We were a bit worried after we listed a room in the house we were renting looking for a replacement roommate. A lot of the negativity comes from the recurring payment system as well as requiring Facebook. The former wasn't a problem for me as I knew how to disable the recurring payments from happening, neither was the latter although I can see where it can become an issue for those who prefer to stay off-the-grid.
But despite the constant negative press covfefe the service did the job for us. We were two college students and managed to find a third roommate to take the vacant room in our house that's tolerant of our lifestyles and overall super chill. Just as the service advertised, it landed us a good roommate and him a good living situation.
THE BAD: It wasn't a smooth climb to get there. In order to see people responding to your listing, you have to pay a fee. Really, to use any feature you'd WANT to use. LISTING is free, however. And they are good about making it so you can't cheat the system, the fact that it syncs with your Facebook keeps them from showing up if you do a search.
The second issue was the people responding to our listing. Aside from the guy we ended up with and a couple who was beat to it by him, most of the people replying to our listing were the exact type you'd expect to use this type of service: the ones who are already having trouble finding someone who'd want to live with them.
E.g.: people with criminal history, younger single women with small babies, people with pets, potential sex offenders, or generally the type that you KNOW you wouldn't want to live with. While Roomster is super flexible with adding descriptions and criteria, DO NOT expect people responding to your listing to actually read it.
So really, it all depends on who's using the service, what you're using it for, but also expect to invest some money to really make it work. The guy we decided on did not show up quick, at least a month after the listing was posted did he find us and we had to pay pretty often to read a bunch of messages from people we cared not a bit about til we landed on him.
NYC, NEW YORK -- The roomster.com service is an online advertiser for roommates and accommodations. I was denied access to both my account and customer service contact minutes after making payment for the service with no explanation, but the following vague, unverified claim:
"Roomster takes member safety and security very seriously. You have been reported by other Roomster members as either being a concern, posing a threat, promoting an agenda, being suspicious, using hate speech or acting inappropriately. We have investigated this matter and have removed you for one of those reasons."
I could not contact the customer service, as the website prevented me from doing so. When I called the company phone number, a message redirected me to their website. A refund request has been made the same day to PayPal and BBB.
NEW YORK CITY, NEW YORK -- This app is HORRIBLE! I stuck around for a week and found that all the users are scammers who make very convincing fake profiles posting amazing looking rooms and then say they are out of town and ask you to wire money for a deposit on an apartment you've never even seen! This happened at least 10 times to me within the week! THEN when I deleted my account they continued to charge me the $8 weekly fee for 3 more weeks!!! When I contacted customer support I finally got them to stop charging me but they refused to issue a refund. WORST APP EVER.
BOSTON, MASSACHUSETTS -- There are these ads up on Craigslist that always sound too good to be true. Then when you text the phone number- you get a text back saying to go to: AlinasHoms.us and that just forwards you to Roomster. I'm not paying a monthly fee to join a site. WHY the ** do you think I'm looking at Craigslist? Because I'm broke and can't afford anything else. It just sucks that people trying to find a roommate are now subject to these scumbags... UGH- I've read at least 100 reviews of people who got roped into "trying" the service and couldn't get out of it and end up with a bunch of months charges. No thank you.
SPRING, TEXAS -- On Craigslist, I found a room to rent in Bozeman, MT. The paragraph describing the house seemed perfect - four male outdoorsy roommates, washer/dryer, super cheap, etc. The article also listed a telephone number. When I texted the number, I got a robotic response telling me to make a Roomster account (?).
A few days later, I got back on Craigslist and found another "dream-come-true" room to rent...recently married couple looking for someone to rent spare room - cheap, hardwood floors, pet-friendly. I went to text message the person who posted the ad when I realized it was the SAME telephone number used in the previous ad. Someone is clearly making up Craigslist ads with the sole purpose of directing the interested party to Roomster. I don't trust it at all.
