FAQ Frequently Asked Questions

no scams, no spams, no scums
1. Fill out a profile, starting here.

2. Read your email.
Unfortunately, scammers, spammers, and scumbags specifically targeting roommate searchers are increasingly common.

Our actual human Scam Busters use their actual eyeballs and organic brains to review all submissions to this service before bothering any legitimate subscribers. We also do an IP Address Actual Location Analysis for all subscribers, and share the city in which subscribers are truly located.

MANY get tossed.

. . .

We collect a lot of data, not just our actual questions, but also information from the submitter's computer and location which can only be accessed by site owners.

Unlike most ways you could find a roommate on the internet, we are paying attention to this information, and actually making use of it to decide which profiles are worth accepting and which are probable scams.

It is time-wasting and extremely aggravating to exchange multiple communications with one of these scammer scumbags before you finally realize that IS what is happening.

However, it is NOT actually difficult to avoid becoming a FINANCIAL victim of a scam.

Is it difficult to avoid wasting your own TIME with scammers, before you're finally able to suss out who's who?

YES. (If you don't use RoomieMatch.com.)

Is it difficult to avoid losing MONEY to a scam, if you follow our RoomieMatch.com Anti-Scam Guidelines?

NO. Your own common sense coupled with our RoomieMatch.com Anti-Scam Guidelines should prevent that entirely.
Your personal info won't be accessible online via this roommate service, it's all stored OFFline.

Unscrupulous marketers use internet programs ("spambots") to ferret out personal information. Personal info online exposes you to spam or other unwanted contact. Even if your info is behind a "password-protected" area, the spiders are usually one step ahead of protections.

Spambots can't scoop up your personal info, because we never publish or store it out on the open internet.

In short, you won't get buried under unrelated emails as a result of your subscription HERE.

You won't end up subscribed to advertising for anything else - you'll hear from us regarding your roommate search, not ever for any other reason.

Your information will not be shared, sold, or rented to anyone outside this roommate service.

No partner offers or anything of that nature.

All information is only used for the purpose of roommate matching via this roommate service.
In addition to weeding out internet roommate scammers (more detail above), our actual human reviewers using their actual eyeballs and organic brains screen all roommate submissions for other sorts of scumbags as well.

This is, pretty obviously, if you're well-intentioned, a ROOMMATE service.

NOT a place to look for dates or confront any other "adult" content.

Anyone trying to sneak in something shady is way too sleazy for us, and we delete them.

Anyone wanting a date or similar should go to a dating site already! There are ten million of them out there! Don't try to hassle people on OTHER completely different sites for dates! That's just wrong and just plain trashy, and we don't allow it here.

We also delete anyone that sounds insincere, completely offbase, or just completely insane.

We review profiles and trash the failures BEFORE any other subscriber would ever see them.

We don't just use current subscribers as our only review mechanism, waiting to see what, if anything, they might bother reporting, AFTER they waded through it themselves.

WE take out the trash FOR you.
This is one of our "no scams, no spams, and no scums" screens. When subscribers submit a roommate profile here, we collect their IP Address. Then we analyze it to determine that subscriber's actual geographic location. We then share that city with other subscribers with whom that person is matched.

We will NOT share the actual IP addresses themselves, just the cities indicated.

This does NOT mean that any other subscriber will know your exact home or work address or precisely where you were when you submitted your profile (unless and until you choose to share that information with them yourself, of course). This is because, again, we are not sharing the actual IP addresses.

It DOES mean they will know if you were honest about your actual geographic location when submitting a profile.

Significant dishonesty here is a scammer red flag.
This entire site is served under SSL encryption, with a 2048-bit Industry Standard SSL Certificate. This prevents hijacking of any and all of your personal information. If your browser displays the "http" sections of URLs, the https (as opposed to just http) at the beginning of each shows you your connection is secure. Also depending on your browser, there may be a "lock" icon next to that URL and/or in that browser tab. If so, you should be able to click on that for site verification as well.

You can also hover over or click upon our TrustLogo Seal for even more verification. That's not on each and every page, as that would get a little redundant. But here it is again below, hover over or click for up-to-the-minute site security verification:

SSL



roomiematch profiles
You don't. We will never publish anyone's profile out on the open internet.
You don't. They aren't published out on the internet. We will NEVER publish anyone's profile out on the internet.

If YOU'RE an accepted subscriber, YOU are allowed to see other profiles by reading your own private email.
That's the way you do that, and that is absolutely all that's required.

Doing it this way is better because it's:

- exponentially more private than having your info published anywhere
- MUCH less "busywork" for YOU

You won't have to resurf this website 8000 additional times during 1 roommate search.

Returning to a website over and over and over again is a giant sucking vortex of all your free time. Most people have more interesting things to do.

This way is better, at least, for legitimate roommate searchers.

Scammers, spammers, and scumbags get totally shafted here, but that's the whole point.
"Why use email instead?"

We never publish anyone's personal info on the internet. This is much better for legitimate roommate searchers.

It's NOT what all the roommate scammers, spammers, and scumbags out there would LIKE us to do.

But it IS best for legitimate roommate searchers who also value their privacy.

Publishing your personal info and contact details out on the open internet is a BAD thing, at least, for those that understand the implications. Spammers and scammers could scoop up your details and do anything they wanted with them, as is the case many ways one could roommate search.

We know many people enjoy having their personal info splatted all over the internet. If you do, that's your prerogative, and we're sure you'll find many ways to do just that.

We just don't think it should be a requirement just to find a roommate.

Keeping our subscribers' info OFFline and ONLY sharing it with accepted subscribers via private email vastly minimizes the probability that your personal details will end up in the hands of anyone other than another sincere roommate searcher.

This also means everything comes via email.

No need to repeatedly revisit the site or do any extra busywork involving "searching" or "logging in" or anything like that.

Accepted subscribers simply read their own email at their own email accounts.

That's all you'll have to do, no extra work on the site.
Absolutely not.

We're concerned with our subscribers' privacy, as well as the sincerity and legitimacy of anyone that might contact them.

You must submit your own profile that passes our human review before you'll have access to others.
We can't tell how many people we have that may meet your needs until you fill out a profile and get your matches. That's because matches are based on several criteria in addition to major metro area.

Also, our database of available roommates changes constantly.
None of our roommate profiles are ever published online.
Please see "Why don't you just publish everyone's personal info on the internet?" (above) for the why behind that.


You're not on a dating site.
This is a roommate service.
Totally different thing.
Please understand that.


If you actually WERE thinking about finding a roommate, you weren't ACTUALLY thinking that a little row of thumbnail-sized headshots would help you figure out ROOMMATE compatibility, were you?
Serious rookie mistake

That incorrect assumption would be a huge plate of incorrect with a heaping sidedish of just plain wrong.

If you continue to incorrectly imagine anything of the sort, you're likely in for a rude awakening sometime in the very near future.


Are you cute? Attractive? Decent-looking?
If so, you should be glad we run our roommate service THIS way.

If you want a bunch of non-roommate-related sexual innuendo, please sign up for a dating site and post a photo there; you'll quickly find more than you can handle.

If you're here, we're assuming you'd like to find an actual roommate in a fairly efficient fashion.

(Meaning, without a lot of people asking you what you're wearing along the way.)

Again, if not, please sign up for a dating site.


If you were wondering about photos of the real estate . . .
and/or interiors others had to share, many will share those with you more PRIVATELY via email.


