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Roomster

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1.0 out of 5, based on 6 ratings and
13 reviews & complaints.

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Very questionable business practices
Posted by on
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.

     
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Anonymous on 2010-03-23:
It's not in their instructions, but it is in their terms of use.

"To close your account, click the "close account" button located under the "my account" tab found on your logged in home page. As soon as you close your account, your profile is no longer available to be viewed by other Roomster members. Once you close a Full Membership account, you will not incur additional fees for that account. All closed accounts can be re-activated at any time in the future."

"If you paid using a PayPal account you must close your Roomster subscription on PayPal. Paypal does not allow vendor sites access to customer information, so only you can close your Roomster subscription in your PayPal account. After you click the "close account" link on the Roomster site, you will be directed to your PayPal account, where you can cancel your Roomster subscription. If this feature should fail, you can login into your PayPal account through the homepage of PayPal and locate your Roomster subscription in order to cancel it."
karleebarlee on 2010-03-23:
sounds more like a complaint about PayPal?
tiffany on 2013-06-02:
wrong... I did just that and two months ago... I stopped receiving everything from Roomster no emails no nothing but still having the 29.95 taken out of account at the beginning of month!
Cristina on 2014-04-24:
It happened to me the same as Kvvvvvvv from San Francisco. If you subscribe for the $5.95 quote and you don't read carefully the terms and conditions they end by charging $5.95 $29.95. It's like a hidden way to get money from people, but without actually stealing. If anybody decides to create a group to sue them I'm in.

They should shut that sketchy website
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Roomster Is Deceitful and Creates Fake Emails to Get Your Money!
Posted by on
Rating: 1/51
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.
     
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Alain on 2013-02-06:
I looked both here and on several other consumer sites for reviews about Roomster. I stopped counting at over 31 complaints regarding service, billing, rude personnel, etc. Their reputation is definitely not very good. Contact the California attorney generals office and see if they can't give you some assistance on officially reporting this company via http://www.oag.ca.gov Also, if you get around to it, maybe change the title of your complaint to include "Roomster.com" so people will know who you are complaining about. I'm not sure who or what "Tim" is.
trmn8r on 2013-02-06:
It seems you may be the victim more of an illegitimate member of Roomster, more than Roomster itself.

OTOH, is raises the question of how vigilant they are at pursuing fraudulent activity. It reminds me of using Autotrader. I have had good experiences with it, but when you participate to sell a car you get false inquiries from people who want to sell your car FOR you. Craigslist has spammers too.

The difference in your case is you paid to join to see the inquiry, which turned out to be spam. I can see both sides here. Roomster's attitude probably is, if you are serious about being a member, you would pay to join anyway, and this one spam message isn't a big deal.
Obsfucation on 2013-02-06:
If you paid with a credit card, see if they will reverse the charge for you.
Max d. on 2013-08-08:
I would check this out! https://www.facebook.com/pages/Roomster-is-a-SCAM/143781119137451
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Don't Join If Your Over 35 Especially 40 And Up Or Not A Student
Posted by on
This site hides fine print and then charges your card like 37.00 dollars. The site contains mostly POSTINGS OF STUDENTS young folks who are very judgmental about a persons age most ads for a rooomate were people 18 to 30 saying they only want the same or for you to be a student or they won't rent to you.

There was hardly any renters that would accept you unless you were under 30 I saw mainly looking for other students or between 18 to 23 and many posters not accepting anyone over 30 they all wanted YOUNG, YOUNG DON'T WASTE YOUR MONEY. THERE WERE ONLY A VERY FEW I SAW 1 OR 2 OVER 39 THE MAJORITY WILL NOT accept you unless your under 30.

Don't they know that AGE IS ONLY A 45 IS YOUNG AND THEY WILL BE THERE SOON ENOUGH.
     
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momsey on 2011-04-02:
Of course age is just a number but I don't know too many 18 year olds or even 25 year olds who would want to live with a 45 year old. At the same time, I don't even know many 45 year olds who would want to live with 20 year olds.

Good review, though.
Skye on 2011-04-02:
I concur with momsey. Most of those looking for roommate sites are for younger people, who cannot pay the rent on their own yet, so it's easier for them to split it with others who are in the same age group.

As for the fine print, if they are hiding it, how do you know it exists and what does the fine print say?
GenuineNerd on 2011-04-02:
Most younger (and older) people prefer to be roommates with somebody at or close to their age. Hopefully you can get your fee refunded, or find somebody who would be a compatible roommate. It can be hard.
Randy789102637 on 2013-06-09:
This is for Skye, Momsey, and GenuineNerd
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Roomster Corp
Posted by on
As most of the roommate matching sites do, Roomster requires you to pay to read messages you receive from other members. After receiving mail, I signed up for the four-day trial. Now the problem most people are having is that they didn't read the Terms of Service, but I did read the TOS, so I knew that they would automatically try to do their little sneaky way of making money.

