An overview for any interested parties:Better Business Bureau (BBB) Advice: Be On the Lookout when Looking for Love!
CHARLOTTE, N.C. – February 4, 2009 – Valentine’s Day is a special time for people in love. But if you are one of the millions of people who are still looking for the love of your life, the Better Business Bureau has advice to keep you from being taken.
Complaints against matchmaking and online dating services are on the rise as consumers spend hundreds of millions of dollars on dating services every year. The dating services industry is primarily divided into two categories: personalized matchmaking services and online dating websites, and the types of complaints against each differ as well. Unfortunately, as the popularity of the industry increases, so does the number of complaints received by the BBB.
Matchmaking and local dating services can cost thousands of dollars and promise to introduce you to other area singles that meet your specified criteria. The most common complaints include:
•Disputes over the caliber and demographics of singles promised (35 percent). Complainants report that they were matched with singles that did not meet their expectations.•Poor or rude customer service (17.0 percent). Consumers report dissatisfaction with the level of customer service they received given the amount that the service costs.
•High pressure sales tactics (13.7 percent). Complainants report being intimidated or duped into signing up for matchmaking services.
•Dissatisfaction with the number of arranged dates (15.1 percent). Matchmaking services promote that they have a database of thousands of singles in the area and promise a minimum number of dates. Complainants allege that matchmaking services failed to deliver on the quota of promised dates. The BBB suggests that you check out matchmaking services before you commit. Locally, Great Expectations is a dating service based in Fort Mill, S.C. (BBB rating D –) and is not accredited by the BBB.
Online Dating Complaints
Unlike matchmakers and local dating services, most online dating websites provide a forum for users to post information about themselves and offer the opportunity to peruse the site for other singles.
Online dating services normally require a specific length of membership and charge a monthly fee. The contract is typically renewed automatically when it expires. As a result, about two-thirds (63.7 percent) of the complaints against online dating sites are about accounts being automatically renewed following the end of a contract or trial period. Either the customer did not realize they needed to cancel the account, or they did cancel, but billing continued anyway.
Other common complaints for online dating services include the inability to immediately cancel after signing up (6.8 percent) and general dissatisfaction with the company and its process (6.8 percent). Some of the most popular online dating sites and their BBB ratings include:
•eHarmony.com – (BBB rating A-) and is accredited by the BBB.
•match.com – (BBB rating C) and is not accredited by the BBB.
•millionairematch.com – (BBB rating C) and is not accredited by the BBB.
The BBB offers the following advice on matchmaking and online dating services:
•Don’t fall in love too quickly. Beware of exaggerated advertising claims that promise more than they deliver.•Do a background check. Check out the company with the BBB (www.bbb.org
) to make sure it has a history of satisfying customers and resolving complaints.
•Don’t be pressured into commitment. Before you sign a contract, read it carefully and make sure you understand what the terms and conditions are. • Know how to break up. Do not assume that you will not be billed when the contract term ends. Many online dating sites automatically renew memberships unless the consumer specifically cancels the service. http://charlotte.bbb.org/article/bbb-advice-be-on-the-lookout-when-looking-for-love-8992