More and more consumers are dissatisfied with dating sites
More and more consumers are dissatisfied with online dating services. During the year, ECC Sweden, Hallå Konsument, the local consumer advisors and the Swedish Consumer Agency received almost 400 complaints from consumers who have encountered problems with a dating site. More than half of all the complaints were received during the summer. That is a 20% increase compared to last year*.
Expensive memberships that are hard to cancel
The complaints concern, above all, trial memberships or memberships at a reduced price that have turned into a expensive subscriptions.
- Many consumers are unaware of the fact that they are entering a membership when they accept certain offers, with for example, the sentence "Register free now". In addition to this, consumers sometimes find themselves stuck in a subscription after having accepted a sample product or after having participated in some sort of survey, says ECC Director Jolanda Girzl.
Many consumers share that it is hard to cancel the memberships, even though they have withdrawn from the contract within the cooling off period, and have the right to a refund.
Misleading price information
Some complaints concern consumers who have been mislead by the price. One consumer, for example, has checked a box for entering a 6 months membership at a low cost, and then found, when filling in payment method, that the agreement has changed to a 1 year membership at a higher cost.
Example - the consumer has been mislead by the dating site's price information.
*219 complaints during 2016 and 254 complaints during 2017, 1 Maj – 30 August.
Tips when dating online
- Check how long the membership applies, and if it will be renewed automatically after a certain time. If so, check what you need to do, and when, to discontinue the membership.
- Before you accept or pay: Always read the terms of agreement thoroughly, even the fine print. Check the price information, and make sure it is the same price when you are about complete the payment. Look for information on the right of withdrawal or cancellation of the agreement and what you need to do.
- Pay by card and check your bank account so that the trader does not withdraw more money than what you agreed on. If that is the case, contact the bank and ask for compensation through chargeback.
- After you have registered on the dating site: do not begin using the service until you have received an order confirmation, and read it thoroughly. Check that the order confirmation is in conformity with your expectations.
Find more tips in ECC Sweden's checklist for dating sites.