Free membership online dating sites

Virtual dating left these people with actual disappointment

Okay, so you had some reservations, but you finally decide to try this online dating thing. Your cousin met the love of her life online, so it’s worth a try, right? You find a site that offers free membership so you can browse for possible dates without paying up front.

Once you’ve made a snazzy profile, you start getting responses, like this:

Hiya! Wow we live close, are you are up for meeting people near where you live? Upload a photo?

But when you try to reply to these messages, you get this popup:

If you’re really curious, you have to shell out $20 for a one month membership. Fair enough, you think, the site has to make money somehow. You agree to the upgrade fee because you’re excited to start a conversation.

You send replies back to each person who showed an interest in you… and then you wait… and wait… and wait…

No one writes back. No. One. What gives?

The FTC asked this same question when people started complaining about their experiences on dating sites owned and operated by JDI Dating. The agency discovered that these websites used fake profiles, called “Virtual Cupids, ” to coax users into upgrading to paid memberships. Within minutes of signing up, new members received personalized messages from what appeared to be real people. But they weren’t real. They were generated by JDI and set to send messages at specific times.

Even worse, according to the FTC complaint, disappointed members were often unknowingly charged again to keep their subscription current. Some users who tried to cancel their membership had trouble doing so. The FTC alleged that the process to cancel was overly complicated, and that even when people took the required steps, they weren’t always successful.

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