Bad romance: online dating sites complaints. FTC documents tell of broken claims, broken hearts

Finding the perfect relationship website is as hard as trying to find love itself. They differ therefore greatly in dimensions, function, character, and cost so it’s hard to understand that will be the best one for your needs.

Nevertheless, complaints filed against OKCupid, Match, and eHarmony using the Federal Trade Commission should result in the search for the one best mature dating site true, er, dating internet site a small easier.

MuckRock’s request to your FTC yielded 2056 complaints about Match since 2005, 301 complaints about eHarmony since 2007, and seven complaints about OKCupid since 2008. The FTC have not confirmed every one of the complaints.

About 50 % of all of the claims involve allegations of exactly what the FTC calls “romance frauds,” for which online con artists swindled hundreds or thousands from naive lonelyhearts. In many cases, scammers delivered plants or even fruit container as an indicator of affection before seeking assistance spending money on a journey towards the united states of america or a cancer-stricken family members member’s medical bills. But, one hustler, possibly recalling the old adage that “the solution to a man’s heart is through their stomach,” delivered one Match client “wings from Papa Johns,” relating to one grievance. Almost all of the relationship scammers had been apparently from Nigeria.

Some so-called victims of love frauds criticized the dating sites for doing small to weed away con artists or failing continually to shut straight down their accounts once they are reported towards the business. One consumer composed, that they are not taking any more inquiries“ I contacted eHarmony to let them know [of a scammer], received an answer requesting information and when I answered with all the details, they [g]ave an automated response.

All the internet sites also received complaints about users’ photos being employed in unwanted methods, either because of the business or by other users. One eHarmony consumer stated, “I discontinued my eHarmony membership more or less one 12 months ago. eHarmony is continuing to make use of my pictures and private information by continuing to send it to present [and] potential users over repeatedly, whom then make an effort to contact me personally via their site.

An OKCupid user stated that a malicious correspondent “admits to collecting other user’s [sic] photos and degrading them by drawing profanity on it and posting the changed photo’s in the [blog] for several to see and abuse.

Users of all of the three sites additionally grumbled about bad customer care, citing difficulty finding a telephone number for a real time agent and problem emails being answered by a questionnaire letter or perhaps not after all.


Associated with three dating internet sites, eHarmony has got the steepest prices, with a month-to-month account starting at about $60 each month. Clients filing complaints because of the FTC cost the matchmaking that is formula-driven with using some innovative techniques to keep raking in those charges, along with boosting earnings through less-than-trustworthy means.

Users seemed specially unhappy with eHarmony’s billing techniques. Numerous previous clients reported into the FTC which they had been signed up for automated renewal without their knowledge and against their wishes, and that eHarmony refused to issue a reimbursement or would only therefore for a partial amount once they disputed the charges. One alleged, “There was no means we could alter the ‘automatic’ renewal, including my try to eliminate my charge card number from ‘my records.

One previous user summed within the emotions of numerous other people by writing, “eHarmony is straightforward to become listed on, but extremely difficult to have free from. … They lure people in (because they did me personally because of the free offer), then solution falls down to nothing. And it’s also excessively hard, if you don’t impossible, to have eHarmony to end billing you once you’ve told them you want to discontinue solution.”

Even with canceling their records, previous eHarmony clients had been dogged by spam through the company. One complainant had written, “I have actually tried for 4+years to obtain them to go out of me personally alone and unsubscribed at the very least 50 times. … It is painful to be harassed.”

Possibly more egregiously, some complaints accuse eHarmony of attempting to sell users that are former email details with other organizations. One ex-customer composed, “I opted away from all communications aided by the ongoing company and experienced the entire process of deleting my account. A few months later, we started getting SPAM email messages from other organizations, which were being provided for the unique e-mail that we utilized to register for eHarmony. This indicates which they offered, provided or somehow released my personal email address whenever I cancelled. (I currently have almost 100 email messages off their organizations that have been delivered to this original target). … there is absolutely no information that is unsubscribe the email messages and even a ‘do not reply to this address’ statement at the end of this email.”


Clients of Match, whom spend the business $35 each month, notified the FTC of similar hurdles to canceling their payments that are automated getting refunds, along with of issues with solicitation inundation after shutting their records.

A few complainants also stated that their bank cards had been charged by Match despite the fact that they had never subscribed to the website’s services. One penned, “This business, Match, of that we do not have also logged onto before, charged my debit card 52.10. I dont understand how they got my information.


Despite being typically the most popular internet dating website, with 3.5 million active users at the time of September 2010 based on business numbers, OKCupid received hardly any complaints – probably because, unlike eHarmony and Match, your website is able to most users. Avid daters hit frequently by Cupid’s bow can opt for a premium account with additional options, an attribute available since August 2009, but no complaints were gotten about its payment techniques.

Even though the FTC documents contain a good amount of genuine grievances, some users used the agency’s complaint system as being a forum by which to vent about their intimate frustrations. One eHarmony individual composed, “Out of several thousand lesbians over the united states of america nobody sent me a wonk or hello[sic]. I want my cash refunded.”A more altruistic heart composed with respect to their townspeople, saying, “I have always been constantly frustrated to locate advertised on yahoo, ‘match,’ showing pictures of stunning young women that are advertised to call home in my own tiny city. They don’t, and while i’m maybe not at risk of such shoddy company methods, we worry that lots of of my lonely next-door neighbors are. Please ask ‘match’ to specify why these models aren’t really residents of Cabot Arkansas.