Dealing with a Bad Online Dating Service
It’s the beginning of the year and you’re already behind with all of the Christmas bills that are now due. So when you want to sign up for a dating service site, with its high monthly fee, how are you protecting yourself and your budget?
Before you even plunk down your credit card, you need to be aware of one thing – dating sites want to make money. But at the same time, there are a number of dating sites who simply exist to take money from people without giving them anything in return.
At least, that seems to be what US and World Report claim.
Here are some ways to make sure you are not only protecting yourself, but also getting your money back if you should be dissatisfied with the service:
- Investigate the site before you sign up – Don’t just sign up on the first site you find. Read reviews. Find out what your friends are using. Take some time to figure out whether this site seems like it’s set up to help you.
- Read the contracts – Find out how much money you need to pay and whether you will be signed up for a monthly charge from the start.
- Try to pay by check – If you can, try to pay by paper check. This way, if you’re done with the service, they can’t automatically charge you on your credit card. True, this is a rare feature in dating sites, but if possible, it’s the best deal.
- Find out who to contact with complaints before you have a complaint – This way, you can give them a call and see how helpful they are before you sign up, letting you know how helpful they will be when you are a member.
- Keep records of your charges.
Okay, however I have read an article that online dating risk is just the same to real world dating. Anyway, what matters most is that you will find your special someone who is ready to love and care for you.
Its a good thing that online dating are such an enormous tool for men who want to have dating experience. But we must remember that this is only an alternative to actual dating in real life, which is much more effective and you get fast results.
I have this book that I am studying, its all about dating tips and techniques for almost every kind of man out there. This book helped me a lot in my dating experience and it has never been better until I found out about it.
Some less reputable sites are certainly hooking male members in with bogus mails and flirts from non-existent female members. At one time this was a well known tactic used by adult dating sites. But now as the online dating space becomes ever more crowded and competitive, it seems some regular sites are resorting to these methods as well in order to boost their membership and get people logging on every day. For example, after posting my profile on a fairly well known chat site, I immediately began receiving daily messages from an attractive female member.
After one or two of these, it was pretty obvious they were scripted cookie cutter style messages. I was curious so I asked several questions that only a person would be able to respond intelligently to, like ‘answer yes if you are a human being’ or something like that. But clearly the responses were coming from some kind of dumb automated system that only had a few basic rules, and it could never answer any of my questions. Plus, like Steve mentioned in the post above, the user never appeared to be online, even though she was apparently sending messages every day. The messages from this woman were always sent at strange times, like 5.00 am in the morning. I even noticed the last logon time on this woman’s profile, was several weeks before the messages were sent. Very weird!
I have some real concerns. I thought I would post a couple of profiles on different white label dating sites. The first thing I noticed was the absence of any subscription fees. Another join free and get hauled-in type of site, I thought. I posted separate profiles with different descriptions, one with a picture and one without. I received exactly the same email from a member and also winks. Now call me suspicious but surely different people wouldn’t get the same contacts. This to me suggests they are system generated, and sent blanket to all male members.
For the next experiment, over a month or so I sent 180 emails and got 50 returns, none of which were normal conversations. I didn’t end up in reciprocation with these emails and they ended after 3 or so mails. Now I have no conversations going. There were also suspicious gaps in the emails of 3 days and the mails were always sent during the daytime apart from about 3 which were early evening. Next experiment was with the cancellation system provided on the site. I cancelled before the month was up but still got billed for 2 months. It’s unlikely I will get a refund as this has actually happened before. A lot of profiles were dead profiles after a short time – meaning they were no longer members, but were still being advertised. So you could do a search for someone in your area and get loads of hits and even some emails from one or two people. But I found after a couple of weeks they were not subscribed.
These sites like you to believe that they have lots of members. I specifically asked if my profile would be completely deleted. I had no response. Also there was no way to delete it on this site yourself. Well in my book that’s plain wrong. I suspect there are a lot of other things going on that the site does but this is hard to prove. They deleted my diary entries as well as I expressed my feelings about the site the last diary entry. I said I was leaving and I thought there was something going on but they deleted the last part.
I sent quite a few emails to the customer support asking for the billing agent details but they wouldn’t give that information either. They just said it’s on my statement, however it turned out there was no phone number included on my statement. I would have to phone my bank at my own expense. I would have thought that you were entitled to be able to contact these people by phone, but all I got was the head office address which was the site admin and not the billing agent. So all in all not very good.
I will say there are some quite good sites out there, so they are not all bad. Dateseeker.com does a good job of telling you which ones are good. But I believe there needs to be more regulation of the cowboys. I’m not saying that white label dating is to blame as they only distribute the software to anyone that wants to run a site. You can call it anything you like but the database engines are the same. They do have a bit of responsibility in as much as they need to allow the software to clearly show the information a customer wants, and not just use it as a money spinning tool to lure people into subscribing by these winks and messages from members, who you think, but can’t prove are actually contacting you.
In some cases there are genuine mails going to other members, but I wonder if there is some hooking in of the punter going on. Again for legal reasons I’m not accusing Whitelabel of this. It’s something I just suspect happens with many sites to boost the revenue of the site by getting as many subscribers as possible. I’m on a lot of free sites, and the same patterns do not occur with the email traffic which again reinforces a lot of my thoughts. They seem more realistic and random, more scammers there, but if your savvy then you know the ones that put email addresses up front and straight away on the first mail is a suspect. I sent an email to Whitelabel dating asking them how they protect their reputation from people who use there databases and software in less than honest ways.
As yet I have had no reply. There are small and large operators who hide their address in very small print at the bottom of the terms and conditions pages on a lot of these sites some are genuinely doing a good job but unless they are all regulated then the bad ones keep getting away with it! The good ones usually have an affiliation to a consumer protector. So these are obviously safe if you have an organization to complain to who is impartial and independent of the website admin. I think that’s what’s needed across the board. For obvious legal reasons I have not named the websites using Whitelabel dating software. Obviously there are quite a few database suppliers out there and I suspect the story is the same with them as well.
Before handing over any payment for an online dating site it is important to read the small print and find out exactly how much you are going to be charged for the service and whether there are any automatic renewals. Otherwise you could find your credit card is being debited month after month. I prefer sites that do not do these auto renewals because it can be very hard to cancel once you have signed up. Some sites now allow payments by PayPal. This is better because you do not have to reveal your credit card details to the site, plus auto renewals can be cancelled quite easily this way. The website should also have a customer care telephone number or email address, and it is worth checking this out before paying anything. With a few sites I have tried, it is very difficult to reach them when you have a problem. Handing over money to these is not a good idea – better to stick to the more reputable sites.