• Report: #446553

Complaint Review: Roomster

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  • Submitted: Sat, April 25, 2009
  • Updated: Thu, November 08, 2012

  • Reported By:Austin Texas
Roomster
445 Park Avenue New York, New York U.S.A.

Roomster, John S. Shriber CRIMINAL billing practices you can verify with the BBB New York New York

*Consumer Comment: Roomster is a complete fraud!

*Consumer Comment: Roomster is a complete fraud!

*Consumer Comment: Abominable Roomster ripoff, same as above filed BBB and here

*Consumer Comment: Also taken advantage of by Roomster

*Author of original report: Good job perpetuating the scam, William

*Consumer Comment: I beg to differ: William from the U.S.A

* : the statements by this user are not true.

*Author of original report: Amendment

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This website is a roommate referral service that appears popular and normal, considering the large volume of users. However, this company has a dirty little secret: they will make unauthorized charges to your bank account/credit card/Paypal account, and claim it's YOUR fault.

The trial subscription for 4 days is $5.95, if I remember correctly, and does not obligate you to anything else. The fine print does say that if you do not cancel the subscription before the 4 day trial or 'sample' period is up, you will be enrolled and billed for a much longer $29 subscription.

The stunt they pull is to 'pretend' that you didn't cancel your subscription within the allotted time-frame. Their customer service reps (who you can ONLY contact via an anonymous messaging system - NOT real email) will tell you that you did not cancel within the correct time frame, whether you did or not. I literally had to tell the service representative that they were lying to me, and that I had a screen-shot of time-stamps on my account to prove it. After arguing back and forth through the messaging system, they finally agreed that I was right the whole time.

I was lucky in this situation: I also used Paypal, not my credit card, to make my initial payment to these criminals. I filed an unauthorized charge claim with Paypal, and it was sustained. I got my money back, fortunately, and also filed a complaint with the Better Business Bureau(BBB).

What still angers me though is that this business is STILL doing the same thing to naive consumers. It appears that not enough people report it to the BBB, and not enough people complain elsewhere. I just can't believe that a site with hundreds upon thousands of users is managing to get away with this. I hope that someday, somehow, legal action is taken upon them.

Kerri
Austin, Texas
U.S.A.

This report was posted on Ripoff Report on 04/25/2009 06:01 PM and is a permanent record located here: http://www.ripoffreport.com/r/Roomster/New-York-New-York-10022/Roomster-John-S-Shriber-CRIMINAL-billing-practices-you-can-verify-with-the-BBB-New-York-446553. The posting time indicated is Arizona local time. Arizona does not observe daylight savings so the post time may be Mountain or Pacific depending on the time of year.

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REBUTTALS & REPLIES:
1Author 7Consumer 0Employee/Owner
Updates & Rebuttals

#1 Consumer Comment

Roomster is a complete fraud!

AUTHOR: Laureen, Boston MA - (United States of America)

Anyone who uses this site should be very cautious.  I tried to cancel my membership, online, and the first time I tried, it said that my account was inactive, yet they still billed my credit card $29.99.  I immediately contacted them, via their internal messaging service, which is the only way you can contact them.  I never got an answer!  Then, a month later, they charged me again another $29.99.  I went online again, and re-cancelled my membership.  I asked for a credit both months, and all they would reply is... 'you cancelled too late, no refund is due to you'... that's it!  I sent mulitple emails asking for someone to contact me by phone, and to speak with a supervisor.  they ignored all my messages.  So, I'm out $60, and they are $60 richer from me and probably thousands of others they do this to.  I"m filing a complaint with the BBB, and I encourage anyone else that this has happened to, to do the same.  This company is a fraud.  Oh, and also, I checked my bank account, and they charged another $.90 cents to my account today, after they have finally acknowledged my cancellation... what's this for?  An extra $.90 cents over thousands of people makes Mr John Shriber, and Mr Roman Zaks very rich people.  Enough said.  These guys are crooks.



Laureen, Boston, MA

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#2 Consumer Comment

Roomster is a complete fraud!

