Dating websites

Updated: 2/10/2016

Many consumers use online dating websites and enter into contracts with traders providing online dating services, without realizing that they have concluded a subscription contract that will cost them money. 

In some cases, consumers may be aware that they have entered into a contract for which they have to pay, but they do not always realize that it is a contract with automatic renewal. Both these scenarios are common, because many consumers do not read terms and conditions.

Consider the following before creating a profile on a dating site:

  • Check out who you are dealing with and where the company is based.
  • Check the information regarding the price and what is included. Many of the cross-border service provider’s offer a registration that is free, but any contacts with other users of the service come with the provision ”you pay if you want to contact someone”.
  • Read the terms and conditions carefully. Look for information about your right to withdraw and how to use it. Also look for information about the duration of the contract and how to terminate the contract.
  • How long is the membership period? The membership period is the minimum term for which you will have to pay even if you no longer want to be a member.
  • What payment methods does the trader provide? Do you have alternatives? Always choose credit card payment if possible.
  • Find out whether the terms and conditions of the trader has any provision regarding the ownership of your pictures and decide if you can accept this.
  • In general, you have the right to withdraw from the contract within 14 days from the conclusion of the contract but there are exceptions for the following situations[1]:
  • If you wish to cancel your subscription, contact the trader in writing as soon as possible and inform the trader clearly that you are using your right of withdrawal. Do not create or use your profile as once you have used the service your right to withdraw will be extinguished.
  • Note the difference between the cooling-off-period and your right to end your membership after the cooling-off-period.
  • Will the membership be automatically renewed after a certain period of time? If so, check when and what action you need to take if you do not want to continue as a member.
  • Once you have registered with the website, wait to receive an order confirmation. Read the confirmation to review the scope of the contract. Does it confirm your expectations as to the content of the service?
  • Save a copy of the confirmation, the contract and all correspondence with the trader.

If you do not find a solution with the trader, contact your ECC-office for further information and advice.