You can just as easily get them that way, and then those persons won't have to share their personal info with the entire internet.
(Or, if you have a photo you'd like to share with a potential roommate, just send that to them PRIVATELY as an emailed attachment. Very, very easy.)

The way we do it is better for everyone.

Well, legitimate roommate searchers, that is.

Not anyone looking for "love" in all the wrong places.
1. We emailed your freetexts (what you typed about yourself and your place (if you have the place to share)) and confirmation of your matching restrictions after you were accepted. You can read that email, then hang onto it for future reference, if you like.

2. Emailed matches contain not only demographics and rent info, but also a customized comparison between you and that potential roommate on all the Roommate Behavior Rating questions. You can see exactly how YOU compare with THEM.

3. If you've upgraded to Cheap Roommate Search, your matches ALSO contain all YOUR answers to ALL the questions, in addition to the customized comparisons.

The Cheap Roommate Search email makes it very easy to contact whomever you like.

You just forward it along to your roommate choice as your detailed introduction, complete with compatibility already outlined.
Again, we don't publish roommate profiles on the internet. No one can see anyone's profile published online via this site.

"No one can see anyone's profile published online" does also mean YOU cannot see your OWN profile, because it's never published online. It's not just everyone ELSE'S profile that is NOT published on the internet. It's yours TOO.

Yes, this means you cannot EDIT your profile. Other than that small potential annoyance, this is actually a VERY GOOD THING for your personal privacy.

Publishing your personal info and contact details out on the internet is a BAD thing, at least, if you understand the implications of that. Spammers and scammers could just scoop up your personal info and do anything they wanted with it, as is the case via a lot of ways one could find a roommate via the internet.

1. We emailed your freetexts (what you typed about yourself and your place (if you have the place to share)) and confirmation of your matching restrictions after you were accepted. You can read that email, then hang onto it for future reference, if you like.

2. Matches contain not only demographics and rent info, but also a customized comparison between you and that potential roommate on all the Roommate Behavior Rating questions. You can see exactly how YOU compare with THEM.

3. If you've upgraded, your matches ALSO contain all YOUR answers to ALL the questions, along with the customized comparisons.

The Cheap Roommate Search email makes it very easy to contact whomever you like.

You just forward it along to your roommate choice as your detailed introduction, complete with compatibility already outlined.

Most subscribers really have no need to edit or change their profiles (or even to look at their profiles repeatedly after submitting them), but if you feel you must or that you made a mistake, what you would need to do is submit a fresh profile, starting here. Since you're already familiar with the questions, that shouldn't take long at all.

If you use the same email address, and ask for the same thing (looking for a place to move in Seattle, for example) that new profile will REPLACE any previous profile.

If you use the same email address but request a DIFFERENT thing (looking for a place to move now also in Tacoma too, for example), that new profile will be ADDED to the other one, such that you'll then have 2 profiles active.

If you want a profile SUBTRACTED (you were previously open to moving to both Seattle and Tacoma, but now are only open to moving to Seattle), just email us and tell us so.

We're more than happy to fix you up for whatever you like, but please be as specific as possible if you need to email us about something, so there's no confusion.
Just fill out another profile describing that additional situation you might want, starting here.

You can have more than one profile per email address. We recommend using the same email address to keep your roommate search conveniently in the same place, and in case you upgrade.

Since you're already familiar with the questions, it should only take you a few minutes.
If you have a profile active with us, you should have received email from us in the recent past regarding it.

If not, you may want to check your whitelisting situation. Failure to whitelist our email address may lead to our email ending up in your spam folder. You will want to check your spam folder, then designate those emails as NOT spam with your email provider.

If you're still not sure, you can email us and ask.

We do need you to email FROM the same email account you were last using with us. We won't send information about a subscriber's profile to any email address other than the one last associated with it. That insures no mistakes are made regarding the proper ownership of a profile, and we continue to respect our subscribers' privacy.

"Do you still have my old profile?"

We delete profiles as soon as their authors tell us they found their new roommates.

We also never recycle or reuse old/outdated profiles. Absolutely no resurrecting of old dead profiles. We do our best to keep our database CURRENT.

It's also best for everyone to fill out a fresh profile when starting a fresh roommate search, rather than trying to resurrect an outdated one. Often needs and preferences change over time, even if you're not completely aware they have.

So if you need a new roommate and don't currently have a profile active, just fill out a fresh profile, starting here.

Since you're already familiar with the questions, that should take you no time at all.

If you had previously upgraded anytime within the last 12 months, we'd also be happy to re-upgrade your new profile for free. However, our system does not do that automatically. Please fill out your new profile FIRST, then email us reminding us of your paid status.

We also need the email address you used to pay previously in order to validate that payment, so if you are using a different one now, tell us what the old one (the one you used to pay) was as well.
"How do I get it upgraded too?"

If you had previously upgraded anytime within the last 12 months, we're happy to re-upgrade your new profile for free. However, our system does not do that automatically. Please fill out your new profile FIRST, then email us reminding us of your paid status.

We also need the email address you used to pay previously in order to validate that payment, so if you are using a different one now, tell us what the old one (the one you used to pay) was as well.
We keep our database current in a number of ways.
FIRST
All subscribers are emailed regularly as new matches arrive for them.

Each mail encourages its recipient to tell us whenever they've found their roommate(s), and then we delete them.


SECOND
We immediately delete profiles from subscribers whose e-mail addresses "bounce" (are no longer valid).


THIRD
We also delete the profiles of subscribers that fail to respond affirmatively to our required profile revalidations, which are also emailed approximately once/month. Profiles are NOT just active indefinitely or for some random period of time.

We remain in touch and actually check with subscribers periodically to make sure they are still looking. If they tell us they're done looking, or fail to respond before their revalidation deadline, they're deleted.

Despite best intentions, a lot of folks would forget to notify a roommate site once they found their roommate if they didn't have our emails as reminders. In addition, we find out quickly if someone's email address has become invalid, and we delete those folks immediately too (if they didn't give us a new email address in the meantime, of course).

While obviously no system could be absolutely foolproof, this one does work very well!

HOWEVER (and this is a BIG HOWEVER), YOU still have to check your email often and respond to good roommates ASAP, or your matches won't REMAIN current.

We keep our database as current as possible, but each day you fail to respond to a good roommate is a day less likely that person will still be available. Finding a new roommate is a "you snooze, you lose" proposition!

To get the best roommates, you have to stay on the ball, check your email often, and respond to good roommates right away, preferably that day.
Most days, a few times a day, so if you just submitted, your wait should be brief.

Most roommate searchers subscribe and correspond with others during the week, so we approve new profiles a little less frequently on the weekends. We still get to them quickly though, don't worry.

Major holidays might be a little slower as well. We take very short vacations occasionally, but not very often.
We do toss a LOT of profiles right into the trash. Which ones?

- anyone raising our scam, spam, and/or scum red flags
- anyone sounding insincere, completely offbase, or just completely insane
- anyone refusing to provide requested information in their freetext

We take out the trash WITHOUT current subscribers.
We don't rely on our subscribers as our only reviewers, waiting to see what trash they report AFTER wading through it themselves.

We take out the trash FOR you.
No.

If we suspect you're a scammer, spammer, or scumbag, or even just someone who couldn't be bothered to answer the required questions, we're not going to spend time corresponding with you.

We're too busy helping our legitimate subscribers.



your email, your roommate matches
You just read your own email, however you read your email at whatever email account you used when filling out your profile.