RICHMOND, VIRGINIA -- One month ago, I just wanted to try the function of this website, so I purchased a 7 day access, it cost me about $8. But I don't know if I purchase it, it will automatically renew. For many other website, you need to select whether to renew automatically or not, but Roomster just force you to do it! And they don't tell you before the renewal begins.
And I follow the instruction in the term to cancel the subscription, my account shows I'm using a free account, and no button to cancel. This means I have canceled the subscription before. Today, I received a invoice of it, and find that I have been charged 5 times for renewal, that is about $50 dollars with tax. And I still cannot find the cancel button. Scam!
LOS ANGELES, CALIFORNIA -- I feel like an idiot for not looking at reviews for this site sooner. Their practices to get people to sign up are nothing but frauds posting fake rooms on Craigslist that look appealing, but when you try to contact the owner they always tell you to "apply here" or "sign up here", then when I did the property wasn't even there and the supposed owners never responded to any more of my messages. And on top of that I'll get all these email notifications that people have messaged me and half the time those aren't even real either! And on the chance I actually see anything I'd be interested in renting, a majority of time I'll send a message out to owners and they don't even respond.
I honestly believe that site is about 95% fraud, which just enough gullible real ppl who get suckered in to stay operational. I think I found 2 real possibilities to actually follow up with out of like 20. I'm so strapped for cash right now I really hope whoever is in charge of this giant scam gets caught and has to pay out for all the people they've scammed. So awful to do that when people just need to find a place to live and might be a little desperate and rushed especially.
MIAMI, FLORIDA -- Not only they charge you to send and receive messages an arm and a leg, but the people looking for an apartment also have to pay to get in contact with you! It's expensive, and most people don't pay for it. This is not explained on their app or website. If I pay to be able to contact people as a person listing an apartment, I do not expect possible tenants to have to pay to message me! Total rip off! There are far more websites and apps that do not charge anything.
I tried this app months ago before they started charging the customers, and I was getting about 10 to 13 messages per day. It has been two days, and so far only one person has contacted me. My apartment is in a luxury condo, and the price is very low for the area. I posted the same pictures on Craigslist with my phone number, and I got 35 messages in one day! Don't spend your money here, use a different app and dispute the charges with your bank. They are thieves and earn money deceiving customers.
CHARLOTTE, NORTH CAROLINA -- I paid WAY too much "trying out" Roomster several times. Despite all of their technical glitches...I was trying every roommate site available. I tried "one more time", and of course they auto charged after the trial, when addressed they first refused, then said they would refund.
I said to cancel my account immediately. They cancelled & blocked me, and never returned the funds. I contacted the CEO directly (since there was no way to reach them without an account & of course no phone number). He reiterated that I had "authorized" the renewal, but didn't address the fact that they SAID that I would get my money back or that they did not provide the service that was PAID for.
Ok...you ready? NOW, they opened an email portal on their site (never emailed me directly) threatening me that they were going to report me to collection agencies and to my credit report!!! Any suggestion as to the LEGAL action I can take other than SLANDER and FRAUD...or perhaps a CLASS ACTION LAWSUIT against these blatant crooks! Absolutely unbelievable...and all of this over $24.95!! Incredible.
PORTLAND, OREGON -- Someone from Roomster has copied our ad for a room for rent - changed it - and asked people to sign up for their service. This policy is making it difficult for us to rent out our room for multiple reasons:
1) People think they are contacting US about our room. Someone from Roomster asks them to join their service, they sign up and wait to hear from us. They can't even find our ad on Roomster because we never listed it with them to begin with.
2) People think their ad is listed as the correct amount when it is not.
3) People think WE are scamming them.
4) People think that we are asking them to sign up for Roomster and that we will get back to them.
This is an unconscionable way of doing business. It is unimpressive and causing problems for good people who just want to rent out a room. They must stop this immediately! I am outraged right now! If they want more clients, this is not the way. In fact, I will NEVER be a client and I will tell everyone I know to stay away from them.