AUTHOR: Laureen, Boston MA - (United States of America)

Anyone who uses this site should be very cautious.  I tried to cancel my membership, online, and the first time I tried, it said that my account was inactive, yet they still billed my credit card $29.99.  I immediately contacted them, via their internal messaging service, which is the only way you can contact them.  I never got an answer!  Then, a month later, they charged me again another $29.99.  I went online again, and re-cancelled my membership.  I asked for a credit both months, and all they would reply is... 'you cancelled too late, no refund is due to you'... that's it!  I sent mulitple emails asking for someone to contact me by phone, and to speak with a supervisor.  they ignored all my messages.  So, I'm out $60, and they are $60 richer from me and probably thousands of others they do this to.  I"m filing a complaint with the BBB, and I encourage anyone else that this has happened to, to do the same.  This company is a fraud.  Oh, and also, I checked my bank account, and they charged another $.90 cents to my account today, after they have finally acknowledged my cancellation... what's this for?  An extra $.90 cents over thousands of people makes Mr John Shriber, and Mr Roman Zaks very rich people.  Enough said.  These guys are crooks.



Laureen, Boston, MA

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#3 Consumer Comment

Abominable Roomster ripoff, same as above filed BBB and here

AUTHOR: Joseph - (United States of America)

my report has not cleared here yet or with BBB but will post later

I signed up for 3 day trial then cancelled via site on day 2, this was 9/5 or 9/6 2012..

on 9/9 logged in verify and received new customer terms of service which lists both free and paid service terms with no discretion..

on 11/8/12 see bank statement about to overdraft from new roomster charge.. find three all for 29.95.. try to call comp and get voicemail, find site reply link which is poorly labelled at best

try to login and cancel and find site log showing no logins since september but account cancelled 11/6 with today 11/8, says "already cancelled 11/6)

company replies 4 times refusing to answer direct questions and posting ridiculous terms of service from 9/9 with no reply to why not cancelled 9/6 or cancelled 11/6

I explain extreme economic hardship (20 dollars in bank for 8 days), proven zero logins during term and ask for courtesy refund to get sh**head replies.. now have filed bank affidavit and will find attorney if necessary

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
PaulNov 8, 2012 at 10:02 AMHelp & SupportDear Roomster: You guys have got to help out! I went in just days after my initial to signup to make sure nothing was being charged and any subscription was cancelled.. I have no money and cannot afford a subscription and had to find a roommate... Now I find on my bank statement 3 months of charges for nearly a hundred dollars with the last posting today. When I tried to click cancel again it says already cancelled by company so I cannot even do that. My usage clearly shows I have never logged in until today when I saw the bill on my bank statement. I now have $20 to last for over a week until my next paycheck. Can you please refund these 3 months charges as this is very serious. I have also never seen an email showing a monthly bill or I would have contacted you before now. Sincerely Yours, Paul Duffey 828 446 8703. I tried calling and got a voicemail.csrep004Nov 8, 2012 at 10:33 AMRE: Help & SupportAll future billing has ended. You can view your billing history by clicking here. Thank you.


When you upgraded to a subscription You were required to check off on the terms of use TWICE in order to create an account with us. The subscription policy is also stated on all these pages:
1. Terms of use [see screenshot]
2. Credit card authorization page [see screenshot]
3. The subscription tab on account page
4. FAQ page

We state on your billing history page when your subscription is being renewed, so that you can end your subscription before a new billing cycle begins.

We also sent you a message right here in this helpdesk and an email notification to paul_duffey@yahoo.com, right after you paid on "9/4/2012 9:04:23 PM" telling you to cancel, and how: "Your subscription can be canceled at any time. There is a link to manage your subscription right on this page."
PaulNov 8, 2012 at 11:04 AMHelp & SupportDear Roomster: I am aware of the subscription renewal, what I am saying is already did cancel this on 9/5 and the subscription was NOT cancelled. When I logged in today to cancel again following the statement the cancel link doe snot work. It shows the account cancelled on 11/6. I went to the samer page and link on 9/5. Also, I am asking if you send monthly renewal emails like other decent companies because I have never seen one. Finally I am asking for a courtesy refund due to financial hardship and asking if you will please consult with a supervisor. Sincerely Yours, Paul Duffeycsrep004Nov 8, 2012 at 12:19 PMRE: Help & Support

Screenshot 1: Acceptance of Terms of Use on 9/9/2011 12:53:42 PM EST
Screenshot 2: Authorization of Subscription and 2nd acceptance of Terms of Use on 9/4/2012 9:04:23 PM EST

The information below is available for your records and may also be available to your financial institution upon request.

