Click on one of the links to see some frequently asked questions:
Why am I being offered long term subscriptions?
Each ODA Member will offer a range of different subscription options to meet the individual needs of their members. Sometimes selecting the subscription with a longer term (for example 6 months) can prove to be more cost effective for the user. The most important thing is to choose the subscription option that is right for you and to read all the information and T&Cs that are available.
Can a membership be renewed automatically and further payments taken? Is this legal?
Automatic Renewal is a common practice in many industries (also seen in magazine subscriptions or gym memberships) and it is legal. Automatically renewing subscriptions can offer users the convenience of ensuring that they don’t experience any disruptions to the services they have signed up to.
It is important to read the terms and conditions carefully when you sign up to any online dating service and that you follow the process specified for the cancellation of services and future payments.
How can I end a subscription?
The precise arrangements for cancelling your subscription will vary between services, but ODA Member’s should have clear and straightforward instructions on their website. The process will normally include contacting your service provider a reasonable amount of time before the end date of your subscription to cancel both the subscription and the payments. Failure to cancel both may result in future payments being made through Automatic Renewals. If any subscription is subject to Automatic Renewal, this will be made clear in the ODA Members terms and conditions when you sign up to the online dating service. If you have entered into a subscription via an App marketplace then any cancellation may also need to be registered with them.
Some providers allow you to suspend your profile which means that your profile will not be visible online until you reactivate it. Suspension of a profile does not mean the subscription has been cancelled, so if you are looking to cancel you need to ensure you follow the instructions for cancellation.
I have cancelled my account but I have still been charged?
The precise arrangements for cancelling your subscription will vary between dating services. If you know you have cancelled in accordance with the service terms and conditions, then you will need to contact the dating service.
I have cancelled my account but the company will not refund?
If you selected a subscription option which gave you a preferential deal because of a longer-term sign-up you will likely be committed for the full period of the subscription. The only exception to this is if you cancel within 14 days of entering into the subscription (Consumer Contract Regulations). You will need to contact the dating service you are signed up with directly and they will be able to confirm your position and explain any options that you may have.
How do I get my profile removed from a dating service?
We understand that there are reasons why someone might want to have their profile removed from a service. Every ODA member is under a responsibility to remove a person’s profile promptly if this is requested. Having your profile taken off the public site is not the same as ending a subscription period. If you are signed up for an agreed period of time your service provider can advise you on their payment policies. If you do want to remove a profile and end a subscription at the next renewal date you should make this clear to the service provider and they should meet your needs.
I joined a site but my details seem to be available on another site that I did not join?
Some sites give access to people who have joined other dating sites in order to increase the number and variety of people from whom you might find your match. If they do they should explain this when people register. Any provider that “pools” users from more than one site has to make sure the pooling is done responsibly. They might well do this by separating out any sites that are “adult” in nature, sites that serve a specific interest group/s or sites for mature rather than slightly younger dating! You are entitled to ask your site provider whether the service makes use of some sort of pooling and how they go about it.
I am getting spam messages and worry this is linked to joining online dating?
That should not happen. There is no good reason why a dating service should take actions that expose you to spam marketing that you do not like and do not want. Spam is an unfortunate part of our lives online and those who do it have various ways of catching mail addresses as messages go across public networks. Dating sites might be able to offer advice but you should be looking to your Internet Service provider and your e-mail provider for help, guidance and for the tools to manage this nuisance.
I am concerned about the conduct of a user on the site, what should I do?
It would be wrong to try to tell every dater exactly what they can and cannot do especially as each service will have its own level of formality or informality. But all sites have rules about behaviour when using their services and every ODA member has to have means of reporting unacceptable behaviour. Do not hesitate to report anyone you feel is offensive or threatening. Tell the dating site provider if you suspect someone of being a scammer or a possible physical threat. You could well be helping others as well as dealing with your own fears. There is more advice on this from the ODA via this link.
What if I suspect someone is trying to scam me or others?
This is serious. Work on the “better safe than sorry” principle and report it right away to your service provider. The ODA has user guidance on this here. We and our members can give advice and signposting. We will ourselves talk with the police and others if they want our help in stopping wrongdoing.