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It promises “affluent, educated men and women between the ages of 30 and 55, who are all looking for a long-term commitment.” It charges £180 a year for membership.
Another Telegraph Money reader, who does not wish to be named, turned to online dating after his relationship came to an end in February.
I didn’t want to put myself through all that.” The man, 54, from the North East, came across Elite Singles and thought it looked like a better bet for meeting someone more serious about finding a long-term partner.
He was also impressed with the advertised fact that 18,000 new members were registering with the site every week – giving the impression that he’d be spoilt for choice of potential dates.
When the man complained to Elite Singles, it refunded him without a fuss, as it has a 14-day refund policy.
When contacted by Telegraph Money, Elite Singles admitted that disappointment over the number of paying members was a “very common” complaint.
Most people on these dating websites are just looking for a bit of fun, but I find that all a bit seedy.“My daughters said online dating wasn’t good for me anymore, so I started looking for alternatives.” Aileen then came across Searchmate, a bespoke dating service which featured on the first series of Channel 4's The Undateables.It claims to offer a “safer and more credible alternative” to dating websites.He claimed to be a high flier in a major American toy firm, but then managed to convince her to give him £200 for medical treatment, encouraging her to take out credit cards.“Getting sucked into this made me feel really stupid,” Aileen said.
In the two years between 20 alone, revenue dropped by £9m from £168m to £159m.