Finding a partner online – but at what cost?

Online dating websites are a great way to meet new people and they have grown extremely popular. Today, more and more people use online dating services to find and meet potential partners. As is the case with all online services, you have to be careful with online dating sites as well, or you may, instead of a date, find yourself with a surprising bill.

The European Consumer Centre Finland has compiled a checklist for avoiding expensive mistakes when using online dating services:

1. Is the website/company trustworthy?

Browse through the website of the online dating company. Can you find contact details for the company, and does the company appear trustworthy? Google the service and find out about other people’s experiences.

2. What does the service cost?

Registering, creating a profile or joining the service is often free. Everything else, however, usually carries a charge. Please remember that a free trial membership is almost always converted into a paid membership automatically unless you terminate it by a certain deadline.

3. Read the terms and conditions.

Never tick the “I have read and agree to the terms and conditions” box unless you have actually read them. The terms and conditions include important information such as the length of the paid membership, the automatic renewal policy and the notice period for terminating your membership.

4. Is it possible to cancel?

Remember that it is not usually possible to cancel an online dating site membership when the service is provided at your specific request and you have been informed that there is no right of cancellation.

5. Always pay by credit card if you can.

That way you will be able to turn to your credit card company if the online dating company ignores your justified claim for a refund.

6. Who can help?

You can contact the European Consumer Centre Finland with any problems that you may encounter with online dating companies based outside Finland in another EU country, Iceland or Norway. If you are a resident of other EU country than Finland, contact your national European Consumer Centre.