably sounds disgusting, but that’s just the way life is – and it’s a small part of life.

    I always scan the bathroom of a hotel, and my office desk before leaving work, so nobody has to pick up my “biological waste,” but I could have done the exact same thing as my first point: stowed them and forgot them.

    If I (or a nurse/doctor,) was checking in, was tired, and had seen these syringes and they looked like they belong to a legitimate “user,” I probably would have just thrown them in the garbage myself – or shown them to the clerk and told them to do a better job cleaning. I certainly wouldn’t freak out about it.


  32. Alternate says:

    Personally, the guy’s reaction was totally uncalled for. What did he expect? A refund? If I was the guy on duty (Phil), I’d probably try and move the customer to another room, but if the guy is being an asshole to me (which would be my impression from what Xmitter described as his actions), I wouldnt be very inclined. As the Consumerist has said time and time again, if you want good service, you have to be polite and patient, and Xmitter was not exactly polite. This is probably my biggest issue with the Consumerist, because I feel it gives readers some sort of justification and expectation that ALL companies should go out of their way for the consumer, and that all employees must be perfect upstanding citizens to get hired. Those people are few and far between, and Consumerist should be promoting ways that us the consumer can get things done with people like Phil here who probably doesnt give a fuck.

    Anyway, before I stay too far off topic, I think Phil’s response was clearly not as helpful as it should have been, but the customer here also has a responsibility to not explode when the guy does his job. This is not a “blame the consumer post”, lord knows we have enough of those, but this is just a suggestion that we should be measured in both our action and expectation in such situations.

  33. jamesdenver says:

    This guy is just mean, and when he found a legitimate concern escalated it to undeserved staggering proportions.

    On his blog he states that when the manager called him back and refunded the original amount, he THEN requested they pay the difference on his other hotel.

    That’s a ridiculous request. They’re not responsible for his well being after he stormed out of the place, (which he writes on his blog.)

    If this is the worst problem that ever occurs during your travel life – well. ’nuff said.

  34. jamesdenver says:

    sorry for the third post.

    He always wants the building torn down.


    There you go.

  35. wdgasu says:

    “Is this a test?”
    “No sir, this is not a test. You were in here last thursday.”
    “You were standing exactly where you are now, asking how tight security was. It’s tight as a drum sir.”

  36. kabuk1 says:

    Lots of people are saying “you get what you pay for”. I highly disagree with this. No matter if a room is $35 or $135, one is entitled to the reasonable expectation that they will not find drug paraphernalia or contract a DISEASE just from staying there. I don’t care if I pay $19.99 per night- I expect a clean room! I shouldn’t have to wipe my feet on the way OUT, and I shouldn’t be scared to sit in the chairs or sleep in the bed. It shouldn’t smell like PISS either. It is NOT that hard to keep the rooms clean, I don’t know why it’s such a challenge for so many budget hoteliers.

    That said, I have stayed in some really good budget hotels. Drover’s Inn in OKC is one of them. Clean rooms(if only a little creaky & outdated), darling, kind Indian lady at the front desk, and authentic from-India shampoo in the bathrooms :P

    • Gramin says:


      Um… you do get what you pay for, period. I buy $100 dress shirts because the $30 shirts wear out and fade really fast. I stay in Starwoods or Hiltons because the staff will promptly address any concern I have. Yes, one should not find needles at any hotel. However, a Starwood is much more dedicated to my comfort and the cleanliness of my hotel room than these budget rooms. Cleaning staff is on duty 24/7 and the staff uses service elevators. They have an entire staff ready to help, not just one man at the front desk. They’ll shine my shoes and recommend a restaurant for dinner. And every now and then, they’ll throw in a free upgrade just because.

      • HogwartsAlum says:


        Yes, you do, I agree. That doesn’t negate the fact that some budget hotels are clean, with conscientious and friendly and helpful staff. The problem is it’s not consistent in the budgets.

        If you find a good budget place, recommend it to everyone you know.

  37. takes_so_little says:

    “He told me that was my decision to go elsewhere and that he didn’t make me do that, “

    What? WHAT!!!??? Are you JOKING!? I would say that some needles of unknown origin in the bed is a pretty strong compulsion to go elsewhere!!!! This is a case where I would contact one of those scumbag sue-em-all lawyers, especially given the attitude of the establishment. If they had apologized immediately and covered the difference in cost of rooms, cool.