You don't have to bother with any other busywork on this site, you just read your own email.
You just check whatever email address you gave us when you signed up.

And/or, check your phone messages, IF you provided a phone number within your profile.

Any (Cheap Roommate Search subscription) roommate match that wants to contact you will do so using the contact info you provided when you submitted your profile.

Simple? Yes, and no need to make it more complicated!

No need to spend a lot of extra time coming back here many many many many many more times to get messages here via some extra system we'd force you to navigate. Everything will come right to you via whatever contact info you provided.
There is absolutely NO meaningful average.

Even if we compiled an average across our service, individual subscribers would always have their own individual results based on their own individual situations, locations, and matching restrictions. Thus, any average would be inaccurate to the point of ridiculousness and misinformation.

If you clicked on this question wondering how you could get more, we'd advise eliminating some/all demographic matching restrictions. (For a complete description of possible matching restrictions, please refer to the email we sent you after acceptance and/or the question below, "How exactly are matches determined? What are the restrictions?")

Also, make sure you have your whitelisting situation under control to avoid missing anyone.
If you need a roommate in a big hurry, we'd advise expanding your horizons via eliminating demographic matching restrictions.

(For a complete description of possible restrictions, please refer to the email we sent you after acceptance and/or the question below, "How exactly are matches determined? What are the restrictions?")

It's very likely that you'll eventually find a good roommate match based on whatever you selected.

However, it's also just plain reality that more restrictions will mean fewer roommate matches.

If you're in a big hurry, you'd do well to expand your horizons.
Absolutely. If you have a recent match from us handy, just reply to that asking to have all current matches resent.

Otherwise, please email:
RoomieMatch@RoomieMatch.com

FROM the email address you were last using with us.
"Can I find a good roommate here without actually having to read any actual words?"

Short answer: No. Reading is good. It will help you.

Longer answer: Spend some time now picking out the right person to be your next roommate, or spend a LOT more time later fixing the mistake and getting your life back in order. Make the time, or end up with someone you'll think is an ass.

The small amount of time you invest now in preventing a big hairy roommate problem in your near future will be much less than you'll spend on moving out early or finding another new roommate too soon JUST because you chose badly.

Isn't your sanity worth it?

Or, do you really have all the time in the world, and nothing better to do? If so, then do go ahead, pick just ANYONE!

Your upcoming horror story is just the kind of thing we want in the public discourse to promote more and more and more understanding of the need for OUR service!
No, because any system that allowed that would provide poor results for everyone.
"Why is that and what do I do to get it?"

For each roommate match made, we send both parties a notification via email.

So, we actually DID send you a notification. If that other person heard about YOU, YOU were sent an email about THEM too.

Other than not checking your email yet at the email address you were last using with us, there are 2 other possibilities. Please figure out which apply to you, fix the problem on your end, then you can request a resend of all current matches whenever you're ready by emailing us.

1. You didn't have enough space available in your inbox to get the profile, so it bounced. Your profile will be deleted if this happens repeatedly, but there is a short grace period. Obviously we'd recommend checking your email regularly!

2. You had a "spamblocker" active on your email account that mistakenly blocked/deleted the email we sent you containing the profile of your match. Does this site send spam or share your information in any way with anyone outside this service? NO! But does our email erroneously get spamblocked from time to time anyway? Yes, much like any other large site that sends a lot of email.

In order to insure you will be able to receive ALL instead of just SOME of your matches, you really must "whitelist" (also known as Safe Sender List/ Custom Sender List/Allowed Sender List/Address Book/Friends List/Buddy List) our email address:
RoomieMatch@RoomieMatch.com
"I subscribed, got some matches, then upgraded. But I didn't re-receive some of the folks I read about previously, this time with contact info and my own profile included. Why is that?"

1. Make sure you're not missing email from us due to a whitelisting problem on your end (see the question below, "What is 'whitelisting' and why do you recommend that?") If you think you did miss email due to a whitelisting problem that you've now fixed, please email us and let us know, we'll do a resend for you.

2. Roommate searching can move pretty fast! If you got some matches . . . then waited a few days or more . . . THEN upgraded, it is more likely than not that some of the folks with whom you were originally matched have since found a roommate and let us know about that. If that person is no longer active, we don't keep sending their profile to others.

But never fear, you'll still receive future matches with contact info. The happiest subscribers that find a roommate the fastest check their email every day, and respond to roommates they like immediately. We would strongly recommend that if you need to find a roommate as soon as possible, that you make every effort to do so as well, or you may miss some opportunities.
In order to insure you will be able to receive ALL instead of just SOME of your matches, you really must "whitelist" (also known as Safe Sender List/ Custom Sender List/Allowed Sender List/Address Book/Friends List/Buddy List) our email address:
RoomieMatch@RoomieMatch.com

Some "spamblockers" will allow SOME but not necessarily ALL of your matches to reach you if left to their own devices. You probably do have a "spamblocker" active even if you're not aware of it; most email providers use them automatically, then it's your job to configure it by whitelisting some email addresses.

Does this site send spam or share your information in any way with anyone outside this service? NO! But does our email erroneously get spamblocked from time to time anyway? Yes, much like any other large site that sends a lot of email.

So, to make sure you get ALL instead of just SOME of your matches, you must whitelist the email address above. Some more specific instructions for some popular providers are below, as a courtesy.

(Please note that it's simply impossible for RoomieMatch.com to know how ALL email accounts work. If you're using another email provider and don't already know how to whitelist an email address, we'd recommend finding out directly from the tech support for your email. It can't help but be a good thing for you to know how to use your email account properly, and not just for roommate matching. If you absolutely can't get tech support for your email account to assist you with this, we'd recommend switching to a more friendly email account for your roommate search.)

AOL: The easiest way to is to put RoomieMatch@RoomieMatch.com into your Address Book. Click the icon for the Address Book at the top of the toolbar, click Add Contact, then add it. Another way, if you're using the Custom Sender List, is to add our email address to that. Activate the dropdown Mail menu up at the top, select Mail Controls (or click Spam Controls if you're not using the full AOL software but just a web browser), click Custom Sender List, then add the email address to the list of allowed senders. This, of course, only if you're using that list to ALLOW senders. If you're using it to BLOCK senders, adding us to that list obviously wouldn't help at all. In that same area, you also must NOT have checked "Allow mail only from AOL members," or you will NOT get our email. We're not on AOL.

GMAIL: When signed into your email account on the internet using a web browser, add RoomieMatch@RoomieMatch.com to your Contacts list (clickable text links on the left).

HOTMAIL: When signed into your email account on the internet using a web browser, add RoomieMatch@RoomieMatch.com to your Safe List. Click Contacts on the left clickable toolbar. Under the next list of Contacts Options, click Safe List. Add our email address to that list.

YAHOO: When signed into your email account on the internet using a web browser, add RoomieMatch@RoomieMatch.com to your Contact List. Click Addresses on the top toolbar. Then click the Add Contact button, then fill out that screen (only the email address is necessary). Don't forget to click the Save button at the bottom.

ROCKETMAIL: same as Yahoo, directly above

NETSCAPE: When signed into your email account on the internet using a web browser, add RoomieMatch@RoomieMatch.com to your Address Book. Click the icon for the Address Book at the top on the toolbar, click Add Contact, then add that email address.

JUNO: When signed into your email account on the internet using a web browser, click the Options button. On the Mail Options screen, click the Safe Lists link. Put roomiematch@roomiematch.com into the "Add Address to Safe List" box and click the Add button.

