CHICAGO, ILLINOIS -- They place dozens of very tempting but fake room for rent ads on Craigslist. When you inquire about a room, you get a reply telling you to go to a fake mirror site that redirects you to Roomster. On the Roomster website, almost 100% of the ads are clearly fake. The prices are FAR below market, the accommodations gorgeous, and the landlords almost all twenty-something hot women or men. The property about which you initially inquired is nowhere to be found and when you mention this to the party that posted the ad, you are told to register and upgrade to a paid subscription in order to see the room. STAY AWAY and report to Craigslist as a "Prohibited" ad.
CHICAGO, ILLINOIS -- First, a note about the product itself. It is terrible (but most roommate finders are, sadly). Want to send a message with basic formatting (i.e. hard returns to separate one paragraph from another, or list with bullet points)? Tough - Roomster will reformat it into an unreadable jumble. Navigating the site is nearly impossible, and you'll find yourself clicking around to get back to that one page you found helpful. "Listings" and "Profiles" seem to blend together and it's not clear what the difference is.
Now for the REAL reason for this review. I signed up for the $5.95 3-day trial to see what the service was all about and send a few messages. I only realized the service would auto-renew because PayPal told me it would. However like any rational person I expected a 3-day trial purchased at 2:42 on Monday would auto-renew at 2:42 on Thursday. Not so! Out of nowhere they charged my account for $29 on Thursday at 6am.
When I reached out to customer service (via their messenger since they have hidden their number), they claimed this was spelled out in the receipt they emailed me. It was not. They only said it would renew on Thursday, not at what time. Any rational person would assume 3 days meant 72 hours. Then the customer service person argued that Thursday was the 4th day, therefore auto-renew. I'm sorry, I didn't realize we were counting in Biblical days.
By their logic, if someone purchased at 11:59pm on Monday, their membership would re-bill at 6am on Thursday all the same - making a 3-day trial a 2-day trial. Nowhere is this outlined at the time of purchase. They are dishonest, unhelpful, and a poor product to boot. Stay away.
The reason I am writing this review is that I don't want what happened to me to happen to anybody else. Like many others, I fell into their trap of getting a 5.95$ trial subscription. I was charged 29.99$ for the renewal of the trial. The only way to contact them is through their online messenger (What they call 24/7 support. They actually do have a phone number, but they only take suggestions and comments on that line, what a shame!). When I contacted them, they literally told me that I was emailed about the trap.
The reason you fall into their trap is they keep sending you fake messages into your mailbox and when you want to view those messages the website asks you to open an account with them. If you are really in need, you go for their 3-day trial subscription, without knowing that your subscription does not automatically end. It automatically renews. At a much higher rate. Please DON'T fall into their trap.
I received a text message from someone "interested in my room," and they were replying to my ad on either Craigslist or Kijiji. They told me to follow the link to see their profile and to see if they were a good fit. The link lead me to the signup page. They told me I had to sign up to see their profile and stuff. I signed up, and the link still lead me to the signup page so obviously it was just an affiliate. Still, I filled out my description, sent out a message to all of the people in my area looking for a room with their budget close to my rent cost.
I keep receiving notifications of messages received despite including in my ad that I would prefer to be contacted by text or email address, not on Roomster. I can tell that the messages are fake and meant to entice you into paying the 3-day trial or more to be able to see them. If they ARE real messages then that sucks, because I really need a roommate! Roomster should change their setup - we should be able to see a preview of the message at least.
Then they're still enticing people to subscribe in order to see the full message, but we can at least see that it's not a fake message meant to trick us into subscribing! The website looks very promising, with the picture and profile option, plus the option of sending out a message to multiple people at once. It seems to make looking for a roommate much easier! But alas, it's just a money scam.
BENTONVILLE, ARKANSAS -- So, I was looking to rent a room in my house. I created a post on roomster.com (haven't paid for anything at this point). At some point (a week or so later), I received a notification that I had a message waiting for me (person interested in renting the room).