  38. STrRedWolf says:

    OP needs to go to the press about his experience. If they are slacking on their janitorial duties, some public pressure, followed by corporate pressure, will help fix the problems in the long run.

    • Gramin says:


      Corporate pressure? You think the corporate execs of a budget hotel will really pressure them? Maybe this is a franchize location. And I doubt a journalist cares about a cheap hotel. Now, if this happened at a Starwood or Hilton or Four Seasons, it’d be a story.

      • takes_so_little says:

        @Gramin: Can’t hurt to try. Local news outlets are usually desperate for stories. You can tell when they do a “news story” about how you should drink lots of water when it gets too hot out.

  39. burnedout says:

    Travelodge is sucky like this, too – one of my students found a bag of crack in the bedside table, and all the clerk offered to do was take it down to the front desk. I asked…what if the owner comes LOOKING for it, and she didn’t seem too concerned. So, we checked out (all 10 rooms) and I got a refund later. Talk about terrifying!

    But, I’ve found motels are like anything else – you get what you pay for. It would be nice to think that for $30 a night you get cheap AND clean, but that’s just not the case. Spend the extra $30 – $40 a night and sleep without fear!!

  40. tundey says:

    I wonder why the submitter didn’t just request another room? Why move out of the entire hotel and expect the manager/owner to compensate you? Come on, man! You can’t really expect that a business would be pleased to lose a customer and still pay the customer money. Next time, ask for another room and am sure you would have a better case than straight up asking for money.

  41. Skin Art Squared says:

    Don’t be so hard on this guy. Sure he got pissed. I would’ve too. Is it really too much to ask to get a clean room and bed to sleep in, that you are PAYING for? Doesn’t matter if it’s “budget” or “value” or not. I’ve stayed in a lot of hotels. Some were 5 star $700 a night hotels, and some were $15 dollar a night wonders. The decor can suck as much as they want it to, but in any case, the bed and towels should be clean. Failing that, there’s no reason to be paying for it. May as well sleep in your car.

    I’ve been in some seriously scary ones before, not by my own choice. The runner up was just outside Scott AFB in Illinois. There were rats in the room. I stayed because I had no choice. Was military on orders and the flight I was on (a return trip to Iraq) was delayed until further notice. Not like I could just disappear and go off on my own.
    The winner was in Denver. Wadded up wet blood stained towels in the bathroom. Beer cans everywhere. Used condoms in the bed. Human feces on the floor. Bare electrical wires sticking out of the wall. This was a room I was paying money for. (again, not by choice. Company vehicle was in the shop for repairs overnight and this was the only place authorized by the company) And the management could care less. No apology. No offer of a different room. Nothing. Told me if I didn’t like it, go somewhere else. I left. Went back to the shop where my vehicle was being repaired and stayed up in their waiting room all night.

  42. tard says:

    Clerk: Is this a test, sir?

    Xmitter: No. This is not a test.

    Clerk: You were in here last Thursday.

    Xmitter: Thursday?

    Clerk: You were standing where you are now, asking how good security is. It’s tight as a drum, sir.

    Xmitter: Who do you think I am?

    Clerk: Are you sure this isn’t a test?

    Xmitter: No, this is not a test.

    Clerk: You’re Mr Durden. You’re the one who gave me this.

  43. econobiker says:

    One old traveling salesman scam was to hide p0rn mags in the center of the matress and box spring. That way they didn’t have to throw it away and freak out the maids. I have checked various beds and only ever found a 4 pack of unused condoms- which we didn’t touch and left for the next people. I suspect this is what Xmitter was checking for if the needles were in the middle of the mattress and box spring.

    I’ve stayed at some gross places in my life. I learned to give the room a quick once over after entering it-search for prior renters garbage.

    Check the beds if they have a mattress box instead of regular metal frame as I grew up in NJ and heard about RICHARD “The Iceman” KUKLINSKI stashing one of his victims under the bed in the box.

    Parents taught me to always pull the bed spread due to people putting stuff on it or doing nasty stuff on it. This helped me big time:
    Summary of the link- 2′ diameter blood stain in the middle of the spread.

    Grossest ever storry was what happened to a family in 2006 when they checked into a Las Vegas hotel:

  44. ninabi says:

    I’d be putting this experience up on Nobody should have to put up with this.

    The indifference of the staff is infuriating. We once found loose pills of multiple colors in a sleeper sofa of a lodge. Had a child at the time who probably would have put them in his mouth had he found them first. Again, the “Oh well, things happen” attitude from the manager. Grrr.

