Roomster Complaint - Very questionable business practices
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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