Mum says room at Butlin's Minehead had faeces on bed and was 'infested' with fleas

A mum has complained to Butlin's after her daughter ended up "pickled" with flea bites, leaving them having to end their holiday early.

Lisa Gray, who lives in North Petherton in Somerset, said her 10 year-old daughter Hannah woke up on their first morning at the Minehead resort "with a few bites on her leg". After stripping the bed, she says she found faeces on the mattress but no bed bugs.

However, when Hannah woke on the second morning "pickled with flea bite" they found the sofa to be 'totally infested with fleas'.

They left their holiday later that day and Hannah ended up being off school that week following a visit to the doctor.

Lisa took a number of photographs of Hannah's bites during their stay at Butlin's Credit: Lisa Gray

After ITV News West Country contacted Butlin's about the incident, the company offered Lisa an apology and a "gesture of goodwill".

Lisa says after calling customer services on the first morning their mattress was replaced straight away and they were given money to spend at the resort.

On the second morning she says they were offered an alternative room, but declined as Hannah was particularly uncomfortable and they feared taking possible fleas with them.

  • Watch footage filmed by Lisa Gray of fleas on the sofa in her room

She says they were offered a refund of the accommodation minus facilities and entertainment charges, which worked out at around £64 per unit. Lisa declined this and was told by the company on Monday that they would not get a full refund.

Having paid for a food package as well as entertainment, Lisa argues that their experience merits a full refund as their entire holiday was spoiled by the impact of the conditions on Hannah.

She said: "When we booked the holiday we also paid for the food plan. So we left early and didn’t use this fully. My argument with them was that our whole holiday had been ruined and my daughter was so uncomfortable with the bites that what we paid for the holiday should be refunded.

"That’s then when I got told no on the telephone and that somebody else would get back to me. Nobody ever got back to me via the telephone so I started sending emails and then that’s when the chain of emails came. My last one was yesterday (Thursday 20 July) which has been posted online (on Lisa’s Facebook profile), which was totally unapologetic and basically ‘if you email us again we’re going to ignore you’, which is shocking."

The email to Lisa from a Butlin's Guest Solutions representative, seen by ITV News, said: "I do feel that all of your comments have been addressed appropriately and this is a full and final response, any further correspondence requesting an alternative outcome will not be replied to."

It continued: "Please be advised that, I am the highest point of contact for your concerns and am confident they have been adequately addressed. We are not regulated by a governing body nor an Ombudsman."

However, after ITV News West Country contacted Butlin's on Friday 21 July for a response to Lisa's experience, she says the company called her and issued a full apology with the offer of a full refund.

Lisa says Butlin's offered them an alternative room but she declined, fearing they would only take the fleas with them Credit: Lisa Gray

In a statement, Butlin's said: "We’re really sorry for the experience that Lisa and her family had on their recent break. This certainly isn’t the high standards we expect our guests to receive when they holiday with us. As soon as we were made aware we changed the mattress, offered alternative accommodation, and can confirm the room has been fully fumigated since the family’s departure.

"We’ve been in contact with Lisa to apologise and have offered a gesture of goodwill, which she has accepted."

Lisa said: "Had they done that in the first place I wouldn’t be speaking to you now - I’m a fair person and I’m not going to slate them completely. I’ve been there before and never had any issues but I’m not just complaining about the food being cold or something like that. My daughter has had a very serious reaction and nobody really seemed that bothered."

Lisa says she also found dead fleas in the room's refrigerator Credit: Lisa Gray

Lisa says she hopes by speaking out it will encourage Butlin's and other resorts to improve their customer services.

She said: "Just because you might have paid for a break and it might be cheaper than some other places that doesn’t mean we should be left with that experience. There are some people that only have one holiday a year - if that had been my one holiday a year and I had saved really hard for that it would be devastating.

"The financial state that we’re in - a lot of things now are real treats. Going to Butlin’s is a treat for all of us so you just don’t expect that to happen."