When we were in Memphis at the accelerator, we got bed bugs. Now, that just sucks already, because these fuckers are really good at psychological torture, but what made it even worse was that the building we were staying at, The Exchange, tried to blame us for the bed bugs. They claimed that we had brought them to their building, and that we were going to have to pay them for the extermination. Now, clearly, this was absurd. We had no history of bed bugs in college or in either of our houses. They had an exterminator come to our apartment and that person believed that the bed bugs were brought into the apartment, and from that they concluded that we brought them into the building. Here's the thing: when we first got to Memphis, our apartment wasn't ready yet, so they put us in a different one for like the first 4 days. Turns out: that apartment had bed bugs (and they later found out about it). We brought them in, indeed, but from one of their fucking apartments into another one of their apartments. They were so stupid that they never made the connection until we brought it up that we had stayed in another apartment for the first 4 days. Then they were like "oh, yeah, turns out that apartment was infested with bed bugs".

read more

So we decided to put together a war plan. If they were going to try to pull this shit on us, we were going to find back. Once we started to pull out these threats, they ended up backing down, and then we demanded that they give us a month of rent free for the inconvenience of having to wash and dry all of our belongings every 2 weeks for 2 months because that was part of their fumigation process.

When this happened, we told the people at Start Co. that we were leaving Memphis and going back to North Carolina, because we couldn't continue living in an apartment that had bed bugs and washing and drying our clothes all the time while we were trying to work on Coursicle. They helped us get it all worked out with The Exchange, but we had to stay in Chapel Hill for a while until they got it all settled. Being back in Chapel Hill was amazing, it just felt like everything was so carefree there compared to the experience we had in Memphis. I remember saying that Chapel Hill felt to Memphis as New York felt to Chapel Hill.

The things you did.

- Called assuming we had infected the room and threatened us with paying for the fumigation.

- Came into our room with no warning or explanation while we were out and took our personal belongings and damaged them by washing our pillows.

- We know this wasn't you, but when we arrived here for our 4 month stay, our room wasn't ready and we had to stay in a studio without working AC for two nights and move all of our stuff in again to the new room.

- Inconvenience of having to handle all the beg bugs. We’ve spent hours trying to deal with the situation.

- Tara’s arms are covered in bites

Things we're going to do.

- Open a case with the Better Business Bureau

- Post reviews warning of bed bugs on review sites such as Yelp, Tripadvisor, Booking.com, Hotels.com, Expedia, Kayak, Google Reviews, and others.

- Post photos of the bed bugs we’ve found on your Twitter, Instagram accounts, and Facebook

Working on things to do:

Call our contacts at AirBnb suggesting they bar your property from being listed

Shelby Douglas. Seems to be the manager of Washburn and The Exchange. Has an hmheckle email: http://www.258poplar.com/properties/luxury-apartment-in-london/

HMHeckle founders. Others on this page: http://www.hmheckle.com/team.htm

Maney Heckle: hmaney@hmheckle.com

Kevin Turner: kdturner@hmheckle.com

To ask about whether the HMHeckle people are who we should contact if we have a problem with The Exchange. Can call the person who was nice before and referred to HMHeckle: (901) 527-6276. Or others:

Looked up HMHeckle business registration. Got owner’s address.


Agent Address: 5140 WHEELIS DR MEMPHIS, TN 38117-4520 USA

Could contact the people who have given HMHeckle accreditations. Such as IREM (http://www.irem.org/about-irem) and Apartment Association of Greater Memphis (http://www.aagm.org/).

Notes from the following week

From the other guy: we should have been seeing results.

You knew that it took 6 weeks to get rid of the bed bugs in the sofa in a vacant room, but still were sticking with that company to treat our bed bugs.

We can't continue living out of bags, dealing with the laundry (even getting it cleaned professionally), and getting bitten every night.