I go ahead and sign up for the 15-day trial, thinking this would be a good way to find a roommate. Once I pay for the trial, I go to the message center. It shows I had a message, but that person removed (or deleted) the message...$15 spent for no reason now.
I'm thinking, either they're jerks for not removing the message notification, making me spend money to read the message...OR they fraudulently generated a message to entice me to spend money, but then removed the message once I paid for access.
LAS VEGAS, NEVADA -- I recently tried a 3-day subscription again after I previously tried a month's long subscription a year ago. I hoped I was wrong and things had changed, but, alas, no. I don't know if any of these people who are looking for a room actually exist. You can usually tell when someone who has "subscribed" to this service never bothered to fill out any details of what they are looking for. Who does that? You allegedly spend money to subscribe to a roommate service, but never bother to fill out any descriptions of yourself? That's a clear give-away that the person doesn't exist.
I never get any responses, except one guy. He never responded to my e-mail to him on Roomster, but he did run an independent ad on CraigsList. When we spoke, he said he never got an e-mail from me, so I don't know if their e-mail service is real! Speaking of e-mail, after you resign from the service, you frequently get an e-mail saying you have e-mail on Roomster, except they charge you a minimum of 3-day service to access your e-mail. Who does that?
When I resigned my 3-day membership after 2-days, they still tried to charge me for a month. Fortunately, I used PayPal and when I filed a complaint with PayPal, BOTH the 3-day and the month's subscription were reversed. This is definitely a rip-off site that makes its money through quick hits that never materialize. Stay Away!
Was mislead into creating an account by a Craigslist roommate ad wanting me to have a Roomster account. I have every reason to believe Roomster created false Craigslist postings to drum up business. Create a listing and can't find the one I was sent to view. Could not read or respond to e-mails without paying so I picked the 15-day versus 3 days (too short) or 30 days (too long).
After the 15 days I received no notice to cancel or be charged twice the price for 15 more days (making it almost 3 times as expensive as the 30 days would have been). I hadn't read the e-mail as it should say BEFORE you approve that you are subscribing to them continuing to charge you, not in the e-mailed receipt after.
Do not use Roomster. I signed up for a three-day trial hoping to find a room or studio for rent. With no luck between Craigslist and Roomster, I decided I needed more time so I let the subscription go on, knowing that I would be charged over $20. After using Roomster for a month, and having a full profile and my needs, I constantly received messages that had nothing to do with what I was looking for, far out of my price range, location etc. In addition, out of the 20 members I sent messages to showing interest, I received 2 replies.
Also, while replying to Craigslist posting for rooms, I would leave my contact number like they requested, then almost immediately I got a text message saying... "I am the owner, if interested do registration here **. Then I'll call you and set up a time to view the room. Original craigslist post: **. Let me know when you're done!" This would happen with 10 different replies to Craigslist listings. Some of the links they text were different but they all led me to Roomster, which I was already registered on. Just a heads up, don't waste your time or money on Roomster.
UNKNOWN, CALIFORNIA -- Roomster, why do you require a person have a Facebook account in order to register on your site? What if a person doesn't use Facebook? You should provide a way for people to register on your site the normal way. Also, I have been banned from your site three times, even though I obviously used Facebook accounts.
This makes no sense. Why do you require we register through Facebook, and then ban us for doing so? So, unless our Facebook page is swamped with endless photos and activity, you don't consider us a real person? You make no sense, and require too much! Obviously a bot cannot register with the kind of detail you require. Lastly, when I am informed I have been banned for a violation, no specifics are ever given. You people make no sense. I'm giving a low rating of your site right now.
This app provides confusing instructions regarding the trial period and the automatic $45 charge that follows immediately after. They are intentionally confusing in their presentation of how to avoid the charge. They imply if you delete your account, you will not be required to pay said fee, BUT when you try to do this it says you are unable to delete account until membership has concluded. After the fact, I realized they outline these fine points in the small print, but it's their approach that is misleading, shady and bad business practice. I will go out of my way to deter my many college-aged and young professional friends from ever using this app or service.