On two separate occasions you had agreed to the Terms of Use: on 9/9/2011 12:53:42 PM EST on the Registration Page (see screenshot #1) and on 9/4/2012 9:04:23 PM EST on the Payment Page (see screenshot #2) where you were informed that your Roomster subscription would continue and be automatically renewed until canceled by you. It also shows the renewal rates for the packages available to you on 9/4/2012 9:04:23 PM EST.

All Sales are final and all Roomster accounts can only be closed by the account holder through the procedure described above. We do not accept cancellations by e-mail.
csrep004Nov 8, 2012 at 12:20 PMRE: Help & Support

Screenshot 1: Acceptance of Terms of Use on 9/9/2011 12:53:42 PM EST
Screenshot 2: Authorization of Subscription and 2nd acceptance of Terms of Use on 9/4/2012 9:04:23 PM EST

The information below is available for your records and may also be available to your financial institution upon request.

On two separate occasions you had agreed to the Terms of Use: on 9/9/2011 12:53:42 PM EST on the Registration Page (see screenshot #1) and on 9/4/2012 9:04:23 PM EST on the Payment Page (see screenshot #2) where you were informed that your Roomster subscription would continue and be automatically renewed until canceled by you. It also shows the renewal rates for the packages available to you on 9/4/2012 9:04:23 PM EST.

All Sales are final and all Roomster accounts can only be closed by the account holder through the procedure described above. We do not accept cancellations by e-mail. PaulNov 8, 2012 at 2:14 PMHelp & SupportThis once again answers nothing and proves nothing. You have still not responded to why the account was cancelled on the 11/6 when the account was cancelled from the webpage on 9/5 or 9/6. I never logged in on 11/6 to cancel and when I logged into today was told I could not cancel because it was already done. This could not be fro today as today is the 8th. This is completely fraudulent and horrible an dno one to do business with. The terms of service from 9th say nothing about a bill and equally list the free membership terms. You are using this as false validation of a charge. In fact, I think I do recall logging in on the 9th AFTER cancellation and received this dialog which, from the perspective of the cancelling party, was clear confirmation of the change in service back to a free membership. This is purposefully deceptive. Where is my cancellation from the 6th? You have obviously placed it 2 months later for some reason. Why was i prompted for a terms of service on the 9/9 if there was no change in service? Why does it equally list free membership terms? I will not let this go.PaulNov 8, 2012 at 2:14 PMHelp & SupportThis once again answers nothing and proves nothing. You have still not responded to why the account was cancelled on the 11/6 when the account was cancelled from the webpage on 9/5 or 9/6. I never logged in on 11/6 to cancel and when I logged into today was told I could not cancel because it was already done. This could not be fro today as today is the 8th. This is completely fraudulent and horrible an dno one to do business with. The terms of service from 9th say nothing about a bill and equally list the free membership terms. You are using this as false validation of a charge. In fact, I think I do recall logging in on the 9th AFTER cancellation and received this dialog which, from the perspective of the cancelling party, was clear confirmation of the change in service back to a free membership. This is purposefully deceptive. Where is my cancellation from the 6th? You have obviously placed it 2 months later for some reason. Why was i prompted for a terms of service on the 9/9 if there was no change in service? Why does it equally list free membership terms? I will not let this go.csrep007Nov 8, 2012 at 2:16 PMRE: Help & SupportAfter the third renewal the subscription automatically cancels and then it is your choice to purchase once more if that is what you need.


