CHICAGO, CALIFORNIA -- Roomster is engaging in very questionable business practices by clogging the room and apartment listings in Craigslist with dozens and dozens of fake ads. It's so frustrating!! When you shoot a text to the person posting the ad, you get a reply that includes a link to one of Roomster's many bogus mirror sites. Then you're urged by the party you contacted to sign up to be able to look up more details about the room. Signing up, though, is just a way to lure you into paying their ridiculous subscription fees-- otherwise you have no way of accessing messages from individuals you've contacted through the site. If you get one of Roomster's links, just ignore it. This is a total scam and rip-off. And an outrageous abuse of Craigslist, which is meant to be an open, free community forum. Not a place to siphon people off to some scam website.
NEW YORK -- Canceling a membership and thus eliminating an obligation to pay them money by following the instructions on Roomster's web site is like eating newspaper to cure a blood disease--it may work but don't be surprised if it does not.
I signed up for a 2 week membership--$14.95--on February 12. Actually I did not sign up so much as I had to upgrade my membership to gain access to some responses that my first posting had generated. Up to February 12, there was no charge and I had been affiliated with the website for several months. Frankly, I did not want to incur any cost but went along with the $14.95 as I intended to terminate within two weeks.
On February 19, I contacted somebody via a "Contact Us" button on the web site. I stated that I wanted to cancel my membership. The response was cheerful and breezy and easy to follow. In essence, I was shown how to "disable" my account. I disabled my account. So--no more charges, right? WRONG.
I used PayPal to start the two week membership. Once established, PayPal will continue to charge you unless you cancel the account on PayPal's Website. However, do you think Roomster made any mention of that on their instructions? Well, no they didn't.
To make matters worse, the bank account which PayPal debits if there is no balance on PayPal's books was in overdraft status and I incurred an overdraft fee of $27.12.
I complained to PayPal but my claim was turned down, apparently because the account had not been canceled before payment was made by PayPal to Roomster.
On top of that, the email correspondence from Roomster had a link to the instructions I was to follow to cancel my membership. After I complained to Paypal, the information on that link was wiped clean so verification of my claim that I followed their instructions would have been impossible, except for the hard copy of those instructions I printed.
Roomster shows up on the New York Secretary of State's web site if you type in the name. However, there is no Registered Agent listed. If you file a lawsuit, typically papers are served on a Corporation's Registered Agent. This omission may have been an oversight but it may also have been deliberate as it would certainly make it harder to sue Roomster.
And even if one were to sue and Win a judgment, collecting it would be a problem.
Two names have surfaced in connection with Roomster--John Shriber and Roman Zaks. Two office addresses exist--275 Cnetral Park West, NY, NY 10024 and 445 Park Avenue, 10th Floor NY, NY 10022.
Here is a thought--If you have suffered a loss at the hands of this website, check into the How's and Why's of the small claims court in your jurisdiction. There may be a way to obtain service on Roomster or one of these two men. If so, sue them for your lost funds and sue them for an additional amount in punitive damages up to Small Claims Court limit. A Punitive Damages award typically requires deliberate, willful behavior, or fraud, on the part of the Defendant. It would probably not take too much effort to convince a judge that the behavior of these people entitles you to a Punitive Damages Award. Once you have a judgment, register it in New York state and then find a collection agency to run these people down and collect your judgment.
You may receive something, you may not but in any case you have tried to seek justice.
CALIFORNIA -- I just received a fraudulent email asking me for a copy of my photo ID via email and a request for me to "Hold the apartment" by sending them a payment without having seen the unit.
After reading this, I attempted to submit a Customer Service Request explaining the fraud. When I clicked "Submit" the Roomster web site had a glitch and posted an error message:
"Oops! Something has gone terribly wrong :(
Don't worry we are on it! Alarms just went off and our developers are looking into this. In the meantime check out the links below."
I would NOT recommend doing any activities on the Roomster web site. It is very dubious.
Jim in LA
TEXAS -- Roomster.com ( = OnlineSublets.com = SubletsWorld.com ) are SCAM. roomster.com pretends to be individuals looking for roommates/tenants on sites like craigslist.org to lure people to contact them. Then they respond you with URL's like onlinesublets.com and subletsworld.com to see their pictures. Those sites redirect you to roomster.com. When you ask the house/apt owners which listings are their, they never replied.
Here are 2 examples happened to me. You can text the numbers listed below for proof. They will reply you with web addresses like below, ask you to sign up on the site.
1. 214-531-3070, onlinesublets.com
2. 512-595-0468, subletsworld.com
Roomster.com also use their fake services to rip off landlords.