NETZERO: same as Juno, directly above

EXCITE: When signed into your email account on the internet using a web browser, add RoomieMatch@RoomieMatch.com to your Safe List. Click Mail Preferences on the top RIGHT of the tool bar. Under the header, "SPAM Prevention Tools," click "Safe List." Add the email address above into the box under "Add the email address . . . " then click the Add button.

LYCOS: When signed into your email account on the internet using a web browser, add RoomieMatch@RoomieMatch.com to your Sender White List. Click Options in the Mail toolbar. Under Mail Preferences click Spam Filters, then click Sender White List. RoomieMatch@RoomieMatch.com into the box under "Type a single email address . . . " and click the "Add" button.

OPERAMAIL: When signed into your email account on the internet using a web browser, add RoomieMatch@RoomieMatch.com to your Inbox Mail Filters. Click Options on the top toolbar. Click Mail Filters. Under Filter Incoming Mail go to your first available filter (Filter 1 if you've not used this feature before). Click the box next to Enable. Select the menus such that If: From equals, then enter the email address above into that box. You can then click Move Up or Move Down (it doesn't really matter) but what does is that you make sure "Then deliver to:" is marked INBOX. Then don't forget to click the Update button at the bottom.
This is a long story that is difficult to make short, but since you're apparently reading here for more details, we'll try to satisfy your curiosity.

We became aware of a problem on Hotmail some time ago when almost 100 subscribers using hotmail.com email began complaining that they were receiving SOME but not ALL of their email.

Some of the missed email was from us regarding new roommate matches, other missed emails were from other roommate searchers who read their profiles and wanted to get in touch with them. Subscribers who chose not to provide phone numbers could never have become aware other roommate searchers were attempting to contact them via email and failing, but some that did were phoned and told they'd been sent email they apparently never received. We initially imagined the problem was probably confined to a few individual accounts or merely a temporary glitch, but as the number of complaints and the number of days since the first one piled up, we had to wonder otherwise.

So, we then set up 15 test accounts ourselves at Hotmail. Since these accounts were ones we created ourselves, we knew we'd put RoomieMatch.com on the Safe List ahead of time, as per Hotmail's instructions for making sure you do not miss email from a particular sender.

We were also absolutely certain the accounts in question had more than enough space to receive the email.

We sent email to those accounts at various times using various connection methods over a period of several days.

Ultimately, and unfortunately, we determined that the complaints we'd heard from some of our subscribers were completely valid.

A lot of the email just wasn't showing up. It was not merely delayed, it was disappearing.

Even more disturbingly, the email in question was not even showing up in the Junk Folder, it just disappeared entirely. (Remember, these were even accounts with our email address Safe List'ed in advance.)

Wrongfully identifying an email as Junk if a user did NOT Safe List us in advance might be considered understandable, but if they DID Safe List us and STILL didn't get the email EVEN in the Junk folder, the end conclusion for us had to be that is was some fairly abominable censorship. We can't speak to why Hotmail would do this, if it's intentional or a result of technical difficulty, but the end result was that email many users signed up to receive from us or wanted to receive from other roommate searchers was just disappearing entirely.

Wondering if the problem was with the email we were sending or just general email regarding roommates somehow, we also tested free accounts on Yahoo and Gmail. No difficulties whatsoever were detected. We also tested several other free email domains, including some associated with Apple. Again, no problems there either.

While it is obviously not possible for us to test all email services out there, to the best of our knowledge ANY popular mainstream email account other than one on Hotmail is preferable for use with roommate searching or anything else of any importance, because Hotmail is the only one about which we've received a really large number of complaints, and this since we've been doing this since 1998.

We also recommend avoiding associated email services (live.com, live.ca, msn.com, outlook.com). While most of the complaints we've received have been Hotmail specific, since they're all run by the same company, it only seems prudent to mention those as well.

We did contact Hotmail technical support multiple times about this problem, including detailed descriptions and extensive documentation for the problems experienced. They never responded.

Since we do not pay them for any service, Hotmail is obviously not obligated to communicate with us or justify anything at all regarding their email service to us. Disclaimers on their site state that, and we do understand that that is the case.

But in terms of having any faith that it will work properly, the extensive problems themselves combined with their lack of response suggests that any optimism at all here would NOT be logical. We also cannot say how long Hotmail has experienced significant difficulty delivering email to its subscribers or what might be fixed at any time, but to the best of our current knowledge based on our experience, the experiences of our subscribers that reported it to us, and the experience of other webmasters on the internet with whom we've communicated about this issue, it is not fixed now.

Please do not bother to write to us saying you have not YET noticed any difficulty with your Hotmail account. See, the thing is, with a service like RoomieMatch.com where other subscribers you DON'T KNOW YET might be trying to contact you to become their roommate, you more often than not would not be ABLE to know there was a problem.

You would not be receiving all your email, but you would not know what you were missing, because you do not yet know some of the folks that might be trying to get in touch with you. If your Hotmail address is the email address they have for you, you might just miss out entirely.

That's why we're recommending you use another email address for your roommate search . . . or really, for anything at all you find important.
Yes, you can do that. HOWEVER, unless you discover a serious problem with an email address you were last using with us and must change it for that reason, we strongly recommend selecting one and only one email address to use for the duration of your roommate search. You would want to pick an email account for which you understand how to use that email provider's interface to tell them to accept all email from our email address:

RoomieMatch@RoomieMatch.com

(and then do actually do that, obviously)

You would also want to pick an email address you'll check very frequently.

Adding more and more email addresses to your roommate search is extremely likely to lead to some sort of confusion, definitely for YOU, and possibly for other roommate seekers as well.

It might also lead to missing out on some roommate opportunities, if you can't manage to get to a particular email before a promising potential roommate settles on someone else first.

And since we definitely don't want that to happen, one and only one email address is best unless there's a serious problem with your last one.

But if you really must change email addresses due to a problem beyond your control, please email us from the email address you were last using with us, and give us the new one you'd like to use. We'll send confirmation of that change to both email addresses, and then subsequently, continue contacting you at the new one.

But again, we do need you to email us FROM the same email account you were last using with us. We won't change the email address on a profile based on an email from any email address other than the one last associated with it, possibly without some other form of verification we may request. This insures no mistakes are made regarding the proper ownership of a profile.

Unfortunately, we are not all-knowing, God-like, or psychic in any way.

Thus, we have no way of knowing what sort of impression you tend to make on other people.

(That is something all humans must ultimately work out for themselves, you know.)

However, we do have tips, please apply them to yourself to any extent you haven't already.


Make sure the emails you send present you in a flattering light.

Be friendly, nice, and polite.

Profanity or other vulgar language may be perfectly acceptable to you, but understand it may NOT be to others.

Use proper spelling, grammar and punctuation to portray yourself as intelligent, educated, and sane.

Make your initial communication as interesting and detailed as possible; make it something that would invite a response. (Just writing something like, "hey i saw yer ad and im writing cuz i need a room," may not qualify as inviting for many folks.)

First impressions mean a lot to many. To the extent you do not make a good first impression, your response rate will probably suffer.


Check your email every day and respond IMMEDIATELY to any roommate you like.

Profiles are as current as possible when WE send them out, but every day YOU fail to check and respond to your email is another day less likely any particular roommate will still be available.

Finding a new roommate is a "you snooze, you lose" proposition.

