Redstone Residential

November 16th, 2016

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Free cable and Internet is an enticing offer for anybody looking for new digs, but even more so for the cash-strapped college students that Campus View was attempting to attract with the above lease promotion for one of its East Lansing apartments. But one TINA.org reader, who is a student at nearby Michigan State University, said the promotion quickly unraveled after she applied for a three-bedroom apartment after seeing the promotion on Campus View’s website.

Instead of reaping annual savings that would have totaled more than $1,000, the student said the lease from Redstone Residential-owned Campus View indicated that cable and Internet would be an additional $90 a month. The student said she and her roommate emailed Redstone Residential, a self-described “national leader” in off-campus student housing that has apartments and condos in eight states, for answers. She wasn’t thrilled with the response:

(W)e were told the website advertisement was outdated and there was nothing they could do. They said they were in the process of updating it, and as of now (11-11-2016), the offer is still on the website.

TINA.org asked Redstone Residential why the promotion remained on the Campus View website if it had indeed expired. We didn’t get a response — at least not a direct one. Just hours after reaching out to the company, this underlined text was added to the promotion:

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Following TINA.org’s inquiry, Redstone Residential also added expiration dates to other expired promotions that had previously lacked them. These included an offer for a $200 Visa gift card for renters who signed a lease within 24 hours of taking a tour, which also expired Aug. 31.

Yet one promotion for a $150 referral bonus still leaves consumers in the dark as to when it expires, stating only that the “limited time offer” is “subject to change or expire without notice.”

In addition to phantom promotions, the website’s nearly 7,000-word privacy policy is another potential headache-in-waiting for students. It states that Redstone Residential may share personal information that it requires some applicants to provide, such as name, phone number and email address, with its marketing partners. That may lead to pitches for products/services that have nothing to do with rental apartments.

On the online application form for the since-expired free cable and Internet offer, there was no box to check agreeing to these terms. There was only a link to them.

Find more of our coverage on ads targeting college students here.

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