I haven't posted and purchased anything from or to Craigslist for a very long time. On my mind, Craigslist was a great service for local people to get good deals. Unfortunately, a lot of innocent people got spammed; sadly stories happened one after another. A few years ago Craigslist started implementing posting verification by forcing people who post classified ads to the USA or Canada for phone verification. And each successful verified phone number is good for 90 days. To consumers, it is a good thing; it certainly eliminates a lot of spammers, especially the ones from oversea. However, this control along with others makes a lot legitimate posters (like marketers) extremely inconvenience. A lot of them look for and turn to other alternatives such as backpage.com, ebayclassifieds.com, and etc. Sadly the alternatives traffic is still not as much as Craigslist.
I am not a marketer but sometimes I may have things for sale or giving away, like everyone else. The first service pops to my mind is Craigslist. I was trying to post an ad since yesterday morning without success. None of my phones could be verified.
First, I was trying to use magic jack phone number for verification. It turns out that Craigslist won't accept any VoIP phone. It means I cannot use Magic Jack for verification. Then I entered my cell phone number. Unfortunately, the page kept saying “You are submitting telephone verification requests too rapidly. To prevent abuse, we require users to wait 5 minutes between requests, use no more than 3 telephone numbers in a 12 hour period, and not use any single phone number more than 3 times in a 12 hour period. Please wait and try again later.” At first, I believed in the error message. But after having waited for a few hours and then tried again, I concluded that something must have gone wrong. Reporting an error to Craigslist is no use. I received the same explanation that I could find in their phone authentication help page. What could I do? So I put this aside for the day and tried again in this morning. The same error message re-appeared. It was more than 12 hours waiting period. I cannot believe that I still received the same error. It implies that their phone verification service is not reliable. It could be why it frustrates a lot of marketers, besides other issues.
Craigslist phone verification process is even more difficult to follow than using a ATM card at an ATM machine when you're trying to remember your passcord. For ATM, at least I could try 3 times physically. For Craigslist phone verification service, the 3 times attempts are very easily to exceed without your knowledge.
You cannot refresh the page or use the same URL to another browser window/tab. If you do, it will count once because the page itself will remember your previous phone number. I am not talking about the browser cache. It is nothing related to it. Your URL is tied to your email address. When you enter a phone number, it will automatically tie it to that phone number as well. It is done in the craigslist backend server, not from the browser. Thus, if you have an issue on this, don't refresh, or cut-and-paste the URL to another browser to try again. You will quickly lose your two counts. Unfortunately, my issue is not related to this.
In order to resolve this issue, I decide to sign up an account with Craigslist. From there, it automatically detected a problem saying “There is already an account associated with this email address.” and offered me a chance to reset my password. I have never signed up an account with Craigslist, so I guess it could be a temporary account for non-registered user when I tried to post an ad. Obviously such a temporary account is required for their phone verification service. I followed the link to request password reset. Then I received an instant email for password reset. I finally have my password reset and registered an account with Craigslist.
Having an account with Craigslist doesn't mean I exempt for phone verification when I post an classified ad. To me, this password reset or the registration process cleared all errors including every single field of my phone number stored in their back-end server. From that onward, I could re-enter my cell phone number for verification to the page. Unfortunately, my request was expecting a text message / SMS from Craigslist but somehow Craigslist failed to deliver. When I went to check the sending code status, it indicated that “the call has been placed.” Call? I was requesting a text message, not a call! So I waited for another 5 or more minutes and then placed a request for a voice message instead of text. My cell phone rang as soon as I hit the "send the code!" button. My ad was finally posted.
This whole verification process with Craigslist negates my impression with them. I hope that Craigslist will improve this process. When the alternatives begin improving their traffic, people may leave Craigslist if this verification process is still a headache. Right now, Craigslist still holds a solid position in the market place.