Especially if you're in a hurry, you must devote a little time to keeping up with it, or your response rate will suffer.


Contact your favorite choices via whatever means they supplied, and quickly.

If a potential roommate supplied a phone number with their profile, try calling. (Maybe they are failing the preceding recommendation.)

If a few days go by and you haven't heard back, email them again.

Make sure your subject line is roommate-related so they don't think you're spam.


Read our advice page for your major metro area.

That URL is in every roommate match we email you.

It contains even more helpful advice on improving your response rate and your overall roommate search.


Realize that people differ with regard to the "internet etiquette" they practice.

WE think it would be best if other roommate searchers would ALWAYS take a moment to respond to any roommate contact, and indicate that they're just not interested in a particular situation, if that's the case.

However, not everyone is on that same page.

Some feel that on the internet, no response should just be quickly understood as "just not interested."

This is hard to understand and thus annoying for some people . . . but unfortunately, doesn't make it any less true.


If someone just doesn't respond after multiple tries, focus on future matches.

Then, make sure to contact without delay, and follow our advice above.

If you successfully manage that, you'll likely eliminate this concern.
Just email us and tell us so; we'll delete your profile; other potential roommates will no longer hear about you.

You can do that in response to a roommate match we emailed you, or by directly emailing: RoomieMatch@RoomieMatch.com

Please do that FROM the same email address you were last using with us. We won't delete a profile based on a request from any email address other than the one last associated with it. That insures no mistakes are made regarding the proper ownership of a profile.



roommate behavior ratings
In addition to basic demographics, we also collect information on how people behave as roommates, both as individuals, and with each other. These behaviors predict whether or not you'll get along with a potential roommate.

The closer your scores, the happier you'll be.

We make finding a roommate as efficient and painless as humanly possible.

But it's still less annoying to find a roommate you can get along with, then NOT roommate search again right away.
(Or suffer a crap roommate until you do.)

Roommate Behavior Ratings feature 5 factors:

How do you keep HOUSE?
How do you keep COMPANY?
How do you keep your END?
How do you keep YOURSELF?
How do you keep yourself BUSY?

Each of those 5 factors is based on several questions that run along a predictive behavior scale. Subscribers' answers are plotted against the answers of their roommate matches, and then they get those scores. All 5 factors are also averaged for an overall picture.

Then all that information is handily sent along with each roommate match.
Obviously, we would recommend someone closer to you on our Roommate Behavior Ratings as closer to ideal FOR you. And that would be why we ask those roommate behavior-related questions, and why we give you those customized comparisons.

However, we still allow you to review those who were not ruled out by your demographic and geographic restrictions, but are NOT a close match on the Roommate Behavior Ratings. We send those too.

Why?

We're making recommendations within every roommate match we send, but ultimately leaving the decision up to each subscriber. We don't think MOST roommate searchers will have VERY different needs than those expressed within our ratings. But some might be a LITTLE different.

For example, we do think that if you enjoy a tidy home, you're better off with roommates that want similar. But some roommate searchers will say that as long as THEIR room is all their own and can be kept as tidy as they like, the common areas can be . . . whatever.

And, we'll not tell them they're wrong about that. Our general recommendations remain what they are, but if you're individually saying you're different on a couple, we'll not quibble.

Meanwhile, BECAUSE you have the Roommate Behavior Ratings on the potential roommates we send you, you'll know if someone is sufficiently compatible on the behaviors most important to YOU.

If you don't think someone we sent you is as compatible as YOU would like, just utilize that delete button. Bye!
". . . and/or isn't that close to me on the Roommate Behavior Ratings. Why did you send them?"

Please see the ? above, "What is a 'perfect' or at least close to 'ideal' roommate match?



roommate matching restrictions
Moving Status
If you indicated you HAVE a place, you only get roommate matches looking for a new place to move.

If you're looking for a new place to move, you can get:
1. only roommate matches with a place already
OR
2. roommate matches with a place already AND roommate matches looking for someone to look for a new place together.

Your choice (as you indicated on your profile). The second option will usually yield more matches.


Gender
Women (living in households without men currently) can specify other women only, other men only, or open to men and women both.

Men (or women living in households that also already contain men) can specify only other men, or open to men and women both.

You will receive matches based on your gender, the gender you specified (if you specified), and those that are willing to roommate with your gender as well.


Sexual Orientation
You will always receive roommate matches that are the same orientation that you selected as your own.

And, if you also indicated that you are open-minded with regard to the sexual orientation of potential roommates, you will also receive roommate matches identifying differently, but ALSO saying they they do not have a problem with YOUR orientation.

Open-minded folks get the most roommate matches. We recommend open-mindedness.

If you say you are heterosexual, and only want to roommate with other heterosexuals, then you will be restricted to heterosexual roommate matches.

If you say you are homosexual or bisexual, and only want to roommate with other homosexuals or bisexuals, then you will be restricted to homosexual and bisexual roommate matches.

Similarly, no matter what orientation you selected as your own, you will NOT get roommate matches who said they do NOT want roommates of that orientation.

This means that whatever orientation you are, you WON'T need to worry you'll be contacted by anyone NOT open to YOUR orientation.


Tobacco Smoking
We don't match anyone who must smoke indoors with anyone who cannot tolerate smoking anywhere on the premises, even outside.

We also won't match anyone who must smoke outdoors with anyone who cannot tolerate smoking anywhere on the premises, even outside.

Non-smokers that don't care if others smoke outside tend to get the most matches, followed closely by smokers who are willing to smoke outdoors. (A lot of people, even non-smokers, don't mind smoking if it's kept outside.)

If you want no smoking anywhere on the premises, you may take a little longer, but not a lot. You'll miss out on a few outdoor smokers.

Smokers who must smoke indoors usually take the longest to find a roommate. That's just the reality in most metro areas these days. (Even a lot of smokers prefer keeping it outside.)

If you want to smoke indoors, you should probably start your roommate search as early as possible.


Age
If you are ONLY willing to roommate with your age range, you will be restricted to roommates in your age range.

If not, you will be able to consider roommates in all age ranges.

We do not allow the selection of more than one but not all age ranges.

Open-mindedness with regard to chronological age is clearly best.

If you're looking for maturity (or lack thereof), or any other quality you imagine is age-related, the Roommate Behavior Ratings are an infinitely better guide.

Age-related stereotypes are not nearly as clever or accurate.


Pets
If you're moving and definitely bringing a pet, you'll only be matched with households that said extra pets are possible and (if you're also open to finding someone to look for a new place with) those who did NOT say they had a severe allergy that prevents pet cohabitation.

If you want someone to move in, and said no pets would be allowed, you'll be restricted to roommates who did not say they wanted to bring a pet.

(Yes, we know it's sometimes the case that some pets are allowed/can get along with each other, others not so much. However, it would be impossible to multiple choice the infinite number of possible pet combinations. Hopefully fellow pet lovers can make it work with each other most of the time.)


Rent
We allow one category "play" on rent.

That's because we've found that many roommates, if other variables are to their liking, are willing to compromise and/or split the difference.

Rent is categorized in $99 increments on the profiles.

If you are looking for someone to move in with you, you are restricted to matches willing to pay up to one category below ($99 less than) what you asked, plus EVERYONE willing to pay that amount and MORE.

If you're looking for a new place ONLY, you are restricted to those offering a place one rent price category above you ($99 more than), plus EVERYONE offering a place for that amount and LESS.

