Look for Love in the Right Places
Thousands of Complaints Filed about Dating Services Last Year
Milwaukee, Wis. – As a $4 billion industry worldwide, industry experts estimate that the online dating industry drives more than 20 million people to visit an online dating site every month. For consumers planning to use dating services this month for Valentine’s Day or beyond, BBB advises that thorough research in advance can reduce the amount of complaints generated in the industry this year and possibly land you your cupid this Valentine’s Day.
In the last twelve months, BBB received over 2,700 complaints from consumers nationwide against dating services, which include online businesses and face-to-face matchmaking services. The complaints filed relate to dissatisfaction with the quantity of date matches, incompatibility with resulting matches or high pressure sales tactics used by sales representatives. BBB also processed complaints alleging automatic renewal of dating service contracts and the inability to cancel when unsatisfied with the program.
The number of complaints filed for dating services has been on a steady rise since 2008. As a result of the high number of complaints many consumers have had to endure a broken heart for the money they have lost and not to mention for the loved one that they never found. BBB encourages consumers to be careful with dating services given the steady influx of complaints.
To help those interested in using a dating service this Valentine’s Day or otherwise, BBB offers the following tips to consider before signing up:
· Research in Advance: Review the company history and its reputation with customers on www.bbb.org. Also, look for a "Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)" section of the website or marketing brochure to be sure you feel comfortable with all of the program components.
· Read the Fine Print: Look out specifically for free trial offers and negative options. Many online services offer free trials to help consumers determine if their format works, but there should not be an upfront fee to activate the free trial. Also, make sure there is not a negative option in place which would opt consumers into automatic monthly billings after the free trial, if they do not cancel in time.
· Understand the Payment Plan: Online dating services often require a specific length of membership and charge a monthly fee, so it’s very important to request detailed information about the fee structure in advance. Some dating services charge a flat rate while others may offer itemized pricing that requires additional payments for access to certain services.
· Review Contract Cancellation Policies: Be sure to confirm what steps are necessary to cancel your membership if you are dissatisfied with the company's services. Also, double-check whether or not your contract will automatically renew when the original time period is over and make plans to decline the renewal on time if you so choose.
To check the reliability of a company and find trustworthy businesses, visit BBB.
About Better Business Bureau:
BBB's mission is to be the leader in advancing marketplace trust. BBB accomplishes this mission by creating a community of trustworthy businesses, setting standards for marketplace trust, encouraging and supporting best practices, celebrating marketplace role models and denouncing substandard marketplace behavior.
Businesses that earn BBB Accreditation contractually agree and adhere to the organization's high standards of ethical business behavior. BBB is the preeminent resource to turn to for objective, unbiased information on businesses and charities.
Contact the Wisconsin BBB at 414-847-6000 (metro Milwaukee), 920-734-4352 (NE Wisconsin) or 800-273-1002 (elsewhere in Wisconsin).