The day before it was set to "renew," I went into the site to cancel it, but it kept telling me that it couldn't complete the request. Eventually, it finally claimed to have successfully cancelled the subscription, but I was still charged the $29.95 a few days later. I sent several e-mails which were not responded to and also attempted to use their HelpDesk, which kept giving me error messages [yes, all of my programs are up to date; I am no internet novice].

After the second charge, I decided to try the HelpDesk again, this time with a notification that I was informing the BBB. Interesting that it worked once I decided to do that. I continue to receive a run-around, and it's interesting that the link I've posted to the BBB they won't comment on.

They keep showing me my "activity log" which is suspiciously misleading. Some of the times they have listed are times that I am clearly in a class where I don't use my laptop or at work and wouldn't be on their site.

I am planning to meet with an attorney soon [since its one of the free services offered by our school] if this does not stop soon and am looking to join one of the pending class-action lawsuits floating around.

While it's not illegal to have hidden re-subscriptions [although it is considered an unethical business practice], it IS illegal to prevent customers from cancelling a subscription if you have no terms that mandate they must subscribe for a certain amount of time.
     
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Fraudulent posting and email request for my photo ID & payment.
Posted by on
Rating: 1/51
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
     
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Roomster, OnlineSublets, SubletsWorld are Scam
Posted by on
Rating: 1/51
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.
     
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Rip off
Posted by on
Rating: 1/51
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.
     
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Roomster deliberately misleading about services
Posted by on
Roomster.com/Roomster.net uses misleading business tactics to part people from their money. You have to upgrade your subscription in order to read a message that was sent to you by a supposed member. Unfortunately I was careless and didn't read the fine print that says that if you don't cancel your three day 'trial' subscription (interesting that they only refer to it as a trial subscription in the Terms of Use but not anywhere else) it will automatically be renewed for $29.95 each month.

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?

When I first realized that they had charged me I sent them a message via their helpdesk. They responded with a standardized message with links to the screenshots of when I agreed to their Terms of Use. However, in order to view these screenshots I would have needed to re-register with Roomster and agree to their Terms of Use, which I obviously don't want to do again because I don't agree with them!

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.
     
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Roomster.com is a real scam
Posted by on
NY, NEW YORK -- I was looking for a place to stay in London during my holiday and while I was surfing the net I came across this website called roomster.com they offered free membership so I signed up. After few days I received many e-mails from other members, but in order to read them I had to get a membership. They offered a few membership options and I choose the 3 days option at the price of £4.97. After a couple of months I was checking my credit card statement and I realized that roomster.com was still withdrawing money from my account at full month membership fee of £18.91. I did some research and I found out that in their Terms and Condition they actually say (in a very vague way) that if you don’t cancel your membership they will continue charging at a monthly rate. However, when you are signing up for a membership they don’t specify there and then that you should close your account to avoid being charged for ever. They are apparently based in New York and they were previously operating under the name of roomster.net. Their telephone number is: 001 646 8622841 bust the fockers
     
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Anonymous on 2009-08-25:
I know of a member in the UK and maybe he'll respond. My only response is that you saw (after the fact) their TOA they steal money from you. You clicked on yes that you agree so it eventually falls on you but companies that do this sneaky crap need to be found out and boycotted.
Eloise on 2009-08-25:
'I found out that in their Terms and Condition they actually say (in a very vague way) that if you don’t cancel your membership they will continue charging at a monthly rate.'
I'm going to assume that you didn't bother to read the terms and conditions before you signed up.
nappaways on 2009-08-25:
Yes, you are right I should have checked the Terms and Conditions and from now on I will definitely will, however, they should have made it more clear that even if I signed up for a three days full membership they would have continued charging me unless I cancelled my membership after that period. These are the conditions:
Full Membership gets you all the functionality of the Basic Membership plus access to a safe and secure private mailbox on Roomster. Full Membership rates vary depending on the length of your subscription. Rates start at $5.95 for 3 days of full access, $14.95 for 2 weeks of full access, $29.95 for 4 weeks of full access. All subscriptions are automatically renewed to ensure uninterrupted access to your subscription (a 3 day trial subscription is renewed for additional 30 days for $29.95 and continues to be renewed every 30 days until cancelled, a 2 week trial subscription is renewed for additional 30 days for $29.95 and continues to be renewed every 30 days until cancelled, a 4 week trial subscription is renewed for additional 30 days for $29.95 and continues to be renewed every 30 days until cancelled). You can close your Roomster Basic Membership or Full Membership at any time. To close your account, click the "close account" button located under the "my account" tab found on your logged in home page.
Isn't that legalised robbery?
Besides I found no button on their website stating "close account" and that shows that they are truly trying to rip people off. End of the story.
Kit on 2012-10-16:
My complaint with Roomster is that, of course, you immediately receive 'mail' in your account after you've signed up for free. You can only read this mail after YOU PAY THEM, and when you do, of course this mail is from ROOMSTER THEMSELVES saying things like ".,.hope you enjoy our service!..." Roomster advertisements, and '...this is who we think you'll be compatible with...' kind of crap, not viable messages from other Roomster members contacting you for or with a room to rent.
Great way to make people pay for YOUR SPAM Roomster!
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Charges for no service
Posted by on
SAN FRANCISCO, CALIFORNIA -- I signed up with roomster.com to contact potential renters. Because I didn't read closely enough their agreement I thought they were going to charge me $4.95 per month. I found out that they charged $39 per month. When I discoverd this I went back and reread their contract - cancelled my account via email. I thought, oh well I screwed up. Next month I found another $39 charge on my credit card and immediately I tried to call Roomster, but they have no 800 phone, nor do they respond to emails. I wrote a dispute letter to the company -Juniper .com,. my credit card, to stop payment. Juniper refused to stop payment even though I explained that I could not contact Roomster. Roomster provided me no service during either of these months and did not stop billing me. As far as I am concerned they are completely unethical in not providing any customer service number, or telephone number of any kind on their website.
     