If you said you wanted a new place to move into complete with roommate(s) OR someone to look for a new place with, you will receive the above, plus others also wanting the same thing (a new place to move into complete with roommate(s) OR someone to look for a new place with). There is no restriction on rent here. This is because it's possible to meet someone also looking for a place, and find one within both budgets.

If you are experiencing difficulty, you may want to reconsider the realism of the rent you're requesting for your geographic area.


Major Metro Area
If your indicated desired/current major metro area is not the same, it's not a match.

Major metro areas used AS MATCHING RESTRICTIONS are only those in our profiles.

(If you're not technically within one of those cities, please see the following questions on suburbs and surrounding areas.)
There is absolutely NO meaningful average. Even if we compiled an average across our service, individual subscribers would always have their own individual results based on their own individual situations, locations, and personalities. Thus, any average would be inaccurate to the point of ridiculousness and misinformation.

(If we incorrectly imagined all roommates were exactly the same, we wouldn't feature our Roommate Behavior Ratings, would we?)

If you clicked on this question wondering how you could speed your roommate search, we'd advise eliminating some/all demographic matching restrictions, and then read and follow our advice page for your Major Metro Area.

(For a complete description of possible matching restrictions, please refer to the email we sent you after acceptance and/or the question above, "How are matches determined? What are the restrictions?")
It's almost never too soon. Roommate searchers who subscribe in advance usually get better, because they can wait for the best fit. Those that wait until the last minute may have to pick from fewer options or settle for less than their ideal.

However, on average, most roommate searchers want to move or get someone moved in between 1-3 months from the start of their search. Within two months is even more average.

There are always folks already in our database who are able to wait longer than three months. Homeowners are usually the most flexible, as they tend to prioritize the best roommate fit over a particular move-in date. Picky homeowners who prioritize roommate compatibility can really NEVER look too far in advance.

If you're looking to move, the potential down side to subscribing more than three months ahead of time is you may hear from some wanting to fill a slot before you're ready.

If you're willing to tolerate that potential, we'd recommend submitting a profile as soon as you're aware what you'll need.

If not, wait until three months before you want to move.
First of all, we DO match men with female roommates. All the time. Constantly, many times a day. Many men have been matched with female roommates via our service.

But no, we no longer allow men to specify that they only want to hear from potential female roommates, instead of men and women both.

WHY? Mostly, because we're doing SINCERE roommate seeking men a BIG favor. Really.

Clever men will comprehend this, particularly after they understand our reasons below.


Reality of Roommate Demographics

Most women looking for roommates want to roommate with other women, only.

Many women are willing to roommate with either/or or prefer men, it does happen. However, it's a much smaller group than those women who want other women only.

Meanwhile, most men do NOT prefer other men as roommates. Even gay men. Many of them think female roommates sound pretty cool too.

Ergo, if you are a man wanting to roommate with a woman, you are not only drawing from a smaller group (women willing to roommate with men), but also a group that is MORE in demand than YOU are.

It's really one of the few examples of reverse sexism in modern society of which we are aware.


The "CREEPY Factor"

Now, before any of you heterosexual dudes out there get your boxers in a terrible twist, let it be said that we are NOT necessarily talking about YOU. We're talking broad demographics here, plus, we probably don't know you personally, do we? Thus, the following is not personally or specifically directed at any man on the planet whatsoever. If you think you're not the sort of dude that would ever be creepy, then hopefully, you aren't. Please feel free to avoid getting offended.

Almost all female roommate seekers are afraid of ending up with a male roommate that would "hit on" them, make inappropriate sexual advances, unwanted sexual comments, etc. In short, be CREEPY. Most women have endured something like that at some point in their lives, some situation where they were exposed to some icky guy that was repeatedly expressing interest they clearly did not reciprocate. That situation was uncomfortable and creepy.

Women on a roommate site are hoping to avoid that sort of interpersonal hell. If they wanted to be on a dating site, they'd be on a dating site already, there are certainly enough of them out there. A roommate site is an entirely different thing, and female roommate searchers are hoping whomever they might end up with as a roommate will respect that.

Some women are so terrified of even the possibility of ending up with a male roommate who might be creepy that they will refuse in advance to roommate with any man.

Other women are a bit less terrified, and will at least consider the possibility of roommating with a man, but will take that consideration on a "case by case" basis.

Now, if you're one of those guys who might like to be considered on that "case by case" basis . . . how might it look if you are heterosexual and say you only want to live with women? Or even worse, only SPECIFICALLY HETEROSEXUAL women? What might a potential female roommate think when she reads that? If you're really and truly not planning to "hit on" your roommate . . . why MUST she be female? Or even furthermore, female AND heterosexual?

For many women, that just won't pass the "smell test."

Your profile will smell. Badly.

Try to think about it from the other side, guys. And then understand how our roommate service works, and make your decisions about impressing others (or, totally and completely AVOIDING impressing any women), accordingly.


Male Hypocrisy About Men In General

Men that say they ONLY want to roommate with women often cough up excuses like, "They're more tidy!"

Or, "They're quieter!"

Or, "They're more reliable!"

Whether or not that's true in any extremely average sense, experienced folks that have had several roommates of both genders will usually tell you they've lived with some very tidy men and some women whose impact on an apartment was like a small tornado.

If tidiness, quietness, or reliability (or anything else, fill-in-the-blank here) is what you're actually after, look for THAT specifically.

Don't rely on tired old stereotypes, they're often inaccurate. Plus you don't have to rely on them here, you get the actual information elsewhere in the profiles.

Meanwhile, if you keep insisting, "ALL MEN ARE BAD?!?!"
"NO man could possibly ever be a good roommate for ME??!?!"

You might be outside the norm.
But you're not unique.
Other men in your city could be good roommates too.
You're not absolutely the one and only man in your entire city who is good in the ways YOU think YOU are.

If you really don't understand and believe that . . . or if you're trying to tell women otherwise, that's even more reason for women to AVOID you.

As per the instructions in the profile questionnaire, we match on Major Metro Area ONLY.

We match based on the multiple choice questions . . . not on the freetext areas.
As per the instructions in the profile you filled out, we restrict on Major Metro Area ONLY.

As far as living a little bit outside a Major Metro Area goes, we've experimented with various ways of dealing with that, and came to the conclusion our way works best for the largest number of people. The unalterable reality is that it's always a bit harder to find a roommate outside of a major metro than within one, no matter how you look. That's not just RoomieMatch.com, that's reality overall.


There are two possible approaches, both with pluses and minuses:

1. Restrict on actual (but much tinier) municipalities, and list the suburbs SEPARATELY from the actual cities. Could be good in that matches could be a little more specific, but overall, pretty BAD. Those farther out would get far fewer matches, and would ultimately miss out on roommate matches who would have been interested in moving a bit farther out if they'd only heard about the opportunity.

2. Restrict on Major Metro Area only. Best, in that everyone gets more matches and is exposed to the greatest number of possibly attractive choices. However, the possible slight drawback here for some folks that don't live near the center of the metro is that some of their roommate matches may not want to move to the suburbs.


We go with #2, because it leads to the greatest probability of suburban people finding roommates.

Folks looking to move that are actually open to a wider variety of areas will almost always pick the Major Metro Area (the center).

Meanwhile, folks with places to share in the suburbs can often entice someone who thought they only wanted to live inside the metro into moving a bit farther out for better amentities, a lower price, or a really cool roommate.



subscription options
Free for everyone to sign up and review roommate matches. No payment required unless we find a roommate you want to contact.

