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-- **. Two office addresses exist--275 Central 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. **
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. **, onlinesublets.com. **, 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.
I've been looking for rooms in the city for a couple of months now, stumbled upon roomster.com, never purchased any membership. I noticed that every week, they send email saying "x sent you a message'' I always end up clicking to look at the rooms, I finally noticed something weird... they periodically send me the same room pictures with different names and different descriptions. Recently, I noticed that they sent me the same room again with the same person's profile picture but with a different name this time.
What does that tell me and you??? If you're new, and you are really trying to find a room, there's a high probability that they will get you to buy their membership since you will fall for their tricks. I've been following their emails for months now and I feel like it's very dishonest from them to do that. Fake profiles and fake rooms. They could have done a better job by at least sending different rooms!! Come on now...
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, NEW YORK -- I have used the site extensively. The trick is to be a day or so ahead of the automatic bill pay by canceling it immediately before that time. For this, I recommend using PayPal to insure that your auto billing will be canceled as you wish.
Also, the site is the most terribly designed site in the world. When ever someone responds to your e-mail and vice versa, the site uses a sliding bar to navigate through the e-mails. You literally have to hold down your cursor over the bar and slide it down to navigate from one e-mail to the next. When you wish to delete old e-mail, you literally have to open up each and every e-mail and delete it one by one--tedious to say the least. The funny thing is that when using the sliding bar, one can scroll over each e-mail and there appears an "x", which leads one to believe that you can clearly delete this e-mail. No such logic, it is to archive the e-mail. Again, not logical at all.
As well, upon logging into the site, your e-mail indicator (an envelope at the top left of the page's site) indicates a substantive amount of e-mail. This is very deceptive, as this is a list of cumulative e-mails inclusive of those you send. Remember, it is so time consuming and tedious to delete e-mail. It has to be deleted by opening each e-mail and deleting it one by one.
When you receive a message from a subscriber, the site will send you an e-mail alert on your personal e-mail. This is a great idea--except clicking on the link takes you to the sending party's profile, not to the actual e-mail. Again, design fail.
One last bit of note, I will not blame the site for this, many will e-mail you requesting housing accommodations for far less than your requested amount. I don't know if this is because some subscribers don't read or assume you will like their picture enough to give away the room you are renting. Overall, I would not recommend this site. Good luck to anyone who uses it otherwise.
NEW YORK, NEW YORK -- I am a huge yoga addict and I go to the studio almost every day to get myself straightened out. My instructor told me that there was an extra room in the studio that used to be used as a meditation room but not many people were signing up for that class so he was looking into other options to see what he could do with the room. I suggested he rent it out on Roomster, I used it to find a roommate for my place when I moved here, it's a really great site and an easy way to list rooms for rent. A few weeks after listing the room he found a really sweet girl to rent the room and it seems to be working out just great.