Online Dating Services Racking Up BBB Complaints

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DALLAS (CBS 11 NEWS) – A Consumer Justice warning just before Valentine’s Day about the “F” rated dating services in North Texas racking up the most number of complaints, according to the Better Business Bureau.

“We know people may be looking for a date on Valentine’s Day and trying to decide which business to choose to find that special someone,” said Phylissa Landix of the Dallas BBB.

Landix said they went through thousands of complaints and compiled a list of the top offenders.

  1. Match.com
  2. People Media
  3. Dallas and Fort Worth Singles
  4. True Beginnings
  5. Fort Worth Dating Company

Match.com tops the list with 2,612 complaints over the last three years and more than 800 unanswered complaints. The Better Business Bureau reports that the company lost its accreditation in July.

Many of the Match.com complaints have to do with billing issues and people not being able to cancel their subscriptions.

Corey Hill joined the dating site last year, signed up for a six month subscription and met his girlfriend through the service. Hill said he didn’t need the service and didn’t plan on renewing his subscription but the company signed him up anyway through auto-renewal.

Hill said his biggest complaint was that he received no email or text reminder that the company would be charging his account. “There’s no benefit to the user to have auto renewal… and then they force it on everybody. That just doesn’t seem right.”

Match.com sent us the following statement through email:

“Match is not a member of the BBB, , so we do not respond to consumer inquiries on their service. We encourage all of our customers to contact customer care with any issues or concerns.”

Additional details from the BBB breaking down why each business made the list:

1. BBB Business Review for Match.com

“F” Rating with BBB
BBB Accreditation Revoked July 2015
2612 Complaints
811 Unanswered Complaints–the highest number of unanswered complaints of any business in BBB Dallas’s files
Match also failed to resolve underlying causes of a pattern of complaints observed by BBB Dallas. BBB brought this pattern to the business’s attention in November 2015.
Many complaints involve auto-billing and difficulty cancelling subscriptions

2. BBB Business Review for People Media

“F” Rating with BBB
528 complaints
297 Unanswered Complaints – 5th highest number of unanswered complaints of any business in BBB Dallas’s files in the last three years
6 complaints are unresolved
Complaints involve sales practice and billing issues. Numerous customers complain that the company misrepresents their “free” dating site is only a trial period and that the company automatically renews the initial subscription without notification.

3. BBB Business Review for Dallas and Fort Worth Singles

“F” Rating with BBB
13 complaints
8 complaints are unresolved
Business has failed to resolve underlying cause(s) of a pattern of complaints.
There is additional information in the BBB Business Review about the customer experience: “Specifically, BBB identified concerning patterns of consumer complaints alleging Dallas & Fort Worth Singles targets people over the age of 50 via telephone solicitation and lures consumers to their office to sell matchmaking services using high pressure sales tactics and deceptive techniques. Consumers allege they are not allowed to leave the office without speaking with multiple representatives who pressure and intimidate them in order to get them to buy into the matchmaking program.”

4. BBB Business Review for True Beginnings

“F” Rating
12 complaints
7 unanswered complaints
BBB Review has additional info on customer experience: “Complaints are regarding difficulty canceling the service. Specifically, consumers state that the company requires that cancelation be requested by phone. However, after following the company policy to cancel by phone, the company continues to bill consumers for services not wanted.”

5. BBB Business Review for Fort Worth Dating Company

“F” Rating
7 complaints
2 unanswered complaints

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