I signed up for their free service. I sent a message to a prospective landlord and was informed that for him to read it I had to pay for an "upgrade" I also was told I had several messages from potential landlords but again I had to sign up and pay for an upgrade to read them. I purchased a three day upgrade for $5.95 only to find out that the person I messaged still couldn't read my message unless he also purchased the upgrade and that 13 of the 14 messages I had were "sent" PRIOR to my signing up with roomster.com and none were for anywhere near where I was looking to move. I messaged them via "contact us' and was told to cancel my account but given no explanation about how I could have received emails before my account existed.
Since I used PayPal I filed a dispute and hopefully will get my money back but at least I know PayPal cancelled the preset continuing payments.
PALM SPRINGS, CALIFORNIA -- I signed up for the free set up of a roommate profile and to view listings. The next day I received an email stating I had "mail" from a prospect in my Roomster.com mailbox. BUT, I had to pay for a subscription before viewing my mail. I did pay only to find it was a fake/false mail...from a supposed person who has 5 different properties in TEXAS, I live and am looking for a roommate in Palm Springs, CA!
Upon contacting Roomster...they would not answer my questions, wouldn't check into the situation and would not refund my money...the answer I got was "Cancel your account to avoid any further billing!" Roomster sends fake emails getting people to pay for fake potential roommates.
Roomster has a rating of F with the Better Business Bureau and something like 62 complaints filed against it. If you search online you will find that many many other consumers have the same complaints about being mislead, and in many cases, have actually had money taken from their account by Roomster even after they canceled their account. I attempted to cancel my account before I even realized that they would continue to charge me each month, and could not find how to. Since I didn't know they were still charging me I didn't think it was a big deal, especially after I got an email from them saying my account was disabled due to inactivity--why should they keep charging me if my account is disabled?
I also have tried to contact them by telephone. My bank supplied me with one number which was invalid and the other I got from the BBB's website. It is a recorded message system which only refers you back to their website.
I am writing this because I am frustrated with the way that Roomster conducts business and is able to get away with it. I believe that a legitimate business would be interested in helping their customers, and Roomster obviously is not. They are deliberately misleading and it is sad and disappointing that they are willing to take advantage of people in this way.
NEW YORK CITY, NEW YORK -- I just started writing music with this artist based out of Los Angeles and I would initially go out there for a week at a time to do our sessions and then come back to New York, after a few sessions together of writing some incredible music the label decided they would pair us up to do an entire album together. This meant I would have to move to LA full time so I started looking into good deals in the area to live. I came across Roomster’s site during my searches and it seemed like a really great resource to find places to rent on the cheap. A few weeks later I found myself on a plane with all my belongings, ready to move into my new home! I found an incredible deal in a really cool artist community that was so perfect. Really excited for the new music we will be writing and releasing for the world to enjoy!
NEW YORK -- I am a club promoter and work very late nights during the week usually until about 5am. My previous roommate who I had met through my old college roommate was constantly complaining about the hour at which I would get home to which I would respond “If you want to pay my bills then by all means go ahead and I won't have to come home at 5am”. Needless to say that didn’t go over so well. One time it got so bad we got into a huge argument that almost got physical and finally I decided I couldn’t deal with it anymore so I knew I needed an alternative. My colleague told me about Roomster, apparently he knows someone who works for them, and suggested I try it to find a new place. I created a profile and was surprised by the number of rooms they have listed. I ended up finding a great deal on a room to rent and because I was able to include some details about myself on my profile detailing my nightly work hours I found a perfect match with someone who also worked nights.
NEW YORK, NEW YORK -- So here’s our Roomster story. My boyfriend and I have a two bedroom apartment and we rent out the second bedroom to help with expenses. Until about a month ago we had this girl Chelsea (we changed her name in this post for anonymity) renting out the room and she seemed pretty normal for the first few months living together. That all changed very quickly. One night my boyfriend and I get home at around 2:00am after hitting the bars with some friends. I guess Chelsea thought we weren’t coming home that night for some reason, because we found her and four other people engaged in an orgy in our living room! I mean can you say GROSS!!!! [They were] humping like rabbits all over our nice clean furniture and one of the sexual deviants apparently thought it would be a good idea to use vegetable oil as lube but it ended up resulting in a VERY slippery situation. My boyfriend slipped and split his chin open on the coffee table and we rushed to the ER at 2:30am so he could get stitches! Needless to say at the end of this nightmarish fiasco we had to kick Chelsea out of the apartment. A friend of ours recommended we use Roomster to fill the newly vacant room and I gotta say I’m so happy with how it turned out. Roomster helped us find a great, respectful roommate in less than week and we have had no issues with them. Would highly recommend this site!