Wednesday, February 4, 2004
Help Me Howard: Bed Bugs Ruin Honeymoon Cruise
When you think of honeymoons and bedrooms a lot of romantic things come to mind... Bedbugs are not one of them... But that's just what infested one South Florida's honeymoon cruise... The question is...How do they get a refund? To find out if it's possible... they buzzed. Patrick Fraser with tonight's Help Me Howard...
Lorne and his new bride... also named Lauren... set sail on Sunday for seven days.
Lornesays, "We had a huge bay window-- We had a separate bedroom -- We had a sitting room with two plasma TVs.
But on Wednesday... midway through the trip... something else turned up... bugs...
"As the trip progressed, we realized it was coming from our room," says Lorne.
Specifically, their bedroom... unable to stand the constant itching... on Friday... they went to the ship doctor.
"And the doctor told us the room was infested with bugs," says Lorne.
Lauren doesn't even want to talk about the honeymoon she shared with bugs... and no wonder...
"He ended up giving us Benadryl," says Lorne, "which made us tired... We had to do lice treatments on our honeymoon..."
"You had to do what?" asks Patrick.
The bugs can be eliminated by extreme heat... The doctor chose to be extra careful.
"He told the main concierge ... he must switch our cabin-- Burn the mattress... Burn the sheets," says Lorne.
Their clothes were cleaned, but Loren says they were afraid to infest their home, so they threw everything away.
Needless to say when the grandkids ask about their honeymoon... Loren might want to leave out the lice treatment story.
"It was just a horrible trip..."
The trip cost 3800 dollars... Loren asked for their money back...
"They offered us $1600 in future travel with them... and, man... Why would I go back on a cruise when I had the worst time, and I had such a bad experience?" says Lorne.
Lorne wants his money back, so they can have a real honeymoon... minus the bugs... To see if he is entitled to it... he put a bug in Help Me Howard's ear.
7News Legal Expert Howard Finkelstein says, "Lorne does not have to accept a partial credit for a future trip. He is entitled to get his money back because they breached a contract that promised livable conditions... The question is how much is he entitled to get back?"
When we talked to the cruise line they said the room was clean when the Hennicks arrived because the sheets were washed at over 140 degrees.
As an act of goodwill, though, the cruise line offered the couple 2,000 cash... more than half the cost of the trip.
The cruise line believes that's fair since the Hennicks were able to take the entire cruise.
Howard says that's reasonable offer.
"It's a fair offer because they enjoyed half the cruise," says Howard, "and you can't expect to be compensated for more than your loss."
The Hennicks haven't decided whether or not to accept the 2,000 dollars cash...They are still bitter their honeymoon wasn't like they thought honeymoons should be...
"Enjoyable... unforgettable, romantic.. And how was ours?...Definitely unforgettable."
If the Hennicks don't accept the 2,000 cash from the cruise line... they will have to sue the cruise... They are mad, but one in the hand is worth two in the bush. When are you legaly entitled to a refund? When the company doesn't do what they promised...
Bugged by a problem? Buzz us... and let us take a bite out of it... Our enthusiasm for resolving these things can be infectious... In a good way, of course...
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