Hey Ginger Summers, cut the crap on Craigslist

Chicago, Streeterville skyline, photo by Michael Kardas

Between midnight yesterday and 8:42 this morning, an apartment rental bedbug by the name of Ginger Summers placed 962 housing for rent ads on Craigslist.

Why single out Ginger Summers? She’s only one of a frenzied swarm of hundreds of bedbugs busily crapping up Craigslist with tens of thousands of repetitive ads, many of them bait-and-switch come-ons, to frustrate or deceive renters into using their “services.”

Mike, a commenter on an earlier post, suggested using Craigslist’s “exclude” feature to eliminate sleazy bedbug ads from an apartment search:

Another trick to use to your advantage: I found there were particular companies whose listings sucked worse than others. Add a “-“ before these companies names or their email suffix, whatever appears in all of their ads (e.g., -“crap realty co” or -craprealtyco.com) to exclude their listings.

Ginger Summers is affiliated with a bedbug-spawning company that goes by the name of Rent Proactive. That company, along with many of the other bedbugs, has a workaround that keeps you from excluding their ads: include the company name in a non-searchable graphic.

The bedbugs are sending you a clear message: “we’re out to make your apartment search more difficult by crapping up Craigslist. There’s no limit to how much of your time we’re willing to waste.”

One message tenants should take away from this is that any company that tries to get your business by jerking you around and wasting your time is highly likely to continue to jerk your around and waste your time if you’re foolish enough to contact them.

Avoid the bedbugs entirely. Anyone who suggests, as Mike does, that some bedbugs suck less than others simply doesn’t understand bedbugs. Among their other tactics the bedbugs have crapped up Yelp with reviews that appear to be written by their marketing department rather than by actual tenants.

If you’re looking for a home, apartment or condo in downtown Chicago, our rental Guides make your search relatively easy and painless.

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