PaulNov 8, 2012 at 3:03 PMHelp & SupportI refuse to waste any more time, what happened to my cancellation on the 5th or 6th of September... you continue to avoid and dance around questions over and over and over.. what happened to my cancellation on the 9/5 or 9/6? You are going to refund the money if I have to hire an attorny to do so.csrep007Nov 8, 2012 at 3:06 PMRE: Help & SupportYou never canceled your subscription therefore it automatically cancelled after the last renewal. We are not avoiding your questions.
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#4 Consumer Comment

Also taken advantage of by Roomster

AUTHOR: maggiegwynn - (United States of America)

Roomster.com/Roomster.net uses misleading business tactics to scam people out of their money.  As Kerri stated above, 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 that Roomster has responded to Kerri's claim by accusing her of being a competitor using dirty tactics. How ironic!  I don't believe that a legitimate company would conduct business in the way that Roomster has. I also 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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#5 Author of original report

Good job perpetuating the scam, William

AUTHOR: Kerri - (U.S.A.)

You may think I am a competitor, but I assure you - I'm not. I'm a college student that works full-time, attends a prestigious university full-time, and runs my own photography business. I literally can't afford to be ripped off, and I HATE white-collar crime with a passion. (Perpetrators of it are the scum of the earth, to put it mildly.) You want to verify my identity as an individual? Call the University of Texas at Austin's Police Department and ask for me personally: that's where I'm employed. Contact information for our department is listed at the University of Texas website.

I shouldn't have to repeat myself to explain why the billing practices are criminal. It is all explained quite clearly in my original report. The renewal of the service was done in an unauthorized manner, AFTER I canceled my trial subscription. Yes, I canceled it myself alright; then one of your sneaky employees renewed my subscription WITHOUT MY CONSENT. I was then told by a service rep that I didn't cancel my subscription within the appropriate time-frame to avoid being billed further, when this was clearly not true. I had the time-stamp on my account to prove it.

Why would using Paypal make my report odd? If anything, it shows that I'm an educated consumer that is smart enough not to give me credit card information directly to scumbags. Paypal is also the only reason I got my money back promptly: I reported the fraudulent charges to them immediately. Seriously William, if you're going to try and rip people off, get someone that can form more intelligent arguments than you to help you out.


Why would this be done? What would your company have to gain? How about money that you've fraudulently obtained? You are NOT a reputable company with excellent customer service: you're a dishonest, fraudulent organization.

...and again, the BBB website has plenty of consumer complaints that match my experience. A little common sense says it all here...
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#6 Consumer Comment

I beg to differ: William from the U.S.A

AUTHOR: MoJo - (United States of America)

I followed your instructions below and there is no "settings" tab in my profile under Edit Profile. Due to the copious amounts of reports against roomster on this site and others, I think the post by Kerri was probably real. Take the feedback and better your company is what I say. That speaks more to competition than by wasting your energy on replying to a consumer complaint and trying to discredit it.




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#7

the statements by this user are not true.

AUTHOR: William - (USA)

Just to be clear with everyone reading this. Roomster.com is an honest & reputable company. We do not make any un-authorized charges. Why would we? We have been in business for 6 years and continue to provide an excellent roommate matching service & even better customer support. On the credit card payment page & the paypal payment page state our subscription policy, and cancellation instructions. Roomster subscriptions can be canceled at any time by the member.

(the text below is from our credit card page)

"Subscription rates apply to credit/debit card and PayPal payments. All fees are charged in U.S. dollars. As long as you remain a roomster subscriber, your subscription will be renewed at the monthly rate. This will ensure uninterrupted access to your subscription. Charges will appear on your bill as 'roomster'. You can cancel your subscription at anytime. To cancel your subscription, click the "Edit profile" link on the top navigation, then select the "Settings" tab and then click the "Subscription" link. Click "Cancel my subscription".

The only data supplied to us & you about this user is that she is "Kerri from Austin, Texas U.S.A."  If we had more information we could pull the records, which would show sign-up, usage & cancellation history. What's odd about this "report" is this person is that she claims that she paid via Paypal. As you may or may not know Paypal informs you of an re-occurring subscription type payments & gives you instructions how to cancel it, as well as emailing you the details.

We believe this user is a fake, posted by a competitor.






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#8 Author of original report

Amendment

AUTHOR: Kerri - (U.S.A.)

The 'trial' period is actually 3 days, not 4 days, as I stated. I plan to include a screen-shot of my Roomster account soon; which shows my initial subscription, my cancellation, and then THEIR unauthorized renewal.
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