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Noneill on 2007-02-16:
Sounds like a scam. I am not sure if I understand...Juniper.com is your credit card company? Get a new card.
Hugh_Jorgen on 2007-02-16:
Couldn't you tell from the cheesy look of their site that perhaps they weren't above board? FWIW, their domain is registered out of Luxembourg. Any way, you need to file a written complaint with your bank telling them you did not receive the service you paid for and you dispute the charge. You might also have to cancel that card and get a new one to avoid their repetative billing.
adage on 2007-05-28:
Thank you for your review. I tried roomster.net at the end of 2005. I contacted multiple people on the site and got no response. My conclusion was they didn't have enough of a database for the roommate matching to be successful. Like you, I contacted customer service for a refund. No response. I posted a review of my experience on Amazon. THEN John S. Shriber the company owner, started sending a series of very unpleasant and nasty emails to me. He offered a refund only if I took out my Amazon review, which I did, and that mostly because the guy sounded so unstable that I was afraid of what he'd do with my credit card information. Don't use Roomster.
MoonshineStella on 2008-01-19:
First, they make their money direct debiting your account. They hide the direct debit in the terms and condition and on a side note. If really they wanted to be honest about it, they would make one tick a box authorizing the direct debit. I am sure I am not the only one they ripped off that way. The problem is that, even though it is not obvious, it is in the terms and conditions.
Secondly, it is also far than obvious on how to stop your membership. It makes one lose time to find out (calling, emailing their customer service,...). Plus, one doesn't see the urgency to unsuscribe as you have no idea they are going to direct debit your account. So they have plenty of time to withdraw your account every month until you realize it.
Thirdly, this company has no telephone number, just an automatic voice mail directing you to the site.

Finally, the website is not really good. Look into something else to find a room mate!

It would be good to know if it has happened to other people to group together.
MoonshineStella on 2008-01-19:
Please visit:
http://www.repsavior.com/ripoff222639.html

Savail on 2008-04-05:
I have a problem similar to this. I signed up for the four-day trial; but I read the ToS, so I knew that they would try to automatically renew it.

So when I went to cancel it, it kept telling me that it couldn't complete the request. Eventually, it finally claimed to have successfully cancelled the subscription, but I was still charged. I sent several e-mails which were not responded to and also attempted to use their HelpDesk, which kept giving me error messages [yes, all of my programs are up to date; I am no internet novice].

After the second charge, I decided to try the HelpDesk again, this time with a notification that I was informing the BBB. Interesting that it worked once I decided to do that. I am also going to meet with an attorney if this does not stop soon and am looking to join one of the pending class-action lawsuits floating around.

While it's not illegal to have hidden resubscriptions [although it is considered an unethical business practice], it IS illegal to prevent customers from cancelling a subscription if you have no terms that mandate they must subscribe for a certain amount of time.
Suzanne on 2012-09-25:
I just signed up thinking it was roommates.com and did not have enough time to read the small print. This site does not have many roommates and has a non-working interface. Not display of the last time someone logged in to know if they are even currently looking for a place. Asked for a refund with 1 hour of signing up. We'll see.
Virginia on 2013-05-29:
I kept on inputting my Visa card and nothing would go through - I have over 800 odd messages - I am not sure if they are legitimate but it's starting to look like this company is up to no good - they send you robot messages online and there is no resolution to the problem - so it looks like a scam!!
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