    • econobiker says:

      @ninabi: Yeah, TripAdvisor is the best. Reading some of the worst hotel in the USA postings is a good chuckle…and warning.

  45. Nighthawke says:

    An extended stay motel is my regular stop whenever I take business trips. $101/night is a bit steep, but when it comes with a kitchenette, breakfast and dinner buffets, an excellent staff that really bend over backwards, I really can’t complain.

    • Gramin says:


      $101 is steep? That sounds like a bargain to me! I regularly pay $200/night for hotel rooms on personal trips and have paid over $700/night for a hotel on a business trip.

  46. Skin Art Squared says:

    Something else to keep in mind:

    A lot of hotel rooms are used as a cheap studio rental for adult video shoots. While most of those people are disease free, they may still have drug habits and leave stuff behind. Although it still shouldn’t matter. You’re paying for a clean room, you should get a clean room.

  47. Jabberkaty says:

    “He said to go ahead and call the police and that they would just say they couldn’t do anything and that it was a civil matter.”

    Sounds like there’s a clerk who’s had this conversation with police before.

  48. Gramin says:

    This is why I stay at Starwoods. My absolute bottom line is a Holiday Inn. The customer service at Starwoods is excellent and they’re always more than willing to do whatever is needed to make my stay pleasant. And I never have to worry about filthy rooms.

  49. rwalford79 says:

    I think that Xmitter should have… After checking out..

    1. Called his credit card, and ensured that charges will not be billed/put stop payment on that card.

    2. Called the local Health Department and had them go out and assess the situation as a hazard to public safety.

    3. Put in a nice letter to the Better Business Bureau for that motel to have its license with them pulled.

    4. Called the motel back and said that he would do all 3 of the above if the manager/owner did not compensate him fully for the hassle… At this point, he would have already done 1-3 above so it doesnt really matter that he lied and said he didnt do it already.

    I once found the toilet brush (complete with particles and hair on it) laying directly on my toothbrush (which was left on the counter) at a very nice Starwood hotel during my month long stay… After I informed the management about it, I was given one of their crappy toothbrushes to use for the rest of the duration of my stay. When I got home I called and wrote the hotel about it and their corportate offices. I was on a business trip, and the charges were refunded promptly to the business that paid for my stay. When they called me and asked why I complained about it, I said why, and that was harmful to my health, and no company should be held responsible for paying for that other then the people who put my health at risk…the hotel.

  50. waltcoleman says:

    Couldn’t the op have sold the needles to help pay for a nicer room at another hotel? When life gives you lemons…

  51. sasha27 says:

    My 4 year old grandson found a baggie full of Viagra in the desk drawer of a fairly expensive hotel in Philly. When I took them to the front desk just to let them know that their housekeeping needed to be more on the ball the clerk just looked at me with a bored expression. She said “how do I know they aren’t yours?” Oh, yes. Most older women traveling with grandchildren carry Viagra!

  52. seattlemaninblue says:

    OK, the clerk handled it poorly, but this guy was itching for a fight. I mean, the needles were *under* the mattress. Do you really expect that the hotel staff should remove the mattress every day and search for anything that might have been stuffed there? Is that reasonable?

    A simple, “Please switch me to another room, please” would have worked just fine. Demanding apologies, refunds, etc., is over the top.

  53. MFfan310 says:

    He should bring a Costco-size can of Lysol next time he goes to these kind of hotels.

    As for me: I’m not particularly loyal to any one hotel network, but I’ve never had a dirty room with Hilton, IHG, Marriott, or Starwood hotels, so I tend to stick with those. I’ll only take the crappy lodging when nothing else is available.

  54. TheAlarmist says:

    I recently stayed at the Bahama Bay Resort and Spa in Orlando. Can I just say that the word “resort” is a huge stretch? Upon arriving, we were told we have to pay a $65 cleaning fee. Well, seems no one actually cleans, because I found earring backings, and a needle sticking out of the carpet. How did I see the needle? By stepping on it and screaming. When I took it to the front desk, they implied that I planted it there, presumably because I had already complained about the cleaning fee. No refunds. No nothing. Any hotel, lodge, inn, B&B, the cleaning basically consists of dusting and changin the sheets.

  55. KMan13 still wants a Pontiac G8 says:

    I would have called the cops. Isn’t the hotel technically in possession of drug paraphernalia? It’s a stretch, I know, but I’m sure the manager would have been called IMMEDIATELY.