FREE Roommate Search
You sit back and wait for potential roommates to contact you.

Since anyone contacting you will have access to your Roommate Behavior Ratings, they should be good roommate matches.

However, the only subscribers that will be able to contact you will be Cheap Roommate Searchers (other Free Roommate Searchers won't have access to your contact info).

You stay in this category unless you choose Cheap Roommate Search.
You can switch to Cheap Roommate Search now, anytime in the future, or never.


CHEAP Roommate Search
Your search will go faster and better, because you can contact the roommates YOU choose right away.

You'll get first crack at the best people, giving you an advantage over those who choose to review their matches first or those within Free Roommate Search.

You get the contact info for ALL your roommate matches, so you're in charge of who to contact and when.

You can easily identify yourself when you contact those members who are still Free Roommate Searchers.

You pay 19.95, good for up to an ENTIRE YEAR.

There will never be any auto-rebilling or auto-recharging.

While most subscribers find a roommate more quickly, this means that if you upgrade, find a roommate, then for whatever reason need another within 12 months, you can be upgraded again for free.

Your match email will ALSO contain all YOUR answers to ALL the questions, along with the customized comparisons, making it very easy to contact whomever you like.

You just forward it along to your roommate choice as your detailed introduction, complete with compatibility already outlined.
ONE
Contact info for all your roommate matches. This does mean ALL your roommate matches, not just those that also upgraded.

Along with future roommate matches, if any roommate match you got in the past is still active, you'll be sent their profile again too, this time with contact information. (If a previous roommate match is NOT still active because they since let us know they already found their new roommate, you WON'T be sent their profile again, because they're no longer active.)


TWO
If you upgrade, your roommate match email will ALSO contain all YOUR answers to ALL the questions, along with the customized comparisons.

The Cheap Roommate Search email makes it very easy to contact whomever you like.

You just forward it along to your roommate choice as your detailed introduction, complete with compatibility already outlined.


THREE
Upgrading is only $19.95, and is only charged ONCE (does NOT automatically renew, no recurring charges).

That fee is good for up to a year.

This means that if you need another roommate again anytime 12 months after payment, you can be re-upgraded at no additional charge.
While we DO offer continued upgraded matching for up to an entire year, we DO NOT offer a money-back guarantee should you pay, then stumble upon a roommate situation via other means. Please understand that we couldn't run a business that stayed afloat if we paid people back after receiving contact info, because (and while this is certainly not meant to question or insult any individual subscriber) anyone could theoretically use our info to settle down with a new roomie, then contact us for a refund anyway. We are not interested in nor realistically able to investigate what you did or did not do with our info, nor do we make any attempt to monitor our subscribers in that manner.

HOWEVER, the guarantee we DO offer is that if you upgrade, find a roommate (here or anywhere), THEN need ANOTHER one during the next 12 months, you can sign up again and be rematched for free.

If you no longer have a profile active, fill out a fresh one, then email us reminding us of your paid status.

We'll upgrade your new profile too for no additional charge.



roomiematch.com anti-scam guidelines
"How do I NEVER give any scammer MY money?"

(This is rather long. But trust us, it's WORTH it.)

We're not aware that any roommate seekers on RoomieMatch.com have ever fallen for any roommate scams. We work hard to keep our subscribers scam-free.

However, we're posting our RoomieMatch.com Anti-Scam Guidelines as a public service.

No, nothing here is reason for widespread or undue panic, or non-specific worry. The vast majority of folks you could possibly meet from RoomieMatch.com are law-abiding citizens who are not out to illegally scam anyone.

This IS is a reminder that with roommate seeking and all of your other adult endeavors, you need to exercise good common sense. If your common sense is active and you follow our RoomieMatch.com Anti-Scam Guidelines, you will NOT be financially victimized.

If someone you don't know sends you a check/money order/cashier's check for a large amount of money, do NOT ever assume it cleared your bank as a valid payment until after your bank assures you the deposit was good.

DO call your bank personally to make sure the scheduled amount actually cleared your account and was legitimately deposited. Money orders and cashier's checks are forms of immediate payment AS LONG AS THEY ARE NOT FORGED. If you're not extremely familiar with the issuing bank, assume you don't know what one of theirs would look like, no matter how "official-looking" it may appear.

In addition, sending a relative stranger large amounts of money unnecessarily or as an unnecessary and unrequested "overpayment" is very odd behavior in and of itself. If someone seems to be doing something a reasonable person would find suspicious, don't trust them immediately and completely, especially with large amounts of your own money.

This is good advice for roommate seeking and really, pretty much anything else in life. Your own adult common sense should kick in here!

More specifically, the details of the most common roommate scam: Someone contacts you with an interest in renting your room, and would like to secure the room from afar by sending payment in advance. Then they spin a "Tall Tale" about how they need to send a check/cashier's check/money order for hundreds of dollars MORE than the required amount. The alleged "reasons" for this extremely odd behavior vary, but all are equally "fishy" and should arouse suspicion in and of themselves. After you receive the "payment," you must immediately and with great urgency and speed (meaning, before your bank would be able to completely process the "deposit" and inform you it was bogus) refund them their "balance" by getting it back to them somehow. Probably, they'd like you to mail them one of your own legitimate checks back, or send them the "balance" via wire service, etc.

The big scam turns out to be that the payment they sent is FORGED, so the money you sent back as their "balance/refunded amount" just comes out of your own pocket. And then you never see or hear from this would-be roommate ever again.

If any potential roommate says anything vaguely like the above to you, tell them you don't want ANY form of payment that's for more than the amount required for first month's rent, deposit, etc. Not a dollar more than the minimum required to secure the room. Let them know as well that if they ignore your request and send more than the amount required anyway for any reason whatsoever, you'll not be able to refund them any balance until:

  • Your bank has assured you the payment cleared, and this applies to cashier's checks and money orders as well as personal checks
  • They can pick up their balance in person whenever they're ready to move in with you. You'll not be refunding any "balances" long distance, only in person.


If whomever is a legitimate room seeker, they should have no problem with either, and you can tell them RoomieMatch.com said so.

If they do have a problem and/or continue insisting upon some ridiculous scenario along the lines of that described above, let us know about it immediately and we'll delete their profile.

We are also constantly on the lookout for this and any other suspicious behavior, but we'd appreciate your assistance as well if you notice something we somehow did not. By this we do mean someone on RoomieMatch.com, and we would need the email address of that subscriber and a copy of the email they sent you with the offending details.

(We don't need you to forward along the latest internet gossip about this, just specific details if you think someone in OUR database is attempting to do something illegitimate with any of our other subscribers.)

The scenario described above is the most common we've heard. However, it's certainly not the only one possible. More generally, if anyone does any of the below while roommate seeking, that's suspicious behavior too:


  • unwillingness to meet with you face-to-face BEFORE any exchange of money takes place, even when you're willing to go out of your way to be available in person
  • odd-sounding stories about how they can't give you a landline phone number local to where they say they are and/or talk to you on the phone other than on a non-local cell number
  • lack of references from anyplace you could verify as that number by looking it up in a commercial phone book or online equivalent
  • immediate willingness, residence sight unseen in person, to pay much more than the going rate for a room or willingness to charge much less than the going rate for a room for no apparent financially sound reason -- exceptions might be if they want you to provide a service in exchange for lowered rent, nannying, cleaning, etc. But anyone looking to hire you to perform an expensive service would certainly want to meet you in person first.
  • willingness to pay multiple months in advance for a room, sight unseen in person
  • insistence that you need to send them money remotely/from afar/wire/snail mail, etc., rather than a willingness to meet with you in person and accept payment then
  • communication must remain solely via email on free email services (yahoo, hotmail, etc.) or via cellphone numbers that can't be looked up and verified as to location. Communication in the beginning via these mechanisms is fine, but at some point BEFORE you give them any money they should be willing to provide you with a more direct and verifiable contact method. If they're not willing to do that, you shouldn't be willing to give them any money.
  • insistence that they must pay you more money than required upfront, and you need to "refund" some of that with your own money. Or really, any indication of any desire to pay more money than that required upfront.
  • any suggestion that you need to give them money back and/or a place to stay before their check or money order has had time to clear your bank, extra especially if they want you to do this remotely/from afar.
  • anyone seeking your checking account number, credit card information, or social security number. That is NOT necessary for roommate seekers.
  • anyone who seems to think your roommate transaction necessarily needs to involve the use of wire services to send money, or anything involving escrow. Wire services are a good way to send and receive money anonymously. In a roommate seeking situation, that really shouldn't be necessary, so it's a scammer red flag.


Finally, while it's obvious we take anti-roommate-scamming very seriously,
we do NOT recommend blanket paranoia toward all roommates coming from outside your town.


Blanket paranoia been the reaction of some to the roommate scam problem. While this reaction is understandable, it's still not rational or constructive.

If you live near a major university, many students will be coming to your city to seek advanced degrees. Many will also need roommates. Those students might be the most intellectually sophisticated, respectful, and uncomplicated roommates you'd ever hope to find, in part due to all the time they'll need to spend studying.

All that stuff we said above? Don't use any of that as an excuse to be a bigot toward roommate seekers not from your town.

Do allow yourself to be worldly and open-minded. Other doesn't necessarily = bad.

Just hold them to our RoomieMatch.com Anti-Scam Guidelines, stringently!

If they don't fail them? Then they didn't fail them.

But if anyone does fail them, let us know immediately. We'll toss that trash right out.



legal
First, if you want reliable and accurate legal advice, you'd obviously want to talk to an actual lawyer or a law enforcement officer. RoomieMatch.com does not have any lawyers available for hire.

Second, we do know that housing laws regarding landlord/tenant issues differ by state and municipality. If you live in a reasonably-sized urban area, it probably has its own website. We do mean the official website for the municipality run by city employees, probably a dot gov, not something commercial or just about shopping. If the official website doesn't feature any helpful information, they could probably direct you to some on the web.

Or, if you have a good local library, they probably have books containing local statues. We'd imagine a librarian could direct you to them.

But ultimately, what SHOULD be your goal with roommates? Pick some folks with whom you'd be compatible, people you feel you can trust with whatever you'd need to trust them with.

The info our roommate profiles feature is important. If you pick the right roommates in the first place, it's far less likely you'll ever need to worry about what the law might involve if things don't work out.

If you think you can pick just anyone as a roommate, then "legal your way out of" any problems that arise without that being a HUGE hassle, you're likely in for a rude awakening.

Even if a particular law involved in some roommate situation might be in your favor, actually getting it enforced is another matter entirely. Anything not involving a felony isn't going to be a big priority for any police department. Or, you try to take someone to civil court, that will be a LOT of time and fees and effort on your part, and that's even IF you win.

Pick the right roommates in the first place. You'll be doing your part to make this sort of consideration ultimately unnecessary, which is what any wise person would want.
YOU can always pursue a credit check on a potential roommate independently.

However, in order to do that PROPERLY, you'd need that person's Social Security Number and their permission to use it, and pay about $50-100.

Obviously the fee for our site doesn't cover that (at $19.95 for upgraded subscribers, $0 for free subscribers), nor do we collect Social Security Numbers.

What agencies are available would depend on where you live; you can probably find plenty in your local Yellow Pages or online equivalent. RoomieMatch.com is not in a position to recommend or endorse any credit checking agency, but if this is something that interests you, it should be pretty easy to find one.

A few "fly by night" agencies will tell you they can do a reliable check using only a phone number, full name, or place of employment. That's NOT going to be an accurate or complete credit check.

Many folks opt to do a less formal but still quite effective local reference check, possibly involving current employment and/or previous roommates and/or landlords. That and your personal instincts are probably more effective than you realize. Our questionnaire covers a lot, but we recommend using that to narrow down who you want to meet with in person. We still don't recommend moving in with someone before spending a little time with them in person first.

Some say they'd rather roommate with women, thinking them more likely to be trustworthy. We'd recommend the above.
When you use RoomieMatch.com, you understand and acknowledge that it is strictly informational in nature.

We can't guarantee the accuracy of the information provided, endorse or recommend specific clients, or accept responsibility or liability for any events arising from the use of this service.

We do our very best to determine which profiles submitted are worthwhile, and which may be roommate scammers. However, it is not now and could never be humanly possibly to absolutely guarantee 100% accuracy in this endeavor via an internet service.

As part of our determination, we do an IP Address Actual Location Analysis on each subscriber. This means we collect each subscriber's IP Address, then analyze it to determine that subscriber's actual geographic location during profile submission.

We WILL then share the CITY indicated with each subscriber's matches. We will NOT share the actual IP addresses themselves, just the cities indicated.

We also check with all subscribers via email periodically to keep our database current. All subscribers will be sent revalidation email approximately once/month. A failure to respond affirmatively to that email before the deadline will result in profile deletion and possibly, the need to submit a fresh profile to get started again. Please check your email regularly during your roommate search.

The information we provide is certainly intended to assist you. However, as with most things in life, the ultimate decision and consequences are up to you.

Please conduct yourself with normal caution and good common sense, in this and in the rest of your endeavors. GOOD LUCK!
1. We will not sell, share, or rent your information.

Any information gathered will only be used for the purpose of roommate matching via this service. It will not be shared, sold, or rented to anyone outside of RoomieMatch.com under any circumstances. The only people that will EVER have access to any information you provide will be other roommate searchers, and only for the duration of your search.


2. Your personal information will NEVER be stored online. NEVER.

Unscrupulous marketers use programs ("spiders") to ferret out personal information. NONE of your personal information will ever be available online as a result of RoomieMatch.com, it's all transmitted to us privately then stored OFFline. Businesses that post your personal information online expose you to spam and/or other unwanted contact. Even if your info is behind a "password-protected" area, the "spiders" are usually one step ahead of those attempted protections.


3. As part of our decision-making process regarding which profiles we will accept, we do an IP Address Actual Location Analysis on each subscriber. This means we collect each subscriber's IP Address, then analyze it to determine that subscriber's actual geographic location during profile submission.

We WILL then share the CITY indicated with each subscriber's matches. We will NOT share the actual IP addresses themselves, just the cities indicated.


4. We don't use "affiliates" to promote ourselves.

With "affiliate" marketing you're dealing with unrelated people marketing the same service. This often results in unscrupulous (spam) marketing by the affiliates, who can be less committed to the parent site's stated privacy rules.


5. We exist to help you find a roommate, nothing else.

We are all about roommates. You won't get advertisements from us for any other service. You'll hear from us when you have a roommate match or in response to a question you submitted regarding roommate matching, only for the duration of your search, and not ever for any other reason. We also won't be contacting you or soliciting you regarding "partner" offers or sites or anything of that nature.
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